Duluth MN for Grandmas Marathon 2015

by Joanne on June 18, 2015

It was a rough start to this marathon weekend:  Delay in Syracuse because of grounding in Chicago due to bad weather: We boarded our United flight on time, 6:40 for a 7 am departure. We were on the plane 30 minutes before they sent us back to the gate due to weather complications in Chicago but based on passenger AND United ticket agent conversations, weather was not apparent on radar. Mysterious bad weather. 

I changed my connection in Chicago from a 9:14 flight (arrival in Duluth at 11:am) to a 12:20 flight (arrival at 2pm).  FINALLY, arrived in Duluth at 3 pm and checked into the hotel by 4pm.  A whole lot of waiting and wasting of a perfectly good day.  Probably the only day of the next 3 without rain!

Got my luggage and United had torn the front pocket, broken the zipper.  That was NEW luggage! A gift from Mum and Dad last Christmas.  Geesh!

Damaged baggage

Once I got into the hotel, I took a Hammer Nutrition Race Day tablet.  I haven’t tried these before because the instructions say to begin taking 4 days prior to race day.  Anyway, thought I’d try them. Not 10 minutes and my mouth started watering like crazy and I felt nauseous.  Upset tummy troubles in my room, on my walk to Grandma’s Restaurant AND in the restaurant.  Live and learn – these do NOT sit well with my system.  Needless to say, the rest of those tablets are in the trash.

I did however enjoy a gorgeous walk down to the harbor and to Grandma’s Saloon which I was determined to get in today before the crowds hit Friday and Saturday.

Bridge walk



Gs saloon and bar

Since my stomach was upset, I thought it best to eat something.  The menu was extensive but nothing really appealed to me so the best thing, and also kind of unique, was a side dish of saffron rice.

story of grandmas

grandmas menu cover

Grandmas saffron rice


That was a lot of rice and I managed to eat about 1/2 of it. It was a little salty, mixed with carrots, a lot of flavor.

i walked around a little more, bought a few souvenirs, stopped in The Chocolate Factory and high tailed it out of there before my will power gave way, went back to the room and finally got hungry again by 7pm. 

Dinner at J J Astor


J J Astor is a revolving restaurant which allows diners to enjoy the greater Duluth scenic aerial view while enjoying a nice meal.

Greater Duluth

Started with a not so great petite syrah:  Darcy Kent.  There wasn’t much body or flavor to this wine. Disappointing.

JJ Astors wine

No garden salad offered so I customized their Blackberry salad, switching the prosciutto for fennel.

JJ Astors Blackberry salad

Ordered the Skuna Bay Salmon with pomegranate glaze, wild rice risotto, haricot verts and grilled vegetables on the side.

salmon dinner at jjastors

It looked good BUT… the haricot verts were WAY too salty and greasy so I couldn’t eat them. The salmon was over done. The rice was good but the grilled vegetables had that horrible ultra smoky, “banana leaf” type flavor.  It wasn’t the best meal but the scenery was enjoyable.

Tomorrow I hope to get in a couple of miles to loosen up the legs then it’s on to the expo to see what goodies I can enjoy.  Hope I can find better food and have a healthier tummy tomorrow.

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