Friday, July 3, 2009

Twin Cities

Showing you where we have traveled so far...
Then next, we plan to drive further north and east in MN, then loop back south and west through Wisconsin.

We've spent the last several days in the St. Paul area, visiting friends and family, experiencing the fun of a Farmers' Market and a Little League game with Patti and John and family with their 8 year old grandson Max getting hits, runs and a spectacular catch at short stop while we sat bundled up for the COOL evening.

Then, life goes on and things happen. Gregg's cousin's 54 year old husband died suddenly this week. We were able to attend a wonderful memorial service today and see lots of family as we all celebrated this courageous man's life. He created a wonderful life while enduring the challenging disease of NF2. We salute you, Bruce Smith, and your courageous wife Nancy and children.

Gregg has a list of things he wants to see and do on this trip. Here's one: Cosetta's Italian Market & Pizzeria in downtown St. Paul, 98 years old and still in the same family with pizza makers that toss and spin the dough in the air.

We biked a few miles one morning to the home of long time friends of Gregg's. Jan served us a fantastic breakfast while John told the stories of his hunts, mostly bow hunting. Upper left on the wall is Caribou with a big velvety rack - a new one on me.

I wish all towns could do what they do here - forget the narrow concrete sidewalks and put in all wide asphalt multi-use trails. We rode miles and miles, to friend's houses, to Sam's Club, to the Verizon store... You can get just about anywhere on a bike in this area.

I just had to stop to get this picture of what I think is a Dandelion has-been. I've heard the Northern Minnesota mosquitoes that we are now headed toward are the size of helicopters. I'm wondering if this dandelion is an indicator of the size of all the MN pests...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mo' Minnesota

We've just spent a few days at a MN state park north of the Twin Cities on the St Croix River. John & Patti came up to visit, bring Gregg a birthday cake, and take us on a short jaunt over to WI to get cheese curds. Yes, cheese curds, one of the items on our long "must do" list - WI cheese curds!

The St. Croix River that borders MN and WI up here is just beautiful, the water clear and calm. We took a paddle boat ride one afternoon out of Taylors Falls (where there IS no falls to be seen - it's underwater!) We enjoyed a couple of restaurant meals on patios along the river, and spent a leisurely afternoon floating down Wisconsin's Apple River in tubes.