Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Two Weeks in July

It was General Internal Med night (or Medical Floor night or some sort of Mayo night) at the Honkers Game in July sometime. I’m not sure what day that was because they all blur together.

But suffice it to say we went. It was nothing like the Rainiers game we went to last year in Tacoma at Cheney Stadium. Not. At. All.

Mainly, there is no way those Rainier fans would have sang the whole theme song to Fresh Prince of Bel Air. And when I say the fans sang it, I mean all the fans were rapping the whole entire song. It was the best. Absolutely the Best.

We took a selfie (again a bad selfie, but a selfie none the less)

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Yikes, right?

I got a nice snap with the mascot-

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I’m holding my sock knitting. I should have made the Mascot hold my socks. Dang. Next time.

We have set a little goal to try to visit the state parks in our area. We started at Lake Louise.

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The dog likes it. We like to let Beta off the leash now and then. He tends to trot on ahead to scout out the trail. The unfortunate part about that is he can’t really hear us when we are screaming at him to come. He usually doubles back to check on our progress, but if we meet someone, well, we need to be in control of our annoying barking dog.

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The day was super nice. A little warm and very buggy when we were in the woods. We didn’t stay long but we enjoyed it while we were there.

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We keep telling ourselves to get bug spray, but we still have yet to make this purchase. Something about spraying chemicals all over my bare skin makes me pause and reconsider my options. However, I am pretty sure I don’t have to worry about the risk of birth defects to my unborn children and being chased by bugs is super annoying. So I guess my mental well being outweighs the risk of exposure to carcinogenic defoliants and I will definitely be prepared next time.

The other thing I did (not “we”, “I”.  Because, well, obviously although Dave was there to support as always) was ran the Saint Mary’s University Trail Scamper. It was unGODLY humid. But not that hot so it was kind of a different feel. It was mercifully only a 5 K (3.1 mi) so that made it bearable.

Me before-completely unflattering picture and Dave’s third attempt at getting one. Hence the “hurry up and get this over with” stance.

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The bluffs in the background is the racing venue. Up and down and all around back where the air is hot and still and extremely wet.

Me, after, even more unflattering and holding my sweat soaked shirt away from my body-

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Ugh. BUT-in the end I won this-

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I maintain if you can finish still standing in this age group, you too can win.

My comment to the crowd---

“It’s the new 30 people”

So that’s a little recap of a couple of weeks in July.

I’m not sure this ever made it to the blog, but in closing, this is Dave’s 11th Anniversary present. Because nothing says 11 years like a tee-shirt.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

A Couple of Things Since We’ve Been Back

So, after returning to the fold, I have kept my self occupied.

First of all there’s work from home. There are also barriers to work from home-

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That is not my work computer. My work computer is here--

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Sort of a problem any where you look.

And then there’s this-

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See? No, because she’s always moving and running along the desk and interrupting in all sort of kinetic energy kind of ways.

Oh, and somewhere in the hood, at any time of the day, someone is mowing their lawn. It’s truly awe inspiring and loud.

I can’t work like this.

But I manage.

Somehow.

The following weekend after I came back, the weekend of July 4th-but on July 5th, we went to A Prairie Home Companion 40th Anniversary show at Macalester College.

The day was sunny and sort of warm, but then got cloudy and I thought it might rain. But in the nick of time the sun came out and the day could not have been better.

We sat far in the back, under a big shady tree.

This is the stage close up

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This is the stage with the PHC regulars with my telephoto lens

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And, as always, this is the cute kid distracting me throughout the show.

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I know, right? I wanted to take more pictures but didn’t want to appear like the crazy child stalker lady. But she was very cute. And ever so entertaining.

Anyway, I took lots of pictures of the acts and then couldn’t remember who they were now that I am blogging.

The Warm Up Acts-

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Old Crow Medicine Show-Really, really good. They were part of the warm up-played for an hour before the show-then played during the show. Excellent.

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Buy their new album-Remedy. Shameless plug but they are that good.

And of course, Garrison Keillor. I didn’t get any really good pictures of him. He had to be sweating up there as he had his suit on and the sun was pretty intense.

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Dave and I had a ton of fun. Traffic was easy-up and back an hour each way. I’m not used to that. Although an hour and back from Seattle is pretty par for the course, and half the distance….just saying.

The following weekend it was the Basilica Block Party at the Basilica of St. Mary's in Minneapolis. I went with my partner in crime, Cathy.

We went to DSW first, and I bought a bathing suit-but not at DSW-at Ellsmore-totally another story. We did eventually get to the Basillica

That place is breathtaking-

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I only had my phone for a camera so I didn’t get the best pictures-these don’t do it justice. I didn’t know I could take pictures or I would have taken more of the statuary and other symbols of the Catholic Church. I also learned a lot about what it means to be a Basilica. Not everyone can be one you know.

AND-here’s the only picture of Cathy and me together.

Pope

With the Pope. Total Photo Op. Don’t hate us. Cathy is holding his hand, by the way. I’m sort giving him a little goose.

All in good faith, my children, all in good faith.

This day started out POURING rain, thunder, lightening. We were like-oh no, what should we wear, bring, do??? You can’t go in and out so you have to plan.

But by the time we got there it had stopped raining and within 45 minutes of opening at 5 PM, the skies cleared and it was the perfect night for a concert. Of which there were many musical acts.

The two we really wanted to see were--

1) Ingrid Michaelson

Fabulous. And she’s pretty cute. Sang good songs, did a sweet cover of Rude, and of course, Girls Chase Boys. Nice.

This is the stage-check out those blue skies-

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We got up to the side of the stage. It was so cool.

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I took some scenery of the Basilica too-

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Hard to get a good picture with lots of people and things in the way.

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…”

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Seriously, who is that giant guy with a cross? Not sure. A little creepy behind the rock and roll stage. Dave thinks it’s St Francis. Why would it be St. Francis? Who knows. Anyway, I found it amusing, a little disturbing, but amusing none the less. That’s all that matters.

The second thing we came to see--

2) Train

Oh yeah-and what a show they put on.

Gave it their all for an hour and a half.

It was dark by then, and this is probably the best picture I got-which isn’t great-

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But check this out-

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That there, above Train is the full moon. I hate to use the word awesome, but it was totally awesome.

Cathy and I were singing our hearts out, like the rest of the audience. The lead singer, Pat Monahan (who, btw, lives in Issaquah. Coulda been neighbors-oh and neither of us had any idea that was his name till later) put on such an energetic show. We were totally gob smacked. There were audience members on the stage, he was taking selfies with the audience. It was crazy fun.

Another really perfect night.

We decided we will do that again next year. It’s on the books. And we are going to research everyone’s name. For future reference.

So, even though I just got back, it’s been super fun and busy. Weather had been, for the most part, very un-Minnesotan. I mean, low humidity? dry? 70’s?

Ca-raazzzy. But loving it.

Start work at Pine Needles again tomorrow (08/02-is it really August already? Huh)

Looking back in time, I got some pictures from the Rock n Roll-

Julie sent me the top one-

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And I had this one sent to me-

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It’s the Big Wheel!

I think, dare I say, I’m almost caught up.

Except for a couple more things.

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This is not as comfy as a nice warm laptop.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Driving (us crazy)

So, the second part of this adventure is the drive. It’s a long post for a long trip-so find a rest stop, get comfortable, and prepare for a lengthy drive.

After we did our Tour of Tacoma and Sights of Seattle, we had to get into a car-my small car packed to the gills and thrills-and drive ourselves 1700 or so miles from Washington to Minnesota. A trip I have been anticipating for many months.

So, plan to start out Thursday. And poor Laura-she woke up in the night sick sick sick. Nauseated, throwing up. My gosh. Poor girl. But like the trooper that she is (would we really expect any less??) she said-Let’s do this thing (ok, maybe she didn’t say it that way but she indicated that we should do this thing). So we loaded the car and off we went.

Dave and I have driven this route 3 times, and had pretty darned good weather. But, not so much this trip. It was a bit grey and drab to start, and we had sun breaks and heavy rain throughout Washington.

But over the mountains we had some pretty views--

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Trucks and mountains at the rest stop, just east of Snoqualmie Pass.

We flew through the Gorge and worked our way towards Spokane where we planned to stop and see a couple of sights.

It was raining really really hard there when we arrived but let up as we got closer to our destination.  Laura perked up and we hit Riverside Park with a vengeance. Sort of.

Hoopfest was getting ready to start and I’m sure the thousands of people there to see and participate in it cared about it, but us? Not so much. What we cared about was finding the giant Red Flyer. That’s what we cared about. Because, really, isn’t it all about a giant wagon with a slide?

The Spokane river was running high, but very pretty

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Dark Skies, Raging River.

We found the goat that eats paper. Laura pressed the button but we didn’t know how it worked-nor did we have any paper. Very unprepared.

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But then-well, the picture says it all-

The Holy Grail of Radio Flyers--

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Right? That is what I am talking about. Complete with a slide. And you know what that means--

Next best picture of Laura-EVER!!

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She braved wet pants and feeling sick to say she went down the giant wagon slide. (The slide was wet, she didn’t wet her pants-people, she wasn’t THAT sick). I do love this picture.

After this break, we got a little lunch, and off we went to the next stop, which was Bozeman, MT

Eastern Wa-

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The view from the Bozeman LaQuinta Inn. Which is a great hotel AND takes pets. Just saying. (We stayed there last March with two dogs and two cats. Laura and I saw two cats sitting in a hotel window. They looked annoyed)

Next day Laura was recovering nicely-still a little peaked, but better. Thinking she might live. So off we went for day two-destination Chamberlain SD. It’s a long day. (Long kind of a theme here)

Some Montana Hiway—still grey.

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Grey Montana skies (Not the Emmy Lou Harris duet Wild Montana Skies but close)

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We drove through some serious storms, black skies, lightening, heavy blinding rain. And construction, lots and lots of construction.

However-the skies cleared just in time for our trip to the Devil’s Tower. Which, by the way, the Garmin could not find on its satellites. We had to go by the phone maps. The Devil’s Tower had some serious anti satillite map mojo/cell phone reception interruption going on.

I have about a zillion pictures of the Tower-it doesn’t seem to mess with camera function. I’ll try to weed out as we don’t want this to turn into your typical vacation-yawn-slideshow.

Slow approach to Devil’s tower.

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Harder to see when you get right up close-the mystery of the tower

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"If everything's ready here on the Dark Side of the Moon... play the five tones."

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The views away from the Tower were pretty awesome too

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The hills were very red inside.

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Me pretending there isn’t a large behemoth rock formation looming in the background. 

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And no pictures of Laura. She’s evasive, or communing with the aliens while I wasn’t looking.

Oh, and what is the origin of said formation-glad you asked-

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You gotta click to make that big enough to read. But it’s got what you need to know. Right there.

We left the Tower and found out way back to the highway. And though Dave and I have driven this a zillion times (ok, 3) we had never stopped at the Tower. It was so worth the trip.

We barreled through some seriously nasty weather and found ourselves here-

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Freakin’ Wall Drug. This is the kind of picture I get of Laura. No scenery here, but a jackalope. The hell. I wasn’t completely sold on Wall Drug. But also never having been here before it was a must see.

I saw it.

I am not really sure why I have as many pictures of Wall Drug on here as the Devil’s Tower. Mainly because Laura was cracking me up with the posing on the various statuary.

Me on said Jackalope-I cut in front of small children for this.

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Obviously Laura was nearly herself again by Wall Drug time-

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Words cannot describe-

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Hey Pappy-you lookin’ at me?

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We had to get out of there before being eaten by this-

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We hit Chamberlain in style, rested, and the next day we headed for glorious Minnesota-

With a stop here-(I really did want to see this)

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Dudes, it’s the corn palace. Which I kinda liked more than Wall Drug. Only because I found the blatant tourism less offensive. And less made in China.

Oh, but we did find these---

Which led to a phone search which showed that we had access to hundreds of games like this—ON MY PHONE. Are you kidding? We were dope slapping ourselves for not thinking of it, although Laura did have a rousing license plate game going on. You don’t realize how much you get into that kind of thing until you are on the road for 2.6 days.

I bought two for the car.

Who knew-at the Corn Palace.

Corn pictures above the stage.

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Corn Murals outside.

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Laura wearing a corn hat with corn murals in the back ground. It was all about the corn.

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No raccoons were harmed in the taking of next picture.

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We took off from there and stopped to visit the Jolly Green Giant-

He welcomes you to Blue Earth

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Look, I’m a mini Green Giant.

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Gawd.

And so it goes. We played games the whole way back through Minnesota until we hit our home town, Rochester. Which I just found out is the 6th happiest city in the 4th happiest state in the US of A.

We can’t stop being happy here.

So that’s what happened.

I was feeling pretty tired but I got in one final bad selfie to prove I made it back to Dave.

Photo: 1800 miles later

(I think I need my own hashtag-Sarah and Dave @ #badselfies)

Either way, it was an adventure and I certainly enjoyed it and I was sorry Laura was sick but ever so glad she was with me to see some new things…..

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and convince me that some things are just worth doing!

Thanks girlfriend-I owe you 1700 miles.