’13 Oct: Saint Paul, MN, and Lake Superior

The Kids!

Head ’em up Move…

October 11

Head ’em up Move ’em out. We’re off for a weekend at the North Shore of Lake Superior. Too fun!

We had a lunch stop in Duluth and enjoyed a view of the Duluth North Pier Lighthouse put into service in 1910.

Across the way from…

Across the way from the lighthouse is the (Federal Government’s) US Army Corp of Engineers Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, the most visited attraction in the twin ports of Duluth and Superior.

But no, not for us. Closed. Along with the rest of the Federal Government.

The bridge you see on the left is on the National Register of Historic Places: “The Aerial Lift Bridge … The span is a vertical lift bridge, which is rather uncommon, but it began life as an extremely rare transporter bridgeï¿?the first of just two such bridges ever constructed in the United States. Originally built in 1905, the bridge was upgraded in 1929ï¿?30 to the current lifting design and continues to operate today.”

…a very great lake…

…a very great lake – Lake Superior (the largest of the Great Lakes of North America “generally considered the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, the world’s third-largest freshwater lake by volume and the largest by volume in North America”), looking to the right…

The boys, bearers of…

The boys, bearers of wood.

We had a downstairs bedroom and a loft bedroom, living/dining room, kitchen, and bathroom, and a deck with a bbq and chairs for lounging here at the Gooseberry Park Motel and Lakeside Cabins. It was perfect!

We were doing a…

We were doing a scavenger hunt too, taking photos of our finds such as a spider on a web, a leaf with two colors, a nest, a child on an adults shoulders, etc etc etc.

It was great fun! Team The Boys came out victorious leading Team The Girls by one squirrel sighting.


I went to an…

I went to an optometrist today hoping to get some new magic-bullet advice but in the end this guy recommended the same type of glasses I already have, just new.

B) is where we went for our holiday weekend and

C) is where Mike’s mom lives. I’m driving up later in the week with Kieran (who’s out of school on Thursday and Friday).

The last two days…

October 16

The last two days have just fled by and I haven’t done, basically, much of anything – run a load of wash, watch Netflix, meet Cynthia for lunch, do a little exercise finally for the first time in ages due to the abatement of my months long allergy attack, just a little of this and that.

Tonight we had a big adventure: Carving Pumpkins!

I cleaned one out and then I wanted to make toasted pumpkin seeds and then I wanted to go get battery-tea-lights and never quite got around to carving it!

We took a driving…

We took a driving tour of the small towns within 20 minutes of Ken’s farm – Frazee, Detroit Lakes, Perham.

There are thousands of lakes in the area and turkeys rule as evidenced by the turkey farms and the giant turkey statues. There are other industries and farming operations but no giant statues of corn or cows or tourists.

The main house, originally…

The main house, originally built in 1880 and bought by Ken’s great-grandfather in 1904. They farmed the property at the time but Ken doesn’t remember with what.

I hope it is warmer and drier tomorrow and I’ll take a few more pictures. There is a huge barn in the back and Ken is cannibalizing the wood from the barn for the new siding on the house.

Phyllis and Ken and…

Phyllis and Ken and their respective children and their children’s children.

From Phyllis: “I will go from left to right with the picture frames and the pictures. The first picture is Ken’s daughter, Molly, and her daughter, Jean. I will skip this one as you will know who they are from the other pictures. Next, my son Scott, Cheri, (not married), and their daughter Ashley.

Second row, Ken’s daughter Milissa, her husband Derrick, and their children Caitlynn, and Wesley. Then you know who these two characters are ((Phyllis, Ken)), and you will probably know these three ((Mike, Kieran, Cynthia))!

Last row, Ken’s daughter, Amanda, and her husband Jesse, and their children, left to right. Miles, and Waylon. You know the next picture ((Scott, Ashley, Mike, Kieran, Phyllis)), and then there is my son Jason ((who passed away many years ago)).”

On the way home…

On the way home Kieran and I had our final Big Adventure. Rolling down the road at exactly 70 mph, ka-splat-splat-splat, blown tire, shredded.

But what good luck! If you are going to shred a tire out in the middle of ‘nowhere’ it might as well be the ‘nowhere’ that is across the highway from a tire store. Really .. Right across the highway from a tire store, Verndale Tire near Verndale, MN!

A sweet woman in a pick-up truck took us over there, the guys at the store did the whole job – and including a well-used tire all for 50 bucks. We were back on the road in less than an hour.

A popular Saint Paul…

October 19

A popular Saint Paul public service – the curbside Take One/Leave One lending library. These boxes are in front of houses around town.

You can see if there are any in your town by going to the Little Free Library website and having a look. There are only two in Santa Monica.

Hanging out in the…

Hanging out in the rain.

We made it to the car only a little wet and finished the tour by car. A few minutes after we returned to the car we were pummeled for 5 minutes by some pea-sized hail that gathered in the corners of the car window but didn’t last on the ground.

Oh yes, it’s getting…

October 20

Oh yes, it’s getting cold around here! Check out the ‘Real Feel’ which takes wind chill into account. C.O.L.D.

I didn’t take any pictures today and I’m a little worried I’ll punk out on doing any sightseeing tomorrow. I am a punk when it comes to harsh weather.

Our food scene has…

Our food scene has been a lot of fun. We cook together, we eat out, we enjoy left-overs. Everything I like.

We’ve ended up at these places for our last three restaurant outings – Khyber Pass (Afghanistan); India House (India); Everest on Grand (Nepal and Tibet). We all agreed that the yak tandoori/stir-fry at Everest on Grand was especially delicious.

So many home improvement…

So many home improvement projects are going on around here it’s quite amazing. Today while Cynthia was creating a frosted glass effect on some built-ins Mike went to the local home improvement emporium to get shelves for the garage, built the shelves and C&M rearranged everything to try to get two cars to fit. Winter is here, snow is a-comin’.

Then we went to see Gravity. The technology it took to make the seamless flow between live action and CGI is all that but the story, and I’d say it’s a stretch to call it a story, left me feeling a little ho-hum. If you are going to see it the big screen is a must.

FINALLY I made it…

FINALLY I made it to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden across the street from, and part of, the Walker Art Museum. You can see a write-up of all the sculptures on their website.

I am such a sucker for sculpture gardens. Big artworks in grand settings – awesome.

From Ellsworth Kelly, most well know for painting shapes of color (you can see plenty of them at MOCA) Double Curve 1988.

…and another view….

…and another view.

I was here in 2008 with Leigh also in October so this season has been my experience. It looks totally different in Spring, and now that Cynthia is here there is a good chance I’ll get to have another go.

I should mention about the goose poop. It covers the lawns as do all the scary geese that do Not want you around. The poop is very icky, but the geese are protected and there’s nothing to be done.

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