Tuesday, June 30, 2009
But wow, let's pause for a second and note just how adorable this picture is. He looks alive! And check out that cute little cream-colored belly!
Anyway, I'm actually pretty sure that my mother bought this guy at the Minneapolis airport a few years ago, when I was still in college, I think. My brother brought it to college with him two years ago, but has since returned him to the household. He sits on the mantle of our downstairs fireplace, next to our collection of black cat paraphenelia (another family obsession). I suppose he'll go back to college someday, but until then he keeps my mother company and mocks the cat.
Monday, June 29, 2009
I guess you would call it a plaque of some sort? This actually hangs on one wall with a set of family photos. What does that say about my family? They've had this thing forever, but I think I only noticed it about two Christmases ago. The nut in the knot is not actually glued down, and I suspect my grandmother just placed it in there to make it more whimsical. Or something. Not sure. Either way, I'm totally in love with this. I haven't told B yet, but this will be hanging in our house someday, probably near our family photos. Or in place of our family photos. Depends on how cute our kids are.
A love of rodents runs in the family, so stay tuned for more squirrel stuff I don't own...
Sunday, June 28, 2009
That is Mount Rainier, Washington's most impressive volcano. I happened to be sitting next to a couple from Detroit who had never even heard of Mount Rainier and they were very excited about the cool view.
I had quite a long layover in Seattle, but it's a really nice airport so I didn't mind. They renovated the airport a few years ago and created this beautiful open shopping area full of nice markets and tasty restaurants. It's impossible to get a good picture of the huge windows and beautiful view, but I tried.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Anyway, it's quite a family place and they have an arcade section with lots of games. B had a good time shooting terrorists with a machine gun for about $2. I spent my $2 playing this special claw vending machine stocked entirely with rubber duckies.
And I WON! I have never successfully grabbed a prize with the claw before, but I won a little orange duckie! I was hoping for a pirate duckie, but I got this guy instead. It's okay, I was pretty thrilled anyway.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Happily, it looks like our honeymoon will be coinciding with our first anniversary. We've decided to take a tour of the national parks in the West and Southwest!
My mother is letting us borrow her sweet VW camper van, the same one my grandparents used to travel all around the country not too long ago. We're planning on hitting some of the major sites, like the Grand Canyon, and other less-known but highly-recommended sites like Zion in Utah. Despite growing up out in the beautiful American West, I have been to very few of the national parks out there. We did a lot of camping as children but generally stayed closer to home and stayed in the smaller wilderness areas that weren't so crowded.
I haven't gone camping in years so I'm excited to get back into the swing of it. I'm particularly excited because I suck at starting fires but B is really good at starting fires so that can be his job. My job will be drinking beer in a camp chair and watching the stars come out every night above our VW camper van.
Monday, June 22, 2009
The first of six weddings was last Saturday. The ceremony happened to take place in the church attached to the Catholic school B attended as a child. It was nice to experience a little piece of his childhood. Also, the church is gorgeous. Of course it's difficult for us mere mortals to get good pictures of it, but we tried.
It was a nice, simple Catholic ceremony, minus the Eucharist, which is nice because as a dirty Lutheran I'm not allowed to participate in Catholic communion. The music was lovely.
The reception took place a bit outside of the Cities at this cute old farmhouse. It was really a lovely site! They set up a big tent and we all ate outside and walked along the river and even played in the playground at one point. And they were serving my favorite beer, Summit!
I really should've gotten a picture of my plate of food. They had Buca di Beppo do the catering and it was amazing. Definitely the best food I've ever had at a wedding. I was very, very happy.
And then we danced into the night! They decorated a nearby gazebo and put the DJ in there and that was really nice. I wish had taken a better photograph of it, but by the time it was dark I had been enjoying my Summit beer for about six hours so... yeah... the last set of pictures on my camera are not so good.
All in all, it was a wonderful wedding! We took the opportunity to have a night alone together and stayed at the nearby hotel that evening. It was a really nice night, and a great way to kick off our wedding season!
B is headed to another wedding next weekend, but I'm heading back home to the Inland Empire for a family reunion and then a quick trip to San Francisco to torment my sister some more. I'm really looking forward to it, although I'll miss B. Hopefully I'll get some good blog posts out of my adventures out west, so you can look forward to those!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
But wow, parking lots. You know that these parking lots are FREE, right? Also, there is always a parking spot readily available. You know how in New York City you have to spend hours looking for a spot? Or pay $15/hour to park in a cramped parking garage? Shit like that doesn't happen out here. You get in your car, you drive, you park. That's it. None of that crazy monkey business.
Of course, driving is a whole different issue. Have I mentioned that up until last week I hadn't driven since Christmas?
Monday, June 15, 2009
The cabin is on a very nice wooded lake with tons of squirrels and birds and rabbits and deer. We spent some time on the beach, and I even got a little sun. There are all sorts of interesting little shells on their beach.
There are also frogs and toads in the area who like to hang out under the docks. At one point we (the kids and I) managed to catch a toad. He was very cute.
And B and I took a long walk in the woods on Sunday. It's amazing how many little cabins are up there and so many little dirt driveways. I suspect that many of these families have owned land in this area for a couple generations or more.
Also while we were up there I took advantage of the time to put my coloring skills back into action. One of the nieces has these awesome new twistable crayola crayons which basically prevent you from breaking the crayons or from having that stupid crayon label paper all over the place. I found some squirrel pictures and colored them and put them on our bedroom door. Then I told the nieces that our room was the squirrel room and only squirrels were allowed in there. One of them really got into it and announced to almost everyone who entered the cabin that that room was a squirrel room only for squirrels. It was cute.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
So this sculpture garden was very interesting. There were lots of stone and concrete sculptures. This one of a rodent family was one of my favorites.
There was also a nice view of the Minneapolis skyline. It seems so small, doesn't it? And look at all those trees in between us and the city... sigh... how nice. You could also see the dome of the Cathedral of Saint Paul, but I think I neglected to include it in this shot.
Today's post is about mailboxes, in particular, mailboxes which take outgoing mail.
Oh outgoing mail... how you torment me in New York City. You see, in our apartment building we had a little mailbox for incoming mail, but we absolutely could not place outgoing mail in that box. Outgoing mail had to go in the blue postboxes, of which there are approximately three in all of Manhattan. Okay, that's a lie, but seriously, sometimes you could walk half a mile and not see a postbox and that was very frustrating.
I am thrilled at how easy it is to mail things in the suburbs. Just ten minutes ago I found a Netflix movie that needed to be mailed. I sealed it up, walked out the door and about twenty feet down the driveway, placed it in the box, put up the little flag, and walked back inside. I didn't even have to put on shoes! And, best of all, no homeless people asked me for money during this entire procedure!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
But as I said, that doesn't really work when it's so grey out. But the rain out here is nice. In New York City when it rains it just smells like wet garbage and sewage overflow. Seriously, rain in New York does NOT smell good, nor does it seem to clean the city up at all. But rain in the suburbs smells so happy and clean! And it seems to clear up some of the algae in the lakes around here. The pond out back is much cleaner now than when we fell in a week ago.
Also, I've noticed that the water animals like to stay closer to land when it rains, and this little mallard has been hanging out on our dock pretty consistently. I love ducks. When I was little my dream was to be reincarnated as a duck because they could swim, walk, and fly. What could be better than having all three modes of transportation available to you? Anyway, it makes me a little sad that this guy doesn't seem to have a mate. Is he a jerk duck? Just unlucky in love? Recently dumped and nursing his emotional wounds? I wish we knew, but he sure looks forlorn out there, doesn't he? Poor little guy.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
But we're in the suburbs now, and things are different (better). We were thrilled to discover that in the suburbs you can even use your credit card at the vending machine!
Isn't it amazing! Sadly, when we tried to use it it wouldn't work. But B was so excited. I even got a picture of his face and he looks like he just won the lottery. It was really disappointing when we had to use cash after all (what is this, New York?!?!), but still...
I should probably be doing more posts about how incredibly different it is to finally live outside of Manhattan. I'm sure things like this will come up more frequently. But it's really funny how almost every night B and I have long discussions about how wide the grocery store aisles are, how fresh the air is, and how inexpensive everything is. This is a totally crazy world.
Friday, June 5, 2009
This city just put in a new roundabout, so I guess they're trying to teach the community how to use it properly. Anyway, turns out the lady who asked me about my favorite part was a city engineer, and her face lit up when she heard that the roundabout was my favorite part. Cute. Maybe it's time my hometown got a roundabout?
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I realize that lilypads are not really a big deal for most of you. But I grew up in a semi-arid region, and most of our vacations as children involved camping in that same semi-arid region. I had never seen a lilypad, and had only read about them in books, so as a child I was pretty sure that lilypads were an imaginary thing. And I never really reevaluated that thought as I grew older. Imagine my surprise a few years ago when I finally saw a lilypad in real life!
So I still get excited every time I see a lilypad. I know, it's weird, but I do. So I had to take a picture and share with y'all my excitement that I now live in a place where there are lilypads just up the road!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Now, I don't have a ton of experience with canoes, and neither does B. I decided to be in the back this time which made me in charge of steering. B was in front, and because he has better upper body strength I had to work really hard to keep us from going in circles. Anyway, I haven't quite mastered the art of the C-stroke or J-stroke yet (or whatever) and we were a little unstable and then all of a sudden... we were dumped into the water.
Now, that picture I posted a few days ago of the pond/lake looked really nice, right? But that was a wide view. Let me show you what that water looks like up close.
Yuck. Isn't that gross? The pond/lake is certainly a very... uhhh... natural body of water. People don't seem to swim in it very frequently, and certainly our family doesn't. The whole thing is overgrown with some sort of water weed.
It's disgusting. And I had to swim through that shit and drag the canoe to shore. Luckily, the pond/lake doesn't get very deep, and was probably only five feet deep where we tipped over. I chose to swim to shore becaues I did not want my feet touching the muckiness of the bottom. B was braver and walked to shore. The family had a really good laugh, I think. I was too grumpy by the time we got back on land to wait and pose for pictures, but I suspect this is not the last time we'll tip the canoe this summer so there may be another photo opportunity. We showered right away and managed to go through a whole bar of soap between the two of us, and managed to prevent "the itch" or any sort of rash.
Monday, June 1, 2009
This awesome welcome mat sits in front of B's parents' house in Minnesota. I had totally forgotten that they have this thing, but I immediately felt at home when I saw it again. Even more exciting, when I went for my run this morning in the park I saw the cutest little striped chipmunk! In fact, I saw him during two of my four laps which I think is a sign that he wants to be my friend. Chances are that I'm going to head over there again this afternoon with chipmunk snacks in my pocket for him...