2014 Trip Five, Summer in the Cities, June 16

Saint Paul, Monday June 16

our early morning sunrise view from the condo bedroom

our early morning sunrise view from the condo bedroom

The weather people have been repeating that June is our wettest month. This month has certainly backed up their assertions and the rest of this week will continue to add to those totals.

Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis

Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis

We have made our adjustments; changed the times we walk or bike outside, do alternate activities, etc. Saturday the 14th, we even had to cancel a dinner engagement since we had power outages along with the wind and rain. Without power, we could not get our car out of the garage. The National Park Service canceled a volunteer activity to plant cottonwoods along the Mississippi due to high water. Luckily the power came back eventually so dinner was an exciting can of soup. But Wednesday night was a bright spot. Kathy has moved into the building next door. That day was sunny and warm and we joined her in cooling off in the outdoor pool at her apartment complex.

Hidden Falls in St. Paul

Hidden Falls in St. Paul


high water covers an island by the Ford dam in Mississippi RIver

high water covers an island by the Ford dam in Mississippi RIver


There have been other bright spots. One of the more memorable was my volunteer work with the National Park Service as it assisted with the naturalization ceremony on Harriet Island. 135 new citizens were sworn in from 40 different countries. A bald eagle was perched in a tree right behind the new citizens and stayed there for most of the ceremony before flying away. That was one frequently photographed eagle. One of the park rangers made a presentation, he was a naturalized citizen from Korea. Rep. Betty McCollum made an inspiring speech describing how diversity makes us strong and that out of many comes just one country. I was fortunate to be able to participate. If we had not returned early from the Southwest trip, I would have been in South Dakota when the ceremony was taking place.

The bald eagle

The bald eagle

The Naturalization Ceremony on Harriet Island in St. Paul The Naturalization Ceremony on Harriet Island in St. Paul

Our biking journeys have taken us along the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis, along the Mississippi River Drive in St. Paul, and in Crosby Farm Park-until too many of the paths were closed due to high water.

We crossed the border a few times into Minneapolis. I have been wanting to visit the Trylon Microcinema in south Minneapolis. It turned out to be a small, boutique movie theater with old seats and a small (for movie theaters) screen-but they had real butter on the popcorn. The feature was Burt’s Buzz, a documentary about the guy who started Burt’s Bees, the natural honey and bees wax products company. He is a loner, comfortable with very little who got bumped out after getting too friendly with the female employees. It never said what he walked away with but the woman who was a major force in growing the company made $177,000,000 many years after he was gone when the company was bought out.

Sarah L is on a softball team and the league plays on Monday nights. Last Monday we packed a picnic lunch and watched the game. Later in the summer we might be ready to bike over instead of driving.

Stone Arch bridge and Mississippi River

Stone Arch bridge and Mississippi River

Friday night we went to the Stone Arch Festival along the river in Minneapolis, listening to music by people we never heard of before-and probably won’t hear about in the future. Not that they were bad, it was more club music, not exactly our usual cup of tea.

The Saturn had the warning light (check coolant level) evaluated to the tune of $500 for a replacement radiator. Once we returned home, I was replacing coolant more frequently. One more cost to add to the total from the last trip.

Father’s Day was quiet. The Sarahs were out in Boston visiting. We tried out the ritzier restaurant at Cossetta’s; wanted to see what $10,000,000 would buy, including a $2,000,000 taxpayer subsidy and exemption from living wage rules. The place is impressive, from the deli, bakery, and market up to Louis, the third floor upscale restaurant. Sunday afternoon only offers a limited menu up there. The food was quite tasty but the portions smaller than other Italian restaurants and no garlic bread or salad is included. I think next time we will try the deli (there is a separate seating area). The bakery has great looking desserts. I bought chocolate mousse to take home. It was good, I have had better.

Music tent at Stone Arch festival

Music tent at Stone Arch festival

That evening we tried out the Marcus Oakdale cinema, recommended by my nephew. We don’t do movies often and were blown away by the recliner seats, sound system, and reserved seats. A whole new world. But their butter was fake. The film, A Million Ways to Die in the West was okay but not overwhelming. The opening scenes were clearly from Monument Valley, one of the stops on our last trip. We recognized several monuments including right and left mitten, and the W V (Welcome Visitors) rock formation. However, New Mexico tax credits came into play as the movie credits listed Santa Fe as the primary filming location.

Ed and Chris June 16

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