Monday, July 24, 2006

Bachelor Life - Field Trip One

'Bachelor life?' you may ask? 'Tony I thought you were married?' you may say. Yeah, I am. However, recently, during this time of transition, I have been living the life of a bachelor during the week. Oh yeah baby! It has been great! (Not actually sucks being away from Julie and the kids and she deserves mucho kudos for basically being a single mom during the week) You may be wondering what I have been doing to fill my time. Do you even have to wonder? I have been doing what every bachelor does........ I go sight seeing and I take pictures to post on my ultra-cool bachelor blog that reeks of sexiness and has the aroma of all that is hip.

With that I bring you the first in a series of field trip reports of various sights around the Twin Cities. In this report you get to hear all about a unique place that one wouldn't think existed in a metropolitan setting, Minnehaha Park and Minnehaha Falls.

The park and falls are about a fifteen to twenty minute drive south of downtown Minneapolis. The falls are part of Minnehaha Creek which flows through the southern part of the city. Along the creek is Minnehaha Parkway which is a very scenic drive along which nice homes are located amongst numerous trees and small parks. My Mom would go ice skating along the creek in the winter when she was a kid. Here is a description from Wikipedia:

Minnehaha Creek is a short tributary of the Mississippi River located in Hennepin County, Minnesota that extends from Lake Minnetonka in the west and flows east for 22 miles (35 km). Including Lake Minnetonka, the watershed for the creek covers 181 square miles (469 km²). Much of the stream flows through southern Minneapolis. The creek might have been unremarkable except for the 53 foot (16 m) Minnehaha Falls located near its confluence with the Mississippi. The site is not far from Fort Snelling, one of the earliest white settlements in the region.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was partly inspired by pictures of the falls to write to his famous epic poem, THE SONG OF HIAWATHA.

When I was a kid living in California, I would make trips back here to Minnesota to visit family. My Grandma would always make a trip to the falls with me every time I came back. So, the falls will occupy a fond place in my memories. So, with a free evening and nothing to do I made another trip to this oasis in the middle of the Twin Cities.

It was a great evening to visit. It wasn't too hot and there weren't many bugs out. There was a live band playing in the park cranking out some classic rock tunes. After checking out the falls, I decided to do something I hadn't done there before. I hiked the trail along the creek after the falls that goes down to where the creek meets the Mississippi River. The hike was longer than I expected and after a while I was alone on the path. It didn't really feel like I was in Minneapolis, but rather lost in the woods somewhere. Eventually I reached the Mississippi and observed a paddle boat passing by and people fishing along the shore. After the hike back to the park, I got an ice cream and sat down to listen to the band finish its set. I really enjoyed it. It was also nice to be back at Minnehaha Park.

Here more pictures I took. Enjoy.

Hiawatha & Minnehaha

Minnehaha Falls

The Band

Minnehaha Creek

Hiking along the creek

Where the creek meets the Mississippi, looking north at Lock & Dam #1.

Are ya feelin' hip yet?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

New & Improved Minnesota...Now with Warmth!

Hey everyone. By popular demand I am back with an update. Thanks for all the comments and I'm glad that folks are enjoying the blog.

Its been almost two weeks since we have arrived here in Minnesota and it has been busy.

First off, everyone is asking how the new job is going. It is going well! I am looking forward to a good future there! I really don't want to discuss work here on the blog, so I will just leave it at that.

How is the rest of the family doing? Very good so far. Let's just get something straight first......when we told people that we were moving back here all they could talk about was how cold it gets here. It was as if everyone thought that Minnesota was in a perpetual winter. Well, guess what? The weather here has been very warm and comfortable! We have been having a blast.

Ever since Julie and the kids arrived at my cousin's house, they have been playing their hearts out. I think that Cameron has been fishing just about every day. Along with their second cousins, Jared and Brandt, they have been doing all sorts of activities. They swim in the lake, catch frogs and turtles (yeah, turtles!), fish, play in the yard, and so on and so on. Just take a look at Madison, who fell asleep in her high chair at dinner the other evening. That is the sight of playing hard.

Last Friday I was reunited with the family for the long 4th of July weekend! I was so excited to see everybody! On Saturday, a friend of my cousin invited all of us to join his family on their pontoon boat on Lake Koronis. It was awesome! The boat was huge....24 feet long. We swam and fished off of the boat. We also BBQ'ed and had margaritas. Later in the evening, we watched fireworks that were shot off over the lake from an island on the lake.

Sunday, back on my cousin Doug's lake, we did some more swimming, relaxing, and we took our kids to see CARS. If you go see it, listen for a reference to the town we will be living in, Shakopee.

On Monday, my Uncle Greg threw a family party. His cabin is also on Lake Koronis. It was great seeing many of my family members again! I got to see my cousins, my Aunt, my Uncles, and second cousins. I'm glad that I will have many more opportunities to spend time with them and get to know them better since I didn't get to grow up here.

Anyway, I feel like I am rambling here. I just wanted to fill you in on how we are doing. Cloyd out.....

Various Pics

Kids & House

Lake Fun

Contemplative Cameron

Hot Chick

Chelsea & daughter of Doug & Dawn's friends

T-Bone & Dawn (post margaritas)

Friend of Doug & Doug

Making Progress