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Theodore Wirth Quaking Bog by Ann Treacy
August 30, 2008, 2:58 pm
Filed under: Minneapolis

On Thursday the girls and I went with our Galway friends to the Quaking Bog in the Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis. Our Galway friends (Kevin, Quinlan, Brenna, Rowan, and KC who didn’t come to the park) lived in Galway last year while we were in Dublin. We met up with them a few times.

Anyways, Kevin and crew are good sports. I had been wanting to go to the bog – it’s way on the other side of Minneapolis. And for those who don’t know, St Paulites generally don’t like to drive too far outside their own domain and we’re not comfortable in Western suburbs. But we made it and it was cool.

The Theodore Wirth Park has a wild flower garden, bird sanctuary, beach, bog and more I’m sure. The not-so-great part is that you kind of have to drive from one part to another. OK maybe you don’t have to drive if you don’t have six kids, the youngest being one – but we had to drive.

The bog was kind of cool – muckier than I expected. There is a bridge/path you can walk around on the bog. The kids were trying to figure out what was under the bridge the whole time.

Next we went to the beach – mostly because the beach had a bathroom. No one was wearing a swimsuit but that didn’t stop kids from diving into the water to try to catch fish. The weather was perfect. It’s always fun to visit a new park and I wasn’t the one who had to chase the one year old; so it was a nice day.

Our State Fair is a Great State Fair by Ann Treacy
August 30, 2008, 2:49 pm
Filed under: St Paul

On Sunday the girls and I went to the Minnesota State Fair with someone who loves the Fair as much as we do – Anita. We saw a ton – we even hung out at the seed building. We were on the look for things for a scavenger hunt for next weekend (which I still need to pull together). I don’t want to give too much away but our highlights included:

The Eco Experience Building – tons of fun things for kids. Plus if you make a video of your favorite food experience you get a free deck of local food hero playing cards. I’m thinking of drawing Uncle Billy into one of the cards.

The Miracle of Birth Building – we saw three pigs being born. Definitely gross and cool and the same time. The girls wanted to hang on for births two and three. Pigs are only pregnant for about 16 weeks – but they give birth to about 12 at a time. Anita is our new hero as she emerged from the barns and had a pork chop – now that’s tough!

Food glorious food. We had cheese curds, mini-donuts, hotdogs, egg rolls (different but still OK at the International Bazaar), and cookies.

Sesquicentennial – and it’s not just because I do the web site.

Fairmount Block Party by Ann Treacy
August 30, 2008, 2:25 pm
Filed under: St Paul

On Saturday we had our annual black party. It started around 5:00 and ended around the bonfire around 1:00. The game of the party was “What in the Greenheck is it?” (The Greenhecks live on the block. Pete G. has a great sense of humor – maybe too good as we were all a little nervous about the game but it turned out to be great.)

There was also a baking contest where everyone was declared a winner. The contest is generally judged by viewing the treats, not tasting them. Think icing! There was a talent show; maybe we’ll get Simon Cowell to scout for talent next year. And the grand finale for those who are tough enough to stay awake is the bonfire.

One of our neighbors has a driveway (otherwise we all have garages in the alley.) So we always cook on their driveway. Lucky them, they got back from their big vacation in the UP just in time for a burger. (Imagine coming home after a long drive to have your home and yard invaded!)

It was a perfect ending to summer!

Chambers Hotel by Ann Treacy
August 30, 2008, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Minneapolis

I’m doing some blog catch up today. Last Friday Patrick and I went to the gallery opening at the Chambers Hotel. They are having a great RNC-related show of political art. Unfortunately the art opening was Saturday – not Friday.

They do have some cool art anyways – like the picture I took with Patrick and the head. It’s a sculpture in some kind of soft plastic by Evan Perry. Except that it is oversize it is frightening realistic. Almost too creepy to touch. Also we had a nice drink at the bar. The other time we went to the Chamber’s bar the clientele was way too snooty for me – but this time no one bugged us and the staff was super pleasant.

Afterwards we went to the suburban hinterlands for a Normandale Faculty party.

DigiDaze at Rondo by Ann Treacy
August 23, 2008, 1:01 pm
Filed under: St Paul

Today the girls, grandma and I went to Rondo Library for DigiDaze, a community computer fair of sorts. The girls got to see a few fun things the most fun was creating tiny movies. There was a camera that would take freeze frame shots and turn it into a video. I have their videos below. They also got to play digital music by playing the circuits inside an electric keyboard. I had heard digital music before but hadn’t known really how it was played. Connecting circuits is sort of the basest way to create the music.

I nearly forgot to mention – Lily won a flash drive while we were there.


Sneak Preview of the Fair by Ann Treacy
August 23, 2008, 12:49 pm
Filed under: St Paul

The Minnesota State Fair started on Thursday. But the girls, Grandpa and I got a sneak preview on Wednesday night. I do the web site for the Minnesota Sesquicentennial (150th birthday). They have a big presence at the fair. So we got super special tickets to the preview event. We got to see the band play that will be playing 3 times a day in the Sesqui Big Top.

We got to meet Orlin Ostby. He walked with an oxcart from the Northwest corner of Minnesota to the State Fair. It took six weeks; it was 400 miles. Can you imagine? You can see a picture of the girls with the ox – and we got buttons.

There is also a computer exhibit in the same area. We got to see a vintage hard drive. I don’t know who enjoyed that exhibit more – Lily or Grandpa. We are hoping to go to the Fair all day on Sunday. Let us know if you’re going too.

Saturday at Fair Hills by Ann Treacy
August 23, 2008, 12:49 pm
Filed under: Detroit Lakes

We were sad to have the week end. We ate breakfast, took one last dip in the pool, and came home. I took one picture of the war memorial in Belgrade on the way. I had intended to take a picture of the world’s largest ball of twine too – but everyone fell asleep about 10 miles out of Darwin!

Aine is already asking me when we’re going back to our cabin in Fair Hills.

Friday at Fair Hills by Ann Treacy
August 23, 2008, 12:48 pm
Filed under: Detroit Lakes

Friday morning was the last official walk. There were huge caramel rolls on the boat back to the resort and everyone got a Fair Hills Walking Club T-shirt.

Did I mention that we had perfect weather after Monday? Friday the kids enjoyed the kids fair. Patrick and I played more tennis. Friday lunch was served on the deck with the marching band. It was hot, but nice.

Friday afternoon we swam. Kate is a diver!!! She worked really hard on it but now she has it. Lily is getting closer to being a diver, but she wasn’t working on it as much. Aine has NO FEAR of the water. She’s happy to jump in anywhere. She’s even happier if everyone is the pool area is watching her.

Friday night was the big dance. There are a few contests, a few songs like the Macarena, and a full moon. It was a nice ending.

Thursday at Fair Hills by Ann Treacy
August 23, 2008, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Detroit Lakes

Thursday morning the big girls had swimming/diving lessons. Aine did the little kid activity. Patrick and I got some work done. Thursday afternoon was Kids in the Kitchen. So the girls got to go and make treats, something they loved from last year. I got to help post a cabin rental on VRBO. I know, not fun to everyone, but fun to me as I hadn’t posted anything there before.

Early Thursday afternoon the kids all did scavenger hunts. Aine did the little kid scavenger hunt – the big girls competed in the big kid hunt. They had to find a dead fish, get a signature form a Turkish and Russian worker, and find horse manure. They all enjoyed it. Patrick and I played tennis. I was winning until the girls showed up and started asking me lots of questions. Late Thursday afternoon we went on the family Pelican Cruise. It was fun to be out on the boat. We talked to some of the other parents a bit. Mostly it was just very relaxing.

Thursday night was the big Talent Show. I have videos of the big performances. Aine did not do a solo and she was very mad at herself when it ended and she didn’t have her time in the limelight.

After the Talent Show we had a mini campfire. Larry got everyone to sing songs – especially the too infectious “Baby Shark” song. We’ve been singing it ever since. The night ended with s’mores.

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Wednesday at Fair Hills by Ann Treacy
August 23, 2008, 12:35 pm
Filed under: Detroit Lakes

OK I should have been better about writing up our vacation during our vacation. A week has gone by and the details elude me.

Wednesday morning Aine had a swimming lesson and the other girls and I worked at being the super vacationers. What is a super vacationer? Well, Fair Hills has a list of about 60 activities around the resort. The super vacationers are the ones who do the most activities – and not to kill the suspense but in the end the girls were ranked number 2 for their age group.

Wednesday afternoon the kids went on the Pelican Cruise – where you take a big boat out for the afternoon with the rest of the kids and have a picnic lunch on a sand bar. The ship was attacked by pirates! Luckily they didn’t get much. While the kids were boating the parents enjoyed a cocktail hour on the deck and a dinner without kids. It was nice and quiet!

I think we took it easy on Wednesday night, which was nice.

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