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St Paul Winter Carnival Parade by Ann Treacy
January 24, 2009, 11:44 pm
Filed under: St Paul

Do you know long you can watch a parade in sub-zero temperatures? I can do it for about 45 minutes. That’s how long we lasted today at the Winter Carnival Parade.

The good news about a freezing cold parade is that you don’t have to get there too early to get a good view. We went downtown about noon. We saw the ice sculpture – which are very cool. (No pun intended.) We had a little lunch at Pazzaluna and then we headed to the parade. We saw and heard many Vulcans at the bar. I think they have a whole new set of rules – but I’m going to go out on a limb and say the bars do A-OK when they’re in the house.

The parade is kind of funny. The big highlight is the hot air balloon baskets that shoot nice, warm fire into the air. I think there were about 6 in the parade. I wish every other group had a big flame. Otherwise we saw some princesses – often inside a car. There were politicians and union groups. There was a big military presence. We paid special attention to the marching bands now that Lily is taking trombone lessons. I think your lips would freeze to the instrument in this weather but the musicians seemed to be OK.

The girls got a bunch of necklaces. The other good thing about a sub-zero parade is that you only have to show your nose to get a necklace. I’m not saying it always worth getting so undressed in public – but you know kids these days. They’ll show their noses to anyone in any temperature.

After the parade – or when we were done anyways – we stopped into the St Paul hotel for a little hot chocolate. (Lily took a video of most of the parade. If she uploads it, I’ll link to it later.)

We have been reading the Medallion clues. For readers outside in Minnesota, the carnival hides a Medallion each year. The St Paul newspaper runs a clue a day until someone finds the medallion. It’s hard to find – especially in a snowy years. People go out with shovels and picks once they think they know where it is. I have seriously looked for the medallion a couple of times. I have never been close to finding it.

Anyways, we think it might be near the Excel Center – but I’m supposed to keep that quiet. Kate would give me the eye each time I mentioned it in public. Nothing like giving away the farm I guess. I said that if we get above 20 degrees this week and we have a specific area better pin-pointed then we can hunt for the medallion.



Cash Only by Ann Treacy
January 24, 2009, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Minneapolis

Last weekend Patrick and I went to the Cash Only – Johnny Cash tribute at the Cabooze. It was great. First we went to the Town Talk Diner. We had to wait at least 30 minutes to get seated but it was worth the wait. The cheese curds are (and I know some may think this is blasphemous) better than the State Fair. The adult malt – ice cream and a bunch of girly liqueurs was pretty darned good too.

The wasted a little time at Merlyn’s Rest – where we know the owner – then off to the Cabooze. It was packed. But the music was very fun. We were able to get pretty close to Trailer Trash and then went down the close – but on the side route for Sherwin Linton – who clearly makes his living playing Johnny Cash. Patrick liked Sherwin Linton best – I voted for Trailer Trash. I liked White Iron Band too – in fact I thought they put the most interesting spin on some songs – but I spent most of their show near the door waiting for Patrick who was parking the car in the freezing cold.

Here are links to more video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk829wHy3rY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS0m4jzTsno

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX-9lezjb9g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUQZVEX_xL0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q2IhYfZD3Q

The rest of the weekend is kind of a blur. I know Kate has tin whistle on Saturday morning. The Kate and Lily both had swimming Saturday afternoon.

The girls are signed up for more things like swimming and music lessons this semester. I don’t like it. It takes away from time that we would usually be doing fun stuff together. Not that watching k-4 graders swim isn’t fun, but it’s a different kind of fun.

Sunday we hung out at the YMCA.



Snowshoeing at Fort Snelling by Ann Treacy
January 12, 2009, 12:49 am
Filed under: St Paul

We are not winter people. Really we only stay in Minnesota because we live in eternal hope for a snow day. Mostly we try to ignore the snow and the cold – especially on a year like this when it’s been really cold and really snowy.

Today that changed – well it changed for the day anyways. We went to the Winter Trails event at Fort Snelling. It was pretty warm – about 20 degrees and very sunny. So a perfect day for the event!

REI had snowshoes for kids and adults to try. We each got a pair and we stomped around for about 30-40 minutes. It was fun. My toes were freezing, since naturally I don’t have boots or a winter coat for that matter but it was still fun. There were also people (maybe REI again) handing out GPS tools to try out and some geocache prizes setup.

Geocaching is when you get the coordinates for a prize and then use the GPS to fin the prize. I’ve always wanted to try it – albeit I envisioned trying it in June not January. I don’t know how well we did. We did find the prizes but I think we can thank my new glasses for that more than our orienteering skills – but either way it was fun.

Lily and I took a little trek on the Minnesota River – as Lily said so that we can now tell people that we have walked on water. We saw deer on our way out of the park. Kate thought that the deer probably felt safe enough to come out now since hunting season is in November.

They also had a big old fire pit going to warm up when we were done. We had so much fun that I’m thinking about buying boots, or a jacket or waterproof mittens to get ready.



Sesquicentennial Last Hurray by Ann Treacy
January 12, 2009, 12:29 am
Filed under: St Paul

Last year Minnesota celebrated its 150th birthday. We missed a lot of events since we were gone half of the year but we made it to a couple of fun things. I was able to keep up with what was going on by helping with the Sesqui web site.

On January 6, we attended the last event at the State Capitol. They presented the big box for the time capsule. They thanked everyone who had helped along the way. They had very yummy cookies and give-aways.



New Year’s Eve by Ann Treacy
January 12, 2009, 12:21 am
Filed under: St Paul

New Year’s Eve we drove through the light display near Lake Phelan. It was pretty cool. They set up the lights as a big fundraiser. People outside of Minnesota might not appreciate how events where you can stay in your car are very big at this time of year. It’s cold here!

We have some fun pics and video.

After the light display we went to the annual New Year’s Eve party at the house of our friends Maeve and Liam. There were loads of people there although it wasn’t rowdy. The kids watched movies upstairs. It’s always a fun party in that you see people you know and we always meet a couple of new people.

We were home and in bed before midnight – not much before midnight – but definitely before. It’s amazing to me how kids who don’t sleep in their own house can whine away at someone else’s house until you finally leave.



Final Christmas Party of 2008 by Ann Treacy
January 11, 2009, 11:42 pm
Filed under: Minneapolis

After Como Zoo we went to meet up with the cousins – The Treay’s. It was a really nice night. The bonus is that we went out to Blaine so we got to get the car washed at $3 Car Wash – the best car wash in Greater Minnesota. OK, maybe Coon Rapids doesn’t qualify in everyone’s book as Greater Minnesota but it seemed pretty far to us.



Como Zoo & Conservatory by Ann Treacy
January 11, 2009, 11:30 pm
Filed under: St Paul

What’s the best thing to do on a cold winter day when the ice had killed the sledding hills? Go to Como. It is pleasantly hot and humid in the tropics room and the conservatory. Plus it’s super cheap in. The suggested donation is $2 per adult and $1 per kid. And that’s only suggested!

We saw the sloth. He did not move. The big highlight was the mice running around in the tropics area. It was gross. We found the mother lode. Better at Como than in my kitchen I guess.

We saw several weddings. Como Zoo is the perfect place to run around a little on a super cold day.




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