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A Day in DC by Ann Treacy
March 28, 2011, 2:11 am
Filed under: Washington DC

I am in Washington DC for a conference. The fun part is that to save a lot of money ($800) on airfare, I came a day early, which meant I got to spend a fun day in DC. I missed the family – but the advantage of being by yourself means you only go to see the things that you want to see. And I saw a ton.

I started with a morning walk to the Washington Monument, Cherry Blossom Festival, down to the Lincoln Memorial and past the World War II Memorial and the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial. It’s kind of amazing how just walk from walk thing to another. There are so many things to see. (History lesson of the day – in the Lincoln Memorial they have the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address on the walls – but there is one typo. Well I guess I don’t know if you can call it a typo when it’s etched in stone – but in the Second Inaugural Address [Future] was etched as [Eutur]. I hope you can see the in the picture.)

I retrenched at the hotel, did a little bit of work and went back to another walk to the Mall. I went to the Smithsonian – the Modern American History section. I saw Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers, the Muppets, Cat Woman’s costume, All in the Family chairs, the Star Spangled Banner, Julia Child’s Kitchen and more.

I walked around the Mall and visited the Hirsshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. You can take pictures there! I got pictures of art from Max Ernst, Andy Warhol, and others.

St Patrick’s Day Parade by Ann Treacy
March 28, 2011, 1:19 am
Filed under: St Paul

The weekend before the St Patrick’s Day parade was the Day of Dance. Aine had a good time participating as a dancer. Patrick also had fun directing a show as part of the festivities.

St Patrick’s Day was beautiful this week. It was chilly – but chilly in a year where anything but cold and snowing was good. We all went and marched in the parade. We marched with the Irish Gazette, which is always fun. We caught the older girls trying to appear as parade watched for a while, in the hopes that they would get some candy or necklaces. Aine on the other hand was happy to give out newspapers throughout the march.

I have to admit that the St Paul parade really doesn’t compare to the parade in Dublin – but it is always fun to see folks we know and that happens a lot more in St Paul.

King Tut by Ann Treacy
March 28, 2011, 1:05 am
Filed under: St Paul

During the spring break we went to see the King Tut Exhibit at the Science Museum with Uncle Billy. It was Way better than the Dead Sea Scrolls. Nearly everything was an original, not “just like the one” used in ancient times. We watched the Omni movie too and it was a particularly good one. It recreated the discovery of the tomb.

It’s kind of amazing to see the work of the kings back in the day – and to think that they started planning for their own tombs so early in their lives. That was a little strange.

We were all impressed with the amount of gold in the exhibit. And of course we enjoyed the rest of the museum as well.

Back from Wabasha by Ann Treacy
March 28, 2011, 12:43 am
Filed under: SE Minnesota

We wound our way home slowly after our quick trip from Wabasha. Wabasha is where Grumpy Old Men is supposed to have been filmed. Turns out that more happened around Wabasha than in Wabasha – but there are still fun Grumpy Old Men stuff. I got a few pictures.

We also stopped by Read’s Landing on the way home, which is a fun place to see eagles. They aren’t as up close as in Wabasha, in that we didn’t have binoculars, nor were there eagle handlers bring them to us. But it was cool. It’s always fun to see an eagle in the wild.

We had lunch at the St James Hotel in Red Wing.

National Eagle Center in Wabasha by Ann Treacy
March 7, 2011, 12:57 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

The girls and Patrick are off this week for Spring Break so we’re taking a mini-vacation in Wabasha, Minnesota. There are two big draws in Wabasha. First Grumpy Old Men was supposedly filmed here. Turned out that not a lot was filmed here, but that was OK. (Part of Grumpy Old Men was filmed at the Half Tim Rec in St Paul, where I worked for years so I felt like I had that covered anyways.) The second and more important draw is the National Eagle Center.

Wabasha is less than two hours away from St Paul. On the way here, we drove through Wisconsin – and Pepin, the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder. We had a nice lunch in Wabasha, we wanted to be quick because we knew the eagle feeding was happening in about 40 minutes.

The National Eagle Center was great! We met one of the founders through a connection Patrick had. She told us that. Wabasha has always been a place to see eagles – especially in March. The eagles hang out here because there’s a lot of open water because of nearby Lake Pepin – the lake pours into the Mississippi, the river gets wider – but it quickly narrows so the water trying to get into the narrowed river keeps open water on the wider part of the river. About 10 years ago they decided to build the center.

Five eagles reside at the center. Each has been injured in some way. Most were nurtured back to health by the Raptor Center but were not well enough to be released to the wild. Lily and Aine got pictures taken with Angela the Eagle. Then (because we knew the founder) we got a great picture with the whole family and the eagle with wings spread. So that was cool.

We got to watch them feed an eagle. That was gross but cool. The eagle got to choose between rabbit meat and rat. She went for rabbit meet. I think the rat would have been grosser to see. The rabbit looked like raw meat; the rat was recognizable as a rat. Lily and Patrick got to hold a falcon, wearing the falconer’s glove.

Last, but not least, there are telescopes and binoculars all around the place so that you can look up and down the river for the eagles. They said there were about 30 eagles around. Of course with my untrained eyes I saw more like a dozen, but it was still fun. What’s kind of amazing is that with the binoculars, you really could scan through the trees and see a lot.

I heard that Read’s Landing is another great place to see eagles. The plan is to stop there tomorrow on the way home.

Deadliest Catch by Ann Treacy
March 6, 2011, 10:22 pm
Filed under: St Paul

For those who don’t know, I am a big Deadliest Catch fan. It started when we lived in Ireland. I don’t love Irish TV. (Those who have seen Killinaskully will understand.) And mostly Patrick’s mom had programs that she watched, which was fine. But on rare occasion, I got control and would always watch Deadliest Catch – the show about the crab fisherman off the coast of Alaska.

It is the best. They fish in all weather. Often you see that their shift starts by chopping a foot of ice off all of the equipment on the boat. Then they scoop up the big crab traps from the ocean. The traps are huge – big enough to trap hundreds of crab (on a good day). Can you imagine working with soaking wet everything in the dead of the winter? The mortality rate is frightening.

One of my favorite episodes is when the Time Bandit (a boat) sees a fisherman from another boat go overboard. Somehow they manage to get close enough to pull him from the freezing water and save his life. But you could see that the outcome is not always so happy with that sort of situation.

So you may wonder why I’m bring all of this up – well I met the Captain of the Time Bandit at The Liffey. We were out with friends celebrating Kathleen’s new job. We had a nice dinner and then moved over to the Liffey for a few drinks. I saw the guy right away but didn’t place him. Really I just figured I knew him from Billy.

Eventually I looked closer and mentioned that I thought he looked like the guy from Deadliest Catch. Well someone else at the table knew he was in town for the car show. Then I realized he was wearing a Time Bandit hat. So I went up and said hello. He could not have been nicer. It was Jonathan Hillstrand – the Captain of the boat who saved the guy who fell overboard.

I barely said hello with the camera when he was ready to pose and came over to talk to the whole table. I think he liked the idea of a table of folks from Ireland and Scotland – and that was our company that night. He was telling us about his friend and fellow fisherman who had recently died. But he also shared some salmon that his brother had smoked. He was great. Luckily for him I wasn’t able to corner him with all of my super geeky fishing questions. (Note: fishing is like cooking for me – purely a spectator sport.)

The funny aside – TMZ, the trashy entertainment news people were there too. I was very careful not to pick my nose or dribble, just in case they got a shot.

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