Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 16 - 22. 2014, MN, WI

Wednesday, June 18.  It has been a bit strange, hanging out in an empty house, sleeping on sir beds, a kitchen with no countertops or sinks (fetching water and doing dishes in the bathroom sink), trying to keep the dogs off of the floors (they were refinished and need time to cure), and entertaining the little ones.  This is what breakfast feeding time looks like.

We have found some time to explore the neighborhood and it is very convenient that Lake Harriet is just a block and a half away - it's about a mile long, so the walk around it is about 3 miles.  We also discovered a very nice playground about 6 blocks away.  There are also some nice little commercial enclaves with interesting restaurants, cafés, and shops.

Thursday, June 19.  I had contacted Bruce and Janna (RVing friends that we met in Port Aransas, TX who live in Stillwater) to see if we could connect while I was nearby and Bruce offered to cook dinner for us tonight.  Before we went there, we did some sightseeing in downtown Minneapolis.   At the Stone Arch Bridge, we walked across the Mississippi River and saw St. Anthony's Falls and the beautiful views of the downtown buildings.  Wouldn't you know, my phone was full and I was unable to take any photos.  Connie wanted to see the Basillica of St. Mary, a beautiful Catholic Church that was built around 1907.

We then headed to Stillwater and had some time, so we stopped at No Neck Tony's bar and ordered a Bloody Mary - they came with a salad bar - a skewer with 2 different kinds of olives, a picked mushroom, a square of cheese, salami, beef stick, Pepperoncini and then there was a stick of beef jerky and a pretzel too.  WOW!  It was a meal itself.

We got to Janna and Bruce's house and had a wonderful evening of conversation, laughter, and a delicious dinner.

Friday, June 20.  I took Connie to the airport in St. Cloud tonight and getting there was a bit of a challenge.  Traffic was terrible, we needed gas and a bite to eat, we were concerned about being late for her flight, there were several detours along the way, and then it seemed like the GPS was leading us astray because we never saw a sign for the airport.  After stopping to ask a couple of people for directions, we finally found the airport and Connie made it back home to Arizona safely.  I so appreciate her willingness to join me on this trip and to help out with the family too.  We had a great time and found out that were good traveling companions.  Thanks, Connie!

Sunday, June 22.  I took off from Ben's around 8:00 yesterday morning and headed for Eagle River, WI where I met up with Pat and Roger at Jim and Sue's cabin.  What a beutiful setting, nestled in the north woods.  The drive was easy, the weather was nice, and the scenery was a reminder of  travels through Wisconsin with Mike in the past.  It was a great reunion with old friends and when we had our first toast, I couldn't help shedding a tear for missing Mike in the group.  We sat around the kitchen table catching up on the time since we last saw each other (April or May) and old times, had a delicious dinner and lots of laughs too.  

Today, after eating Pats delicious breakfast casserole, we headed up to Bond Falls, just across the border into Michigan.  Sue told us that the last time she was here, the mosquitos were thick, so we were prepared but they weren't bad at all.  She also said that when she had seen the falls in the past, there were 3 separate falls going down the hill.  Here is what they looked like today.  Gorgeous!  We walked the path and stairs all of the way to the top where the water stood still.

  Great friends!

After that, we were all a bit hungry, so we went to have a bite to eat at a bar on Twin Lake.  The Bloody 
Mary bar sounded good so we placed our order and were served a glass of ice with Vodka, a cheese stick, a beef stick straw, 2 shrimps, and a slider.  Then you could add your choice of condiments and tomato juice from the bar.  It was a meal in itself.

We went back to the cabin, got the dogs, and then headed out to Jim and Sue's favorite walking trail.  We didn't get too far because the deer flies were thick and buzzing around our ears so we turned back.