Sunday, July 15. On Friday evening, we went to dinner at Fiesta Cancun Bar and Grill in downtown Maple Grove. It was a celebration of our 9 months together. Unfortunately, I can only say that dinner was ok - every entree was flavorless and we kept adding sauces and seasonings to perk it up a bit. The servings were generous and ingredients were fresh but nothing had any flavor. I kept thinking that the food was designed for midwesterners brought up on bland food - not me - I wanted some spice! Needless to say, I will never return. I also wanted to leave comments on their website but there was no option for that. Also, reviews on Yelp were all favorable, so I thought mine would just be overlooked anyway.
Ben and the family were tent camping at Baker Park this weekend so we drove over
there on Saturday morning and hung out for a while. We walked to the beach but Tom and I didn't bring suits so couldn't venture in the water and we had Frisco with us and he wasn't allowed on the beach, so we had to sit back from the beach with him. According to Ben, their first attempt improved after the first night and they plan to do it again.
Sunday was wash and wax day for my Toyota, it was badly needed and looks so nice now.
Thursday, July 19. The trouble with a gap in days between writing is having to reconstruct the previous day's events. This week, my focus has been on medical - my annual Medicare checkup was on Tuesday and I had a good, thorough discussion with my new doctor on my medications, questions, and concerns. All is good and no follow-up is needed except for getting the new 2-part shingles vaccination, Zoster Shingrix that is out on the market. Apparently, it is in high demand and they were out of it. She said it is supposed to be 90+% effective and I will definitely be following up on that - I do not want to get the dreaded shingles.
I spent the afternoon at the dental hygienist yesterday at the Herzing Dental College Clinic - the only reason the appointments take the afternoon is that a student is doing the work under supervision of an instructor. They are thorough checkups including cancer screening of the neck and jaws, blood pressure and pulse check, reviews of health history and a cleaning/polishing/fluoride treatment - all for $18 and well worth the 3-hour commitment.
After my appointment, I headed to Ben's house to pick up Norah for a 2-night sleepover. She was excited and had all of her stuff ready and packed. It was after 6:00 when we got back home, so we only had a short time to play at the playground after dinner, but it was fun. Even though her eyes kept closing, she still wanted to return to the playground before bedtime. After a shower and stories, she drifted off to sleep.
Today, we had planned to go see an interactive musical show for kids at the town center, but the rainy weather changed that plan. The bandshell is right next to the library, so we picked up a bunch of books and a couple of movies and headed back home. We did a walkabout (she rode her bike) in between rain showers. Now, it is cold and gloomy outside and she is napping.
Saturday, July 21. It was another rainy day for Norah's visit so I took her to the $$$$ store and let her choose a couple of toys - her picks were a play cell phone and a mermaid doll. Since she has been asking for a Campfire, we bought a pack of wood on the way home and got one started while the rain took a break. That interest lasted a very short time, so we napped and then got ready to take her back home.
Ben made pizza for us for dinner and the girls glared at videos (their Friday night routine) while we had dinner. Unfortunately, Ben had to return to work but Jill, Tom, and I sat and talked for a while before we headed back home.
This morning, we mapped out a route for a hike at Fish Lake Regional Park here in Maple Grove. We had a very nice 3.5 mile hike along a paved trail that wound around the lake, then out toward the Medicine Lake Trail. It was a beautiful 80 degree day with bright blue skies contrasted with small, fluffy, white clouds, a nice canopy of trees, and good breezes. Best of all - NO bugs!
On the way home, Tom's curiosity got the best of him and we followed the sign that we see most every day that led to the Hindu Temple of Minnesota. We were surprised to see this beautiful building and manicured lawns tucked back off the road at a dead end. Several people in bright colored traditional clothing appeared to be attending an event.
Sunday, July 22. After a slow start to the day and a good breakfast, we decided to go for a drive and do some exploring. Tom mapped out a route to the north and we headed out for abut a 60 mile drive. We did discover some pretty cool things: the small town of Rogers, just 5 miles away has great shopping opportunist - a Cub Food, a local liquor store and a Super Target. If we go there, we can avoid the traffic and congestion around the huge collection of shops on the east side of Maple Grove.
We checked out Diamond Lake and then traveled north along the Mississippi River, pulling in to an overlook at Cloquet Island Park, although the trees and brush were too tall and thick to even see the river. We walked down a few flights of stairs to get to a path along the river, and followed that as far as we could, then another one that led up a hill and back to the parking lot.
Before heading back home, we stopped at the Nature Center at Elm Creek Park Reserve. The facilities were very nice and the trails look like a great place to hike. We also got information on their camping options for Ben and the family.