July 2, 2015

Father's Day weekend.

We headed to Iowa City for Father's Day weekend. I decided to take Friday off from work so I could drive to Algona Thursday night and enjoy a long weekend. Plus, I needed to go to the dentist and had an appointment scheduled for Friday morning.

After the dentist, my mom and I went downtown for coffee and then walked around a bit before coming back home. I love checking out the local shops. 


After my dad got home from work, we had a quick lunch and then headed for Iowa City. Just a few minutes after arriving at Eric's house, we found ourselves outside playing on their new play set. What fun!


Then we came in to read a few stories before dinner...



Eric's family left for vacation on Saturday, so Mom, Dad, Leah and I stayed at Leah's new house in Iowa City. We spent most of the day outside on Leah's deck enjoying the wonderful weather. Saturday evening we gave Dad one of his Father's Day gifts...an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen! Tradition. Yum. 


On Sunday we went to church, had lunch and then headed home. It was another fun filled weekend...and had me feeling again how fortunate I am to be back in the Midwest. 

Cheers!

June 2, 2015

A visit from Matt!

Matt came to visit the second weekend in April. It had been almost a month since I had left Anchorage and seen him, so I was sure looking forward to his arrival. Busy almost every weekend since moving to Chaska and prior to his visit, I planned to take him around the cities and venture around some of the nearby parks and trails.

Saturday began with a trip to the Bloomington REI. We then headed for The Winchell Trail, which is part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. The Winchell Trail is a 5 mile loop hiking only trail on the west bank of the Mississippi River.


The trail is both paved and unpaved and for much of the route, is separated from a bike path that runs along side the hiking trail. The beautiful weather and clear view of the river provided a nice activity for the afternoon. 


Matt wanted to go into St. Paul, so we looked on Yelp for a good place to grab an afternoon snack. The Happy Gnome had some good reviews so we decided to check it out. 


We ordered a couple appetizers to fill our stomachs. A cheese plate...


...and some of the best tater tots we have ever eaten....I would highly recommend this gastropub to anyone looking for some good eats in St. Paul.


On Sunday, we stayed around Chaska and explored some of the trails near town. The Minnesota Valley State State Trail is part of the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area, which extends from Chaska to Belle Plaine.


We "hiked" a few miles down the trail before turning around and walking back to the car. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the trail and the vastness of land that surrounded the trail. I'm excited to check it out again when the trees and shrubs turn green.


While we were on our walk, our friend/dogsitter in Anchorage sent us a few pictures of Rio. 


She was being entertained by a moose outside their window.


Sunday evening we decided to eat dinner at The Prairie Tap House in Eden Prairie. It was another restaurant that had some good reviews on Yelp.


As we were about ready to leave, rain started pouring outside. It was difficult to see the street from the front door - and didn't provide for a friendly walk to the car. So, we decided to play some darts....


Matt dominated. Enough said.


I took work off on Monday so we could attend the home opener for the Minnesota Twins. We actually scheduled Matt's trip to Minnesota around this game because they were scheduled to play the Royals, his favorite team.


The day was just lovely.


Every person in attendance received a free hoodie (the sweatshirt I am wearing in the picture below).


After finding our seats...


we decided to walk around the ballpark and get some snacks. Matt found the largest Bloody Mary we have ever seen. 


To welcome Torii Hunter back to Minneapolis, Kevin Garnett threw out the first pitch...


We had a great day at the game even though the Twins got blown out by the Royals. Fortunately, as I write this blog, I can feel confident about their season now that they lead the Central Division (including the Royals).


It was so nice having Matt in Chaska and Minneapolis for the weekend. I can not wait for him to move later this summer.