Well, Thursday was pretty good - I went to Fort Snelling, and now they have re-enactors, who portray people from the fort from the 1820s. Pictures will be coming when I return home, and can get my USB cord to download photos. I also got a video of the drill, loading, firing the guns of that time. It was warm, but not *hot*, but there was a good breeze. If you get to Minneapolis, I suggest you go visit Fort Snelling, and nose about there. Growing up, my parents took us there, but now that there are people telling you about life in the stone barracks, and the post commander (or his wife) telling you about the house, and family, makes it much more 'alive'. Dred Scott, his wife Harriet, were slaves of the camp physician there, Dr. Emerson, and lived in the kitchen that was below the quarters. It is a small room, and not a whole lot of space there. The soldiers quarters, each room held 3 bunks - 12 soldiers. They slept two to a bed. So "hotracking" I guess started back then. It still continues today in the military. The family quarters were also small, maybe 15x12, and 2 families would live in this space. Look at the houses of today, and how much room we have compared to then. The officers quarters were rather nice, however, usually the officers quarters are. They were not two to a room.
I also went to Minnehaha Falls, and had a bit of trouble finding it. I kept getting on the 55 highway the wrong direction! and then the signs stopped - for getting to the falls. So I drove around up & down a few roads, and then found Minnehaha Blvd. Went the wrong way for a while, and then turned around & went the other direction. FINALLY I got to where it looked like there were more cars parked (the public parking is metered, quarters and dollar coins only, a quarter is 20 minutes), the parking lots, you need a permit to park in.
There was a lovely alcove area that I walked under, with lots of birds, flowers and bees - evidently a great wedding spot! Took some pictures of flowers and bees on flowers, and then heard the falls, so I started down the stairs. LOTS of stairs. Took shots as I was going down, and got to the bottom, watched people on the side of the falls for a big, and then slogged back UP all those stairs. I was very glad for the bench that was up at the top.
Went back to hotel and took a shower, and then met a friend that I hadn't seen since high school at Mall of America. HOLY MOLY! That place is HUGE! She must have a way better sense of direction than I do, because I was lost. They have Nickelodeon Universe there now instead of Camp Snoopy in the center of the mall. The very center. That's about the only thing that I know where it is, apart from the aquarium in the basement. Yes, there's a nice, large aquarium! I went there in 2000, and it was really nice. 300 foot long tube that you go under, where fish & sharks swim overhead. And a shark (small) and sting ray petting pool. Found out sting rays feel like satin. Very soft and silky. BACK to the center of the mall - in that place is a ferris wheel, rollercoasters, and other rides. Plus a GANGPLANK that is on the 3rd floor level, that you get harnessed up, with a line holding you (in case you lose your balance), and walk out about 10 feet to the end of the gangplank. There is a net underneath in case your rope comes loose I guess. I couldn't watch, I got dizzy just watching people walk out on it!
Went to Bubba Gumps, talked for a good 3 hours, took our pictures with the person in the giant shrimp costume walking about, and then went to to Tigersushi. She hadn't had sushi before, so we had to go. hah! it was delicious. Skip the miso soup however, not very good.
Yesterday around 1, I drove out to where I grew up. the houses! I don't know what happened, but the McMansions have moved in. Housing developments galore. Went to the high school, and now they have an athletic center, the football field has moved, there are fields across the road where it used to be corn fields. At least the steps going up inside were still the same. Also I figured out waving at people is just something Minnesotans don't do. I drove past a walking path on the way back from the HS, and there was an old man walking with a cane. He was watching the car, so I waved at him. He just stared at me open mouthed, and turned to watch me pass. I guess they don't "drive friendly" here.
After that, went over to Lord Fletchers. Went down to the Wharf part, by the boats, and grabbed table, got some ice tea, and a raw veggie plate with ranch. Pretty good, they gave you lots of veggies. Watched boats go by under the bridges through the channel, gaped at the house fronts I could see across the lake (one had a 3-story glass window front), and just hung out. A friend & her husband showed up around 4:30, and we started looking at people to see if they might be classmates of ours. I don't know about you, but when I think of a classmate, I see them in my head the way they looked back in high school. There were like 4 people that I recognized instantly, because they still looked the way they did back in school. The rest it's like .. uhh.. What is your name? People started coming at 5, and then really coming in around 6 to 7. Ended up about 100 people there, from our class. Lots of beer and drinks were consumed (and when I say lots, many people were having people pick them up, or taking a cab). I was kind of surprised how many people smoked - people that never would have thought about smoking in high school, they snubbed the people that hung out in the back doors & smoked between classes or during lunch. And the language! I'm thinking 'geeze, I know I was bad in the navy, but did I used to talk that bad during high school?" One guy I talked to, every other sentence out of his mouth was "you've got to be sh****** me" I was like just :O There were very few that didn't talk like that. There was a bit of time when I sat there & was thinking 'why the heck am I here, these people are just out to get drunk and cuss up a storm". There were a few people I was very glad to see, ones that I had gone to school with from 1st grade on through 12th. Managed to get the slick lawyer's email address finally (he lives up by Dallas), and my oldest daughter lives up in Ft. Worth. Would like to stay in touch with him. Despite being a lawyer, he's a nice guy. Always smiling.
I drank WAY too much tea yesterday, and then when I had a Jagermeister and Red Bull last night the caffeine got to me. Messed with my head and my stomach. I left around 11:45 from Fletchers last night, but couldn't get to sleep until around 3 or 4, was too wired.
Tonight is the get-together at the country club, with a buffet dinner. I have to find out if it's business casual, or what. I'd just as soon go in what I'm wearing, but I did bring a dress. And not as much tea today for me! I drank decaf this morning, with my breakfast at Perkins. The internet is still sucky at the hotel where I'm staying, and I can't connect :|
Have a good evening :)
9 months ago