Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We're all settled

So last week we packed up our stuff from the nasty, dirty, smelly, empty, cold trailer and moved a little more north to a resort on Cass Lake. We are in a small 2 bedroom condo but to us it's paradise! Okay, maybe not paradise, but anything coming from that trailer, would seem a little closer to paradise anyway.

Won't miss this! The HUGE mouse we finally caught in the trailer.

Yes, I can still fit 4 kids with car seats in here...pretty good huh?

It's fully furnished with 2 double beds in one of the bedrooms (which the boys share) and then a queen bed in the other (which we sleep in and ariella's pack n play fits nicely in the 'closet' spot). I am just thrilled to have beds to sleep on and enjoy making the beds everyday :)

The building is a four-plex with two condos on the bottom and two on the top. The two on the top have renters in and out, mostly fisherman, and the other condo on the bottom has one of Nathan's co-workers living in it. He has become great friends with Nathan and we've come to think of him more like family. The kids adore him (and he the kids) and he eats and visits with us every night. It's been a blessing to have someone else around that we enjoy talking with! And the cool part is that the rooms are actually connected so he can come over to our place without even going outside!

The condo

Living space & kitchen

Boys' room

Ariella's 'nook'

For the first 5 days or so that we were here, the weather was perfect. Mid to upper 70s and low 80s and sunny. Because it's a resort, it has a great beach that is just a few steps from our place. The kids and I spent most of the days swimming in the water and exploring for clams, shells, turtles and anything else that we could find that was 'cool' :)

The beach

Looks like she's having fun

There is also a mile long loop through the resort and the woods that we've been walking to get some energy out. Now with the weather cooling off in a hurry (this morning it was only 25 out!) I'm sure we'll be spending a little more time inside.

Ariella walking on the trail with her new friend "Mr. Weston" (Nathan's co-worker)

Nathan still is not working that many hours (usually around 50) so we are able to come home to the "house with 3 pottys" (as my boys refer to it as) fairly often. We are happy when we are there but also excited to find a buyer for it as we think about possible opportunities for the future.

Sure looks like paradise to me....

(we enjoyed a few quiet mins out here after the kids went to bed and before the mosquitoes ate us up)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Our date continued....finally!

So, yeah....I kept you in suspense a tad longer than I had planned to. Guess that's my life right now so you'll just have to deal with it :)

So continue our date.....

Saturday we woke up and decided to get the cheapest thing on the room service menu since we've never had room service before...and now I know why we haven't ever had room service before...the bill was $25 for two small bowls of plain yogurt with a sprinkle of granola and some fruit! Whew!

After that was done we didn't have any plans for the day so I jumped on my phone and started searching for attractions in the cities. One site lead me to another and another and somehow I came across something that was called "Segway Tours". My scrolling stopped...wait...segway tours??? What is that?! I went over to their website, looked up the number and gave them a call.

I asked what it all entailed and if they still had openings for later that day. They did!! I signed us up and looked forward to 2:30 in the afternoon!

In the meantime we ate lunch at The Melting Pot downtown. We heard it was very good, and it was, but since I have fondued every year at Christmas for the last 29 years (or at least as long as I can remember) the "coolness" of it just wasn't there for us. I ordered steak and shrimp and Nathan fondued chicken, steak and shrimp. We were told that if we wanted the typical 4 course meal, that we should allow at least 2-1/2 hrs to eat. We didn't get that but it did seem like it took forever. We were one of two couples in the place since they just had opened for the day but the waitress definitely wasn't in any hurry. It seemed rather odd to us that it took so long to get our food because it's all raw! They don't even have to cook it, we cook it! So it should be all back there ready to be portioned onto your plate and brought out to you...but I guess they had to butcher the cow first before they brought me the steak ;)

We were going to have the fondue dessert but since we were running out of time and I didn't want to be late for our segway tour, we decided to bail. And Im glad we did because we were right on time for the tour.

So we got to the tour and before they even took your money, they made you try out the segway because some people just don't feel comfortable on it and therefore want to cancel their spot on the tour. We, of course, loved them and wanted to continue. They then told us to pick out our helmets and have a seat in front of the tv to watch a training video.

Nathan couldn't even look at me in my pink helmet because he burst out laughing every time. He said I looked like I was five....and he looked so much better, right? So we watched a 15-20 min video on segway safety and it was time to take them outside to test them out again. (The first hour or so of the 'tour' was training on how to ride the segway, get off and on, etc).

Do I look that goofy??

After training, we were on our way! There was about 30 or so of us, with 5 instructors. We drove mostly on sidewalks so we had to stay in a single file line. That was a lot of segways in a row. Most people that we drove past took our their cameras and snapped a few pictures.

The tour took a total of 3 hours and it was a distance of about 5 miles. We stopped at places along the way such as the St. Anthony falls, the Stone Arch bridge, Mill city museum (where we went in and had some refreshments), Guthrie museum, and a tour of Nichollet Island.

St. Anthony Falls

Stone Arch Bridge that was built by the railroad man James J Hill

Mill City Museum

Aren't we cute?!

Part of the line of segways going down the sidewalk

At one point during our ride we crossed this small street and I saw a few cars coming. They didn't seem like they were slowing down at all, and since I didn't want to get hit by a car, I slowed down and waited for them. In the meantime, Nathan, who was behind me, didn't see me slow down until it was too late. He turned at the very last second, went off the sidewalk into the grass and jumped the curb onto the street. He mangaged to do all that while staying on the segway and regaining control and really not missing a beat. On our next stop, one of the instructors came up to him and said "I just have to shake your hand, man...I've never, ever seen someone stay so calm and regain control of the segway during and after a situation like yours. Congratulations!" It was kinda funny :)

I was sad when we came around the corner and saw our starting point because we were having so much fun. I would recommend it to anyone! Their website is Clever, I know :)

After that it was time to find another hotel (we needed to get out of downtown!) and found a marriott by the Mall of America. You remember that we are partial to Marriotts right? We only liked their beds so much that we ordered one and had it shipped to our you remember? Anyway, we took their free shuttle over to the mall to grab some grub and then back to the hotel to relax. We were upgraded to a king whirlpool suite because they ran out of kings, and we were happy to oblige.

Sunday, our last morning, we booked a brunch cruise on the Mississippi on the boat called Paradise Lady. It was a relaxing time and going through the largest lock on the mississippi was an experience. The food wasn't the greatest, but we could have probably guessed that before it started. After the 2 hour cruise was over, it was time to get back to reality and go pick up our kids. Ariella was the only one who seemed a little excited to see us, the boys were having too much fun with the other kids :)

Paradise Lady

Our table reserved for us...and the other couple who was supposed to share our table never showed up so we had it all to ourselves.


Going down the lock.

At the bottom of the lock....and I've decided that I like going up rather than going down. It takes 8 mins both ways to travel through the lock.

Our food.