Heat Wave

Wowza it’s hot!

I love me some warm days. I’m happiest when we have a sunny, low-humidity 85-90F day. But over the past couple of days it’s been more like 90-100F with humidity so thick that I could swim through it. I guess this is the price we pay for having so much lovely water up here.

Speaking of which, I wasn’t able to convince the Hubby to go tubing this weekend. Doesn’t this look like a great way to spend a hot, steamy summer day?

But I understand the Hubby’s hesitation. The place to go tubing around here is the Apple River in Somerset, WI. On weekends it’s usually crowded with drunken 20-somethings (and older people who act like they’re still in their 20-somethings), and subsequently by Sunday afternoon the shallow river probably has an even ratio of river water to urine. The nice, calm photo above is NOT from the Apple River. This is what a weekend jaunt down the Apple often looks like:

As a woman named Sarah describes in her blog (the photo above is from her blog), it’s pretty much Girls Gone Wild Apple River. I don’t mind some alcohol and rauchiness, but this is way over the top. Ah well.

We decided to go for a motorcycle ride instead. I found a couple of routes that wound down from Shakopee to Mankato on motorcycleroads.us. When we were riding through twisty, wooded backroads we experienced dips in temperature as we drove into and out of valleys. The roads were gorgeous, green, uncrowded, relaxing and a great way to explore MN in the summer and stay cool.

A short stop on the Scenic Byway between Henderson and Le Sueur.

Neat bridge structures near Mankato.

Lush, green farmland located five minutes south of Mankato.

Saturday Evening – Tim Minchin

Aaron and I rode our bicycles downtown from South Minneapolis and were dripping in sweat by the time we arrived at the theater (but we didn’t have to pay for parking – cheapskate win!), but the lobby was cool and we were comfortable by the time the show started.

Tim Minchin delivered a uproariously entertaining mix of standup comedy and music. He accompanied himself on piano for most of his songs, and had recorded musical backups for Statistically Accurate Love Song and the live version of his beat poem “Storm”. He did two encores: White Wine in the Sun and a cover of Hallelujah that was absolutely breathtaking. Not only can the man sing something fierce, he managed to get a room which had a high proportion of religious skeptics and atheists to croon the word “Hallelujah” with deep emotion. Nicely done, sir!

Sunday was. too. hot.

On Sunday I decided it would be a good idea for me, the Hubby and the dog to walk 3/4  mile to the grocery store to pick up bread and OJ. At about 1/2 mile in we realized that this may not have been the most brilliant idea I’ve ever had. Luckily we had brought water for the dog, and the Hubby and I took turns going into the grocery store air conditioning before walking back. We both took showers when we arrived home. The dog flopped on the living room floor and didn’t  move much for a good long while.

So we made Sunday a Chores In The Air Conditioning Day. We did laundry, dishes, bills and bit of organizing. And…oh, and these are very exciting:

  • We booked flights to Seattle to visit my sister and brother-in-law at the end of August! We’re going to go hiking and scuba diving and exploring in the upper East (correction: West) corner of Washington state. My sis assures me it’s gorgeous out there.
  • And, and – I’m going to Dragon*Con! I have a hotel room and I booked my flight to Atlanta!

Not only am I going to Dragon*Con, but I’m going to be sharing a hotel room with two good friends from the Twin Cities. This will be my first BIG scifi/fantasy convention and I am pumped. I’m looking at the different tracks (panels, presentations, demos, etc), the featured events, contests and celebrities that will be at Dragon*Con, and my mind is blown. I need to come up with a costume. I’ve got a few ideas, but nothing solid yet.

Oh, and here’s the really awesome part – I leave for Dragon*Con less than eight hours after I get back from Seattle, which means I get to take a LOT of time off from work at once (and I can tell you all of this this because my on-site caretaker is big and mean and doesn’t take kindly to trespassers)!

Yippie! I’m super excited.

Yeah, I said yippie.

Heat Wave

Weekend Report

This weekend was pretty snazzy.

On Saturday I went on a motorcycle ride with a bunch of friends.  My friend Courtney rode on the back of my bike, and the group of us took a series of winding rural roads from St. Paul to Taylors Falls, MN.   It was cool and overcast the entire day, but all of the weather radar info (on the gazillion or so smartphones we had between us) said the chance of rain was minimal, so off we went!

We rode through some really beautiful areas, and after about an hour and a half of riding we stopped to eat lunch at Taylors Falls.  We ate at a drive-in hot dog/hamburger diner-slash-mini golf place that had horribly addicting fried green beans (thank goodness they had vegetables alongside all of the burger and fries options!) and really yummy, frosty root beer.

After lunch Courtney and I headed back toward Minneapolis, and along the way we stumbled across this incredible sculpture garden called Franconia Sculpture Park.  The place was gigantic – they had probably 30 installations spread over a large area of farmland, and we saw artists working on new pieces throughout the park.  Everything was connected by black pebble walkways and paths mowed through knee-high wild grass.  Some of the exhibits reminded me of the St. Louis City Museum – they were interactive and invited the public to touch, climb and play.


After we left Franconia, we stopped briefly in Stillwater to walk around downtown.  We sat down at one of the coffee shops and suddenly it hit us – were both exhausted from the ride.  Riding on a motorcycle can sometimes zap your energy – I think it’s a combination of having the sun shine directly on you and having to push against the wind for long periods of time.  Whatever it was, we were done, so we took the quick route back to Minneapolis and each ran home to take naps.  I usually hate naps – waste of time! – but mine felt really, really good on Saturday!

On Sunday I went rollerblading around Lake Calhoun and then came back home to have some breakfast and watch an episode of Battlestar Galactica.  In the afternoon I went into work at the bookstore for a couple of hours, which was great because I had stepped down from part-time to seasonal back in May, so I had a chance to catch up with a bunch of work buddies who I hadn’t seen for about a month.

When I left work it was sunny and in the mid-80s, so I decided to head back out to Lake Calhoun – this time with my fancy-schmancy scuba fins, mask and snorkel.  The sun had been shining on the lake all afternoon, so it was relatively warm.  Aside from the popular bandaid and hair tie specimens, there’s not much to see in Lake Calhoun from a snorkeling perspective, but it was neat to fin around and play for a while.

After I got out of the water I just sat on the sand and marveled at the lake – it really is very beautiful.  The blue water stretched out before me and there were several sailboats and windsurfers zipping across the water.  The shoreline around Lake Calhoun has never been sold privately, so all areas of the lakefront are open to the public.  There are bike and walking paths that encircle the lake and three beaches, one seafood restaurant at the north end of the lake, and a place to rent kayaks, canoes and paddleboats.  From the south end of the beach you can see the entire Minneapolis downtown skyline rising above the trees.

I hung out at the north-end beach area for about an hour and then came home to do some chores.  Well, that’s what I meant to do.  In reality I watched another episode of BSG, played on the internet for a bit and then went to bed.  The dishes and laundry can always wait 🙂

Weekend Report