Another Busy WeekWell, even though it doesn't seem like it, it's been a fairly busy time around the old abode. We spent a portion of the weekend at my parents' for an event they were having, although the real reason we went was to see the new John Deere Gator they took delivery of last Friday. This piece of equipment goes roughly twice as fast as the previous Gator they had. It also has both front and rear suspension with 4x4 capabilities. Overall, it's a much better beast than the old, with the same distinct features. It's just a whole lot more rugged and versatile now. Granted, with a top speed of about 25 (the old one went around 15) it's not about to make any speed record...but it does make the machine more palatable in general.
Anyway, this year we decided several months ago to actually do something, although preferrably low-key and low-budget. After finding out that Les Miserables just happened to be in a run at the Ordway over the period in time of our anniversary, it was clear that it would be the cities to which we would head -- after all, Beth had never seen this production before...and I certainly wasn't going to turn down viewing #5 -- especially since it'd been four years since the last time I'd seen it.
Of course, in the time since we'd initially planned the dates and such, this whole house thing came up...throwing just a little bit of a wrench into the deal. Fortunately it wasn't a big wrench, but it did mean that some things had to be wrapped up before we could go...
So, Monday at noon we departed after taking the morning to get some things done during the 'business day.' We stayed at a place in Richfield, close to the Mall of America -- a staple of any of our visits to the metro area. The trip Monday was more or less spent relaxing. We first went to the Mall of America and did the regular stuff -- namely visiting Camp Snoopy to do some rides. There's a new rollercoaster there which opened earlier this spring -- and it's quite intense for being an indoor coaster. We also took the opportunity to go out for a nice supper that night.
Tuesday was the main day of events for us, and started out by heading to Minneapolis, just for the heck of it. We spent some time driving around in downtown Minneapolis and looking around...mostly just because. We made our way all around downtown and stopped for some culture at the Walker Art Center. We also drove by a portion of lake calhoun and had a really good time. After a stop to eat and a return to the hotel to nap and change clothes, we then went to St. Paul in the mid-afternoon.
We made a trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota (a venue quite literally a stone's throw from the Ordway) where we easily spent a few hours...and could have easily spent a few hours more. It was also reasonably priced for admission and is something I'd recommend. Of course, we're both into that weird sort of thing called science...so that might have some bearing on the review. Of course, I thought the most interesting stuff were the hands-on displays where interaction was required.
And of course, last but not least was a trip to actually see Les Miserables. The show didn't start until 8:00, so we had a little time to kill, which we used to eat. And the show was definitely worthwhile. We had seats which, while they weren't in the center orchestra section, were right next to the left-side aisle separating the center from the left side seating. Combine that with the stone's throw from the stage distance, and I would have to say it's about prime viewing space for me. Much in the way of good times were had, and we left St. Paul that night around 11:30pm.
Wednesday (today) was spent again in St. Paul after checking out of the hotel. We spent a few hours at Como Zoo, near the state fairgrounds, and got to see a lot of cool stuff there. The observatory was particularly interesting with the different plants and arrangements -- many of which I'd only heard of before. And of course, monkeys. Monkeys are always cool...as are polar bears, one of which kept swimming backflips in the pools.
And, we ran into our only inclement weather on our way home...which is always nice.
Overall, we had an excellent time and got to do a lot of stuff in a relatively short period of time.
So, we'll see what happens...and until next time...This post was upgraded to the MZ Online Blog on 8/25/07