Archive for September, 2007

More pictures!

Posted by Nate in Beer, Wedding.
Friday, September 28th, 2007 at 11:50 am


Pictures on Snapfish from Katie.

Pictures from Cody, including some pretty amazing shots of what appears to be Sasquatch.  Wow!

I also adjusted the timestamps on Peter’s pictures (one of his cameras wasn’t on daylight saving or something?) so they’re now in order in the album, it’s much cooler to browse through them now since they tell the story sequentially.  (Thanks to Q for pointing this out, I thought they were in order…)

In other Duoteam news, we’re still both fighting coughs.  Feeling mostly ok otherwise, but it’s proving hard to shake this thing.  Ah well, neither of us had been sick since January, and I suppose this is what we get for pushing so hard in the months leading up to the wedding.  Now if only Bruno would let us sleep in when we have time…

Tomorrow’s the Autumn Brew Review!  I remember the first year I went we still lived near downtown and I walked to Peavey Plaza by myself, drank like a fish, and stumbled home through Loring Park to our apartment.  The next year we somehow missed it (I think a coworker’s wedding was that weekend)…  And then last year Karen joined me and we took her dad and Sierra and it was the Best.  Day.  Ever.  This year we’ve got a whole posse, it’s being held outdoors at the historic Grain Belt Brewery complex, and it’s going to rule!!!

Wedding Pictures!

Posted by Nate in Wedding.
Thursday, September 27th, 2007 at 7:53 pm


Well, finally.  I’ve managed to upload all of the pictures of the wedding taken by Peter, and I hope you’ll all agree they’re worth the wait!  He did a really amazing job, but it helps that all of you are so damn good-lookin’…  Check them out here – there’s enough of them it should keep you busy while I try to consolidate links to other people’s pictures or find a way to get them added here…

Also – you can print them online!  There’s a pulldown on the bottom-right of an image detail, and one of the options is to print on Shutterfly for decent prices.  They’re also high enough quality you can download them and print at home if you want!

The most fun you can have with a cold

Posted by Nate in Beer, Holidays/Birthdays/Etc, Weather, Wedding.
Monday, September 17th, 2007 at 8:52 pm


The honeymoon, as they say, is over.  Although I think "they" are usually speaking metaphorically, and in this case it’s actually over – literally.  We’re home!

And it was the most fun you can have with bad weather and two colds!  As you read last week, we aborted our put-in attempt at Sawbill due to wind, rain, and cold, and headed towards Ely for two nights.  pict0006-5.JPGKaren got her cold in Ely, and it unfortunately peaked in congestion just as we headed out and decided to go half a mile underground to tour the Soudan Underground Mine…  The 3 minute trip down the mine shaft resulted in popped ears and renewed sneezing, but it was a really interesting tour that gave me a much better understanding of the mining history of the region.  pict0009-5.JPGThere’s also a physics lab down there(!) where they run experiments with subatomic particles – the half mile of earth shields them from cosmic rays that would interfere with their instruments.  Pretty cool.

pict0104.JPGKaren’s cold had progressed and added a hearty cough by the time we made it to Scenic State Park for an awesome two nights of "almost camping".  pict0027-2.JPGWe stayed in a fantastic CCC-built cabin right on Coon Lake – no running water, but they had electricity and a gas fireplace(!) so it was nice and cozy.  We spent the days sneaking out for hikes and then returning to the cabin for Karen to recoup in her little sleeping bag cocoon by the fire.  pict0006-6.JPG(Karen had to stop for a nap on the trail during one of the hikes).  Overall it was a really nice compromise between hotels and the boundary waters – we got to cook our camping food, but also take care of Karen’s cold, and overall it was super relaxing.  We both powered through our books, learned to play cribbage, and enjoyed the amazing scenery and hiking.

pict0110.JPGFriday night neither of us slept well – there were mice running around in the cabin, and some bird outside decided to screech every time you’d start to drift off.  Really weird, I wish I knew what it was or what its problem was…  Saturday it was my turn to wake up with the cold as we packed up to head to Duluth.

pict0015-4.JPGThe first day in Duluth was great: a nice long walk on the boardwalk, lunch in Canal Park, shopped for some gifts, then back to the room for a quick round of cold medicine and ibuprofen.  Finally off to the Brewhouse for the finest beer they brew – their Anniversary Cherry Ale!  Karen had two of those and I sampled their cask IPA and an Irish Stout.  While I love the Brewhouse beers, I gotta say the Irish Stout at the wedding was better…  :)  Two games of Cribbage and some yummy food, and I was totally exhausted.  We watched some TV and passed out.

pict0004-13.JPGSunday was absolutely gorgeous.  We got a late start, then headed up the shore a bit for an amazing lunch at Nokomis, a relatively new restaurant just 9 miles from Duluth.  Karen had a really nice wine and I got to try Bell’s Batch 8000 – this year it’s a wheat wine, like a Belgian Wit but X2, really nice even with a stuffy non-stop runny nose.

pict0012-6.JPGWe mosied back to Duluth and took a harbor cruise on the Vista King, super nice weather and again, I got a much better understanding of the importance of Duluth as a shipping hub.  Pretty incredible examples of raw "industry" out in the harbor – huge grain towers, powdered cement storage, and an entire dock filled with enormous turbines for wind power.  Very cool, and we got to see the largest freighter on the lakes, the Paul Tregurtha. Oh, and Karen got a little trip down memory lane, since she worked for the Vista Fleet during her first smmer in Duluth as a college student. 

pict0117.JPGThen across the harbor into Wisconson for some more microbrews at the Thirsty Pagan — apparently they’ve been around since ‘96 but we’d never heard of them!  Good beer, more cribbage, and we met someone who corrected a few of the rules we’d had to guess at.  But I was crashing fast so we headed to the room for a quick round of meds (and I power-napped on the floor) and back out.  We decided to do dinner at Karen’s old college haunt, Sir Benedict’s, where we had some delicious soup and sandwiches, free popcorn, and yet more cribbage.  For those keeping score at home, Karen was winning a lot early on, but I believe the final count for the week has me in the lead.

pict0128.JPGMonday morning we grabbed a quick breakfast at a local coffee shop, another of Karen’s former places of employment, then headed to the Brewhouse to fill a growler.  No fools, we decided to share a pint of their Cherry Ale – hey, it’s only served once a year!  pict0130.JPGWe took a quick spin up to Hawk Ridge and saw a few Sharp Shinned Hawks and got some up close views of a Kestral they had caught and banded just before we arrived.  Coooool.

And then… it was over!  I’m writing this on Karen’s laptop as we drive south on I-35, back towards life and reality — but with a few key differences from how we left it!  It’s been nothing like we planned, but it was actually really exciting to be able to improvise and re-plan so well, and still have such fun.

More soon, and we’ll try to set up a central place for wedding photos!

Who knew there was internet in the BWCA?

Posted by Karen in Travel, Weather, Wedding.
Wednesday, September 12th, 2007 at 8:22 pm


Whoa!  They’ve really upgraded this BWCA since the last time I was here!  Wireless internet and all! 

honeymoon_trail.JPGOk, fine… so we’re not technically in the BWCA.  We had a wonderful first day of our honeymoon Monday, a nice drive with some fun stops, including a little jaunt down Honeymoon Trail!  We had some sunshine and warmish temps.  We got to the outfitter mid-afternoon, got situated, and set up camp at a campground right on Sawbill Lake, our put-in point for the BWCA.  We took a growler of beer from Fitger’s Brewhouse that my brother Dean had given us along with leftover food from the wedding and found a great spot for a picnic down by the lake. 

That evening we read the weather report printed by the outfitters and were not excited.  A couple of hours after we went to bed, the rain started coming down and the winds really kicked up, to the point where I was a little worried about getting squished by a falling tree.  scared.JPGIn the morning we got our canoe, had a heck of a time getting it packed in the wind and rain, and put in.  We then spent the next half hour getting tossed about by 35 mile an hour wind gusts, soaked by waves, and utterly exhausted.  We fought valiantly and got about a third of a mile before having to pull to the shore.  We rested for a bit and decided to try to make another go at it, but this time we went nowhere, literally.  We managed to get out and decided to re-evaluate. 

We realized we weren’t going to get anywhere that day, and didn’t really want to waste a day just hanging out at the campsite.  And the weather report for the rest of the week was not looking much better – rain at some point almost every day, temps below freezing at night, wind, thunderstorms… and we decided that was not how we wanted to spend our honeymoon.  So feeling sad, traumatized, and exhausted, we took our canoe back, loaded up our gear, and hit the road, headed for Ely!  hotel.JPGWe spent last night at a lodge recovering in the hot tub, eating some of the tons and tons of camp food we had packed, and making a new plan.  Oh, and I all of a sudden like got a big fat cold, which made us a little extra glad to have made this decision and to not be portaging and paddling in the rain, unable to find dry wood to make a fire at night. 

wolf.JPGWe decided to spend another day and night in Ely, and so last night we got the most sleep we’ve had in months!  We visited the super-cool International Wolf Center today and did a little bit of exploring and hanging out, and for me, a lot of sniffling and sneezing.  Tomorrow we’ll be heading to Scenic State Park and staying at a cabin for a couple of nights.  Then on to Duluth according to the original plan.

We can’t help but be a little sad that we’re not having the trip we had envisioned, but we are still having a blast, and so excited just to have this time to hang out together and relive the glory and wonder that was our wedding! 

We’re getting married!

Posted by Nate in Wedding.
Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 at 1:29 pm


It’s a good thing this wedding is finally happening this weekend — just ask our bosses!  It’s been getting increasingly hard to put the blinders on at work and get things done when every third thought in my head lately is "hey, did we remember to…"

But it’s definitely happening, and we’re definitely crazy excited about it!  The packing lists are almost done, the last minute shopping is happening, final emails being sent, programs printed, the beer is kegged and unfairly delicious, and … a few surprises as well!

The weather looks chilly for sure – especially compared to the heat we’ve had the last few days – but we’re crossing our fingers for a nice enough day on Saturday.  The Friday BBQ may happen under the tent instead of under the stars, and we’ve got a contingency plan for the rest so I think we’ll be set.  It’s really (finally) starting to transition from crazy-hectic-nervous into genuine anticipation and excitement.

A big bloggy thank-you to my parents and Steve who have been our personal slaves the last few days, helping out while we worked, and generally keeping us fed and sane.  No way could we have pulled this off without them.  And a big thanks to Karen’s parents for all their support, as well, it’s really helped out…  In fact, thanks to everyone who’s offered to help, and I’m only sorry we weren’t smarter about handing off jobs…  Next ti – oh, wait…  :)

And finally, thanks to all the boys who (literally) kidnapped me from the State Fair Sunday night and made sure I could barely get out of bed Monday.  Free tip, to all the still-bachelors out there: if you insist on having the scotch, don’t drink the tequila later.  Oh, oh, man.

See you on the North Shore!!!