Archive for the 'Travel' Category

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! 

Te Beagh

Posted by Nate in Family, Travel.
Wednesday, June 6th, 2007 at 9:46 am

It’s pronounced "best picture ever".

Chicago trip

Posted by Nate in Family, Friends, Holidays/Birthdays/Etc, Travel.
Saturday, April 21st, 2007 at 7:11 pm

Justin and I got back today from a whirlwind trip to Chicago – left early Thursday morning to the Grandparent’s house, hung out for a bit with them and my parents, and then headed to Laurel’s show.  It was awesome to see her on stage again, one of the last things I can remember seeing her in was Stop Kiss back at Bas Bleu in Colorado.  Stop Kiss is such a different show it’s hard to compare the two, but it really seems like she’s taken a big step with her acting in terms of being more real in the moment on stage — not that she wasn’t before!  Just that it’s one thing I think I notice is better now.  A really fun show overall, I think everyone had a good time.

Friday I slept in a bit, ate Grandpa’s waffles for breakfast, then we all sort of puttered around the house getting yardwork done – mowing, window washing, and trying to get Grandpa’s old car running.  I know Rick took pictures so I hope he writes that up, it was fun to get to play with an engine that’s about as straightforward as it gets.

pict3215a.JPGThat night after dinner I went to meet up with the Chicago boys and Laurel, it was good to see everyone even if just for a night.  Noah, if you’re brave enough to click that picture, is ironing a crease in his pants — while wearing them.  I believe he put a book in there first to help shield the heat, and Rick V.T. was kind enough to offer the tip of waiting for the zipper to cool before removing the book.  Ah, I miss those boys…  :)

Justin and I left at 5 this morning to get him back for a noon meeting.  Whew.  It was fun driving with him, some good time to chat, but man am I tired!

Quick update

Posted by Nate in Broomball, Bruno, Day to Day, Travel, Work.
Friday, February 2nd, 2007 at 12:11 pm

  1. We’re back!  Ghana and Scotland each deserve their own post, but the brief summary is: unbelievably cool.  Really interesting, educational, and fun, great people, great scenery, and delicious food and drink.
  2. Broomball is back!  This week we had games on Tuesday (we won 3-1, I scored by batting one in out of the air and Peter K had two amazing goals), Thursday (we won 2-0, I scored from the edge and Jason worked some serious magic), then have a makeup game scheduled tomorrow!  (plus normal games in the week, plus my team at work is playing Monday)  Holy broomball, Batman!
  3. It’s cold.  Really, really cold.  -9F air temp when I walked Bruno this morning, we only made it two blocks before his little paws got full of ice and he was limping so we hustled back — too fast, it turned out.  He got all excited running home and saw our neighbor and picked up speed and I caught my boot on the sidewalk and wiped out really hard on my bad knee.  Damn.  Probably ok, but man did that dog walk suck.
  4. Yep, cold.  The next three days the high temp is going to be maybe 0F with windchills in the -20 to -30 range.
  5. Karen got a job!!  She can post more, but briefly in her words: "I get to be outside in beautiful places, working with people and ecology, educating and raising awareness about issues that are important to me, and facilitating restoration and land conservation.  I pretty much feel like I just won the lottery.  Like I can’t believe I get to do all this stuff AND get paid for it!"
  6. Her having a steady job is actually a really excited new phase for us – when I arrived in St. Paul she had just quit the nonprofit she’d been with for years and picked up temp work before deciding to go back to school.  It’s been a hectic three years, and I gotta say I’m looking forward to this next step – and super proud of her.  Way to go, kid!

More as we continue to catch up and recoup from our trip – we’re both still fighting colds, her more than me.  Stupid colds.  Peace and stay warm!  Go Bears!


Posted by Nate in Family, Travel.
Monday, October 23rd, 2006 at 9:11 pm

img_5348.jpgSo the marathon was awesome.  Made me want to run one.  Really.  Maybe.  Either way it was a sweet event, and the weekend trip was – as always – a ridiculous whirlwind visit, but very fun.  We made these hot fluorescent signs to wave as our runners went by, and it ended up being a great plan because some of the places we tried to catch them were like a constant stream of humanity rushing by and it became really hard to stay focused on looking for your person.  I had to keep envisioning what they were wearing and how they were running so I could find them, but they still saw us way before we saw them.  (The signs say Fredel and Laurie, it’s Laurel and Freddie mixed up.  Long story.  Jason made the "run damnu ruuunnnn" sign.  Don’t ask.  Also don’t ask about FroYoHoCho.)

pict0113.JPGHere’s a long distance shot of them behind a lady in a blue vest.  I know my dad got some video, but for now this is what I got.  They’ve got white shirts over black running gear and Freddie has a white hat.

img_5353.jpgAnd here they are at the finish – Freddie did me proud and grabbed a beer as soon as he crossed the finish line.  His IT band was flaring up really badly during the race and Laurel had some cramps in her legs and feet, but they made it!!  Color me impressed.

img_5337.jpgWe also got to have a nice lunch with Grandma and Grandpa – she’s been saving a beer I gave her for a few months and we finally cracked it open.  A nice belgian Grand Cru, yummy.  She even said it tastes like pineapple, which is totally a flavor I get from from that yeast!  True, we were also eating pineapple chunks at the time, but I think that just brought out the flavor in the beer, since it was honestly already there…  Clearly I got my discriminating beer taste from Grandma.

Overall, a great if hectic visit.  Now, if they would just STOP(!!!!) working on I-90 and 94 I would be much happier and maybe make that commute more often again…  Stupid "open-road tolling"…

Going abroad, Mead, and Marathons

Posted by Nate in Family, Homebrewing, Travel.
Wednesday, October 18th, 2006 at 12:02 pm

Whoa.  Kind of a lot happened in the last few days, and lots more coming!

We just booked our tickets to visit my brother in Scotland and Karen’s brother in Ghana!  Going to be a whirlwind two-week trip in January…  Super exciting, I’ve been to England and Ireland but never Scotland, and definitely never Africa.

Early this morning I started a batch of mead that if all goes well will be used for the toast(s) at our wedding.  It uses cranberry honey and I threw in about 4# of frozen cranberries – the hope is the tartness will balance out any residual sweetness, and coupled with high carbonation it should be very champagne-like and delicious.  I didn’t chop or otherwise mess with the cranberries which may end up being a mistake, we’ll see how much flavor comes through in a few weeks and maybe I’ll add some more.  The guidelines I’m following say you can go up to 8#, so I’ve got some wiggle room…  Anyway, I’ve been stressing because time is getting short for aging and especially for all the work involved with the méthode champenoise.  (read here, scroll down a bit)  High hopes for this batch, fingers crossed!

Finally, we’re going to Chicago this weekend to cheer my sister on in her first marathon (and her b/f Freddie).  Whoa, indeed.  My knee is improving, but I’m still nowhere near jogging, let alone a freaking marathon!  So I can’t quite relate to that distance except that it seems really far…  Good luck, kids!

Road Trip via cameraphone

Posted by Nate in Travel.
Tuesday, September 12th, 2006 at 3:14 pm

It started Thursday evening after soccer. Everyone ran home to clean up – and for some of us (Scott), pack – before hitting the road to Colorado. I didn’t record the start time, but I believe it was getting close to 9… We drove all night, Cody, then Scott, Rick, then me.

The bummer of the rotation is that I was supposed to sleep during those first two shifts but everyone was all excited for the road trip and nobody slept. So round about dawn we crossed into Colorado and I took these pictures of my co-pilots. Princesses.

We rolled into Ft. Collins to kill some time before picking Troy up at the Denver airport, and decided to eat breakfast at Lucile’s. Hell yeah. That put us right by campus so it was time for a stroll down memory lane…

We headed over to the old theatre building and stuck our noses in all our old stomping grounds – or what was left of them. The old black box is a classroom, the improv room is divided and weird, but saddest of all was the mainstage.

I know that space sucked and the audience was uncomfortable and couldn’t see, but that’s where we all served our time… Weird to see just the outline of the old stage, the empty light grid, and the lonely white cyc. Then it was off the airport, grab Troy, and up to Estes for the festival! We checked in, cleaned up, got our tickets and headed to the fairgrounds. Friday is the hot ticket if you actually want to eat or do something popular — much less crowded, but almost everything is up and running.

That night we hit a concert: Brother and Seven Nations. Good show, but we were all hitting a wall, and the venue wasn’t the best and the audience could have been more animated. And the MC for the evening was beyond annoying, almost single-handedly ruining the show. Seriously. Not sure if the group took to Brother as much as me, but I loved them. Super sweet. 7N was pretty right-off-the-CD, nothing new from them but some good banter between songs.

Then home to bed for a quick night’s sleep before the main event: Saturday. Rose early to check out the parade, and got to see my parents! They came up for the day to hang out and check out the festival, and it was great to see them. That’s us just after the rain that morning — you can see the cardboard cozy around my cup to keep my fingers warm. It was damn chilly for a while there…

I think this speaks for itself, and in fact sums up the day rather well. Hell of a good time.

Next morning was another whirlwind, starting with brunch with Scotty’s parents at a super nice lodge. That’s Rick taking in the gorgeous scenery. Hard to remember how much I used to take the mountains for granted, now that I never get to see them. Ah, mountains. Next stop in Berthoud to visit Rick’s family and drop him off. It was great to tour around the place, and they fed us like kings before sending us on our way with a ton of delicious leftovers.

Coming down out of Estes we passed the Devil’s Backbone, one of the first places Karen and I hiked back when we lived in Colorado. Managed to snap a picture out the car window… Finally dropped Troy off to meet his parents – it was an elaborate surprise visit, they thought they were picking up a custom-made DVD cabinet for his brother’s birthday – and we were back on the road.

Official time: 2:30. We hit home at 4:30 (hour lost), and I was asleep by 5:30. Amazingly I believe we all had a pretty normal day the next day, I know I wasn’t firing on all cylinders but was still somehow productive at work. So there you have it! Big fun road trip!

Wedding scouting trip

Posted by Nate in Bruno, Travel.
Monday, July 3rd, 2006 at 12:50 pm

Road trip up the north shore. Bruno navigates.

Arizona wedding

Posted by Nate in Holidays/Birthdays/Etc, Travel.
Tuesday, May 30th, 2006 at 2:38 pm

This is Karen and I about 24 hours ago, hiking a canyon north of Tucson, AZ. Did you know saguaro cacti don’t start branching out until they’re at least 50-60 years old? That probably puts this monster behind me at over 100 years old. Whoa. The saguaros were blooming while we were there, and I found out each saguaro flower opens just once, in the cool of the night, and then closes forever by about noon the next day. If it was pollenated, it will produce fruit, if not… try again next year.

We were in AZ for Karen’s brother’s wedding, a very nice ceremony and reception with lots of good food and fun. Karen was in the wedding party and looked great, but we’ll have to wait for the official photos to come back since I don’t think either of us got any.

The wedding was on Friday, leaving us Saturday and Sunday to explore Tucson and lounge by the pool, and we managed to hit three local brewpubs! There are even a few we didn’t make it to — who knew there were so many in Tucson? Not me. Good times all around, good people, and congratulations to Dean and Daniele!

Museums and Stuff

Posted by Nate in Travel, Work.
Wednesday, March 29th, 2006 at 1:11 pm

Hey, kids! Guess who finally found 5 minutes to write an update? Not much time here, so strap in – this is gonna be a fast one:

Last week I attended the 2006 Museums and the Web conference in Abq, NM, where my New Media colleagues and I led a workshop called Blogs and Blogging for Museums – it was well-attended and a great success, if I do say so myself. Our presentation notes are available online if you’re into that sort of thing.

We also attended many awesome sessions at the conference (Eric and I at left) and met a ton of interesting and smart people doing some incredible things at their institutions. Eric was on fire the whole conference, liveblogging sessions and ideas on the New Media Blog. Somehow I’m still surviving without a laptop – I brought a loaner with a crappy battery – but the conference was a real eye-opener for me in how valuable they can be in a lecture setting: as the speaker would present, everyone who wanted to was in a "back-channel" chat room, asking questions in realtime, giving feedback, etc. Really really cool, it was the ultimate ADD experience, but also really enhanced some of the sessions.

Finally on Saturday I attended a small SFMOMA-sponsored "think tank" session for art museum web folks – easily the best 3.5 hours of the week. Everyone came to the table with such a rich background of experience and ideas and thoughts on successes and failures and the future… I came out of it really inspired and glad to be in the position I’ve fallen into at the Walker.

The biggest theme I took away from the conference was the idea of community – that web visitors are no longer searching simply for content, but a way to connect. Content still matters, obviously, but it’s not the final answer any more… So what does that mean? Stay tuned.

So I’m back and catching up. I have a ton of ideas for the Walker now, from the obvious – fix the shop site! – to the less obvious – shouldn’t we have a Spanish blog??… Exciting times. Now who’s going to invent me that time machine so I have enough hours to do all this work??