12 July 2014

Summer is in Full Swing

As evidenced by the fact that all sorts of biking has broken out, despite high water and epic flooding in parts of the Twin Cities. I am not one to stop for photos while I bike but if Nokomis is still stupidly flooded the next time I ride by, I just might have to... So what else have we been doing with our first summer as a married couple you might ask? Well, all sorts of fun things!

Not long after my last post, we departed for our honeymoon trip to Montreal & Quebec City. I uploaded the best of the photos to my Flickr page here: Honeymoon Album. We had a fantastic time in Canadia and I really enjoyed dusting off my French skills. Using them for email at work is not enough, I've discovered, particularly when dealing with the totally crazy French-Canadian accent. But I muddled through and everyone was super nice. I highly recommend repeating our exact itinerary to anyone. A great trip!

While we were on our honeymoon, the Twin Cities newest light rail line had it's official grand opening - Welcome to the Green Line! We were a bit bummed to miss all the 1st day celebrations but, fortunately, the train was still running when we got back. We took that first Saturday and had some excellent Green Line adventures:

A green line train, waiting and ready to go.
The platform at Victoria Street, our first stop.
Our first stop was Que Nha, our favorite Vietnamese restaurant in town.
We then took it to the end of the line, the newly restored St. Paul Union Depot.
Metro Transit's shiny new service facility, just past the SPUD.
Construction has begun next door on the new stadium for the St. Paul Saints.
Finally, we stopped at Tin Whiskers, a new brew-pub/taproom in downtown St. Paul.
In other news, you may have seen elsewhere on the intertubes, from members of my very own family, that my employer, The Toro Company, just celebrated the 100th anniversary of its' founding. It started off with a Centennial Celebration on the actual day, July 10th, 2014. The mayor of the City of Bloomington (where Toro HQ is located) and the Governor of our great state both came to speak. It was declared "Toro Day" across the whole state. We also had all sorts of equipment and historical items on display, in addition to our shiny new building, for all our guests to see:

Happy Birthday, Toro! 
This is a RT600 Trencher, one of Toro's newest pieces of equipment.
Hayter lawnmowers, built by our subsidiary in the UK.
Toro Commercial equipment.
A very early predecessor of the Workman vehicle above. I like the color. :-)
One of our first big hits for residential customers, the Snow Hound snowthrower.
More cake. This one was just destined to look pretty though.
Last night was the big celebration at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. We had something like 3000 people there between employees, retirees, customers, and vendors. It was a great party, in true Toro style. I feel very fortunate to have picked such a great place to work. In other news, my former employer has been sold to a French boat-building conglomerate. I made a good decision, I think.

The rest of this weekend will be spent immersed in sports - Le Tour and of course tomorrow is the final of the World Cup. I am rooting for Germany and looking forward to an exciting match. 


08 June 2014

Wedding Reception, Part Deux

I took Friday off of work and my parents, Andy and I headed down to scenic Cedar Rapids, IA for our second wedding reception. Andy's grandmother and most of his family live down there and, since she is not terribly mobile, it made sense to have a second party, increasing the likelihood that everyone could join us. We arrived on Friday afternoon in plenty of time to chat with our wedding planning coordinator person at the Cedar Rapids Marriott to finalize all the details. And meet her in person, since we'd only ever emailed prior to that moment.

Required tasks for the day complete, we headed to downtown Cedar Rapids for some dinner at the White Star Ale House, documented elsewhere by Gzmoohoo. The restaurant was excellent - take the waiter's recommendation and have the BBQ Pork Shanks. My god, so delicious. We took some time to walk around downtown a bit after we were done.

The Veteran's Memorial building, built in the 1920's.
The statue on the front steps.
The Linn County Courthouse, across a park/lawn from the veteran's building. Both are on an island in the middle of the Cedar River.
We woke Saturday morning to a whole day in front of us before the reception festivities began at 6:00pm. So, what is there to do in Cedar Rapids you might ask? Well, it just so happens that the Cedar Rapids Kernels are a Single-A affiliate of our very own Minnesota Twins. There wasn't a game scheduled for yesterday and it looked like rain but we thought maybe, if we were lucky, the pro shop would be open. So we drove on over to Veterans Memorial Stadium to try our luck.

Luck was on our side. Not only was the pro shop open (we all bought either a Tshirt or a hat), but they let us walk out into the concourse to explore the stadium:

This van is awesome on many levels.
Veterans Memorial.
Some lawn care going on at the field.
Twins territory.
My traveling companions.
It was wildly successful. Also, for those who might be curious, front row tickets behind home plate sell for $12. Who's up for a road trip later this summer to catch a game?

After some relaxing during the afternoon, we had a lovely reception with both sides of Andy's family. I felt extraordinarily welcomed and I am so glad to have met everyone who could make it. Here we are pictured with my mother and father in-law and all of her siblings and their spouses.

She has a lot of siblings, all of them super nice.
A great time was had by all and I can definitely say that I am very glad to be the newest member of their family. Now the countdown to the honeymoon begins!

01 June 2014

Extremely High Water at Minnehaha

I believe in my last post, I may have said something like "the water is positively gushing over the falls" in reference to Minnehaha. Well, since that time, we've gotten a lot more rain, including 2+ inches in the last 48 hours. Andy and I were curious to see what that meant for the creek and falls so we wandered over there this morning during a break in the storms:

Looking upstream from the falls, towards Hiawatha Ave.
Hiawatha and his Minnehaha
For reference, I'd urge you to check out Jimi's post here to see what the area around that statue usually looks like.


The falls from below.

We walked downstream a bit and came to this:

The water just past the deer-pen area bridge (Bridge #2)
Bridge #3, just downstream a bit towards the Mississippi
So needless to say, last week's adjective of "gushing" doesn't do today's observations justice. The water is extremely high and moving extremely fast. Beware of falling in. But it sure looks really cool. Stay dry, everyone.

22 May 2014

High Water at Minnehaha

Mr. MooHoo has been having a bit of user-error angst recently about his video of Minnehaha Falls. It's walking distance from our house and we took a stroll over that direction last night to take advantage of the (finally) glorious weather. It seemed an opportune moment to take some video. The water is positively gushing over the falls:


Next time it's down to a trickle, I'll take another video to compare. This is close to the fastest/highest I've ever seen the creek and falls. Very cool.

30 March 2014

Wedding Photos

So you may have heard that EMSA and I got married last week. It's been posted dutifully on the various family blogs here and here. We had such a wonderful wedding day - everything went off without a hitch. Thank you to everyone who came to the reception and helped us celebrate the first day of the rest of our lives together. You all made us feel so loved. And to those of you who helped make it happen - we couldn't have done it without you. Particular thanks to my dear friend Desi, my wedding planning assistant, and to our totally kickass wedding photographers.

Speaking of photography, here is one of my absolute favorites (we got the CD of photos in the mail yesterday):


I'll be putting more photos up on our wedding blog/website in the near future. They are all SO GREAT! We have the rights to all the photos (there are tons!), so just let me know if you want any prints. Now back to my regularly scheduled life with my new husband. We are working on using as many of our awesome wedding gifts as possible. The stand mixer and immersion blender both had their turn yesterday. Today, who knows?