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.