Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 83, 7/30/10 - Forest Lake to St. Paul, MN

Just the Basics: As planned, this morning we rented a car in Forest Lake, leaving our bikes at the car dealership, and drove to Minneapolis-St. Paul, where Riley grew up. We had already reserved a spot at a Days Inn in St. Paul near where Riley's family lived, and where Becky's mom went to college, and where our friends Kathy, Guillermo and Sonia live - we will be staying with them on Sunday.

We've been busy since we arrived! We:
  • Did some much-needed shopping at REI - among other things, we needed to replace our once bright-yellow safety vests; between the long hours in the sun and frequent washing they had faded to the point of being not-so-very-good safety vests;

  • Had lunch at a Baker's Square - with great pie;

  • Walked through Riley's old neighborhood where we saw the two different places his maternal grandparents lived when he was a child, and the two houses where Riley and his family lived after they moved out of the houseboat on the Mississippi River where he lived as a very young child;

  • Visited the old Carnegie Library which was an important part of Riley's childhood and which was still there and going strong;

  • Went to Langford Park where he learned to ice skate and College Park where he first tried skiing;

  • Went to Hamline University from which Becky's mom graduated in 1940 - we went to the library and found the 1940 yearbook with her senior picture. Becky wasn't sure what year her mom had graduated, but thought the library might have yearbooks so we headed there. The student staffers at the front desk directed her to the yearbooks but weren't sure how extensive the collection was. On the way up to their spot on the 3rd floor she saw the office of the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and went in to see if anyone there could help. It being late in the afternoon on a Friday, there was no-one at the front desk, but Mike Reynolds, an English professor who just became the Associate Dean of Students was working in his office and came out to see what she wanted. He helpfully called the alumni office to see if anyone there could help but they were closed, so he left a message and got Becky's email address so that he could let her know if he got a response on Monday!

  • Riley also went to the Hamline University book store and bought the American history book he's been wanting - A Short History of the United States, by Robert V. Remini;

  • Went to a laundromat (we need to wash every 3-4 days as we carry so little clothing); and

  • Had a great Thai dinner in a little neighborhood place across the street from the laundromat. After great entrees, we shared a dessert new to us - fresh mango with sweet sticky rice YUM!.
Today's Photos: (1) The house Riley's mom lived in after her family came to MN where her dad became a Professor of Entomology and Dept. Chair at the U of MN - they still lived there when Riley was young; and (2) The Mississippi River, as seen in Brainerd, MN - somehow we failed to post it at the time we took it.

Tomorrow: We will be in the Twin Cities until Monday morning, 8/2.

For Those Who Want More: You've gotten what there is for today - it's our traditional Friday Date Night - we'll see you tomorrow!

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