Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 85, 8/1/10 - St. Paul, MN

Just the Basics: We spent most of the day with our friends Kathy and Sonia(mother/daughter), who just moved to St. Paul. We went to Como Park where Riley often picnicked as a child and had a picnic lunch. We went on the paddle boats and had dessert in the Black Bear Crossing restaurant on Lake Como and then went to the Zoo - a highlight was the butterfly habitat. There is a special screened habitat made of shade cloth in the shape of a giant Monarch butterfly caterpillar (painted appropriately) and full of butterfly-attracting plants. People walk through and butterflies are freely flying everywhere, lighting on plants and little dishes of fresh fruit - one even landed on Becky's blue shirt. Before leaving the exhibit you have to check your clothing carefully to be sure you're not taking any butterflies outside with you!

There was also a great display of the rain forest, with many plants and animals and with a theme of a biology expedition - illustrated journal pages as signs, various trunks and other containers scattered around, of the sort which might be used to ship specimens, et cetera. The zoo and conservatory are free, although they suggest $2 donations for adults and $1 for children!

We also finally got some bike trip business cards made at a Kinko's across from Hamline University. Several of the cyclists we've met have cards - typically with their names and the URL of their blogs, sometimes more. We keep writing this info about us on paper napkins, the backs of other people's cards, et cetera, and wishing we had cards too - now we do. The folks at Kinko's weren't busy and a staff person and Becky designed the card in about 5 minutes and then they were printed and cut and she was out the door within about 15 minutes of coming in!

Photos: (1) Water lilies at Como Park Zoo; (2) Sonia climbing the wall in the playground at the Minnesota Friends School in St. Paul

Tomorrow: We have to drive back to Forest Lake to return our rental car and pick up our bikes. We then set off to see how far we can go. Weather permitting we will almost certainly get to Stillwater, MN but hope to go further. We just got the maps for this next section of the trip, so are still figuring things out.

For Those Who Want More: Maybe later - we want to visit with Kathy and Sonia, whom we haven't see for more than 2 years!

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