Saturday, July 12, 2008


(I apologize if the fonts are wonky in this post. They seem wonky in my previews.)

We recently took our yearly camping vacation to WI. We generally camp to save on motel fees although we did spend one night in a motel. This allows us to visit family and play tourist.

This year we did some different activities than normal. We did more touristy stuff than family visits. It was a nice break and I took LOTS and LOTS of photos. In the last 3 or so weeks, I have visited 4 different zoos, the National Eagle Center and the estimated birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I'll be posting the majority of the vacation pictures in the coming weeks on my picture blog. I will try to place notes here when I do update the other blog.

I went to the Assiniboine Park Zoo with my son on the 23rd of June. We've been meaning to do this for the entire 16 yrs we've lived on the Can/Am border. The other places were visited while on a camping vacation with my mom. Kiddo stayed home and babysat the dogs. We hit those places between the 29th of June and 2nd of July.

Here is an email I sent to some friends after we arrived home from our trip. Some of it is repeat from above. Please bear with me, I'm too lazy to edit tonight :)

Hi all,

We arrived home last Wed. night about midnight. We had no internet until last night due to a bad modem and some line work being done. Poor kid had no internet for 3 days before we got home. He didn't bother to tell us until late Wed. which was too late for us to call. We had a technician come out on Mon. and installed a new modem/router as ours was nearly 4 years old and was one of their first. Needless to say, I got a bunch of shows watched up on the DVR which was good because we only had 14 hours left on Wed. night when we arrived home.

The trip was fantastic!! We visited 3 zoos while on our trip: Irvine Park Zoo ( in Chippewa Falls, WI, MN Zoo ( in Apple Valley, MN and Como Park Zoo ( in St. Paul, MN. Those zoos came on the heels of going to the Assiniboine Park Zoo ( in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CA with Charles the Monday before we left. We also went to the National Eagle Center ( in Wabasha, MN. I'll post pictures as soon as I finish sifting and resizing for email. I have to say right now that the National Eagle Center was my FAVORITE. Those are the most majestic birds on the earth!!!!

We also visited with a couple of relatives, but unlike most trips we didn't fuss about visiting them. We did it on OUR time and kept it short and sweet. No pressure and lots of time to ourselves to just relax. Most years, we go nuts trying to visit everyone and jam so much into the time that we get overtired and very cranky. The cooler weather helped things quite a bit as well. We had a couple of rain showers the first two nights, but nothing major. Neither tent leaked or had any troubles. Most days the tents were dry by 10 thanks to the great breeze that kept blowing. Where we camped didn't get the sun until after 9am. That is one of the joys of being in a valley in a valley.

Mom took me on tours of the area. We spent some time searching for various family homes and grave sites which is not easy when towns and buildings dwindle. A couple of the old family farms only have a half a silo left or maybe an old shed. Some cemeteries are hidden behind huge new barns or forests. We couldn't find the grave site of Mom's Dad which is also were her sister Donna was buried. Donna died at 4 months back in '40 or so. Mom has only been their once and that was when her dad died in '77. We found out too late where her maternal grandmother is buried. It's in Porcupine...which isn't exactly on the map. Gotta love country places. We even spent some time at the birth site of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Mom grew up in Pepin, WI. We laughed and laughed at how the old dump site is now a RV park. By looking at it you can't tell it was the city dump. My aunt Violet even has a camper in there. It's funny how I've seen many of these sites before, but I was able to enjoy them more this year. Maybe it was because we were so doggone relaxed and unrushed.

Kiddo did great staying home alone even though he had a sick dog. I almost had to come home, but I had Charles give Smokie lots of skits (dog biscuits). She was being pukey due to not eating much. This gave her something in her tummy which helped. Poor dog! She actually did better than Amy which we expected to be extremely mopey.

I just finished reading the digest from my time away. I am praying for all things mentioned. (((hugz))) to those close to the tragedies or going through rough times.

Mom had her cardiology appointment yesterday. She is back in A-fib, but not as bad as before. She will have another Cardioversion on the 30th.

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