Archive for September 15th, 2010

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today actually got off to a good start. I was sad to say goodbye to Andrea and Anna, but was excited about going to The Mall of America. And the day got even better when I saw signs for Laura Ingalls Wilder Information. I loved the Little House on the Prairie books and TV show, and couldn’t help but pull an impromptu detour to find out more. It took a while, but the signs finally led to a building in Menomonie, Wisconsin. There they had what appeared to be hand drawn maps and mimeographed brochures that led you to all the Little House sites in six states! I knew I’d never make it to the Mall if I tried to get to one of the sites today, so I’ll get up early and try to find one tomorrow.

Wrong choice. I should’ve blown off the Mall. Yes, it’s huge. Yes, it has all sorts of cool, different stores, like a great photo archive store, but I have a whole room full of craft stuff back home that I never do anything with and will need to get rid of when I move to the city, so I didn’t even let myself go in. It also has all the normal stores. In fact, the only thing I bought was from the Nordstrom Rack, and I could’ve done that in Framingham, Mass! 

I really just wasn’t in a shopping mood. It would’ve been better if Nick was there – he would’ve loved it. Or if some of my girlfriends were with me. Or if I had money to blow. I kept thinking how I’d much rather be at a Minnesota Vikings or Timberwolves or Twins game or a concert or show – just not shopping! (I think there really might be something wrong with me…) The one highlight was that I did finally get my manicure and pedicure while I was there. My feet are much happier now. After that, though, I gave up. I knew I was just going to wander aimlessly and get even more tired and grouchy so I left. My apologies to all the women of America for letting you down. Just couldn’t be Shopping Queen today.

So yes, this blog entry has the world’s shortest slideshow. Guess I just had to show that I actually went to Mall of America, that there’s a full amusement park in the middle of it and let you all see how the boys of Minnesota spend their time (last pic). That made me laugh.

I suppose they can’t all be good days, right? One dud day out of seven ain’t bad. I think tomorrow will be better, so long as I get some sleep… Oh – and as soon as I got to the motel I turned the TV on and Little House on the Prairie was on. It’s a sign!

Read Full Post »

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I didn’t drive a car once today: woo hoo! Andrea took the wheel and we (along with Anna, the happiest baby in the whole world) went to The House on the Rock and Frank Lloyd Wright’s summer home Taliesen. Well, we officially visited The House on the Rock – paid admission and toured the house and everything – and trespassed on the grounds of Taliesen. (Hey – admission is $47 per person for the tour and children aren’t allowed, so officially touring wasn’t an option. And since I was that close to a Frank Lloyd Wright home, I HAD to get some pictures…)

The House on the Rock is really pretty indescribable. It is so strange and fascinating. I’m convinced the guy was on pretty heavy drugs and that it was a great party place – I’ve nicknamed it the Love Shack. Maybe the B-52s partied there too. Complete with red shag rug on the floor AND ceiling, and many intimate little cubbies with couches for private trysts. I think they should make a movie about it. And if it really wasn’t such as sordid tale (that’s certainly not the story they give in the visitor’s center) maybe someone should do a fictional one based there. Could even be a horror film, as some of his collections are pretty creepy…

After that, as I mentioned, we trespassed on the grounds of Taliesin and I took a few photos from as close as we dared. I was then pleasantly surprised to find another Frank Lloyd Wright building right in downtown Madison! The pictures above of the building with the big windows on the lake are of Monona Terrace, which was Frank’s ‘dream civic center.’ While it took 50 years to get it built, it was definitely worth it.

After walking around Monona Terrace, we ate dinner at Brocach Irish Pub in Madison at the recommendation of my friend Monica, who knows the owners, who also happen to be from Massachusetts. Great place – thanks Monica – I highly recommend it! After dinner Tom took Anna home and Andrea and I wandered the city. It’s a great little city. I could definitely live here. I asked Andrea and Tom why they love it here and they both stressed that there is always so much to do, without the negative things (like high crime and traffic) that come with big cities. The people are another reason – the friendliness and diversity. I saw all of those things in my time here. And even got to sample the great frozen custard. Yuuuuummmm…. Really wish I wasn’t leaving tomorrow!

Read Full Post »