The Best Ideas Come from Camping.

Matt and I formalized these plans the other night while sitting by the campfire:

  1. Go to the Keys in a couple weeks.
  2. Go to Puerto Rico and a bunch of other islands in February next year.
  3. Go to New Orleans or somesuch in the spring/fall dead zone when it’s not actually pleasant in Minnesota, since we have a voucher to burn. Hopefully with friends, provided we remind them regularly in advance.
  4. Go back to Hawaii in Fall 2014.
  5. Go back to Jamaica in February 2015.
  6. Get the hell out of Minnesota permanently.

I think it could work. (If one of us get laid off or something like that in the meantime, I’ll take it as a sign that it’s time to go early.)

In other news:

A few weeks ago, we took our second trip to the state fair (always go twice, because there’s way too much to do there). It was a very warm and humid day, and the entire state turned out along with us, but it was great. We met an old drunk Minneapolis math teacher who told us ALLLLL his opinions about the state of education (short version: it’s terrible and not getting any better), and also told me before he left that I was going to totally regret my decision to not have kids. Uh, ok. Please note that he did not tell Matt the same thing.

We also met a guy who works at McAfee and spent much time reminiscing about the olden days of the internet, when your 14.4 modem was the hottest new thing. It was fantastic. (I resisted asking him about his crazy company owner, but I really wanted to.)

The Luminarium was a good break from the heat, and it was even better than last year’s.


After we emerged from the weird inflatable world, we went to go meet up with everyone who was going to the Macklemore show that night. We found Bill and Katie at the beer exhibit, then Jumi and Josh arrived, and then we eventually found Wendy and Amelia while having a fast dinner. We all headed to our various seats during the opening act, which was good timing since Talib Kweli was up next. I’ve wanted to see him since [jesus, this came out in 1998!], so this was my big chance. And it was all going very well until the storm blew in, the lightning started, and they announced that we were being evacuated from the grandstand.

We piled out of there and malingered under cover for a while, then went to go find Jumi and Josh elsewhere under the grandstand. After 40 minutes or so, they decided to let everyone back in. Even though it wasn’t that long a wait at all, apparently a ton of people gave up and left. No longer was it sold out, and the eight of us got to sit together. I finally got to see saw Talib Kweli, and the Macklemore set was really entertaining. Even with the evacuation, it was a great time.

We had a pretty quiet two weeks after that… a trip to Canterbury, Pacific Rim at the Riverview, the second Trivial Decisions (which prompted me to start writing a trivia-scoring application), one billion meetings at work (last week was hella stressful, but this week is back to the normal level of awesome), a furnace-and-A/C replacement, a patio improvement project, and a lot of packaging and shipping off stuff we’ve sold on eBay. (We’re over $1500 total now, after fees and shipping costs. Crazy.)

And then there was CAMPING. There were six of us with two campsites on an island in the Mississippi River backwaters at Merrick State Park. The place was great, with one huge dealbreaker of an exception: the trains. They run along the river and therefore directly through the park, and they love to blow their whistles all night long. That, together with the fishing boats tearing by at the break of dawn made it less than perfect, but I’m glad we stayed there regardless.

The awesome things:

  • Since we were right on the water, we docked the boats at the campsite. Six boats for six people… five kayaks and Josh’s fishing boat. Not overkill at all.
  • Somebody two sites down had a giant Packers shelter. We hung our Minnesota flag right on the edge of the river so people didn’t mistake us for those people.
  • Matt, Wendy, and I rode with Josh into town – Fountain City, WI – because apparently he has a Kwik Trip fetish. We climbed off the boat and found a giant tractor pulling a decorated trailer full of a wedding party, which is apparently something you do in Wisconsin. We also stopped into a huge Irish pub that brewed their own beer.
  • The kayaking there is spectacular. There are all kinds of birds (including angry whooping cranes) and turtles.
  • The drive is also great; I’ve never taken the Wisconsin side of the Great River Road, but there’s a lot of seriously adorable stuff to see there. I want to go back and spend more time in those towns.

I’m still in denial about the camping season being over already, but I guess we’re at least approaching the winter travel and holiday season. That’s something.

In further news, today is our 2nd anniversary!! Matt sent me flowers at work because he’s awesome, and we’re having dinner at Marin tonight. In keeping with our decision to take a trip every year for our anniversary, reference item #1 at the very top of this post.

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