Tag Archives: vacation

vacation in northern minnesota

We are amongst the many people that are lucky enough to have a family cabin in the woods in northern Minnesota.  We just had a nice vacation there and here is a brief synopsis of our time at 11th Crow Wing Lake.

We arrived around noon on a sunny summer day.  The lake was beautiful and as peaceful as ever.  Here’s our view from the deck:

This ginormous dragonfly was on the door.  Isn’t it beautiful?

And Lady of the Cakes will be so happy to see food in this post ;) We decided to cook our dinner in the camp fire the first night.  Here’s one of the fire builders at work:

Pretty soon we have a fire hot enough to cook corn.  First, we soaked it in water for about an hour.  Then wrapped it in foil and put them in the fire.  They took about 10-15 minutes.  We got our corn unwrapped, peeled, buttered and salted and then roasted our hot dogs.

And just look at how talented I am.  I can roast a weenie and take a picture at the same time!!

Ready, set, eat!!

Ready for more food?  I clipped a recipe in this week’s food section in the newspaper for a different kind of rhubarb crisp.  This was made with ginger snaps and “candied” ginger.  All the store in Walker had was crystallized ginger.  It was just a tad too gingery for me so I’m not going to make it again.  But it sure looks yummy doesn’t it? (if I do say so meself):

We always have beautiful sunsets over the lake.  Here’s a couple from our first night’s sunset:

Here’s one of my favorite photos this trip, the paddlers returning in the canoe:

Two more sunset photos from our last night there:

We are so fortunate to be able to enjoy this lovely spot.

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Sunday post – Architecture from Spain

Jakesprinter’s challenge this week is architecture.  I was inspired by adinparadise’s similar post for this week’s challenge and I decided to try and squeeze it into my busy holiday week. My menu is done, shopping list is made, now I can play a little.  Do check out her post as it’s full of great photos of my favorite country.  To see other entries click here.  I have posted some of these before, but it’s fun to rearrange them for another theme.  I do hope you’ll enjoy them.

La mezquita, Córdoba, Spain

Real alcázar entrance, Sevilla, Spain

Patio de las Doncellas, Real Alcázar, Sevilla

Beautiful ceiling in La Alhambra, Granada

One more from Granada:

From Barcelona:

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

A piece of the old Roman wall that surrounded the city – Barcelona

Inside the Barcelona cathedral

Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona

Another detail from the Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona

Mudejar architecture from Toledo, Spain

Mudejar architecture inside Malaga’s alcazaba

Plaza Mayor – Madrid

Madrid is full of these beautiful old doors:

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief snapshot of Spanish architecture!!

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Filed under Challenges, Spain

the worst day of the trip – Toledo, May 2010

This post has been rolling around in my head for a while and I guess it’s finally time to write it out.  What was “supposed” to be a magical day on our trip to Spain in May 2010, turned into the worst day of that trip unfortunately.  It was my 50th birthday and the reason for the trip, what we had saved and saved and saved for many years to do. Not only to go to Spain to celebrate, but also to spend my birthday in the city that had enchanted me over 30 years ago, Toledo.

Ah…the best laid plans of mice and men.  This theme tends to come up over and over in my life.

About 3 hours after we arrived in Madrid, our second stop of a two week adventure in Spain, I came down with an awful cold. The next day we had planned to go to both the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Prado, and although I enjoyed both museums immensely, I was not feeling well at all. The next day we had train tickets for Toledo.  I woke up feeling even worse than the day before but we had to go to Toledo, so off we went.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad, just mostly all bad, ha ha.  I tried to make the best of it but sometimes it was just plain hard to do.  So many things were closed, the alcázar, El Greco’s house, and the one where the woman practically slammed the gate on me, the Santa Cruz museum.  I had read in a couple of different places that this museum did not close for siesta. Well, on that day it did.  Here’s a pic of the mean lady who had just closed that gate:

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But the most disappointing thing that day was going to the sword maker’s shop and finding a notice (in Spanish) that his wife (we later learned it was actually his mother, his father and he have the same name) had just died and the funeral had been the previous day so they were understandably closed.  Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men.  We soldiered on, filled up the day, and hubby did finally get to buy his sword, he just had to come back 10 months later to do it(click here to see my post of that trip).

One positive thing about that day was that there are some nice pics from this day trip and I’m sharing them here.  Starting with the newer train station built with mudejar architecture:

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And the windows inside are beautiful:

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Typical streets in Toledo:

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The food was fabulous everywhere we went in Spain and Toledo is no exception. Here is a plate of sausage, anchoa y aceitunas (anchovies and olives), a pork and fries dish and pan (bread), always there is pan.

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The alcázar, which was closed:

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The most scenic countryside:

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Love the mudejar architecture:

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We went in the enormous and beautiful catedral, here it is from the outside(no pics allowed inside):

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And then back in Madrid that evening for my birthday dinner at Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world.  Here we are toasting my 50 years:

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Dinner was fabulous and I wished I had had room for dessert. Alas, it was not to be but I did start to feel just a little bit better after dinner and then the next day a bit better yet and the cold eventually went away.

The rest of the story is that we went back to Toledo the following March, had the best short trip in doing so and it made up for this one bad day I experienced there.  Toledo is a great day trip from Madrid and I recommend it highly.

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Filed under Madrid, Spain, Toledo

National Automobile Museum – Reno, NV

The original Reno sign was moved in 1995 to welcome visitors to the museum

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Reno to continue celebrating our 21st anniversary. We had dinner at the St. Paul Grill on the day of our anniversary. Since we had some flight vouchers to use before they expired and the hotel was a great deal, we decided to take a trip for our anniversary as well later in the month.  Reno is a very special place for us as we got engaged and spent our honeymoon there.  The last time we were there was for our 10th anniversary, so, it was time to go again.

A couple of the earliest automobiles

One thing we really enjoyed the last time we were there was the Automobile Museum. It’s about a 4-5 block walk from our hotel so we picked the nicest day to take our stroll and once again we viewed the cars on display.  The museum, born from the collection of Bill Harrah (of gaming fame), houses over 200 cars that are displayed in 4 galleries.  It is like walking through the history of the automobile as you start the tour at the turn of the 20th century with myriad cars from the first two decades of automobiles. And you move through the decades up to the 60s, with a handful of cars from the 70s in the last gallery.

There were so many cars, I couldn’t photograph them all.  But I especially liked this one from the first gallery with what we labeled “pic-a-nic” baskets (channel your inner Yogi Bear) strapped to the sides of the vehicle. Later on the baskets were replaced by other contraptions to hold your belongings.

There are displays of clothing, hats, stockings and handbags appropriate for that gallery’s era.  At right is one of these displays.  I wondered if these weren’t added to appeal to folks that aren’t necessarily interested in cars, say, female partners of car fanatics perhaps? But they were also very interesting.  The museum isn’t just about cars, it does a great job of the history of the era.  Between galleries 3 and 4 are displays of some of the earliest gas pumps(below), for example, and there is music playing in each gallery that is appropriate for that gallery’s era of cars.


In between galleries are more cars displayed on period streets.  This street has cars from the 1930s and you can see the earliest gas pumps on display at the right. On the street from the 50s I noticed a few old TVs showing The Three Stooges and I Love Lucy.

In Gallery 2 there was a copper Rolls Royce.  Isn’t it stunning?

Just outside Gallery 3 sits a circa 1960s Coca Cola machine, complete with bottle opener.  I remember these machines.  In fact, I have a pic of myself when I was about 6 years old in front of a machine that looks alot like this one(at right).

I found this car(below) of particular interest since it is called the Hispano-Suiza and after reading about it I learned the company was based in Barcelona, Spain. It was originally formed by a Spanish artillery captain and a Swiss engineer.  I also learned that Hispano-Suiza united with a Spanish bank and a group of Spanish industrial  companies to form a company that led to Spain’s first mass production car maker SEAT. Below is the emblem on the grille displaying both the Spanish and Swiss flags.  And then a pic of the Hispano-Suiza 12J.

Gallery 3 houses John Wayne’s Corvette which was the 51st Corvette made in 1953:

As soon as I saw this car’s front end I knew it was a Chrysler.  My father loved Chryslers and we had several when I was a child. So, I had to snap this pic in honor of my father:

On the walk back to our hotel we passed the newer Reno sign:

And then at night:

Hubby and I had a fun long weekend in Reno and we didn’t lose the farm.  I highly recommend the National Automobile Museum not just for a break from gambling, but for the history lesson and fun eye candy, as hubby called it, it provides.

National Automobile Museum, 10 South Lake Street, Reno, NV

http://www.automuseum.org/

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