Saturday, August 16, 2014

Kayaking in Wisconsin

Back in one of those cold months like February or March, I saw a Groupon for kayaking with River Kayak Guides. What do you do in winter but dream of the things you'll do when it's not winter? And a 2 for 1 kayak trip sounded just right! I immediately purchased one for me and John then convinced my co-worker/conspirator to buy one for him and his wife.

Then months went by....

Then I realized we only had like 3 weeks to use these suckers! It was summer!

Perfect beer holder
John, Steve, Cerina, and I played hookie on a perfectly warm June Friday and headed towards Wisconsin. Our half day water excursion started in River Falls, WI, which from what I hear is quite the party area. As Cerina said, "[Kayaking] is the most grown up thing I've done in River Falls!" Our kayak company met us and four others to unload boats and push off down the Kinnickinnic River. It's mostly protected along the riverbanks so you don't see cars or roads or any other civilization. As the Kayak Guides website informs us:
"The lower canyon of the Kinnickinnic River is a natural spring-fed class I trout stream that runs approximately eight miles from River Falls to the St. Croix River. The river has little to no development and is actively protected by the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust."
Our 8 mile adventure couldn't have been better....well for everyone but John. The water was moving steadily, our kayaks had beer holders, and the weather was a perfect 80 degrees. I can't image the river being any shallower, which apparently, it gets. Our boats hit the bottom multiple times. John hadn't been kayaking in a looong time (maybe never, but he won't admit it), so he was a little rusty. He did alright for the most part except for a tree that wanted to take him out. Luckily, Steve was near by to help him out. Damn trees.

I had a fantastic time! I recommend River Kayak and the Kinnickinnic River. It took about 3 hours to float down. We topped off our adventure with a Diary Queen Blizzard. Best Blizzard of my life! Don't ask how we felt the next day. It wasn't pretty.

Summer To-do #20-- Done!!

This is an inside joke for Alicia.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rockin' the Garden

The high mark of summer in Minneapolis is checking out the line-up at Rock the Garden, a festival sponsored by The Currect radio station and the Walker "Arts" Center. This year they stretched the one day fest into a two-dayer, June 21-22. Sadly, even with two days chalked full of diverse music, none of the bands really appealed to me. I would've chosen Sunday for Spoon and Guided by Voices, but John and I wanted to spend the annual event with our co-Garden groupies, Rachel, Jenna, and Sarah. Saturday was when they wanted to go, so be it!

Rock the Garden is nestled on the hilly green next the arts center. In case it's not obvious, the fest is all about spending hours lounging on a picnic blanket, drinking beer and listening to music. We had a perfect spot on the lawn that was graced by the shade first.

John and I used our earned adulthood to have not just one but TWO Talenti ice creams as our main meal. Sarah B. devoured an extra-long corn dog. I also enjoyed Nitch's Kitchen's New Zealand meat pie. Yum! We were in luck this year since a friend of a friend was in the VIP tent where the Summit beer flows free.

The only band I though I might like to see was Best Coast, a surfer rock band that reminds me a bit of The Breeders. Sadly, I wasn't really impressed. They played fine but it was nothing to get excited about. Jeremy Messersmith put on a good performance but it's not my thing. Lizzo and De La Soul were respectable acts that I probably would have never seen if it hadn't been for Rock the Garden. The band that did rock my socks off was Matt and Kim. Holy Mother. They were amazing! They owned that audience. Kim stood on her drums to play them. They gave out balloons to the audience to heighten the visual stimulation. They had people crowd surf backwards. Cats and dogs were living together. Mass hysteria. 

I, of course, was impressed with the recycling and composting managed by Eureka Recycling with a zero-waste goal. They work with the vendors before hand to make sure the only things served are recyclable or compostable. There were a few surprises like the Talenti ice cream wrappers and balloons that Matt&Kim threw out to the crowd.

Things to Do #10 done! 

Sarah B and her 'dog
Can't beat the view

Girls with Post-It mustaches

Matt and Kim rocking out
Free water from City of Mpls