Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Little Winter Fun

I had a very good weekend. Despite temperatures in the mid-teens, I decided to go out and enjoy the day on Saturday. According to the paper, there was to be a kite flying rally at Lake Harriet from noon to four.

I left the house around ten and went to the library. I love our library. There were kids running around, students studying, people perusing the stacks, weird guys on the computer. It was awesome. I went to the holds shelves and picked up my cds and the book I'd been waiting for. On my way out, I stopped at the coffee counter and got a pumpkin spice latte to go.

From there I drove to Walgreen’s. I had to pick up some batteries and I needed to get something that could cover my iPod. I ended up finding a pack of 3 rubber skins that also included a neck strap and arm band. All for $10! If that's a bad deal, I don't wanna know. I thought it was a pretty good deal. The only problem was that they were encased in that hard plastic shell stuff. I could not get it out without ripping the whole thing apart.

I got to Lake Harriet around 11:30 and other than people jogging, walking, and skiing, no one was around. I walked around a bit and met a cool couple with the BEST dog, Parker. Parker was a 7 month old Schnauzer/Lab mix and he was just cuter than cute. The dog met me first and greeted me with a big jump, lick, and a head bump. As is the fashion of people meeting other people with dogs, instead of talking to the people with the dog, I started talking to the dog. I found out (from his people) that his name is Parker, he's 7 months old and he was a pound dog. We chatted a big and I found out that they were there for the kite festival too.

Before I left the park, there were about three families out on the frozen lake flying kites. I walked out on the lake myself. I took a picture of my feet standing on the frozen lake and thought of how exactly one year ago, those same feet were standing in warm Atlantic Ocean waters. Standing out on a frozen lake was not quite as fun, though it was exhilarating. I was standing about 100 feet out from the shore. In the summer, I couldn't have going swimming as far out as I was standing. It's one of the fun things about winter in the North.

That reminds me of a story. When I was in my mid-twenties, I lived in Frederick, MD. I shared a townhouse with two friends. One of the friends was from Austin, TX originally. One of the things we used to like to do together was watch ice skating on TV. My roommate mentioned that when she was growing up, she used to love to ice skate. Right away the picture in my head was of my friend as a young girl skating on an outdoor pond. Yet that picture seemed incongruent because I knew Texas to be of a warmer climate. I could not put the two together. She must have sensed my confusion and then told me that she skated indoors in arenas much like the skaters on TV. Oh. Duh. All my ice skating up to that point had been outside on ponds, lakes, and man-made rinks. My frame of reference was so small at that time. It must be like that with people in warmer climates who can't imagine a whole lake freezing over, let alone walking or driving on it.

Anyway, after checking out the kite flying, I decided I needed some lunch. I drove to Calhoun Square in Uptown thinking I might check out a nice sandwich shop. I stopped by Figlio but even their lunch prices were kind of steep. I walked outside and right away was enticed by the most amazing of aromas. I walked by a hole in the wall Mediterranean place. There were chickens on rotisseries and lamb on spits. There was strombolli in ovens and potatoes roasting. This place had no art, no decorations, no themes, and no real ambiance. Yet the smell of the food cooking was enough to make me stay. I ordered a gyro with potatoes. It took a while for the guy to prepare it, but I had a book and was OK waiting. Once he served it up, I knew I was in trouble. There was way more food than I could eat but I loaded up my pita with home made cucumber sauce, lamb, tomatoes, and lettuce and had at it. The pita was toasted and warm; the lamb was crispy and tender. The potatoes were so soft and warm I could hardly leave them alone. It was one of the simplest meals and yet it tasted so good I could barely stand to have leftovers. Thankfully the guy at the counter gave me a to-go box. Leftovers!

I left Uptown and decided that after that wonderful warm lunch I was not ready to go back into the frigid cold and needed a taste of spring. So I headed to the Mall of America where I had heard they had the world's largest tulip show in bloom.

Thousands of others must have had the same idea since there was a huge line of cars wrapped around the mall and in all the parking ramps. Once inside the mall, the crowds were Christmas shopping season large. Still, once I found the first plot of tulips, all that was forgotten. There were thousands of beautiful, colorful, spring-like tulips growing all over the park. It's a shame that tulips don't smell because I would have buried my nose in the bunch and inhaled until my nose fell off. As it was, I took a bunch of pictures in hopes of bringing spring home with me.

Once I'd had enough of crowds, noise, and bratty children, I headed back to Lake Harriet in hopes of finding more kite flyers. On the way, I missed my exit and got stuck in the Pond Hockey Championship traffic. Gah! Still, I made my way out and got back to the lake around 3:30. There about a half dozen people out on the lake flying kites so I stopped and took some pictures. Not only were there kite flyers out on the lake, there were ice fisherman, skiers, skaters, and snowshoers. Lots of people were braving the cold in order to have a little winter fun.

Once home, I decided to clean off my laptop and Bob's computer. I backed up all the important stuff to disk and deleted it from both our computers. I ran the defrag program and rebooted both machines. Then I uploaded the new pics to my Flickr account. All in all, it was a very good day.

Today wasn't as good in entertainment value though it was quite productive. I made a pot of chili, did our laundry, cleaned the cat boxes, vacuumed, ran the dishwasher, and ran by the pet store to get some fish food.

The only thing I wished I could have done differently was to get more sleep. I don't know what it is about winter, but I feel as though I could sleep all day every day. I want to hibernate like a bear. Although if I did hibernate, I would not have had the chance to enjoy the day like I did yesterday. It was cold, windy, blustery, and frigid and yet I really had fun. It wasn't the same kind of fun I had last year in Florida or the same kind of fun my parents are going to have in Jamaica this week, but it was fun of the winter kind.






1 comment:

farmerbarb said...

I love this entry! You made me feel like I was right there with you. Great pics too!