This weekend was pretty snazzy.
On Saturday I went on a motorcycle ride with a bunch of friends. My friend Courtney rode on the back of my bike, and the group of us took a series of winding rural roads from St. Paul to Taylors Falls, MN. It was cool and overcast the entire day, but all of the weather radar info (on the gazillion or so smartphones we had between us) said the chance of rain was minimal, so off we went!
We rode through some really beautiful areas, and after about an hour and a half of riding we stopped to eat lunch at Taylors Falls. We ate at a drive-in hot dog/hamburger diner-slash-mini golf place that had horribly addicting fried green beans (thank goodness they had vegetables alongside all of the burger and fries options!) and really yummy, frosty root beer.
After lunch Courtney and I headed back toward Minneapolis, and along the way we stumbled across this incredible sculpture garden called Franconia Sculpture Park. The place was gigantic – they had probably 30 installations spread over a large area of farmland, and we saw artists working on new pieces throughout the park. Everything was connected by black pebble walkways and paths mowed through knee-high wild grass. Some of the exhibits reminded me of the St. Louis City Museum – they were interactive and invited the public to touch, climb and play.
After we left Franconia, we stopped briefly in Stillwater to walk around downtown. We sat down at one of the coffee shops and suddenly it hit us – were both exhausted from the ride. Riding on a motorcycle can sometimes zap your energy – I think it’s a combination of having the sun shine directly on you and having to push against the wind for long periods of time. Whatever it was, we were done, so we took the quick route back to Minneapolis and each ran home to take naps. I usually hate naps – waste of time! – but mine felt really, really good on Saturday!
On Sunday I went rollerblading around Lake Calhoun and then came back home to have some breakfast and watch an episode of Battlestar Galactica. In the afternoon I went into work at the bookstore for a couple of hours, which was great because I had stepped down from part-time to seasonal back in May, so I had a chance to catch up with a bunch of work buddies who I hadn’t seen for about a month.
When I left work it was sunny and in the mid-80s, so I decided to head back out to Lake Calhoun – this time with my fancy-schmancy scuba fins, mask and snorkel. The sun had been shining on the lake all afternoon, so it was relatively warm. Aside from the popular bandaid and hair tie specimens, there’s not much to see in Lake Calhoun from a snorkeling perspective, but it was neat to fin around and play for a while.
After I got out of the water I just sat on the sand and marveled at the lake – it really is very beautiful. The blue water stretched out before me and there were several sailboats and windsurfers zipping across the water. The shoreline around Lake Calhoun has never been sold privately, so all areas of the lakefront are open to the public. There are bike and walking paths that encircle the lake and three beaches, one seafood restaurant at the north end of the lake, and a place to rent kayaks, canoes and paddleboats. From the south end of the beach you can see the entire Minneapolis downtown skyline rising above the trees.
I hung out at the north-end beach area for about an hour and then came home to do some chores. Well, that’s what I meant to do. In reality I watched another episode of BSG, played on the internet for a bit and then went to bed. The dishes and laundry can always wait 🙂