Monday, June 27, 2016

Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, MN

It has been about three years or so since I have been to the Minnesota Zoo. We were really hoping to do the new playground they had their but water levels were too high and it was closed. They still had fun at the water splash area and the park with the beehive.

Being that it was summer the Aveda butterfly garden was back and that is always a hit with my kids. We didn't see all of the butterflies and moths that were on the sheet butt we did see quite a few and it was fun to get up close to so many of them.

The one thing that is really awesome about the Minnesota Zoo is that the enclosures can be quite large but on the flip side for those of us visiting that means a lot of walking. I really enjoyed seeing some of the animals and creatures we have not seen in any other Zoo before period I wish I could remember the name of the street at in the picture Kama I will have to Google it, but it sounds like it is comparable to a sloth. Maybe slightly more active but not too much more. I had never seen one of them before. A lot of the animals seem to be pretty alert when we were there first thing in the morning. The zoo opens up at 9 a.m. and we were shortly there after that.

My son was quite small the last time we had been here so he doesn't really remember anything from the zoo. Although he has not been deprived of Zeus, we have gone to many and often we go to zoos when we travel. I decided that this summer we would get a Zoo membership. It will be a full year membership but I am hoping to get there once a month for the summer. We usually do memberships to zoos and museums and rotate which ones we do. It has been a long time since we have had this Zoo membership and I figured we were due.

This is a picture of the big aquarium in the tropical encounters Wing but there is a huge area of aquariums if you go to the other side of the zoo. That is also inside. I didn't take any pictures they are this time, or at least not with my phone. I am sure when we go back there sometime in the winter I will get more pictures.

This time we only went around and saw the exhibits. We didn't get to quite all of them because we had been there for quite a while already and we're getting tired and since we have a membership to the Minnesota Zoo now we can come back and see them. Also we did not see any shows this time either. I figured that would be something fun to save for other visits. This time we just wanted to get around and see all the animals and the parks. I plan to take the kids again in July and hopefully that new Nature park within the zoo will be open. It says it is seasonal so they would like to experience it before it's season is over. And we will try to see a show or two.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Minnesota Bucket List Postcard

I received these Postcards From the Owatonna Chamber of Commerce. I really like the top one titled marvels of Minnesota. I thought it would be a neat sort of bucket list as we make our way around to different parts of Minnesota. The Louis Sullivan Bank is in Owatonna and featured on here. On the way to our cabin we passed by the big walleye in Garrison.

We have seen the some Broda Covered Bridge, the spoon and Cherry in Minneapolis comma and I have seen the Jolly Green Giant before it was moved but the kids have not seen it. I have been to the Spam Museum in Austin but it just reopened in a new and much larger location so I will have to take the family to see that sometime soon to. There are a lot of things on here we have not seen. Most of them are just oversized statues.

Why does my phone turn the picture when I had it right side up. Ugh.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

She Is......Women in the Outdoors Weekend at Eagle Bluff

Let me tell you a little bit about She Is. It is a nonprofit organization that plans outings for women to do as a group. This is my third year going to the she is spring women's weekend. They do have one coming up in the fall but it will be hard for me to know whether or not I can attend that one because of when my kids might have swim meets.

The spring weekend is held at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in Lanesboro Minnesota. When you register for this weekend you will pick out classes in your order of preference. Each person will get for classes but you rank 10 of them in your preference order. I think there was about 25 classes to choose from so there is a wide variety of things to do outside and inside. I tend to gravitate towards the ones where I can be most active.

The above picture is me on the ropes course and the zip line. I have done this class each of the three years I have gone. I find it to be such a thrill.

 This is just a picture of one of the meals they served us. Sometimes we get to have things that we might normally not have at home. This is just a taco so nothing different here but we did have Watercress shelter at one meal and rabbits to add another. Both do things to me. Eagle Bluff tries to use local and sustainable ingredients when they are making their meals as much as possible. But as a mom I just enjoy that someone else is doing the cooking and cleaning for an entire weekend.
 The indoor crafty class I chose to take this year was to make a hammock cocoon swing. I did finish it but I still need to buy cushions to put inside and figure out where to hang it from. It might go up to our cabin.
 This is me with my friend Lori. She drove about 4 hours to come spend the weekend with me and three other of my friends. I had not seen her in a couple of years so I was thrilled to be able to have this time with her. We did go canoeing together as one of our classes and did the hammock swing class together as well. I didn't bring along my phone when we went canoeing so no pictures from that.
 It is morel season time in Minnesota when we were there and I found for that were all about this big.
 One of the classes I took was survival 101 where we were taught about different types of shelters you can build and how 2 make your own fire. We were split into groups of three women and had to work together to use the resources we have available to us and see you what we could do in regards to making fire hand making a shelter. We also made raspberry tea using raspberry plants that were near us. I was very pleased that our group was able to make a fire using flint and steel. When everyone had made their shelters we did a Parade of Homes of sort to go around and look at how each group decided to make theirs. No group was the same.
Each of the two evenings there was an optional group class for the entire group. The first night the group class was on how to grow shiitake mushrooms which is something they do at Eagle Bluff. These are the places they buy their inoculated plugs from. I was thinking this might be something I might like to try up at our cabin. The other evening class was the star lab demonstration to learn about constellations up in the sky currently. I did the class last year so I opted to just hang out this year. But two of the ladies in our group were new to this program so they went to check it out and enjoyed it.

We also had an optional Saturday morning yoga class for the group that I did with my friends. It was before breakfast so not everyone is interested in getting up early to workout. But I was and am glad I did. Next year you should join me at the spring She Is weekend!