Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Very Fun Afternoon with My Cousins

Linda and Diane

Beautiful stenciled ceilings in the capitol building

Yours truly pretending to sit on the ice throne.


Emerald City

Dave, Diane, Linda

The meeting time was 2 pm; the place was the Minnesota State Capitol. That appointment wouldn't be difficult to keep if everyone lived close by and was familiar to the area, but that wasn't the case. Diane and Dave just moved here this fall from the Philadelphia area. They are living north of Minneapolis, so they had a little bit of a drive. And Linda came all the way from Chicago. She left home pretty early this morning, but drove through hazardous winter weather road conditions in central Wisconsin, and was actually delayed when passing by a horrible multiple vehicle crash with fatalities. All that being said, we all arrived in the parking lot in front of the beautiful capitol building within 10 minutes of each other, and a minute before 2:00, allowing us to take part in the last tour of the day of our state's beautiful capitol building, built in 1905, at the cost of approximately $4,000,000 - just $2,000,000 over budget. I hadn't been in the building for a long time, so I enjoyed it a lot.

One memorable time for me in the capitol was back in the late 60's when the state congress was in session, arguing over the question: should the state impose a sales tax - or not? Steve and I sat up in the house gallery as the big decision was being made. Interesting, very interesting.

After the completion of the tour, we walked to downtown St. Paul to see some of the St. Paul Winter Carnival, walking past the famous Fitzgerald Theater where one can attend the live radio performance of A Prairie Home Companion. Down a few more blocks we came upon the outdoor skating pond next to the Landmark Center. At the time, the Zamboni was making fresh ice on the surface, so we saw no skaters. Across the street at Rice Park, we viewed the ice sculptures - beautiful crystal snow flakes; a mermaid and underwater scene; the Emerald City and the main characters of The Wizard of Oz; a little girl lying on a bed, her tooth by her pillow, 3 tooth fairies around her bed; but our favorite was a scene of two snowmen, roasting hot dogs on an open fire. A sign in front of the display read, "Where's Frank?" And there on the ground, too close to the fire, was a melted snowman - I guess his name was Frank. It was very clever. And remember, these are all carved out of ice. We also walked into the hot dish tent to catch a glimpse of the tater-tot hot dish they were serving. It was crowded, so we didn't stay. Diane asked what the hot dish was made of, as she hasn't had it. I described it, but I'm not sure she was impressed. I'll have to have her over for dinner sometime and serve it. After all, it is a Minnesota staple. ;-)

After walking back up the hill to our cars parked at the capitol, we drove to the Grand Avenue area and ate a delicious supper at Cafe Latte. Everyone liked it, so I'm sure we'll go back there again. Yes, we had cake - German Chocolate. It was SO good!

1 comment:

MamaD4 said...

Oh, I love Cafe Latte. We went there on the evening that Gen, Eli & Lindsey and Hans & I went on our little date in the Cities.