Homer's Travels: Ice, Kites, Polygamy, Gay Marriage, And So Much More

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Ice, Kites, Polygamy, Gay Marriage, And So Much More

What makes a great weekend?  For me it's visiting with family, seeing new sights, eating and drinking way too much, and discussing gay marriage, polygamy, abortion, and the Apple iPad.

Last Friday we picked up the Wife's brother and his wife (TE and JA) on the way to Minneapolis/Saint Paul to visit the Matron of Honor (MoH) and Best Man (BM) and to check out the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.  The drive seemed longer than usual but we had good company in the car and we nearly solved all the family problems by the time we'd reached Minneapolis.

The MoH had our Saturday planned out for us starting with iceboat racing and kite flying on Lake Phalen.  This marked a couple firsts for me: first time on a frozen lake and first iceboat race.  Walking on the frozen lake was a little eerie.  Every now and then you would step on a bubble and you would hear the cracking and crunching of breaking ice - a cringe inducing sound when you are over frigid water (it was 13°F on Saturday).  It didn't really matter that people had driven cars and pickups out on the ice, it still creeped me out a little.

TE, a kite flyer despite the taunting he gets from his wife and kids, brought his kite and joined the other kite flyers out on the ice while we waited for the iceboats to get going.  The breeze was light which was good and bad - good for us that we didn't freeze and bad for the kites and iceboats.

The iceboats finally got going.  It wasn't much of a race, more like a bunch of guys having fun.  You could tell who had experience as they whizzed by the slow pokes who had to push their rigs.  After watching them go around the circuit a couple of times we decided to go in search of food.

We ended up in a German restaurant, the Glockenspiel.  We were joined by the Altar Boy, the GodSon, and the GodSon's fiancĂ©e (I need a nickname for her).  Food and drink was consumed in mass quantities before we headed for the next stop on out winter carnival tour - the vintage baseball game.  Unfortunately we arrived at the ball field right as the game was ending.  For future reference vintage baseball games last 90 minutes and meals at the Glockenspiel last at least two hours.

We then headed to the next event - the ice sculptures at Rice Park.  Some of the  sculptures were pretty amazing and intricately detailed.  The ice sculptures were followed by picking up some dessert to go and heading back to the MoH and BM's place.  It's amazing how walking around in the cold and driving all around really sucks the energy out of you.  We decided the parade and fireworks would have to wait for some other year.

The rest of the evening was occupied with eating dessert, ordering in some Italian food, and talking about abortion rights, gay marriage, polygamy, and the most contentious of all subjects, the merits or lack there of, of the Apple iPad.  To make it worse, when we stripped our layers of clothes when we came in from the cold, I ended up in blue jeans and long sleeved black base layer shirt which made me look like Steve Jobs (I think he's the Anti-Christ by the way).  Believe me, if I were Steve Jobs I wouldn't have called it an iPad and I wouldn't have made it so sucky.

The weekend was way too short.  Even staying up to 2:30AM shooting the sh!t didn't make it long enough.  The weekend did return some sanity to the Wife and I.  We'd been housebound for far too long and getting out of Omaha was exactly what we needed.  Thank you to the MoH and BM for having us and for TE and JA for joining us.  It was exactly what we needed.

Pictures of the iceboats, kites, and ice sculptures can be found here.  Pictures of all us crazy people can be seen on my Facebook page if you are my friend.


  1. I think I got cold from reading this post! :)

    Can you put up a picture of you in black t and jeans next to Steve Jobs in same so we can compare/contrast?

    Sounds like a fun weekend. Especially with all that German beer!

  2. GH: Sorry bud, no pictures.

    It was cold but we all had many, many layers that kept us all warm.

  3. Yay! sounds like a great weekend! I'm glad you had such a good time!

  4. Plenty of German beer around here. A few more family members and you'll need chemical symbols to name them:)

    Especially considering how you settled on the Wife's brother and his wife's nicknames.

  5. Godefroy: The Midwestern part of the US (Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota) were settled by Germans, Austrians, and Scandinavian folks mostly so they are really into their beers.

    As for the nicknames, I've become really lazy and have been using the first two letter of their names. They do look like chemical symbols, don't they. Maybe I should take our family tree and convert it into a periodic table of the family.

  6. Sorry, I said "around here", because I actually live 60 kms (37,5 miles) away from Germany. However I knew about this particular heritage. There were plenty of German immigrants settling down in Canada as well.

    Is Mendeleev's good enough?

  7. Great pics! Glad you had a fun getaway!

  8. Godefroy: The Wife has a large family. Mendeleev's may be too small.

    Dobegil: Thanks ... and Thanks!