Multiple Trips so watch for the year change.

November 23-24 2019

Winging my way to Saint Paul, Minnesota, to spend Thanksgiving week with Cynthia. Oh goodie! I arrived very late on the 23rd. Cynthia picked me up, made us a late night snack, and then it was sweet dreams for me.
November 25

Here's morning at the loft in Stillwater, Kai in full glory.
We're off for a one-night visit to the quaint little riverfront town of Stillwater located on the banks of the St. Croix and "often referred to as the birthplace of Minnesota. In 1848, a territorial convention that began the process of establishing Minnesota as a state was held in Stillwater...Minnesota officially became a territory in 1849 and a state in 1858."

But first, A Dog Park!
We stayed in a really cool loft right on Main Street in the center of town. Really cool, right?!
We wandered around looking at the shops, had a little sushi, rested back at the loft, and then went here for the fanciest dinner in town.
Main Street at night.
Not my picture!

We had a different view of this lift bridge out our window but the bridge is closed down now to traffic and you can't even walk across. I'm thinking it has to still lift or the St. Croix river wouldn't be navigable.
ALSO not my picture!

That's the same bridge and right now all the trees are bare.
Among our stops around town, coffee!
Driving back into Saint Paul, the downtown skyline.
And a view out the window of the room where I'm staying. It's very fun and very not-California to watch the tree move through the seasons.
November 26

Public Art from the Public Art Saint Paul organization, one of Cynthia's clients.
What a treat!
I was waiting and waiting for the snow and then BAM, we're covered in snow.

I woke up every couple of hours to look out my window and snap a pic with my phone.
Two hours later...
...and two hours later. What fun! I've been excited about catching some snow while I'm here.
November 27

Yesterday we went to the Goodwill where I got a perfect wool coat, fabulously cute and warm and roomy, and NINE bucks. Oh my goodness. Also those are the boots Cynthia has had since she came to the mid-West which are now mine.

Cynthia is putting a box together of Winter Wear so it will be here and I won't have to carry these things back and forth to LA. Weather, bring it ON!
Good morning!
The tree I love to watch...
...and out those same windows we find Snow Angels!
Taking Kai out. There were already a couple patches of ice in the driveway which reminded me Careful Careful No Falling!

Ah the fresh fluffy snow, so lovely.
Icicles, like the holiday icicle lights we hang all over the eaves back home for our 70 degree holiday season.
November 28

Happy Thanksgiving! I have no idea why I didn't straighten out that plate before taking the picture and now it's going to be like this Forever.

We started preparations early and had our first Thanksgiving meal around 1pm. We were hungry and it tasted GOOD.
We then walked two blocks to this huge park-like area associated with a high school where Kai can run free because all the street sides are enclosed by a fence.

I have video - Kai has two snow moves. He Gazelles and he Rabbits, to keep his head about the drifts. I wish I could put the video in here!
Remember the Public Art Saint Paul group from a couple days ago, one of Cynthia's clients? And the public art piece in front of the new YMCA? We decided to chase up some of the other pieces.

This street caught my eye since it has a whole row of trees that still have leaves.
Sentinels. I was so excited when we drove up. I really like them here standing guard, come what may. So cool.

These guys are part of the Minnesota Rocks! project. There are maybe 15 installations around town.

You can click here for Public Art Saint Paul and read all about Minnesota Rocks! and their other work too.
We could see there would be a river view so we slogged off into a field of snow.. find the bridge..
..and then finding steps..
..that led here.
Western Sculpture Park, City of Saint Paul, Parks and Recreation. Public Art Saint Paul commissions and places almost all these pieces except for the red one that was a donation of the artist whose name I can't recall at the moment.
We liked it!
Just driving by, but wait! A photo! The Cathedral of Saint Paul.
Another piece from Public Art Saint Paul. The snow is covering a very fancy park planted in a spiral with paths to walk on and chairs to sit on. They even kept the theme on the sidewalk.
This piece is called Overlook. Why?
Because this is what he is Overlooking, the Saint Paul skyline.

Then we went home and ate another entire Thanksgiving dinner. What a great day.
November 29

I was able to switch my flight from tomorrow to tonight ahead of what the weather service Storm Warning is predicting to be a big one. Snow + rain = sleet + ice, the best predictor of winter flight cancellations.

I think I would have gotten a kick out of a big winter storm, bigger than Wednesday's even, were it not for Disney Concert Hall tickets I bought months ago and invited Susie to join me for her birthday.

So all in all I'm ok with my decision. I told Cynthia I hope they cancel ALL the flights on Saturday, so I would feel more ok about changing, and rightfully she pointed out that this was not a very nice hope. She's right, I don't hope that, I hope everyone gets home when they need to!
Multiple Trips so watch for the year change.

December 23, 2018

I've been here for a couple of days already and basically hung around the house since I was STILL not feeling 100%, but this morning I was ready to Go Out.

From the back porch, that's Cynthia and Kai having a walk in the new snow.
Oh Kai, Kai, what an adorable guy.
I was even able to make the dog park outing today. It was 25, downright balmy compared to last winter's visit when the high was often 0.

There was a nice crowd out and all the dogs were in dog park heaven. The people were standing around visiting like the good sports they are.

Note the arrow in the lower left. Kai likes to run out to join one of the racing packs of big dogs and when he's ready for a break he bolts for the legs of the nearest people who without exception go AWWWW and bend down to pet him.
We have been cooking every meal here in Cynthia's new and FABulous kitchen.

From bare walls she made the design and every choice. What a splendid kitchen and what a good time we're having!

And here's the stove side, lookin' good! Different day, different color, and it's all good.
My bedroom! That's pretty wow, right?!
From the bed looking to the closet and then out the door, kitchen to the far right, bathroom to the right, and dining room-living room-second bedroom straight ahead.

Pictures of the dining room-living room-second bedroom coming soon.
We needed a bit of this and that at the grocery store for all that cooking so we went to the very excellent Kowalski's where Santa too was picking up a few things. Ho ho ho!
December 24, 2018

Cynthia! and Kai! YAY!! Kai was good for three clicks and then he needed to take a break. We took maybe 15 pictures, 3 pictures 5 times and he looked absolutely exactly the same in every one of them. He'd look at me just like this, and then we'd click-click-click and without variation Kai at the third click he'd be OUTTA here.
I'm standing in the door that separates the kitchen-back bedroom-bathroom behind me (pictures yesterday) from the dining room-living room-front bedroom in front of me.

Look at all those windows!
From the living room looking into the dining room...
...the wonderful 1900 built-ins with leaded glass.
The door on the far left is the front door, next to it is the coat closet next to that is more of the so-cool leaded built-ins.
In the living room with the front bedroom to the left and the front door to the right.
Me sitting in my chair, looking to the panel of windows in the front bedroom at the street side of the house. From here I can turn my head to the left for the panel of windows in the living room, and then further to the left for the panel of windows in the dining room. So many windows, and all this light is a real blessing.
Cynthia couldn't resist giving Kai one of his presents early and he looooved it.
Look! Quick! The blue is here...let's hit the dog park!
We went to a new dog park, just to check it out. There were fewer dogs but the place did have a nice feeling...
...and Kai finds friends wherever he goes.
Ahhh, pedicure, how lovely.
We had a yummy dinner of leftovers while we watched a nice Christmas show...and then we had cookies and tea!
December 25, 2018

Oh wow, Santa came to town! We all got a great load of treats...
...even Kai, who opened all his packages all by himself!

Cynthia made scrumptious Eggs Benedict for brunch and then we ordered Chinese food for dinner, as is the way.
Look what Santa brought, all snug in their hand-made stocking.

A neat-o coin purse, two nylon packing and laundry bags, yummy dark chocolate salted caramels, classic Pockys, a cool watercolor desktop succulent calendar, a bent and straight washable straw, toothpicks for the permanent food catcher in my mouth, an emersion blender that I've been wanting and that is on its way to my house, and a choice of dinner at the restaurant of my choice. Wow, right?!
December 26, 2018

Kai was always going to be super-small for his breed, Cynthia knew that when she got him, but check it out, that's Bodhi, Kieran's full-sized Mini Australian Shepherd.

Kai has the same weight as a Toy Australian Shepherd but he has papers and both his parents are the size of Bodhi.
And that's Kieran, almost 16, sweet and helpful and big-hearted as ever he was.
The really really big next-door dogs.
Around 8pm, here are pictures looking out the front windows.
Snow...and there should be more too.
Cynthia's downstairs neighbor walking her dog.
December 27, 2018

We went to a store that specializes in making orthotics to get a new set for Cynthia. Here's their store dog, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Tolling is the right word 'the name "toller" is derived from their ability to lure waterfowl within gunshot range.' 'The definition of the term tolling derives from the Middle English word "tollen" which means to draw or entice.'
We visited the Minneapolis Institute of Art to see a big traveling exhibit called Egypt’s Sunken Cities with objects from the recently discovered Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus.

The cities were occupied by all three cultures so no wonder all the temples and sacred figures are confusing.
He's big.
Then we had dinner at a cool ramen place as one of my Christmas presents from Cynthia. It was fun, and it snowed too which was exciting.
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