Comforts in this temporary life…A dose of Vitamin D…Final Mississippi River photos continue…

Southeast Steam Plant, aka Twin City Rapid Transit Company Steam Power Plant.

The days and nights whiz passed us in such a flurry of activity they tend to blur collectively in our minds.  Although I have an excellent memory, I had to think twice about what we did yesterday this morning.

Startled by the momentary memory lapse, I reminded myself of how busy we’ve been and how little sleep we’ve had some nights over this past almost month in Minnesota. 

The water-filled lock comparable to water rising in a bathtub, as we explained to the kids.

Not that I’m complaining (or “whinging” as they say in Aussie or British speak), but it’s easy to find ourselves a little flustered with this new pace of activity, so “foreign” to us compared to our generally slower pace of “living in the world.”

We rarely watch the clock or set the alarm (except for travel days). The pace of our current daily activities in itself has required a certain degree of adaptation which surprisingly came back to us more quickly than we expected. 

At one point, we could reach out and touch the lock wall comparable to our experience on a much larger scale when we entered the Panama Canal.  See this link for a live cam of traversing through the Panama Canal. See this link for our traverse through the Panama Canal in January 2013. We’ll be going back through it again in five months.

Then, of course, there are certain comforts we’re enjoying; using a phone and able to text (not possible outside the US, to the US); air conditioning; no venomous insects inside; a comfortable bed; a new SUV with voice-activated commands and navigation which recognizes my phone and uploads my contact list for hands-free calling; no meals to cook, no dishes to wash, no cleaning; free, fast WiFi while at the hotel; and it goes on and on.

An enjoyable aspect of our visit to Minnesota (of course, besides spending delightful quality time with family and friends) has been the ability to replenish our wardrobe with well-fitting, durable clothing at outrageously affordable prices. 

University of Minnesota Medical Complex, located along the Mississippi River.

Surprisingly, Macy’s has been one of the most practical of resources, when I was able to purchase $98 capris (that fit properly) for less than half price and dressier type shirts for Tom (brand name) for under $20 each, regularly priced at $68.

Yesterday, his shipment of five pairs of shorts arrived, all fitting perfectly, all on sale for around $20 each, regularly priced in the $60 range. We’ve never been able to find such bargains or properly fitting items outside of the US.

Formerly, the Northern Pacific Railroad #9 bridge is now used only for walking and bike paths.

All we have left to round out our wardrobes are a few more underwear items for me and insect repellent-infused shirts (BugsAway) for both of us, which we’ll most likely purchase while still in Minnesota since there’s no sales tax on clothing. 

Today, after uploading the post, we’re heading out to visit Tom’s brother Jerry at the nursing home in Coon Rapids, where he’s recovering from a recent hospital stay. We’ve made a point of seeing him several times since we arrived and hoped to do so again before we depart. 

Several Bald Eagles flew overhead during the boat tour.

Afterward, we’ll be picking up Vincent at the Cardboard Camp in Arden Hills (we wrote about this in yesterday’s post) and taking him to see the movie “The Mummy.”  This isn’t particularly Tom’s favorite type of movie. 

Then again, on Monday I watched “Cars” with Miles which he loved. Actually, it was rather adorable. I doubt Tom will say the same about “The Mummy,” but as a fan of action flicks, I’m sure Vincent and I will find it entertaining regardless of the poor reviews.

A white sandbar on the banks of the river.

Yesterday was an easy day when Maisie and I went to the massive pool at the Saint Louis Park Rec Center. I hadn’t sat in the sun in so long; I couldn’t recall, desperately in need of some Vitamin D and a touch of a tan.

While Maisie romped poolside with her friends, I stayed in the sun for about 45 minutes (without burning) and moved into the shade for the remainder of the day. She thoughtfully came and checked in with me every so often, giving me peace of mind knowing her whereabouts in the huge facility.

Today, another busy day is on the horizon. But, wait until you hear what tomorrow is going to be like! Whew! 

Have a great day, dear friends/dear readers!

Photo from one year ago today, June 22, 2016:

One year ago in Bali, we printed all the paperwork and documents we could need for multiple upcoming flights and visa applications required on paper at the various embassies. Placing each in its own unique envelope seemed to be the easiest way to find what we’ll need. Gee…we don’t like paper!  Also included were the necessary documents for both of us to apply online to renew our Nevada driver’s licenses. The blue envelope contains extra passport-type photos we purchased in Bali for applying for the three visas in Singapore. For more details, please click here.