Category Archives: Weekend

Halloween 2009

Maggie and I spent Halloween 2009 in & around New Haven.  The day was highlighted with 70 degree weather, a hike at Sleeping Giant State Park, and a costume party with some of Maggie’s PA friends.  Here are some pics from the day:

Boston Trip

Last weekend Maggie and I were looking for something to do to entertain ourselves in our new ‘home’ in New England, so we decided to road trip up to Boston since neither of us had been there.  We didn’t really have too much of a plan until a day or two before we went.

Saturday was rainy (remnants of a tropical storm), but not a total wash out.  We started by visiting the U.S.S. Constitution, a 200 + year old ship that was one of the first Naval ships built in America.  It’s nickname is “Old Ironsides” because some of the wood they used to build it, Southern live oak, is a very dense wood so all of the cannon balls fired at it bounced right off the hull. The expression “Old Ironsides” came from a sailor who supposedly proclaimed that upon seeing the cannon balls ricochet off the side of the boat in it’s first major battle.

Maggie in front of the USS Constitution

Maggie in front of the USS Constitution

We toured the museum where we learned a lot about the wars that the USS Constitution waged battle in as well as the construction of it’s strong hull.  After the museum tour we ventured through the rain to see the boat up close and take a tour of the inside.

Big Guns (not cannons because they're not on land)

Big Guns (not cannons because they're not on land)

After visiting the USS Constitution we decided to find lunch and stumbled across The Warren Tavern, “one of the oldest tavern’s in Massachusetts”.  According to their website, “George Washington stopped here for refreshments and conversation. Paul Revere considered us one of his favorite watering holes. George Washington’s funeral speech was given here.”  We both enjoyed our sandwich and then headed to the Boston Museum of Science.

Maggie posing with a chess piece from Harry Potter.

Maggie posing with a chess piece from Harry Potter, a promotion for an upcoming exhibit.

My first impression of the Museum of Science was that it looked to be in an older building the Science Museum of Minnesota, but the inside was just as good, featuring plenty of cool science related permanent exhibits as well as temporary exhibits exploring Black Holes and National Geographic Critter Cam (where they strap video cameras to various wild animals to observe their travels).  They even had a couple computer related exhibits which I enjoyed very much.

Afterward we decided to find a hotel and call it a day.  We were hoping for better weather for Sunday, and it turned out to be a beautiful day for a stroll around Boston following the Freedom Trail.

Aaron on the Freedom Trail

Aaron on the Freedom Trail

The freedom trail is a red trail either painted or made of red brick that travels through downtown Boston sidewalks taking you to various historical points of interest such as:

The Massachusetts State House

The Massachusetts State House

Paul Revere's Tomb

Paul Revere's Tomb

The Old State House

The Old State House

The Bunker Hill Monument

The Bunker Hill Monument

as well as many other historic sites such as the location of the Boston Massacre and Paul Revere’s house.

Along the way we got side tracked and stumbled on a car show being put on by the Boston Area MG Car Club.  My uncle Dave Tietz belongs to a similar MG car club in Florida, so uncle Dave if you’re reading, here’s a shoutout!

MG car show

MG car show

Also as a part of the show they had a snazzy sports car made by Brittish car company Lotus:

Lotus sportscar

Lotus sportscar

I’m sure driving around in an MG is fun, but I think I probably would prefer a Lotus if money were no problem 🙂

After our nice walk around historic Boston we headed back ‘home’ to New Haven, content with our very touristy weekend trip to Boston.

Mr. & Mrs. Brent Mathison

Many of you who read my blog were probably at the wedding of Brent and Kristen so I’ll spare most of the details.  Considering the stormy stretch we’ve been having, it turned out to be a great (if you like it hot and sticky) day for an outdoor wedding.  The sun was out, the birds were chirping, the Harley’s were rumbling (through the park) 🙂  The only real scary moment that I remember was when it was 5 minutes until the wedding and the Pastor hadn’t shown up to the park yet.  Luckily, just as we were trying to find his number, he showed up and the ceremony started at about 2:05.

Here are a few candids taken throughout the day, mostly by Maggie since I was off being the Best Man (click thumbnail for larger picture):

Here’s a full album of pics from the wedding

Wedding Weekend

Brent and Kristen

Brent and Kristen

Brent and Kristen are getting married this weekend.  The date has finally come!  It seems like just the other day they were announcing their engagement, hard to believe it’s been a year and a half.  I think they will attest that it’s been a long year and a half though spent planning the big day though.  I’m excited to see all their hard work come together.

In other good news, it looks like their outdoor wedding will be rain free!  Leading up to and after Saturday it looks like chances of showers every day, but luckily Saturday is rain and cloud free on the forecast.  Hopefully the weather man is right!  I’d say they’re pretty lucky if they are able to have an outdoor wedding in one of the rainiest months.

Way to go little bro!

Photo stolen from Kristen’s facebook profile, hope she doesn’t dis-own me!

A nice long weekend

My Memorial Day weekend started off at about 2:30 Friday afternoon, when my boss let me leave work a few hours earlier than normal since I had spent much of the previous Saturday (my b-day) working.  After spending a couple hours geocaching, Maggie and I made dinner and then headed to the Metrodome to meet our friends Jeff and Carlene to take in the Twins vs. Brewers game.  The Twins combined for 9 runs in the first 4 innings and never looked back, crushing the Brewers 11-3.  The Twins would go on to sweep the Brew Crew in the weekend series.

On Saturday Jeff and I went golfing at Meadowbrook.  It was a perfect day to walk 18 holes and hit a tiny white ball around the green turf.  Unfortunately for me, the little white ball didn’t want to cooperate.  I shot a 48 on the front nine, and well, quit keeping score on the back nine 😦  I think Jeff finished with an 88; someday I will shoot an 88, hopefully someday soon!

Saturday evening we met up with my college friend Dave and his girlfriend Meghan who were in Minneapolis for the weekend wedding of a friend of his.  We only see them every once and a while since they live in Chicago, so it was nice to have a few drinks with them again.  Luckily he hasn’t turned into a total flat-lander quite yet!

Sunday morning we packed up the car and headed to Menomonie to meet my parents and go fishing on Lake Menomin.  Dad recently bought a nice fishing boat that we all four can fit comfortably in and is pretty fast so we can zip around from spot to spot quickly if the fish aren’t biting (they weren’t :().  Sure beats that old fishing boat my dad had when we were growing up that you never knew if it would start or not!

Fishing Trip on Lake Menomin

Fishing Trip on Lake Menomin

The four of us couldn’t get one single fish to bite the whole 4 hours we were out on the lake, but I didn’t mind too much, as it was a nice enjoyable fishing trip.  I blame the wind out of the east and the sun-tan lotion on our hands (and subsequently our bait) for our bad luck.

After our fishing trip we headed to Eau Claire to my parent’s house to hang out with Brent and Kristen and sit around a campfire in my parent’s back yard.  We of course made Maggie’s World Famous S’mores and talked late into the night before putting the fire out and calling it a night.

Sunday morning Mom made a nice pancake breakfast for all of us.  After we allowed our syrup-coma to wear off, Mom, Dad, Maggie and I went on a bike ride to Lowes Creek Park and back.  The park, which is just south of 94 in Eau Claire, has a lot of ski trails and mountain bike trails.  Maggie and I really enjoyed the mountain bike trails, but I think they were a little too intense for Mom and Dad, so we mainly stayed on the x-country ski trails.  While we were in the park we tried to find one of the MANY geocaches in the park.  This was the first time we tried to find one with Mom and Dad and I think they enjoyed it.  Dad was close to the cache the whole time but didn’t make the find until after Maggie and I had spotted it already.

After our 10 mile long bike ride we loaded our bikes up and made the 90 minute drive back to the Twin Cities to relax a bit from our busy weekend and prepare for the work week.  All in all it was a GREAT weekend, and it was nice that the weather was absolutely perfect for all of our outdoor fun!

Brent’s Bachelor Party

Now that I’ve almost fully recovered from Brent’s bachelor party, I think I can safely recount the events of the day.  We started with an afternoon of paintball at Bubba’s Paintball in Elk Mound, WI.  The weather was perfect for paintball, nice but not too warm yet.  The crew consisted of 7 of Brent’s friends, him and I.  We had the course to ourselves for the afternoon, which was nice!  We played capture the flag, defend the tower, and speed ball.  I think speed ball was my favorite game to play since the course was compact and the goal was just to eliminate the other team.

Paintballers

Paintballers

The afternoon of paintball sufficiently wore us all out.  Even 3 days later I’m still feeling the effects in my quads from squatting behind bunkers all afternoon trying not to get shot!  After paintball we headed out Tailgates for some drinks and grub.  We were a little disappointed they had the Brewers game on every TV in the place since they billed themselves as a sports bar, you would think they would be a little more equal opportunity.  It was made worse by the fact the Brewers lost.

Water Street

Water Street

After dinner we headed to O’Leary’s for some live music.  Somehow we managed to run into Kristen’s (Brent’s fiance) bachelorette party there (I think that was Brent’s secret goal).  The bachelorettes didn’t stay long since I think they were trying to set some sort of record for number of bars visited in a night.  After going deaf to the music at O’Leary’s we needed to spice things up a bit so we headed to Water Street to party it up until bar time.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been out until last call!  I know Brent would agree with me that it turned out to be a great bachelor party!

Taking the NerdHerders Geocaching

Since I started geocaching nearly a year ago I’ve told many people about the game and how it works and how much fun it is, but my friends Justin and Kristen (mainly Kristen) were the only ones to ask us to take them with us and show them how it works.  I was excited that they wanted to check out this geeky hobby of mine, but when they asked about it, it was the dead of winter and I myself wasn’t even geocaching that much, so we mutually decided to wait for spring and nicer weather to introduce them to the hobby.  We scheduled an outing for this past Saturday and luckily the weather cooperated, in fact it probably couldn’t have been any better for geocaching!

Their first ever find was a tricky one that involved using a large stick to hoist it out of the tree trunk it was hidden in. A perfect way to start the day!

The NerdHerders first cache find!

The NerdHerders first cache find!

I circled the cache in the pic above, otherwise you’d probably never find it, since the camo is so good!

After the first cache we headed on to the next one on the map.  It turned out to be a micro, hidden in the woods.  How curel!  Amazingly the rookie NerdHerders (the name Justin and Kristen chose to log their finds under) made the find before Maggie and I were able to.  Kristen gets props for finding it first.  I was embarrased (only a little) to be the last one to find it, with a couple clues.

From there we headed down the trail to find a few other caches in Lebanon Hills Regional Park where we spent the day caching.

The geocaching crew

The geocaching crew

Justin had a little trouble finding one of them that the other three of us found quickly:

Justin's looking hard...

Justin's looking hard...

But when he finally came up with the find we all had a good laugh…

Justin with the unique cache!

Justin with the unique cache!

As it turns out, this cache and the next one we would find (see below) are a part of a special series of Halloween related caches placed by a local geocacher.  I knew this going in to the day, so I could explain this odd container to the newbies.

Sword Fight!

Sword Fight!

We finished out the hike with Maggie leading the way to a few more geocaches, including another micro that took us a while to find, bringing our total up to 7 for the day.

Maggie leading the way

Maggie leading the way

We had a great time geocaching and it was fun to show some newbies “the ropes”.  I was surprised though how many times they came up with the find before Maggie or I (experienced geocachers) did!  I guess maybe it helps not having any pre-conceived notion of what exactly you’re looking for.  I chalk it up to beginner’s luck!  Hopefully the NerdHerders had fun and will take up the hobby and log many more cache finds in the future!