Tag Archives: eau claire

Holiday Recap

Here’s a quick summary (with some pics below) of our Holiday Vacation to Minnesota/Wisconsin. Needless to say, not an hour was wasted! It was nice to see everyone, but it is good to be ‘home’ and back into a routine. It was a crazy 10 days!

December 22nd, 2009
Drove to Bradley International (Hartford, CT) and flew to Minneapoils – St. Paul
Christmas Shopping
Pre-Christmas Party with St. Olaf friends
Johnston side extended family Christmas Eve
Mathison/Berg side extended family Christmas Day
Day with my Parents in Eau Claire
3rd Christmas/gift exchange in Eau Claire with Mom/Dad and Brent/Kristen
4th Christmas evening get together with Higgins side
Meet coworkers at EcoLab/Patterson for lunch
Swap Cars
Game night with Maggie’s High School Teacher & Friends
Dentist Appointment (no cavities!)
Darts/Cards with my friends and dart teammates and significant others
Lunch with Maggie’s aunt/uncle
Ice Skating with my parents
Dinner/Games with my parents and Maggie’s Mom
Wedding Dress shopping (the girls)
Lunch with dress shopping party
Visit Maggie’s Dad and step Mom on New Years Eve
New Year’s Eve @ Bryan’s
Catch ride to airport from Bryan and fly from MSP to BDL, drive back to New Haven.
Jan 1, 2010

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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

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!

Four Christmases

If you’re expecting a review of the movie Four Christmases you’ll have to click on the link.  Instead, this is a re-cap my 3 day Christmas adventure with Maggie and our families.  Tuesday night Maggie and I kicked off the gift-giving a little early by exchanging gifts for each other.  Maggie gave me a backgammon set which we subsequently learned how to play.  It turns out is a really fun 2 player dice game; I’m surprised I’ve never played it before now!

On Christmas Eve Maggie and I trekked up to Coon Rapids, MN to celebrate with the Johnstons.  We went to church with Maggie’s dad and step-mom, grandparents and cousin and then headed back to her dad’s house for the Johnston family Christmas which they were hosting.  We enjoyed LOTS of great food (it just kept coming!), a gift exchange and a competitive game of Scrabble.  I’m proud to report that team MAARON (Maggie + Aaron) won decidedly.  It was a nice afternoon/evening and a good time was had by all.

On Christmas Day Maggie and I again made the trip to Coon Rapids, this time to have a Christmas brunch with Maggie’s Mom, brother Jake and uncle Marty.  We enjoyed some delicious quiche and spending some time with Maggie’s mother and brother.  After a short stay we hit the road for Eau Claire in order to make it to Christmas at the Bergs (my aunt and uncle on my mom’s side).

We arrived at the Berg’s just in time for some more food and another gift exchange.  The last few years we have drawn names and everyone bought a gift for the person whose name you drew.  This year we decided to do the gift exchange differently and have everyone bring a generic gift for the same gender as you are, and then play a game with it.  Each person drew a card to see what order to take a turn in.  Each person could either open a gift from their gender’s pile of gifts that had been brought or steal a previously open gift .  It added a fun spin to the gift opening, and I think everyone enjoyed it.  Only a few people “stole” gifts, one of which was me.  When my turn came up I grabbed a gift basket of beer/cheese/crackers/sausage that my cousin Cody had opened.  I only held on to it for a short while though as my uncle Dave stole it from me when his turn was up.  I ended up with a camouflage folding chair and a gun case that my brother Brent had brought for the exchange.

The night ended by playing some games back at my parent’s home where Brent, Kristen, Maggie and I all were staying for the weekend.  Maggie and I taught everyone how to play Last Word and then we ended with an epic game of dirty clubs.

Friday morning we all piled in the mini-van for a trip to Beaver Creek Reserve for some cross-country skiing.  The weather Friday was not very cooperative though, and we were greeted with a high of 38 with fog and drizzle.  This made the snow extremely wet and sticky, making it nearly impossible to ski in (at least with the skis we rented from the reserve).  To add to the agony, while following the trail we made a wrong turn and were pretty far from the lodge when we decided that our skis weren’t going to work and that we were ready to head back.  Oops!  We eventually found the right trail, and everyone took their skis off for the final hike down into the valley and back up the other side through knee-deep snow in order to make it back to the lodge.  The ski trip turned into quite an adventure!  Somewhere along the way, probably as a result of one of my falls down a hill, my camera appears to have broken, causing my subsequent pictures to be completely black and no image to show on the LCD screen.  The last picture I was able to take before it broke is of everyone preparing to descend a somewhat large (by x-country skiing standards) hill:

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing

The day concluded with an “appetizer” style dinner, a traditional gift exchange, and another round of games.  This time we played a few tense games of Sequence and concluded with another round of dirty clubs.  Both games were perfect for a group of 6 to be able to play and enjoy the competition.  Finally, we had to get a family picture in front of the tree.

Family Christmas photo

Family Christmas photo

It was a fun day with family and a great way to wrap up 3 days worth of Christmasses!

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Happy Holidays

I’d just like to take a moment before the Christmas/New Years festivities ramp up to wish everyone a safe and happy holidays.  Maggie and I will be traveling between Coon Rapids and Eau Claire for Christmas celebrations over the 24-26th.  It’s going to be a busy latter part of the week, but it’ll be worth it to spend the holiday with family.

After that is the New Year’s parties, of which we’ve been invited to a few.  We’ve yet to decide which ones to try to attend, but I’m sure we’ll have a good time regardless.

Stay tuned for photos and updates from our Christmas and New Year’s festivities.

Merry Christmas!

Bon Iver on Letterman Thursday (12/11/08)

My fellow Memorial High School class of ’99 classmate Justin Vernon’s very popular band Bon Iver will appear on The Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday (12/11/08) this week.  You may have heard heard Bon Iver’s music on the Twin Cities radio station on The Current, or on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House” and “One Tree Hill” recently.  I have yet to see them perform in concert, but I hear it’s a great show.  They are currently touring in Europe and will be heading to Australia in the new year.

Anyway, check out Bon Iver on Letterman Thursday if you get a chance.  It’ll be cool to see my fellow classmate and football teammate on the national stage.  Way to go Justin!
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