Monday, March 5, 2007

Over the River, Through the Woods

This weekend we went to visit my family in Menomonie, WI. Here you can see Ezra held by his Great Grandmother Veronica. It's kind of funny that in order to get to where my mom and dad live, you do have to drive over the St. Croix river and through the woods of western Wisconsin.

The visit started out with an adventure of our car getting thoroughly stuck halfway down my mother's long snow-packed gravel driveway. It took at least an hour of work and the skillful help of my mom's Gary to get us out. We just walked up the drive from that point on! Libby and I got to go out without the kids that evening, and then came back to celebrate my mother's birthday a day early.

Since neither of my parents have a place for us to stay at their respective houses, and because my mother is generous, we stayed the night in a hotel. Gibbie was excited, though somewhat disappointed that there was no one for him to watch in the pool.

In the morning, since it was a Monday and my parents were working, we decided to go to Eau Claire. It's about a half hour drive and always has greener grass than Menomonie, if you know what I mean.

I was also curious to go back to Racy's. I mentioned it in my last post about latte art. I guess it was one of my early coffee house influences and is still somewhere I think of as an example of my favorite kind of coffee shop atmosphere.

Hey all you coffee geeks: do you recognize what kind of espresso machine is in this picture? (You know, you can click on it go get a better look.)

Yes, the drinks were excellent. We also ended up eating a delicious, reasonably priced lunch there. Still, in some ways it seemed a little soul-less compared to the Racy's of old (which had worse coffee, more weird furniture, more dirt, and a constant cloud of cigarette smoke). Why do great coffee and great atmosphere rarely mix?

While we were at Racy's, there was a young mom with her 16 month old daughter as well as what seemed to be her whole extended family. What stuck out more than the mom's tattoos or the dad's punk hoodie was the utter delight she had in her child. Why do I mention this? Simply because it was beautiful to see in another parent, and hopefully somewhat reflective of our family experience this weekend.

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