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A Twin Cities Mississippi River Summer Weekend

Two summer weekends in Minneapolis? Yeah, it's true.

We followed Scott again on one of his jobs, which brought us to Maplewood Mall. I had heard there was a double decker carousel there and had always wanted to check it out. 

There is a weight limit on the horses so Scott and I had to sit on the swinging bench. 

Brooke and I must've had empty stomaches. We were both so dizzy after getting off the carousel. Or we're getting old.

Scott always complains we never do things in our own city. Since we were going to be near St Paul, I had been wanting to take the kids to the Mississippi River National Recreation Area Visitor Center to get a junior ranger badge. 

St. Paul is one of Twin Cities, so it's OK to have fun just across the border. It's those suburbs I loathe (though honestly sometimes enjoy).

Downtown St. Paul maybe sleepy, but it's very charming.
The Mississippi River National Recreation Area Visitor Center is in the Science Museum lobby. Somehow we had never visited before. 

I partook in a few of the exhibits and then waited for them to complete their booklets.

Theo got his badge but Meadow still needed to finish her book later. 

My coworker told me about how her church hosts St. George's Middle Eastern Festival every summer. I said we would absolutely be there. 

After checking out the bake sale, we got our food under the big tent.

We got our food right as the dancing started. 

The kids got falafel, Brooke got kabob and I got the Lebanese speciality Kibby. Kibby seemed like a meatloaf alternative to gyro.

Ok, ok. The suburbs aren't all that bad.

It was cool to see how much the crowd got into the performers. 

Then the kids waited patiently to ride the inflatable slide.

I was told we had to get the Zalabiyee but sadly it was sold out. We were okay getting the baklava sundae instead. 

Since we had just learned about the Mississippi River, we thought we'd bring the kids to the Stone Arch Bridge. 

Minneapolis' riverfront in the summer is our Central Park. Lots of people watching in the shadow of downtown and the old mill district.

Theo probably doesn't remember St. Anthony Falls.

I wish I could have done the lock and dam tour before they closed permanently. 

Wonder what they will do with the lock and dam now that it is shuttered. Restore the falls you fools!

Then we walked up to the top of the spiral in nearby Gold Medal Park.

And ran all the way back down.

These past two weeks have renewed my love for Minneapolis and, yes, even St. Paul.

It was actually chilly when we woke up the next morning. 

With our upcoming trip Meadow needed new hiking boots. I had been searching Facebook Marketplace and Once Upon a Child all summer and could never find any in her size. I was about to give in and just buy new boots. I had to drop off a bunch of items to the thrift store and luck would have it, they had boots in her size. She doesn't like that they're all black so I'll find her some pink shoelaces. 

Leave it to Meadow to make a snake out of old backpack straps. 

They get excited now whenever they see the National Park sign. Theo says he wants one for his bedroom. 

After dinner we went over to Cold Spring to finish Meadow's Junior Ranger Book. 

I took a picture, but it didn't make the blog.

But this one did.

It was a perfect evening and we only saw a couple other people.


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