Saturday, January 20, 2018

That's My Favorite Pizza Fart (Piece of Art)

While I was editing my pictures, Ivory came over and upon seeing the Spoonbridge and Cherry she said, "That's my favorite pizza fart." It took me a minute to figure out what she really said. Mumbling...sometimes frustrating, sometimes hilarious.

Let's go back to the beginning though. At least the beginning of that day. It was Tuesday in MN. We wanted to go to the temple, but apparently the only session they had was at 7pm and we already had plans in the evening. Crazy that they only had one session. I guess it is a small temple and the demand isn't high on Tuesday.

So instead we went to Minneapolis and checked out the Sculpture Garden and Walker Art Center. The Sculpture Garden was very cool. We went up the hill first. The art is a little more interactive up there. The first thing we came to was an underground room. We walked in and sat down.

The art for this room is simply to look up. There is a hole in the top and you view whatever the sky is doing. I have to admit that is an interesting idea for art.

The area is lovely. There is great architecture around and it was such a nice day, although a little chilly. I didn't see much of Minneapolis, but it seemed like a clean beautiful city.

Art is cool, but strange. There are so many things out there that make me wonder what the artist was thinking while they made a certain piece. Many things I do not like or would not consider art, but to each his own. Like these drippy worms on the lawn.

At least you could touch them. They were slipperier than I thought.

We wandered down to the central garden. It was really fun to walk around and look at all the different pieces. We played my favorite art game of "Name that piece." Sis. Cazier and Sis. McPhie played along half-heartedly, so I'll just name some of these fun pieces.

Does this make my face look slimmer?

Two Faced

Oobleck Tornado

Tin-man Prototype

Dr. Who #14

I can't do noses

There were some iconic pieces that most people would recognize.

This central part of the garden was not interactive. There were many signs that told people to NOT TOUCH THE ART. Well, I didn't think the pedestal the rooster was on was part of the piece. However, when I leaned against the rooster's stand, an alarm went off. A security message played telling me to cease touching the art. Oops. I gave everything else a healthy distance. Ironically, the next piece over was a giant swing that you could sit on. I didn't.

Here's Ivory's favorite 'piece of art.' You probably recognize it.

This horse was pretty cool. It looked like it was made from pieces of drift wood, but it was really bronze, painted to look like wood.

I'm still not sure about this reflection wall. There were several walls. Some you could see through, other showed you a reflection? I'm sure it is deep.

Inside we had lunch before going to the museum. There was an artsy-fartsy cafe where I had a grilled cheese with apple slices in it. It wasn't too bad and the chips were excellent. (Large and homemade.) We rested in the foyer for a bit. They had rocks to sit on. They were pretty cushy rocks. Grandma was using one to stretch out her back. I don't think she knew I took this picture. (Hee hee.)

The art in the Walker Center was so weird. Super strange. I'm not sure I really liked anything. Here are a few things that caught my eye.

There was a gallery with Katharina Fritsch's work on display. She is the same artist who did the Blue Rooster. She does simple shapes and often changes the colors.

What do you think of this heart? Maybe something you will give your Valentine this year?

These rats with their tails in a ball made me think of Gregor the Overlander.

In another section of the museum, there was a wall of butts. It was just the same picture of someone's back end over and over again. Vicki almost didn't notice it. She couldn't tell what it was right away. That made me laugh.

Also funny was when we were on the elevator and Vicki told some guy on the 9th floor that he looked, "High up here." I just shook my head. She doesn't seem to notice when she says things like that. It is amusing.

We had a chance to drive around and see a few buildings. We stopped at a Catholic Basilica. We went inside and it was amazing.

In the evening we met Pres. and Sister Barney, the mission president and his wife. They were very nice. They took us out to eat and we stayed at the mission home that evening so we would be closer to the airport in the morning.

I remembered that I had taken a picture at the mission office, but with Mom's phone, because mine was running low on batteries, probably from using my GPS all day. Sis. Cazier was nice enough to send it to me, so here you have it. Left to Right (Bro. and Sis. ? I don't remember their names, but they were fairly new to the office. Sis. Hileman who had been in contact with Mom for weeks. It was fun to meet the face behind the voice. Sis. McPhie. President Barney and Sister Barney and the one and only Sister Cazier!!)

In the morning, Sis. Barney made a delicious breakfast and then she and the President had to leave for a long day of traveling and interviews. Their mission is very large and they travel all over.

We only had to go to the airport. Previously, I had done almost all of the navigating, but I decided to let the ladies take a shot at it. After all, I was leaving so they would have to do it themselves anyway. I almost made it without helping. They had put Terminal 2 into the GPS, but I needed to go to Terminal 1. As we got to the airport, you could see signs for Terminal 1, but Sister McPhie was stubbornly sticking to the GPS directions despite my telling her that it was taking us to the wrong place. Mom was sticking with what Sis. McPhie was saying. It was comical. They were headed for the wrong exit and I sat there saying over and over, "Don't take this exit. Keep going straight." I felt like I was talking to myself. Vicki pulled over and practically stopped in front of the exit before she finally decided that she could continue on to Terminal 1 instead. (They did manage to get home that evening without me, although I hear it took them a while.)

But we made it to the airport. One more picture with these ladies. I had such a great trip. It was so fun to hang out with Mom and travel with her. I think she is an easy traveler. She is going to be amazing on her mission. She has such a generous heart. She makes friends easily. She will do a great job sharing the gospel and her testimony.

I was stopped in security for taking rocks on board. It isn't my first time being stopped for rocks. I need to stop taking them on planes. I spent a lot of time reading but eventually I made it back home. And look who was waiting for me.

The kids were happy to see me and I was ready to jump back into my regular routine, but I am so glad that Vicki let me take her to Minnesota. I will always have fond memories.

My Life is Complete...I Have Been to Wall Drug

We vacated our motel room as quickly as possible the next day. We were in a fairly populated area, so we found a place to go to church first thing in the morning. Selfie in the car before we head inside.

Everyone was very welcoming. It was fast and testimony meeting and all the missionaries bore their testimonies. They are part of the sister mission that borders on the Minneapolis Mission (I believe). They were very excited for Sis. Cazier, although they told her she missed the best mission by just a few miles. We met a very nice man named Roy Mclaws. He has an extra house there and lets people stay when they are passing through. Wish we had known about that before the smoky room. But he is great at connecting people. Somehow I feel like I will run into him again someday.

When we were leaving, we looked up on the hill. Is that a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a...dinosaur??

Vicki felt like she was fighting a slight cold, so she took some cold medicine, which basically knocked her out. I was okay driving solo for a while. I had been seeing signs for Wall Drug for hundreds of miles. Vicki mentioned that it was well advertised and that they had stopped there before. The signs just kept coming as we got closer. Some were silly. Actually, most were silly. It is a thing though. There are signs for Wall Drug all over the world saying how many miles to Wall Drug. I found this picture on the internet with this sign from Amsterdam.

One blogger counted how many signs she saw on the way to Wall Drug. (I wish I had thought of that.) She counted 152. Wowza.

You'd better believe that we had to stop at Wall Drug. I felt bad waking Vicki up, but it seemed better than letting her sleep in the car.

Wall Drug was so fun. It is like a mall with dozens of shops, tons of souvenirs, a delicious restaurant, and a play area for kids. There were some specialty stores like book stores and gem stores. And several stores that just had tons of random stuff. We ate first. They had so many yummy choices. Every person that walked by with food, you wanted what they had. They have amazing donuts and we took some of those for the road. While shopping later, I found some of those invisible ink books from my childhood. I got one for each of the girls. They have such interesting things. Like this necklace tree.

I also saw this bead pig and took a picture for Robyn.

I got separated from Sis. Cazier for a while. The place is pretty big. It is easy to have happen. I sat down by this hound dog and we took a lonely picture.

I found the big T-Rex in the back. Every ten minutes or so, he wakes up and roars and moves. I wish the doors opened up too, but no luck there.

Since we were stretching our legs, we played in the play area for a bit. Just kidding, but Vicki did ride the Jackalope.

It was quite the adventure. I wanted a shirt for myself. It took me over 40 minutes to decide what I wanted. (Don't worry, we were there for two hours.) I finally got a little hoody. Now I can say that I have been to Wall Drug and I have the shirt to prove it. What else could I want in life?

The rest of the day was a lot of driving through South Dakota. Our destination that night was Sioux Falls. We got there in the evening. We decided to be smarter about our hotel this time. We found a place that had vacancies, still thanks to Tyler. Although he was in UT, he liked directing us through towns. When we went inside, they had plenty of no-smoking rooms. Huzzah. We got a room right near the front and as we walked in, it smelled funny. It wasn't smoke, but I couldn't quite place it. Mom knew though. She said, "That's pet." We had chosen a hotel that was pet friendly, but it smelled like maybe the last pet was a little too friendly.

We didn't want to make a fuss, but I decided that we had had plenty of ambiance for our nose the previous night. I told the front desk that I was allergic and we were quickly moved to a room where no pets had been. It was very nice. And I only had to be a little sneaky.

Sioux Falls is named for the waterfalls there. We went looking for them but it was so dark that although we could hear them, we certainly couldn't see them very well. We gave up and found some pretty architecture instead. Old churches and cathedrals are so amazing. (What is the difference between a church and a cathedral? I just looked it up. Cathedrals are bigger and run by a bishop. So just go up to the doors, knock, and ask if the bishop is in.)

Monday morning dawned and we decided to go visit the falls again with better light. Sadly, those muffins we got on Saturday night didn't make it. I guess that is what happens when you put them on the roof of the car and then drive off. Oops.

The Falls were lovely. A feast for the eyes, but not the nose. For some reason, it was super stinky. As if raw sewage were tumbling over the precipice instead of water. We held our breath and took pictures. There were some ruins around as well. I believe they were from the original mill that was built there but went out of business. The only thing there now is a restaurant, where hopefully you can view the falls but not smell them.

Back in the car, we were on our last leg of the trip. Minnesota, here we come! I took a last photo with the mirror that hung over my head the entire time I was driving. We really were wedged in that car.

The mission home is closer to Minneapolis, but Mom was going to be living in a smaller town called Byron. Byron is pretty tiny. But only fifteen minutes away is the thriving city of Rochester. That place is large with the Mayo Clinic and all the stores and amenities you could need.

There was some gap in the communication along the way. I always knew what our schedule would be, but somehow the mission office thought we wouldn't be there until Tuesday. They were planning for us to arrive a day later. And they planned to fly me back on Wed. I didn't really want to spend extra time in MN. Not because it wouldn't be cool to see stuff out there or hang out with Mom, but I was going to miss June's orchestra concert. When we showed up Monday afternoon, around the same time as Mom's companion, Sis. McPhie, they were a bit surprised. Sis. McPhie is very nice. She was already unpacking with her son, so we jumped right in and got Mom's car unloaded in no time. The apartment is very nice. Here are some of the rooms.

The missionaries had heard that Sis. Cazier and Sis. McPhie were arriving. They came to help but were just a few minutes late. No worries, it was still great to meet them all. Elders Calderwood and Ruson, Elders Loveland and Newell and Sisters Woodward and Lok. They were the district for that area. Sis. Woodward is from Vineyard, just a stone's throw away. I have been meaning to stop by and see her family, but it hasn't happened yet.

 After unpacking, we got some lunch. We checked out the small town of Byron. There isn't much going on, but luckily all the important stuff is right around the corner from their apartment. The gas station, and grocery store are right there. We tried out another bar of course, since I don't think Sis. McPhie will go their later. I took this picture because it made me laugh that the bugs were all huddled in the shade. Can you see them?

Lunch was amazing. The food was so good that I didn't even mind when Vicki knocked over her soda spilling it all over me. It was accompanied by her usual loud scream. It certainly got everyone's attention.

In the afternoon, we went into Rochester and hit up Bed, Bath and Beyond to redo Mom's bathroom. It is not a large bathroom. She has a sink squished in the corner. I'm not sure how she will ever do her hair over there. But after we were done, she had some very nice towels.

 I'm very excited for Mom. She has a nice place to live and already people that can take care of her and love her. Sis. McPhie is very nice. She is very different from Mom, but in good ways. They will compliment each other well. Mom can be a bit of a tornado (in good ways) and I think Peggy will be a calm voice in return. Now that they have been out there a while, they seems to be getting along. There have been some hiccups but that is normal for any companionship. Despite their differences, I think they are both united in the gospel. I slept on the couch that night and looked forward to a day of fun in MN, since I had an extra day to kill

Sadly, in other news, I found out that day that the Kelly's lost their house to wildfires in CA. It seemed so unreal. I got an email alert from a hotel in that area that they were evacuating. (I didn't even know there were fires at the time.) So I texted Jeannie to see how they were doing. She said, "Everyone is safe, but the house is gone." I was shocked. Everything happened so quickly. I'm so grateful they were safe, but my heart hurt for them. Turns out Ethan's school burned down as well. So much destruction, upheaval, and heartache all at once. I think the holidays were a very hard time for them. They spent time waiting for schools to figure out what to do with kids, and finding a new place to live. They have a place now, and Ethan is back in school, but I think they are still deciding what to do long term. Do they rebuild or find a new permanent home? Such hard choices. I sure love their family and this has been hard to watch. You wish only good things for your loved ones.