St. Paddy’s Day!

I’m on deck for the “Danny Boy” sing-off at Frank O’Dowds! Yes, Lisa signed me up…

UPDATE: I came in second.

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Our weekend visitors

Adam, Rachel, and Sean were visiting Grandma & Grandpa Lawrence for a week, so they decided to spend a couple of days with us!

They got to our house around 10:00 Saturday morning. After getting settled in, we had an early lunch and then I took the kids to the Kids’ Courtyard playground. On the way, we stopped by the grave of Nelson Dewey, the first governor of Wisconsin. At the park, we all had a fun time running & climbing. (Granted, I did more sitting & watching, but you get the idea…) We left that park and headed over to Schreiner Park. It’s not a playground, but has a par course for exercising. We stopped at a few of the stations, but headed home when it started to rain.

When we got back to the house, Lisa had put together a treasure hunt for the kids. Each had their own set of clues and their own prize at the end. They seemed to enjoy figuring out where each clue was leading them and finding the next clue. After all the prizes had been found, we hooked up the Wii and played a few rounds of Mario Kart. If I recall correctly, I finished in last place each time. I think the age of video games has finally passed me by. Bring back pinball!

When it was time for dinner, we walked up the hill to Happy Joe’s for pizza and ice cream. While we were waiting for the pizza, we played a few games at the arcade. Everyone did great and won something to take home.

After dinner, we made some glow-in-the-dark chalk from a kit Lisa bought. After the molds hardened, we went outside and the kids drew on the driveway. I wasn’t sure how well it would work, but it looked pretty good! As you can tell by the pictures, Sean believes I am a “Hooter.” I’m not exactly sure if that’s a compliment.

Sunday morning, we played a little more Wii (I’m much better at Golf than Mario Kart). Adam, Sean, and I then went to the Schreiner Park par course and went through all the stations. It took us a while, but it was a nice day and a nice walk through the park. Some of the stations go through the woods, and the workers did a fantastic job of keeping the paths groomed. We went back home, showered, and headed to McDonald’s (and the Playland) for lunch. Once everyone was tuckered out from playing, we went to Grandma & Grandpa Lawrence’s. We got unpacked, relaxed for a bit, and Chico grilled brats and hamburgers.

Adam, Sean, and Rachel: Lisa and I enjoyed having you visit. We hope you had as much fun as we did!

 

Twins/White Sox games

After the 2011 Bill Nason Memorial Tournament, I drove to the Twin Cities to pick up Mark at the airport. Mark was my law partner until he left private practice to take a position with the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office. For the past few years, we’ve gone to see the Twins and Brewers play an interleague series in both Milwaukee and Minneapolis. This year, it didn’t work out for us to see any Twins/Brewers games, as they played on back-to-back weekends, right after Lisa and I returned from Italy.

We decided to go to a few games anyway. Mark flew from Milwaukee to Minneapolis on August 5th, I picked him up at the airport, we stayed at a hotel and saw the Twins play the White Sox Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. After the Sunday game, I dropped him off at the airport and drove home. In September, we’re going to see the Brewers play the Phillies in Milwaukee. We agreed to become fans of the home team for these two series. I bought Mark a Twins shirt and he’s going to get me a Brewers shirt or cap in September.

Although the Twins lost both games, we had fun. My cousin Curt let us use his season tickets, so we had great seats. On Sunday afternoon, three foul balls off Joe Mauer’s bat landed within ten feet of our seats. The first was caught by a young man two rows in front of us, just before it hit his mom in the head. One pitch later, a second ball flew right at us. Mark reached up and had it in his hand for a moment, but it spun out, bounced off a couple people behind us, and landed in the aisle. My cat-like reflexes allowed me to beat everyone to the ball and I fought a sizable mob to recover it! Okay, no one else was diving for it, it was right at my feet, and I just bent over to grab it. Still, it was pretty cool. A kid sitting four rows in front of us on the other side of the aisle brought his glove and caught another foul about 3 pitches later.

The Twins were honoring the 1991 World Series championship team over the weekend. The trophy was on display and the team was introduced on the field before Sunday’s game. A few of the players led the crowd in “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch. We also saw the Kirby Puckett memorabilia area in the Delta SKY 360 Legend’s Club. Some pretty neat stuff, including game-used equipment and one of his Gold Glove awards.

My friend Doug met us for breakfast Sunday morning. I hadn’t seen him for awhile, so it was nice to finally get together. We went for a short drive in his new car and then Mark & I went to the ballpark, where we met Robby Incmikoski while he was setting up for the pregame show. He seemed like a nice guy and appeared interested while talking with me and Mark for a couple of minutes. (No, I don’t think he really cared, but he did a good job acting like he did.)

I’ve been to a few games at Target Field, and I still love it. The view of the skyline is great and outdoor baseball can’t be beat. A few rainouts here and there are worth the move from the Dome, in my opinion.

Ninth Annual Bill Nason Memorial Tournament

The Ninth Annual tournament was held Wednesday, August 3rd at the Oaks Country Club near Hayfield, MN. The weather was fantastic, despite the threat of rain earlier in the day. My cousin Curt let us use his customized “Twins” golf cart. That guy might be a bigger Twins fan than I am!

Unfortunately, I didn’t keep the score card, but I think I won. In fact, I believe I’ve won it each year since the inaugural tournament in 2003. I could be wrong about that, but I’m sticking to that story until someone shows me the official records. Of course, in THIS tournament, using your toe wedge and throwing the ball out of a sand trap are not only allowed, they’re encouraged. (If you knew my dad, you’ll understand why.)

Mom, Brenda and I had a good time golfing and playing a few card games Wednesday night. My contribution to the festivities was a large Mabe’s pizza that I brought from Decorah. Brenda left Thursday morning and Mom & I went golfing with Paul, Kay, & Phil. Again, I think I won, but I don’t have a score card. If memory serves, I shot somewhere around 38 on the front nine and 39 on the back nine. I’m pretty sure my relatives will back me up on that. After golf, we had dinner together at the country club and then headed home.

Another successful BNMT!

 

Twins/Indians games

Lisa and I went to see the Twins play the Indians on Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon. It was pretty warm both days, but GREAT baseball weather. It was Lisa’s first trip to Target Field and she was impressed.

We drove up Tuesday morning, did a little shopping, and then headed off to the game. We met Tip, a friend of mine from law school, at The Six15 Room and walked over to Target Field with him. He was meeting some clients in one of the suites, but we were able to chat awhile on Target Plaza.

Both games were great! In the Tuesday night game, the Twins were down 1-0 entering the bottom of the 9th. With the bases loaded and one out, Danny Valencia hit a walkoff single to win the game 2-1. Wednesday afternoon, the Twins were tied in the bottom of the 8th but came up with 3 runs to win. Valencia got the go-ahead RBI. Guy was clutch for two days in a row.

Unfortunately, the Twins lost the first two games of that four game series, so they only managed to split with the first-place Indians. No matter, we still had a fun time and Lisa enjoyed her first Target Field trip!