Thursday, June 26, 2008

Frontenac State Park-June 22-26, 2008

This Minnesota State Park, another of our favorites, is located ten miles south of Red Wing on Highway 61. The park is located high on the limestone bluffs, affording beautiful views of the Mississippi as it widens to form Lake Pepin.

We had another wonderful trip with beautiful weather. However, we did break down and run the air conditioner in the camper for an hour or two on Wednesday evening. We spent time in Red Wing, the old town of Frontenac (which was a luxury resort after the Civil War for high society people from as far away as New Orleans and St. Louis), Lake City and Wabasha.

We have a favorite butcher shop, Huettel’s, in nearby Lake City and so had a steak medallion dinner on Tuesday night. We also had a pork chop and asparagus dinner as there was a local farm stand selling strawberries and asparagus. The pork chops were bought at Meatheads in Red Wing. Obviously, we really are enjoying the Weber Q. So far it has been easy to stay true to our goal to buy local produce and meat for our trips.

Paul stayed alone at the campsite on Monday evening as I went back home for a previously scheduled dinner with my investment group and to act as a chauffeur for Suzanne as she wrote her boards on Tuesday. She is so glad to be done with that test! I dropped her off at 7:30 a.m. at the test site and headed back to the park, arriving there by 8:45, just in time for another cup of coffee. The park has great hiking trails along the bluff lines and there are great overlooks all along the river throughout the area. We walked, read and took in the views. I can honestly say we are catching up on our rest.

And then, of course, there is the bird-watching.......
We do spend a good share of our time watching for birds and identifying the wildflowers we find as we go out on our hikes. There is an open field between the park office and the campground which is perfect habitat for bluebirds. We saw so many during our stay there. Paul also spotted a bald eagle, another common bird in the area, and an indigo bunting, which I think is even more beautiful than the bluebird.

So, we will be "taking a break" before we plan our next trip. We have some ideas in mind, so you'll here from us soon!


Brats On The Grill

Our very first dinner on our new Weber Q 100 was a simple but tasty fresh bratwurst and onion grill. We simply filled a foil pan with sliced onions and then placed the fresh brats on top, sealed the pan with foil and steamed them on a low fire for 25 minutes. We then browned the brats on the grill for about five minutes, returned them to the foil pan with the onions and cooked slowly for another fifteen minutes until the onions were caramelized. Excellent!

Our First Retirement Trip- June 15th-18th,2008

Nerstrand "Big Woods" State Park
What a great trip! The weather could not have been more beautiful. All three days, the day time temps were in the 70's and the night temps were in the high 50's.

We mostly just relaxed and read. Both of us were very exhausted after finishing the last school year of our careers!

We do like to shop at local vendors for food to cook on our trips. The little town of Nerstrand has a great butcher shop that makes wonderful homemade sausages and bratwursts, so we cooked them one night. Faribault also has a good meat market, so we had a butter-garlic flavored chicken breast from there one night. One chicken breast was enough for our initial dinner with enough left over to make a chicken pasta salad for lunch the next day. We shopped in Northfield at a organic grocery store named "Just Foods." Other than that we did some hiking and had campÔ¨Āres and played Scrabble at night. Ahhhhh!
Our new camper is wonderful!