Monday, April 19, 2010


I'm still on one of the best weekends I've had in a long time. I'm still not back in the office today although I am home from Minneapolis and settling back into my routine. This weekend managed to recharge all my batteries along with inspire me. I can't say that very often about a weekend.

I had Friday off which is why today feels so incredibly luxurious. Four day weekends are great because they feel almost too long. For a moment this morning I thought that it was a workday. Jeff had class that morning then came home at noon and we managed to start heading out of town by 1. The drive up was quick and interesting. Jeff and I spent much of our early relationship traveling all over Iowa and the Midwest, so being in the car and just talking is rejuvenating for us. The four hour drive flew by and we managed to get up to the Cities just in time for dinner. We went to Mongos in Maple Grove, one of my favorite Mongolian BBQ restaurants, mostly because I can mix in brown rice with my veggies to make for a tasty and nutritious meal. After Mongos we grabbed some ice cream and headed over to a friend's house to play hours of Soul Caliber (wow, those are some interesting outfits!) and talk. The main attraction for Soul Caliber was to laugh at the outfits and the women's dimensions. Late that night our friend Dan joined us and we stayed until late talking and had a very nice time (Thanks Jon).

Early Morning Mondo

The next morning was Mondo (hmm Mongos, then Mondo). We arrived pretty early so the festival was still pretty quiet. That gave us the chance to talk and juggle and just relax. I worked on some three ball but most of the day was dedicated to contact juggling (think David Bowie in Labyrinth). As the hall filled in around 10:30, we were approached by a group of high school students on a field trip to the festival. I wish I had those kind of field trips when I was in school. They were interested in the contact juggling but fascinated with most of the other toys we had. Jeff spent almost all day teaching one of the girls to use the poi. Right before lunch, we ran into a contact juggler that had some of the coolest moves I've ever seen. This man was amazing. I posted a video of his work at the end of this post (I didn't ask so I hope that's okay with Cameron).
Lon and his brother Scott, passing clubs

At midday we headed out to lunch at Leeann Chin, a standard lunch spot on Mondo days. Then back to the festival for an afternoon of juggling practice and talking. The high school kids and Cameron found us again and spent most of the afternoon hanging out with our group. It was a ton of fun and when the raffle started (the end of the Saturday event) we were all a little bummed. But our disappointment was short lived. Our group managed to win five of the raffle drawings including a new spinning plate for Bob and a new set of clubs for Josh. Jeff even won some little things. We haven't had a good luck year like that in a while. After the raffle we went back to our friends Lon and Lisa's house for pizza and more talking. We ended up there until well after 1 am, playing Beatles Rock Band and Mario Cart.

The next morning we took our friend Josh out to brunch for allowing us to stay with him and about noon we headed out after a quick stop at Trader Joe's and some other shopping. We drove halfway and stopped in Albert Lea to see my older brother. We just hung out and talked with him, his wife, and the kids for a while. Mandy, my sister-in-law made us a fantastic dinner and we sat out on the back patio to eat. They live out in the country so it was so incredibly beautiful and quiet and relaxing. After dinner we went for a little hike on their land and about 7 we got back into the car and finally headed for home. The cat was excited to see us and although it was nice to spend the weekend with Josh, it was nice to sleep in our own bed last night. This morning I've been cleaning like a mad women. I'm so full of energy right now. The weekend inspired me to practice my juggling more. Now if only I had taken more pictures.

Cameron from Ohio, the amazing contact juggler.
{Edit: I'm not sure why the videos loaded the way they did. Rest assured, they do work, after a little buffering}


Salt said...

Next time, I gotta get in on some of that Soul Caliber!

Dan Cook said...

They've got Darth Vader in that game... VADER!!!

Now if you could figure a way to work Vader into Beatles Rock Band, you might have a shot at convincing me to play...


Cat B said...

Soul Caliber was a ton of fun. Mostly button mashing but the big draw was the bizarre costumes and the even stranger dimensions on the female fighters (No, breasts don't actually move like that).

And of course as Dan points out...Vader! For the Star Wars geek in me it was cool to see him fight. I needed to spend more time learning the force moves.

But Dan, you should still try one of the Rock Bands. You might like it. I'm terrible at them but I still had some fun drumming. And I guarantee that you have better rhythm than I do.

Dan Cook said...

Thanks Cat, but I've tried them and I can't get myself just play the game, rather than actually try to play the music.

My brain's just wired differently like that I guess.

I don't mind hanging out while they're played, but they just don't do anything for me.