Sunday, September 19, 2010

Herman the German

In an effort to get out of the house and try something new we made the 1.5 hour drive to New Ulm a few Sundays ago. We had never been there before and had read that it was a charming little town with a lot of German heritage. Well, not 100% true, but we still enjoyed the beautiful day and New Ulm had just enough entertainment for us to fill up a Sunday.

First stop was a Historic General Store from the mid 1800's that still had some original inventory. That was pretty neat. It was sort of like standing inside the Olsen's Mercantile on Little House on the Prairie. Then we stopped at the "pirate park" to let the boys burn some energy. Next stop, lunch. We thought for sure there would be more than TWO German restaurants in a town that boasts it's German heritage. Wrong. The one that is highly recommended was closed for Labor Day weekend. So we went to the other one which is a hotel restaurant that apparently only serves an AMERICAN brunch on Sundays. I think the hostess could sense the meltdown I was about to have and so they graciously offered to seat us in a different area and let us order off the German menu. :) After a tastey lunch of weinerschnitzel and kraut we headed to Schell's Brewery. Very neat place and pretty interesting. In hindsight our boys probably weren't quite ready for a brewery tour, but by the end we were sure ready for the tasting room! Last stop...Herman the German. Herman is atop of a really high (insert - Mommy was too afraid to climb up) monument that you could get to via spiral staircase...the kind that you can see through the steps. Blake and Kurt had no fear though and made it to the top! Unfortunately, the boys fell asleep in the car so quickly that they missed the pitstop at Dairy Queen. :)

Welcome to the Minnesota State Fair...

where everything but your children are served up on a stick! We have lived here 10 years and only made it the State Fair once before. Some people go at least 10 times EVERY year! In our defense, we have taken a liking to the Renaissance Festival in leiu of the Fair and since they are neither a cheap excursion and run at the same time we have had to choose. This year we felt the need to let the boys experience the Fair. It turned out to be a lot of fun. We took off a Monday so we could go when it was less busy. It was a beautiful...and HOT! Thank goodness we hit the animal barns first! We went with our friends the Lamothe's and the kids all got such a kick out of riding a city bus to the Fair. It was pretty slick transportation. We had our fair share of yummy treats...chocolate milk, grilled cheese on a stick, catfish on a stick, apple cider popsicles, cotton candy and of course cheese curds! Blake is not a fan of cheese curds. Luke on the other hand...
The kids had fun seeing and petting the animals. Blake and Chloe had so much fun riding rides together and Luke finally got a turn. I rode with him on an airplane ride that was a little fast and jerky, but this little guy squealed and laughed the entire time. I don't think he ever quit smiling! They also enjoyed a gondola ride above the Fair, a trip up in the "Space Needle" and watching the parade. I think their favorite part of the entire day was getting their cowboy hats though. Luke really wanted a pink one, but I think the little sheriff hat fits his personality much better!