Missouri et al trip recap

It’s funny because while I haven’t been here for the last week, I spent plenty of time online here, here, and here. In the real world, I was off on the every other year Krause family summer get together in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.  Here’s a set of pictures on Flickr; here’s a few highlights:

  • Spent the first night in St. Louis, where we enjoyed fried toasted ravioli and red sauce Italian food.  The next day, we went to the Arch (of course) and then City Museum, which I have to say is actually the “must see” attraction of the two, IMO.  There was some fun and funky stuff in St. Louis; I’m looking forward to going back when the CCCCs is there in few years.
  • My parents rented a house on the Lake of the Ozarks for the 10 adults and eight grandkids.  On the plus-side:  the house was pretty much big enough, pretty nice, had great views, and the water was accessible down many many stairs.  On the down-side:  it was down a winding road,  another winding road, a gravel road a gravel/dirt road, and finally a “holy shit, you want me to drive down that?!” gravel/dirt road.  Which meant it was about 35 minutes from the main road, which was where most of “civilization” was located.
  • The other down-side (which wasn’t exactly a surprise) was there was no easy internet access, which made teaching my online classes somewhat challenging for the week.  Surprisingly though, I think I pulled it off with a couple of trips to a Panera’s and the iPhone.  I did finally start playing around with iPhone internet tethering, which worked fantastic for me but which makes me paranoid.  I’m just worried I’m going to get some kind of huge charge added to my bill.
  • We had fun with the family (Will especially had fun playing with the cousins), the weather was much cooler and more reasonable than I was expecting, I got a chance to play golf a couple times, everyone but my father and me got a chance to go out on the water on a rented boat, had a lot of fun going to Ha Ha Tonka State Park, and we had some nice views of the lake.  Having said that, Lake of the Ozarks seems mostly a place to go and get on a boat, drink beer, and go “wooo!”  A little country/hillbilly-ish for my tastes, generally speaking.
  • Then it was off to Chicago.  Went out with Troy and Lisa on Friday, which was great though our effort to get into Frontera Grill was thwarted by a 2+ hour wait.  Maybe next time.  (BTW, fun fact I didn’t know until I visited his web site:  Rick Bayless did at least some PhD work in Anthropological Linguisitcs at U of M.  Go figure).  Instead, we went to Vong’s Thai Kitchen, which was quite nice.
  • Got up the next morning and had a run/walk through Millennium Park as I went and picked up breakfast stuff for Will and Annette.  It was one of those mornings that made me think living in Chicago would be pretty cool.
  • Then onto the Museum of Science and Industry, mainly for Harry Potter:  The Exhibition.  I’d like to tell you to check out the pictures I took, but there was a definite NO PHOTOGRAPHY rule.  Despite that, it was a pretty cool collection of costumes and props and set stuff from the movie, probably more for the “hard core” fan (like my wife and son), but still enjoyable for the likes of me.  One of the tour dudes there told us that the movie makers working on something actually came back to get something from the exhibit, I guess to work on the current film.  The only down-side was we once again were not able to see the coal mine exhibit– or maybe a better way of putting it is we weren’t willing to wait in line for an hour or more.  Again, next time.
  • Managed to spend some time getting lost in some of the less desirable neighborhoods on the southside and near the Chicago Skyway Bridge, got stuck in traffic in Gary, etc.

All in all, a good trip.  Now it’s a couple weeks of “normalness” at home before the Traverse City experience.

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