Visiting Como Park Zoo & Conservatory in Saint Paul Minnesota

Saturday we had a chance to visit Como Park Zoo & Conservatory in Saint Paul Minnesota. They are open 365 days a year till 4 pm and until 6 pm April through September. The admission is free with a suggested donation of $2 per adult and $1 per child to help with costs. “You are always welcome whether or not you choose to donate.”

There’s a free shuttle from various parking lots in the area. It’s best to use the shuttle and to check their website for parking locations. We got a shuttle painted like a giraffe that Fiona loved!

There’s a carousel that’s just $1.50 to ride. Fiona decided not to ride this time. Maybe next time.

We saw primates, tigers, lions and bears. In addition to the polar bears, there were brown bears being housed temporarily. They had been in North Dakota but needed a new shelter for a bit due to the flooding in North Dakota.

The conservatory was full of beautiful plants and flowers. Fiona also enjoyed the Children’s Gallery & RibbitZit area.

It was a very relaxing and inexpensive way to spend Saturday afternoon.


The Boys Learn Pizza Making Techniques from Joel

Last night our new friend Adam had us come over so Joel could teach him and some of his friends how we make our home made pizza – from dough made from scratch to the sauce made from scratch. What a lot of fun we all had.

making pizza dough
Adam learns to make crust

Adam and his roommates thought this was a special treat. Along with nearly a dozen other friends, it was a night full of pizza making and fun company. These ‘boys’ actually range from 25 to 35 – right about our older kid’s ages who range from 22 to 30.

Adam's really getting into it now!
Adam's really getting into it now!

Matt is married with a teenage daughter. We got to meet Matt’s wife as well and had a very enjoyable chat. We certainly think they are pizza pros now! Of course we brought along our baking stone – another kitchen staple that goes with us everyone. It’s not only perfect for baking pizza on, we use it for our home made bread.

Matt enjoys the pizza making process!
Matt enjoys the pizza making process!

House Sitting in Minnesota with Two Boxers, Three Cats and One Homeschooler

We’ve been house sitting in Saint Paul for about 10 days and have about 10 days to go. ¬†Our host is on vacation in Europe and has two boxers and three cats that needed to be cared for. It’s actually not that hard. The boxers are very friendly and most obedient. It was a challenge one morning when the male decided to stay under the house when we wanted him to come back in to his kennel so we could leave for a bit. He finally came in though and we got done what needed to be done.

One of the cats can be seen often and likes to sleep on the bed at my feet. No problem. Two of the cats I didn’t even see for a few days. The like to hide. Last night all three of them came out to the living room and wanted attention while Fiona and I were watching TV.

And then there’s our homeschooler – Fiona. She started second grade on September 1st. We have a huge pile of all kinds of fun books to learn from. She loves the geography book and the map of the world puzzle.

We’ve made some new friends and will be visiting with the niece of one of our friends in California later this week. We’re planning the next leg of the trip the first week of October as we leave here, go back to Wisconsin for a few days and then head towards Philadelphia and New Jersey. We’ve got that big book release party to prepare for in Philly in November.

A Playground for Fiona and Morning Glory for Sue

We’re currently staying in St. Paul Minnesota in a nearly 100-year old home. Right outside the window are morning glories. I’ve loved morning glories since I was a kid and always hoped to have some of my own. Now I do for a few weeks while house sitting.

morning glories

Diagonally right across the way is a playground. So guess where Fiona will be spending her P.E. time? And it’s great that there’s a Trader Joe’s only a few blocks away!