Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back from Vacation

I'm back in Minnesota tonight after a short trip to Wisconsin. It was pretty action packed, as I went to my 30 year high school reunion, then hit Bay Beach, the Milwaukee Zoo and the Milwaukee Art Museum, among other things. A few quick observations:
  • I was concerned that our reunion wasn't going to be much, because the only notice went out on Facebook and a large number of my classmates don't participate on Facebook. We ended up getting about 35-40 people back, which is pretty good for a class of about 150. Everyone looked really good, too. It was fun.
  • Bay Beach, the municipal amusement park in Green Bay, remains an amazingly good deal. They recently installed a roller coaster that had been in an amusement park in Memphis that closed. The ride is called the Zippin Pippin and you can ride it for $1. It's one of the old-style wood roller coasters and it's pretty good. Most of the other rides are either a quarter or 50 cents. I bought 20 bucks worth of tickets for the kids and they were able to ride all afternoon and we still had tickets left over after 4+ hours at the park. Valleyfair ought to hang its head in shame.
  • I hadn't been to Milwaukee in a long time and it was fun to get back. I've always been fond of the Milwaukee County Zoo and it remains a superior place to see animals. While we have a zoo in the Twin Cities, it's always a dicey proposition whether you'll be able to see the animals, because they give them such huge spaces. I realize that's the proper way to display animals, but it makes the experience hit or miss, which is tough to accept considering how much you pay to get into the place. In Milwaukee, the design provides room for the animals, but the sightlines are much better. If you are in Milwaukee, it's a must see.
  • I had not been to the Milwaukee Art Museum since it moved to its new digs. It's a spectacular space and the architecture is phenomenal. The collection in the space is pretty good, too, especially a large collection of Georgia O'Keefe works.
  • I didn't think a lot about politics while I was there, but there were little signs of the strife that's been ongoing -- a fist sign in a shop window, a random billboard here and there. We noticed on the Milwaukee news that a group of union members stormed a school board meeting in a suburban district, supposedly because the teachers claimed they weren't clear on their compensation package for the coming year. The interesting thing is that most of the teachers apparently didn't work in the district. Apparently the union hasn't lost its taste for mob tactics. It will be interesting to see if this works, because the few people I talked to are pretty tired of it all.
We will return to regularly scheduled blogging soon. I heard that something has been happening in Libya.

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