I spent the last 10 days on a road trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.  Here are three insights from the trip:

1) "Fireflies" by Owl City is kind of like an old joke.  The first few times you listen to it, it puts a smile on your face.  The next 10-20 times you hear it, you groan when the first line is delivered and plead, "Not this one again!"  And then, after some time and distance pass, you perk up when you hear the familiar cadence and join right in vocalizing with the performer whether you want to or not.

2) The first 10-hour car ride is a fun-filled extravaganza of 20 Questions, Yellow Car, and The License Plate Game.  The second consecutive 10-hour driving day teaches you how to effectively problem-solve with a group.

3) Never promise your kids they will swim when you get to the hotel.  All it takes is one kid with a sweet tooth and a weak stomach to make you a liar.

Next week my kids and I go back to school, so this will likely be my last post for a while.  Thanks for reading and sending your ideas my way!

Monday, August 20

I mentioned the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge a couple of weeks ago, but today's program is so unique I wanted to highlight it again.  In an effort to demonstrate the ease with which you can access natural areas via public transportation, the MVNWR developed "Going Wild: Rail to Refuge."  This program provides the chance to hang with Park Ranger Judy Geck as she escorts you on the train from the Nicollet Mall Light Rail Station to the wildlife refuge.  Once you arrive, a scenic tour, ranger program, and guided hike are all yours for the taking.  There is no charge for Going Wild (you can't say that every day), but the train will cost about $2.  Meet Judy at the station at 1 o'clock, and you'll return about 4.

Tuesday, August 21

When was the last time you went rollerskating?  Was there anything better than combing your hair back into a perfect feather before hitting the rink with your flashing wheels and almost holding the hand of that special skater you'd had your eye on for the last few weeks?  Now you can introduce your kids to the thrill that is rollerskating, and do it on a budget.  The Roller Garden in St. Louis Park hosts "Two Dollar Tuesdays" from 6-8 pm.  Admission is $2 and skate rental is another $2, but "Four Dollar Tuesdays" doesn't sound as good or as cheap.  If you can't make it today, there is also "Summer Skating Fun" scheduled Wednesday through Friday this week from noon to 3 pm, but that'll cost you $8 each.

Wednesday, August 22

My grandpa used to complain that rock & roll was ruining the future of this country.  Today history is ruining rock & roll.  Well, ruining bluegrass anyway.  In a classic case of a win-win . . . win scenario, the Mill City Museum opens up its Ruins Courtyard to the Roe Family Singers for Mill City Live 2012.  Not only will you catch some bluegrass in a sweet setting, the price of admission also opens the doors of the museum to you from 4-9 pm.  And, as if that wasn't enough already, admission is discounted to only $5 per person.  Win, win, win.  Folk rockers Rogue Valley perform next Wednesday.

Have a great school year!  See you next summer.


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Daily Adventures August 13-18, 2012

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Summer family adventures: Kid Links, volunteering and the Ordway