Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October adventures

A stretch of Mississippi River that divides Minneapolis and St. Paul residential areas is breath-taking in its autumn colors this year. With Vi and Augie, we drove along St. Paul's East River Road and stopped at this overlook.

The kids enjoyed the color, but they were disappointed that we couldn't climb down the bluffs to the water.

But...we visited another part of the river, where it curves around downtown St. Paul (or vice versa). We took a picnic lunch to Harriet Island, played at the playground, and walked along the river to look at buildings, boats, ducks, and minnows.

The playground includes this impressionistic sternwheeler meant for kids to climb.   
Under the plastic slides and bridges of today's playground equipment are cozy spaces where Augie "opens a restaurant" and serves me lunch. Today's pretend menu was potstickers and lo mein.

A highlight of the day came during our picnic, when Augie pointed to the sky and shouted, "Look! An eagle!" Sure enough, he'd spotted a bald eagle soaring above the Mississippi. It circled slowly above us, and in the noonday sun its white head gleamed against the deep blue sky. Alas, it returned downstream before I managed to get my camera out.

Peter and I have scouted a few Twin Cities bird-watching spots, hoping to find a place that the kids can enjoy. At Harriet Island yesterday, we learned that it only takes one really good bird to make an outing a success. Extra points for playgrounds and colored leaves.


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