Hannah likes the St.Louis Blues and wants to see them in person. So we got tickets so she could see a game in person. As an added bonus, my mom came in town with her. I wasn’t going to let mom miss a good time, so we had lots of parallel plans to keep us busy!
Hannah and Danelle
Left to Right: Danelle, Hannah, Laura Berlin
Danelle had some things to do, so we took a side trip to Grafton, IL twice. There was an event, something like Tugboat Days going on. So there was a river tug available for tours. We went up Saturday and found out the tickets had sold out. Not one to let something that get me down, we took a minor tour of Pere Marquette State Park and the fantastic views it offered.
It was decided that we would go back early Sunday morning and see the tug before mom went home. So the next day, we took the ferry out to look at the tug.
And because it was Sunday, we all got the tour. Here are some photos of a tugboat.
One of the twin 16 cylinder engines.
Twin generators always on for power.
A few spare parts.
From the pilot house looking back.
Looking from an upper deck down to the front
Wires used to tie the barges together.
Selfie of our group
The boat we’re about to tour
From the tour, it sounds like life as a deckhand is mostly about scraping paint and re-painting all day. Maybe I don’t want that job 🙂
Like any good fool, I often volunteer myself for work that I don’t have to do. In this case, my brother Hiatt was talking about his house needing to be painted. I suggested that he schedule it for Labor Day weekend so we had an extra day. He of course obliged and I was not going to paint for my holiday weekend. Anything for family and friends! Danelle and Corvin couldn’t make it due to Corvin’s soccer schedule (and we could have used her help!).
Of course if you’re getting help from me, I’m going to do things my way within reason. Here are some photos of the events.
We had a fun and hard weekend and got most of the house painted.
I’ve been to Mardi Gras too many times, and this is just one more. I’m the bridge between two groups that all come together to get drunk and walk the streets. This year, Hanna’s friend Jen came to join our crew. The first step is always getting in costume. After the pink suit I wore last year, most of the group wanted in. Cory came to the rescue getting us jump suits and iron on patches so we could become the Ghost Busters.
With costumes on, we went for lunch before heading out to the party. Its fun to go in costume and gets looks!
Once properly fed, we took the Metrolink down to the party. This gave us a chance to mingle and warm up to the party, and time to sober up on the way home. Here are a few photos from Mardi Gras itself. We got a lot of “Who ya gonna call” yelled to our group and requests for photos.
Towards the end of the evening after a few too many libations, Cory bet us he could walk right up on a stage and touch the balloons. We didn’t think he could/would.
He is in the orange jacket going up the stairs in the photo. Not only did he go up and touch the balloons, he got them to play the (our) theme song for the movie Ghostbusters!
It got dark and cold quickly and our group was loosing conscious thought quickly. A stop to the bathrooms, then we could leave.
Every year when I write up my thoughts and recap the event, I wonder why I do it. But every January, I start asking my group who is coming with me.
While we were in KC for Christmas, we realized that we would be coming back a week later for Herman’s Graduation from the police academy. The kids asked if they could stay for the week and I asked mom. She was delighted at having the kids for the week and said she would take care of their laundry and have a great time. Everybody was excited with this arrangement. Danelle and I enjoyed our few days off from being parents, but we were happy to come back and see the kids!
Every good party has great food and cake and this was no exception. The cake was custom made with Herman’s face on it.
The food was quite good too. Dianna, one of Hannah’s friends couldn’t get enough of it!
We came in town in time to be of some help before Herman’s party. Since we’re Haake’s, we have a sense of humor. We got 36 glazed donuts for a game during the party (with Herman’s blessing). Eventually party time came and lots of people came over to celebrate.
Everybody worked down to the basement for the donut/Piñata game. Here, people were handcuffed with real handcuffs and blindfolded. Then they had to eat a donut hanging from a string. Its much harder than it looks. Half the fun was viewing the different methods for eating a moving donut.
And if you still are not sure, watch the video below to see Corvin and Dan Haake try it out.
Hannah is near the end of her stay for this visit. Danelle was busy with a prior commitment, so I thought I would take her and the kids out for an adventure. We started the day at the Melvin Price Lock and Dam and the associated National Great Rivers Museum. We were hoping to get a full tour of the Dam.
We got started on the tour, but found out we couldn’t go out across the dam like I’ve done before due to a high security level. We did get to walk out closer to look at it.
The white and black bags are sand bags as there was a recent threat of flooding.
We didn’t stay as long as we wanted to due to the shortened tour, so we headed down the river road. We made a few pit stops along the way including stopping at the site of the old lock and dam. Then we back tracked hoping to go to the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Again our luck was low as the roads were closed due to flooding issues. We did get to see a turtle in the road if that counts…