Monday, September 10, 2012

Trying To Live Like the Locals

Waiting for the firetruck parade
Here they come!
It has been one year since David pulled out of the driveway to head to Minnesota (a little earlier than the rest of us) to start his new job.  A couple of my friends who have been through the relocation process have told me that it takes one year to have your new city feel like home.  Okay...."home" might be a little bit of a stretch, however I can say that we are definitely getting our groove going here.  We are fairly settled in our new house (although I still have a ton of decorating to do), we are meeting people, Madeline is back in school and we are finally in a place in our lives that on the weekends we can go out and explore.  In an effort to try to put the "home stamp" on our life here, I have searched various upcoming things to do and marked them on our calendar.

Climbing a fire truck
Madeline just finished exploring the inside of a paramedic truck
With Papa, Jonathan's first midway ride (Ferris Wheel)

Madeline and Papa enjoying the doggie
Jonathan not enjoying the doggie ride as much as his sister
Both of our kids enjoy watching a kids program called "Fireman Sam". It is a cute 15 minute program that we often watch before bedtime (DVRed from earlier in the morning).  With that thought I figured we could take a drive down to Burnsville (about 30 min south of us) for their Burnsville Fire Muster.  We went primarily for the fire truck parade but knew there was also a little carnival going on too.  The parade exhibited fire trucks from the surrounding cities and also displayed some old time firetrucks.  Jonathan got a kick out of the trucks and their sirens and lights while Madeline had the most fun collecting candy that was being thrown of of the trucks at the tail of the parade.  After the parade, we walked over to the city's community center's grounds and explored the carnival.  There many of the trucks that were in the parade where on display and the kids were able to climb on the trucks and go inside a paramedic truck.  We grabbed our lunch there (turkey legs and corn on the cob) and enjoyed some rides.  We finally figured that Jonathan was old enough to start riding a few rides too and although Madeline was able to use the majority of the midway tickets, Jonathan rode his first ride, a Ferris Wheel, with David.  The last ride (a doggie ride) we all went on as a family. Although Madeline, for the most part, has no fear of rides, I am not sure how much Jonathan enjoyed the experience.  I am hoping this grows on him.  Upon leaving the carnival, a "must have" we all shared was the funnel cake.

Kielbasa Festival Entertainment Schedule
Disheveled from polka dancing
Does this *really* need a caption??
Next stop we drove up to Minneapolis for Kramarczuk's (a local sausage company) 3rd annual Kielbasa Festival.  Knowing that we would partake in this, I brought a "wardrobe change".  I changed my t-shirt to my "Buffalo Polish" t-shirt.  I donned it fact, I had about 5 people ask me about my t-shirt!  Unlike any Buffalo festival, the polka band played for only one set (there were other forms of cultural entertainment on the agenda) and so we planned our arrival accordingly - for the polka band, of course!  We had enough time for me to get the kids & David situated with food.  Tsk, tsk to David who had a Bratwurst at a kielbasa festival.....but both Madeline and Jonathan enjoyed gołąbki (cabbage rolls....and, by the way, mine are better) and pierogi.  The music started (Gotta love the band's name - "Doctor Kielbasa") and Madeline and I forged through the crowd and danced a couple polkas.  Again, not quite like a Buffalo festival as there weren't that many polka-ers......but, if you know me, you know that I have *no problem* making a fool of myself on a dance floor.  One of the highlights, however, was a little old lady who saw us dancing and came up to us and danced near us.  Madeline and I included her.  We danced in a circle, had
Madeline go under our arms, and when Madeline was "free styling" the old lady and I did a little dance.  You could tell that the lady soooo wanted to dance and was thrilled to have some goofballs to join.  She sort of reminded me of my mom and you could tell that we made her day because she gave Madeline and me a big hug.  We may have made her day, but she also made my day by allowing me to briefly re-experience the days that I would do the polka club dances with my mom and her senior friends (whatever....don't judge).  After the band wrapped up their set, I had a chance to enjoy my dinner....a whopping big kielbasa sandwich with tons of sauerkraut.  And as people asked me about my t-shirt I was proud to tell them of my roots. (someone actually said....."Oh yeah! Buffalo - they have that huge after Easter party!") Speaking of t-shirts.....I *had to* by a band t-shirt for David.

Next weekend we have more Minnesota on tap.....stay tuned.


Marty said...

A fun read, Amy!

Kelly said...

Glad to hear you are exploring the city. It seems like this took the place of the Peach Festival.