This is an atypical last day of vacation. Usually our plane leaves early in the morning and we are rushing around trying to pack and get there in time. Today, we leave about 6:30 PM, so we can pack at our leisure and have to try to find something to stay busy between check-out and returning the rental car.
It’s another dreary day in Minnesota – rainy, breezy, chilly. If we hadn’t had that gorgeous day on Saturday, I’m not sure I’d believe the sun shines in Minnesota. Yesterday, we had a similar day and looked for something to do indoors that we wouldn’t find at home.
We ended up at the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota, St Paul campus. They tend and rehab injured raptors as well as house and use those who can’t be returned to the wild for educational purposes. Raptors are more than eagles – they include hawks, falcons, kestrels, and owls. They are classified by shape of beak, shape of talons and size of the eyes. Raptors have a hooked beak; long, extremely strong talons; large eyes that are made to aid in hunting.
We saw a couple of birds before the live program – a bald eagle and a turkey vulture. The program introduced us to a peregrine falcon (favorite food: pigeons), an American kestrel (much smaller than I expected) and a barn owl (who had lunch of dead mice during the show). It was very informative and I got some great shots of the birds – photographs, people, not actual shots!
After the program, we ate at one of our favorite restaurants, Romano’s Macaroni Grille. It’s Italian, but more northern Italian. The foods are lighter and everything isn’t flooded with marinara sauce. After eating, we went for a short drive and then back to the hotel for an early day. I think we were both feeling a bit bored. My husband had the Patriots and then the Minnesota Wild to watch on TV, so he stayed out of trouble. I played computer games.
Right now my husband is packing and taking suitcases down to the car. I guess that means he’s ready to check out – even if I’m not. I think we’ll be heading to the Mall of America to “kill time.” We both hate shopping and malls, but this one is a destination mall, so I think you have to see it at least once if you visit Minneapolis. To see if it lives up to its hype.
Tomorrow will be busy – laundry, grocery shopping and unpacking. I can’t wait . . . . . .