Banana Slug Factoids

The banana slug is an amazing creature found in northern California.


Preferring damp areas with heavy vegetation, the banana slug can be found snacking on ferns, vines and other plants along the coast.


The juvenile banana slug is a light greenish yellow, the adult a yellow with brown spots, and the elderly a hard to find dark brown.


The slug does not just resemble it’s namesake fruit visually, but also has a pleasing fruity taste when licked, and a sweet odor. Historically, the slime was used by natives of this area as a topical analgesic due to it’s numbing qualities.   It is cool, damp, and slimy to the touch.


Growing to over ten inches, the huge slugs are easy to spot once you identify their habitat and coloring.


Using their gelatinous muscled bodies, banana slugs can almost defy gravity as they move from leaf to leaf.  Occasionally the laws of physics get the better of  them, and a distinctive plop and shriek can be heard when they fall off leaves onto a human head.


Ah nature.  Glorious.  Unusual.  Slimy.  Thankfully travel allows me to experience such wonders, so different than the common brown slugs found in my garden at home.

Note:  no sources are provided for this article, because everything above is either hearsay or made up.   All picture credits my own and were taken at Patrick’s Point California State Park, just North of Eureka.    

Airport Musings

I’m heading out on a work trip, so was able to enjoy one of my favorite airport pastimes: random observation.  Today the focus was airport shopping.

I have always wondered about the airport magazine displays featuring Playboy, Penthouse and, in this instance, 3 other unknown skin magazines.  Who buys these magazines?  What person thinks, “Ah, nothing will improve my four hour flight sitting uncomfortably close to strangers like some tits and ass.”

This is a neverbefore seen miracle of airport shopping.  Three glass display cases filled with sparkle encrusted balls bearing logos from ramdom sports teams!  “One gift will satisfy your sporty son and his high maintenance wife,” you mistakenly conclude.

When I was a kid I would spend a few weeks every summer with my grandparents.  My parents would drive up from Denver and my grandparents would drive down from the mountains and they would meet roughly halfway.  We’d have lunch at this little park and then we children would be transferred.  Grandma would bring treats and one of those treats would be baseball gum balls.  Here in the airport candy shop, is my childhood summer just waiting to be scooped up, weighed, and purchased.  I’ll be the one blowing bubbles on the plane.

Kiddo Travel Hacks – Kid Phase


Now that my daughter is a rational, reasonable, logical human being (mostly) I love traveling with her.  Her bodily fluids stay inside of her (mostly.)  She’s helpful at the airport (mostly.)  Her eyes see wonders that a solo traveling adult would miss.  We wait to watch the airplane drive under us on the walkway to the terminal.  (Yes, airplanes drive under walkways sometimes.)  She notices a friend at a neighboring gate, and we have a lovely conversation that I would have missed with my head down in my electronic device. I’m an observant traveler, but she really makes me be present.

My absolute favorite trick to traveling with kids is a game I made up on the spur of the moment.  It works for any kid who can count to at least 20.  The day the game was invented we checked our bags and headed toward the security line (cue ominous music).  In one of the mysteries-of-TSA moments the line was long.  So long.  Longer than the line had any business being.  All around me adults were “F-ing security!” and “F- you, why didn’t we leave sooner?” and “F- I’m going to miss my flight!”  In response to my rising panic that my kiddo would hear these angry adults, inspiration hit and I said, “Kiddo, how many big steps do you think it will take to get through this line?”

We started counting big steps.  “Mom, how many do you have?  12?  I have 23.”  I watched as she took an extra big step and stood too close to the person in front of us.  She nodded and said, “24.”  We made it through one wiggle – a phrase coined during the game development which means one length of the barricade wrapped line – and after she tallied our steps she proudly announced, “I’m winning!”  Of course because she has smaller legs it took her more big steps to travel a wiggle so she won.  Silly grown-up me had assumed we were trying to get the least number of steps in per wiggle.  Any game my daughter always wins is a great one, especially in an aggravation filled place like the airport.

Now we play the giant steps game through security.  We play it down the jet way.  We play it wherever there is a line where adults are acting like children who need to have their mouths washed out with soap.  She always wins.  It’s worked for five years, this giant step game.  This year, at 8, she was a bit more shy and afraid of what people would think of our game so we played, but quietly, and she still won.

The other upside of this game is that we almost always attract the attention of someone else who is just trying to make the best of a crappy situation.  We’ll get a smile or a nod, and it makes me happy being goofy with my kid and making others a little happier with our silly game.  The downside of this game?  I abhor long lines at airports when I’m not with her.  It’s all I can do to keep from challenging the angry “F-ing” guy next to me – “Hey, jerk-o, which one of us do you think can take more giant steps through this line?”  Wonder how that would turn out?

The final in a series of Kiddo Travel Hacks where I share my best advice for not just surviving, but enjoying travels with kids.  Also check out the infant phase and toddler phase posts for other tips and tricks.

Kiddo Travel Hacks – Toddler Phase


Traveling with an infant is uncertain and scary, and traveling with a toddler is just like that, but louder and more mobile.  There’s less screaming for no reason and more, “Want down now!  Now!  Now!” followed by the toddler death screech.  These are the children holding their parents hands walking up and down and up and down the aisle whenever the fasten seat belt light is off.  In my opinion, toddlers are the hardest travel companions.

Melissa, from Parenthood and Passports echoed my thoughts in her comments on my infant post, “The infant days were much easier than the toddler days, I have come to realize.”  She’s so right! (Check out her site if you travel with kids or travel at all!  It’s a fun read.)

How do you travel with a toddler and keep your sanity?  Let’s start with the no/low-cost suggestions:

Talk about the airport ahead of time

Make your toddler aware of the whole flying process.  Talk about the security lines and sending the suitcase off when you check it.  Explain where all their stuff is going, so you can remind them as you go through the process.  “Now remember, this is when blankie goes in your bag and through the x-ray.  Then we’ll go under the bridge.  First you, then Mommy next.”

Make flying an adventure

If you grouch and gripe it doesn’t help, but the airport is filled with amazing things. Notice them with your toddler.  “Don’t the security policemen have cool blue uniforms?”  “You are so special!  You don’t have to take your shoes off!”  “Do you see our bags going on the plane yet?”

Make others like your kid before they become obnoxious

Teach your kid the three rules of flying before you go, repeating them over and over.

  1. You MUST stay in your seat when the seatbelt light is on.
  2. You MUST NOT kick the seat in front of you.
  3. You CANNOT smoke when the no-smoking light is on.

Have your kid repeat these rules as soon as you get on the plane.   Point the lights out.  Explain what the seatbelt rule is and that it is not your rule, it is the plane’s rule.  It won’t end the “I WANT TO GET UP!” tantrum, but it will provide a way to explain without it being your fault.  Also, fellow passengers will appreciate hearing that if their seat starts being kicked endlessly by little feet you are their ally.  The smoking thing is just funny.  Trust me, a three-year old saying the third rule is “No smoking!” is hysterical.

Finally, teach your kid that take-off is called “blast-off.”  Nothing is cuter than a tiny voice shouting, “Mommy?!?!  Is this the blast off?!?!”  Your kid is adorable.  All toddlers are.  (If kids came out at 18 months old and potty trained I’d have a dozen.)  Let their cuteness shine through before it gets tarnished by hours in the plane.

Bring familiar foods and treats

You love the chance to try exotic foods prepared in local styles when you travel.  Your toddler does not.  On the plane bring their favorite cup, and fill it with their favorite drink after you get through security.  Bring bags of their favorite foods.  Slip in a treat or two that they don’t often get to eat.  My kiddo was a pacifier blankie loving toddler, so she got her pacifier and blanket the entire flight.  She also had a sippy cup of juice, sliced apples, and goldfish.  When she wanted a treat she got a ring pop: the pacifier in lollipop form.  Throw away your rotting teeth and nutritious food worries for the duration of the flight.  Make it a comfortable, special smorgasbord.


Now, if you are lucky enough to have a little extra money to spend there are some higher cost things you can do to make your trip more enjoyable.

Devices and television are your friend

Sure, if you are lucky, your toddler will fall asleep when the plane takes off, but if you aren’t lucky it’s okay to ruin their brains with TV on a phone or tablet while they rot their teeth with treats.  It’s a vacation!  Fun fun!  Also, sometimes there are built-in televisions on a plane that cost a bit to purchase.  Trust me, if you only buy one TV, it’s better to get Disney and Nickelodeon for your kid than HGTV for yourself. Invest in some over the head folding headphones for your toddler.  They won’t be able to keep the earbuds in their ears, and you risk a “I CAN’T HEAR!” tantrum.

Get them their own seat

I know travel can be expensive but if you are traveling solo with your toddler it helps to have an extra seat and an extra under the seat.  I used to travel with my daughter’s carseat because her seat was a familiar space for her.  Also, she was a great car sleeper, and often that translated to a plane sleeper if she was in her own seat.  From a safety perspective, it was easier to ensure she was belted in if she was in her carseat.  That said, try hauling your gear, your kid’s gear, your kid and a carseat sometime.  I had wheels I could put on my carseat, but I have vivid memories of me wearing a backpack, pulling my roller bag – with her bag strapped to it – and carseat on wheels while balancing my daughter on my shoulders walking out of baggage claim.  I swear, I must have grown two extra arms to pull that off.

One thing to know, if you do travel with a carseat make sure it is approved for flight by the FAA and that you put the seat in a window seat.  Those two steps will save you embarrassment and the attention of angry flight attendants.

Pay for stretch seating

If you don’t splurge for the extra seat, try splurging for extra legroom.  My daughter spent many hours on the floor of the plane playing between my feet.  Yes, it is filthy.  Yes, you risk the little one eating some random dropped food.  Yes, it’s amazing to get your child off your lap and get a little space during a long flight.

There is one thing you must do if you are traveling with a toddler, and it will cost you nothing.

Rely on the kindness of strangers

People will be jerks and mutter nasty things under their breath.  People will recline their seats so your kid can’t see the TV.  You can get yourself all bent out of shape, or you can look for the kind smile from the lady across the aisle who has been in your seat.  You can marvel over the car rental person who, when you were returning your car, noticed the toddler in the back and says, “Get in the passenger seat, I’ll drive you to departures.”  There will be an uppity business man who talks Dinosaur Train with your kiddo the third time she launches Buddy at his head.  Turns out he’s a dad under that suit.  I remember the awful flight to Orlando in generalities, but six years later I remember the specifics of the people who were wonderful to me and my challenging, adorable, loud toddler.

The second in a series of Kiddo Travel Hacks where I share my best advice for not just surviving, but enjoying travels with kids.

Kiddo Travel Hacks – Infant Phase


I love traveling with my daughter.  She’s at an age where she understands that the pain of the drive, the airport, and the lines is more than worth the adventure at the other end.  That said, I remember preparing for infant trips with a pit in my stomach.

She took her first flight when she was a few days shy of six months old.  My husband’s dear aunt was supposed to come visit us, but instead of flying she was doing another round of chemo.  Her cancer was back, but I desperately wanted her to meet her grand-niece.  “No problem,” I said, “We’ll come to you.”  Brave words, but the idea of flying with an infant was terrifying.  On the plane there is so much stuff to bring and so little control over her.  Who hasn’t wanted to rip their ears off because of an infant screaming during an entire plane ride?  Did I want to be that mom with that kid?  While I knew most problems could be solved by baring my breast and feeding her I was not confident nursing in public, so I came up with a backup plan.

My brother-in-law was traveling with us.  Rather than sit with our family, I asked if he would sit in the row in front of us.  Then I made my request.  “If she starts screaming, will you please stand up and start berating me?  Loudly?”  He looked at me with surprise and I justified, “See, I can’t handle some stranger going off on me, but if you preempt it and just start telling me to ‘shut your damn kid up’ and that I’m ‘a terrible mother’ you might circumvent others yelling at me.”

All of my in-laws think I’m crazy, and I did nothing to change my brother-in-law’s mind that day, but he agreed.  I boarded the plane confident that the worst I would have to endure was a baby crying and my brother-in-law acting like a maniac.  I could handle that.  I was armed with bottles, pacifier, diapers, changes of clothes, toys, and digital devices to keep her happy, but if those didn’t work I was also armed with a plan to keep the meanies away.  As usual, when you’ve planned every contingency, the flight was easy.  My daughter fell asleep drinking her bottle as we took off and woke up as we were landing.

When traveling with an infant, figure out what scares you the most, and make a plan to deal with that.  Puke?  Pack two changes of clothes.  Poop?  Do the same.  Germs?  Bring a bag full of 3 oz bottles of hand sanitizer.  Mean people?  Bring your own meaner person.  Travel with an infant is a total wildcard, so do what you can to address your own fears.  If you are calm, you’ll be able to better deal with whatever surprises come your way.

The first in a series of Kiddo Travel Hacks where I share my best advice for not just surviving, but enjoying travels with kids.

Hiatus and Compromise

Oh my dear blogging friends, I have missed you.  The insanity of May flowed into the craziness of June and my poor blog suffered.  In hindsight I should have told you all I was going to be missing from this space, but alas, I just went and left no forwarding address.  Now refreshed and full of stories from a week’s vacation I return ready to blog again.

For starters, let me just say I have finally figured out this “vacationing with a child” thing.  Now, 8+ years of parenting has taught me that the second I utter such words that hubris will destroy me leaving me in the land of horrid vacations for years to come. I shall not be daunted!  I believe this knowledge will endure!  The key to successfully vacationing with a kid is… duh duh duuuuhhhhh…. compromise!  Let’s look at some pictorial evidence from my recent Tour de Soutwest Colorado, shall we?

In order for child(ren) to enjoy the seven mile hike to Lizard Lake, you must first incentivize them with a gnome home contest.  Then, when the whining and complaining part of the hike begins you may be lucky enough to notice a bonanza of snail shells (What?!?  In Colorado in the mountains???  It’s like Mother Nature was on the parent’s side) which will lead to the creation of a snail-shell-walkway which will result in a champion gnome home.  Everyone is happy, especially the gnomes.  Tune in, because I am certain this home will be featured on gnome HGTV for years to come.

Oh, not more hiking.  We adults love hiking, and somehow we think if there is a waterfall at the end the children will like hiking too.  That may work for you, especially if the hike is short and the waterfall is amazing like this one is, but maybe, just maybe, giant inflatable pool toys are more amazing?  Try coupling the success of passing a swim test with an hour of “Water Ninja Warrior” competition – where your child legitimately crushes you on 6 of 6 obstacle runs. (She’s over a foot smaller than me, how was I supposed to fit?  And don’t get me started on her strength to weight ratio….)  The whole way up to that waterfall there will be nothing but joy, especially if you couple the hike with really great rocks in the path.

Oh dear God. You are not done hiking yet?  You want to hike to a cave?  A dark creepy cave?  Well parents, just stick a horseback ride on the front of that cave hike and let Yuma the horse do the majority of the hiking for you. Sure, you won’t be able to walk for a couple days while you develop real understanding of the term “saddle-sore” but your kid will love every minute of the ride there, and then might even surprise you by being the only family member willing to follow the guide “just a little farther into the cave.”  Try not to hang your head in shame while you let your kid go spelunking into the depths of a cave with some guide you met less than an hour before.  She’ll probably be fine and besides, your butt hurts too much to crouch.

EVEN MORE HIKING?!?!  What are you insane?  Is this a death march or a vacation, I ask you?  Well, if you can hike in a creek and, I don’t know, pick up even more cool rocks then maybe you can squeeze one more hike in.   Note: we may have failed on the rock portion of “take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints” goal of hiking, but that’s okay, because you are done hiking now, right.  RIGHT???

Let me tell you, at some point you have to put your butt down.  Sure the top of the sand dunes are very tempting, but that sand is hard to walk on and after awhile there is so much of it in your ears you can’t hear the pleading, “Can’t we just go a little farther?”  Fine, go a little farther, but me and your backpacks of water and snacks are staying here, far away from the sand ledge of death – which somehow didn’t claim my family (or any other lives) during our trip.  You go on to the top.  I’ll wait for you, even without any rocks to gather.


Travel Day Stories

Today was a travel day.  I love traveling.  I love watching people in airports.  I love the weird interpersonal situations that happen when way too many people are crammed in way too small seats way too close together.  For whatever reason, today was a day of really happy, positive, kinda weird stories.

The Girl Band

One TSA line over is a girl.  She’s wearing a top hat with a huge fake orange flower and a wide fabric band.  She has on shiny maroon Doc Martins, and I marvel at how small her ankles are in those boots.  No one has small ankles in Doc Martins, but she has tiny feet too, so maybe that’s the reason.  She’s a slender girl who looks like a teenager to my aging eyes, so she’s probably twenty-five.  She has close cropped hair, beautiful posture and everything about her is alive.  She has a guitar case slung over her shoulder and a banjo case at her feet.  I wonder how she’s going to get them both on a plane.  Once, I sat next to a man who bought a seat for his guitar, so maybe she’s doing that.

Then I notice her friends.  There are three girls, not just one, and they all have that same alive, short-hair, good posture look.  She isn’t a musician, they are a band, and just the three of them are traveling.  This means they probably are in their twenties, and not the teenagers I originally thought.  The tallest one in the blue coat is comparing her jacket to her friend’s jacket and asking the hatted one, “It’s blue, right?”

The friend says, “It’s not blue.” The hatted one agrees.

Suddenly, the not-blue jacketed one notices me watching their scene and she shouts across at me, “What color is this?”

I am delighted to be included in this group and I shout back, “Not blue.”

She tilts her head, “Not blue?  Then what color is it?”

“Charcoal.” I call back.

“Charcoal!” The hatted one says, and they are back in their own world.  I try to engage them with the start of a question about the color of my own orange-red jacket, but I am forgotten.  For a moment I wish I’d worn my own not-blue jacket.  Maybe we would have talked longer, and I could have asked my own questions.  Where are you going?  How will you get a banjo and a guitar on the plane?  Did you make that hat?  What’s the name of your band.

Alas, they are on to comparing the color of their pants.  Maroon?

Cash on the Plane

“Only credit cards.  Credit cards only.” The flight attendant repeats row after row.  Obediently the passengers put away their bills and hand over plastic.  The routine is interrupted by the man in the middle seat in front of me.  I can see him through the break between the seats, and his long hair and music mixing app on his computer make it obvious he is no traditional airline commuter.  He challenges the flight attendant.

“What if I pay you double the price, can I pay cash?”

The exhausted, overworked, low-budget airline attendant says, “No.  Credit only.”

The music mixer decides to perform.  He raises his voice, “Will anyone, anyone in this airplane pay for my snack, and I will pay you in cash.”

I roll my eyes at his bravado, and am shocked to hear a female voice say, “I will.”

Some lady two rows in front of me offers to pay.  There is a complicated back and forth with her snack mix, her gin and tonic, his craft beer – his word – and then his gin and tonic, in addition to the craft beer.  Snacks are passed out.  Drinks are handed out, handed back, and then handed out again in different formation.  The guy next to the music mixer asks several times, “I’d like a water when you get a chance.”  The music mixer hands his cash to the woman, and it’s too much money.

He insists, “As a thank you for your purchase.”

The attendant moves on, after giving the guy his water, and the water man starts quizzing the music mixer about his work: “Have you ever heard of Glenn Frey?”  The music mixer starts starts his beer – he doesn’t like it, must not be crafty enough – and says that he has never heard of Glenn Frey.  So, the water guy starts talking the lyrics of Hotel California and I wonder if the cash the music mixer gave the lady is real, or if somehow the music mixer is also a counterfeiter.  I also wonder if the music mixer really doesn’t know Glenn Frey or is just too cool to admit that he loves Hotel California.

Airplane Dad

I’m sitting in the terminal waiting to start a conference call.  Nestled back in molded airport chairs under the escalator I hear it before I see it.  The sound of a plane taking off. No, the sound a person makes when sounding like a plane taking off.  Into my vision bursts a paunchy dad with a child bigger than an infant but smaller than a toddler in his arms.  He’s running down the terminal holding his child in the air making airplane noises and they are both laughing and totally unaware that it is inappropriate for grown men to run in an airplane terminal making airplane noises.  Unbeknownst to them, they also make a third person happy, me, who loves inappropriate parental/child joy.

Safety Conscious Beggar

The homeless man mutters at every person who passes in front of him.  It’s snowing and he’s standing underneath the overhang of the building where the pavement is just wet.  He shakes his cup at everyone, and no one give him attention or money.  I hear him when I’ve already passed.

“Be careful.  It’s slick.”

I wish it wasn’t snowing.  I would have given him a dollar, but he’s right, it’s slick, so I don’t stop.

The Adventures of Tiny Santa

Why would I ever knit tiny creatures on vacation?  Because it means I can take pictures like these:

Tiny Santa enjoys a bagel.

Tiny Santa is amazed by the giant windmill. 

Tiny Santa wears a fashionable acorn cap while exercising on the climbing wall.

Tiny Santa enjoys a walk by the river.

Tiny Santa finds treasures in nature.

Tiny Santa jumps in the leaves.

Tiny Santa goes exploring at the nature center and takes a rest in an old tree. 

Tiny Santa has a hard time bowling.

Tiny Santa contemplates buying a cheese hat.  

Tiny Santa also struggles at ping pong.

Tiny Santa anxiously awaits his new friend. 

Well, Tiny Santa had a big day, and now he’s ready to go home.  Vacations are fun, but exhausting.  Tiny Santa hopes he can nap on the plane.

Travel knitting hacks

I always take knitting when I travel, especially if there is going to be lots of car or train time.  This trip we are driving all over Wisconsin to visit new baby cousins, so the obvious project to bring is more baby hats!  This time the babies are boys though, so no fun poof and bow toppers.  

The downside of travel knitting is that I always forget something.  I’ve solved the “pattern forgetting” issue by taking a picture of the pattern.  If I have my phone I have the pattern.  Fingernail clippers work wonders for snipping yarn when you don’t have scissors.  There are apps on my Kindle and iPhone for measuring.  I haven’t figured out the darning needle replacement yet, but this may be the trip I have to get creative there. (I’m afraid it is in my backpack with my laptop, kindle, snacks, and “just in case I get puked on” spare clothes, which is sitting in my living room.  That story is my next blog post.)

My daughter’s favored travel craft solved my most frequent issue: no stitch markers.  It never fails that I cast on, start knitting in the round and ugh!  No way to mark the beginning of the round.  I can tie little yarn markers, but unless I have scissors or nail clippers I cannot cut my yarn.  I usually don’t have those on the plane.  Cue the tiny rubber band craft!  My daughter loves traveling with a huge bag of them.  She uses her fingers or a 4 prong loom to make huge ropes of rubber band weavings.  Now the bands are not ideal markers.  They are too sticky and can get trapped under stitches, but they are way better than nothing.  The best thing about knitting baby hats is that they are done in no time.  Off to start hat #2, once I find a darning needle hack.  I don’t think 10 month olds should wear hats attached to pointy sticks.   Anyone have an idea to help? 

(I’m really digging the stitch detail in these pictures.  I may do all my knitting photography in the plane from now on.  The lighting is fantastic!)

A Wild Rumpus Tradition

There is somewhere you must visit if you are in Minneapolis, Minnesota if you are a reader, or a parent; if you are a parent of a reader; if you are a lover of books; or if you are a lover of pets.  You must visit Wild Rumpus.  You know the allusion right?  From Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Thing Are.

 “And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!”

Let’s start at the door, shall we?  The youngest Afthead is almost too big for the small purple door built into the normal grown-up sized door.  Almost too big, but not quite.  5 years now we’ve been making an annual trek to the purple door.



You walk in and the store is half zoo, half pet shop, half bookstore, and half magic land.  (Yes, I know that equals two, but this bookstore is greater than a single bookstore.)  It has cats with no tails, chickens, doves, creepy albino rats, cockatiels, chinchillas, ferrets, tarantulas, fish hidden in the mirror in the bathroom, and a really ugly lizard.  The cats are free to roam the store and their tailless ends are usually followed by a parade of children trying to grab a pet or a snuggle.  The chickens are also free to roam with a similar parade of kids, but they aren’t normal chickens.  They are like poodle chickens cute but a little foreign.  If chickens and cats need a break they retreat behind the sales counter taunting the children with their proximity and inaccessibility.

When you are done staring at the floor looking for animals your eyes travel upwards to the shelves and shelves of books.  There are books taller than you can reach: picture books, beginning readers, later readers, science books, geography books and even grown up books.  In the back of the store there is a scary section.  The albino rats live there, and there is a hole in the floor where some other creature lives.  When I was a kid, this would have been where I lived.  I’ve always loved scary books.  Not my kiddo though, she’s in the beginner readers picking out books she’s never seen outside of her classroom and she’s delighted.

About this time you glance up to stretch your neck and notice the boat carving a path through the ceiling.  Yep, in case there isn’t enough magic in this place the ceiling is actually a river with a rowboat carving a path through the white ceiling and leaving a path of blue green water behind it.

If you are in Minneapolis carve out an hour and go visit.  It’s right by the airport.  You won’t regret a moment there.  In fact, you might end up feeling like you’ve doubled your investment.