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Doran's Journal

It rains a lot in Minnesota. Or, at least it has been raining a lot while we've been here. And when it does not rain, it is usually very humid and warm. You might ask me, "What were expecting?" I'm not sure. I guess I thought the midwest was really dry, for some reason.

The weather hasn't been all bad. There have been a few days where it feels almost like Utah. Christine likes the humidity- especially when the wind is blowing. She likes the feeling of the moist air blowing against her skin as opposed to the dry Utah winds.

The thunderstorms are quite spectacular here. Much more violent than in Utah. With lightning arcing and tumbling across the sky and thunder rolling in constantly, you'd think the people here might think the world's coming to an end, but it's just business as normal for them. The grocery stores have complimentary umbrellas you can take as you walk your groceries to your car. Then you just leave the umbrella in your cart and they'll grab it when they go reclaim the carts from the parking lot.

Today, we drove into St. Paul to visit "The Taste Of Minnesota" event which was going on at the Minnesota State Capitol grounds. This huge food festival features hundreds booths representing different kinds of cuisine. There were also your all-too-common t-shirt ("I'm talking and I can't shut up!") and native american jewelry booths that you always seem to see at events like this regardless of where they are located.

There were at least four big stages for live music... I thought I was at Lolapalooza. We stopped and listened to a blues band play for a while. It was very good and I felt bad for the band because there were only about 20 people in the audience... but it was early. Today is the first of the four days the Taste Of Minnesota show will go and it was about 2 or 3 in the afternoon when we went.

We signed up to win a Carribean Cruise and also for a Jetski. I think we switched our long-distance telephone carrier while we were at it. But we didn't buy any food. It all looked very good. The food booths took tickets for the food- so you had to buy tickets in order to buy anything. Five dollars would buy you 8 tickets. I think the whole purpose of the tickets was to get you think you were getting a good deal. But I did the math and realized it was a rip off. 5 tickets would buy you a beer. That's $3.13 for a beer. Three tickets would buy you a large pepsi ($1.88). Eight tickets would buy you roasted corn. Five bucks for a roasted cob of corn!

There was this small four-member band playing music from the Andes there. I saw them last Christmas at the ZCMI Center in Salt Lake as well. I wanted to buy their CD then and did not. I also did not buy it today either... unfortunately. Their music is soothing instrumentals played on guitar, indian drums, and wooden flutes. Very pretty music. Maybe I'll run into them again someday.

There are fireworks all four nights at the Taste Of Minnesota. Supposedly it the biggest show in the state. So, we'll probably drive back into St. Paul one of these nights to see that. Maybe tomorrow if they sky is not cloudy like today.

We were going to drive down to Nauvoo, Illinois this week but decided against it for a number of reasons. Hopefully we'll get to go down there while we are within a days drive of there this Summer.

On the 24th of July the local LDS stakes will be holding a sesquicentennial celebration at Murphy's Landing - a historic site on the wagon trail the early Mormon pioneers took to Utah. We're planning on going to that.