Genesis 1:31
"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." (New International Version-NIV)

Truly Gods vast creation, landscape, wildlife and man is beautiful beyond description.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Arrival National Senior Games, Minneapolis, Mn. Jul 13 & 14, 2015

Today July 12, 2015 I start a new experience for me and that is going to and seeing a National Senior Games which is really the National Senior Olympics. Yesterday at noon I put Annabel in boarding for this trip. She is staying at the County Animal Hospital. I am a little anxious about leaving her considering over her short life she has been in a couple of foster homes and kennel facilities. The house was the quietest it has been for a couple of months with Annabel not here. I picked Jim up at his apartment at 5:00 A.M. and it was just starting to rain. We drove through some pretty bad weather getting out of West Chester and through mid Indiana.  We had a good breakfast and by the afternoon the weather cleared up.This after noon we drove through beautiful farm country with the temperature showing as 88 degrees by 4:00 PM.  I did not want to drive into Minneapolis during the rush hour traffic so we  stayed in a Holiday Inn in Eau Clare, Wisconsin. In Eau Clare we found an Asian Buffett where we had a wonderful meal.

On July 13, 2015 Jim and I hit the road toward Minneapolis with the intent to find someplace along the way to eat breakfast.Well we drove and drove some more and did not find anyplace to eat except a couple of fast food joint  and we did not want that. The more we drove the more farm land we saw and no places to eat at all. Finally Jim spotted a sign out in the middle of a field telling about Keys Cafe, White Bear, MN that said they had the best food anywhere. Shortly we got to an exit that would take us to White Bear. We drove and drove it seemed like forever and we were about to give up when we arrived in the town White Bear Lake MN. Now to find the place at 2208 4th Street, White Bear Lake, MN. When we spotted it we started having our doubts about the place because it looked so small. There was a parking place in front so we stopped. To make a long story short. The cafe was quaint  but the food was as good as their sign had claimed. In addition to the excellent food they also had a wonderful assortment of bakery items that just screamed to be eaten but we were so stuffed that we had to pass and hit the road again.

 Keys Cafe Story With Many Of Their Employees.
Inside Keys Cafe Taken From Some Of Their Literature
 Lady Blue Parked In Front Of Keys Cafe
 Front Of Keys Cafe
Lady Blue Parked In Front Of Keys Cafe

Following breakfast we moved on to Minneapolis, Mn to find the Convention Center so Jim could go through the registration process to pick up his number and a gift bag each competitor receives. While there Jim spotted a friend of his, Wayne Hinaman, from Cincinnati who was also competing in the games. and was staying at the same motel as we. Inside the Convention Center there were all sort of events taking place as part of the National Senior Games. 
 Welcome Sign Inside Convention Center. Note The Games Are Taking Place In Three Locations. Bloomington, Minneapolis and St Paul, MN.
 Entrance To The Village For Registration, Vendors And Sponsoring Agency       ( Humana ) Booths As Well As Several Competitions. Jim Is Headed To Pick Up His Gift Bag.
 Jim Checks His Packet Containing His Number In Front Of The " Flame ".
 Wayne Hinaman And Jim Stand On Awards Stand.
Micro Tel Where We Stayed.

Following the registration process we went to the Micro Tel Inn, 5000 Denmark Ave. Eagan, MN to check in. After check in Jim and Wayne wanted to find the two venues where they would be competing to get a look at the area. Wayne had rented a car so he drove and Lady Blue was left parked at the motel. Locating the stadium where the 1500 meter Race Walk would be conducted and the area where the 5000 Race Walk would be conducted was an experience in themselves. The address printed on some of the official literature each competitor was given was incorrect. Needless to say we drove around and saw a lot of area we had not intended to do but we finally found each location. After returning to the motel and resting for a while we went to a nearby Perkins Restaurant for dinner. Back to the motel for some rest and relaxation to get ready for the big event tomorrow that Wayne and Jim have spent months preparing for.

Remember as I always say God loves you and so do I.

Grandpa Bill

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

5000 Meters National Senior Games Minneapolis, MN, Jul 14 & 15 2015,

This mornings, Jul 14, 2015 Jim, Wayne  Hinaman and I ate a continental breakfast here at the motel then headed for the National Senior Games where Jim and Wayne will compete in the 5000 meter Race Walk competition. The weather is perfect with a few clouds and at race time the temp in the 60s. The games are being held at the Upper Landing in Minneapolis on the banks of the Mississippi River. This area in many respects is similar to what Cincinnati has done down at the Banks on the Ohio River. The Upper Landing has many new up scale apartments and condos with a long double walking path with park space along the banks of the Mississippi River. There were many heats of numerous age groups for the women and men. The contestants go 500 meters from the start, make a sharp left turn and cone back 500 meters to complete the first loop with another sharp left turn. The judges watch the contestants closely on the turns as it is difficult to keep a straight leg in a sharp turn.They do five loops to reach the 5,000 meters. Both Wayne and Jim did the 5,000 meters. Unfortunately Wayne was disqualified about 25 meters from the finish. The judges were very strict in this a National Seniors Games. Jim was in excellent form today and finished in third place and qualified for a metal. Another third place finish. Great Job.
 Wayne Making One Of The Difficult Turns
 Jim Nearing The Finish Line Of 5,000 Meter Race Walk. Each Walker Has a Chip  in The Number They Wear so The Race is Electronically Timed.
 Front Of Jim's 3rd Place Medal
 Back Of Jim's 3rd Place Medal

Following the competition we went back to the Uptowner for breakfast where we ate yesterday. Great food. Following that we went back by the University of Saint Thomas and picked up Barbra Hensley who is a judge at this competition and a competitor and took her with us to see Mall of America. Jim and Wayne have known Barb for a long time. We walked all over this very large mall, shopped a little then ate dinner there. Following that we took her back to the university where she is staying. Wayne stays in the area for a couple of days to do some sight seeing while Jim and I leave in the morning for Grand Rapids, Michigan to visit President Ford's Museum. I will do a more complete posting on today's competition and the mall trip later.Until then remember what I always say. God Love you and so do I.

Grandpa Bill

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

1500 Meters National Senior Games Minneapolis, MN, Jul 14 & 15 2015,

This mornings, Jul 14, 2015 Jim, Wayne  Hinaman and I ate a continental breakfast here at the motel then headed for the National Senior Games where Jim and Wayne will compete in the 1500 meter Race Walk competition. The weather is perfect with a few clouds and at race time the temp in the 70s. The games are being held at the O'Shaughnessy Stadium on the beautiful University of Saint Thomas campus. There were many heats of numerous age groups for the women and men.Since the university is not in session at this time we were able to park in a housing garage which put us about 100 yard from the entrance to the stadium. I don't know whether you have watched race walking before it is not a run and not a real fast walk like a power walk. There are very precise rules about how you walk. For example you cannot have both feet off the ground at the same time and on each step the knees must be straight. This means you can't walk flat footed. They do a very exaggerated heel and toe with the toe of the shoe pointed up when the heel strikes. Meeting these rules causes the walker to have exaggerated hip movements. One person told me to think of fashion models as they walk across the stage they always in an exaggerated fashion cross one foot over and across the other thus giving them a lot of hip sway. There are generally 5 or 6 judge at different points around the 400 yard track very closely watching the walkers to see if they are complying with the rules. Non compliance will draw a warning. A violation will draw you a yellow flag another violation will get you another yellow card/flag. Each violation is reported to the head judge and if a third violation occurs he will issue a red card which means you have been disqualified and eliminated from the race. This head judge is the only one who can make the determination to disqualify a walker. The following photographs are just random shots of the stadium and several of the walkers.

Stadium Score Board
Various Officials Tents On The Field
Beautiful Flower Arrangements In Large Urns Around The Stadium
Beautiful Flower Arrangements In Large Urns Around The Stadium
Performance Of The National Anthem At Start Of The Games.
Judge Carollea. She Appeared To Be The Most Engaged Judge That I Saw.
 One Of The Senior Walkers Taking A Practice Walk.
This Lady Won In Her Age Group In The 1500 Meter Race Walk
 Lady Competing In 1500 Meter Race Walk
Barbara Hensley From Cincinnati In Green. She is Also an Official            ( Judge ).

 Mariam Jacobs From Cincinnati Competing

Lady Competing In 1500 Meter Race Walk
Ladies Competing In 1500 Meter Race Walk.
 Ladies Competing In 1500 Meter Race Walk.

Judge Carollea Hold Up A Paddle To A Competitor.

 Ladies Competing In 1500 Meter Race Walk.

Jim At The Starting Line Listening  to Instructions From Starting Officials.

 Starter Getting Competitor In Jim's Heat Lined Up And Giving Them Instruction.

Start Of Men's 65 - 69 Heat Of 1500 Meter Race Walk. This Is Jim's Heat And He Is 8th From The Right In An Orange Shirt. This Is The  First Step Off Start Line In Jim's Heat. Because There Were So Many  In Jim's Heat They Lined Up In Two Rows.
Jim In Competition. 1500 Meter Race Walk.
Jim Comes Off Turn In 1500 Meter Race Walk.
Jim Has Just Crossed The Finish Line In Third Place. 
 Official Results Of The Men's 1500 Meter Race Walk Ages 65 To 69. Jim Got Third Place With A Time Of 8 Minutes 49 Seconds And 27 Hundredth. Winning Time Was 8 Minutes 19 Seconds And 69 Hundredth. 
 Jim Approaches Official To Receive His Metal.
Jim On Podium With His Third Place Metal   
Jim Displaying His Third Place Metal  
1500 Meter Race Walk Winners Raise Their Hands In Celebration. First Place Did Not Show Up For Awards Ceremony.
 Eight Places Were Presented Medals And Ribbon On Podium In 1500 Meter Race Walk. First Three Places Received Medals And Fourth Through Eight Receive Ribbons.  The First Place Winner Did Not Show Up For The Awards Ceremony.  

  Jim, A Third Place Winner And Wayne, An Sixth Place Winner Ham it up On The Awards Podium. I think They are Showing How Much Distance there Is Between 3rd Place And  6th Place But I am Not Sure. Wayne Did Not Show Up In Time To Have His Ribbon  Presented to Him. I was Unable To Photograph Him In Any Of Is 1500 Meter Race Walk             Competition. 

Wayne Hinaman And Others Listens To Judge Giving Instructions At Check In Point Prior To Their Race. I was Unable To Get Any Photos Of Wayne In His Event, The 1500 Meter Race Walk.
Following today's competition we went to eat lunch at a quaint little cafe named the Uptowner in St Paul, Minnesota that has been in business for over 80 years. Absolutely the best meals  we have had. We ate there yesterday also.

Tomorrow We  Go To Upper Landing  For The Men's And Women's 5,000 Meter Race Walk Which Will Be Competed Over An Outdoor Course Along The Side Of The Mississippi River Here In Minneapolis, Minnesota. Until Then Remember What I Always Say God Loves You 
And So Do I.

Grandpa Bill