Cafesjian's Carousel

Built : 1914
Cost: $8 500.
Size: 50 feet across
Weight: 30 tons

68 hand-carved horses
2 hand-carved chariots
all of which are mostly wearing their original paint
originally located on the grounds of the Minnesota State Fair, it was moved to Town Square Park (an enclosed city park on the top level of a building in the heart of downtown St. Paul) and then at St. Paul's Como Park
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unfortunately, i haven't a clue on the types of butterflies these are... but there were many! many of the same kind, many different kinds, many different sizes... but they were all so beautiful! there were so many - they would fly all around, totally ignorant that you were in their environment. one even landed on the lady ahead of me and stayed long enough for her friend to take out her camera and snap a photo. they had warned us before entering to not touch the butterflies, if one should happen to land on you, you should just leave it be until it flies away....

this one was my favourite! such a brilliant blue on the full other side of it's wings...
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We got settled into our new room pretty quick... it's just as nice as the first room we had but with the bonus of a little refrigerator and a larger closet... still a small bathroom but how much time do we spend in there anyways LOL

Sunday, our first real day here, we walked and walked and walked! We quickly realized though that it's difficult to try and orient yourself, follow a map and read all the interesting facts about these amazing old buildings and the history behind them. so by late morning, we found ourselves at the tourist information building and signed up for a couple of tours for the next day. LOL
It wasn't just me! I had Guy reading the map too...

In the afternoon, we walked the Terrace Dufferin, got caught in some sprinkles (luckily it didn't last too long) and walked up 300 and something stairs up to the top of the walls at the Citadel. we also took a tour of the Governor General`s residence inside the Citadel. and then we went on to walk through the Planes of Abraham. such a beautiful beautiful park. Even at this time of year. I can just imagine once the flowers are all planted and in full bloom!

Yesterday we had a great guide who explained many things about the buildings in Upper Town and finished off in Lower Town (which we hadn't been to yet). I don't even know where to start but in the afternoon we took a bus to L'Ile d'Orléan and then to Montmorency Falls (amazing!!) and then to the Basilique Sainte-Anne de Beaupré. The Falls were incredible... so tall... so loud!! I wish we would have had more time to walk down the side and have a better view. The basilica was the most beautiful church i've ever been in. wow!! so ornate... so colourful... so BIG! We got to appreciate the work in the copper panels that told the story of Christ and the doors to enter the basilica because one of our earlier stops was to the studio of the craftsman who created them.

We have much more stops ahead of us today. More walking... more touring... so much more to see!

well we made it here... had a few bumps (no, nothing major!)

missed one of our trains to the Central Station in Montréal so took a taxi instead : ) the train ride to Québec City was great! the view wasn't much different than what we're used to most of the way. Very nice here!! Wonderful architecture and wonderful history awaits us...

We had another little bump this morning when water started leaking from the ceiling. Our luck... We had a GREAT room, actually it was like a suite. They're pretty booked for tonight so not sure what kind of room we'll be getting yet. Oh well, we'll be gone most of the day today anyways.

We're going to make our way through the Old Upper Québec today and end up at the Citadel by the end of the afternoon. We'll give you an update tonight again. Thankfully there is a computer in the hotel lobby that is available to guests!

Oh! and we were told that "Vos accents sont mignon!" LOL
we have a lot of room for improvement at our house but I’d like to think that we're doing ok in the green department….

we’re getting better at the “reduce” part and we have always “reuse”d and “recycle”d (started in college). although I wish that our local recycler, KaMaR, would accept more types of recycling. we are able to recycle glass, aluminum, newspapers, magazines and catalogues but only certain types of plastics. (rule of thumb: if it has a screw cap it is probably the type of plastic KaMaR can accept in their recycling) we also have been using natural and/or environmentally friendly cleaning and laundry products for several years. a couple of years ago, I started using organic cotton tampons and that was around the same time we started using recycled paper products such as toilet paper, paper towel, napkins and kleenex. softness/quality can be an issue, so read user’s reviews online for these types of products! We also replaced all the light bulbs IN the house with compact fluorescents (another item that can vary – so many shades of white?!) and of course, we use reusable bags when we buy groceries. and my favourite reusable bag is.... (although not everyone gets the humour)

one day we will start composting and i am just waiting til we can replace our 30 year old deep freezer… yeah, like that’s not an energy hog!!! hmmm…. and maybe this summer we can put out a rain barrel.

ps. happy b-earth day, guy!

how to be green at work:

- can you carpool, walk or bike to work?
- recycle
- use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies
- turn off your computer monitor, printers, copy machines and the lights when they are not being used
- buy recycled content, remanufactured, and recyclable office products
- use spell check and proofread BEFORE you print or copy
- add reminder "Think before you print! Consider the environment. Réfléchissez avant d'imprimer! Pensons à l'environnement." to your signature for outgoing emails
- print double sided whenever possible
- buy reusable supplies vs. disposable
- reuse office supplies (such as binders)
Winnipeg?! Really?! Finally!! That was my thought process when I first heard SERIOUS talk last year about IKEA opening a store there. They still have some issues to work out but I figure they've come this far, it'll come to be!

My first IKEA experience was in 1988 while on a family trip to Alberta (don't ask my brother or sister about it, the only thing they'll remember is the pleasure of sharing the back seat of our Mercury Topaz) and one of the many places we stopped at was the West Edmonton Mall, which if I recall correctly wasn't too far from the IKEA store - which my Mom was not going to miss. We spent HOURS at the IKEA store. I thought it was cool place - I had never been to anyplace like it. And we left with a haul! We even had to buy a storage thing for the roof of the car. (Did I mention, we were driving a Topaz.)

Then fast forward to Guy's first IKEA experience, which was in 2004. He was going to be in Minneapolis for work so we had all come along and made a family trip of it. Well IKEA had just opened something like a few weeks prior to when we were there. I had been with the kids already but I wanted to get a few more things so I begged and pleaded with Guy that he just had to come to IKEA with me this time. He wasn't thrilled about it but he eventually caved : ) He thought if we went there first thing when they opened would be best. Yeah... right! Was it a Sunday morning, I think? We got through the Mall of America parking lot towards IKEA and they were directing traffic!! all the way to our parking spot!! Guy was in disbelief, he didn't get what the big deal was, why all these people would be coming in droves on a Sunday morning for this! Having people direct us where to go was great, couldn't imagine what it would have been like without them. Guy thought that was just crazy! Needless to say, the store was already bussling with shoppers. He doesn't like crowds so he wasn't thrilled to be there but he made the most of it ; )

To find out more about how IKEA went from the woods of southern Sweden to being a major retail experience in 40 countries/territories around the world, read IKEA history - how it all began.

1943 - IKEA is founded by Ingvar Kamprad
When Ingvar Kamprad is 17, his father gives him money as a reward for succeeding in his studies. He uses it to establish his own business. The name IKEA is formed from the founder's initials (I.K.) plus the first letters of Elmtaryd (E) and Agunnaryd (A), the farm and village where he grew up. IKEA originally sells pens, wallets, picture frames, table runners, watches, jewellery and nylon stockings - meeting needs with products at reduced prices.

1951 - The first IKEA catalogue is published

1956 - Designing furniture for flat packs and self-assembly
IKEA's decision to design its own furniture stems, ironically, from competitor pressure for suppliers to boycott IKEA. Exploration of flat packing begins when one of IKEA's first co-workers removes the legs of the LÖVET table so that it would fit into a car and avoid damaged during transit. After this discovery flat packs and self assembly become part of the concept.

1958 - The first IKEA store opens in Sweden

1976 - IKEA arrives in Canada
The first IKEA store opens in Vancouver.

1985 - IKEA arrives in the USA
The first IKEA store opens in Philadelphia.

1997 - IKEA on the web
The IKEA web site is launched.

2000 - IKEA customers can shop online
E-shopping is launched in Sweden and Denmark. Since then many other markets have started offering online shopping at IKEA.

2012 - IKEA arrives in WINNIPEG!!!