September 27, 2015

Cruising the St. Croix & Mississippi River to Treasure Island

Cruising the St. Croix & Mississippi River to Treasure Island 
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for September 27, 2015

On Tuesday, Oracle took us salespeople to Whirleyball Twin Cities for our Q2 FY16 Kick Off Event.  We had meetings celebrating reps who exceeded their quotas in Q1 and then they let us go on the lazer tag and whirley ball fields.  Whirley ball is a mix of bumper cars, whiffleball, and lacrosse.  Add alcohol and serve with bumps and bruises.

I tried to compete with my friends, Mike and Erin, but I wasn't a very effective participant.  Somehow holding a racket with my good arm while driving with the little arm was not the best strategy at all.  When I did somehow get the ball, I missed the goal by a mile.  Sadly, my dreams of becoming a professional whirleyball player look like they might be a bit more of a challenge than I first anticipated.

On Saturday, we headed to the Wisconsin border to go on a river cruise down the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers to spend the night at Treasure Island Casino.  We had plenty of company on the trip.  The weather was gorgeous and everyone must have figured they should get in their weekend boating while they still have a chance.  Winter is coming.  

     We went on the trip as guests of our good friends, the Zitzewitz Family.  Captain Karl got us all gassed up so we could really enjoy our adventure.

Like the castaways on Gilligan's Island, we set out on a three hour tour.  We saw all sorts of cool things on our trip down there including a whole bunch of Go Fast boats that seemed to like to leave us in their dust.  Or more likely....their water vapor.  We saw a lot of these same people down at the casino when we got there, but I'm not sure why they had to hurry up and get there so quickly.  Stop and enjoy the ride, everyone!

We went by this big barge, but they didn't seem to be going really fast.  They have a lot to carry.  I thought we should offer to help them, but Captain Karl didn't think that would be necessary.

This building stands out from the cliff as it overlooks the river.  I'm not sure what they do at this place, but I'm thinking bird watching would be a pretty good hobby to take up while visiting.  It would also be fun to throw rocks from the balcony up there, but you'd need to be careful.  Rocks can hurt people.

I thought the trains were really pretty along the river and near the woods and it made me want to become a train driver.  Then I realized they were working on Saturday and I suddenly realized that might not be very fun after all.

We landed at the casino around 5PM and discovered a lot of wild and crazy people were already there having fun.  So we thought we'd join them.

Karl told me that a lot of people with the Go Fast boats like to sit on the back of their boats, open the engine covers, and then every gathers around and ogles the engines.  I tried to join some people doing that, but didn't last very long.  It just looked like an engine to me.  The silver color was pretty, though.

Treasure Island has a newly re-designed buffet and we all went there and grazed for a couple of hours or so going back and forth eating all sorts of interesting food.  I ate so much my mouth got stuck open and I had to walk around like this for the rest of the night.

After dinner, we all went bowling.  Some of us did better than others.

We had a busy day on Sunday back at home, so we got up bright and early to tackle the day.  It sure is pretty on the river in the morning.

I was hoping to see some bald eagles on the trip.  Sheri and Luke saw one the day before, but I wasn't having much luck.  Then this guy appeared almost right before the end of our trip and stood there so regally while posing for this picture.  I think he likes me.

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