Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Minnehaha Falls

Over the weekend, Bill and I decided to finally go check out Minnehaha Falls. I really don't know how both of us have lived in Minnesota for most of our lives and never been. We had some friends who recently went and shared on social media that finally gave us the push.

While a beautiful Saturday afternoon on a holiday weekend may seem like a great time to go, it probably wasn't the best. It was crazy busy. But it was definitely worth it! Check out a few of my pics below...



The water is exceptionally high this year, which I guess is making everything extra "gushy"... So, it might not always be quite so awesome. The water was really high everywhere around and some areas of the park are actually blocked off because they're so flooded.

These were just two shots of the main falls area. The first one was from high up, the second from below right at a stone bridge that crosses over (like the one you can see at the top of the falls in the second photo).

We will definitely be going again. We didn't really know what to expect, so we were both wearing sandals. And in case you are planning to go check it out, there are LOTS of stairs if you plan on going down (and eventually back up)! Another trip with some appropriate hiking shoes/boots is definitely in order!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Back to the 50's

Over the weekend, Bill and I went and checked out the Back to the 50's car show at the Minnesota State Fair grounds. We thought it would just be an open area there that was just filled with cars... Nope, it was the entire grounds. It was crazy.

Here are a few photos of some of the awesome cars. I didn't really keep track of what was what, so I don't have model names or anything... and let's be honest, I think you can tell they weren't solely from the 50's...










Monday, June 16, 2014

We're back!

Bill and I are back from NYC as of very early this morning! We went out for a mini vacation and a family wedding in the Hamptons. We hit up the basics in about 24 hours in NYC including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Times Square, Central Park, and more! The wedding was amazing and it was great to see family from all over the country!

W├Âlffer Estate Vineyard  |  Sagaponack, NY

Thursday, June 5, 2014

And nothing turned on...

Monday, Memorial Day, we caved. It was 85°F in the house, a storm was rolling in, and we were about to leave the house. While this may not seem warm to some, we just survived one of the coldest winters that have probably happened during our lifetime in Minneapolis. Above freezing has been warm lately and up until just over a week ago, we were still down in the 30's overnight.

Then there are our floors, they are affected greatly by any water and leaving all of the windows in the house open when we know it is going to rain is too risky. We also have the dog to worry about... can't let him suffer. So, we decided to turn the central air on.

Nothing. Nothing happened. We tried everything. We flipped breakers, checked connections, googled for solutions. Absolutely nothing would turn on... not the furnace, not the air conditioner, not even the fan. We gave up, closed all the windows and moved Behr's extra kennel into the basement where it was nice and cool.

When we got home, we searched the internet some more. We figured it was very possible that the thermostat had gone bad. We figured out that it was probably about 10 years old. After removing the backup batteries and flipping the power off, it still stayed on... weird. But then once we flipped the power back on it went all electronically crazy (weird lines and sort of characters on the screen) before it finally went out.


At that point, it was just after 10pm at night. Everything was closed... except Target. We quickly ran over to Target and looked at what they had. They had 4 different Honeywell thermostats and the Nest. We ended getting the most expensive Honeywell with all the bells and whistles. We did go back and forth with the Nest, but the Honeywell one was on sale for under $200 (the Nest was over $50 more) and Honeywell has been around for a long time... Bill was concerned with the newness of the Nest and it's longevity in the market. Plus, regular programing works great for us, I'm not so sure that the "learning" feature of the Nest would work well for us.

The exact model is the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat RTH9580 Wi-Fi. I would link to Target, since that's where we got it but they don't have it online, so I linked to Amazon. In all honesty, Amazon will probably have the price if you're interested in picking one up. We did get a really good deal since it was on sale and we get the extra 5% off with the Target debit card.

We rushed home to do a quick install and hopefully have a cool night for a good night's rest (neither of us slept well the previous night because the house was so warm). We took down the old one, fairly easy.



Honeywell really emphasizes that you label your wires... we didn't right away and because ours were really straight forward, we could have done without but eventually labeled them.


Putting up the new "plate" was straight forward. Just make sure it's level really...


The wires get pulled through and put into their appropriate slots. At this point we were missing a normal wire, so we had to look up the work around on Honeywell's website, which was very clear.

We got it all put together and....


Nothing.

So frustrating. Except we realized that there was a wiring step we had to do at the furnace. We pulled the furnace apart to move around a wire for the work around for not having the one wire. Well, we found that we did in fact have the missing wire. So, we went back and pulled everything apart again... the wire we needed (along with a couple others in a bundle) were hidden in the wall.


We assembled everything again. And...


NOTHING AGAIN.

At this point we gave up. It was way past our bedtimes and I had to be up for work in 5 hours. I figured that worse case scenario, I would get ahold of our contractor the next day and see if he could have his HVAC guy come back out to the house.

During the night, Bill had a stroke of genius. I don't know how he thought of it or he maybe saw something in the furnace when were trying to get everything to work... Did you know that furnaces have fuses? Like the same ones that are in cars? They do...

Bill ran over to Home Depot and was able to pick up a box of a ton of them in multiple wattages because they didn't have an option to buy just one. I think it cost around $15, way better than a $200 thermostat.


The one on the left is the old one, you can see how in the middle there is a black dot where you can tell it's burned out. This little fuse was the whole problem. We discussed returning the thermostat, but we decided against it. It's actually really awesome...

This thermostat can connect to our wi-fi and grab the current outside temperature and humidity. It also has a bunch of features, like vacation mode and the ability to change it online from a computer or smart phone, that will be extremely helpful in the future. It even has the ability to change the background and font colors to match your home. I went with back for now so it helps it to blend in.


I do have to fix the wall now... There are holes to fill and some interesting ridges from round thermostats past. My goal right now is just to get it done before our annual 4th of July party...


Now you know... if your furnace/ac/fan aren't coming on, it could be a fuse!