And now I have no Two Dots leftOriginally published by DK on February 29, 2020 at 4:02 pm
The glasses beat the Real IDOriginally published by on February 26, 2020 at 8:19 pm
Great desserts @ EstelleOriginally published by DK on February 25, 2020 at 8:33 pm
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 25, 2020 at 8:30 pm
Sent my first faxes in probably 10 years today – almost had to ask for helpOriginally published by on February 25, 2020 at 4:51 pm
But what about Saint Paul?Originally published by DK on February 25, 2020 at 12:20 pm
Everybody counts or nobody counts…Originally published by DK on February 24, 2020 at 8:21 pm
House of Wong
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 22, 2020 at 11:30 pm
Saint Paul, Minnesota
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 22, 2020 at 1:22 pm
Thanks, Gardens of Olive!Originally published by DK on February 22, 2020 at 1:11 pm
Busy day in the neighborhoodOriginally published by DK on February 22, 2020 at 10:30 am
Denial bubble has burstOriginally published by DK on February 22, 2020 at 8:22 am
…that will take a really long time.Originally published by DK on February 22, 2020 at 8:20 am
Dinner on Randolph with the siblingsOriginally published by DK on February 21, 2020 at 9:58 pm
Saint Paul, Minnesota
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 21, 2020 at 4:32 pm
This seems like an impossible project, but it has to happen #LombardOriginally published by on February 21, 2020 at 4:05 pm
I wonder if that IIc in the corner will boot upOriginally published by DK on February 21, 2020 at 3:40 pm
Mueller-Bies Funeral Home
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 20, 2020 at 10:49 pm
…at the Mad Queen’s meadow.Originally published by DK on February 19, 2020 at 7:56 pm
I usually don’t like to do the social media question thing *on* social media, but I’m intrigued by the “5 Drinks to get to know me” one:
- Mountain Dew
- Cherry Coke
- Any cider > any beer
- Old Fashioned
- Octo’s Madagascar
Honorable mentions to the Epiphany at Prohibition and just about anything from Marvel Bar…Originally published by DK on February 19, 2020 at 5:14 pm
The race is on between my new glasses and my new Real ID – been a month so far on bothOriginally published by on February 19, 2020 at 8:26 am
I buried my Mama and I buried my Pa. They sleep up the street beside that pretty brick wall. I bring them flowers about every day. But I just gotta cry when I think what they’d say…Originally published by DK on February 18, 2020 at 11:02 pm
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 18, 2020 at 1:21 pm
Getting closer to unlocking the secret of this damn gameOriginally published by DK on February 18, 2020 at 11:30 am
Fairmont Banff Springs
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 17, 2020 at 6:29 pm
Sunday, SUNDAY, SundayOriginally published by DK on February 15, 2020 at 9:28 pm
A classic ❤️Originally published by on February 15, 2020 at 10:21 am
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 14, 2020 at 6:45 pm
$20 snow cones for all!Originally published by DK on February 14, 2020 at 5:11 pm
$50 scratcher (!)Originally published by DK on February 14, 2020 at 2:38 pm
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 13, 2020 at 6:44 pm
How did I get on that list?Originally published by DK on February 13, 2020 at 1:04 pm
It seems like I’ve written way too many “RIP” posts recently and unfortunately that now includes my father Mike, who died on Monday at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in downtown Saint Paul. With Colleen’s mom Jean passing at the end of 2019, we are now officially out of parents/grandparents, which is a really, really tough thing to process.
Dad’s medical journey started back in October when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He had surgery at Saint John’s Hospital in Maplewood to have his thyroid glands removed. That procedure went fine and the first few times I visited him out there, he was sitting in the chair next to his bed with his iPad playing video poker and could walk around the room. The surgery was close to his vocal cords, though, so he talked in a whisper-voice. Things seemed to be progressing nicely and he was transferred to Bethesda Hospital in Saint Paul, which is now an intermediate care facility in the Fairview system.
After only a few days at Bethesda, I got the first of many calls that said they needed to transfer him to the ICU at Saint Joe’s to deal with more serious complications that they couldn’t handle at Bethesda. These included a chyle leak, heart and breathing issues and the eventual installation of a tracheostomy tube, connection to a ventilator and installation of a pacemaker. Unfortunately, his condition continued to weaken even after these steps were taken, leaving him bedridden and unable to talk. My brother and sister traveled back to Saint Paul last weekend upon the recommendation of the palliative care team at St. Joe’s and we all got to say our goodbyes before he passed away peacefully just before 1 p.m. on Monday afternoon.
Like my mom, my dad loved being a grandparent to our daughters. As I’ve gone back looking for the photos posted below, I remember that he really liked combining his interests with Sasha and Marisa, whether it was a Twins game, a visit to a Disney park or the annual trip to Grand Marais and the North Shore. He loved playing video poker on his iPad (with fake money) and at many of the Minnesota tribal casinos with me and other family members (for real money). He visited me during my time at Fortune Bay, we made many round trip drives from Grand Marais to Grand Portage, used our free spin coupons at Treasure Island, stopped in at Grand Casino Hinckley on the way to Duluth to play the nickel poker machines and occasionally I would even get him to step out at the ritzy Mystic Lake.
The Twins were a huge deal for my dad. I’m super proud of him for going on the team trip to Seattle last year solo. He had partial season tickets for many years and we all liked to attend games with him (or stop by and visit if we had our own tickets). He’d participate in Twins Fest every year, would go to spring training games in Florida with Brian and Patti and had a great time at the bigger events like the All Star Game and last year’s playoff game (stupid Yankees). His man cave is full of Twins bobbleheads and signed baseballs and it will be bittersweet if they have a great season this year – although he did get to experience both 1987 and 1991. I still have the foul ball I got on 9-5-79 at Met Stadium sitting on my desk that he went and had signed after the game by the Twins hitter (Jesus Vega: Twins 8, Royals 3). If I remember right, the KC pitcher was the Mad Hungarian himself, Al Hrabosky.
Thank you to everyone at Mueller-Bies Funeral Home, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and Acacia Park Cemetery for your help in arranging the events scheduled for next week (please see the obituary below for details). Thanks also to everyone who has expressed their condolences and reached out to our family in this time of grief.
Love you, dad. ❤️
Obituary from Mueller-Bies and photo gallery after the jump.
Michael Alvin Kingsbury. September 7, 1946 – February 10, 2020. Age 73, of St. Paul, died on February 10, 2020. Preceded in death by wife, Karen; parents, Alvin & Evalyn; & brother, John. Survived by children, David (Colleen), Brian (Patti), & Lynn; grandchildren, Sasha & Marisa; siblings, Charles, Caroline (Robert) Anfinson & Richard. Mike retired from New York Life. He loved the Twins, the North Shore, Disney, bowling & video poker. His smile & laugh will be missed. Memorial service 11 AM Friday, February 21 at GLORIA DEI LUTHERAN CHURCH, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul. Visitation 4-7 PM Thursday 2/20 at MUELLER-BIES FUNERAL HOME-ROSEVILLE, 2130 N. Dale St. @ County Rd. B and also at church on Friday from 10-11 AM. Interment Acacia Park Cemetery.
Published in the Pioneer Press on February 16, 2020
https://www.muellerbies.com/michaelkingsburyOriginally published by DK on February 12, 2020 at 2:53 pm
Well, I can’t seem to find anything wrong with you, Mr. BabarOriginally published by on February 12, 2020 at 1:50 pm
Getting all my old person stuff done nowOriginally published by DK on February 12, 2020 at 11:22 am
Not many shutout wins against good times this season, so we’ll take it…Originally published by DK on February 12, 2020 at 12:28 am
Saint Paul, Minnesota
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 10, 2020 at 11:29 pm
Those were some hard “easy” levels!Originally published by DK on February 10, 2020 at 11:19 pm
Originally published by DK on February 10, 2020 at 4:26 pm
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 8, 2020 at 8:31 pm
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 7, 2020 at 6:40 pm
Slowly, desparatly slowly, the remains of passage debris that encumbered the lower part of the doorway was removed. With trembling hands I made a tiny breach in the upper left-hand corner. And then, widening the hole a little, I inserted the candle and peered in. The hot air escaping from the chamber caused the flame to flicker, but presently details of the room within emerged from the mist…Originally published by DK on February 6, 2020 at 10:55 am
Damn, SWCT, that mission took foreverOriginally published by DK on February 6, 2020 at 7:52 am
Fun night listening to Juliana Hatfield sing Police and ONJ songs at the Turf ClubOriginally published by on February 5, 2020 at 11:22 pm
Just my cup of teaOriginally published by DK on February 5, 2020 at 7:40 pm
Northwest Airlines History Center
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 5, 2020 at 4:04 pm
1969 was a good yearOriginally published by DK on February 5, 2020 at 4:01 pm
Good night for fire progressivesOriginally published by DK on February 4, 2020 at 9:51 pm
The root beer boots are back!Originally published by DK on February 4, 2020 at 9:46 pm
I guess loser, loser doesn’t rhyme with dinner, eh?Originally published by DK on February 4, 2020 at 9:39 pm
Band Box Diner
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 4, 2020 at 12:43 pm
That’s just sadOriginally published by DK on February 3, 2020 at 2:32 pm
More landmark birthdays: Target Field turns 10, Xcel Energy Center is 20 and Target Center is 30Originally published by on February 3, 2020 at 9:43 am
Congrats to everyone behind the scenes at Hard Rock Stadium (and the Populous crew) – it’s over!Originally published by on February 3, 2020 at 9:19 am
Drip, drip, drip – the Vulcans win (at least for one day)Originally published by on February 2, 2020 at 12:56 pm
“Sleep at the Fairmont Banff Springs” has been item #34 on my bucket list for quite a long time. As we looked to conclude the year of milestone birthday trips, Marisa and I decided we would make ours a combined ski trip (and invite Colleen and Sasha to tag along). SkiBig3 had some good sales after Thanksgiving, so we picked the week between our two birthdays and made reservations. Airfare between MSP and Calgary wasn’t too terrible on the Delta nonstops and I reserved my normal Emerald Aisle rental with National.
We planned to fly on Monday and Friday, with ski days on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The drive from the airport to downtown Banff only takes about 90 minutes and we purchased the required park passes ahead of time, so we didn’t have to stop at the park entrance. Sasha and Marisa brought their own skis with, so we had one large ski bag, four large suitcases and a bunch of carry-ons. Thankfully, National had a Mazda SUV for us that really held up all week with the extreme winter conditions (heated steering wheels are awesome).
Speaking of conditions, the Canadian equivalent of the National Weather Service warned: “Temperatures will plummet to values not seen in years.” Air temp was -30C (-22F) during the early part of the week, closing two of the three ski areas completely on Tuesday. That was the day Marisa and I got to experience the Canadian health system with a morning visit to Banff Mineral Springs Hospital. She had flu symptoms the night before and they did a great job helping get her back in shape for skiing the last two days. Everything was pre-pay for service, so we are now working with our regular insurance to get reimbursed for the hospital and doctor fees (which weren’t outrageous).
What can I say about the hotel? The Fairmont Banff Springs is one of the most iconic hotels in the world, built as part of the Canadian Pacific Railway network in 1888. The “Castle in the Rockies” was just perfect – historic, great amenities and flawless customer service. It’s not cheap, but in the overall scheme of world-class hotels, very competitive. Tipping was included for most services, so that was different (and convenient, since I didn’t exchange for any Canadian currency this time). The valet was wonderful all week – we’d just call down to the concierge (“How is the Kingsbury Family doing today?”) and they would pull our warmed up car to the front entrance. The bellmen were great – somehow loading up everything at the end of the trip back into the SUV. Maid service also went the extra mile to line up shoes, organize things on the desk and generally pick up after our daily mess.
The hotel has at least three known ghost stories. Our favorite was the Ghost Bride, who was commemorated with a postage stamp and coin by the Canadian government in 2014. Sasha and I spent one night searching for the staircase, where the hotel has a picture hanging (along with the stamp and coin). The ghost of Sam the Bellman and the alleged murder-suicide in room 873 are tales that added an extra element of suspense every time the lights by the elevator would flicker when the doors opened. There was a cool museum-style area off of the lobby that was loaded with historical pictures and artifacts. The old pictures of the golf course and visits from Queen Elizabeth and Marilyn Monroe were highlights for me.
We ate at two of the twelve hotel restaurants: Castello Italiana and the Swiss-themed Waldhaus Pub & Biergarten. Both were high quality with great service. I think the Waldhaus might have been the original golf course clubhouse, as it was set down a hill from the main hotel along the river (and near the current 15th hole). Colleen and Sasha both enjoyed time in the Willow Stream Spa, which included the semi-spooky indoor pool. There were also outdoor pools that amazingly had people in them, despite the extremely frigid temperatures (how exactly did they get out there?). The hotel also had several very nice stores, a free ski storage room (with overnight boot heaters) and a uniquely Canadian five pin bowling alley (which is really difficult to master).
The actual town of Banff is a short ride or walk from the hotel, across the Bow River. It was a wonderful little mountain town, full of shops and restaurants and surrounded by the most amazing mountain vistas. On our arrival on Monday, we picked up my rental skis at the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub and had lunch at Tommy’s Neighbourhood Pub. Other stops over the course of the week included a great dinner at the Maple Leaf Grill (with the bison tenderloin recommended by my friend Chuck), poutine at the local McDonald’s, shopping at Roots and Hudson’s Bay and a visit to the largest rock store I’ve ever seen in my life. I also wanted to try out the famous Beaver Tails, but they didn’t really have any indoor seating and it was just too cold to stand around outside for any length of time.
As far as skiing goes, there are three different resorts near Banff: Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Resort. Norquay is the closest to town, but we elected to skip that one when we found out we could only ski two days. We decided to go to Sunshine Village on Wednesday, as several people told us that Sunshine sometimes gets temperature inversions that make it warmer there compared to town. The other unique thing about Sunshine is that the base area is just a parking lot in front of a building with a gondola. A long ride takes you up to the actual resort (with one stop in the middle for Goat’s Eye Mountain). We didn’t have great visibility that day and had difficulty finding easier, groomed runs to ease back into skiing shape. Groomed runs don’t seem to be as big a thing in the Canadian Rockies as they are at home, so we were initially a little uncomfortable (and I was extra cautious this trip anyways, for obvious reasons). We did find a few runs off the Strawberry Express chair, which is marketed as their beginner chair (sigh). We also skied the Wawa lift, but that was about it. I would love to try it again with warmer temps, clear skies and more confidence in my skiing ability.
On Thursday, we went to Lake Louise. By the second day, we were more comfortable with the bus shuttle system: all three resorts have nice coach-style busses that pick up right in front of the hotel. Schedules varied, but there were usually 5-6 departures and returns each day to each one. The Fairmont was the first stop in the mornings and the last to drop off on the return, with 2-3 stops at various spots in town. Lake Louise is the farthest resort from Banff, but it took less than an hour to get there on the Trans-Canada Highway. The town of Lake Louise is a few minutes away from the ski resort and is home to a couple of other cool hotels, including the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and the Post Hotel. I thought about the hotel package that let you split your time between the castle and the chateau, but I’m glad we did what we did. It would’ve been cool (literally) to see the ice sculptures on the lake for their Ice Magic competition, but that just wasn’t in the cards this time.
We loved the skiing and atmosphere at Lake Louise. The bus dropped us off right in front of the Lodge of the Ten Peaks and one of the friendly information guides told us that the breakfast buffet at the Northface Bistro was the spot to go for pre-skiing food. After a great meal, we discovered there are only two choices from that spot: the Glacier Express chair and the Grizzly Express gondola. We started with the chair and took two great runs on nice intermediate cruisers that really tired us out. After another stop in the chalet (and a visit to the nice ski shop), we tried the gondola. It’s not the highest lift there, but I felt like I was on the top of the world when we exited (and honestly, a little frightened at how everything dropped off from that point). Lake Louise prides itself on having green, blue and black runs from every lift, but the cat track we took down from there was scary just for the fact that the runs that crossed it were very steep. But once we got down below the tree line, it turned into our favorite run of the trip.
One of the things that I still find magical about skiing in the big mountains are the moments of complete silence you sometimes find among the trees in the back country. Since our week was so cold, none of the locals really wanted to be out, so it was nice and uncrowded all over. I let the girls ski ahead of me on that long, green cruiser and at one point I just stopped and soaked in the silence. That trail crossed in front of another favorite thing of mine, the mid-mountain chalet with sun deck and greasy mountain cafeteria food. The Temple Lodge made me think of the great times I used to have with my Uncle Greg at the Outback Inn in Idaho. He would’ve loved this trip… ❤️
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 1, 2020 at 6:38 pm
https://deadspin.com/lets-watch-princes-super-bowl-halftime-show-the-best-w-1772302774Originally published by DK on February 1, 2020 at 1:21 pm