Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Apologies

I apologize for bringing the cold temperatures back with me to Ohio. However, we should be getting a warm up for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day . . . close to 50 degrees. Holy Crap! I should have brought my shorts and flip flops.

Here are some pictures Alex took of the weather we left behind in Minneapolis. Sadly, we left a white Christmas in Minnesota for a wet Christmas in Ohio.



We made it home safely to Ohio. Although, we did have to wait 2 hours ON the plane before we could get de-iced. Thank goodness I purchased Mama Mia for my iTouch. That kept me occupied and quiet while we waited.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

My birthday is still June 20th. However, almost 6 months later to the day I finally got to redeem my present from Alex. He bought us tickets to go see Celine Dion in concert here in Minneapolis. We were supposed to go in October but she cancelled the day before and rescheduled for February. Needless to say I was disappointed. For one reason or another she rescheduled for December, two days before we headed home for the holidays. 

Alex took me to a fabulous restaurant, Seven Steakhouse. It was probably the best steak I have had in a long time.


We ordered a shrimp cocktail. These were a meal in themselves. They were HUGE and tasty!
"My Heart Will Go On" (the third encore) is always a crowd pleaser. To hear her sing it in person always gives me chills.



Celine was not even finished with her 3rd song, "Power of Love," when Alex leaned over and said that "This is amazing!" Alex admitted he was skeptical of coming but now has complete respect for Celine and understands why I enjoy her so much. It was the best indoor concert he saw, the second best overall. That is a pretty bold statement for someone who would much rather be at a hockey game.

It was a great birthday. I was happy to finally get to celebrate with Alex since we were apart in June.

Target Holidazzle Parade

A couple of weeks ago we headed to downtown Minneapolis to see Target's Holidazzle Parade. It was more for kids . . . I think . . . but it was still fun. We hung out in Caribou Coffee for a bit drinking the best hot chocolate and apple cider I have ever had trying to keep warm beforehand. Alex forgot to bring his hat. Needless to say, he was pretty cold.




All of the floats and people were storybook themed and covered in lights. Overall, it was a lot of fun and festive. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Starting to Look Like Christmas . . .

Alex and I decorated our home for the Holidays this past weekend. We opted to not do lights outside this year just for the simple fact we are heading home in less than 3 weeks. Again we were a great team with regards to decorating the tree. It is very helpful to have 6'5" human being in the house to get the top lights and ornaments on.


We realized that another thing we need to figure out as a couple is how to decorate our tree. This year we are doing ornaments from our childhood but hope in the years to come to add our own ornaments. And of course, I want the d├ęcor to match so hopefully the after Christmas sales will give some inspiration.


We did buy new stockings for us which I absolutely love! Now we need to get the chimney cleaned and buy some firewood to keep us warm on the cold winter nights.


My absolutely favorite purchase is our Nativity scene. Maybe next year we can get a manger . . .


Our First Thanksgiving Dinner

Alex and I stayed in Minneapolis for the Thanksgiving holiday this year. Since we are going home over the Christmas holiday we thought it would be easier and more economical to stay put. We started planning our Thanksgiving menu and purchased everything way in advance. Since I am not the cook I wanted to make sure I took everything into account. I even thought to buy a meat thermometer! Alex even pulled out the pre-stuffed turkey to thaw in advance. Of course, we were a little to ambitious and realized that we need to cook the turkey straight from the freezer. Oops! I blame the package design. We took a chance and felt that we caught the oversight in enough time.
 
Alex was very helpful in the kitchen. He did mention that he could sense I wanted to try to do as much as I could . . . which he was right. He would periodically baste the turkey while it cooked in the oven. I also had him peel the potatoes.


The turkey took 5 hours to cook in the oven. Of course, we were ready to eat at hour 4.


Isn't it pretty . . . for a turkey?


Alex carved the turkey. I figured for a 10.3lb turkey there would have been more meat on the plate. I think Alex must have had a few pieces on the side.


We ended up having quite the Thanksgiving feast. Although, we wish we could have been with our families. I was proud of myself for cooking as much as I did and getting the timing just right. Everything finished at about the same time. Alex said I did a great job and was very impressed with my cooking skills. Maybe I learned more than I thought from years of observing Mom cook countless dinners. Perhaps, there is a little "cook" in me after all.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick-or-Treat

No pictures but I thought I would share our first official Halloween handing out candy. We did run out of candy. We had 570 pieces give or take a few (we treated ourselves to several pieces), but that still was not enough. 

Some favorite or interesting moments include;
1. Young girl (age 15-18) in everyday clothes coming up and opening her purse saying "Trick-or-Treat."
2. Two children walking up the sidewalk with mom and dad escorting them, or so we thought, until both mom AND dad held out their bags and said "Trick-or-Treat."
3. Mom comes up and holds out two bags expecting candy. We must have had looks on our faces because she said "I know I'm too old, right? My son is in the car. His legs are tired." Okay, that explains one bag in your hand . . . what about the other one . . .
4. Kids wanting to choose and/or upsize their candy.
5. "Trick-or-Treat," "Thank You," and costumes are optional.

We did have fun though . . . for the most part the kids were nice and appreciative and parents reminded them to say "Thank You." We did get two older kids to do tricks for us. Our favorite costumes include; frogs, police officers, Dr. Seuss Thing 1 and Thing 2, and a Boxer.

I haven't trick-or-treated in 15+ years but things seem to be a lot different.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Snow, Snow, Go Away . . .

Yes, it actually snowed today, on Sunday, October 26th. I knew it was coming but I wasn't ready. Ready or not, here it comes . . . 

Happy Halloween

I can't remember the last time I carved a pumpkin but Alex and I decided to be silly and get in the holiday spirit. Plus I wanted to have some decoration for next weekend. According to our neighbors we should expect up to 600 trick-or-treaters because we are on the parkway. Parents drop the kids off at the beginning of the street and pick them up at the end. 

Alex wanted to get artistic and show his love of hockey. I decided to go traditional with my pumpkin.


Alex worked very diligently on his pumpkin design.


I now remember why I haven't done this in years. Yuck!


I was surprised with my end result. I was not forced to cut off teeth. I am actually quite proud of my traditional pumpkin face.


Of course, Alex always has to show me up! Here he is with his Minnesota Wild pumpkin . . .


He couldn't resist. It's the Great Pumpkin!


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!


SURPRISE!!!

I received an awesome surprise last weekend. My mom and dad came to Minneapolis for a visit. I had no idea they were coming. Apparently my parents found a great deal on tickets and arranged the surprise with Alex. Very sneaky!!! I should have known something was up when Alex all of a sudden got this need to clean during the week. :o) Anyway, Alex and I had planned a date on Friday night. He took me to dinner at the Oceannaire. (I recommend the crab cakes and hashbrowns.) As we were walking back to our table there were two familiar faces behind menus. SURPRISE! I could not believe my parents were in Minneapolis. I was speechless and so HAPPY to see them.

We had a great visit even though it was short. Unfortunately, I do not have many pictures. Dad took most of them. Perhaps once I get them I can update and share. We toured General Mills, Lake Minnetonka, shopped in Excelsior, drove around Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, and Lake of the Isles. We drove up the parkway and toured Robbinsdale (our neighborhood). We also took them to an apple orchard called Apple Jack's. Unfortunately, we are at the end of the season so the apples were literally picked over. 

We did go through the corn maze. It seemed like fun. They had clues for us to answer but I think people moved signs and created new paths.


We tried to have fun but it was unusually warm. We overdressed thinking it would be a bit chilly. As soon as we were in the maze we were ready to get out.


Once we got out of the maze, we headed to the barn to get some apple goodies . . . cinnamon donuts, apple pull aparts, apple fritters . . . YUM! We even got to pick apples inside since there were not many left on the trees. We now know to go earlier next year!


Week of Hockey

About a month ago, Alex had the opportunity to play open hockey at the Xcel Energy Center where the Minnesota Wild (NHL team) plays. He was very excited to skate on professional ice. (Alex is standing between the "E" and "N" of "Energy.)


Alex is sitting in the Visitor's box waiting to get back on the ice. He started listing off all of the famous NHL players that have been in that box. #1 on the list Wayne Gretzky (his idol).


All smiles after skating a great game. 2 goals and an assist . . . Suit him up Wild!


So if that wasn't enough we had the opportunity to go to the Wild's preseason games the next 2 nights against the Chicago Blackhawks and Buffalo Sabres. At the Buffalo Sabres game we were 3 rows from the glass.


I was hoping to see a fight since were so close but no such luck. 


The Wild and Sabres tied the game and played in overtime. The Wild won! It was a great first NHL experience for myself. 


Catching Up!

Can you tell I have a job now? I haven't had a chance to update my fabulous blog that probably everyone has already lost interest in. Well if you are still checking it I will be adding lots of new posts with events from the past month. I can't believe I accepted my position with Aveda a month ago. So far the job is going well. I am starting to get my feet wet and trying to understand all of the product offerings and what my group can do to elevate the brand. I believe I will make a big impact and hope that will present new opportunities.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Working Girl


I have been offered and I accepted a Package Designer position with Aveda

I start this coming Monday. I am very excited about the opportunity and hope that it will open new doors for me. I will be responsible for designing Aveda products' packaging but will also get to utilize my Marketing degree I am still spending a lot of money on. 

Things are starting to fall into place . . .


Monday, September 29, 2008

"Up North!" – Duluth

After our adventures along the coast, we drove back towards Minneapolis and stayed in Duluth. It is a cute little town located right on Lake Superior. 


Our hotel was located on Canal Park which is a peninsula surrounded by the Lake. There were lots of great restaurants and cute shops as well as the famous lift bridge. If I am correct, this is the largest (?) working lift bridge in the US or at least on the lakes. Unfortunately, the bridge did not lift while we were there but it was neat nonetheless.


Alex tried to skip rocks on the beach but was a bit unsuccessful. The beach was very rocky and I wondered if this would be a good summer beach but I'm thinking that is not the case.



My vacation from my "vacation" came to an end. It was a lot of fun. We are looking forward to going back and traveling even further north. Supposedly we can see all sorts of wildlife. For example, caribou will walk out into roads without a care in the world. That would be fun to see.




"Up North!" – Odds & Ends

Along our drive we came across a few odds and ends that made us laugh.

Here is a Paul Bunyan statue in a random parking lot. I don't remember him looking like this. Didn't he wear flannel? 


We came across Emily's Restaurant. Unfortunately, it was under renovation. But that didn't stop me from taking my picture in front.


There still remains an Indian influence up here. Alex felt the need to pay tribute to the Indians.


Betty's World Famous Pies is a destination. This place was a recommendation and it was well deserved. They have delicious pie! Everyone else thought so too. The parking lot was packed. 

"Up North!" - Split Rock Lighthouse

This past weekend Alex and I decided to take a little road trip "Up North" to Duluth and Split Rock Harbor. Everyone kept telling us this is the best time to go as the trees are turning color. 

We drove about 3.5 hours up the Minnesota Scenic Byway to Split Rock Harbor on Lake Superior where we found the iconic Split Rock Lighthouse. I have never seen a real working lighthouse so I was very excited. 

The scenery around us was beautiful. Lake Superior is like an ocean in itself. Alex read that Lake Superior could fit the other 4 Great Lakes in addition to 2 more Lake Eries. Also, the amount of water in Lake Superior could cover the entire United States in 3 feet of water. Incredible!


There are these cliffs that are along Lake Superior. The weather was a bit gloomy and I was hoping we'd see more waves crashing up against them which would have been very picturesque. Another Lake Superior fact: Waves can get up to 11 feet tall. I felt like I was in another world at this point. 


The Split Rock Lighthouse came out of nowhere. We were just walking along and there it was.
 

We were able to go inside the Lighthouse. Every two hours the watchmen would have to go back into the lighthouse and wind up the light so that it would continue to turn for another two hours. They would do this every night. 

Here is what I think is a pretty cool picture that I took. I like that I caught the sunlight as the light turned. Maybe there is a photographer in me after all.


After walking down a series of very steep, wet, wooden steps we were able to get to lake level and see the lighthouse sitting on the edge of the cliff. It is quite breathtaking. My camera does not do it justice.