Fun Times

I’ve been slacking around here lately but I’m trying to get back on the ball which means I need to share the fun times we had last week. First, Justin and I went for an extra special date to see the Sharks After Dark at the Mall of America. We spent a little time wandering the mall, had dinner at Stir Crazy (yummmmm) and played in the arcade for awhile (unlimited play cards were part of the Sharks After Dark deal). And by play in the arcade I mean I beat Justin in the snowmobile race. Twice.And then it was time for the highlight of the night, hanging out in the aquarium watching the sharks get crazy after the lights went out. It was kind of like living in Shark Week for a half hour. Yes, I’m a nerd, I believe I’ve covered that a few times here. And just so we’re clear, the picture above is not of sharks, they were just the only guys I could get a picture of. I am proud to say that I actually know the difference between fresh water fish and sharks, unlike far too many parents I hear in the aquarium. I’m just sayin’.

The next night we headed out to my barn with some barn friends and neighborhood friends to watch the High School Rodeo.It is a beloved tradition around my barn, going back to my junior high days. Let’s just say that some of us girls who basically lived at the barn were a little excited to have actual boys come to us one weekend a year. Ah the life of a teenage horse nut…While the rodeo excitement has certainly changed in nature for me, it remains a happy summer tradition. Horses, cows, friends and warm summer nights. What could be better?

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BBQ and Cars

Every year Minnesota’s finest cars come out to play for the Back to the 50s Car show. And every year people fill up the sides of Snelling Avenue with lawn chairs and blankets to watch.There are old cars, new cars, weird cars, funny cars, loud cars and even louder cars. You name, you will see it driving by. And every year Justin and I put our chairs in front of Famous Dave’s, load up on some of their delicious BBQ, and spend hours enjoying the view.It is one of my absolute favorite summer traditions. One of my favorite meals paired with gorgeous muscle cars. Summer at its finest.

Hello North Dakota

Sorry it’s been so long, I’ve been traipsing across North Dakota and back. Very exciting, I assure you. But we did make a fun little stop in Jamestown and visited the cutest tourist spot.We took our picture in front of the world’s biggest buffalo, because that’s what you do in Jamestown. Please note the escaped pony hanging out with us.Every time we drive through North Dakota I can’t help but imagine what life must have been out there a hundred years ago. Visiting the Pioneer Village just enhanced my imagination. We checked out an old school house and church that were both built in the late 1800s.The whole little pioneer village was just adorable.And best of all I got to spend some extra special time with this handsome guy.It was the perfect little break in our seemingly endless drive.

A Great Day

Our zoo visit wasn’t our only adventure while in Duluth last week. We packed all kinds of fun into our free half day! That’s right, we know how to maximize the fun, it’s just how we roll.We took Maggie for a nice long walk along the Lake Superior beach.This beach just never gets old to me. It may not be quite as warm and wonderful as the ocean but it’s as close as I can get without boarding a plane. And it is pretty darn beautiful if I do say so myself. Maggie’s a pretty big fan as well.There are just so many wonderful things to explore!And curious tracks to follow.But my favorite part is my walking partner ๐Ÿ˜‰ We’ve been exploring this beach together for 11 years now and it never loses it’s magic.After the beach we headed to our favorite little restaurant in Duluth, Va Bene. Absolutely delicious food with an amazing view. Safe to say we made up for any calories we burned off while walking the zoo and beach, and then some. And last, but certainly not least, some ice cream. And that my friends is how you turn a little free time on a work trip into a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

Staycation 101

Justin has a home office, which is wonderful for a wide variety of reasons, but it does have one downside, there is no such thing as leaving work at work. So we make a point of taking several “staycations” throughout the year. It’s a time for the two of us to spend lots of quality time together, have fun and do our favorite things. Just like a vacation but without leaving home ๐Ÿ™‚ After a very busy couple months for Justin at work, and lots of busyness to come, this weekend was the perfect time to squeeze in a little staycation. We took long walks through the woods, in our flip flops because it was 80 degrees (!!!!!!!).Maggie even busted out the hot face for the first time this year.We grilled some absolutely delicious meals. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am to be eating summer foods!We played some bean bags while Maggie refereed. I still lost, even though I’m pretty sure she was on my side.In general, Maggie found the staycation delightfully exhausting.We tried out a new ice cream place before going to a movie. Our Coldstone recently closed, leaving my ice cream loving husband a tad bit devastated. We needed to find a replacement. Stat! And I’m happy to say we did just that. Dark chocolate ice cream. Need I say more? After ice cream we went to see 21 Jump Street. It was as good as the ice cream. In other words, fantastical.We visited the zoo (lots more pictures to come from that adventure!),and we visited the new arrivals to the Sea Life Aquarium.We explored a new (to us) park along the Mississippi river,and took lots of night walks, which, much to Maggie’s delight, included frogs (seriously, how are there frogs in March???). We put a lot of miles on our feet during our staycation!It was a great few days with my main squeeze. I’m so happy that we are able to take these little time outs from life every once and awhile and just enjoy each other. These are the little things that make life extra good.

Feeling Lucky

20120317-154415.jpg Feeling pretty lucky to be on a three day date with the hubs this weekend! Walks through the woods, BBQ with friends, trips to the zoo and aquarium, bike rides, movies… Lots to feel lucky about this weekend, especially since it feels like the middle of May around here! Hope y’all are feeling lucky this St. Patty Day weekend too!

Good Medicine

It was a weekend of good friends and good food, just what the doctor ordered for my serious case of cabin fever. Friday we went out with some friends that we haven’t seen in far too long. We ate way too much at Mad Jacks, then headed to Grand Avenue for a bit. And since we parked right by Cafe Latte we thought it was only right that we stop in and have a dessert. I love this place. I don’t have any idea why we don’t go there more often but I am determined to change that.Especially after eating this. Easily the best cheesecake I’ve ever had. It was divine. That’s all I can say.

Saturday morning we woke up and it felt like we had flown overnight to another part of the country. Upper 60s and sunny was a major improvement over the mid 20s and cloudy we had enjoyed on Friday. Needless to say we all enjoyed the weather immensely.Justin took me to the International Market for lunch. He’s been there a bunch of times for work lunches and had been wanting to share it with me.Such a fun place to visit, and once again I felt like I had traveled far away from Minnesota. Not the worst feeling in March ๐Ÿ˜‰We had the most delicious meal there at a little Mexican restaurant. If you are unable to get on a plane and fly somewhere tropical, eating a meal like this is the next best thing.

We spent our evening wandering around the mall for a little bit before we headed to the movie theater to see Friends with Kids (good but not as good as I had hoped it would be). It was a great day, only slightly diminished by the fact that I poured coke all over myself right before the movie started. It was a cold, wet, sticky movie.

Sunday we visited some friends of ours who used to be our neighbors but recently moved out of the ‘hood ๐Ÿ˜ฆ We miss them dearly! It was great to see their new place though and they have a great yard which was perfect for the inaugural game of bean bags for the year.Oh the boys were so happy! And us ladies were so happy to be sitting out in the sun. We finished up the night with yet another great meal with lots ofย  delicious summer food. I forget how much I love beans and potato salad…

It was a great weekend and my heart and stomach are both very happy. A weekend like that is definitely good medicine.