Sunday, June 12, 2011

Twin Cities weekend in review

Ahhh.  It's good to be home.  Don't get me wrong -- I had a great weekend with my friends, but it always feels good to be back in my home.  Especially after 4.5 boring hours of driving through southern Minnesota and northwest Iowa.  Here's a recap of the highs (and a few lows) of my weekend in the Twin Cities.

Thursday

I had to wait for the UPS man to show up with some packages before I could take off.  Fortunately, he arrived just before four, and I got on the road a little while later.  The drive was easy until I got to Spencer.  The rain was coming down so hard, I couldn't see the road.  I decided to pull over and wait for the downpour to let up a little.  This cost me about 20 minutes, but I reminded myself that it was OK, and I'd get there when I got there.  I listened to the first half of Tina Fey's "Bossypants" until the Rangers game started at seven.  "Bossypants" was so good.  I laughed aloud more times than I can count, and I learned a lot about Tina Fey that I didn't know before.  It was the perfect lighthearded yet engaging audiobook for my drive.  I highly recommend it to anyone looking to fill 5.5 hours.

I finally pulled up to Julie and Kathleen's townhouse in Roseville, Minn. around nine.  We went for sushi and then picked up "You, Again" at Redbox on the way home.  That movie blew.  The cast and concept were good, but it wasn't very well-written, and Betty White was very underused.  We then decided to watch the first episode of "Bachelorette," as my friends had DVRed the series but hadn't yet watched it.  It was interesting watching it the second time around with everything that's happened since then.  And, of course, I loved hearing my friends' thoughts and sharing mine.

As is standard when I stay with them, we were up until the wee hours watching "Bachelorette" and making plans to attend Summerfest in Milwaukee.  I fell asleep pretty quickly after we went to bed.


Friday

We slept in and then got up to have a little brunch before heading to Zumba.  I had never tried this fitness program, but I'd been curious for awhile.  I was more than a little self-conscious as I tried to keep up with the instructor.  She was really fun, but also really good.  I didn't catch every move, and sometimes, I had to just stop and watch to figure out how to jump back in.   Julie and Kathleen praised my efforts and said I did really good for my first time at Zumba.  I did have a lot of fun, and the time went by really fast.  I might look into a class here.

We showered and changed at the gym.  This was strange.  I haven't been in this kind of environment since my freshman year of college.  At least it wasn't one big room though.  I probably would have skipped showering (too bad for my friends ... ha ha).  But I showered and got ready in a decent amount of time, and before long, we were headed off to Happy Nails for manicures.  None of us had ever had one before.  We found the salon easily and checked in.  After selecting colors for our nails, we were ushered into chairs in an adjoining room.  My friends opted for pedicures as well (I can't do them for reasons I won't disclose here), so they got to sit in the nice massage chairs while I sat at a manicure station to wait for a technician.  In this time, I got to listen to a bridal party complain about having to wait and try to figure out how they could get their mani/pedis in before the rehearsal dinner in an hour.  I don't blame the bride for being kind of upset -- she probably envisioned a nice relaxing time with her friends.  Instead, they had to split up and rush through their mani/pedis.  The salon tried to make their trip happy, but I'm not sure how well they succeeded.  The lesson here -- leave more than 15 minutes of cushion for appointments before a dinner/event.

I thoroughly enjoyed my salon experience.  My nails look pretty, and you can't beat the feeling of having someone else massage your hand and take care of your nails. Here's the end result ...

So pretty!
  
With our pretty nails, we headed to Chipotle for a quick bite.  Then, Kathleen had to head off to prepare for a concert Julie and I would attend that evening.  With a little time to spare, Julie and I stopped off at the mall to wander around a little.  Bath & Body Works had a bunch of things on sale (as always), so I picked up some goodies before we headed to Kathleen's concert.  She's part of One Voice Mixed Chorus, an ensemble made up of gay, lesbian, transgender and straight ally members.  They performed music from a bunch of other countries, accompanied on some by a fabulous percussion group called Crash.  It was a great show, and I would say that even if my friend wasn't part of it.  

After the show, the girls and I headed to Buca di Beppo for a late dinner with two Todds.  Prosecco, rigatoni, lemon butter chicken and tiramisu were consumed over conversation.  So good!  Then Julie, Kathleen and I headed home for some more "Bachelorette" goodness ... they were anxious to get to the most recent episode, which included the Bentley drama and the less-mentioned-but-equally-as-awful roast date.

Saturday

Around noon, Julie and I boarded the light rail bound for Target Field.  My brother was supposed to go to the game with me, but he had some things happen at work and had to bail on me.  Fortunately, Julie was willing to step in, even though she really doesn't enjoy sports all that much.  Then again, I didn't enjoy Saturday's game nearly as much as I expected to.  My boys did not play well at all, and they broke my heart.

Me watching my boys take batting practice. I didn't smile much after the game started.

View from our seats

Julie & me
She's a trooper ... even if she did participate in the wave.  *smile*  I really, really hate the wave, and I wasn't happy she took part, but Julie gets major points for hanging out while I was transfixed on batting practice, sitting in the hot sun in centerfield for the game, getting us beer and hot dogs and dealing with my post-loss bad mood.  A little walk, some good eats and a beer at Rock Bottom Brewery helped a little.

After a long day in the sun, Julie and I were wiped.  Kathleen had had a long day too, so all of us were content with some couch time that evening.  We cleared out some more of their DVR recordings and then called it a night.


Sunday

On the drive home, I listened to more Rangers suckage and then finished "Bossypants."  Tina Fey definitely perked up my drive more than the game.  Now, it's time to relax a little, do some laundry and get ready for the week ahead.  I love a good roadtrip, and I'm glad I have a few more planned for this summer.  Stay tuned!

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