Thursday, October 1, 2015

Weekend Review: The End Of Summer 2015

If there's one event that officially closes out Summer for us Midwesterners, it's closing the cabin for the season. In our case, we keep the cabin open year round, so for us, it's taking out the boats and dock/lift. Last weekend marked the end of the Summer for us, even though it was sunny and 80 degrees.

The trees have barely started to turn and folks were out jet skiing and paddle boarding as if it were mid August.

When we arrived Friday evening, my parents had a big bonfire going from a tree that they recently took down. Once my aunt and uncle arrived, we all grabbed a bowl of chili to eat around the fire and catch up on life.

Saturday started as every Saturday does at the cabin, with a mimosa and brunch. The lake was like glass and the sun was shining. I was convinced we weren't in Kansas Wisconsin anymore.

Mike, my dad and my uncle Kevin worked on taking out the boat lift. It sounds simple, you just wheel that sucker out. When we put the lift in, the water was several inches lower so my dad took the wheels off and dug it down in to the sand.

'Simple no more, taking lift out is' - Yoda

It took several of us to lift one side up at a time so we could get the wheels back on. Once that was done, then it was as simple as it sounds.

We took a final boat ride around the lake before we had to head back to the cabin to get dinner started. Mom had a delicious lasagna we all inhaled and soon after Mike and I packed up the truck to go back home.

Since the thing I dislike most about leaving the cabin is going home to an empty apartment, I made sure to have plans for the next day since Mike would be tailgating and cheering on the Vikings all day.

A few friends and I went to Betty Dangers for brunch. If you've never been, I'd recommend spending an hour or so there just taking it all in.

For starters, there's a ferris wheel.

There's also miniature golf which we did not participate in. The food is Mexhampton, Mexican, Minnesotan and Hampton. I'm not 100% sure how that translates, but most of their brunch items were Mexican.

After Betty Danger's we ubered over to a brewery that was closed for the day, so our lovely driver took us to the next closest brewery, 612.

We had a beer in the sun and called it a day. Well, the rest of the ladies called it a day. I went to grab some food at a bar down the street from my apartment. Mike met up with me and half way through our meal a man caught my eye.

I'm the kind of person who always says I would never recognize a famous person in real life. Famous might be used loosely in this situation but he was a young, handsome man sitting alone, watching football and having a beer. The more I looked at him the more I was convinced it was the Minnesota Vikings very own Andrew Sendejo.

You're welcome ladies
Sure enough, Mike went up to him and it was Mr. Sendejo himself. He was a bit glum since he kind of ruined one of our best players by giving him a concussion, which is why he said he was having a beer.

As we walked out of the bar, Harrison Smith walked past us and Mike gave him a 'great game!' and a pat on the shoulder.

I will forever be going to this bar after home games to see which other footballers I can spy. Feel free to join me as I'm a football girlfriend widow. Who know's who I'll spy next!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015


You might think you clicked on the wrong link, but fear not my trusty reader, you are at what was formally known as Real World: Minneapolis.

Welcome to The Ali Diaries!

I've been thinking about a change for a while now, but nothing quite felt right. I hope you like what you see. Not a whole lot has changed besides the obvious name change and header. As in my personal life, I'm going back to basics. Keeping it simple and real. Life is chaotic enough as it is. Am I right?

I'll share my weekend with you later on this week. But for now, grab a cup of joe #nationalcoffeeday, or my preferred beverage, a glass of red wine and click around.

Check out a few of my favorite posts from many moons ago.

Did you know that Real World: Minneapolis started all the way back in May of 2011.

I was starting a new chapter of my life as a single woman living downtown Minneapolis. Home Sweet Home talks about my first week as a city dweller.

Here I share how to do a mayo hair mask. Note - if you put mayo, coconut oil or any type of oil in your hair as a mask, you will have to wash it multiple times over to get all of the oil out.

A quick get-to-know-me.

If you are planning any kind of shower, this post is one of my more popular posts where I share all the fun details of co-hosting a wine-tasting bridal shower. It was so fun and original!

Girls trip to Cabo is another post to top my popular posts list. I've been three times so please inquire with questions if you are looking for recommendations on restaurants, activities, ect.

I hope you enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane with me. I look forward to sharing life with you at The Ali Diaries!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Summer Recap - Video Style

Summer 2015 you were a good one. You kept me busy, gave me a great tan and took me on some new adventures. Until next year, Summer.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekend Review 70: See you next year!

As you get older, friendships change, yet somehow stay exactly the same. One of my closest friends came to town this past weekend, the last time I saw her was almost exactly a year ago. We only live 4 1/2 hours away, but she works retail and has a husband who is doing his residency and I'm over here working my 9-5 so schedules are tough to work with.

I knew Laura wouldn't get to town until late in the evening on Friday so Mike and I grabbed a few drinks after work and he drove me around while I tried to find a jacket. After going to The North Face, then Sports Authority, Dick's, REI and finally back to The North Face, I pulled the trigger and got an even better (= more expensive) jacket than I initially had my eye on.

When I got home, Laura was finding a place to park and we spent the entire night enjoying wine and catching up. By 2:00 AM we decided it was best to not open a third bottle of wine and to go to bed since we had a 7:00 AM wake-up call to go tailgating for the Gopher game.

Our alarms rang earlier than we would have liked, but we poured ourselves some mimosas and headed out nice and early anyway. It was a perfectly sunny and warm and the perfect morning to enjoy some beverages outside TCF Bank Stadium.

The Gophers won, but I think I was the only person happy about that. Apparently they should have won by more than 3 points.

After the football game we grabbed a taxi and headed back to UpTown for some lunch/dinner before walking back to my apartment to get ready for part two of the day.

Our friend Amanda and her boyfriend picked us up to head to St. Paul for another friends husbands 40th surprise party. You know you're getting old when your friends have husbands turning 40.

Mike met us at Sweeny's and the surprise went off perfectly. They had tons of apps and drink tickets. We hung out for a couple hours before deciding to continue the night closer to home. We went to a bar near my apartment and I can't believe how old I felt and how I do not fit in to the late night scene anymore. It's quite different these days. Give me a sports/dive/wine bar any day.

Sunday we slept in until late morning and Laura packed up to go see some other friends while she was in Minnesota. I forced my self out of bed so I could make some 'healthy' buffalo chicken dip and cheer on the Vikings. I made it through the first half of the game before being awakened by the sound of my phone alerting me that Mike was on his way home and the game had been over for a couple of hours.

Looking back on the weekend, I think it's a blessing that Laura and I only get together about once a year. If we spent more time together, there would be a serious red wine shortage and I would consistently be seriously sleep deprived.