Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Seattle/Bainbridge Island 2017 Pt. 1

I've been home for a couple of days now, but my lack of sleep would make you assume I flew home on the red eye this morning. I'll chalk up my exhaustion to having a great trip to the PNW exploring and catching up with family.

The purpose of my trip to Seattle was for my second cousins wedding reception. Since I hadn't taken a vacation since her sister got married in Hawaii last November, I thought what better time to take a long weekend and get out of the Minnesota heat?

Just like Christmas morning as a child, the anticipation of a trip kept me up late and had me springing out of bed hours before my alarm was to go off. I took my time getting ready since I didn't need to call for an Uber until 8:00 AM, but since I was up bright and early with an extra hour to spare, I decided to add a little airport adventure to the mix. I wheeled my suitcase down the street to my bus stop, took the bus downtown to the light rail and hopped on the train to the airport. It might have taken close to an hour, but it was free, no traffic and it brought me right to my terminals security check point.

When I landed in Seattle I was dropped off at my hotel downtown where I dropped my bags and took off walking. I was meeting Kari and Jason for an underground walking tour so I found a nearby bar to pop in to, ordered up some lunch and tried some of Seattle's finest ciders.

Our bartender at The Collin's Pub was so friendly and attentive I wanted to go back every day just to say 'hey!' and grab a drink.

After lunch we walked to Bill Speidel's Underground Tour. Depending on how much you like group tours and how much time you have, I would probably suggest skipping this tour, but it was interesting non-the-less.






Halfway through the tour while we were above ground, we walked past a barber shop, Jason went for a haircut and Kari and I continued on...until we came back above ground and we decided we'd rather have a coffee and watch Jason get his hair cut than finish the tour. So that's what we did.


We walked with coffees in hand and a fresh cut to the Smith Tower. It was the tallest building West of the Mississippi in the 1930's and has an observatory on the 35th floor that you can walk around and take in some stunning views of Seattle and Mt. Rainier. Unfortunately for us it was a typical Seattle day, rainy and overcast so no views of Mt. Rainier for us.


For dinner we decided on The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak and Oyster House. I was in heaven with my steak oscar with scalloped potatoes. If I were to find myself in Seattle looking for a yummy steak, this is the place I would go.


I'll be back with a less wordy, more picture heavy follow up on the rest of the trip. In the mean time, start looking for airfare to Seattle.
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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Memorial Weekend 2017

I love holiday weekends up north, especially when I am able to take an extra day off and extend my weekend on the lake.

I don't think there's a place that makes me as happy as the cabin.

We lucked out with the weather since we were forecasted for storms most of the weekend. We took full advantage of the dry weather and took several boat rides, lounged under the sun, watched the sun set off the dock and Kari and I even did a morning workout.

Every year as you drive through Grantsburg there's a giant 'HI' mowed in to a small hill. 
A little welcome in to Gods Country.

Nothing like starting your holiday weekend with a little coffee and baileys watching your dad continue to putz with the dock. The yard has come a long way thanks to the parents endless work on flattening it back out after the ice heaves basically rolled up the yard like a rug.

Saturday morning A10! My first workout with the torpedo and I'm still sore. 
Guilt free beverages the rest of the day 😉

Storms tend to go around our lake, but we saw the rain coming and decided it was a good time to head to the bar for some live music and fried pickles. 

Post bar and fried pickles, Kari and I teamed up to make dinner. She made the apple/carrot/feta slaw and I made one of my best pork tenderloins to date.

And that folks, is my Memorial weekend in a nut shell.

Thank you to those that have given their lives to allow us the freedom we have today.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Excuse my absence

Ya know how some weeks go by and it's just another ordinary week, well that's kind of how things have been around here. I miss those weeks and I figured you don't really care to hear about how I got caught up on laundry, food prepped like a mofo  and binged five seasons of Veep in less than one month.

But since this is a sort of therapy for my wandering mind, I thought I'd recap just a bit and share any slightly interesting photos I might have taken over the past two weeks.

Mother's Day weekend was spent at the cabin doing normal cabin things. Raking the leaves out of the water, taking boat rides, soaking up as much sun as possible and a little SUPing.


We took an early morning boat ride with spiked coffee and mimosas without OJ that was quite chilly but the day quickly warmed up and the lake was extremely quiet since it was MN fishing opener. Absolute perfection.

This year Mother's Day was spent celebrating Sylvie's FIRST birthday! I can't believe she is already one, but it has been so much fun watching her grow. She still continues to be the smiliest little toe-head around who is walking like a pro!

We celebrated two friends birthday's last weekend with a pub golf bar crawl through UpTown. This year's theme was Stripes.


Miley is still trying to find the most comfortable position to nap in. I think she might have found it. The aftermath of having a crawling, walking one year old around for two days ☺


I have an apartment lined up for when my current lease is up! I'm pretty excited about it. I only looked at one unit, but considering there were two others looking at it at the same time I knew I had to act quickly. It's spacious and loaded with large windows. Since I sold all of my living room furniture I'll have to purchase new items which I'm looking forward to. My old furniture had been with me for nearly ten years and almost just as many moves.
Bonus: There's a market in my new building that sells chicken fingers and mozz sticks!


Welp, that's all the updates I have for you. Have a happy, fun and safe Memorial weekend!
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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sweaty Beers

This week in health and fitness I've focused on less carbs and sodium and walking to/from my workouts.

Sunday was a big meal prep day. Every day when I get home from the gym, I'm so grateful I put in the time to 'grill' up some chicken with my ol buddy George Foreman, cook a pound of bacon, cut up broccoli, hard boil a dozen eggs, etc. I walk through the door, throw everything in a bowl, toss with dressing and dinner is served. #blessed

I've been struggling to get out of bed early enough to make breakfast before I leave for work so I've been relying on RXBars to get me through breakfast. I love the chocolate sea salt flavor.


For whatever reason I've had a strong hankering for meatballs lately so I made a batch of turkey meatballs with almond flour vs. bread crumbs then tossed them in some Frank's Red Hot after they were cooked.

I paired the buffalo turkey balls with garlic quinoa that was just quinoa cooked with ghee, chicken broth, garlic powder and fresh sauteed garlic.


As described above, my dinners were massive salads. I love a good cobb salad so I make my own version. All the ingredients you can cook and chop ahead of time then throw in a bowl and bing-bang-boom dinner is served and you didn't even have to turn on the oven or dirty a pan.


My gym is adding in some earlier classes at 4:15 which I love since I tend to work through my lunch hour. You know, the one hour in the day that you leave your desk and all hell breaks loose so you decide you better stay put. Yeah...so, 4:15 classes are awesome because the next class time is 5:30 and sometimes that just feels sooo late.

I took a 4:15 warrior sculpt which I enjoyed because there were only four of us in the class and it's condensed down to 45 min.


Some girlfriends and I had a 'sweaty beers' night where we hit up an A20 alchemy class that still has my core and shoulders burning followed by drinks and dinner at Jefe's around the corner.


Since the class was at 5:30 I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and walk to the studio.

Walking along the Mississippi River and looking back at Gold Medal Park, and the Mill City Museum will never get old.



I had two 30 minute personal training sessions remaining with my trainer so we found an hour we were both free to wipe those out and talk about goals, etc.

He worked my abs for 45 minutes straight, which I love/hate since I don't do it often on my own, but I love the hurt the next day. Since I didn't get much in for cardio, I walked home through the Kenwood neighborhood that is super hilly and has the most beautiful mansions you've ever seen with some of the best views of the other side of the city.


Ugh! Isn't this city just beautiful!
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