Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Weekend Review 61: Get Your Shine On

I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but it was another fantastic weekend up at the cabin. I might have ditched out of work a tad early and my punishment for that was a three hour drive due to people not understanding that the brake pedal does not make your vehicle increase speed, and that the left lane is for passing, not cruising.

I had made what I thought was going to be a quick detour to pass traffic at the only traffic light in town, but instead I just ended up on a back road that brought me about 10 miles past my intended exit. Oh well, it brought me to a grocery/liquor store where I scored a 4 pack of cider for $1.99 and a BOGO on Miller Lite and Reds Cider.

Once I finally made it to the cabin and mom and dad wrapped up their projects they were working on, we brought some chairs and a table out to the end of the dock for cocktail hour.

Just as the last sliver of sun passed the dock, we started the grill for my mom's birthday dinner. As I was heading in to grab the steaks, I saw a boat coming right for the dock. Then another!

It was quite a lovely night. Once the neighbors left, we fired up the grill again, ate some tasty steak and mom and I headed out next door to enjoy a fire. We always say we'll go for one drink and then one more and next thing you know it's 1:00 AM.

I've never been lucky enough to be at the cabin for a whole weekend where there is no breeze, the sun shining bright and the temp isn't scorching or too chilly, until this weekend.

Of course mom and dad had some projects they wanted to work on so I had to entertain myself for a bit on Saturday which meant I finally got to take the paddle board out! It's always been too windy the past weekends, and Saturday was perfect!

I paddled down a ways to where it's pure sand all around you and a cabin that's being built, so there's no people and took a swim, collected a golf ball I found and then paddled back.

By this time, everyone and their dogs were heading out to the sand bar so we packed up our coolers with snacks and beverages and met the neighbors out there.

Since my parents purchased the cabin, there's been a big turn around on the lake. There's a lot more families with kids in their 20's and 30's so it seems like the sand bar is being used a lot more as a meeting/partying place. Even though majority of the lake is nothing but sand/no weeds, we all still meet at the point.

The water was so warm that everyone was jumping around and playing in it. I live for Summer weekends just like this one.

I can't wait for an extra long weekend spent up North on lakes. My office just gave us an additional 6 holiday days this year and the Monday after the 4th is one of them (along with the whole week between Christmas and New Years!).

Have a happy, fun and safe 4th of July!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Weekend Review 60: She's Gone Country

Let me just start by saying that the weekend was the best yet and will be tough to beat in 2015.

Both Mike and I are big country music fans and on Friday night Love and Theft was playing at a local bar and then the Kick Up The Dust tour was on Saturday. We didn't have tickets to either one and decided that we'd keep it low key on Friday so we just hung out on Mike's patio, listened to music and had a few drinks. We found some floor tickets for the Kick Up The Dust tour for rather cheap and next thing I knew, I was going to be singing along to Dustin Lynch, Thomas Rhett, Randy Houser, Florida Georgia Line AND Luke Bryan, LIVE!

We started the afternoon on a rooftop where we grilled out and had a few pre-concert drinks before jumping on the light rail and heading to TCF Bank Stadium. The ride itself was an experience since the Twins/Cubs game had just let out on top of thousands of people trying to get to campus for a stadium show. It was like those train videos in China where you see people literally stuffing people in to trains.I'm not really kidding there either.

Once we entered the stadium I had a perma-grin on my face the whole night. I had heard of everyone that was in this show, but I didn't realize that I actually knew all of the songs!
Florida Georgia Line

I didn't want the night to end. It was total perfection and went by way to fast. After the show we met some friends out for a quick drink before my feet told me it was time to kick off the boots and get some rest.

Sunday was Father's Day, in case you didn't know that. We all met at one of my dad's favorite restaurants, Chino Latino, for dinner. They have a great happy hour that we like to go their for.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Weekend Review 59

Like most weekends in the summer, this one started out at the cabin. Kari and I were able to leave work early and get on the road before traffic got too bad. Friday night Kari made me and mom dinner and we spent the night chatting about our plans for the next day. The forecast called for very warm weather with some sun. Perfect for boating, paddle boarding, kayaking and lounging in a raft.

When we woke up on Saturday to a chilly and very overcast sky, we were non too pleased. We constantly checked the radars and different weather sites in hopes of finding a glimmer of nice weather during any part of the day. No such luck.

When we finally gave in that every meteorologist in Minnesota and Wisconsin gave us a false forecast, we bundled up with our sweatshirts and jeans, grabbed our beverages and quickly moseyed to the neighbors garage that would keep us dry from the constant spitting coming from the sky.

It was one of those days where you couldn't do much except sit around and complain about the weather. That's what us Minnesotans do best. We talk about the weather. It's either perfect, or gross and there are a lot of varieties of the two.

Sunday turned out to be quite perfect, and all along that was supposed to be the wet day. Kari and I got back to the cities early afternoon so I cleaned up and headed over to the Misters to supervise him doing household chores.

He informed me he only does half projects as he was half way through building his raised garden and left it to go pull weeds. Once those were partially pulled I held the ladder while he cleaned his gutters. Surprisingly, that project he completed 100%!

We ran to Home Depot and picked out some herbs to plant and hanging pots of flowers to brighten up the front of his house. Finally he let me actually help and gave me the job of planting the herbs. Lets hope they grow! He gave me permission to come and pick them anytime, as long as he gets to benefit from it and eat whatever I make out of them.

 All that time spent in the sun and heat wiped us both out pretty early. I headed home to 'be productive' and 'productive' I was. I've been on a PLL kick now that the 5th season is on Netflix and I was able to squeeze in 3 episodes before bed.  Why is that show so addicting?!?!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Weekend review 58: Hello June!

If someone asked you to describe Summer, just ask me what I did this weekend. Yoga by a lake, baseball, cabin and boating, finished with grilling out. That is Summer.

An old friend that I worked with over 10 years ago teaches yoga at a lake right by my apartment. I was able to get a couple of friends to join me as I attempted my first real yoga class. It was way better than I had anticipated and I'm planning on going to every class that I can this Summer. It was a fun experience to be outside and get our flow on. I learned I am not flexible at all.

The Milwaukee Brewers were in town so Mike and I went to the game expecting another big win from my beloved Twins. It was horrible! We lost and lost pretty bad too. The first pitch was a home run for the Brewers. Ugh, typical Twins. Once they start doing amazing things, they go back to their old ways.

Despite the loss, it was a gorgeous night for a baseball game. I even ran in to my cousin in law who was in town from Milwaukee! He was in Minneapolis for the series with a few buddies so we met up after the game for some drinks on a rooftop.

The next morning I packed a bag and headed up to the cabin. It was insanely windy which wasn't very fun since it limits what you can do. A couple neighbors came over for a few drinks and brought some kiddo's with who had some fun playing with the rocks on our shore.

One built rock statues and the other collected several bags of rocks and shells. I'm sure his parents will be real happy when they unpack his bag from the weekend.

Sunday, as usual, was a perfect day. I woke up to the smell of bacon and toast and Miley cuddling with me...wait, I take this all back. I was woken up at 6:30 AM by my mom who came in to my room 'Ali, put on your glasses and look in front of your car', Right as my mind flashed to a tree on top of my car, or a bear, she yells 'your car is fine, look outside!' There was a snapping turtle laying it's eggs right behind my car.

Once we let that excitement settle down, I went back to finish getting my beauty sleep, then I woke up to the smell of bacon and toast.  When we went outside, it was really starting to heat up and the sun was out. We convinced my dad to take a boat ride before going home, then we all just decided to spend the afternoon soaking up whatever sun we could get.

Mom and I worked on the shore some more, and dad worked on leveling out some of the dock that had settled in since we put it in.

This really was a perfect weekend and I can't wait for many more just like it!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Weekend Review 57: Goodbye May

On Friday Mike and I went straight from work out to Stillwater for his friends surprise birthday party. We arrived at their house and the birthday boy had no clue what was going on. Once all of the guests were accounted for we headed outside to a waiting trolly! We took a trolly ride around Stillwater and our final destination was the Lift Bridge Brewery. When we walked in we were taken back to where all the magic beer making happens and they had a Mexican buffet set up for us.

We chatted, stuffed our faces with tacos and chips and salsa and sampled their year round brews. My favorite has always been the Farm Girl. It was such a fun night and a unique idea for a birthday to have the trolly drive us around.

On Saturday my dad went up to the cabin to mow the yard so I spent the day with the dogs. The dogs haven't had much of a normal routine since my mom has been on vacation for the past 2.5 weeks. Miley is super needy, there's no amount of belly rubs or games of fetch that will stop her from pawing your hands for more attention.

She is a cling on and hates being alone. It breaks my heart leaving her. Mom comes back from her whirlwind South East Asia trip tomorrow so this little lady can finally be kennel free during the day.

I was able to get in a crap ton of laundry which I estimated would have cost me $23.75 to do at home, however half the time since I could use two machines at once. This just meant I got to spend more time with my fur baby.

Sunday was a struggle for no other reason than Sunday's are always a struggle lately. I nap all morning and afternoon, pushing off grocery shopping, food prepping, cleaning, etc. Then 7:00 PM hits and those naps I took all day finally catch up to me and I'm on hyper over drive.

I rearranged my beautiful flowers I picked up from the Farmers Market, I went grocery shopping, I prepped my lunches and snacks (you know what they say, 'failing to plan is planning to fail'.), I dusted and scrubbed my living room and kitchen. It was amazing!

All in all it was a pretty good weekend. I can not believe June is here. For us Northerners that means we have 3 months of Summer and it starts today. After looking at my planner, I can already tell this Summer is going to fly by, and I really wish it would slow down so I can soak in the heat and sun when it's around.