Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cabin Fever Pt. 2 and Congratulations, Adam!

For a second consecutive weekend, Adam and I were lucky to be invited to stay at a friend's cabin! This time, the cabin was a 2 hour drive to Eau Claire, Wisconsin and also on a lake. It's been really wonderful to drive outside of Minneapolis and see a bit more of the agriculture scenery the Midwest is so famous for. Our friend Grant has a boat at his cabin, so we happily spent all morning boating around the lake and, unbeknown to us as the time, getting ridiculously sunburned! Besides that, it was the perfect day-- blue skies, bald eagles, college friends and cold beer. Could be the lyrics to a country song!

Adam's sunburn was particularly unfortunate because the half-marathon he's been training for was this morning. The trooper that I am, I too woke up at 5:45 to support him. While I'd considered just joining him at the finish line, I thought it might be exciting to watch the race start to finish. Not to mention, it was a beautiful morning for me to see more of downtown Minneapolis up close.

Watching the runners, I've never felt simultaneously so inspired and yet so profoundly lazy. Last minute, I contemplated running the 5K but decided this was Adam's race. Now that I've seen what it's like, I'm more motivated (and less intimidated) to commit to signing up for a 5K and training to get a good time.

Adam finished 13 miles in 1:51:48! That's my Doodle!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's true. I'm a converted hockey fan.

Cabin Fever

Here in Minnesota, summer is officially kickstarted by Memorial Day weekend. Adam and I were originally planning on driving 8+ hours to South Dakota's Black Hills to camp and check out Mt. Rushmore. Bad weather and roadtrip partners dropping out stalled our plans, so we were fortunate to receive an invitation to go to our friend Sarah's cabin.

To understand a bit about cabin culture, I recommend this June's foreward written by the Minnesota Monthly's editor.

So, as I have come to understand it countless city people retreat to their lakeside cabins each weekend during the summer. Which sounds nice, but here's what I don't get... some of these cabins are far away. Like as far as Wisconsin! That's a long way to go EACH. WEEKEND. And then there's the fact that many people go to their cabins to "rough it": no heat, limited plumbing. Hmm... It would be totally nice to have a vacation home, don't get me wrong, but Minneapolis is so great now that it's finally summer! Why leave? It's the state of 10,000 lakes after all. The closest one is six blocks away!

Well, so I have all these preconceptions, but the reality is Adam and I loved every second of our trip to Sarah's cabin. The drive was long, yet scenic. Lest I forget I'm pretty new to the Midwest--everything is an adventure! We were welcome guests, we ate well, we did outdoorsy things, and-most importantly-we relaxed. Ahh, cabin life. If only I could stay up all summer!

Sarah, if you're reading this, I'd love to post the hammock picture HERE>

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Are you there SUMMER, it's me Rachael?

Ok, Ok, I know I'm letting weather take over my life (and blog) but it's mid-May, and I want to be wearing shorts and a t-shirt damnit. So when I can't, I become grumpy. But, here in Minnesota, summer is just around the corner. I finally feel it!

Today was a complete summer-like success. The sun is shining, and the streets of Uptown are crowded with people happy to be outside on a Sunday afternoon. We toured the Walker Sculpture Gardens and joked about joining the high schoolers in taking prom pictures, but alas, no one had a camera.

Later, I took my new bike to the repair shop--I bought pink handle bar tape and a cushioned woman's seat, so I'm already on my way to girl-ifying my wheels. And once my brakes work, I'll be riding my way to hipster heaven.

After, we wandered over to the park so Adam could play basketball. On the way, we heard live music, and out of curiosity, we followed the sound to check it out. Lo and behold, we discovered a street festival! I couldn't believe it! It was magical--as if someone planted it there just for me to find on this beautiful afternoon so that I could be happy about life. Draft beer, children with balloon hats, puppies, and tattoos... that sums up this Minneapolis street festival. And it was glorious.

Kredentials, the local Minneapolis band, was pretty good too. Hip hop for all! Check out their MySpace page.

Now, I leave you to go grill hamburgers and hotdogs outside, bliss.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm on a bike

You know that viral Andy Samberg/T-Pain SNL video short?

Well, I've had that song stuck in my head all day. Not because I've been on a boat but because I got a new bike today! (I'm on a bike... I'm on a bike... Never thought I'd be on a bike...) The annual neighborhood garage sale event was today, and it's the kick-off to what I've been led to understand is a big garage sale season. Throughout our neighborhood, rummage sales spilled out on to folks' lawns. Adam found me a $10 road bike that needs some serious TLC, but $10 is a steal! The rear brakes need repair, and the bike will probably require more frequent maintenance than I'm currently capable of doing myself. Plus, the previous owner's DIY black spray paint job is not to my liking, but at least that much I can handle.

Our other acquisitions include a potted rubber tree plant, an end table, and large speakers for Adam's dream surround sound experience. Total spent: $34.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dhani Tackles the Globe

Sometimes I like to pretend that I watch less TV than I actually do. But you know what? I enjoy watching TV. Though I can honestly say that I consciously do not plan my nights around certain TV programs. If I miss a show, my life will not end. That is, until I met Dhani.

Dhani Tackles the Globe is a show on the Travel Channel that follows Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones as he travels to a different country each week and devotes 7 days to learning and training for a local, often indigenous, sport. Switzerland? Schwingen. Basque region of Spain? Jai alai. Thailand? Muay thai. In addition to testing whether his football athleticism translates into his being universally fit for any sport, he experiences the local culture as only a loveable, massive, 6 foot black man could. And without fail, some portion of the show follows him into a shop where he gets outfitted in local dress, and then he prances around flirting with girls.

So good. I love it. And, dudes, Adam loves it too. You must watch this show.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about college lately. In just a couple weeks, the anniversary of my graduation will pass. Friends and acquaintances from the class of '09 are beginning to post messages on Facebook like "last class ever!" or "one more final to go before I'm done with college!" Weird that it's their turn now. Also, I'm here in Tucson surrounded by college students, most of whom are sophomores, who are almost halfway finished yet still have two very long years before graduation.

Plus, Adam is in DC right now visiting all our old college friends.

It's strange. When I first decided to take a trip to Tuscon, I purposely planned it for the same weekend Adam scheduled a trip to DC. Even though I was welcome to go with him, I chose to go to Tucson so I could have guaranteed heat and an escape from MN. But, in all honesty, part of me felt reluctant to go back to DC. I'm not emotionally ready. I worry that a trip to DC would have me comparing my life in Minneapolis to what I could have had if I'd stayed in DC. I miss my friends and want to see them, but I listened to my gut which was telling me to stay away a bit longer.

In the one day I've been here, I've gotten a slight sunburn and have had a relaxing time. It feels like a vacation. Adam, on the other hand, has been completely immersed in a trip down memory lane, and it sounds like he's the one having more fun.

I wouldn't say I regret my decision to not go to DC. But I definitely feel like I'm missing out on the good times they're having, pretending it's the old days.

Recently, I got two good pieces of advice. The first was from a coworker who put it to me this way: think about the kids who aren't allowed to write or call home the first two weeks of summer camp. Of course you're homesick--that's ok-- but, over time, you will let yourself get swept up in the present.

The second piece of advice was instead of feeling sorry for myself that I don't have my former college social life, plan trips. No one tells you what to expect post-college in your 20s, but it can be challenging to adjust. So, spend your hard-earned income and plan weekend trips to visit your girlfriends. That totally changed my attitude: I NEED to see my friends! And even if I do return to DC and feel wistful for my old life there, looking forward to reconnecting with old friends is better than missing them.