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  • 23 And Counting

    A lot has happened this past year. Awesome things I can remember, awesome things I can't remember, but here are some highlights I know of:

    We kickstarted the year with being out west. Not a day goes by that I wish we were out there traveling around still.

    This summer I got a chance to meet the rest of Anna's family when they were back in the states this summer.

    Successfully made a handful of camping trips up to the North Shore of Minnesota. It wasn't until these past couple of years when Anna and I started taking trips that I really got to explore up north.  No idea such a beautiful landscape existed up there. Happy to finally discover that.

    Made it down to Indiana twice to visit Anna's sister and brother in law. They always have such awesome things to show us. Restaurants, local beer, the swimming quarry, they're always giving us one more reason why Indianapolis is so awesome.

    I also started school again during the fall semester. Still working on generals.

    Those were but a few of the 22-23 highlights. Here is what happened during the birthday.

    open faced breakfast sandwich, carrot/apple/ginger juice, and of course, the phone.

    Anna treated me to breakfast at Tao Natural Foods, which is an awesome little organic and vegetarian restaurant in south Minneapolis I have been wanting to eat at for a long time.

    We did some antique browsing during the afternoon, which took up a surprising amount of our time. It's amazing how much stuff can be packed into corners and basements! It's like magic doorways appear around every corner after you've looked at so much stuff. Seriously.

    Gifts wrapped by Anna. Her wrapping and packaging are like works of art compared to my hodge podge wrapping jobs. For example, if I run out of paper on one roll, I'll pick up the slack with another. Bottom line, my gift wrap jobs are never pretty.

    From dinner on our friend Jeff had joined us. We went out to Blackbird Cafe. We had some Duck Rolls for starters, and then we got a bunch of stuff to share, including Braised Cauliflower, Brussel Sprout Hash, Fried Kalamari, and a bread basket, you can't forget the bread basket.

    And the most anticipated part of the night...Fulton!

    "Ordinary guys brewing extraordinary beer." - Fulton

    From four guys brewing out of a one car garage in a South Minneapolis alley back in 2006, they have become the Twin Cities first brewery taproom in March of 2012. Fulton has come a long way, and they continue to brew their exceptional standard line up of beers, and something they like to call their "garage series." Right now they have an imperial coffee stout (delicious!) which has been infused with whole beans of coffee from Peace Coffee.

    So overall, another year done, and another year begins

    Cheers.

    - B

  • Happy 21st, Anna!

    A happy 21st to, Anna! We celebrated around Minneapolis and St. Paul, having good food, beer, and some photo opportunities. All done with 19 obnoxious balloons floating around in the back of the car. It would have been 20, but during my time spent at one of the many stoplights throughout the day, one popped all of the sudden. Scary moment. Friction and that balloon did not get along.

    Zoey was absolutely terrified of these balloons. When Anna had first arrived, she ran through the kitchen, back and forth, back and forth, wagging her butt full of excitement (it compensate for her lack of tail), but head down in fright. Once she had finally got to Anna, she was weary and kept an eye on those balloons.

    For breakfast I whipped up some dutch oven pancakes, complete with raspberries, blueberries, pomegranate, and 100% maple syrup - the good stuff, and of course, an awesome pour over from Ethiopia.

    Still trying to conquer her fears, Zoey eventually got to the point where she would just run past the balloons without being too overly weary.

    We made it to a few of our favorite food/dessert spots in the Twin Cities. First stop, St. Paul Cheese Shop. With a wide variety of cheeses imported from all over the place, we stopped by for lunch to get a sandwich made up. I forget what we had. I know it was a swiss cheese, greens, and some sort of confit or chutney on there that was sweet. Second, we stopped at Dr. Chocolate's Chocolate Chateau. From some of the top truffle/chocolate makers in the states, they have a ranging variety of bizzare and interesting flavors that are quite delicious. For example, Olive oil basil with smoked sea salt, port with plum and fig, walnut, biscotti, and so on. Really great stuff. The 'William Dean' chocolate down there was actually in the Hunger Games movie I guess. Never seen it, but that's pretty cool.

    We put the balloons to good use. Our day was mostly planned around food, but with the time left between meals and outings, we ventured forth around the twin cities for some shots showing the skyline in the background with the balloons as well.

    I skimped out on taking photos at dinner, and beer, and all that good stuff...but you can imagine it ;]

    - B 

  • Happy (belated) Birthday, Zoey!

    Zoey turned 1 on April 5th. We were off by 6 days, but I'm terrible at remembering these things.  Then again, it doesn't help that I've been reading her "registered date" as her "birthdate" for the past 10 months. None the less, since it was her special day (6 days late), we did all the things she loves. Toys, treats, walking, off leash dog park and etc.

    She had to put up with the birthday hats and camera in her face, but that's a small price to pay for what this pup got.

    Zoey loves stuffed animals, so we stopped by the thrift store and picked her up a few.  They don't last long. The minute she gets a new animal, she makes it her mission to destuff the plush toy, and usually succeeds within 10-20 minutes. On top of new toys, we baked her some homemade peanut butter dog treats, some pupcakes, and also picked up some rawhides from the petstore that look like sushi.

    Pupcake!  Complete with apples, applesauce, nummy spices, a cream cheese frosting and a graham cracker top. In case anyone is wondering, "should a dog really be eating that?" We looked up recipes that were safe before we started baking.

    Presents! Rawhides, plush toys, treats.  Nothing better.

    Like most, one pust play the minute a new toy is recieved.

    After we celebrated at home, we took a trip out to the off leash dog park with Anna's dog, Bryr. Zoey and Bryr have become quite a long way in the past 10 months.  Zoey, being a small dog and somewhat possessive, used to have issues with other dogs.  Bryr, being the good sport he is (he's also a much older dog), took it in strides with a good attitude and helped her get through that phase. A great role model.

    Overall, a successful late birthday. On to the next year of Zoey's life! 

    - B