Month of happiness…!

The last time I posted was back in February– I KNOW, I know- FEBRUARY.  That was so long ago.  I guess a lot has happened…in two months…in two weeks…so here’s a brief recap of things that have made me happy lately.

A wedding!

My friends David and Lindsey got married in early March.  They are really wonderful.  Their wedding was wonderful.  It has been so fun to see them fall in love!

Friends reunited! (photo credit to Laura--her pictures are always so amazing)

Girl Scout Cookies!

This year at the Office a co-worker’s daughter sold us all GS cookies.  I think it’s not just the number cookies I have consumed (let’s not talk about that) but probably the fact that GS cookies make every situation better.  Have to go testify in committee?  Let me give you a GS cookie.  Had a terrible meeting?  GS cookie.  I am fairly confident they are getting us through session.

Of Monsters and Men!

Like like like this band a lot.  I discovered them last summer (before they were popular) and this past week they played a sold out show in Mpls.  They were SO great.   I’ll be buying their album when it comes out this week.

A boy!

I went to California a few weeks ago to visit friends and see a boy…it was SO good.

It turns out that this boy, Marc is pretty awesome and we’re pretty happy!  He likes things I like: obscure indie music, local brews, The Hunger Games, baseball, Jesus and adventures…he’s also good at convincing me to to like awesome things like Disney.  Yep, totally went to Disney and LOVED it (we’re all surprised).  We’re pretty pumped for fun trips on the horizon–he’s coming to Mpls soon and then there’s Boston in May for: baseball, breweries and history (if only it started with a “B”…)…yep, really liking this guy…

Now that March is caught up, April can properly start.

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There’s always money in the banana stand…

Here I am in SoCal, on vacation!  Loving it?  Yes.  I meant to blog earlier but there was a tiny problem with my new camera (which takes amazing pictures)….the card reader on my computer does not want to accept the pictures…so sad.  Phone pictures will just have to work for now.

Day one was filled with walking through Hollywood–I was pretty pumped to see the stars, the Hollywood sign and hipsters—I felt like I was in Mpls.  (The most creepy part of the day was when we saw a man dressed as Michael Jackson, we are pretty sure that he had surgery to have MJ’s face become his face).

Yesterday, Beth and I met up with Tim, a friend from Minnesota that is working in Irvine.  We met Tim for lunch and then Beth and I wandered over to Newport and Balboa Island for the afternoon.  Imagine my excitement when I saw this:

Yes, a real life Banana Stand

Of course I had to buy a banana…and how luck would have it the girl working there was a Maeby look-alike!  We were convinced she was on the phone with George Michael  (If you have no idea what I am talking about it’s Arrested Development).

We also took in some beach yesterday….

...one of the benefits of going to the beach in the off season. No one is there!

Tim met up with us after work (after a phone call conversation of me telling him several times, “do not take the ferry,” “we don’t have to take the ferry anymore today.” –Beth said it was hilarious to listen to.  We drove on down to Laguna Beach, his second home where he showed us around the city.  It was a delightful evening.  We watched the sun set on the beach, drove up to a lookout only to find dancing? happening, ate tacos and of course ate more froyo.  (It is my California goal to eat froyo everyday I am here–so far I am 2/2!)

…17 again…

I LOVED being 17.  I thought it was the best age.  I really have no idea why, I just remember loving it.  Occasionally I like to forget I’m really 25 and have a job and responsibilities so imagine my excitement when I found this gem at the library this weekend:

Yes, that's right Sweet Valley's back!

Jessica and Elizabeth….10 years later!  Could my life get any better? Yes it could.  I will be reading this book when I am on vacation to Southern California, where the book is set.  !!!!!!!!!!!  All my dreams are coming true. !!!!!!!!!!!

Back to being an adult.  I made a large semi-impulsive purchase today–a new digital camera!  Boom.  Usually it takes me 9257 years to make a decision, but not today.  I read a little consumer reports, researched some prices on the internet and then drove to Best Buy contemplated for about 10 minutes and then bought it.  I have no regrets about this.  Hello beautiful pictures of vacation!

Tomorrow will begin and end the work week for me.  love. love. love.

Hello, summer- welcome to my life!

HAPPY DAY!  It is JUNE!   In honor of June I’ve brought back the summafun list that I generated back in March.  I’m getting closer to achieving my summer dreams (see I have things crossed off!).
  • movies in the park
  • canoeing (considerably easier this year)
  • sunshine  This can keep happening.
  • driving with the windows down  This can keep happening.
  • no more potholes? (my new tires do not like them at all) These are still around–along with new lane closures on 94…suck
  • weddings, lots of weddings! Two down, three to go!
  • Twins games! (and Brewers games and Cubs games) – The Twins record is not stopping me from going to TF and I am not turning into a *gasp* Brewers fan anytime soon
  • outdoor concerts
  • walking briskly around Lake Calhoun with Caribou in hand
  • being caught in thunderstorms in downtown Minneapolis and being taken in by a stranger (hard to say if this will happen again)—AND IT DID.
  • camping!
  • road trips
  • not using the tunnel for 3-5 months at worktunnel? what? 
  • staying up late (always seems ok in the summer)
  • bag toss (outside)
  • go on vacation that work is not forcing you to take
I just added the last one because for the past 3-4 months (or since I got back from my last vacation) I’ve been debating about where to go/what to do.  I have had no awesome ideas or been wowed by great deals.  Until today.  Sun Country via the Groupon wants to sell me a plane ticket for $180 to go somewhere fun….or maybe it’s been narrowed down to Boston or Seattle.   Time will tell if this can become a reality.
Finally, this past weekend I was at my cousin’s grad party and me and my little cousins were content playing on the tire swing.  Ok.  Content until I came over: “I want Amber to push me!”  “No, stop!  Amber, please push me?”  And then I made them push me and all was right with the world.

Tire swings DO = summer happiness!

Twins series: How to meet the players

Before posting details about how to get tickets, what to do at Target Field, etc. this will answer one of the most important questions everyone has: how to meet the players. I’ll be honest–it’s not easy but read on for some helpful tips.

Twinsfest is a great place to get pictures taken/autographs.  This year was my first time ever attending Twinsfest and although I was unsure of what to expect it turned out to be well worth the drive and time commitment.  If you want pictures and autographs you have to be willing to spend a little bit of money ($25 + a long line for Joe Mauer) but if you look over the schedule just right and happen to see that your favorite player is taking pictures for only $3 you are in luck!  There was also photo ops with TC  (always take a picture with TC whenever possible).

TC is always up for a picture.

When meeting players you might want to have something random/awkward to say.  For example, when meeting Kevin Slowey I thanked him for the Christmas card and asked if he received ours.

Kev!

For the more dedicated fans who want to take a vacation in February I would highly recommend attending Twins Spring Training in Ft. Myers, FL.  You will not regret it.  We went the first full day pitchers and catchers reported and because we were younger than 95% of the people that were there we got a lot of photo ops.  If you are going to make the commitment to go to Florida you should make sure you can identify many of the players (since they aren’t running around in practice with their names on the back of their shirts).  If you have access to a roster you should probably take advantage of that too since there are a lot of newbies running around.  Also, if you know their names they might think you are already friends and will definitely come over for a picture with you.

Ex: I knew Kevin's name even though he is not wearing a jersey and looks like the average guy walking around camp.

If you want pictures/autographs consider going to training in the late morning–since practices end around noon most days.  A little planning and you can meet lots of players after they are done with their practice–again knowing their name helps (and in some cases favorite foods too).

During the season a few players do a “Baseball Unplugged” session for fans.  Although I have not been to one of these I have read great things–basically they take fan questions and do an autograph session.  The dates/times for these are obscurely placed on the Twins site.

Finally a great way to meet players is to just run into them on the street—if you live in Maple Grove the likelihood of a player actually being your neighbor increases by 50%.  If this does happen for sure get a picture because otherwise it might not be believable that you ran into Joe Mauer at Lunds in NE Minneapolis.

Vacation= happiness

February = snow and cold in Minnesota but warmth and sunshine in states like Florida….so me and three of my friends headed to Florida for a few days.

We had so much fun!  The beach was a favorite spot since it was sunny and 80 degrees EVERY day we were there.  It was a small gift after last year’s temps of 60 degrees.

We were trying to jump higher than the dolphins we saw!

Coincidently, the Twins heard we were going to be in town so they decided to start their spring training the day we arrived.  It was mostly magical.

Conveying our emotions going into Spring Training!

We saw many of our favorite players and got pictures with them…we forgot our notebooks of baseball cards.

Finger mustaches were a new trend we were starting with Pavano.

With my quick player identifying skills and Laura’s photography skills we successfully got pictures with the following players: Brian Duensing (P), Carl Pavano (P), Joe Nathan (P), Kevin Slowey (P), Danny Valencia (3B), Matt Capps (P) and Ron Gardenhire (M).  Laura has more pictures posted here.

We wanted to make sure not to distract too many of the players to take away from their practicing…

The coach of the catchers was very motivational for everyone!

Away from the field we had more beach time, took a road trip to the Everglades where we saw millions of alligators and cruised around in the convertible.  Vacation success!

How many alligators can you spot?

Vacation= happiness!

We tried to take this home...but Florida mostly just wanted us to stay.

La fiesta without socks and Argentina happenings

Vacation has been really busy…on Saturday Laura and I woke up to, “If you guys aren’t ready on time I’m going to leave without you!”  Miranda was very excited to go to the Estancia (Argentine ranch), as were we because we were ready to go out the door right on time.

A few highlights from yesterday:

  • Arriving to the ranch on a beautiful day!  When we got there we were greeted with empanadas and then went out to see the castle and find the horses.
  • Find the horses–as in we were told they were tied up to trees around the ranch and there would be ranch hands there to help us—it took us a good 20 minutes to find the horses and by then the asado lunch was ready for us.
  • The asado was delicious!  We got to try a variety of meats/cuts and watch folklore dancers perform.
  • We saw a woman try to steal a horse, while not quite sure if she was going to ride off with it but she was riding it unattended and then let her friends ride it unattended.  It was ridiculous.
  • Finally, right before we left we got to ride horses!  My horse was a little out of control and with tips from Laura’s horsemanship days I finally got the hang of riding at the end (although at one point I almost asked to get off)
  • “Fiesta without socks” took place last night—Miranda’s roommates’ friends invited us to their party which started at about midnight.  They also dressed in costumes, which was confusing to us because it is not Halloween.  I think it was mostly called a “Fiesta without socks” because they wanted to keep their floor clean.
  • Today we got to tour La Casa Roasada, the presidential palace, which was beautiful.
  • We also visited the San Telmo street fair where we walked through many vendors and saw many street performers.  I even saw a guy wearing a Twins hat.  In shock I did not actually get to talk to him and ask him about a MN connection.
  • Our last stop was to La Boca, a neighborhood with lots of colorful houses, more street performers and home to La Boca Juniors– an Argentine futbol team.

For pictures and more notes on today and yesterday’s activities check out Laura’s blog (just click on merrydays on the side).

We have lots more things planned to see/do the rest of the week so I hope to do some more posting soon!

Goodbye (North) America!

Today begins my adventure with my friend Laura to South America!  We are headed to Argentina and Uruguay!  My sister is living in Buenos Aires right now so what better time to go on vacation and visit her!

There are several misconceptions about Argentina and my trip out there:

  • It is WINTER in Argentina right now….meaning it is not 100 degrees…only 60 (people are really confused about this)
  • Argentina IS in South America (some people are even more confused about this)
  • I’ll be gone for two weeks–not back on Monday like my co-worker asked…
  • Yes, this is a trip for our half-birthdays.

Check back often for trip updates/photos/ridiculous stories!

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