Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Pre-game view from our seats
Me and some random Vikings fan
Since when is THIS football arena food? Yum!
What? No shots of Tequila in the arena?!
And the theme of making Minnesota home continues.  And the strategy? Making friends, exploring the region, continuing old traditions in our new city and basically moving on.  Hmmmm..... "moving on".  For the longest time I had struggled with that concept.  Somewhere deep down inside of me I had an inkling of a notion that "moving on" would somehow move me further away from a lifetime's worth of friends back in Buffalo.  Somehow "moving on" would make them feel as though they are not as special to me.  Somehow "moving on", coupled with our geographical distance would contribute to us loosing our connection with each other.  I have finally realized that true friends make efforts to keep in touch and true friends pick up where they left off even if months pass between moments shared.  As I slowly get better at letting go and moving on, I slowly find more and more that I enjoy about the Twin Cities.

Whoa, Mr Viking man! Let me run my fingers thru your beard!
I love them so much!
Pumpkin #1
Pumpkin #2
On Thursday night, David and I went to the Vikings game.  We were able to score 4 tickets.  We invited our new "Minnesota friends" Kim & Ken to join us.  (Kim was actually our realtor and helped us find our house here in MN.)  I must say, it felt great to get out and socialize!!  The seats at the game were pretty awesome seats.  It was a pretty cold night so I was glad that the stadium has a dome.  Our tickets for the evening also came with tickets for admission to the Gridiron Club.  Hmmmm....how to explain the Gridiron Club???  Well, for WNYers, compare it to a much smaller scale version of First Niagara Arena's Harbor Club.  It is "smaller scale" because fewer people can get in at any given game.  The tickets to the Gridiron Club also include all you can eat & drink.  When I heard that, I had just assumed "stadium food". Noooo.....there was everything from sushi to carving stations to bananas foster and more.  There was also an open bar and retro video games (Ms PacMan, Galaga, Donkey Kong, etc) that you could play for free.  Way Cool!! 

Our purchases
Pumpkin guts!!
Since David had to leave on Sunday for business travel and so we had to make the most of our Saturday and cram in a family "weekend" into one day.  Since the clock is ticking away to Halloween time, we needed to do the pumpkin carving thing.  We took a little ride into Stillwater, MN to a small pumpkin patch, Axdahl's.  After passing through (several times) the *small* haystack maze which was pitch black and landed us in the barn's silo we had to examine and touch what seemed like every single pumpkin on the farm.  After such a decision process, I am not sure how we ended up with one of our two pumpkins having a small spot that was starting to rot out. Oh well....good thing Halloween isn't that far away.

Pumpkin carver in training
Jonathan added his Nuk to the seeds for good measure
Mama and Jonathan working hard
Madeline was beyond excited about carving the pumpkins.  She was so excited that she wanted to do the physical knife carving by herself.  Ummmmm.....No!  Yet, both she and Jonathan had fun getting messy by taking the guts out from the pumpkins.  Our pumpkins are not the most ornate but when you are up against dinner time with two little kids you tend to hurry along the process!  Pumpkins purchased - check! Pumpkins carved - check! Pumpkin seeds roasted - check! Dinner served - check! Kids to bed....woo hoo, check!  We survived.  Unfortunately, David was off first thing in the morning for a business trip.

Our finished products - Boo!
Entrance to Minnesota Zoo
The kids were having a riot in the leaves!
Happy Fall, y'all!
David has some spurts of business travel which always makes "mom duty" more difficult.  It is what is it is and it comes with the territory that is David's job.  However, I greatly dislike the occasions that David's travel requires him being gone over any part of the weekend.  Weekends are our family's special time and so weekend travel pretty much just stinks!  I decided to find something fun to do with the kids on Sunday to fill the void of David not being with us.  The Minnesota Zoo is located about 25 miles away from us.  We purchased a family membership to the Zoo back in May.  I decided that this was a perfect occasion to once again put that membership to good use. I don't know that I ever went to a zoo off-season before but I must say that I really enjoyed it.  The last time I went to the zoo it was well over 90 degrees with high humidity.  Sunday's visit was much more comfortable and much less crowded.  We also seemed to hit a lot of the animals at the right time as we were able to see them feed the penguins, fruit bats and komodo dragon.

My goal Sunday was to tire the kids out so that I could get them to bed at a decent time.  Between the zoo and outdoor play in the leaves when we arrived at home I would say mission accomplished!

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