Twin Cities: Travel Tales (Part 1)

Where have I been? I went on an adventure to see my boyfriend who currently lives in the frozen tundra of the Twin Cities. OK, it wasn’t that bad. Honestly, I think I hate rain more than I dislike the frigid temperatures and the snow.

I can add another state to the list of those in which I’ve spent some time. My goal is to go to all 50. Minnesota was interesting. Yes, the people were nice. Paul claims that driving is an exception to that rule. I think that’s universal to every place in the world. Definitely in California, just look at the posts inspired here in my blog.

So, what did I do in Minnesota? No. I didn’t make snow angels. We went hunting for Peanuts statues. Not statues of nuts, but statues of the characters created by Charles M. Schulz.

Most people in Northern California know he lived in Santa Rosa and that town is inundated with Peanuts memorabilia. What I didn’t know is that Charles Schulz grew up in St. Paul. In fact, I saw the building where his father had his barber shop. It’s a restaurant now. Across the street there was a bank that had four of the statues in its lobby. One of each kind. Ok, no plain Snoopy. I never could understand why or how Snoopy slept on top of his doghouse though.

In the lobby of Associated Bank

In the lobby of Associated Bank

Paul told me that at one point he thought there were about 100 Linuses, 100 Lucys, 100 Charlie Browns, 100 Snoopys and 100 Snoopys on his doghouse statues all across the Twin Cities. No one seems to know what happened to them all. Some I’m sure were not able to withstand the harsh winters. Some were sold off to private collectors. I wonder if some ended up in Santa Rosa?

Outside a veterinary hospital. Notice the IV bag.

Outside a veterinary hospital. Notice the IV bag.

Inside the baggage claim at MSP.

Inside the baggage claim at MSP.

Tribute to Miracle on Ice

Tribute to Miracle on Ice

It’s pretty random where these statues can be found.  There are a few blogs that have taken the time to list their exact locations.  I’ll list them at the end of my post, just in case you find yourself in the Twin Cities soon and want to go on the adventure yourself.

I went to my first hockey game while in Minnesota.  No, it wasn’t NHL.  It was better.  It was college. I’ll get into that story in my next post, but it was at the University of Minnesota.  So, before the game, Paul & I walked around in the subfreezing temps to find these statues:

In the lobby of the Med Center at UofM

In the lobby of the Med Center at UofM

Just outside the Med Center at UofM

Just outside the Med Center at UofM

In the tunnel near the School of Pharmacology at UofM

In the tunnel near the School of Pharmacology at UofM

We also just drove around randomly seeking out statues.   I love doing that kind of thing.  It’s like a scavenger hunt, but more fun. So, while I also got a tour of Minneapolis and saw the Metrodome and Target Center, I also saw more statues:

 

Outside an art gallery

Outside an art gallery

Across the street from the Star Tribune

Across the street from the Star Tribune

St. Paul also had it’s share of sport related sites.  I didn’t know that there was a minor league team in that city.  And of course, they have a hockey arena.  From what I could tell, it looked like a high school used it quite a bit. Oh, did I mention there were statues at each of these places too?

 

Outside the St. Paul Saints stadium

Outside the St. Paul Saints stadium

Inside the Highland Ice Arena

Inside the Highland Ice Arena

Feel free to read more about the exact locations of these statues at these fine blogs:

Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the continuation of my adventures with my boyfriend Paul.  Calm down.  It’s going to be sweet and funny.

Resolutions for 2013

Damn. Is it really 2013? The future is pretty rad. I’m totally bring back rad.

Dating, diet, and fitness ads abound on TV which means a new year is about to begin. It’s interesting that we don’t see many commercials about investing, saving money or retirement planning. Maybe that’s not as sexy as well, sex.

Last year I made some resolutions , I even achieved a few.  This year, I’ll some newish goals.

1. Writing – Since this is my passion, I want to focus on achieving more clout (not necessarily klout) in this field somehow. It might be monetary or accolades or both, but this is an area on which I’d like to focus much of my energy. I’d also like to try out new styles, join more groups & just generally engage in more ways with regard to writing.

2. Health – Diets don’t work. What I want to do is act like a skinny person. I have stopped calling myself fat, for the most part. There are still those moments, usually fueled by hormones or emotions, when I slip up. But I have been getting better about portion control. I have tried to keep sweets away from me, but they somehow find their way into my awareness. I hate exercise. I do like to walk, so I’ve been pretty good about getting out of the office for 20 minutes to get off my ass.

3. Finances – While my financial habits have improved greatly over the past year, I’m still in need of improvement. I need to cut out some stupid costs which should have been cut last year. I need to watch my dining out habits. Avoiding dirtying a dish because I’m too tired to  bother is a lame excuse to go to Chipotle. I need to increase my liquid assets. I think that means putting more cash in my savings account. It doesn’t help that I can be an emotional spender. I’m sad. Ooh look at that pretty sweater!

We be clubbin’

Full disclosure: I’m not now nor have I ever really been into the club scene.  Even back in my 20s, I’m not sure what I was really doing at the Rage.  If you’ve lived in Sacramento for a decade or so, you probably know what I’m talking about.  But, when the Sacramento Bloggers had a gathering at the Reunion Nightclub in El Dorado Hills, I set aside my preconceived notions, and gave the place a whirl.

I’d heard that their target demographic is people in their 30s and up.  This definitely caught my interest.  One of the things that keeps me from going to a club, aside from the crowds, is the fact that I’d be one of the oldest people there.

VIP BoothsLet me just say this, I was really impressed with the decor.  It felt comfortable, but classy.  I actually found myself wondering how one might reserve one of these VIP booths.  They don’t have a cover charge most nights, unless a band is playing.  I saw the list of bands playing in December and saw one called Rebel Yell.  Since obviously Billy Idol gets it, I might have to check them out in the future.

Fancy Flyers

On Wednesday nights they have dueling pianos, which I’m pretty sure everyone enjoys.  You can make requests and dedications, but remember to tip them if you do.  It’s only polite.

Food and beverage in a club

They had really good food available too.  It was served buffet style, so you could help yourself between dance sessions, gab sessions, or drink sessions.

The crowd was just as I expected, in my age group.  The music they played reminded me of high school.  Pretty sure I recall hearing a Naughty By Nature song.  Hip Hop Hooray, if you are wondering. I felt comfortable and had a great time hanging out with some local bloggers.  So, if you, your friends and/or your significant other are looking for a new place to check out, I suggest you try the Reunion Nightclub.

Mixing and meeting up

SacramentoIt was a warm summer evening in Sacramento. Bloggers gathered along the river at a fancy hotel. It was the first time I’d been to Le Rivage. I’d heard about it, but never had the opportunity (or excuse) to visit their grounds. Last Wednesday, I was lucky enough to attend the Sacramento Blogger Meetup and Mixer event there. If you haven’t heard of this group (Sacramento Bloggers) and you are a blogger or thinking about becoming a blogger, I encourage you to check out their website and join up.

Margaret, Nichole and Stephanie are eager to get the blogging community in Sacramento to be more tightly knit and I truly appreciate their efforts.  I know there are tons of people out there who blog in the area and putting on events like this are such a good idea.  Le Rivage did a great job of hosting it.  There was even a special drink for the night called a Writer’s Block.

The hotel is lovely. The staff is very friendly. We were given a sneak peek of the Presidential Suite and regaled with tales of celebrities who stayed in it. Look at the fancy tub! Personally, I’m not a fan of the separate shower/tub thing. The stall like shower isn’t conducive to shaving one’s legs very well. There’s nothing on which to rest your foot. But, soaking in that tub looked like it might be fun.

I can see why many people have events there. The grounds are just gorgeous. You are right next to the Sacramento River. Also, if you are thinking you can be sly and get a look at the celebrities who stay at the hotel just by driving by, think again. The place is set back from the street and up a hill. Also, parking is a bit challenging, so you will probably have to valet.

Sacramento, riverfront, sunset

It’s funny. Since I’ve been living in Sacramento, my blog and social media have helped me make friends and acquaintances in real life. I still go to mixers and tweet ups to meet people, but I’ve found that I tend to just hang out with the people I already know. There’s nothing wrong with this since I don’t get to see these people every day, even if we do interact on a regular basis on Twitter & Facebook, but I really need to get back into that frame of mind wherein I make myself talk to at least one person I don’t know at said function. I don’t like it when I get into the “freak out I’m amongst strangers and not trying to mix” feeling in my brain.

I did talk to a few strangers. Bloggers are funny people. Some are writers like me. Some are people who are interested in a topic, but don’t consider themselves writers. They don’t care about grammar, wordplay or literary devices. They care about gardening, shopping, or their kids. They are the lucky ones when someone asks what their blog is about, while I stammer. What is my blog about? Well…frustration is probably the best way to sum it up. When you don’t have a niche, you don’t know what to say. I’m a writer, so I write about what the voices in my head won’t shut up about, like ending sentences with prepositions.