Category Archives: Explore Minneapolis

Day 21: Had Dinner at Kramarcuk’s

Today my coworker and I went to Kramarcuk’s for some delicious grub after work.122_0124 Red Cabbage has got to be on my top ten favorite food list.122_0125The pyrohy’s were contenders for that list too. Why didn’t I order some to go? I could be eating in bed as I type this.

Oh and they have beer mugs for $3 when you order beer. What a steal! Especially when you need another beer mug (sigh/eye-roll).122_0126The food and service was superb (I will be back!). The trip to the restaurant–situated in downtown Minneapolis–was head-shake worthy (during the after-work rush hour), but it has a parking lot. So that was NICE. 

Oh and look what else we came across. The cookbook our work published. We knew we heard about this place before…122_0127 Now if only I could reach into the picture and grab a jar of that nutella…122_0128

Day 16: Reunited With an Old (Yet New) Friend

Ok, so when I say I had a “bad day,” it’s really an unfair generalization. My car started, I got to work safely, I met with a real cheery author, and I got to meet with a friend for “dinner.”

And little details in there were a bit unpleasant.

Anyways, what counts, is that I got to meet with an old (yet new) friend for “dinner.” I considered it “dinner,” because it was around supper time, but I put it in quotations, because I just got pie and wine. And I labelled her an old (yet new) friend, because I’ve only known this friend for a year (new), but she was the first person I met in the Twin Cities (old).

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I met Laine at WIN (Women in Networking) a year ago (my first day at my job). Laine learned I was new to the area, so she asked me to meet up for dinner. We went to Gigi’s that first night, and again tonight for old times sake.

When you learn someone is new to an area, job, or apartment, do you try to make them feel welcome?ImageImage

Tonight Laine helped me brainstorm through my writing group’s road blocks. (And a few personal moral dilemmas. No big deal.)

We also set up a tentative one-on-one photography lesson. You see, Laine’s real talented.ImageAnd we tried to take a million photos…and I’d say they’re all keepers.Image

Day 9: After-work Drinks/Apps (Cowboy Jacks)

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A couple of weeks before the holiday break, I met up with my old friend Stephanie. We grew up together (she calls me Katy Jo, an indicator that she’s known me awhile). Our friendship sort of dissolved when we got impatient with each other a few years back.

And then time passed, and we realized that it was time to reconnect and forget about the foolishness of the past. Good friends are hard to come by.

So tonight I met up with Stephanie again, and we went to Cowboy Jacks for some drinks and an appetizer.

It was packed  when I got there. Stephanie was running late due to traffic, so I high-tailed it to  the bar. Then I just stood there awkwardly, too dazed from the pace of things, trying to shake off the computer-coma from work, shrug off my uber long scarf, and take off my faux-fur coat that was making me self-conscious in this low-key place. Luckily, some lady at the bar got the bartender’s attention for me, and the beer helped me relax while I waited.

When Steph showed up, we got a booth (after our buzzer finally went off), and we ordered some nachos.

886190_10152216221782845_515689373_oAnd we took a “shot” of jalepenos. 1039925_10152216222212845_223452559_oAnd Steph snuck this gem of me mowing-down.  1554477_10152216222412845_1541680459_n 

And my revenge shot just made her look cute.1511565_10152216222982845_1457914499_n1599823_10152216221582845_1972581033_o

And all this was topped off by our front row seats to the bull-riding.904467_10152216221077845_1859909956_o

Oh, and one more thing.

I’m doing the Polar Plunge with the Cowboy Jacks team this year. The event raises money for the Special Olympics. I need to raise at least $75 to get the reward of jumping into a frigid winter lake. So, if you have a dollar to spare (every.single.bit.helps.), please pledge my leap here.

polarIf you send me your contact info, I’ll be sure to send donators a photo of me jumping (like this one.) Or, a picture of my horrified expression exiting the lake.

Day 5: Movie at the Theater (The Hobbit)

My roommate works at the Mall of America.

She scored us some free tickets to the theater.

We left the apartment a little early so we could have dinner in the food court before the show. After our extremely energetic bluegrass ventures of the night before, we hadn’t left our beds until 5:00 p.m., let alone eat anything.

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We were awkward beasts when forced to order food/tickets. I was a stare master. We hadn’t talked to anyone all day (besides raspy yelling to each other from our beds, and of course talking to our cat Pickle).

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The movie was 3D, and enjoyable, especially since Krista and I have the same sense of humor, aka, we laugh when we aren’t supposed to. It wasn’t, I must add, even close to the wonderfulness of the Lord of the Rings series. But again, I was an unhealthy level of obsessed with that series (I had a LOTR planner, LOTR posters, and I knew a ton of facts about cast members, I bought an evenstar necklace, and practiced writing in the font used for the map of Middle Earth).

I just can’t help but to think that this series was made for a different audience. The violence is gone (besides flashy archery showmanship).

gimli    vs.    hobbit

The characters look/act more narnia-ish, and less dark-fantasy. The characters are silly, and not in an endearing Pippinish way. I guess I just don’t get it. I enjoyed it, but I don’t get it.

Day 4: Went to a Bluegrass Show

Last night, for day 4, some buds and I headed to the Ice House to see a Bluegrass band.

There was an $8 cover, and the drinks weren’t cheap (but it was my own fault for committing to some very extreme pinot noir guzzling).

The venue has a real nice ambience, the low lighting that helps you stay off your phone–because when you look up from the extreme screen brightness, you are temporarily blind–and instead be present with your company.

I think this place would be great for a date.

ice house

We started upstairs, where it was harder to see/enjoy the band, and the waiter was slow and disengaged. He used an electronic phone-like device to take orders (when he rarely did take our order), and I was convinced he was texting right in front of us. Kids these days.2014-01-05 13.45.08-6

There was a hole in the wall next to our table, and after I searched it for any notes (there were none), I wanted to know what was on the other side of that mysterious wall. So I stuck my camera through and took a picture.2014-01-05 13.45.08-5

It was just the bathroom.2014-01-05 13.45.08-7

My cheap camera (the one I take out when I’m drinking), takes some really bad photos.2014-01-05 13.45.08-9

After these starter shots, my battery light started blinking. Unfortunately, it died a little later, missing all the dance photo opportunities, and the potential center stage band shots/videos.2014-01-05 13.45.08-13

We moved down to a booth on the main floor, where the music was closer, and the waitress was wonderful.2014-01-05 13.45.08-15

And we sat and drank.2014-01-05 13.45.08-16And a buzz started. And a camera died.

And we danced.

I twirled strangers, laughed and swayed, and after the band’s last song, we yelled ENCORE! So, for the grand finale, the band came out on the floor with us. I couldn’t stop staring at their fingers, moving so easily between chords. I also couldn’t stop staring at the main guitarist’s flesh-colored mustache.

As we waited for the cab to pull up, the bartender shot whiskey in our mouths via a mustard bottle. He also cured Krista’s hiccups. And again, I was fascinated by facial hair. I just couldn’t stop complimenting his beard.

Day 3: Belated Birthday Drinks With a Coworker

I mean, it’s Friday.

My coworker wasn’t able to make it to my birthday party, so she wanted to buy me a birthday drink. Naturally, one drink turned into a few, and we also opted for some mussels (when we intended to order oysters), and an egg, all courtesy of The Lowry, a restaurant/bar I’ve never been to.

The Lowry: Burgers, Whiskey, Oysters, Eggs…this is what they do.

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We looked at the fancy drink list, and I of course chose one with gin.

I love Gin. Ginny, Gin, Gin. Here it goes down, down into my belly…

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Nice picture huh?

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It was pretty, but after a few sips, I didn’t like it (too syrupy tasting). (Drink snob moment #1)

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So, when I saw this (and boldly claimed that I was now going to come here every morning), I once again became the girl who orders a Bloody Mary at a weird time.

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Another nice picture huh?

The Bloody Mary came, packed with a pickle, a little olive, and a big chunk of cheese. I enthusiastically took a guzzle, only to realize that I had just drank the second worst Bloody Mary of my life…and I know Bloody Marys. (Drink snob moment #2) I wasn’t too concerned with this double drink dissatisfaction (you like that alliteration?), because our bartender swapped out the blech Martini for the blech Bloody Mary for free. The bartenders were quite wonderful.

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When the guy bartender brought out this plate, he said “Did somebody order some mussels?” in a lisped voice, displaying the plate with one hand, and lifting the other to flex.

They were delicious. I could eat an entire bowl myself next time (but instead of all the sausage, just bring me five more pieces of that bread).

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These eggs were delicious (yes that is bacon on top), and while men were walking around with perfectly quaffed hair and shiny loafers, we were running spoons and fingers along the plate’s edge to get all of this messy “decorative” goodness.

And, as a finale to the night, we got to play with a wind-up toy.