August 9, 2015

Birthday weekend!

Leah and I celebrated turning 31 last month...together. Having been apart for our birthdays the past two years, Leah decided to drive up to Chaska so we could spend a few days together. I took two days off from work and we had a great time.

After work on Wednesday and after Leah arrived in Chaska, we headed to Excelsior. I wanted Leah to see Lake Minnetonka and Excelsior. It is one town that I have really enjoyed visiting since moving to Chaska. Our first stop in Excelsior was at the Excelsior Brewing Company. This was my first time at the brewery. We each decided to order their Flagship Flight...

We then ate dinner at Maynard's on the Lake. Maynard's has a great patio for enjoying the long, hot July days of summer! 

On Thursday, our actual birthday, my mom and dad came up to spend the day with us. They surprised us with our long time favorite type of cake (besides the cheesecake my mom used to make EACH of us!)...a Dairy Queen ice cream cake!

After we had a slice of cake, we went on a bike ride around Chaska. We then got ready for a Twins game. They played the Tigers. 


Such a lovey stadium...

The All-Star game was just a few days away and Brian Dozier was very close in being voted in to participate. They handed out pins to encourage the audience to "Vote Dozier."  Eventually, he did indeed make the All Star team!

My parents left Friday morning. Leah and I had purchased tickets for the Basillica Block Party, an annual music festival in downtown Minneapolis, in early April, so we had been looking forward to the weekend for a long time. 

Stacey, one of my friends from college who I've reconnected with since we both live near the cities, joined us for the festival.  

Mat Kearney!!


On Saturday morning the three of us enjoyed a delicious brunch at Victor's 1959 Cafe. It is a local favorite that I have been wanting to try. The morning was beautiful, so it was nice sitting outside on the patio. 

Leah left after brunch so she could get back home before flying out to South Carolina. 

It was so fun having Leah in town for the weekend to celebrate our birthday!! 

Cheers to 31!

July 2, 2015

MS Bike Ride.

The MS Bike Ride is something that Leah and I participated in for a number of years while living in Alaska. We met a dear friend in Anchorage who has multiple sclerosis and it was always an honor to do something we enjoy so much (riding bike) to support finding a cure for something she battles and lives with every single day. During those rides in Alaska, we met two Ohio State Buckeye fans, David and Koreen, who became friends. David and Koreen have a goal to ride the MS Bike Ride in every state and dedicate each summer to riding for a cure. They have since moved to Houston, TX and announced earlier this spring that they would be riding Iowa this summer. After each ride David gets a tattoo on his calf that symbolizes the state for which they rode the MS ride. Now that Leah and I are both in Iowa, we told David and Koreen that we would ride with them in Iowa...and bring our parents. We also told David that due to our dedication and loyalty to the greatest team in Iowa, if we all rode the ride, he had to get Herkey on his calf. He obliged and we rode...what a good sport!

The day was beautiful for riding bike...

The four of us rode for Laurie Siemens and Steph Politte, two friends who have MS. 

The ride started at the fire station in Ankeny, Iowa...

...and followed the High Trestle Trail to Woodward...

The High Trestle bridge was a highlight of the ride. Although I have heard a lot about the trail...and bridge, I had never ridden on the trail until last weekend. 

The ride ended at the Firetrucker Brewery in Ankeny for a total of 50 miles. We all wore our Alaska jerseys...

...and had plenty of people asking us about Alaska. I loved being able to tell them that I had lived there for almost eight years but now live in Minnesota. It is so good to be back in the Midwest. 

After the ride we enjoyed a beer with David and Koreen before heading back home. It was great seeing the two of them again and I wish them well on the rest of their rides this summer. 

And, word on the street is that David and Koreen are planning to ride RAGBRAI in the summer of 2018. There might not be a better way to train than for a cause...