January ended and February began with subzero temperatures, a lot of wind, and a remarkably fun, relaxing weekend for me!
On Friday, I ditched out of work ridiculously early, which turned out to be totally lucky because I had debit card fraud. Cue total panicked freakout when my card wouldn't work at the parking ramp pay machine...two hours, an irrational amount of stress, and a sweet and helpful banker at Wells Fargo later, all sorted out, and the jerk who tried to book a B&B in Liverpool on my dime should get a life. Thankfully, I had great plans with Claire to look forward to!
My mom and I were planning to go to the Minnesota Orchestra's Shakespeare Winterfest together, but she had to go have a blast in Ohio for my little bro's fraternity moms' weekend. Claire was a champ and joined me for dinner, drinks and music despite being in the thick of a public accounting busy season! We started the evening with wine at my apartment, then headed to Masa for to-die-for tacos and the most delicious margarita I've had in a long time (and a mojito for Claire!).
The performance was "Star-Crossed Lovers" themed, and featured Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev's versions of "Romeo and Juliet" bookending the Symphonic Dances from "West Side Story." I loved it--the Tchaikovsky is one of my all-time favorites with the iconic love theme and stirring strings, and the Prokofiev was a shocking surprise. It was Claire's first orchestra and it was so much fun to get to go with a girlfriend! We also ran into one of my other Notre Dame favorites, Pat, at intermission...it was so nice to catch up a bit!
Saturday started off with a quiet, productive morning, then I headed to the 'burbs to meet up with my Papa Bear! We tooled around home, ran some errands, and decided to go brewery hopping...one of my favorite new weekend activities! First stop: the giant, stunning new Surly Taproom near Dinkytown:
Dad sampled Surly Hell and Surly Cynic, while I went a bit more out there with the Surly Cacao Bender, an espresso-hopped stout.
After a lot of people-watching and marveling at the beautiful (jam-packed) facility, we went a bit more cozy and swung by Indeed.
Here, I tried out the "Derailed Series Peloton Saison," which was mildly sour with a tart, almost spicy finish. Padre kept things a bit more basic with the Winter Ale on nitro...he shared a taste with me, and it was super reminiscent of the delicious, fresh-as-can-be Guinness at the Dublin factory. All tapped out (pun SO intended), we headed home for a great night of homemade bolognese, a few games of pool, and a viewing of "The Marathon Man."
We woke up on Sunday with a hankering for brunch and a few inches of snow on the ground, so we kept things local and tried out the breakfast offerings at the Burnsville location of Lucky 13's Pub. Their Bloody Mary was fantastic...
...as was the "Breakfast Juicy Lucy Eggs Benedict." Um, yes. Picture, if you will, a cheese-stuffed sausage patty on an English muffin, topped with more cheese, a perfectly fried egg, and Hollandaise, and then add a side of cheesy hash browns. And that's breakfast. I would've popped had I tried to clean my plate.
Fully in a food coma, we returned home, marathoned "Property Brothers" and made fun of everyone on the show, watched a ton of Super Bowl pre game festivities, and played more pool. I headed back toward the Cities right after halftime, and caught the tail end from my apartment...what a great finish to a game that was way more interesting than last year's rout!
Call me an old lady, but I had such a great time hanging out and relaxing. Keeping things low-key was the perfect way to end my least favorite month...especially because February is already shaping up to be full of amazing plans and festivities!