Tag Archives: Weekend

What we’ve been up to since arriving in New Haven

Our New Home (we have the whole first floor)

Our New Home (we have the whole first floor)

We cruised into New Haven, CT last Tuesday evening and got the keys to our apartment and immediately began unpacking our moving truck and cars which were loaded to the brim!  We spent most the night moving boxes in and finding a place for them to sit until we could unpack them.  The toughest part was getting my large couch in the front door, it took us about an hour of maneuvering but we finally pulled it off.

Our stuff all packed up (this isn't even all of it).

Our stuff all packed up (this isn't even all of it).

After sleeping in, we spent most of Wednesday unpacking and situating things.  By the evening we were ready to get out of the house so we took in the new movie “The Time Traveler’s Wife”, which is based on a book that Maggie and I both had read.  The movie was good, but as is usually the case, the book was better.

Thursday was spent doing some more unpacking and organizing things and working with the cable guy to get our cable box working.  The house is set up with AT&T U-Verse for Cable and Internet and it seems to be pretty decent, although our landlord said he has had to work with them a few times to iron out issues.

In the afternoon Maggie and I took a bike ride to discover more of New Haven and to see how well it would work for her to ride her bike to Yale when school starts.  We concluded the 10 minute ride probably would work at least until winter comes.  On the way back to our house after the ride we stopped at Dairy Queen for a Blizzard; there’s no better treat on a hot muggy day than good old DQ!

Our goal for Friday was to check out the beaches nearby.  We found that pretty much all of West Haven (which is about a mile from our house) that borders the ocean is public beach, which is awesome!  We swam in the ocean and worked on our tan for a few hours before heading back to the house for dinner.

The Ocean

The Ocean

Friday night we decided to go out on the town and check out a dueling piano bar we heard about called “Keys to the City”.  We had a few drinks and had fun singing along to a few songs and watching people do silly things on stage.  The service was great, we even were able to score a couple chairs in the full bar with some help from the owner who was extremely helpful.  We had fun but I think as far as piano bars go, I think Shout House in Minneapolis had better performers, at least as far as I can remember.

Saturday we decided to do some hiking at Sleeping Giant State Park just north of New Haven.  The State of Connecticut website describes it as “Two miles of mountaintop resembling a sleeping giant give this park its name, and make it a distinguishing feature on Connecticut’s skyline.”  There are a bunch of hiking trails, but to start we chose the “easy” on that would take us up to the Tower.  It wasn’t exactly easy as we worked up a good sweat during our ascent. Once at the top, the tower offered some nice views of the surrounding area.

The Tower

The Tower

Maggie and I at the top

Maggie and I at the top

On our hike down we took a more adventuresome and rocky trail where we saw some cool roots that were exposed by erosion:

Cool root system

Cool root system

Finally, today (Sunday) we took our towels and headed to the beach again.  Even though it was cloudier, it was still warm and a good opportunity to check out the beach again before we get busier with school and work.

This coming week I go back to work, only this time I will be telecommuting to work for Patterson as opposed to driving into the office.  It will be interesting to see how well I like working from home.

Maggie starts Orientation Week at Yale on Tuesday where the new PA students get to meet their professors and fellow classmates and do a bunch of introductory stuff before classes start next Monday.  I think we’re both looking forward to getting back into a routine after the all the events of moving/unpacking this past week!

Brent’s Bachelor Party

Now that I’ve almost fully recovered from Brent’s bachelor party, I think I can safely recount the events of the day.  We started with an afternoon of paintball at Bubba’s Paintball in Elk Mound, WI.  The weather was perfect for paintball, nice but not too warm yet.  The crew consisted of 7 of Brent’s friends, him and I.  We had the course to ourselves for the afternoon, which was nice!  We played capture the flag, defend the tower, and speed ball.  I think speed ball was my favorite game to play since the course was compact and the goal was just to eliminate the other team.

Paintballers

Paintballers

The afternoon of paintball sufficiently wore us all out.  Even 3 days later I’m still feeling the effects in my quads from squatting behind bunkers all afternoon trying not to get shot!  After paintball we headed out Tailgates for some drinks and grub.  We were a little disappointed they had the Brewers game on every TV in the place since they billed themselves as a sports bar, you would think they would be a little more equal opportunity.  It was made worse by the fact the Brewers lost.

Water Street

Water Street

After dinner we headed to O’Leary’s for some live music.  Somehow we managed to run into Kristen’s (Brent’s fiance) bachelorette party there (I think that was Brent’s secret goal).  The bachelorettes didn’t stay long since I think they were trying to set some sort of record for number of bars visited in a night.  After going deaf to the music at O’Leary’s we needed to spice things up a bit so we headed to Water Street to party it up until bar time.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been out until last call!  I know Brent would agree with me that it turned out to be a great bachelor party!

Taking the NerdHerders Geocaching

Since I started geocaching nearly a year ago I’ve told many people about the game and how it works and how much fun it is, but my friends Justin and Kristen (mainly Kristen) were the only ones to ask us to take them with us and show them how it works.  I was excited that they wanted to check out this geeky hobby of mine, but when they asked about it, it was the dead of winter and I myself wasn’t even geocaching that much, so we mutually decided to wait for spring and nicer weather to introduce them to the hobby.  We scheduled an outing for this past Saturday and luckily the weather cooperated, in fact it probably couldn’t have been any better for geocaching!

Their first ever find was a tricky one that involved using a large stick to hoist it out of the tree trunk it was hidden in. A perfect way to start the day!

The NerdHerders first cache find!

The NerdHerders first cache find!

I circled the cache in the pic above, otherwise you’d probably never find it, since the camo is so good!

After the first cache we headed on to the next one on the map.  It turned out to be a micro, hidden in the woods.  How curel!  Amazingly the rookie NerdHerders (the name Justin and Kristen chose to log their finds under) made the find before Maggie and I were able to.  Kristen gets props for finding it first.  I was embarrased (only a little) to be the last one to find it, with a couple clues.

From there we headed down the trail to find a few other caches in Lebanon Hills Regional Park where we spent the day caching.

The geocaching crew

The geocaching crew

Justin had a little trouble finding one of them that the other three of us found quickly:

Justin's looking hard...

Justin's looking hard...

But when he finally came up with the find we all had a good laugh…

Justin with the unique cache!

Justin with the unique cache!

As it turns out, this cache and the next one we would find (see below) are a part of a special series of Halloween related caches placed by a local geocacher.  I knew this going in to the day, so I could explain this odd container to the newbies.

Sword Fight!

Sword Fight!

We finished out the hike with Maggie leading the way to a few more geocaches, including another micro that took us a while to find, bringing our total up to 7 for the day.

Maggie leading the way

Maggie leading the way

We had a great time geocaching and it was fun to show some newbies “the ropes”.  I was surprised though how many times they came up with the find before Maggie or I (experienced geocachers) did!  I guess maybe it helps not having any pre-conceived notion of what exactly you’re looking for.  I chalk it up to beginner’s luck!  Hopefully the NerdHerders had fun and will take up the hobby and log many more cache finds in the future!

March Madness Day 1

As you probably already know the NCAA men’s basketball tournament started yesterday, kicking off wall to wall basketball on CBS this weekend. Unlike last year, I didn’t spend a day at a sports bar taking in the games, instead I was at work, but still keeping an eye on the scores.

After work Maggie and I went to Houlihan’s (a sports bar, her idea, how cool is that?) for a drink and some apps and to watch the Gophers play. Both of us are in the same bracket pool run by my friend Jeff, so it will be fun to see whose picks turn out better throughout the tourney. I’m sad to say that last year she beat overall, but I’ve upped my chances this year by doing two different brackets, to hopefully give me a better shot at coming out ahead both overall and in my head to head battle with Maggie.

So far I’m succeeding by correctly picking 15 out of the first 16 games correct, which puts me in first place (out of 30 entries) and ahead of Maggie by 18 points (but only 2 more correct picks). Hopefully I can keep it up, but I feel like I usually do well on one of the first days, and then only get about half right on the other day. Hopefully I can keep it going this year!

How are you doing so far in your bracket if you do one? Post your # of picks right in the comments.

Good Luck the rest of the way, and Go Badgers! (even though I picked them to lose to Florida State tonight :()

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers at Chanhassen Dinner Theater

The Meal: We arrived early enough to be promptly seated and have plenty of time to order a drink and peruse the 6 or so entree options available. Mom, Dad and I chose the Top Sirloin, which was served with salad, red potatoes, and steamed vegetables. We all ordered our steaks medium or medium-well and we all thought our respective steaks were more done than we had expected, even though our server claimed they tend to be cooked on the “rarer” side. Knowing they tend to be rarer, I ordered mine medium-well fully expecting at least a little pinkness, but instead it was pretty done and even had a thick charbroiled coating. Despite this the steak was still fairly tasty, as were the potatoes and steamed veggies.

Maggie was the lone dissenting diner, ordering the Chanhassen Chicken; a boneless chicken breast stuffed with Minnesota wild rice dressing and topped with Hollandaise sauce. She offered me a sample, and I was definitely jealous that her chicken was better tasting than my steak. I would definitely recommend the Chanhassen Chicken! During dinner our waitress was nice enough to snap a picture of us, even though they had a professional photographer offering prints for $10.

Dinner & Seven Brides for Seven Brothers @ Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

Dinner & Seven Brides for Seven Brothers @ Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

The Show: I won’t summarize the entire show here, but you can read an adequate synopsis on the Chanhassen Theaters website. The first act of the musical was very comically oriented both in the dialog and the musical numbers surrounding the capture of Millie (by Adam) and the rest of the brides by Adam’s six other brothers. After a 20 minute intermission, the show resumed with much more drama and conflict in the 2nd act, highlighted by Adam taking some time away from the farm and subsequently finding out his wife (who he has temporary separated from) is having a baby. Also, the fact that spring is coming and the townspeople will likely be able travel up to the farm to forcefully “rescue” the stolen brides from Adam’s brothers is another point of conflict in the play.

I enjoyed the light-hearted comical aspects of the show, but most of it was confined to the 1st act. The second act moved swiftly and before you knew it the final song and dance scene had ended. For as much buildup as there was throughout the show, I expected a more climactic, drawn out conclusion.

I give Seven Brides For Seven Brothers at Chanhassen 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a fun family-friendly musical. Overall everyone in our party enjoyed the show and enjoyed a nice evening at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

For Christmas I bought my parents tickets to dinner and a show at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater.   Maggie and I are joining them on Saturday to take in dinner and see “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers“.  I haven’t seen the movie but according to Maggie it is a good story.  I haven’t been to Chanhassen Dinner Theater since a high school band trip, so I’m looking forward to going again and seeing a show.  Hopefully we’re not surrounded by couples making out all evening since we’re going on Valentines Day, that might be kind of awkward with ‘rents there!

Have you seen the live show or movie? Did you like it?

Tune back next week for my review once we see it…

Also this weekend while my parents are in town they are going to meet Maggie’s parents, which I think will be fun.  It’s a big step though!  Hopefully they don’t break out any embarrassing stories!

It should be a fun weekend!

Party Weekend!

This past weekend turned out to be a weekend full of parties!  Friday night we were invited to Paul and Katie’s house for a wine and cheese party with my college friends/dart teammates.  We sampled 8 different wines, all paired with various cheeses and crackers.  I’m not sure which was my favorite wine, but it seemed like the Riesling that Jeff and Carlene brought went down the easiest.  My contribution was a blackberry table wine from Three Lakes Winery in Three Lakes Wisconsin.  It didn’t turn out to be as flavorful as I had imagined a blackberry wine to be, but I was happy with my selection.  Check out the second half of Kristen’s blog post titled Another Fab Weekend for her re-cap and a few pictures from the night.

Saturday evening we partied with Maggie’s friend’s Mel and Adam and a bunch of their Olaf friends at the Park Tavern in St. Louis Park.  The occasion?  Adam recently proposed to Mel and they wanted to celebrate the event with their friends.  We met them for dinner and hung out for some Karaoke which ranged from top-notch singing to drunken wailing.  A few of us guys wandered off to play some darts before the Karaoke got too out of control, thankfully.

Sunday’s party was of course a Super Bowl party (can I say that here? don’t sue me NFL!) at Bryan’s house, which has become the centralized hang out spot for Maggie’s Olaf friends.  Everyone brought some food to share and we all enjoyed a great game and some funny commercials.  The two highlights of the game was the improbable interception return for a touchdown by the Steelers to end the first half and the amazing corner of the end-zone catch by Santonio Holmes to seal the victory for the Steelers.  The highlight of the commercials for me was the Careerbuilder.com one which featured a woman riding a sea-lion and punching small furry animals.  Another favorite was the Doritos snow globe one early in the game which had us all laughing uncontrollably.  In the end it was a good night for watching the game and enjoying some time with friends.

So those are the highlights from the weekend.  I don’t know if or when I’ll ever have 3 parties in 3 days like that again, it was definitely a rare party weekend!