This weekend, Beau and I dropped Cruz off at Grandma Mary and Papa Ray's and drove a few hours north to spend a couple of days in Minneapolis. Besides trips to see friends, shopping trips to Edina and Ikea, and several Twins games as a kid, I've never really explored the downtown area of Minneapolis. So that became our goal of the weekend - just the two of us, staying at the beautiful W Minneapolis, exploring, and of course, eating our way through this charming city. Oh, and we also got to see one of our favorite bands perform one of their largest concerts ever at the Target Center.
Beau and I decided that these little overnights might be our preferred form of getaway. We didn't pack a lot, didn't have to say goodbye to Cruz for too long, and had a sufficient amount of conversation, good food, and relaxation to recharge our batteries and reconnect as a couple. Because it was short, we felt the freedom to splurge a little on a couple of good meals and fully soak up a night for the two of us, and more importantly, a morning of sleeping in!
Beau and I had so much fun together and were quickly reminded of how important it is to create these opportunities together. We people-watched on the outdoor patio at Rock Bottom, tried pastor tacos and home brew, and had the dinner of the century at the Brazilian Steakhouse, Foco de Chao. Beau, being the meat connoisseur he is, has been wanting to eat at this place for years, and finally had his dream come true on Friday. This place is unreal! It was a little pricey, but Beau declared that next to our wedding day, the birth of his son, and the day his Big Green Egg was delivered, this was the next best experience of his life! After all, it's not every day you have 20 waiters walking around, just waiting to cut you a piece of 17 kinds of meat at the turn of a coaster! :)
After filling ourselves to near oblivion, we walked over to the Target Center for a night with The Lumineers. I knew it would be a fun concert, but was really blown away with how great they sounded live. Their simple, organic sound, humble and real personas, and the constant clapping, chanting, and twirling, created the most fun atmosphere. I followed the adorable Neyla's lead and danced like no one was watching. We had a blast and could have listened to them all night long.
Saturday morning, we filled up with huevos rancheros, signature sausage bread, and homemade peanut butter at Hell's Kitchen (whilst listening to a Johnny Cash cover band at 9:00 in the morning, mind you), and did a little shopping before heading to Beau's parents to see our little boy. We felt recharged and reenergized and quickly put it to good use chasing Cruz around the rest of the weekend.
...We celebrated both Beau and Gabe's birthdays at Beau's parents with grilled pork chops, pirate sword fights, and vintage fisher price airplanes.
...We were welcomed back to Iowa with the most gorgeous sunset on the way home Saturday night. With Cruz asleep in the backseat, I made Beau pull over on the side of the highway so I could snap a few pictures of it. Although we sure enjoyed the tall buildings and lights of the city, an orange sunset over fields of green will always be home.
...We got early morning breakfast donuts at Johnson's Bakery before church.
...We headed to our own downtown to take part in a few My Waterloo Days festivities - popcorn and bands and corn dogs and lemonade shake-ups.
...We watched Cruz ever so carefully pick a duck from the duck pond and proudly earn himself a new pirate sword. Beau helped him attach the sword holder to his waistband, and he walked around the park staring at his shadow and making sure everyone caught a glimpse of his weaponry. Boys will be boys.
...We were again mesmerized at our son's interest and comfort with animals. Another year exploring the petting zoo, only instead of feeding the goats and chickens this time, Cruz upgraded to carrots for the donkeys and horses. He had no fear sticking that carrot right up to the sweet horse's mouth, and he giggled as the horse chomp chomp chomped his way through the carrot stick. He chased the chickens, laughed at the piggies, and stood and stared blankly at the llamas. Me too, Cruz, me too...
...We chalked our sidewalk, drawing rainbows, and pick-up trucks, and even tracing Cruz after he requested I draw him. Dude doesn't stay still for long, so my outline was a bit lopsided and ill-figured. We'll try it again one of these days.
It was a wonderfully full weekend, and a great start to another summer. Hoping that soon summer temperatures will be here and we can start working on our tans!
Happy Monday, everyone, and thanks for the anniversary wishes!