Sunday, July 24, 2016

You know it's a good summer when...

.. you're in Minneapolis for the Aquatennial fireworks!
Last night I saw the most spectacular display of fireworks ever. Touted as one of the five best in the nation (I'll have to find out where the other four are!), it's an annual event in Minneapolis, sponsored by Target which is headquartered out here. I felt particularly lucky to have experienced this with new friends and with perfect weather! This event hadn't even been on my radar until my new friend, Lisa, invited me to join her and a group of her friends. Having been caught earlier in the day in a downpour with more rain predicted throughout the evening and feeling a little tired, I almost said, 'no', but remembering my "Carpe Diem" mantra, I figured the worst that could happen would be we'd get rained on and the fireworks would be cancelled.  And, as it turns out, it couldn't have been more gorgeous. I also felt so lucky to have had the opportunity to not be going alone (worst) or tagging along with a meetup group (better), but to be invited to go by Lisa and to be introduced to her friends. Sipping Pinot Grigio, munching on a variety of shared finger foods, and taking in the city scenery added to making it a blissful evening!

I missed doing my weekly blog post last weekend and I have so many pictures and "happy" experiences I'd like to add.  Even though I'm too busy to write blog posts daily, I've been doing this exercise with my Colorado friend: We've been exchanging texts with different endings to the sentence.. "You know it's a good summer when..." so I'll put a few of my favorites on the end of this post. It won't capture all the great experiences I've been having because you can't always take pictures of things like.. ".. when someone pours water down your back after an extremely hot tennis game." Not only is it hard to capture that with a camera, but I refuse to have pictures posted of me with my sweaty face.  And then, of course, there's the issue that my photography skills leave something to be desired. (That fireworks photograph is from this Minneapolis Happenings site.)

I've been wondering how long it would take me to feel "at home" here. Today is my 3 month Anniversary... the half-way point of my contract.. and I do feel more at home. I love my job and I'm more comfortable with all the tools and processes and people. I'm making friends and next weekend I even got invited to go with a group to a cabin on an island! I even feel like I know the Minneapolis area more and getting around without constant need of consulting my GPS. I wouldn't want to move here because of the brutal cold winters.. and, of course, because I miss all I have in Colorado, but..

You know it's a good summer (in Minnesota!) when...

..  you teach the class you've been developing for the past two months and you nail it!

... you enjoy a dinner cruise on the St. Croix river with new friends serenaded by dixie-land jazz musicians

... you sip mimosas and sample braised pork huevos rancheros at brunch with a girlfriend on the patio of a Kenwood restaurant

... you see the bright kayaks and canoes on sparkling Lake of the Isles, one of the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis

...  you finish an invigorating set of tennis, look out at Round Lake to see the sunset and then see the huge full moon coming up on your way home, with the sky still pink in your rear view mirror.. and it's 9pm!

...  a Beatles Tribute band is playing for free at Staring Park, 10 minutes from where you live in Eden Prairie, with the audience singing, little kids dancing, and the summer night cooling as the sun sets

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