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Hiatus

March 14, 2010

Sorry I have not kept up on this blog. I’ve been focusing more on my baby blog since I’m due with my first child in a week (March 22).

This blog will be on Hiatus for the next month or two. Check out my baby bog at: http://ruferbaby.wordpress.com

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Minneapolis Trip!

February 4, 2010

I need to go to Minneapolis every couple months to get my big city fix.  Sam and I went last weekend and had a blast.  It was our last trip to the cities with no baby, so we thought we’d do it up right.  We stayed at the Westin Downtown Minneapolis.  Great hotel and great location!

We arrived in Minneapolis around 4pm Friday, and made our usual first stop in NE Minneapolis, our old neighborhood.  We went to Pacifier to get a couple cute baby outfits and then went to get our favorite German mustard at Kramarczuk’s.  I miss places like Kramarczuk’s, where you can go and get specialty meats and European food items.

After we checked into our hotel, we went down to happy hour at Bank, our hotel’s lobby bar.  It was fun to see the professional happy hour scene again.  We just don’t have anything like that in Detroit Lakes.  Then the rest of Friday night we had a baby shower in Woodbury.

Saturday I had a baby shower in Northfield, but then Saturday night we had a great date.  We ate at the new D’amico restaurant in the Chambers Hotel.  It was excellent!  We especially liked our pasta dishes.  If you live in the cities this will sound funny to you, but I also loved the hip trendy atmosphere.  Again, we don’t have anything like that in Detroit Lakes, so I notice the atmosphere in restaurants in the cities more now.  We always seem to run into local celebrities in the cities as well, and at D’amico Al Franken and his wife Fran sat at the table next to us!  I got up the courage to go tell him he was doing a great job as senator.

D'Amico Kitchen, Chambers Hotel, Minneapolis

After dinner, we went out to the new movie theatre in St. Louis Park on 394 and 100.  We watched Avatar in 3D, and it was really amazing.

After the movie, we had dessert at Bar La Grassa in the new Loop neighborhood (between the Warehouse District and the new Twins Stadium).  Again, great atmosphere and fun hip people watching crowd.  It was packed still at 11pm, and the scene was fun to watch.

Another thing I notice in the cities at good restaurants is the great customer service.  I think when you live in the cities you expect good service, so you have higher standards.  In northern MN, you have to lower your standards otherwise you’ll never be happy.  That makes it an extra special treat now to have great service and we really notice the difference.

Sunday morning before we left town, we stopped at Bruegger’s Bagels and bought a couple dozen bagels for our freezer.  That’s another thing you can’t get up north!

Bar La Grassa, Loop Neighborhood, Minneapolis

All in all, it was a great weekend. Great food, great scene, and touches of things we can’t get at home in Detroit Lakes.  Next time we go to the cities we’ll have a little one in tow!

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Typical Day of Errands

January 12, 2010

Yesterday I had a typical day of errands in Detroit Lakes.  I actually really enjoy these days in DL, where I didn’t enjoy them in Minneapolis.

It started out with a problem.  In DL, the only place in town that sells maternity clothes is Walmart, so I had to go to St. Cloud last Sunday to get some warm maternity sweaters at Old Navy.  I put my new sweater on Monday morning, and much to my dismay, noticed the store left the security box on the sweater (the thing that makes you beep as you leave the store).  These boxes are impossible to take off yourself because they have ink in them that ruin your clothes if you tamper with it.  I was bummed (its a really cute sweater!), but I thought I’d try some stores in DL to see if they could take it off for me.  I was a little worried that these stores may think that I stole the sweater, so I brought along my receipt.  First, I went in to Norby’s (a local department store) and they were very nice about it, but didn’t have the same security system.  Of course I beeped on both the way in and the way out.  The nice ladies at Norby’s told me to try Vanity across the street.  As I crossed the street (not in a crosswalk) the cars on both sides stopped to let me cross (something people do in DL with no road rage).  I walked over to Vanity and they took the box off, no questions asked and no assumptions!  It was something that probably would have caused a lot more scrutiny in Minneapolis.  Although I guess in Minneapolis I would have just driven back to Old Navy.

Then I went to the grocery store.  I ran into two different friends and chatted with each of them for a few minutes (I love running into people I know).  The checkout lines were unusually long, but instead of everyone being mad about it they were joking about it in line.  People I didn’t know were striking up conversations with me about how busy it was in the grocery store.  When people act like this, it causes you to stay relaxed and laugh about it instead of being angry and in a rush.

In summary, doing errands in DL can be very relaxing and enjoyable!  Everything is very close together and most people are cheerful, which enhances the experience.

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DL Winter Living

December 30, 2009

Today one if my coworker’s rode his snowmobile to work! He lives a half hour away from out office. He said he cut across some frozen lakes to get there. My coworkers said that highschool students ride their snowmobiles to school too. Gotta love northern Minnesota!

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Intro to Detroit Lakes

December 29, 2009

For those of you unfamiliar with Detroit Lakes (aka “DL”), let me enlighten you.  DL is a small town in northwest Minnesota, 45 minutes straight east of Fargo, ND.  Since its in the heart of lakes country, it is considered a resort town.  Our population is around 8,000 in the winter and 30,000 in the summer!  I enjoy all the seasons here.  The winter is nice and quiet, and everywhere you go in town you see people you know.  The summer is exciting because there’s tons to do and lots of people in town. There are art fairs, festivals and concerts such as WE Fest and 10,000 Lakes Festival.  It makes me feel like I’m on vacation all summer!  The city beach is 3 blocks from my house, so I can walk there whenever I feel the need.

I live between downtown and the beach, so I can pretty much walk everywhere – haircuts, clinic, downtown shops, Movie Theater, Dairy Queen, Zorbaz (the most popular bar/restaurant in town), grocery store, library, bank, Community Center (for working out), etc.  This is one of the great perks of a small town.

Ok, now that you’ve been introduced to DL, I can get to the meat of the blog in my next post.

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A Tale of Two Cities

December 20, 2009

I have to confess, I’m in love with 2 cities!  This is the first installment of my new blog about both cities and how I integrate them in my life.  I lived in Minneapolis for 7 years (2000-2006) and have now lived in Detroit Lakes for the past 3 years (2007-2009).

I love both these cities for different reasons and need them for different things.  In future posts I will analyze the cities more completely and update you on stories and current experiences in both.  Since this is my first post, I will start with my comparison list about what I like about each city.

Minneapolis

  • The Food, including great restaurants and grocery stores
  • The Shopping
  • The Bars
  • The Events: sports, concerts
  • The big city feel of downtown Minneapolis

Detroit Lakes

  • Knowing everybody and running into them around town (I love this!)
  • The lakes
  • The outdoor activities for all seasons
  • The lower cost of living (houses are much cheaper)
  • A very short commute to work (7 minutes with no traffic)
  • The casual atmosphere (you don’t need to dress up to go anywhere)
  • Everything is very close and convenient

Stay tuned for more details about my life and travels!