Thursday, October 4, 2007

September 22, 2007 South Dakota State University Jackrabbits

On September 22nd, my friend Jennifer and I road-tripped the 4 hour drive from St. Paul, MN to Brookings, SD to see the SDSU Jackrabbits play Texas State in the Beef Bowl. Of course SDSU won the football game (38-3), but the reason I was there was to see the "Pride of the Dakotas" Marching Band take the field at half-time. They did not disappoint!
We enjoyed some tail-gating before the game with my SDSU freshman-year college room-mate Holly and her boyfriend Cory. It had been about 3 years since I'd last seen Holly, so it was really good to see her again and catch up a bit. After the great game, Jennifer and I went to Skinner's Pub on Main Street to enjoy a few libations... it was a good night!
The next day we met up with my Mom & Dad and my Aunt Diane & Uncle Rodney at Cubby's on Main Street for lunch before we went back to St. Paul. (I had a mouth-watering buffalo-ranch-chicken-wrap!) The weather was beautiful, so we were able to sit on their back patio and enjoy one of the last wonderful September days. I also got to show off my new 2002 Saab to my family before we left town to drive back to Minnesota. :)
Check out the video of the "Pride of the Dakotas" that I took with my digital camera. It was the first video I've ever taken with my camera - pretty cool!

September 15, 2007 Minnesota Renaissance Festival

On Saturday, September 15th, I spent the afternoon at the Minnesota Resnaissance Festival with my niece, younger sister, and brother-in-law. I had been to the Festival once before, about 15 years ago when I was 17. I ate a roasted turkey leg and a breadbowl of beer cheese soup - SO GOOD! :) We watched a jousting tournament, a royal parade, and fire jugglers. We also looked over the many artists' ware, including jewelry, swords, paintings, ceramics, and things made out of glass and pewter. I bought a ring made of copper.

Of course it was fun to treat Jade as a princess on this festive afternoon, so she scored a pair of butterfly / fairy wings to wear. Isn't she cute? She also got a butterly necklace, purple sparkle facepaint, and a dried flower & ribbon wreath to wear on her hair.

At the end of the afternoon, we came upon a rock wall that Jade wanted to climb. It was about three stories tall, but fearless Jade was very excited about the challenge. She climbed all the way up to the top and sounded the horn. I'm so proud of her!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

August 11-13, 2007 Washington, DC

In August, I spontaneously decided to fly to Washington, DC for a quick weekend so I could see the Dave Matthews Band in concert for my 8th time since 2001, and to visit my friend John. I say "spontaneously" because I purchased the ticket 3 days before leaving! My love for DMB causes me to do crazy things, I guess!

The concert was on a Saturday in Bristow, VA at the Nissan Pavillion. We arrived in time to tailgate and then eat some dinner on the lawn (to claim our seats) before the opening act. DMB was awesome, as always! I actually enjoyed the concert a lot more than I did the last time I saw them (in Tinley Park, IL in September 2006) because they didn't seem to play their long extended jam sessions at the end of each song as much this time. This concert was actually the first time I had tailgated before a concert, too - and I really enjoyed hanging out with my fellow-concert-goer's for a few beverages and some vodka-soaked Gummy Worms before heading in. Fun, fun, fun!

On Sunday, John and I went to downtown Washington, DC to do some touring. We went to the "house where Abraham Lincoln died" - a free walk-through tour where you can see how the house looked back then. Then we walked across the street to the Ford Theater (above pic) where Abraham Lincoln was shot - another free walk-through tour. I had actually seen the Ford Theater when I first visited DC in 1992, but it was great to see it again... I have forgotten a lot over the years! In the basement of the Theater, they have created a museum dedicated to Abe's assassination.

Right next door, we went into the Hard Rock Cafe so I could take a stroll down memory lane. I had my picture taken in front of their window in 1992, so I did that again. Someday I'll put the pics side-by-side for fun. :)

We walked a couple blocks further and went to the International Spy Museum. It was $16 per person, which I thought was steep compared to other museums, but I guess they can charge that kind of rate because it is kind of a "tourist destination". We spent a couple of hours in there - there was a lot to see... almost too much.

I have been to DC multiple times, and have made great memories every single time - I love Washington, DC!

September 9, 2007 Minnesota Vikings Football Game

On September 9th, I went to the Minnesota Vikings game at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN. Our seats were in Row 1 of Section 107, at about the 25 yard line - awesome seats! It was my turn to use the season tickets belonging to the hotel I work for, to take a client to the game as a way of building my relationship with the client. My client brought her fiance, and I brought my 5-year-old niece.

How did my niece get to be so lucky that she was my date? Well, her parents had Army National Guard drill all weekend, and I was babysitting her for the entire weekend... so she was my responsibility, and my "date" to the game. We all had a great time, and my niece managed to win over the cheerleaders and the media with her cute looks. (A media videographer asked me if it would be okay with me if he took some footage of her - I said yes - and she did her thing by looking cute and waving her purple pom-pom for the camera!)

Why I Am Blogging.

Most of my friends and family live hundreds, and even thousands of miles from me. I think that if I commit to blogging and posting pictures of the people and activities currently in my life, that I might be able to better stay in touch with those that mean most to me.

I have been inspired by my friend Carles, who currently lives in Belgium. Carles blogs for that very same reason... (but I wish that he'd type in English more often.) :)

And as time goes on, this probably will serve as a sort of photo album or diary, too - but I think that is just a nice side bonus to staying in touch with my friends.

Welcome to my blog. Enjoy your time here. I look forward to hearing from you.

~Jan Alisa