52 Dates a Year

Having fun together!

Happy Hour Downtown April 30, 2010

Filed under: Just Us,Moderate ($$),Out & About - Minneapolis/St Paul — Nikki @ 4:57 pm

On Friday, April 23, 2010 we decided to not worry about the looming rain threat and instead head downtown for happy hour after work. We took the light rail to the Warehouse District and headed straight for the (new) Kieran’s restaurant. We had a couple beers and shared some appetizers…the Artichoke Dip and the Chicken Shots…and both had clean plates by the time we finished them.

After Kieran’s we walked over to Twins plaza to just look around and wandered through the Twins Pro Shop, wishing we had a tree that grew money the whole time! When it was time for the Twins game to start we headed to Roy Smalley’s 87. There weren’t too many people inside, which meant we had our pick of front row tables for the projection TV. We were a little disappointed we didn’t have more Twins fans to watch the game with, but it was fun anyway. And…the food was GREAT! Chris had fish tacos and Nikki had a burger and both are highly recommended.

We were on the light rail, headed home, by 10:30pm which was a little weird but after being downtown since 5 it seemed like time to go.

Chris’s Review
We live close to the light rail, and decided to try an start a tradition with the new Twins Ball park. We wanted to head to a bar to watch the game (since we don’t have cable) and thought it would be fun to head downtown near the ball park to do it. With the new park a few new sports bars have moved, or opened near the park.

We took the light rail down and had happy hour at a very busy Kieran’s in Block E. After that we headed to the pro shop before the game to look around. We had tried to during on of the games, but the place was way too packed. After that we walked to Roy Smalley’s to have dinner and watch the game, with about 10 other people. The place was pretty empty, even for a week night. We still had a great time watching the game there, and it was good to see that they had it playing. Hopefully over time more people will stick around the park to watch the away games in the future.

Best Part: Having some nice slow paced time with Nikki to walk around and have a few drinks. It was very relaxing not having much of a schedule for the whole night.

Worst Part: Wish more fans were there to watch the game.

RATING: 3/5

Nikki’s Review
I can’t believe we haven’t done this before! It was really fun to just take our time heading downtown, check out Kieran’s for the first time, wander around downtown and have dinner while watching the game. I definitely look forward to doing this again in the future!

Best part of the night: The burger. Seriously, it is possibly the most delicious burger I have ever had!

Worst part of the night: Realizing that Happy Hour ‘deals’ don’t actually make the total bill that much less, especially when you have more than one drink.

RATING: 3/5

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Target Field Rules! April 29, 2010

We were two of the lucky 38,164 fans to see the first Twins loss at Target Field on Wednesday, April 14, 2010. Okay…not exactly lucky since it was also the first time it rained during a game, but it is still very cool to finally get to see the park up close & also to say that we were at the second official game at Target Field! A full recap of the game can be found by clicking here.
First Game at Target Field
Chris’s Review
Yup, another baseball date, but it is Spring! What better way to spend a spring afternoon at the ball park. Taking the day off was worth it even with the constant looming rain delay. The rain delay never came, and luckily our seats were under the huge awning right behind the plate so we never really got wet. I would definitely recommend heading down for weekday game, and having dinner downtown afterward at one of the bars around the park.

Best Part: Having a day off of work in the middle of the week fealt like playing hookey :). Also, the atmosphere after the game in the warehouse district was awesome.

Worst Part: Not feeling at home in the park, yet. It fealt like we were somewhere else, and it didn’t help that it seemed like most of the fans were not paying the most attention to the game. I hope this feeling goes away soon, since the park is so great.

RATING: 3/5

Nikki’s Review
I LOVE OUTDOOR BASEBALL! Especially when our seats stayed dry. We got to the game early enough to walk around the lower level a bit before finding our seats and that was a lot of fun. It will definitely be a while before we figure out where everything we want is…but that’s part of the fun, right?!

Best part of the night: Target Field & Cuddy’s Homerun & Friends & Family & New Hubert’s & The Sign in Center Field

Worst part of the night: The rain & the loss.

RATING: 5+/5

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On the road again – Astros vs Phillies April 27, 2010

Filed under: A Treat ($$$),Just Us,Out & About - Other — Nikki @ 5:06 pm

We flew to Texas for a few day getaway that included a night in Houston so we could catch a game at Minute Maid Park.
Daylight
Saturday, April 10, 2010 we started out with a stadium tour at 2pm. The tour took us to field level where we got to sit in the dugout and walk along the warning track around the whole park. We also got to sit in former Pres. Bush’s seats and see the owner’s suite! It was a fun way to see the ballpark and definitely worth the $9 charge.
Dugout
After the tour we decided to wait for the gates to open so we could score a free Throwback jersey shirt. We met a couple interesting guys in line & the hour or so passed fairly quickly, although the sun got hot & the sky threatened rain when it wasn’t sunny!
Lower Level
The game started at 6:05pm and was against the Philadelphia Phillies. We saw a couple firsts for the season…the first (and 2nd) Astros home run and the first Astros lead which unfortunately did not lead to the first Astros win. Some interesting things we learned about the park during the tour…
* There is a hill in center field that is in play
* The American Flag pole is on the hill in center field and is also in play
Hills?
* When there is an Astros home run the train that sits above left field moves along the track.
The Train
Chris’s Review
From the outside, closed Minute Maid park may be the ugliest park I have ever seen, but once inside when it is open, it is actually a pretty great ball park. Doing the tour was fun, and we got to go everywhere in the park, EXCEPT walking on the grass. It was nice to see another park so close, especially before the game.

Our hotel was close to the park so after the game we went back and grabbed a beer before the game. We had dinner there which is a must whenever you go to a new park. Fajitas were definitely the way to go.

The Astros lost, but it was still a fun game. It didn’t hurt that the couple next to us was very friendly, and we were able to talk to them about the Twins, and about how the Astros were doing (NOT good).

Best Part: Food, and fun. The tour was definitely worth going early for.

Worst Part: Nothing from the date, great night.

RATING: 4/5
Just Us
Nikki’s Review
Taking the stadium tour was a lot of fun! We got to see parts of the ballpark that most people never do, including the broadcast booth and the media cafeteria, the fancy-pants dining area for the Diamond Club guests and the old time scoreboard up close! We had a good time at the game too…there was some excitement with the home runs & the people sitting next to us were fun to talk to as well.

Best part of the night: Early in the game, a young boy sitting in the front row of our section (upper deck) was eating a hot dog & when he was just about done he threw it over the edge. “Look Dad, it flew like a bird!” is what he said. We laughed SO hard! Also, just being out in a new city is always fun with Chris.

Worst part of the night: The hotel we stayed at was very nice, but they had a wedding reception with very loud music until 11:30pm and then the wedding guests ran the halls every hour or so until 6 am. Needless to say, we didn’t get a lot of sleep that night, but that’s not part of the date I guess.

RATING: 5/5

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Minneapolis Art Institute April 25, 2010

Filed under: Free,Just Us,Out & About - Minneapolis/St Paul — Nikki @ 8:58 am

On Thursday, March 18, 2010 we headed over to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to get a dose of culture. The MIA is free every day, but Thursday is the only day they’re open past 5pm which is why we choose to go then. It just so happened that it was the 3rd Thursday as well and that means they brought in a DJ and made it a more casual atmosphere.

One exhibit Nikki was really interested in was Foot In The Door. That is an exhibit that comes to the MIA every 10 years and it allows anyone to submit art as long as it fits within one cubic foot! We saw some very interesting things and were also able to find the photograph that was taken by Nikki’s Dad’s Cousin which was neat. Here are some of the items we saw on the tables:
Robot

Box

Shoes

Lady
This is what the walls looked like…and the photo we were looking for is in the middle – the duck one!
Wall
And, of course we saw other art too…the Photography area was called “Southern Exposure” and was all photographs of people, places and things in the Southern US. Here are a few other things we found in our adventure:
Furniture

Party Art

Lobster Phone

Chris’s Review
We have both been to the art institute, but we have never been together. We chose to go over on a Thursday so that we could have a good weekday date without all the crowds at the museum. The square foot installation was fun to see, but was pretty busy. After spending some time there we walked the halls of the almost empty museum, seeing most of the permanent exhibits. We had fun just looking and commenting on the art together, and it was great to not feel rushed at all.

Best Part: The cost, getting in is always free, but we did a donation anyway. Also, since there was a special exhibit going on, it was nice to have many of the areas to ourselves.

Worst Part: None, Great night together just talking.

RATING: 4/5

Nikki’s Review
I’ve realized recently that I’m not really a “museum” person. However, I know Chris enjoys museums so I am working on enjoying them as much as I can! I really liked the Foot In the Door exhibit, probably because I could relate to a lot of the items. If by any chance I remember…in 2020 I’m going to submit something!

Best part of the night: The music – I enjoyed the more laid back atmosphere at the museum. Also, having Chris point out the things that he really likes – it’s very interesting to me. Sometimes I’m surprised and sometimes I’m not!

Worst part of the night: Trying to convince Chris that even though there’s nothing I’m really anxious to see, that I’m also not bored!

RATING: 4/5

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