52 Dates a Year

Having fun together!

Brits + Impromptu Twins Game June 17, 2010

On Thursday, May 6, 2010 we were all set to meet Josh & Robyn at Brit’s for their Thursday night trivia. Well, we were delayed by a broken down light rail train but as it turns out trivia was canceled that night due to a couple private parties going on. We decided to eat anyway and had a nice time chatting. Josh & Robyn ended up leaving right after dinner and since the Twins game had just started we decided to walk over and see if we could scalp tickets. You can read all about the Twins game adventure here.
Right Field
Chris’s Review
We met up with Nikki’s brother and girlfriend and hit up Brit’s for some happy hour deals. We had planned on doing some trivia there, but it turned out that they didn’t have it that night. Since we ended dinner a bit early, Nikki and I headed over to Target field to look for somewhere to watch the game. As we were walking it started to drizzle a bit, and so we decided to head over to the stadium and see if we could grab some cheap tickets. As we got closer we stopped and talked to scalpers on the way. At one point we had a guy chasing after us to try and sell the tickets! Once we got close, we found a guy that sold us 2 $25 seats for $20.

Since it was raining we didn’t actually see our seats, we just hung out on the first level under the deck with the heaters. It was great to get in for cheap and watch most of the game. Also was fun just to be spontaneous and just decide the rest of the night.

Best Part: The spontaniety, and just running around downtown for a while.

RATING: 5/5

Nikki’s Review
I was really looking forward to playing trivia (even though I’m horrible at it usually) but it worked out for the best with Josh & Robyn both having long days so hopefully we can reschedule. The Twins game was SO much fun – I think because we didn’t have any expectations. We just wandered around stopping whenever we felt like it.

Best part: Twins game – the views from the concourse are awesome!

Worst part: Paying for light rail tix and not being able to use them.

RATING: 4/5

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Dinner & a Movie June 14, 2010

Filed under: Inexpensive ($),Just Us,Out & About - Minneapolis/St Paul — Nikki @ 10:23 am

Dinner & a movie. Pretty common date night, we know. BUT…it’s a good one and it can be relatively inexpensive if planned properly! Monday through Thursday at AMC Theaters you can see any movie for just $5! There is an additional charge for 3D & IMAX, but only the same charge that is added if you see those types of movies at regular price.

We had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen (free, thanks to a gift card) and then saw Kick-Ass at the Southdale AMC (also free thanks to a gift card).

Chris’s Review
Nikki and I had a quick, but pretty nice date doing the standard dinner and a movie. We hit California Pizza Kitchen for dinner and split a couple of pizzas with some old gift cards we had, and then used more gift cards to watch a movie. Overall a ‘free’ night for us!

Kick-ass is definitely not a date movie, but I enjoyed it overall. Nikki and I have been watching more and more comic book movies over the last few months, but I think this one was a little over the top for Nikki. Definitely need to find some better summer movies that both of us will enjoy.

Best Part: Dinner and just not having a rushed night.

Worst Part: The movie choice… Next time a better date movie will be picked!

RATING: 3/5

Nikki’s Review
Dinner and a movie is a great combination. We were able to sit and have a nice conversation over dinner and then just relax and watch the movie afterward. Kick-Ass isn’t a movie that I planned on liking, at all. However, I didn’t hate it so I figure that’s a win!

Best part of the night: Dinner – CPK is delicious and having a chance to sit and talk to Chris is always good.

Worst part of the night: The movie. I won’t ever watch it again, but I know Chris liked it and so that’s good.

RATING: 3/5

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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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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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Acadia Cafe & Mixed Blood Theater March 19, 2010

Filed under: Just Us,Moderate ($$),Out & About - Minneapolis/St Paul — Nikki @ 5:00 pm

On Friday, March 12, 2010 we had our date night at Mixed Blood Theater. For dinner before the show we ate at Acadia Cafe which was new to both of us. They have 30 beers on tap (“No crap on Tap”) and a good looking menu too! The show we saw, SOMEBODY/NOBODY, wrapped up earlier this week, but I’m guessing many of the shows are good. We went on a Friday night, but the tickets are half as expensive if you go Wednesday night so I think we’ll try that sometime for an inexpensive night out!

Chris’s Review
I have been to some local theater before, but never to the mixed blood theater. It was overall the standard low budget theater, but I think they are trying for a definite professional feel. The play that we saw was more of a comedy which was nice. Heavy plays can be a little off putting for a first time.

Having dinner and then heading over was great, and we had a really good time, even though it was a bit expensive.

Best Part: Quick dinner and time to talk with Nikki before the play, and having a nice stroll over to the theater.

Worst Part: The cost… the tickets were pretty expensive (~$30 each). I am sure that there are some places out there to get some deals. We did off set it with a pretty good cheap dinner.

RATING: 4/5

Nikki’s Review
I enjoy seeing live theater a lot more than Chris does…but I think we might have found a happy medium. Small theater shows seem more enjoyable to Chris than Broadway musicals so hopefully we’ll be able to find more local theaters to support!

Best part of the night: Dinner at Acadia was delicious & laughing out loud during the show was really fun!

Worst part of the night: There was an old lady who smelled REALLY bad…luckily Chris identified the source before we picked our seats so we could choose some far away from her!

RATING: 4/5

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Moose Mountain Adventure Golf March 15, 2010

moose mtn

On Monday, February 22, 2010 we headed over to the Mall of America for dinner (at Ruby Tuesday) and some miniature golf at Moose Mountain Adventure Golf. The golf course has construction on hole 6, so we got a $2 discount on our round of golf which made it <$15 total for both of us!

Here are a couple photos from the “adventure”:
first hole

chris

Chris’s Review
Miniature golf was fun, it was almost like we were back to some of our early dates together. The course at the mall is actually pretty well put together, and on the week night that we went we had no problems going through the course at a nice slow pace. It was alos nice to be able to sit down to dinner, without much of a wait. Overall a weekday night at the mall is pretty nice.

Best Part: No crowds! and it was cheaper since they were working on one of the holes, definitely worth 25% off to only play 17 holes. Overall it was actually pretty cheap.

Worst Part: Nikki schooled me on a couple of holes, and I am pretty sure that she had the only hole in one…

RATING: 4/5

Nikki’s Review
It’s weird, but MOA is now my “home” mall. It seems like Chris & I always have better conversation when we’re out at a restaurant than at home, which I guess is something that we should work on. It’s nice not having the distractions of the kitchen at home! I knew the mini-golf was at the Mall but we’ve never tried it & I figured it was at least seeing what it was like. Also, I needed to get my wedding band cleaned/inspected for the warranty so this was a practical trip too. 🙂

Best part of the night: Getting a hole in one! Chris beat me by 4 strokes overall…but I was the only one to get a Hole in One!

Worst part of the night: Lugging our coats through the mini-golf course. A coat check would be a nice thing to offer.

RATING: 3/5

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