Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season and a great New Years!

Ben and I started Christmas Eve off by going to see his beloved Vikings take on the Redskins here in D.C.

Sunny Vikings Game

The Vikings won, but running back Adrian Peterson torn his ACL and damaged his MCL, putting a damper on celebrations.

In other news, my Packers are 15-1 going into the playoffs. =) hehehehe

I spent a few days last week in Minnesota and had a great time seeing so many friends, as it's the first time I've been back there (minus a connection at MSP in October) since we moved. My friend Cindy picked me up from the airport last Tuesday night and it seemed surreal, I was back! I felt a wave of anxiety and excitement as I realized I had roughly 72 hours to see so many people, and was about to get blasted by cold I hadn't felt in a long time (and it actually wasn't that bad!)

Jen was nice enough to let me stay at her place a couple of the nights I was there and let me use her car during the day while she worked.

The gracious hostess and I!

It was so nice to stay at her place, catch up with her make dinner (since I ate out most other meals) and see other girlfriends (like Jen H and of course Cindy who came over to laugh, eat and have fun with us).

By far the best part of my trip, was being able to run one of the Chain of Lakes. Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes and that is really the biggest thing I miss there. The lakes were beautiful and easy to run, always had clear paths, and of course I loved the friends I ran with. I ran the 2.75 miles of Lake of Isles with a few gals and loved every minute of it. The conversation flowed, my feet felt light, and breath felt wonderful even though I thought I would have a hard time running in 30ish degree temperatures for the first time since last winter. I wish I would have taken a picture, because that run reminded me again why I love running so much, and why I keep doing it.

I was able to meet up with other friends as well and some gluten free, and delicious restaurants in the area. There are definitely more gluten free choices here in the DC area, but the ones I've come to love in Minneapolis were great to revisit, including: Cooper, Pizza Luce, Bonfire, Bank, and Highland Grille.

Annette, Annie and I after enjoying a wonderful meal at Cooper

I spent one great night in the Westin in Downtown Minneapolis. If you're ever staying in the Twin Cities, I highly recommend this hotel. Great location with skyway connections, the Westin Heavenly Bed that feels like a sleeping on a pillow, great service, and Bank restaurant in the lobby that's delicious.

Huge and comfortable room at the Westin!

I also was able to see many college friends and met up with my parents at Mall of America for lunch and of course shopping one day!

Last but not least, the random winner of the Rudi's Swag Bag giveaway is...

Erin Slocum!

Erin, e-mail me your contact information to:AlexaTale2Cities@gmail.com


Ann said...

Sounds like an awesome trip back to Minnesota! :)

Jen, a priorfatgirl said...

So glad you had a great time, Alexa! You are always welcome to stay with us! Even Ben too ;)

Sarah said...

What's a visit to MN without a news team assembly? Glad you had a good trip!