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Showing posts from April, 2017

Why the Circus Has My Heart

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You're all so patient. This time of the year, when Beatrix is performing in 3 acts in 2 shows, when Patrick is rigging *every* show, and when I'm at the circus every spare minute lending a hand where I can, I'm scattered as heck and you patiently put up with me. Since last Monday, we've been here 34 hours, and we're just starting a 2-show day today.

But dammit, it's so so worth it. I'm typing this from my desk, while a song from Moana is playing and the toddlers are doing their adorable routine. And just like every day when they go onstage, I'm in tears. I'm so damn lucky to be able to be here.

I could wax rhapsodic about what I love about my job here, and the friends I have made. I could go on and on about how absolutely hot Patrick looks when he is rigging — I love to watch his concentration and focus on what he's doing. But most of all, I love this for my daughter.

She's literally grown up here; she came in to me to work for the first tim…

Vibrant India

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When I used to travel to Hong Kong often, we would always stay in Chung King Mansions, an incredible rabbit warren of guesthouses, shops, restaurants and apartments on Nathan Road on the Kowloon side. Definitely the cheapest backpacker accommodations in the city, these rooms looked out over some of the nicest real estate in the city (when you could get an outside view), and by trial and error, you could establish a relationship with remarkably nice places to stay (it's the error part that got you in trouble).

In the B-block were some of the best Indian restaurants I've been to in my life. After queuing up for the lifts (an adventure in its own right) you would eventually come to a floor where several of the restaurants felt like you actually were in India. For less than $2-3, you could stuff yourself on amazingly authentic, delicious Indian food. Just be sure to drink a lot of water.

I have not come close to replicating that here. There are a few Indian places nearby, but noth…

Selby

Tonight, after picking up Beatrix from EDL, we decided to hit "Spring Fling" events on Selby.

When I first bought my house in the early 90s, Selby had a seriously bad rap. It was full of boarded up storefronts and dilapidated houses. Not dangerous (though many assumed it was), but not nice either.

It quickly picked up. I remember when both corners of Selby and Dale were empty lots, and Allan Mathewson (the new GM of Mississippi Market) and I spent days on end counting cars to try to convince the shareholders to brings a co-op to that site. I feel like I have an intense, personal relationship with every business that's gone in from Dale to the Cathedral.

It's been a little slower going in the section between Dale and Lexington, but tonight we hit the BRAND newly-open J. Selby's, and it was wonderful. Beatrix pronounced it the "best PBJ ever" (thanks to Brogan's family for showing her she likes PBJs!), Patrick loved his meat-less burger, and my beet b…

Minnesota!

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Not to be outdone, we spent the final couple of days of spring break (after f-i-n-a-l-l-y getting out of Atlanta, Josh from West Wing was right on that....) doing some fun things in Minnesota.

Patrick had never really explored Stillwater; so while Beatrix had Norwegian dance rehearsal on Saturday afternoon, he and I headed to Tin Bins to get some work done. Then, after we picked her up, we walked around Main Street doing some shopping. Our favorite stores were the fun, owner-run ones, like the Tea & Spice store or the toy store, where they really seemed to enjoy spending time with their customers — these stood in stark contrast to several places staffed by bored teenagers, in which I might have dropped quite a bit of money if I could even entice the clerk to pay any attention to me whatsoever. Beatrix also loves antique malls, and Stillwater has quite  a few of those, so it was a really entertaining afternoon.

The next day, we headed to the Minneapolis Institute for the Arts (I re…

Savannah

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For the second part of spring break, we hit a place I've been to a few times but Patrick and Beatrix had not — Savannah, Georgia!

Our AirBnB "Stella Blue" was in an adorable part of town called "Starland" (aka the "Victorian District" when that was considered a bad area). We LOVED the area — the cool shops and restaurants, the co-op art supply place just behind our place, the delicious "Back In the Day" coffeeshop (I really want one of their cookbooks now), the great antique and vintage stores, the cool houses and people-watching. We would have had a great vacation just staying there!


But instead, we did Savannah to its finest:

-  Hit the River area and had lunch at a french cafe. Assiduously skipped the Lady and Sons because she's racist

-  Walked around various squares, checking out the "haunted" Hamilton-Turner hotel, the Mercer house, the Juliet Gordon Lowe house and the Andrew Lowe house where the Girl Scouts started.

-  E…

Amelia Island

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I've been to many (but perhaps not enough!) of the great beaches of the world. But for my money, there's no better beach in the world than the one at Amelia Island, Florida. It has a real spot in my heart; my mom used to go down every March, and it holds so many special memories for me.

In the past, my mom always rented the same house (which of course we looked for!), but this time we stayed at the Seaside Amelia Inn, which was a lovely place right on North Beach. They were wonderful, very detail-oriented (cooked to order breakfast, fresh flowers, etc.), and right on the beach with beach chair and umbrellas and everything. They also had cable in our 2-room suite, which we thought we would be excited to watch and turned out to be the so terrible (Tiny House Hunters: Columbus, anyone?)

Beatrix headed into the water as soon as we got there. She was not going to let some boy go farther out than she did:



That first night we looked for dinner too late and ended up at The Marina for …

Speedy Reviews - Brunson's, Fish Fry, Bottle Rocket (bar)

We're headed out on spring break this afternoon, so after heading to the train wreck-that-is-the-remodeling-of-Midway-Target right now (for Baby Alive diapers, sigh), we needed some lunch before the airport. I had hear good things about Brunson's, a casual place that opened on Payne, so we decided to try it out.

And glad we did! The staff was exceptionally nice, offering Beatrix her choice of crayons or colored pencils for her coloring page (any kid knows how important that is.) Her homemade mac-and-cheese was creamy and good, thought he fruit with it was a slightly browned apple. Still, no melon, which is her indication that the place is really phoning it in in a fruit serving.

My veggie burger was also homemade, with several kids of beans, marinated peppers, and goat cheese. It came with the homemade chips, also fantastic, and washed down with an Indeed Daytripper, it was an excellent start to spring break.

Patrick had the double burger, which he reports was delicious, and t…