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First Dates and Consequences

4 Sep


First, let me say that renewing your tabs is hard.  I admire all of you who get it done.  Sometimes I get my tabs renewed, but then putting them on the car is hard.  This was not my first tab-related run-in with the law.  I believe it was my fourth.

When the nice man pulled me over, he said, “Ma’am [cringe], I pulled you over because your tabs are expired.”  I almost said: “I know!  Did you notice how I was trying to stay BEHIND you?”  The clever fella had pulled off the road, let me pass him, then pulled back on and pulled me over.  Sneaky…  What I actually said, though, was, “I know, I just noticed that,” which was a total lie, and “I changed my name and moved last year, so never received a notice in the mail.  I didn’t know they wouldn’t find me like all my bills did.”  That part was true.  And I didn’t notice for a few months, but it should’ve been done by now.

Because we were on the highway, he was talking to me through my passenger window.  When he went back to his car to make sure I’m not a felon or whatever, I noticed that we’d been chatting over an open container of gin on the floor.  In my defense, I don’t have a trunk and the seats are down in my SUV, so that was the least chaotic place to stash it on my drive home.  While he was away, I quickly covered it with my bag and fluffed my hair up a little for good measure.  He came back with a warning for the tabs and a “ticket” for my expired proof of insurance (another thing that is hard), and sent me on my way.  He was pretty nice, but not very observant.

I bet you’re wondering what a nice girl like me is doing driving around with an open container of gin.  Well, it was left over from a first date I had last night.  My lovely friend over at Riot and Frolic was nice enough to have me for dinner, drinks, and blog-strategy.  We’ve been FBBFFs (that’s facebook-best-friends-forever…s) for a while now, but decided it was time to take things to the next level.  It was lovely and charming and full of fresh produce and fancy tonic water in small bottles.  I had brought the drink ingredients, and was just on my way home with my little open container.  No big.

I feel lucky to have so many great friends, but new ones are so great and it’s definitely harder to make them once you’re out of dorm life.  Even turning a coworker into a friend isn’t as easy as you get older.  At least it’s not as hard for me as it is for the menfolk, but I couldn’t help my amusement at how we were both nervous that it might not “work out.”  But it did, and I’ll probably wait 3 days and then call her.  Look out, this could be the beginning of some great writing material…

Don’t Tell Me That’s The Bridge…

3 Aug


I’m not always so outdoorsy…

We went Up North this weekend.  For those of you not from around here, that’s what Minnesotans do on the weekend in the summer.  We spend 9 months shuffling as quickly as possible in our vertical sleeping bags from car to door and back again, so when it hits 51 degrees, all sleeves and pant legs come off and we park our butts outside.  We endure some crazy heat waves, vicious flies, and monster mosquitoes just because we know it’s better than being cold.  As I type this, I’m fighting the urge to scratch my left shoulder completely off.

We made our way up the shore to my favorite spot, Cove Point Lodge.  We had some time to kill before check-in, so we ate (naturally), and crawled around at Palisade Head.  There are blueberries everywhere!  It had been an hour or so since my last pizza, so I had a nice little antioxidant-rich snack.  When we got back to the lodge and got settled, we drank a deeeelishus French white wine in some Adirondack chairs on the shore of Lake Superior.  I couldn’t help but notice the wineless young lady who watched us while she chased her small child around.  I gave her a little pity smile…

We found some decent-tasting, overpriced food for supper…. smoked caribou, anyone?  And that was pretty much the end of the first day.  We got up the next morning and had a bizarre Scandinavian breakfast of pickled fish, pickled cucumbers (why are these not just called pickles?), hard boiled eggs, cheese, and dinner rolls.  And coffee.  We didn’t really have a plan for the day until he flipped open one of the magazines in the room and noticed that one of the state’s “best hiking trails” was about 3 miles away.  He was possibly getting in over his head with this idea, but whatever…

We found the trail and since it was an 11-mile loop, we figured we’d walk for a little bit and then turn back.  I may be a professional dancer, but I’m not exactly graceful.  I only actually fell down one time, but that’s mostly because I’m really, really careful about where I place each step.  Read: slow.  There was only one thunderstorm, which was nice, so we kept a pretty good pace.  We saw pretty flowers…

And took some bad pictures of ourselves… you don’t really need to see those.

We put in 4 or 5 miles on this trail, and pointed the car towards home.  We stopped for some calories we had sort of earned, and thought we’d stop at Split Rock.  Apparently they charge for that now, and we’re on a budget.  So we headed for Two Harbors (destination: Betty’s Pies), but then he pulls over emergency-style at the Split Rock wayside.  “Want to go for a walk?”  I only sort of have to pee at this point, so I figure why not?  We head down the trail, and after a few minutes we get to the first loop.  Again, we’ll just go a little way up and then turn around.  Right?  Nope.  This turned into “we HAVE to be getting close to the turnaround point.”  We were looking for a bridge that went across the Split Rock River.  My dismay was felt for miles when, after 4 days in the wilderness, we came across this…

At this point, it’s personal, and you can’t turn back.  We finally found the Real Bridge, which was leaning strongly to the left, and not so confidence-inspiring…

Much whining was heard up to and beyond this point.  I thought we were just going to “walk a little” and I “had to pee.”  From this point, though, the constant uphill seemed to level off a little.  The views were pretty amazing, and even though I was stuck in the place between feeling every nerve in your body and being completely numb, it felt good to climb hills like an 8 year old.  Apparently, though, it’s unusual to get very low to the ground for some of the steeper trips downhill.  Learn something new everyday, I guess.

Eventually, if we squinted really hard, we could even SEE where we were parked.

See that little inlet?  That’s where our car is.  This is well into Hour Three…

Obviously, we made it out of the Hundred Acre Wood, as I am alive to type this.  We finally made it to Betty’s Pies, and pigged out on some broasted chicken (I don’t know what it is, but it’s amazing) and two kinds of pie.  And coffee.  Cheers!