#WeekendCoffeeShare: Last Hurrah of Summer

If we were having coffee, we would be sitting on a patch of flattened grass munching on deep fried cheese curds watching hoards of people pass by.  That’s right, I spent my day at the Minnesota State Fair.  It’s been four years since I last attended what we affectionately call the Great Minnesota Get-Together.  Nothing has changed much.  The cow barns still smell.  The DNR still has the fish pond.  My dad still spends way too much time ogling antique tractors.  And, despite the fact that you spend the entire day in crowds of thousands of people, you still manage to run into at least five people you know!  It’s still a delight, though.  There’s so much to look at and take in!

One of the biggest draws of the fair is the food.  These days, everything is deep fried and/or on a stick.  Throughout the day, I had a raspberry wine smoothie, an ice cream cone from the Dairy Barn, french fries, and deep fried cheese curds.  I’ve been home for several hours and the thought of eating anything makes me feel sick.  It’s a good thing the State Fair only happens once a year, ’cause I don’t think my stomach would be able to keep up.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am absolutely exhausted.  I can’t remember the last time I was this tired.  I’ve made the hour long trek to the cities and back three days in a row.  On Friday, I had a bachelorette party from 9-11 and didn’t get to bed till 1 AM.  On Saturday, I had a wedding to attend.  Today, as you already know, I went to the fair.  Overall, I had to pass through stop-and-go traffic and massive road construction on the interstate SIX TIMES.  UGH.  Excuse me while I lock myself in my room and don’t emerge for days.

IMG_5660If we were having coffee, I’d show off the fall outfit I spent WAY too much money on yesterday.  I’m kind of obsessed with it.  (See photo on left.)

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that one of my dear friends got married!  Katie and I have been friends for years–starting in early high school.  We’ve had a running joke for years in which we share a brain.  You see, I didn’t have a brain back then, so she split hers in half and gave a portion to me.  When I got the call announcing her engagement several months ago, one of my first questions was,Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset “Katie, what will happen to our brain now?”  That aside, it was a beautiful wedding.  The thing about Katie is that she is extremely quirky, goofy, touchy, and jumpy in the most adorable way.  As she stood at the altar, I couldn’t help but smile at her subtle excited twitching.  During the dance after the reception, I caught her out of the corner of my eye standing alone spinning in circles just to make her dress swish around her.  She’s a beautiful soul and it was so much fun to be there for her special day.

Enough about me.  What would you share if we were having coffee?

This post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share link up at Part Time Monster

Festival Palomino

I love music.  I love good music.  I love good music live.

When I heard about this great new music festival in the Twin Cities, it only seemed natural to go.

http://images.publicradio.org/content/2014/04/08/20140408_festival-palomino_91.jpg

This year marks the first year of Festival Palomino, a day of music put on by Minnesota band Trampled by Turtles.  It took place at Canterbury Park in Shakopee and had tons of fun indie rock/folk bands.

Although the heavy crowds didn’t show up until later in the day, my friend Eva and I arrived around two, just in time for the first band.  Most of the afternoon was spent sitting in the grass soaking in the summer sun, talking and enjoying music.  We wandered around, looking at the merch tables and food vendors.

It was a great day for people watching, as events like this draw in all the hipsters.  I got a bit envious of all the lovely flannels (even though I have a healthy stock of my own in my apartment) and wondered at the meaning behind all the interesting tattoos.

At around four o’clock, a big thunderstorm hit that forced everyone indoors.  Eva and I parked on a bench for two hours where we chatted and did more people watching.  I ran into a guy I knew from high school, and she bumped into a former roommate.

At one point during the storm, a lady approached our bench.  Impatiently, she looked down at us and said, “We’re leaving.  Do you want our food tickets?”  Naturally, we said yes, and she handed over seventeen little squares of paper.  Later, we splurged on two pieces of pizza each and a shared Ben & Jerry’s cone.  Free food, for the win!

Now, if you remember my list of influential albums from a few weeks ago, you’ll know that I love The Head and the Heart.  You can probably imagine my excitement at finally getting to see them live!  Eva and I were right up close, about twenty feet from the stage.  They were PHENOMENAL.  Oh my goodness.  They sound just as good, if not better, live than on their albums.  One of my favorite things about them is that the main singer (the one in the middle on my photos) is a natural performer.  The way he gestured and sang certain words reminded me of the storytellers in old folk stories.  The sun was setting as they played, and I was sucked in by the words and the music.

 

 

The headliner and sponsor of the concert was, of course, Trampled by Turtles.  I will admit, I only dabble in their music.  There’s just so much out there that I’m never sure what to listen to.  During their set (which was over an hour) I only knew a couple of songs.  We were not as close to the stage this time around (having given up our spots in favor of food).  But I still enjoyed them immensely.  You can’t be a Minnesota indie folk music fan and not see Trampled live.  It’s something you just have to do, and I’m so glad I did!

Trampled by Turtles
Trampled by Turtles

Because it was so hot during the afternoon, Eva and I both forgot to bring our sweaters into the festival.  In the evening, after the sun set, we rather regretted this decision.  Standing in the crowd, pressed uncomfortably close to strangers, certainly helped.  But at one point, while shivering away, I said to Eva, “I know how to get warm.  We just have to knock out a hipster and steal their flannel.  Goodness knows there’s plenty of them to choose from.”

No hipsters were harmed, don’t worry.  But the temptation was real.

Friday Favorites III

My computer monitor informs me that I have twenty one minutes till midnight… so time for a last-minute Friday Favorites!

This food:

That’s right… almonds.  This one is a bit weird for me.  I’ve never liked eating nuts.  Never.  But one of my coworkers at camp shared a bunch and, after giving them a shot, I discovered that they are, in fact, delicious.  My dad will be so proud.

This book:

 

 

I ordered this book on Amazon AGES ago and have been longing for its release ever since.  When I returned home from camp today, I was overjoyed to find my newly released copy sitting on my bed.  I don’t even have words for how excited this book makes me.  I mean, it’s two of my favorite things combined!  Tolkien and Arthurian legend!  How much more epic can you get?  Yes, the poem itself is unfinished (can you blame the man for wanting to finish writing The Hobbit?).  Yes, most of the book is made up of essays.  But it’s Tolkien.  And it’s Arthurian legend.  And it’s going to be beautiful.

Graduation

This evening, I got to see my little brother graduate  high school.  He’s a great kid, and I’m excited to see where life brings him next!  It was strange being in that building again–I haven’t stepped foot inside in around three years.  After the ceremony, I got to see several friends that I haven’t seen or spoken to in several years (some since my own graduation, actually).  I also saw a few former classmates that made me want to run and hide.  Nevertheless, I’ve always been one for nostalgia, so when the opening bars of “Pomp and Circumstance” began, I momentarily forgot about how uncomfortable it was to be packed in the high school gym like sardines.  Part of my heart stirred, longing for times gone by–of lockers, band class, and hanging out with friends between bells.  And then some students behind me talked the entire ceremony, reminding me exactly why I was so happy to leave high school behind.  After everything was over

This place:

This is the St. Croix River at the Osceola boat landing, about five minutes from my house.  This photo was taken a few years ago, but my best friend and I have a tradition of coming here in the summer.  After graduation, we went to Dairy Queen and brought our ice cream to the park on the island in the middle of the beautiful river.  The sun had already set, and as we sat at the point watching the water flow away from us, we talked about life, school, God, and all sorts of best friend topics.  It’s been a few months since we’ve seen each other, and due to the fact that I’m at camp and Erin is headed for Africa next week, our paths won’t cross much this summer.  Talking to her was wonderful, and even though it was dark, the St. Croix was as beautiful as ever.

This song:

Just before the semester ended, Cloud Cult came to my university.  Even though it was cold and a bit wet, I curled up under a blanket with one of my roommates eating day old movie theater popcorn as they played a two hour acoustic set on the mall in the center of campus.  Ever since, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with their new acoustic album.  I listened to this song at least three consequtive times on my drive from camp to home this afternoon.