Hearts, flowers, chocolate, odds and ends

Hope you had a Valentine’s Day that made you feel loved. It’s not always the sweethearts that win; it’s anyone who takes the time to give you a hug, share a meal, shop for hiking boots.

What? Yes, boots. I had an oddly romantic experience at REI yesterday afternoon as Mick and I shopped for hiking boots for our upcoming trip to the Pacific Northwest.

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My new pair of Vasques. Mick’s are red and black. They are as comfy as slippers so, naturally, I’m wearing them around the house today.

There is nothing like travel to bring two people closer. We spent a long time trying on boots, stomping around in front of REI’s boot display, and talking to the guy who was helping us. He shared that he can’t part with any of his old boots; he wears them to mow the lawn when they are worn out. He just might do more hiking than we do. But I thought of him this morning when I decided to put on my new boots and wear them around the house. They were begging me for attention from inside their box that was still sitting on our kitchen counter: “Wear us! Wear us! Don’t wait for a hiking trail!”

Anyway, the day did not start out with hiking boots. It started with handmade chocolates in a pretty box. Mick found these at Lunds & Byerly’s in Roseville when he walked by someone giving out samples.

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Chocolates handmade in Hastings, Minnesota, by Dave and Cindy Blomquist of Creative Confectionaire. They are spectacular!

The chocolate extravaganza was followed by four-year-old Camille, the smallest member of our family, carefully printing her name on Valentines for her mama and papa. She sat at our kitchen counter in her pajamas, because we were lucky enough to have her spend Saturday night here, and used a hot pink Flair to write squiggly letters that impressed us all to pieces. When her parents arrived, we had mimosas, pancakes, bacon, sausage, heart-shaped sugar cookies. Her Valentines were propped up on her parents’ plates, so they couldn’t eat until they’d opened them. And that made them happy.

Valentine’s Day ended with a dinner Mick and I shared at Red Stag Supperclub in Northeast Minneapolis. If you haven’t been there, go. They have amazing retro cocktails (we tried a Red Stag Old-Fashioned and a Stinger), nicely-cooked steak (among many other things), and friendly staff who smile a lot. It feels like an old-fashioned supper club with an urban twist. And we had a lot of fun with our appetizer: kettle popcorn with truffle butter. It was so, so good!

And, yes, there were flowers.

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So, is anyone celebrating President’s Day today? I guess it is a big shopping day, but I think I’ll stay home with my boots on and eat chocolate, smell the roses.

 

 

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