Furniture, Back to School, and GreekFest

Weekend before last, we decided to make the dream a reality and commit to the couch. After scouring Craigslist, Salvation Army, and various furniture stores, I realized: I needed the Costco sectional. Nothing else would do. So we called up our friend, loaded the 7 pieces into our two cars in two trips, and: voila! Comfortable downstairs seating. If you want to see it, however, you will have to come over as we haven’t needed to take a picture of it yet.

Last Thursday, I got up really early and set off to the Big Cities. I gave myself 3 hours because I had no idea what kind of traffic to expect. I had barely reached north Rochester when a torrent began, the rain falling so fast my puny little windshield wipers couldn’t keep up. The next couple hours of driving I heard NPR mention the flooding in Rochester (“standing water in the Mayo clinic!”) Yikes, what a day to head out of town! Thankfully, this is not a blog about sand bags or getting water out of our brand-new carpet… our house survived just fine.

I was heading to the Cities for orientation to my Minnesota State University – Moorhead RN-BSN program. While this is an online program, they do like to have an in-person orientation to get us all on the same (web)page. They fed us and talked to us and let us go early. By the end, I was almost disappointed that I won’t be spending in-person time with these folks for the next two years.

Finally, last weekend was our 4th Annual Greekfest. We joined our friends at a splendid Rochester street festival: Presbyterians and Lutherans mingling by the folding tables, Greek music blasting, cheery Greek American folks yelling “opa!” as they serve you tasty gyros, devouring sticky baklava straight out of the box…

Mmm I’m getting hungry just remembering.



A beautiful Rochester evening at Greekfest

It’s been a fun and busy end of summer up here. Now it’s time to buckle down for the fall.

Pesto Fiesta!

Last week we had a small group of buddies over to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The Hs, PRs and Ks joined us but the other Hs were still out of town 😦 We made use of our Costco membership for the occasion, using tortellini, pesto, tomato sauce and Parmesan bought at rock bottom unit prices (still adds up at the check-out!)

Now that we have a house we can have dogs over without fear of our landlords or fellow residents complaining. The dogs were all very excited to get into the pack although a couple were still trying to figure out dominance issues.

Here is a picture of our wonderful friends:


And here are the dogs (minus one- the Ks did not bring their doggy)


For dessert I made a scrumptious Texas sheet cake. I thought about food blogging the process but was too busy licking the spoons to take any pictures. But here is our friend blowing out the candles!


There’s nothing better than food, friends and festivities!


Last weekend we left our doggies for the day (in the hands of a capable dog-sitter) and road-tripped with our friends to Wisconsin Dells. There was a Mayo deal and none of us had been to a water park for years so we decided that we had to do it.

We arrived soon after the park had opened and waited 45 minutes to ride a rickety wooden roller coaster. Chris got to ride it twice and our only question after we rode it was… “why did you do it twice?!” Oh, the jerking and the whiplash! Then we set to work on the water slides. We rode pretty much all the different kinds of slides. We took a break for lunch and of course at a Greek-themed park I had to have a gyro.

Here is a picture of us in front of the slides before we plunged back in:

As the day wore on, the clouds covered the sun and it grew downright cool. Of course, this being Minnesota, no one was deterred. Children were still scampering around and spraying each other in the water park area. There was still an extremely long “queue” to ride the rafts. We kept up as long as we could, doing mat rides and tube rides and cross-arm rides and “eeeeeek!” rides (aka wedgie rides).

When we were chilly enough we retreated to the indoor water park where we joined throngs of others in the hot tub. We did a couple more tube rides and then we decided we needed some fat ‘n sugar to warm up, so we headed to funnel cake world. It took 45 minutes to get to the front of the line and order our funnel cake. Then Chris thought it was hilarious to blow powdered sugar on me:


We rode one more ride, a jerky indoor roller coaster, and headed home by way of Cracker Barrel. I had never noticed how meat-oriented the menu is there until I went there with vegetarian friends. Still a delicious bite of nostalgia!

Never too old for water rides!

TV Shopping Saga

We bought a TV last weekend. First I heard a lot about plasma screens, HD, 3D, LED and LG. I never did figure out the difference between the latter two – but apparently plasma is “the best picture for the price.” We brought along our good friend (also named Chris) to give his expert opinion.

Apparently when buying a TV it is important to inspect the view from all angles:


Make sure you bring a big car, as even a Dodge Nitro may not fit TV, stand, basalmic vinegar AND friend:


Some assembly may be required:


After setting up the TV and stand, it is important to try them out by playing Halo, even if you don’t have a couch yet:


We had a great time and now we have a great TV. Next step – more furniture?!