Tag Archives: minneapolis

LOST 8.15K {Food & Fitness Link-Up}

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One of my favorite college professors once told our class that you can never do something again. You can do something similar; but you can never do it again. I believe, at the time, he was speaking of travel. But it can apply to pretty much any experience in life.

When Rob told me that he wanted to walk around the St. Anthony Main area of NE Minneapolis again, I was looking for it to it. Our walks exploring the city are my favorite dates with my husband. And since Joe created four more stations to the Get LOST in Running Virtual Race Series, my plan was to do the Looking Glass Station 8.15k.

But first, let’s see how I did with last week’s Food & Fitness Planning:

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Last Week’s Food:

  • Dinners
    • Monday – Spicy Thai Basil Beef
      • I used Coconut Aminos in place of the fish sauce and onions in place of the bell peppers. It could have used a bit more spice. That’s a note to self for next time.
      • It was good, but not overly-the-top awesome. Maybe if I would have SEASONED IT ALREADY! 😉
      • Then I read Kat’s tip to always double the sauce, when she made a different Thai Beef with Basil Recipe. I may have to take that advice.
    • Tuesday – Pork Chops this way – most likely with green beans on the side.
      • We skipped this and ate leftover still hanging out from last week instead.
    •  Wednesday – Meatballs with Tomato Sauce –  Just like we made in class the week before! A Keeper!
    • Thursday – TBDTurkey and Black Bean Cabbage Bowl with Avocado Salsa <-–An awesome, must-try! 
      • I made it when I had the girls over for dinner.
      • I’m going to make a Rob-friendly version this week!
    • Friday – Dinner night out with the girls – Restaurant Impression coming this week!
    • Saturday – Leftovers for Lunch, out for dinner – LOST 8.15k (see below!)
    • Sunday – Leftovers
  • Breakfasts
    • Egg Rolls – <– You must make these!
      • They aren’t what you think. It’s an egg rolled up in a tortilla.
      • I used some leftover enchilada sauce instead of the sriracha.
      • These are perfect when you have leftover tortillas to use up!
    • Magic Smoothies
    • PB on toast
  • Lunches
    • Leftovers + 1 piece Dove Dark Chocolate + applesauce or Chobani yogurt

It was certainly a most successful cooking week!

Last Week’s Fitness:

  • Monday – Walk/Run on Treadmill – 26 minutes
  • Tuesday – Walk/Run on Treadmill – 35 minutes
  • Wednesday – Walk/Run on Treadmill – 45 minutes
  • Thursday – Elliptical in am or REST
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – Walk – LOST 8.15k walk
  • Sunday – PilatesRaked the yard – 1.5 hours 
  • 30-day Arm ChallengeOkay, I keep forgetting about this. I need to post it somewhere where I don’t forget after I’m done doing cardio. I’ve only done 3 days so far. I want to start over so I can do these always according to the plan.

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After we had so much fun getting LOST in NE Minneapolis earlier this summer, Rob wanted to go again. It wasn’t the same, but it was absolutely wonderful to be walking around in the cool, fresh, fall air! We finished the LOST Looking Glass Station 8.15k, but without a care for time. As I brought running back into my fitness routine, my back started to hurt again. I decided to back off. I’ll be sticking to walking for a while.

103Instead, we took the opportunity to stop and smell the roses enjoy the views and take photos. It was a brisk, but gorgeous day. I was in an incredibly good mood! I skipped ahead, climbed up on benches and tree stumps and took photos of the beautiful fall colors.

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We crossed the Stone Arch Bridge and happened upon the Mill City Farmers Market just as they were closing up.

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We walked St. Anthony Main and then followed the lower trail just like we did the last time, climbing, hiking and avoiding obstacles. However, unlike last time, Rob didn’t find any Liberty Nickles…

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We really do enjoy living so close to Minneapolis… and feeling like you can still enjoy nature on such an Urban Walk.

077But there was something strange I found as we rounded a block to make our way to the Bulldog NE for lunch:

101Would you discard your broken heels in the middle of the sidewalk?

The Bulldog NE was packed for the U of Minnesota Gopher football game, but we managed to find a seat at the bar. We split a lunch of some sliders and truffle tots. And I tried a new-to-me beer – a DOUBLE Black Ale, made by a local brewing company, Indeed. We just had to look it up online at Beer Advocate to learn more about it!

It was another great walking date day with my husband. It was truly a similar event to last time, but it definitely wasn’t the same. But I still loved every moment of it.

Now for this week…

Food:

  • Dinners
    • Monday – Mexican Cabbage BowlIt’s what I made last week for the girls, just with beef to make it Rob-friendly. I’ll skip the avocado salsa, too.
    • Tuesday – Pork Chops this way – with either green beans or this Cabbage with Braised Onions dish on the side
    •  Wednesday –  Cinnamon Beef Stew from Well Fed
    • Thursday – Leftovers
    • Friday – Poker Night
    • Saturday – Leftovers for lunch, dinner out
    • Sunday – Leftovers for lunch, dinner out
  • Breakfasts
  • Lunches
    • Leftovers or soup + 1 piece Dove Dark Chocolate + applesauce or Chobani yogurt

Fitness:

  • Monday – Walk on Treadmill 
  • Tuesday – Walk on Treadmill 
  • Wednesday – Walk on Treadmill
  • Thursday – Walk on Treadmill
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – Go for another Walk? (Weather permitting.)
  • Sunday – Walk on Treadmill
  • 30-day Arm Challenge – I really want to do this. I just keep forgetting. I need to put the schedule by the treadmill instead of on my bedroom mirror.

I never thought going on a walk with my husband would be my favorite sort of date, but I’m so glad that this year, I discovered that it is.

What is your idea of an ideal date?

Cheers~
Carrie

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The Bulldog Northeast

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Who knew that I could get the best burger, the best cupcakes and an excellent tap beer selection all under one roof?

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As many times as we’d been to Northeast Minneapolis with Groupons to Butcher Block, a couple trips to Nye’s Polonaise Room, a pint or two of cider at Keegan’s and even a food tour of the area, we never stopped to check out the Bulldog NE.

I did step inside the joint once, just to get some change for the parking meter out front. I remember it being very busy and thought of it as nothing more than a college sports bar, despite the fact that I don’t even think there is a college in walking distance of the place.

Then a friend recommended it. We were surprised. Rumor had it that the tap selection was good if we liked beer. And guess what? We do. So we decided to check it out.

Now it’s one of our favorite places to go in the Twin Cities.

While this is the Bulldog in Northeast Minneapolis, a mural of Amsterdam {where the original is located} is proudly displayed. It’s large enough that, if I zoomed in, it could have appeared that this person was sitting right inside the window of a café on the streets of Amsterdam along a canal.

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There are a few “Bulldog” restaurants throughout the Twin Cities; however, my understanding is that they are no longer owned by the same entities and thus are not affiliated at all. Tap selection styles and menus are different. {Although, I will say that I had some satisfying food at the St. Paul location. But that’s for another post.}

I find the menu here at the Bulldog NE to be, well, gourmet. Well, maybe pub food, even sports-bar food gone gourmet. The burger here makes Rob’s Top 10 Burgers in the Twin Cities list. The burger apparently made the City Pages‘ Top 10 Burgers list as well.

NE5Nearly every time we’ve ordered a burger here, the lighting has been too dimly lit to do it justice. But when we finally captured the shot, it still doesn’t scream how nearly perfect this burger is. Top it off with some truffle tots on the side and you’ve got yourself a gourmet meal in a basket:

Truffle Burger - topped with brie and truffle oil on an English muffin with Parmesan truffle tater tots

Truffle Burger – topped with brie and truffle oil on an English muffin with Parmesan Truffle Tater Tots

Of course, as suggested by our friend, the tap selection is fantastic, focusing on Belgians. You can read all about them in their menu book.

Still, there’s a lot of variety, including local brews, with several taps with rotating offerings to change it up for you.

And even though Rob’s least favorite style of beer is probably Belgian, he has found one he adores!

(For the record, I love it, too!)

Kasteel Rouge

Kasteel Rouge

They also offer firkins, which are often limited release, specialty beers. We almost always try the firkin, even if it sounds strange. We’ve found that it’s usually the strange ones we love {Green Tea!} more than the ones we think we’ll love {pomegranate ale}.

And who doesn’t love a patio that allows dogs?

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Your pooch will get a water bowl and some treats to snack on while you linger…

Not only have we been to the Bulldog NE for dinner, but we’ve also shown up during brunch and lunch on the weekend.

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This basic Bloody Mary was okay, but it was nice to have a decent beer chaser!

I found the Chicken and Waffles to be too rich for my blood on one occasion, but I had a fantastic breakfast sandwich and salad after our LOST Station 4 – Flame 16k virtual race.

 Ham and Egg Sandwich Alemar's Camembert style cheese, Canadian bacon, Egg and Gruyére mornay on croissant bun. $12.00

Ham and Egg Sandwich – Alemar’s Camembert style cheese, Canadian bacon, egg and Gruyére mornay on a croissant bun

It was completely satisfying, but not as wonderful and perfect as the breakfast sandwich at The Happy Gnome. But you can’t beat the beer selection there either.

But lastly, would you expect the best cupcakes to be served at a place that serves beer and killer burgers? Not me. On a whim, on one visit, I inquired what the Cupcake of the Day was. It was called the Elvis – something with chocolate and bananas.

It was one of the best cupcakes I could ever remember.

I’ve since tried several unique flavors. I mean the Lemon Lavender Blueberry Cupcake? Come On! Crazy good. The cupcakes are almost always filled. And the frosting is perfect – never overly sweet and gritty, but more creamy and luscious.

I would say that they have the best cupcakes in all of the Twin Cities, but it wouldn’t be fair because I haven’t been to any cupcake shops nor have I ordered them at any bakeries in the area. I don’t care, though. I rarely eat cupcakes and if I’m going to have one, I want to have one I know I’ll love. So it’ll be at the Bulldog NE.

Tell me about the best Beer, Burger or Cupcake you’ve ever had…

Cheers~
Carrie

King’s Wine Bar – Minneapolis

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When driving through the Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis, I came across Kings Wine Bar. Since we don’t really have a good wine bar in our neighborhood south of the river, I just had to take Rob here for a nightcap after dinner one night.

We loved it. It kind of reminds me of a neighborhood café you’d find in Paris. You know, the kind where they have full-service: beer, wine, food and coffee. I imagined sitting here for hours sipping a coffee while meeting a friend, blogging or just reading a good book. In the evening, the place is dimly lit, creating great ambiance.

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I guess that the trouble with going there for a nightcap is that food must be ordered in order to serve alcohol. It’s a requirement as part of their liquor license for locating in a residential neighborhood. While it would be nice to just stop in for a glass of wine from time to time, I totally get it. If people didn’t eat and just drank all night, they could be loud, obnoxious and disturb the other neighbors.

Since then, we’ve gone back a few times. In fact, I’ve taken girlfriends here for dessert after our dinner nights out, too! On one occasion, Rob and I put in an order for mac & cheese with our wine and the tried the dessert special.

MAC & CHEESE  full $10 || half $8 add bacon $2 || add broccoli $2 || mushrooms $3

MAC & CHEESE

Dessert Special: Butterscotch Budino

Dessert Special – Butterscotch Budino

Since Rob absolutely adores butterscotch, we were excited about this dessert. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. No biggie though, everyone else who has been there with me has enjoyed the desserts there.

It’s a Wine Bar! What about the wine?

There are four beers on tap at any given time which are often local or craft brews. But many other beers are offered in the bottle or the can.

The wine list is pretty extensive for a little neighborhood wine bar. I mean, how many of you can walk to one in your neighborhood and order a bottle of Sancerre or Amarone? There are over 20 wines offered by the glass and over 100 by the bottle. They offer a hefty pour of Port, too!

But despite all of these offerings, this place is in no way stuffy. In fact, the people who work there are kind of quirky. I like that. A lot.

Still, the food shouldn’t be overlooked! {You have to try it if you want some wine or beer, anyway.} We wound up here when my mom was in town. She wanted to try a Café Cubano and my google search yielded Victors 1959 Café. We decided on it for breakfast/brunch. However, it was Memorial Day and the wait seemed like it would be hours for such a small place. After driving around, we happened upon Kings and having been there before, we knew it would be a good choice.

GRILLED CHEESE mozzarella, cheddar and gruyere with tomato soup

GRILLED CHEESE – mozzarella, cheddar and gruyere with tomato soup

And while I thought it was tasty {exceptional bread, possibly from Patisserie 46 next door?!}, I was quite envious of my mom’s and Rob’s orders. How could I know they’d make an exceptional burger?

KINGS BURGER caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, bacon, pickles and shallot aioli $11

KINGS BURGER – caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, bacon, pickles and shallot aioli

Burger of the week? Blue cheese or mushroom sauce?

Burger with Blue Cheese Mushroom Sauce

I can’t find this burger on their online menu now!!! How annoying is that? I considered this a top burger in the Twin Cities and I *think* Rob agreed. That day, there was a burger and beer special. A burger plus a beer for just $10. That’s a pretty good deal in our area. I wonder if I it was a specialty burger or if I could order it again.

And you know how I mentioned that we enjoy the Port here? I don’t think we’ve ever patronized this place without one of us ordering a glass of Port. I can’t think of many other places where that is the case. But that day that we were there with my mom, our server, Lori, told us that when she was in a band that performed in Portugal and loved her experience stopping at all the vineyards where you could enjoy Port and tapas with the beautiful view. We loved her passion and you must know that is now on our travel bucket list!

We love that in the Twin Cities, Kings Wine Bar is not well-known, or at least we hadn’t learned of it until I drove by the place. But there’s so much going on there! One time there was a doggie parade in the neighborhood. And they offer brunch and date night. It’s just one of those places where I find myself drawn to dine. I feel content here.

Now you know why I chose Café Ena for dinner one night. I knew Rob enjoyed Kings as much as I did, so trying another place across the street was difficult.

What is your favorite Wine Bar {or place to drink wine if you aren’t near one!} where you live?

Cheers~
Carrie

Red Cow – Minneapolis

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Last night, my husband and I dined at the Red Cow. He just arrived back in town from a weekend up north and I was craving a burger. {What’s with this burger craving lately?} We’ve been wanting to go there for a while after hearing about it on Heavy Table, via Thrillist and through friends. And it’s in South Minneapolis near Edina, which means it’s a closer drive for us than say, Downtown, Uptown or Nordeast Minneapolis.

Arriving at about 7 or 7:30 p.m. on a Sunday, we walked right in and found a seat at the bar. I noticed on a promotional ad sitting atop the bar that there is a wine glass cleverly inserted into the Red Cow logo. Underneath the logo read:

Red Cow *Fine Burgers & Wine*

I’m wondering now if this was the original concept because everything else now reads:

Red Cow *Fine Burgers, Beer & Wine*

My thought is that with the growing craft beer industry in the Twin Cities metro, there is no way to leave the brews out. And most people associate beer with a good burger, after all.

Side note: There are some great burger and wine pairings that are sensational, but I’ll save that for a Wine Wednesday.

Nevertheless, the list of beer and wines available here is a long one. Our bartender, Grant, was knowledgeable about the beers. When the Nitro beer we were curious about was out, he told us that the replacement wasn’t pouring quite properly. I love an honest bartender! There are more than just a few beers on tap and several in a bottle, too.

As for the wine, there are 35 different ones offered by the glass. And after perusing the menu, I was happy to find that they aren’t your “usual suspects”. I find that sooooo incredibly boring. I’d rather try new wines when I’m out. Red Cow uses the same style wine dispenser system as Scusi.

Also, the menu also offered a Burger and Champagne special – Two Burgers and a bottle of Bollinger for something like $125. {I don’t see it online.} I love that! It reminded me of our favorite steakhouse in Pensacola, Florida, McGuire’s Irish Pub:

THE GRAND BURGER
‘Tis Grand. Our Grand Filet Mignon, custom ground and Chargrilled, served
with a side of Caviar, chopped Red Onions and a Grand Magnum of imported Moët Impérial Champagne. …………
$100.00

I’ve always wanted to try it… just once.

But back to the burgers at Red Cow. They make some interesting burgers with more elevated toppings. I had a hard time to deciding. When I asked Grant about whether I should order the Barcelona or the Royale, he hesitated, stating both were very, very good. Rob cut us off, though and said, “Well, I’d like the Barcelona.” {Of course, he told me he was going to order something else before our order was taken.} That made my decision easy. I could always have a bite of Rob’s burger, right?

Barcelona 11.50    angus burger, manchego, prosciutto, piquillo pepper & smoked aioli [GF]

Barcelona – 11.50
angus burger, manchego, prosciutto, piquillo pepper & smoked aioli

Rob loved his burger and he isn’t generally a Manchego fan. I took a bite and enjoyed it to. However, I did like mine a wee bit better… 😉

Royale 11.00 angus burger, pork belly, brie, arugula & tomato jam [GF]

Royale – 11.00
angus burger, pork belly, brie, arugula & tomato jam

It’s gotta be the brie with the combination of arugula and tomato “jam”. {They were more like big chunks of roasted tomato, which I loved!} I didn’t think it really needed the pork belly though. Although I’m not really a bacon-on-my-burger fan, that wasn’t why I didn’t need it on the burger. It just added a bit of weird, unneeded texture.

We realized after ordering that they never asked how we wanted the burgers. That seemed strange to me at a burger joint. With all of those toppings, it was really hard to tell if there was any pink inside, which is how we prefer our burgers. But the burger was so juicy, that it didn’t even matter to me how they cooked it!

Each burger came with a side of fries. We had a choice of the original or the Truffle-Parmesan. DUH! You know what we chose. And actually, the fries by themselves, really weren’t good at all. While at Burger Jones, we like to order a side of fries because they don’t come with the burger, I wouldn’t order them if that were the case here. The Truffle-Parmesan fries are sprinkled with a little shredded parmesan and served with a side of truffle aioli. The truffle aioli was what made the fries!

But the burgers here are pretty darn good. I’d have to put them ahead of Burger Jones. {Now if we could combine Red Cow’s burgers with Burger Jone’s fries…} It hit the spot for me that night. And while I don’t think they’ll make Rob’s Top 10 Burger List {which I still need to update!}, I have a feeling, we’ll be back.

What do you like to drink with your burger?

Cheers~
Carrie

Back to the Cafeteria {Now Closed}

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A Groupon {or other daily deal} brought us back to the Uptown Cafeteria. I bought it because I knew I wanted to go back and get the Tuna Melt of Tuna Melts. It’s on my Best of the Twin Cities list!

However, I completely forgot how good this entire menu looks. I found myself torn because what I Really Wanted that day was a burger. The Turkey Burger sounded sooooo good to me. But whenever I order a turkey burger at a restaurant, I am always disappointed. Then, after said disappointment, Rob likes to ask when I have ever liked a turkey burger while dining out. Point.

But the description of this one kept speaking to me – it was a Green Chile Turkey Burger. So I asked our bartender/server for advice. “I really love the Tuna Melt here, but I’m torn tonight. That Turkey Burger looks so good! What do you think?”

Nine times out of ten your server will a) give you an honest answer and b) have good taste. This bartender, without hesitation, told me to go for the Turkey Burger.

And I’m so happy I did!

reen Chile Turkey Burger11.00 muenster cheese, avocado, green chilies

Green Chile Turkey Burger – $11.00
muenster cheese, avocado, green chilies

I chose cottage cheese as my side for a little extra added protein. {I ate a few tots off of Rob’s plate, too!} I used about half of the onion. After the first messy bite, I discarded half of the bun and ended up eating the rest with a fork and knife. This was soooo good! Look closely at the meat – it was well-seasoned with herbs. And those green chiles were just what I wanted.

Rob, took the challenge and tried the Best F#@!-ing Burger EVER. {They call it the “F Burger” when they bring it to your table.} And although he enjoyed the burger, it wasn’t good enough to make his Top 10 Twin Cities Burgers list.

Best F#@!-ing Burger EVER15.00 velveeta stuffed and topped with pepperjack cheese, bacon, short-rib, fried egg and horseradish sauce

Best F#@!-ing Burger EVER – $15.00
velveeta stuffed and topped with pepperjack cheese, bacon, short-rib, fried egg and horseradish sauce

I need to remember that when Uptown that this is a place to return. I haven’t been disappointed with the food and am anxious to try other menu items. It’s comfort food with flavor. No brainer for me!

Tip: Happy Hour in the bar area lasts one hour longer than Happy Hour on the rooftop!

It’s burger season. What are your favorite burger toppings?

Cheers~
Carrie

Getting LOST in Nordeast Minneapolis

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Sunday was my attempt to complete Station #4 in the Get LOST in Running Virtual Race Series, something I’ve taken up to keep my walking program going until I can start running again. It’s been fun because it has made my husband and I find trails and routes in Minneapolis which we may never had otherwise!

Station 1 – Hydra 4k – This station started it all and got me moving from short walks around the block to following an actual walking schedule.

Station 2 – Arrow 8k – My husband and I made our way to the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes on a beautiful Sunday. We completed a walk around Lake Calhoun (5k) and then got LOST trying to add part of Lake of the Isles in the mix!

Station 3 – Swan 15k – We went back to the lakes and made our way around both Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake (which has since became our favorite), finding paths and trails in the wilderness that we never knew existed in Minneapolis proper. It was absolutely beautiful.

When I inquired what area we should cover for Station 4, my husband wondered why we weren’t just doing the lakes again since we liked them so much. I wanted to do something different. This race series has really pushed us to get, explore and be adventurous  rather than just sitting at home or hanging out in the ‘burbs. Besides, most of the lakes in the Chain are about two to three miles around. So they’ll be perfect when I get back to the Couch to 5k again anyway.

Station 4 – Flame 16k

This time, I chose a walk along the Mississippi River. I tried to map out a route beforehand, but my distance calculations weren’t really working out because I didn’t know how the trails curved around. And I wasn’t sure which bridges I would want to cross with my fear of heights. Instead, I drove us to the St. Anthony Main area of Minneapolis, parked and decided we would just walk wherever we wanted along the water, crossing bridges where it felt right. I wanted to enjoy every moment. I mean, just a month ago it was still snowing in Minnesota!

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Stone Arch Bridge – Minneapolis

Parking near St. Anthony Main on Father’s Day read “Event Parking – $10.” We had no idea what event was going on. I thought it might be the Mill City Farmers’ Market. I had been there twice before and knew that Food Trucks parked out there. I thought that it might be a welcome stop since we failed to eat breakfast before our trek. {Whoops!} As we made our way to the Stone Arch Bridge {pedestrian only} to cross the river, we saw a bunch of vendors in white tents setting up everywhere along Main Street. We had no idea why, but later learned…

I was wrong about the Mill City Farmers’ Market. When we discovered that area vacant, I remembered that I had gone there last when a friend was in town, which meant that it was a Saturday morning because she would have left on Sunday. Whoops. #EpicFoodSearchFail

But we found the trails again along the Mississippi, where I feverishly began taking photos of a few Minneapolis Landmarks.

35W Bridge Memorial

35W Bridge Memorial – You can read more about it here.

Guthrie Theater

Guthrie Theater

Hennepin Ave Bridge with Grain Belt Beer Sign

Hennepin Ave Bridge – Notice the Grain Belt Beer sign?

Nicollet Island Bridge

Nicollet Island Bridge

I guess I handled walking across more bridges that I had expected. Once we crossed the Nicollet Island Bridge back to St. Anthony Main, more vendors had set up… And the street was lined with mint condition classic cars! Unbeknownst to us, it was the Stone Arch Bridge Art Festival.

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We admired the art and vehicles while snaking our way through the crowds.

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We had no specific plans or routes in mind. We came across this Segway Tour.

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It is then that our walk became even more enjoyable. I found this narrow path through the trees leading closer to the water. We started down some steps and before I knew it, I realized that they were quite high and steep. But I kept going! Many who know me will be surprised that I made it down these…

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It was there where I had the opportunity for a great shot of the Stone Arch Bridge.

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And although it was a beautiful day, we suddenly had these beautiful, rugged paths all to ourselves! It was hard to believe that we were so close to a grand festival taking place not far above us!

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We traversed cute bridges, watched geese, and enjoyed the nature.

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I photographed some historic buildings above us.

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As it grew hotter, we started to feel like we were getting bit by bugs. We made our way back up some more Carrie-friendly stairs further down the river and in no time, were back up amidst the festival where now hundreds of people now gatherered!

At this point, we began to get hungry and decided we’d check out the menus of all of the restaurants along Main to see which one spoke to us. {By doing this, we would also rack up some more distance because we weren’t quite done, yet!} We were getting close to 15k when I told Rob to walk past the edge of the festival down to the end of the block. Then we could turn around and walk back to make it to 16k on the way back.

At the end of the block Rob looked right and his eyes lit up. Why? He saw Nye’s Polanaise Room!

Call us silly or oblivious, but we had no idea St. Anthony Main was this close to all of our favorite restaurants in Nordeast Minneapolis! It was at that moment, it was decided. We didn’t care what we looked like or that we should probably change first, we were going to end our trek at the Bulldog NE {post to come!} with brunch and brews. And after passing the establishment and going around the block, that’s when we hit 16k.

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We celebrated with a lot of water, a little beer and filled our bellies with a more than enjoyable lunch. It was perfect. And while on that secluded trail near the river, Rob had picked up a coin. After further research, we discovered that it is a 1905 Liberty Nickel! We wonder how long it had been there…

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This walk seemed easier than the 15k the previous weekend. And my RunKeeper shows that we shaved off a whole half hour. I don’t think the GPS was quite accurate this time. Looking back at our splits, about 9km seemed realistic. And by adding up the rest of the time, we probably got 3 or 4 more additional kilometers in there. So chances are that we probably didn’t complete a full 16k that day. 😦

But you know what? I’m counting it! Here’s why:

  • We would have never done this if it weren’t for the Get LOST in Running race series.
  • The intent was there. If my GPS had told me to go further, we would have.
  • Between the other four 30-minute walks I did during the week, I’m sure I covered more than enough kilometers to complete the entire 16k.

Station 4 – Flame 16k?

DONE.

Next up – Stations 5 & 6 a 23k and 42k respectively. “As the distances get bigger, they can be split in any way you would like and then combined.”

I already have a plan to complete them. I have a busy next couple of weeks coming up, so I’m planning to combine walks to make sure I keep moving and so that I don’t use being busy as an excuse not to do so! Normally, I’d try to get some workouts in, but would probably skip it most of the time and then hold off until returning from vacation.

So, I’m splitting each station up over a course of 10 days so that I can make sure to fit it in between company visiting and travel. I have a plan and I think it’ll work. And after I complete the series, it’ll be time to slowly get back into running again – with the Couch to 5k program. Thanks again, Joe, for the inspiration!

My GPS running apps have been inconsistent. I’ve tried both MapMyRun and RunKeeper.

Do you use a GPS-style app on your phone for your workouts?

If so, what do you use?

What do you find to be most accurate?

Cheers~
Carrie

LOST 15k – The Swan Station

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Rob and I walked a 15k last weekend! That’s right, 9.32 miles. Neither of us think that we’ve ever walked that far consecutively in our entire lives. I may have while traveling, but I still think that mileage would have been broken up throughout the day.

Last week, I told you about the Walking Program I started to help strengthen my back post-surgery before I’m cleared to run again. Then I told you how I elevated that program by beginning the Get LOST in Running Race Series. {Only, I’m walking it, of course.}

The series includes six races based on Hurley’s winning lottery numbers that come up often during the TV series LOST:

LOST lotto

I already completed Station 1 – the Arrow 4k and Station 2 – the Hydra 8k as mentioned here. Knowing that Station 3 – the Swan 15k would be challenging, Rob said he’d join me as we discovered more of the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis.

We had just walked the Dog Day 5k the previous day, so we decided that we were going to take it easy and not concentrate on time. This was going to be about distance. We parked near Lake Calhoun but made our way immediately over to the Lake of the Isles. The previous week, when we completed our 8k around Calhoun and a portion of the Isles, the weather was beautiful and people were everywhere. We counted somewhere around 100 pooches on our one hour and eleven minute walk!

However, this Sunday was completely different. It was cloudy and slightly chilly. We both wore hats and I wore a thin, lightweight, breathable jacket. We started off slowly, making sure we didn’t push ourselves.

We walked leisurely…

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We sipped our coffees…

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and occasionally  stopped to smell the roses…

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And we learned that these poor geese don’t even get their own crossing! 😉

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The walk around the Lake of the Isles was much more peaceful than our walk around Lake Calhoun the previous week. Maybe it’s the fact that fewer people were out because it began to rain or maybe it was that we were in a more residential area. While there is something to be said about the bustling activity around Lake Calhoun, we decided we liked Lake of the Isles better.

I kept my Google Maps App available so I could find the path to follow to the the next lake in the Chain of Lakes – Cedar Lake. We didn’t want to get LOST like we did last time! And the map proved to be useful several times. We’d choose a path and find several steps later that we could have strayed miles off course!

After a while, it was no longer sprinkling, but really raining. However, we both felt great and something kicked in! {Maybe the coffee?!} We both picked up the pace. It was then that we discovered the wilderness and untouched beauty of Cedar Lake. Who knew this could exist right inside the metropolis of Minneapolis? We had the trails mostly to ourselves and it was refreshing!

Sometimes the dirt trails forked, but we tried to stay as close to the lake as possible, knowing that the goal was to go around the lakes. At one point, we heard a loud strange noise when the trails narrowed.

15k-7

“It’s the Smoke Monster!” I yelled, laughing. Rob laughed, too… and when the loud noise ceased, we decided the monster had retreated and it was safe to venture on. 😉

Cedar Lake became our new favorite.

When we completed the tour of the lakes and returned to Lake Calhoun, we had one last kilometer to go, so we walked a half of a kilometer past our car, picking up the pace as fast as we could and then walked back. After the use of my RunKeeper, Camera and Google Maps Apps, we were lucky my phone still had some battery left to capture our results!

I couldn’t believe how good I felt and we weren’t really as tired as we had expected. At this point I was completely drenched from the rain. And guess how many dogs we counted this time? Eleven. Yes, that’s right. I guess most people don’t like to get out nor take their pooches for walks in such weather. 😉

Station 3 – Swan 15k?

DONE.

Next up – Station 4 – Flame 16k. We should have that one in the bag. Let’s do this!

What’s the furthest you’ve ever walked and when?

Cheers~

Carrie