Friday, July 22, 2016

Minnesota

Happy Friday... That was another QUICK week!!  I have just returned from Minnesota.  What a GREAT experience.  I don't talk about it often, but I love my union job.  I am the vice president of my teachers' union and, while it is certainly NOT all flowers and roses on a day to day basis, I am proud to be a union member and love the work that we do.  Going to the AFT Convention always makes me appreciate what unionism is and I leave feeling empowered, informed, and excited about where we are going as a union and as a profession.  So, here's my week in a quick review for Five On Friday...

1) Food, fabulous food.... We ALWAYS eat well when we go away.  The group I travel with loves to check out new places and new dining experiences.  Two places on the bucket list?  Hell's Kitchen and Matt's Bar.  Both highly recommended... opposite in ambiance and both totally delivered.  Matt's Bar was a hole-in-the-wall local diner with fabulous food (Wine served in a juice glass?  Yup, my kind of place!)  Other great places that we visited...  Britt's Pub (great place for lunch) and Murray's (La-di-da, but oh so good).  
Matt's Bar is home to the Juicy Lucy... Cheese-filled yumminess on a bun!
2) Sight seeing... we didn't do a whole lot this trip.  It really was a working "vacation".  I love walking around new places and soaking up the culture around me.  All cities have a different vibe.  Minnesota is a calm, quiet city to visit, much different from the frenetic pace back home.  These two funky creatures were a cool part of our landscape every day and are worth mentioning.
The Moose

And the Wolf
3) Mall of America...  OMG.  This mall is the Holy Grail of all things shopping.  Over 530 stores, 50 restaurants, AND an indoor amusements park (among other attractions), it is AMAZING.  There just wasn't enough time to see it all, or even a quarter of it... So, being the mature adults we are, my friend and I ditched the guys we were traveling with and went to the amusement park.  Such fun!!  I would go back to Minnesota for this reason alone.
Indoor roller coasters and a flume ride?  Yes, please!

Had to include this... Just one small part of the Lego display.  And yes, it is entirely made out of Lego's.
4) Ok, this is a biggy.  I really am a small town girl who grew up to be a teacher.  I work in a small state, in a small district.  I am definitely not in the world of "big players".  To even think that I would even be in the same room with someone truly distinguished or noteworthy is almost laughable.  BUT... It happened!  I feel privileged to have heard Hillary Clinton speak about her platform on education, health care, and social equity (among other things).  I really have no words to sum up the experience.  Appreciated?  Hopeful?  Optimistic?  I guess the best word would be reinvested.  I am looking forward to the debate season like never before.  It will be interesting, that's for sure.            
5) There is SO MUCH more I could share with you.  There were so many interesting speakers that just fascinated me.  We heard from senators, mayors, union bigwigs, international representatives, and every day people who have made unionism their lives.  I won't bore you with it though... I totally understand that politics are not for everyone!  So... here I am... 

Home Again, Home Again... I came home to new landscaping and big plans in the works for my house.  Yay, motivation!!  Despite the unrelenting heat, my hubby is making huge strides towards improving our home's curb appeal.
Looking better already!
It doesn't take much to make me happy... A great week has gone by, things are looking up around the homestead, and I am currently being treated to a fabulous display of lightening as a thunderstorm rolls through my area.  I'd like to make these summer days go by a bit slower... I'm not quite ready to get back to the real world.      

Have a wonderful weekend!  Enjoy!