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    Our weekend away...

    Tuesday, September 02, 2008

    Thanks to a great Christmas present from Mike's parents last year, we were both able to spend a getaway alone in Alexandria this weekend. We stayed at the Cedar Rose Inn, which was a very nice B&B in town. After driving there Saturday morning, we stopped at Fat Daddies, a really cool sports themed restaurant with a nice menu, for lunch. Then we drove out to Carlos Creek Winery, the largest winery in Minnesota.

    It was a beautiful day, so after tasting 5 of their wines, we ordered a full glass and sat out on their patio listening to live music. The winery also has a couple of gift shops, an orchard and a fun outdoor maze that we attempted. After heading back to the B&B for some book reading/relaxing, we went to dinner at the Sixth Avenue Wine and Ale and were sadly disappointed with the service. So after dinner we stopped by Walgreens to pick up some dessert and went back to the B&B to relax in the whirlpool.

    After our breakfast the next morning we decided to spend our day hiking at Carlos State Park. It was a beautiful yet windy day and we had a very enjoyable time on the trails. We worked up quite an appetite during our hike, so we drove into town for lunch before leaving Alexandria. We stopped at Doolittles, a Minnesota chain restaurant with 4 locations. The food was AMAZING! It surely made up for our disappointing dinner the night before!!

    We had reservations to camp at Lake Maria State Park, which was about an hour and a half drive from Alexandria, but we didn't need to arrive before 4pm. We decided to wander around St. Cloud for a little while on our way since neither of us had ever been there. We popped into Granite City Brewery, which actually started in St. Cloud (the granite city), before heading back onto the road to our campsite. We arrived at the state park around 5:00pm, loaded up our backpacks and hiked a mile or so into the campsite. It was nice and remote and right on a tiny lake. Watching the sunset from our spot was spectacular. We are camping pros, so we set up our tent quickly and started cooking dinner, which was a Tuscan White Bean Soup - YUM! After eating dinner and roasting some marshmallows (which Mike risked his life for - we had to carry the wood all the way from the car with only twine wrapped around it - yikes!) we headed to bed early. The morning greeted us with swarms of mosquitoes, so we decided to skip our day of hiking and instead we visited the Albertville outlet mall and spent the afternoon enjoying the beautiful day at the Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis. As most of you are aware, the Republican Nat'l Convention is being held in St. Paul and so we have many visitors in the area right now. It was fascinating to see many limos and buses drive by and to see people from places all over the world eating near us and walking by, even if they were Republicans! (wink, wink)

    Our fun weekend unfortunately had to come to an end, but we were happy to get back to see our Little Man! He had an awesome time with Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Bert visting Como Zoo, baking a cake

    and even eating at McDonalds! He has a lot of stories to tell about their time together, but very much enjoyed telling us about the monkeys at the zoo. He told Grandma that he "wants to stay and watch them the whoooooooole time!!!"