October 2014 will likely go down in history as the best Minnesota Autumn ever. Most days were sunny and in my ideal temperature range of 60s and 70s. The orange and red leaves almost glowed they were so vibrant. Just when I thought the color was past its peak Mother Nature would grant us another day more beautiful than the last.
The beginning of October is always fun - Scott's birthday is on the 2nd and our wedding anniversary is on the 8th. We also have a neighborhood tradition of cheering on the runners in the Twin Cities Marathon. October is also when we help host our neighborhood Puppy Parade + Party.
Scott chose Saguaro, a new neighborhood restaurant for his birthday celebration. I like the cozy ambiance which is amazing considering it is a former Caribou in a former movie theater. We had the guacamole and each tried a couple of tacos and capped it off with a complimentary tres leche.
For our ninth wedding anniversary, we decided to try Kabob's Indian Grill suggested by our neighbor. When I asked for directions, she informed me it is in a strip mall next to Fantasy Gifts so it couldn't have been a better choice (ha!). While they do have a dining room, it became clear to us that most people order take out. We counted approximately 10 surveillance cameras in a dining room that seats around 50 people. We started with our friends' suggestion of South Indian style Chicken 65. It takes 65 ingredients to make these spicy, crispy chicken pieces. Scott had the Palak Goat and I had the Mirchi Ka Salan, a jalapeno curry that turned out to be too spicy for me so I ordered a lentil dish which was not spicy enough! Even though I couldn't find the right amount of heat, I liked the food and think we'll get take out next time. After dinner we walked around TBS Mart, an Indian grocery store and called it a Wednesday night - pretty hot date!
One of my favorite neighborhood traditions is gathering on Minnehaha Parkway to watch the Twin Cities Marathon. This year I was able to cheer on my high school friend, Cindra Kamphoff and my former manager in the College of Liberal Arts, Paul Timmins. I gave them both high fives so I'd like to think I gave them a burst of energy early on in the race (between mile 8 and 9).
A new adventure for me this year is serving as an election judge. I attended a three hour training at Edison Senior High School and was able to witness the madness of school getting out for the day. It was heart warming to observe student and teacher interactions though. I just don't think I could handle being around all of those hormones all day! My deepest respect goes to teachers. No doubt. Election judge training itself was interesting and I now know all that goes into making elections clean and fair while also making it an efficient process for people to exercise their right to vote. I am proud to be a part of that this year.
I took a lot of walks including one with my friend Amy at Rice Creek Trails which is a different landscape than most of the walks I take - it is prairie with a section of tall pine trees at the entrance which makes for a picturesque start and end to the walk. Afterward, we watched The Fault in Our Stars because we both read the book. It was good but like everyone always says - the book was better. I definitely laughed more watching the movie and wasn't the crying mess like when I read the book.
This month I also purged my closets of all of the clothes that are now too big for me. I don't have that many clothes so my options are getting more and more limited. I am not a huge fan of shopping so I'm trying to get by with what I have. Not a bad way to live anyway. It also helps to have fewer clothes since we are short on closet space.
Another highlight this month was going to see David Sedaris at the State Theater with Scott. I've seen him three times before with the first being at the University of Minnesota Bookstore (for free!) which is now hard for me to believe since we paid a pretty penny to see him in a large theater! I was so tempted to get my FitBit signed by him (or a book and then talk to him about inspiring me to walk more than 28 miles this summer). In the end I'm just too shy and I'm now worried about what kind of theory he'd test on me.
A fun month ended with celebrating the marriage between great friends, Miranda and Adam. I met Miranda at Capella University so it was a fun reunion of friends and colleagues many of whom I do not see often enough. I love this photo of Miranda and Erin. Genuine happiness.
October by the numbers...
11 Anytime gym visits (9 more than last month but still shy one visit for the health reimbursement!)
8 U of M Rec Center visits (strength training class 2x/week)
444,393 steps (14,335 steps averaged a day)
1053 very active minutes (33 minutes a day on average)
Looking at this recap, I'm inspired more than ever to keep up my workouts and try to get as many steps in as possible while taking the weather into account. I want to get back into documenting walks since I enjoy looking back at the routes and all that caught my eye along the way.
In 2015, I hope to start documenting my routes via FitBit Surge! I'm pretty excited about this gift to myself since I've been working so hard to achieve my fitness and health goals.
Saguaro (Scott's birthday)
Kabob's Indian Grill (9th wedding anniversary)
Common Roots Cafe
Sea Salt Eatery
The Good Earth (with Aunt Becky, Uncle Brad and cousin Kristina)
George & The Dragon
Gardens of Salonica
AgraCulture Kitchen (Uptown)
Peace Coffee Shop
Lots of Caribous
Watching & Reading
The Secret Place by Tana French (currently reading at a snail's pace)
The Fault in Our Stars (movie - already read the book)
Gone Girl (movie - already read the book)
Walking Dead (on season five)
Six Feet Under (on season three)
The Nivens Family