I started Operation Suck Less 2014™ for many reasons, one being I wanted to have a fun 50th birthday and not a crabby, sulking one similar to my 40th. In that spirit, I am planning the “Yay I’m Almost 50 North American World Tour Xtravapaloooooza!™” an event that is clearly in dire need of a logo. Note to self, cultivate logo skills in the next month.
My Xtravapaloooooza will cover 2 countries and 10 states and will involve, planes, cars, boats, a helicopter, canoe (maybe), buses, lodges, cabins, yurts and more. I will be joined by a sister, a cousin, a niece, more cousins, friends and a plethora of strangers I shall meet along the way. There will be musicals, museums, hiking, swimming, walking atop a skyscraper, concerts and comedy. It will be an adventure fit for a younger version of the old lady reluctantly becoming older that I am.
I have researched each city as completely as possible, thank you Internet. I have all of my options organized in apps. I have reservations where it felt necessary and not too constricting. I never want to plan a trip again let alone several at once.
If this Xtravapaloooooza does not distract me from the fact I will be a half-century-old and getting older, nothing will. Yay 50!!
Yesterday I spontaneously decided to head to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum hoping some of the great outdoors and a farmers market would shake my boredom and distract my brain.
I had a vague notion of where the Arboretum is located based on the one time I stumbled upon it wanting to visit the birthplace of the best apple ever, the Honeycrisp. It seemed far enough away to justify some snacks so I convinced myself that a Jamba Juice with a protein boost was an acceptable treat and would not violate Operation Suck Less in 2014; I even included a tiny bit of banana for extra nutrition hoping all the berries would mask the nastiness.
I glanced at the directions and headed for Hwy 5 dodging the massive potholes to the best of my ability. I see much roadwork headed our way this spring.
I should probably know the speed limit of these highways but my eyeballs seem to refuse to acknowledge any speed limit sign as if there is a conspiracy within my body knowing that I really do have a need for speed. Since I do not have a need for a speeding ticket, I just drove a tiny bit slower than the lead car; I cannot wait until I can drop the top! Note to self: plan a road trip.
The Arboretum is closer than I expected so I didn’t even get to finish my beverage, which was fine since the banana was giving me gross banana burps and I wanted to barf. There is a certain joy being alone in the car and being able to burp as loud as you want, even if they are gross banana burps.
I love when I can drive someplace on instinct and little instruction so I was feeling pretty proud when I found it so easily. To be fair, I think anyone could find it with little instruction but I am going to feel proud anyway.
The admission is a bit pricey at $12 but I told myself it is for the trees and you do get a voucher for a second visit within 30 days. I was surprised at the crowd, but I guess many other people were looking to shake the boredom.
The main visitor center was hosting the Mill City Farmers market and I wandered around aimlessly looking for anything that might appeal to my still flip-floppy stomach.
I am not sure why I thought I would find vegetables since there is still snow everywhere but when you put together the words “farmer” and “market” my mind thinks veggies. Instead, I tried some barbecued bison and wild rice meatballs from a mom and her cute helper child who slimed up the toothpicks before she stuck them in the balls. They were okay but my regular cow ones are better and do not come with random kid slime.
Since the market did not seem to hold much interest, I headed out to wander the trails. Even covered in snow, the grounds are beautiful and trees, I assume maple, are set to gather maple syrup.
I wandered around, letting my thoughts drift and enjoying the snow for what I wished would be the last time. At this point I realized spontaneous walking adventures in the freezing cold are less awesome when you go straight from the gym and are still wearing yoga pants so I headed back to the car.
Leaving the Arboretum requires turning on to a rather busy highway, which always makes me tense trying to find the perfect opening; this body has been in a couple car accidents and would like to never experience that again. I mistakenly let a few prime opportunities go but, as the line behind me began to get longer, I got more gutsy and I finally gunned it hoping that white truck coming at me would slow down long enough to let me hit whatever the speed limit is on the highway. Luckily, it did.
It was a nice afternoon adventure and while it took me the rest of the night to thaw my butt, I am glad I made the trek. I will have to head back again when the snow is just a distant memory.