Well I was hoping to spend my birthday working an 8-hour day counting votes in a cold warehouse. And I was going to be very happy about that. A job! But the job ended so I had the day off (like I've had the last nearly two years off!)
Jeremy likes to dedicate my birthday to doing whatever I like doing for the day. So we had a lazy start this morning, sleeping in. Then we made breakfast together - pancakes from scratch, sausage, and scrambled eggs (which Jeremy just makes so well).
There are a number of places I still haven't been to in the Twin Cities so I had a few of those on my list for today. The first was the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. We ended up only seeing the conservatory part (and not even all of that!) and we didn't get to the zoo at all.
This whole glass structure is a tropical wonderland with various kinds of fish...
poison dart frogs (which apparently get poison from their food source, so these ones aren't poisonous)
and a skink!
The most amazing thing was all the flowers. It was 75-80 degrees in these buildings and there were tropical plants, ferns, orange trees, pineapples, bananas, and various palm trees growing all over. It was about 20 degrees and snowy outside!
And orchids. So many of the most amazingly beautiful orchids I have ever seen. Of course, I haven't ever seen an ugly orchid. I think I am now obsessed with them and I hope to acquire one soon!
As we toured around the buildings I remembered how I had first heard about the conservatory. There are a number of people that go there in the winter to just hang out in the warmth. They sit on benches amongst the ferns and palms reading books, working on laptops, knitting or crocheting, and just soaking in the warmth. There were plenty of folks soaking in the warmth today!
Next we went over to a lovely lunch spot in St. Paul, Bon Vie. We went there for lunch on my birthday last year and I wanted to return. Then we did a serious lot of window shopping at Cooks of Crocus Hill and Ikea.
By the time we left Ikea it was nearly dark and time for dinner so we didn't get to go to the sculpture garden which I still haven't been to. Oh well - there is always next year!
We spent a good hour brainstorming and dreaming over the kitchen. I know it sounds like a weird thing to do on one's birthday, but it was pretty exciting and we haven't really allowed ourselves to talk about the kitchen much. We wrote a list of all the things we wanted to incorporate and ideas we'd had and seen, then tried to see if we could fit everything in! We came up with some really cool ideas, if I do say so myself, put blue tape all over the walls to mark things, took notes, and had a great time. Now, if we can just get a whole lot of money to make it happen! =)
I love hot cocoa and decreed that I must have some today. We forgot while we were out so after dinner we made our own.
We used some new cocoa we picked up recently: organic Dagoba drinking chocolate with bits of pure dark chocolate. Holy cow it was tasty!
So now I've sent Jeremy off to work upstairs and I'm catching up on blogging, which is another thing I love doing.
What a great day this has been!