Minneapolis

November19

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We picked up Boo and the Frenchman right on schedule at 7 am. The early start time meant that if we got lost or ran into bad weather we could still be in the Twin Cities in plenty of time to make the concert we had secured tickets for way back in April. The sun wasn’t yet up but as we looked to the west and back from whence we came ie the north, we could see dark clouds and wondered if it were raining back home. Our second hint that there was bad weather up north was when a snow covered car pulled up along side of us. We didn’t know until later that day that the snow had fallen quite steadily back home in Winnipeg.

As I said though, the sun shone beautifully for us on our drive. We stopped for gas and D’s favourite Nut Goodies that aren’t terribly popular in Canada as well as a couple of rest stops for a pee break. I had packed sandwiches for the road so we didn’t need to stop for lunch. As a result we made amazing time and even had time to kill for our 3 pm check in time at our Air BnB. Boo had ordered some gifts for the Frenchman from the Duluth Trading Company for their recent anniversary. Her order was cancelled and so we decided to find the real deal and discovered one of their retail stores along our route in north Minneapolis.

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We knew we would be quite comfortable in our Seward Air BnB. There were two bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen, bathroom with plenty of hot water, dining room, living room and a sun room.  The latter offered a great place to snuggle up to read or check out our social media accounts.

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For supper, we decided to head in the vicinity of the Xcel Centre in St. Paul where the concert was to take place. As we wondered around, we found a unique place called the Seventh St. Truck Park where we ogled at the delicious fare coming from the windows of a variety of food trucks. We ended up taking a seat at New Bohemia where there were a bevy of taps on hand with local, national and European beer on hand. They also had a house red wine to my delight.

We all decided against the “Best Wurst on Earth”, the guys indicating that they would indulge later that evening. Truth be told, with the abundance of food we ordered and a couple of more filling beers, on top of that, the guys were done their consumption for the evening, even if the wurst were the best. D and I split an order of delicious chicken fingers with a butter milk ranch dressing along with a side of wedge fries (from frozen) and a fresh cut order of Belgian fries that I had to have once I saw them trailing out of the New Bohemia Kitchen. It was hard to choose from the 10 dipping sauces offered but I finally decided upon the Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce.  We also were smitten with the Truffled Grilled Cheese Sandwich, that is until we tasted it. I couldn’t detect the truffle oil amidst the sautéed onions, which would have been no biggy if the grilled cheese was good but alas it was made with processed cheese a technicality that you never would have gotten away with in Canada.

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We walked across the street to the Xcel Centre for the concert as the fellas made their way to another watering hole. D actually switched to Sprite at some point as he was the Designated Driver for the evening.

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The concert commenced right at the strike of 8 featuring Idina Menzel as the opening act. I had been exposed to Idina through Boo who loved her way back when she starred in Rent on Broadway. Even though Idina was no longer headlining when Boo and I saw Rent together in New York. She did get to see Wicked that same trip but I am not sure whether Idina was still with that show either. Regardless, Boo knew her music well and as a result I did too as it would be playing in my car as I drove Boo back and forth to school for a number of years. More recently Idina was made familiar to me again when Disney cast her as the voice of Elsa in the hit movie frozen. As a result, another generation, that of the Wee Ones knew every word to Idina’s ballad of “Let it Go”. Menzel’s voice is just as powerful and her long legged body just as lithe in spite of the years that have past. All in all, a fabulous concert and so worthwhile the wait, the drive and the cost of admission.

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My favourite crooner Josh  Groban was the headliner that evening. This was my forth time seeing the singer live, having done so twice in Winnipeg (where I met him IRL) and once at an outdoor venue in Chicago. I hadn’t yet picked up his newest CD so was somewhat unfamiliar with his new renditions but the show was so beautifully assembled, adding old favourites like “You Raise Me Up” and “Per Te” as well as “Take Him Home” from his Stages album and the ballad that I want played at my Celebration of Life (hopefully not in the too near future)-“To Where You Are”. I get a kick out his quirky ways and humility; by the way he always gives credit to his teachers and folks who happened to be in the audience that evening.

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I was smitten all over again and felt so blessed to experience both performers with my youngest daughter.

We enjoyed a night cap together when we arrived “home” but it was an early evening as we were pooped from the early start and the long drive.

Kath’s quote: “When I am down, and o my soul, so weary. When troubles come and my heart burdened be. Then I am still and wait here in the silence, until you come and sit a while with me“.-Josh Groban

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Love never fails.

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