Sunday, April 29, 2007

My Idea of a Great Day!

For those of you who forgot, Friday, April 27th, was my birthday. My wife had something planned for us to do in the evening but I had the whole day to do whatever I wanted so I decided to make the best of it.

I started by sleeping in until about 1030 which felt great! The previous day I had done a red-eye flight so I was still trying to catch up on my sleep. I decided that I was due for a massage so I made an appointment at Aravada Massage. A friend and former co-worker along with his wife own this business so I thought it'd be nice to throw a little business their way. After I made the appointment for the massage and had breakfast, I went for a bike ride on what was shaping up to be a beautiful, sunny, 70 degree day! After a great ride I came home and took a shower.

I still had a few hours before my massage and I was trying to figure out what to do when a friend called wanting to go shoot handguns. I thought that would be a great way to spend the afternoon! We met up at the gun range and put a lot of holes in a little target that, had it been a bad guy, would have wished he hadn't run into me. After we satisfied our quench for the smell of gun powder and muzzle flash, I headed over to get my massage.

I got signed in and talked with my friends wife who happened to be working that day. I filled out all the medical questions they ask and was anxiously waiting for the relaxation to begin. For some reason I was expecting a chick to come out and say, "Hi Paul, I'm Suzie, I'll be your massage therapist." Instead....I got Bruce (name changed to protect the innocent), an obviously gay man. "What! I don't want a guy rubbing his hands on me!"

I have to say that at first I was very uncomfortable with a man giving me a massage, especially when he was rubbing my hands. But after a while, I have to say that it was very relaxing and I eventually fell asleep. Bruce was nothing but professional and I didn't once feel like he was trying to sneak a peak at my "hoo-hoo-dilly".

After I finished my massage, I ran a few errands and then headed home to meet up with Erin. She hadn't told me what we were doing that night so I was pleasantly surprised when we ended up at the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, in downtown Minneapolis. We got there around 7 PM to have dinner and watch a show that was going to start at 8 PM.

We went out of our stomachs comfort zone and ordered “Beef & Basil” Carpaccio, prime beef tartare for an appetizer. Don't ask me what that means, it's some kind of meat that is cooked in it's own juices and then wrapped around something. Either way, it was way too fancy for me but it was actually pretty good. It was a little spicy, of course, "mild" salsa is too spicy for me. When we ordered dinner I went with something I'm a little more comfortable with, a New York Strip Steak served with baby red potatoes and onion strings.

The chef's name is Jack Riebel and is apparently very well known. He has cooked for the Mikhail Gorbachev Dinner at the Governor’s Mansion, the National Taste of the N.F.L. Super Bowl event for Share Our Strength, and has made multiple visits to the James Beard House in New York. He also won the 2005 Masters in the Marketplace Celebrity Chef Cook Off and the national 2006 American Cheese Society's "Iron Man Cook Off."

At 8 PM the band came out to start playing. I was expecting a nice relaxing jazz band to play some light jazz during dinner. What we got was an awesome concert by a great pianist from Cuba named Nachito Herrera. I can't explain how fantastic his music was, he had the whole place rocking with the help of a great drummer, percussionist, and bass guitar player. There's a link on his website to his music and you'll have to listen to it to get the full effect.

After dinner and the show we headed home and I opened some cards and gifts from Erin and some other family members. It was a great day and a great way to celebrate getting older and smarter.....well, older anyway.

No comments: