Hey, friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and a good start to your (hopefully short) week. I only have to work Monday and Tuesday of this week, and then have the rest of the week off for the holiday. Unfortunately it hasn’t gotten off to too great of a start. My computer decided to poop out on me this morning (possibly because of a problematic system update), and I ended up having to refresh my Windows install, which means that all of my programs and settings were wiped (my files are all safe and sound though). So needless to say, I spent almost all of my day getting my computer set up again. Thankfully, I did have a ton of fun this weekend, so at least lots of happy thoughts to look back on during my computer’s meltdown. :)

Friday night after work we did drinks and dinner with coworkers, and then after headed over to our friends’ apartment for a Wizard People, Dear Reader watching party. It’s basically an alternative commentary to the first Harry Potter film, and it’s pretty hilarious. Definitely recommend, whether or not you’re already an HP fan. If you’re interested, you should be able to find it on YouTube!

Saturday morning we headed out to the mall to run some errands. I’m strongly against going to the mall this time of year (I very much dislike the crowds), but this was a worthy trip because I had a few returns. Yay, money back! It didn’t end up being as chaotic as I expected, but still thankful I didn’t have to stay long.

After the mall, Aaron and I stopped at a nearby French cafe called La Baguette. The food was incredible! I ordered a ham and swiss sandwich (on a super crusty but soft baguette), with a cup of tomato basil soup on the side. Heavenly! For dessert we split an apple pastry.


I spent most of the rest of the afternoon practicing Piloxing. I’m excited to say that I’m starting to feel more comfortable with the choreography! I’ve already signed my sister (and Aaron) on for a practice session while my family is here for Christmas, so that will be a fun trial run of what teaching an actual class will be like.

After a quick dinner of leftovers, Aaron and I made a spur of the moment decision to go see the latest Hunger Games movie (the first part of the final part of the trilogy… so silly how they do that!). I’ve never read the books (and at this point don’t have any huge desire to), so with that in mind I went into the movie completely blind. Overall I really enjoyed it though! It was a nice change of pace from the game-setting of the previous two films. Of course they broke the end off with a nice cliffhanger, no surprise there. Looking forward to the next one, whenever it comes out.

Sunday was another action packed day. I snuck in a little more Piloxing practice, and then Aaron and I headed to Milwaukee to meet his family for the day. We started off with a stop at the Sprecher Brewery.


Sprecher is well-known for their root beer (and other “gourmet” sodas), but they also make alcoholic beer too.


Our $5 admission included a quick tour of the brewery (everything they sell is made in this one facility), 4 beer samples, all-you-can-drink soda, and a free tasting glass to keep.


I love getting to try a bunch of different types of beer, and they have a surprisingly good selection. My favorites were the Abbey Triple and the Hard Ginger Beer. We ended up bringing home a growler of the Hard Ginger Beer. Yum!


After Sprecher’s, we stopped for a quick bite at the Safe House in downtown Milwaukee. For all you spy lovers out there, this place goes all out. The food was good (mostly standard bar fare), but the restaurant itself is completely decked out. It’s located in a back alley and is relatively unmarked, and when you first walk in you’re in a small entryway that doesn’t seem to go anywhere. Flip a quick switch, and the bookcase swings open to reveal the entrance. So cool!


I’ve always been a big James Bond + Remington Steele + Scarecrow and Mrs. King + all the spy shows fan, so this was a treat for me.


The restaurant welcomes visitors to wander around while waiting for their food, so we took the chance to explore the dark corners of the restaurant. The funniest part was discovering the TVs running a video feed of the entryway. Must be funny to see how long it takes some people to figure out how to get inside when they visit for the first time!


Our original purpose in going to Milwaukee was to see the Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai, so after dinner we walked across the river to the show venue. Saw some pretty lights along the way:


The show itself was incredible! This was the second time I’ve seen Cirque du Soleil in person; the first was Beatles LOVE in Las Vegas. While I’m not sure any touring show could live up to what we saw in Vegas, Varekai was still so much fun to watch. The story is based loosely on the legend of Icarus, picking up after he loses his wings flying too close to the sun. He lands in a mythical land of strange creatures and incredible acrobatics. It’s amazing how the performers are able to contort their bodies into seemingly impossible positions as they flip and twirl all over the place. As someone who is one of the least flexible people I know, I am so jealous.

After a busy end to the weekend, I was happy to be home at the end of the evening. I read for a bit before hitting the hay.

I’m looking forward to the rest of this week! Five day weekends are always welcome, plus on Christmas day my family will be coming up to visit. I have my Christmas meal planned out for the most part, but am glad to have Wednesday open to do more preparation.

What do you have planned for the rest of the holiday week? Wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, I hope you’re able to have a wonderful time with family and friends!


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