This week, Lauren and I are excited to feature a new guest writer on Hotdish & Catfish: Jay Higgins. Recently, Jay penned a letter to some friends who are looking for a fresh place to call home. We chose to include this on the blog because Jay’s passion for Minnesota embodies so much of what Lauren and I love about living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Enjoy!
There’s something in the air this time of year that makes people crave sunshine and outdoor patios. Spring is all around and I’m enjoying every minute. Initially, this was my favorite season because I’m a March baby, but over time my priorities shifted. The anticipation for presents turned into the eagerness for spring break, which finally turned into excitement for nice weather.
I’m not sure that anything can top a Minnesotan’s desire for spring. After months of living in a snow-covered tundra and scraping ice off car windshields at seven in the morning, we gladly welcome any sign of change: brown grass, slush-filled running paths, a 40 degree day with sunshine.
While the transition into spring down here is a little less noticeable, I’ve still been enjoying the gradual changes (minus the coat of yellow pollen that dusts my car everyday). The mornings have been a little bit sunnier, the grass is greener and spring activities are in full swing. I’m no longer the crazy Yankee running in the park when the temp is a chilly 40 degrees. Near our apartment, Railroad Park is bustling with people when the work day is done.
One of the best parts about Railroad Park this time of year is the free fitness classes every day of the week! As I ran around the loop, I started to notice groups of people either dancing, doing sweaty jumping jacks or peaceful yoga. And there was always a white table that said, “Class Meets Here.” I assumed it was an expensive fitness class that met outside. Finally, I went up to one of the white tables and to my surprise the class was free! I learned that Blue Cross Blue Shield sponsors a different class every night of the week. So far I’ve enjoyed Zumba, Bootcamp, P.E. Games and, my favorite, Crunk fitness. There’s nothing like being outside after a long day of work and busting a move for all park-goers to see.
Another spring activity that keeps Jamison and I excited for Thursday nights is Birmingham’s GoKickball league. We recently created a team with a handful of friends and have been perfecting the art of losing with dignity (apparently there’s a kickball learning curve). Most people use this league to drink a few beers with friends, but some teams take this children’s game much too seriously. While these players have a tendency to get on my competitive side’s nerves, they make for great entertainment. For instance, last week there was a pitcher who rolled curve balls and slid into every base. I mean, really?
So whether it’s been enjoying more sunshine, getting yelled at by a bootcamp instructor or snickering at the kickball player who needs to lighten up – springtime in Birmingham has been just what I’ve needed.
One of my wildest winter memories since moving back to Minneapolis from Boston revolved around a Saturday afternoon with Lauren. Last December, we decided to venture to the Lagoon Theater in Uptown to see Black Swan in the middle of a whiteout snowstorm. I felt like an Eskimo, bundled up for sub-zero temperatures, wandering down the center of city streets, up to my knees in snow. Was it worth it? Of course!