Quiet nights in Minnesota with Milk Chocolate Coconut Clusters

My last visit of the year is to Minnesota, home of the Milk Chocolate Almond Cluster. I decided to visit the historic Fitzgerald Theater in downtown Saint Paul.  The sights and sounds of the capitol city of Minnesota are unlike any other city I’ve ever been in. It’s unlike a city at all with how relaxed it seems.  I decided to fly into the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport and take a nice drive over the Mississippi River on my way to the theater.

I arrived at the theater, leisurely parked my car, and it was then that I learned that one of my all-time favorite artists was preforming at the Fitzgerald Theater that very night! While I like to think of myself as a fairly modern guy, my favorite artist is actually the pianist George Winston. His mastery of the keys is amazing!  It has always been my dream to see him live and I was SO excited that he was performing on the evening I arrived.

“You’re luck you arrived when you did, Mr. Candy,” the ticket agent said to me, “the show is about to begin.”

“Thank you for letting me know,” I said as I dashed into the auditorium.

I hardly had time to enjoy the beautiful theater when Mr. Winston stepped onto the stage. He was dressed simply, clearly looking forward to showing us his exceptional skill.  He opened with “The Venice Dreamer” and I was transported to a beautiful city with gondolas and ancient architecture. As the show continued he played through his repertoire, adding some pieces I’d never hear before.  When the show ended I clapped harder than anyone and I showered the stage with Milk Chocolate Almond Clusters.

The night was young and I wasn’t sure where to go.  After some thought I decided I would drive to the St. Paul Cathedral and go to my favorite coffee shop, Nina’s Coffee Café. The cathedral looked beautiful as I drove by, singing quietly coming from inside.  I ordered my latte, with coconut flavoring, and sat at a table.  I sipped on my drink and looked out onto Selby Street.  The snow began to lightly fall and the couples that had been strolling leisurely only moments before began to walk quickly, some of them ducking into the shop to warm up with a good game of Scrabble and a warm drink.

After the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks it was nice to just sit quietly, sip my latte, and think about how lucky I was.