The Trek to Travail

This past week I got the pleasure of dining at Travail, the newest hot spot in Robbinsdale, MN. Referred to me by two of my foodie friends, Travail surely lives up to its meaning – to be of a painful or laborious effort. The staff unwaveringly provided constant effort to please us guests. The experience is unmatched in its New American food options, and presentation.

With al a carte options, and two tasting menus (8 and 15 courses) available daily starting at 5pm Tues-Sat; this restaurant takes no reservations, so come early or wait at your own risk.

After getting a firm grasp on drinks, a non-stop barrage of courses, bites and shooters are delivered until you leave the place comparing it to the fullness that one might get from the state fair. Each day the staff prepares a farm-to-table menu of courses, and on this particular evening I was lucky enough to taste beef tartar, butternut squash antipasta, rabbit three ways with panna cotta, rib eye, peach ice cream with roasted peaches, among many other things. Below is a glimpse of the smattering of delicious eats and treats at one of my top foodie spots.

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Make sure to check it, and be sure you go hungry!!

Monday Musings: Gratitude, Love, & Love Languages

I have a box that I’ll refer to as my feel-good box. I’ve had this box for about 5 years now. In it, I shift through memories and encounter that hard to come by butterfly feeling. This box contains letters; letters from friends with whom I shared life-altering experiences with on retreats and words from soul-brothers and soul-sisters which convey their love and care for me just because.

I recently took an assessment of my love language. I’ve been reflecting on the differences in how people in my life express their love for me and for themselves. What makes us different? After the assessment, I was made even more aware of the extent to which words of affirmation and appreciation make me feel loved.

Today, I’m taking some time to give back and share some lovin’ with some friends of mine who live in distant places. While not all of my friends may need words of affirmation as much as I do, don’t we all cherish hearing how much our loved ones care for us? I know how much those tangible expressions of care mean on days when we really need them.

In addition to words of affirmation, my other primary love language is quality time. Real, intentional, time free of distractions. Last week, I had just this. I connected with a good friend over cheese, crackers, and wine and good conversation. I felt encouraged by his presence and his willingness to share and was inspired by his experiences. This same friend had shared earlier in the day that he thought the human experience was really all about connecting with others. We did just that.

On this topic, Kahlil Gibran, in The Prophet, shares:

“Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. And he is our board and your fireside. For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace …And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.”

Let us all aim to further deepen our spirits through cultivating, in whatever way is best for us, and sowing seeds of love with our friends.

What makes you feel loved? Understanding this will help you in your relationships with others. I shared my love language with at least one important person in my life and have already seen beautiful changes in our friendship. Just some Monday musings for you today…

Until soon,


To find your love language, click this link, or the link above.