MPLS X I

A couple of weeks ago we dropped the kids off with my parents on the farm and made our way up to Minneapolis for 5 days of food, friends, and fun. Our drive was sunny and suspense-filled - we listened to Tincture on audiobook and it was riveting. Some mystery/dystopian-future/western/sci fi (think Firefly meets Lost) but all based in Nebraska. Definitely a diverting way to pass some beautifully wooded interstate hours.

Our friends Josh & Linellis live in Woodbury and were hosting us which made our time so much more enjoyable and carefree. They had all the ins and outs of the twin cities and had crafted a lovely little itinerary for us based on our top priority: good eats.

That night we made our inaugural meal at Pig Ate My Pizza where we enjoyed cider, lots of kitsch art work featuring their animal mascot, charcuterie, a handful of pies, and the light ambiance created by their cheeky waiters. Once satiated, we turned in for a nightcap - or three - back at Linosh (Josh and Linellis's apartment-turned-bar) and our personal bartenders mixed us some delightful drinks from their curated menu while we played ukuleles and sang.

Friday dawned clear and bright and we marveled through the maze of greenhouses and exotic foliage at Como Park Conservatory. Definitely a highlight of the trip! It was humid and colorful and sometimes made me think of Jumanji :D Those glass panels give me all the feels.

After our stroll, we took a bike ride around a nearby lake and then headed to France 44 Cheese Shop for a delightful lunch (double cream brie melt and a tomato soup for this girl) and then affogatos and iced coffees on the sidewalk at Vicinity. (To whoever thought of espresso over ice cream: I am eternally grateful.)

While walking through the Sunken Gardens at the conservatory, I met a lady who was water coloring with a watercolor pen and paints, and she said that Wet Paint - a local art store - was a must-see. We mosied over and I naturally fell in love with the creamiest giant pastels you ever did see ($10 each!) and the Daniel Smith water color paints she was using (equally expensive) and then had to walk away empty handed with a head full of colorful dreams. Just imagine all of the fun you could have with those giant pastels! A real riot, I think.

Our next Minnesota treasure was...of all things...corn. But you guys. YOU HAVE NEVER HAD CORN LIKE THIS, and I can say that as a Nebraska cornhusker. (Literally - I grew up on a farm.) It was this little stand behind a Mexican store called El Burrito Mercado and they coat - nay, bathe - the corn in butter and crema, then roll it in something delightfully crunchy, then sprinkle it with spice. Re rico! We stood nearby devouring our maize in seconds and left with smiles on our faces and bellies happy. (Note to self: next time buy twelve. Do not share.)

After our afternoon snack, we headed back to Linosh for some downtime and later ate a delectable dinner prepared by our hosts - beef bulgogi with cucumber kimchi, a magical Seonkyoung Longest recipe. Mmmmm! We went for a drive to nearby Stillwater where we walked by the swollen river, wandered into Tremblay's Sweet Shop (taffy and peach rings for the kiddos...I mean, me), and then Nelson's for a mountain of ice cream. (Seriously - I got a small, and it was 9 scoops. Not exaggerating. I even asked the kid to go light.) 

What a day!

Enjoy a curated set of our adventures...