Minneapolis in Words and Pictures.

Reporting from 40,000 feet above the Rocky Mountains!

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I’m currently flying Southwest, flight 3056, direct to Los Angeles, California! In other words, the second leg of my trip is underway. We’ll be landing in about an hour and a half, and I can’t WAIT to see my Dad 🙂 Though I did have the most wonderful time in Minnesota. My flights were delayed going in, but only by thirty minutes or so. Luckily I was prepared with snacks!

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I landed around midnight, and even though Britt and I were both super tired, we still stayed up talking until about 3:30, which meant that Saturday morning everyone was dragging. We walked around the Minneapolis Farmers market, which I had heard was supposed to excellent. It didn’t disappoint!

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There were so many interesting local vendors, and it was fun to see what was in season and compare it to home. For example, right now garlic scapes are still going strong in our area, but in Minnesota they are already out of season! They had a huge surplus of red leaf lettuce, spinach, green onions, asparagus, dried beans, and pea tops.

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We walked around the entire market (four or five long rows), and then grabbed some tamales and tacos. Mmmmm, veggie tamale with fresh salsa….

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After the market, Brandon and Britt drove me through some of the nicer areas of the city, and past a few parks and lakes. The houses in Minneapolis are so beautiful and unique.

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We went home to drop our stuff off, and Britt laid down while Brandon and I ran some errands. He took me over to a children’s bookstore he used to go to as a child called The Wild Rumpus. Oh, it made me just ache for Jack and Cal!

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It wasn’t just a bookstore full of children’s books, rather it was a bookstore aimed at children- the kind of place you can take a child and know that they’re allowed to be children. There were animals all over the store- ferrets, tarantulas, chinchillas, rats, and lizards. There was also a free-roaming chicken 🙂

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It was total magic. I kept seeing J and C running around playing and exploring. I hope that I can bring them out with me to visit someday, if only to see B and go to that bookstore 😉

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Home again, and time to think about dinner. Britt and I both have a deep love for cold, chunky gazpacho, so we set to work and let it sit overnight to let the flavors really develop.

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Yum!

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Britt’s house is so lovely, both on its own and because of her great taste. She has these adorable windows in her kitchen that I totally fell in love with 🙂

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I also fell in love with their Sodastream O.o Seltzerrrrrr……

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Brandon and Britt took me to the Galleria, a mall of sorts filled with the most beautiful shops- it reminded me a lot of East Hampton, just in the selection of stores.

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We walked around looking at fancy things, and ate dinner at Big Bowl, a thai fusion spot with totally outrageous pot stickers and pad thai.

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They also had a delicious-looking build-your-own fried rice bar, but unfortunately I only have one stomach.

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That night Britt’s friend was having a get together for her birthday, so we went out to the Northeast Yacht club for a few drinks.

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Things got a little out of hand. We ended up moving to the Front End, which is a bar/nightclub. Totally wild, but one of the best nights in my recent memory. The DJ was great, and everyone was just having a good time dancing and singing.

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Okay, here’s something I have to share about Minnesota- almost everyone is super nice. Friendly, good conversationalists, no road rage, just really kind and considerate. Britt said they call it “Minnesota-nice,” because sometimes it can come off as a bit too much, but for me it was really refreshing after the somewhat high-energy power-lifestyle of the East Coast.

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We danced most of the night away, sang our way home, and rolled into bed at who knows what time. It was gorgeous.

Sunday Britt and Brandon had tickets to see War Horse, so Patty and I hung out at the house eating and reading.

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I had picked up a few items at the market and wanted to use them before I left for L.A., so I made a big breakfast of sauteed pea tops, avocado, local eggs, and chopped green onions.

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I got through most of the Pennebacker book, and ended up finishing it on Monday morning, which was my goal for the trip- I brought three books, and promised I’d finish at least one in Minneapolis. Winning!
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We ended up just hanging around the house most of the day, and got the grill going around five thirty for dinner.

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Patty knew exactly what was going on, and was totally prepared to assist.

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More pea tops, topped with a veggie burger and sauteed vidalia onions, with a second veggie burger on a bun topped with bbq sauce, avo, and more onions, and sides of asparagus, roasted tomatoes, and sauteed green onions. Also, gazpacho. And lots of avocado. YUM.

Afterward, Britt took me down to her favorite bar: Liquor Lyles. It was a total dive, but in the best way, with a million beers on tap, electronic dart boards, pool tables, a photo both, arcade games, board games, and SKEEBALL!

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It reminded me of the bars in Brooklyn. Oh, nostalgia! It was definitely my favorite place in MN.

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Monday was my last day, so we slept in, took it easy, and moved at a snail’s pace 😉 We did go to Quong with another friend of theirs. It was an amazing Vietnamese restaurant with killer spring rolls.

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I also got a noodle salad bowl with tofu and seared mock duck. SO GOOD, and super cheap!

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The vegan eats in Minneapolis were numerous and consistently delicious. I was really pleasantly surprised!

Afterward we went over to Athleta so I could check out Britt’s work and pick up some gear. I get a lot of playful prodding over my love of all things Lulu, and I figured it was about time I start representing Athleta since my best friend works there. Also, their stuff is super, super cute 🙂

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Power to the she!

Monday night we hung at home and polished off whatever was lingering in the fridge:

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more veggie burgers, leftover veggies, and more gazpacho, all washed down with fresh seltzer from the Sodastream. Must get one of those ASAP……

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We ended the night with some epic Wii matches, including boxing which- if you follow Britt on Vine- you will be able to see. So embarrassing.

This morning I packed up and said goodbye to a city that charmed the hell out of me these past few days.

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I can’t believe I’m already on my way to Los Angeles! We land in forty minutes. By the time I upload the pictures to this post and hit publish, it will probably be night time, since my Dad is picking me up and likely has a plan for us for the rest of the day.

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It’s been a beautiful flight, and a wonderful trip so far. I miss the kids terribly, but we’ve facetimed twice a day, every day, so it’s something. At first they were talkative, asking me to put Patty on the phone and telling me about their days, but when I called yesterday Jack informed me that he was watching Hugo, and that he loved me and he’d see me later. Well then.

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They’re at the Philly Zoo today with Megan, so I imagine they’re having fun with that, and James will be home Thursday night with Emily, so that should offer a further distraction until I get back Monday morning.
Here’s to the second half of this incredible cross-country adventure!

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