Monday, July 15, 2013

A Week in Minnesota

I know it feels like every week I'm writing about another trip. I guess it is just that time of year. Last week I had the entire week off from work, so I decided to go up to Minnesota to visit my family and friends. Joe couldn't take that much time off from work, so it was just me going up this time. 

The week started with my sister and I traveling to my parents lake place up North with her 2 little twins. My mother met us the next day, so it kind of turned into a girls week. To emphasize how far up North we were, Tuesday morning before my mom arrived we saw a black bear in our backyard. It was close enough to the back windows of the house that when my sister yelled for me to come down and see the bear, the bear heard her and looked in her direction. While we were pretty freaked out, all the bear did was play with a log on the side of the house and then leave. When we both told our husbands, they both had the same reaction: Why didn't you take any pictures? I wish I would have now, but at the time that was the last thing going through my mind. Luckily, that was the only time we saw any large woodland creatures while we were up there.

Most of my time was spent playing with my nieces. The thing about twins, you will be playing with one, and then all of a sudden the other is zooming off in the other direction. Wait I'm supposed to be watching you!

Wednesday morning, we all headed into town and went to the local farmers market. 

What we bought: a rhubarb pie, some amazing strawberries, and some traditional lefse from this man's "heretical lefse" stand. "Heretical lefse" is basically just lefse with non-traditional ingredients added to it. Only in Minnesota.

Later that day, we took out my parent's brand new pontoon boat. The girl's seemed to love it. Anna's is learning early what wind does to your hair.

I love this lake.

The next day, after coming back down to the twin cities, my mother and I took the twins on their first trip to the Mall of America to do some shopping. My parent's just moved from my childhood home into a condo, which just happens to be on the light rail. Being that the light rail ends at the Mall of America, we decided to take that in. 

Babies' first time taking public transportation.

Babies first time at the Mall of America. 

The girls are natural born shoppers, even occasionally pointed at kid's stores as we strolled by (seriously). They seemed to love their time at the mall :)

That night I met up with my good friends Marissa, Adrianne, and Nikki at Marissa's house. We had sushi and wine on Marissa's front porch (along with some chocolate covered berries that her fiance, Jason, left for us. What a great guy :)), and later watched the movie "Bridesmaids" (we thought it was appropriate, since Marissa is getting married). It was so great to catch up with the girls, and I had so much fun.

Friday night was our family friend, Kathleen's, wedding. Kathleen got married at the chapel at Fort Snelling in St. Paul, and then had the reception at the Embassy Suites in Bloomington. While I have no pictures to show you (my phone died during the wedding) Kathleen looked stunning, and the wedding was absolutely beautiful. It was definitely a fun wedding.

Saturday night, after going out to breakfast with my parents and then spending time at my sister's for some last few hours with the babies, I made my way into Minneapolis for a night with some friends. My friend, Nikki, and I had dinner at Nightingale, a somewhat new restaurant in the Uptown area of Minneapolis that wasn't even there when I lived in the city 2 years ago. Nightingale serves small plates to share and interesting drinks. It was amazing.

We started out dinner by trying out the drink menu. My first drink was called the "Blue State" (get it? Because Minnesota is a Blue State?) which consists of Blueberry infused Prairie Vodka (which is a Minnesota based vodka), Matilde Peche, and sparkling wine. Yum :)

Our first food order of the night was the deviled eggs topped with caviar. Because why not.

For our main plates, we went with the Steak Tartar, the Blue Marlin Crudo, and the Market Salad. All the plates were amazing, and I would highly recommend this place.

While we were having dinner, we were joined by my friends Ashley, Kristin, and Ashley's boyfriend, Seth for some drinks.

We made our way up to the North Loop area of Minneapolis. When I was in Law School, this was the area were we generally went out on Saturday nights. However, I was informed that no one goes to our usual places anymore. Oh how things change.

We ended the night at the Smack Shack, which is known for their oysters. Yes, oysters in the Midwest. Don't judge. While their kitchen was closed, the bar was still selling their oyster shooters, which were shots of different kinds of alcohol with an oyster at the bottom. I got the shot of Guinness, while others at the table had cerveza shots and vodka shots. My Guinness shot was surprisingly good.

And of course, it wouldn't be a night out in Minneapolis without Pizza Luce being ordered at the end.

I'm now back in Kansas City, and, while it was great being able to see all my family and friends, I'm glad to be back home with my hubby. 

I hope everyone had a good weekend!

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