Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tour de Minneapolis - Diptic Style

I just got back from visiting my super great friend, Sonia, who used to live in Seattle but then left me to go back to Minneapolis (why? I don't know!) and had a blast!  You might remember her from being the amazing friend who paced me to my sub 2-hour half back in March.  When I told people I was going on vacation in Minneapolis everyone looked at me like I had a second head, but I'm telling you...it was a really fun city!!

So I don't bore you to death with every detail of what I did I will recap Diptic style (with a few extra photos thrown in).  If you haven't heard of Diptic yet, don't worry, I didn't until this weekend either.  Much like my late entrance into Twitter and Instagram, I didn't hop on the Diptic bandwagon until Sonia told me about it over the weekend.  It is basically a photo collage program that makes you look like a professional collager :).

Without further ado...tour de Minneapolis or MSP as the locals call it:

1. The Minnesota State Fair!

We went to the great Minnesota State Fair on Friday right after I arrived. Now if you people have never been to this fair you have NOT experienced anything close to this at your small county or state fair!  The second we walked in I proclaimed "it's like Disneyland!".  No lie, this place was legit...paved streets, really nice buildings, amazing rides, an international market, fried EVERYTHING and baby animals!  That picture of that baby cow with it's mom up there was born while we were there in the Miracle of Life Birthing Center, that's right, they have a whole building dedicated to baby animals being born!  That giant head in the lower right is carved out of a 90 pound block of butter!

I also indulged in some fair food including friend cheese curds, a turkey sandwich, french fries, chocolate chip cookies and a few beers enjoyed while walking around the fair.

Sonia and I...already miss this chic!
Saturday morning we woke up and went to run Lake Calhoun (like Greenlake only prettier with better views), had breakfast and went home to clean up after a sweaty sweaty humid run...how people train for marathons in that weather is beyond me!  We had big plans that night for some yummy eats and drinks but with a couple hours to spare we headed two blocks away from where Sonia is staying to another Minnesota great...

2. The Mall of America!

Holy smokes this mall is gigantic.  The picture in the bottom middle does no justice to the amusement park inside the mall that had 3 roller coasters, a water ride and much much more!  Caribou coffee is to the midwest what Starbucks is to the northwest...FACT! We putted around a bit and I found a cute dress tax free...score!

Next up for the evening...

3. Eats and Drinks!

We went all out for Saturday night and started the evening at Haute Dish which touted midwestern food.  Sonia's friend Ang joined us and we had a great time eating and drinking.  We headed over to a secret speakeasy called Marvel Bar but weren't to impressed with the people in attendance so we left after one drink. We ended the evening at Sonia's old college bar Elsies for some good 'ol karaoke and cheap beer.  After some rude MSP boys took our cab we found another and crashed hard until Sunday morning.

Sunday we started the day with Bruggers Bagels and Caribou Coffee...perfect combo to help ease the night before activities ;).  Next up...

3. Walker Art Museum Sculpture Garden
Sonia is a pretty artsy gal and while I'm not so much this was a great outdoor activity on this hot and humid day.  The cherry in the spoon is evidently the iconic MSP piece of art work so that was cool to see.  I would definitely check out this sculpture garden if you ever find yourself in the MSP area.

After checking out some other spots and eating lunch we headed over to the hip neighborhood called Uptown (also where Lake Calhoun is that we ran around on Saturday).  After enjoying some mani/pedis and a glass of wine we hit the lakes for some biking...

4. Nice Rides

ALL around the city they have these Nice Ride stations and you can take a bike from any of them and bring them back to any other station.  They are super cheap and a great way to get around the city...Seattle REALLY needs to look into this idea.  We biked around Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun enjoying the scenery and only mildly freaking out when I thought I lost my cell phone...turned out my purse ate it for a minute :).  The homes around both lakes are out of control amazing amazing and I almost veered off course many times gawking at the multi million dollar mansions.

Biking in the heat and humidity makes you hungry and tired so dinner and bed followed Nice Riding!

Sonia had to work a little on Monday morning so I got up and walked over the Mall of America again since the couple hour visit on Saturday was not enough to see every square foot of the mall.

5. Sea Life Aquarium at Mall of America

My Minnesota State Fair ticket got me half off admission to the Sea Life Aquarium and it was awesome.  They had a massive series of underwater tunnels with huge sharks, rays, turtles and other fish.

I hopped on the Monday afternoon flight back to Seattle and back to reality I went. I seriously had the best weekend thanks in major part to my awesome tour guide and friend Sonia!  Minneapolis is a great city and I will definitely be back...watch out!

Question: How was your weekend? Did you run Hood to Coast with every other blogger (besides me) out there :)?  If you were part of #NUUNHTC I cannot wait to read your recap(s)!!  I've already been brainstorming for my application to be part of the team next year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like such a fun weekend!! I love visiting new cities and exploring all the eats and touristy activities. :)