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Mpls, MN, United States

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

April's Visit

Fun times at home
So last month, my seester came to visit us! It was her first time in Mpls and her first time visiting me in my own home in 10 years (I know!). She flew in on a Wednesday afternoon and didn't have to leave until the next Tuesday evening, so we got to fit in lots of fun and fancy things, like seeing a play at the Guthrie and going to a Twins game, and also slow and quotidian things like eating at home.

The day she got in was gorgeous, so we ate on the patio at Old Arizona and then had coffee on the patio at the Bad Waitress. We drove around town a little bit, met David at his office and walked down by the river, and had dinner at the French Meadow.

Birchwood biking brunch
April on David's bike over the Mississippi
Thursday, we rode downtown with David so we could have his car, and afterward we drove out to Nicollet Island and around St. Anthony Main before coming home to change and get the bikes for a long ride. We rode to the Birchwood and had breakfast there (this stunningly delicious tofu scramble with carrots, spinach, and a tomato coulis, plus a scone and an orange chocolate bread pudding!) before riding all over town: across the river, to Saint Paul, around Lake Calhoun, and along the Greenway. April was totally a trooper. David was able to come home early, so we picked him up and had dinner at home--sweet potato fries and black beans and rice with all the toppings. That evening was warm, so we drove down to St. Anthony Main, where we walked out to the falls and then had dessert at the Aster Cafe.

Friday was rainy, but we had David's car again, so I took April on an impromptu "Sketchy Minneapolis tour," which most out-of-towners' visits, alas, are too short to include. We started at Chicago Lake Liquors to pick up champagne for mimosas for the next day's brunch, and although Chicago Lake is far less sketchy at 10 a.m. on a Friday than it is at 10 p.m., we definitely go for the prices rather than the ambiance. After that was the St. Vincent de Paul*, where we found eight glass plates and a mini muffin tin for about $3! Then we got pedicures at a little strip mall place. Afterward, we popped home to change and then to yoga in uptown. We got David, had a quick dinner at home, and then went to Arsenic and Old Lace at the Guthrie, followed by fries at Town Hall.

Surrey with the fringe on top
St. Anthony Main
Saturday morning the brunch club met at our house for coconut macadamia nut waffles with homemade coconut syrup, lightly dressed greens, hashbrowns, fresh fruit, and pineapple mimosas. Afterward, the afternoon was sunny and shockingly warm, so April and David and I went to Minnehaha Falls, where we rented a surrey. It was the first time we'd ever done that, but it was such ridiculous fun that we'll doubtless do it again. We got home just in time to get dinner ready for another social occasion, this time with the downstairs neighbors. We did farfalle in a light cream sauce with cherry tomatoes, snow peas, and fresh basil; roasted asparagus; salad; and rosemary asiago bread (not homemade); with individual molten lava cakes with fresh strawberries for dessert.

Sweet potato fries at the Longellow
Sunday I introduced April to hot yoga, and she did splendidly! Afterward we had brunch at the Red Stag, where our table by the window provided a great view of a crashing Midwestern thunderstorm. In the evening we met one of my friends at the Fancy Theater for Water for Elephants, which I found pretty disappointing.

Lilacs at the arboretum
At Target Field for the Twins
Mill City
Monday, I made vegan waffles with fresh strawberries and Nutella and then we drove out to the arboretum in Chaska while listening to Abraham's new CD on repeat. (Have you heard this album yet? It's amazing. Seriously.) On the way back we stopped at Opitz Outlet, home of 70% Off Retail! We got David, had dinner at the Longfellow Grill, and then went to the Twins game. It was an ideal night for outdoor baseball: clear, warm, and perfect! They were even playing the Mariners, though David and I, at least, were rooting for the home team--who lost in the bottom of the 10th. Sigh.

Spoonbridge and Cherry
Tuesday was April's last day, and I made French toast that we ate with leftover macadamia nuts and coconut syrup. It was kind of gray and chilly, but we went downtown and poked around the shops and skyways. We stopped by the Walker sculpture garden on the way back, and drove around the Kenwood neighborhood and the lakes admiring the architecture. Then April had to pack and leave, but we eased the pain with homemade pico de gallo and episodes of Arrested Development before heading for the airport.

Whew! That was long. I guess I was just inspired by re-reading my account of Hathor's visit; I enjoyed the descriptions of all the things we'd eaten, in particular, even if you all didn't!

Some of the sites and activities doubtless sound familiar from descriptions of other visits, but there's always something new--often discovered for the first time with the visitor--so book your trip today!

*I love this place, but it really is sketchy. When we bought our table and David's desk, one of the workers offered us a discount deal, arranged a somewhat shady home delivery in his friend's truck, and then asked for (and received, because we're softies) a tip.


strovska said...

i love sister visits!


K L said...

Does this sketchy Minneapolis tour include sketching?

CëRïSë said...

Strovska, me too!

And Kuyler, I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never done a proper sketching outing in Mpls. I should get on that!

Leah said...

Aww, you and your sis are too cute! And you both have MAD curly hair! I didn't realize.

Minneapolis sounds pretty fun, and it would be interesting to see the other end of my river. Maybe one day...

CëRïSë said...

Mad curly hair indeed! Brother Rockstar got it too.

And I would LOVE it if you could come see the other end of the river; it's really different up here!