After working a shortened day on Friday I flew out to Minneapolis and met up with Kim. She was already in town on business and had part of our first night planned. She decided that we should have dinner at Maynard’s on Lake Minnetonka after taking suggestions from the agents she met with. We arrived to find a two hour wait for the outside deck so we opted to eat inside and just have a drink outside while waiting for a table. The lake areas around the twin cities were especially crowded due to the unseasonably warm weather. The food was good but I was especially happy to stumble upon a beer that I loved, Summit Extra Pale Ale. I had quite a few of these throughout the weekend.
After dinner we headed to downtown Minneapolis where the hotel was located. After a quick stop by the room, we headed out to an area just north called Nicollet Mall. My favorite stop of the night was Brit’s Pub. In fact we liked it so much that we went back the next day. They have an incredible rooftop deck that includes a large grassy area where they play lawn bowling. When we arrived on the first night it was too late to see it being played. We went back the next day hoping that we would be able to play, but we were only able to watch since they had reservations already for most of the day.
I’m getting ahead of myself though. Early on Saturday we headed out to the Uptown area and Lake Calhoun, which is not nearly as far out as Lake Minnetonka. We had lunch at Figlio and then spent some time walking around the lake. There were tons of people out walking, running, rollerblading, biking, or just lounging in the sun. I guess Minnesotans really take advantage of the nice weather since they are likely cooped up all winter.
After getting a little too sweaty for vacation we explored some more areas of Minneapolis including the Metrodome, St. Anthony Falls and Heritage Trail, and the Warehouse District. While in the Warehouse District we had a drink at O’Donovan’s Irish Pub, followed by standard bar food from the Imperial Room. Later in the night we checked out the Shout House for an hour or two. The long day caught up with us though and we headed in before closing down the bars like we had done the night before.
Sunday we checked out of Minneapolis and into St. Paul. Before we did that though we headed to Minnehaha Falls for great sights and more trail walking. After feeling our legs burn once again we headed towards St. Paul. Once we were checked in, we finally made our stop at Mickey’s Diner for some good greasy food. From there Kim convinced me to check out Body Worlds with her. After getting over the disgustingness of the exhibit you can actually learn quite a bit about the human body, although I’m not sure I ever got past the almost puking stage. After that I was ready to get back to the normal routine. We made a couple stops for drinks and then had an excellent dinner at the Wild Onion. Once we finished dinner we were pretty worn out once again so we decided to retire for the night.
After checking out yesterday we drove around the Minnesota Capitol building and the Cathedral of St. Paul. Both were incredible sights to see and I hope that my pictures turned out okay. From there we drove back down toward the airport and made a couple of long stops at Ikea and the Mall Of America. This was my first trip to an Ikea store although I’ve heard lots about it in the past. We found all sorts of things that we loved, but unfortunately couldn’t take them back with us on the plane. We almost bought a new coffee table but decided that the extra charges wouldn’t be worth it. The Mall Of America is also an amazing place that words cannot truly describe. It is so large that I think we covered only one fourth of it and we were there for a couple of hours.
Obviously we had a very busy weekend but it was a great one. I really enjoyed spending time in the twin cities, especially in downtown Minneapolis, and hopefully I can do it again sometime soon. I have always counted Minnesota on my states visited list even though I only drove through the southeastern corner. Now I feel that I can truly say that I’ve visited Minnesota.