what is there to do in Minneapolis?

See the title of the post? What is there to do in Minneapolis? I was asked that question several times before we moved, and it always sounded more like this:

What is there to do in Minneapolis?

I was asked this mainly by people who lived in the mid size cities in Louisiana in which I had lived. Places where we found ways to have fun, but that certainly weren’t considered hot spots of activity. I found it an odd question to ask — although I didn’t know a lot about Minneapolis, I knew there was a major airport and a baseball team; common knowledge that seemed like hallmarks of a place where there would be Things To Do.

I know these people read my blog from time to time, and it occurred to me recently that the blog might still leave them scratching their heads about what, exactly, there is to do here besides, well, blog.

Surprisingly, there are things to do in a city that has 4 professional sports teams and the biggest theater scene outside of New York City, has 2 major art museums and is constantly getting mentioned in magazines for its music scene, travel appeal and up and coming restaurants.

I’m not getting defensive (I don’t think you’re allowed to be defensive of a place you’ve only lived for seven months), our move just really clued me in to some Louisianians’ ignorance of any state outside of the Louisiana-Texas-Mississippi (and maybe New York or California) spectrum.

FOR EXAMPLE: A conversation I had with someone at work in Shreveport:

Him: Where are you moving?
Me: Minneapolis
Him: Ohhh, the Twin Cities! Too bad Payton Manning just left.
Me: Huh?
Him: He’s a football player.
Me: THANKS. I am aware of the Mannings. What does he have to do with Minneapolis?
Him: He doesn’t play for the Colts anymore.
Me: The Colts are in Indianapolis.
Him: I know, I thought you were moving to Minnesota.
Me: I AM moving to Minnesota.
Him: Minneapolis and Indianapolis. The Twin Cities! Why don’t you understand?
Me: Why don’t YOU understand?!?!

I digress.

As part of my attempt to tell you more about what there is to do here, I’m going to share my 2013 Minneapolis resolutions with you.

1. Take a stand up paddle board class — my excuse last summer was that they were all too early. Now I’m used to waking up on a resident’s schedule, so… bring it on!
2. Picnic at the lake
3. Go to a music festival. Last year I missed The Lumineers, Feist, The Avett Brothers, Fitz and the Tantrums, etc, etc. NOT THIS YEAR.
4. Progressive bike dinner — meaning biking to different restaurants for drinks, appetizers, entrees, and dessert
5. See a play — I just so happen to have tickets to see Book of Mormon next month!

6. Go to all 4 professional sporting events — Twins Baseball, Vikings Football, Wild Hockey, and TImberwolves Basketball
7. Bike the chain of lakes — we did this last year, but now that it’s  negative 3 zillion degrees outside, I’m not sure why we didn’t do it every weekend.
8. Eat farm pizza — I heard about this interesting experience on the radio. Drive out to a farm in rural Wisconsin, order pizza made with ingredients found within spitting distance, wait an hour and explore the farm, bring your own silverware, eat on a picnic blanket. I’m intrigued.

9. Cross country ski
10. Go apple picking

11. Kayak on the mississippi (even though this slightly terrifies me, what with the waterfalls…)
12. Get lost in a museum — The Walker Art Center (modern art), The Minneapolis Institute of Art, the American Swedish Institute, The Minnesota Science Museum are just a few to choose from.
13. Go on a brewery tour. There are at least 3… not including our guest room, where Y is letting his home brew ferment.
14. Eat on a rooftop patio.
15. Bike to [one of] the farmers markets.
16. Visit the headwaters of the Mississippi & more. One of my friends at work, A, suggested we do this, since I’ve seen the other end of the Mississippi. I told her it was the most romantic thing anyone’s ever invited me to do, akin to Mandy Moore’s boyfriend in A Walk to Remember taking her to the state line so she could stand in two places at once. Then we sang along to Mandy Moore in my office. A made an entire separate list of things I need to do this summer, which I don’t have in front of me, but is encompassed in #16.

Am I missing anything, Minnesota-savvy friends??

Other FAQs coming soon: what is there to do when it’s negative degrees outside; what do you wear when it’s negative degrees outside; what does it feel like when your hair freezes; are you sorry you moved to this frozen tundra (spoiler alert: NO.)

weekend lessons v9

01. This is apparently what I will do on a Friday night when Y is at work:

a. Have a photo shoot with the dog 
b. Follow the entire cast of Pitch Perfect on Instagram
c. Clean the house while singing along to the entire Rent soundtrack.

It’s not so bad.

02. Vanilla ice cream + olive oil + fleur de sel is a surprisingly delicious combination. This lesson courtesy of Pizzeria Lola

03. There is a blog (and forthcoming book) about how to be an adult. I need this.

04. Excellent ways to pass the time when waiting for a table: play The Movie Game (at least, that’s what we call it) and write haikus about the other people in the restaurant.

05. Ike loves it when I delay his walk by taking pictures of my hair.

06. Hibernating 101: cheese.

07. When it’s cold and snowy, and you read on twitter that there is a soup cookoff, YOU GO TO THAT SOUP COOKOFF.

Things that are awkward

1. I’m not big on talking on the phone. I never have been, not even when I had a Sabrina the Teenage Witch phone, where Salem the Cat alerted me that the phone was going to ring before it actually happened. (I was not fooled; I knew Salem’s voice was just replacing the first ring.)

Lately it’s gotten to the point where the only person I speak to on the phone is Y. We tend to say I love you at the end of a conversation — no matter how mundane —  and it’s become a habit.

Which I guess is sweet, but now every time I talk on the phone to someone else, I’m terrified that I’ll say I love you at the end of the phone call. On work-related phone calls, I could be talking about an article I need to write, or a message I need to relay, but all I can hear is my inner voice chanting don’t say I love you, don’t say I love you, don’t say I love you. 

2. While taking a group exercise class recently, the teacher yelled, NOW SPEED SKATE! Everyone broke into some kind of synchronized movement that looked vaguely familiar from the last Winter Olympics, but that I can only imagine you are taught shortly after learning to walk in Minnesota. I did jumping jacks.

Don’t worry, though, I’m learning. (sidenote: I need a better photographer to follow me around Minneapolis. Y just isn’t cutting it anymore.)

3. The other night, I got out of bed in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. When I got back in bed, Y rolled over, said something unintelligible (probably about some patient’s vital signs), but then — very clearly — called me Kim.

My first, half asleep thought was that I hoped he was having a dream that he was Kanye West. Then I fell asleep.

The next day I remembered what had happened, and the following conversation ensued. I think all of you children of the 90s will agree that Y’s attempt to explain himself was just weak:

deep thoughts about Enrique Iglesias

high school

The other day Enrique Iglesias’s “Run” came on the radio, and I may have started to cry.

I didn’t intend for it to happen. It’s just that one second it was 2013; I was a 28 year old driving home from work in Minneapolis.

And then the song started and it was 2002, I was a seventeen year old driving home from school in Baton Rouge with my best friend and the weight of a thousand crushes and insecurities.

Old times, as my father used to say. If you’re not careful, they’ll gut you like a fish.
–Amor Towles, The Rules of Civility

I don’t really miss high school. I look back on it fondly, but I don’t know that I’d want to go back (and if I did it would only be to apply more sunscreen, resist popping all of those zits, make some better fashion choices, and invent the flatiron). I don’t know know why hearing that old song made me so nostalgic all of the sudden.

Maybe it was being thrust into the past against my will. I’m happy here in the present, thank you very much Mr. Iglesias.

weekend lessons v8

01. Y is very picky about his ketchup. I had the nerve to buy Trader Joe’s ketchup, and received this message on the refrigerator:

02. It is possible for your mouth to be so cold that you can’t speak properly. Related: standing outside for the US Pond Hockey Championships might not be worth losing the ability to speak. There are only few things that make losing the ability to speak worthwhile, like transforming from a mermaid to a girl because gosh darnit you’re ready to know what the people know.

02a. Hearing songs from The Little Mermaid at a piano bar on a Wednesday night will ensure that you have The Little Mermaid on the brain until at LEAST Sunday. 

03. Walking across a frozen lake in the windiest weather of life is a great bonding experience. I recommend it for couples, friends, and your next corporate retreat.

04. The League  is just as funny as everyone says it is. If you like characters you’re not quite sure you respect, and profanity. Which I absolutely do.

05. If you try one thing that’s floating around Pinterest right now, it should be this:

06. I should not be allowed to read books about dogs. 3 pages in to The Art of Racing in the Rain and I was already crying. 20 pages in and I’ve vowed to leave the TV on every day so Ike won’t be lonely. Today I left him with The Avett Brothers Pandora station. Ike loves him some Americana.

mardi gras blues

Dear friends from home,

Your countless photos of king cake might seem harmless, but they’re making me sad. So even though today is not Fat Tuesday — just another regular-old-BMI Tuesday — I present you with an ode to Louisiana (which also happens to be an ode to my new favorite font, Nevis).

true life: yoga

This is the true story of someone who may or may not be me. 

Every day I unroll my yoga mat, arrange my block, my towel and my water, and I thank the yoga god — I believe her name is Lulu — that I’m allowed to practice yoga.

Because I have a secret. I belong to a fancy yoga studio, where the classes consist of shirtless men with six packs and ponytails, and tattooed women with designer yoga pants. Every day I slip in and pretend I’m just like them.

But my yoga pants aren’t “wunder unders” or “astro pants”. They’re a rare style, called The TJ Maxx Seven Dollar Crop. They come complete with two holes in the thigh.

Whenever I see another pair of eyes meet mine in the mirror, I know what they’re thinking. Why doesn’t her tank top have the same logo everyone else’s has? She doesn’t belong here. SECURITY!! 

I’ll tell you why my tank top doesn’t have a logo, yogi mcjudgey eyes. When I read on the internet that Costco was selling no-name brand workout tops for $12 that were supposedly lululemon overstock, I immediately called my sister, a proud Costco member, and made her buy some. Can I get back to my vriksasana now?

It’s hard living with my secret. But I get by, one sun salutation at a time.