My Blog Vacation
I’m sure you all missed me intensely, so I suppose you deserve to know why I was missing. I took a trip to Minneapolis to see Julie, one of my best friends from high school (my other best friend from high school lives across the hall from me so I’m lucky enough to see her on a pretty regular basis).
Julie is a fantastic hostess and she actually kept me too busy (and/or hung over) for me to keep up on my blogging. Okay…confession time…I really prioritized time with my besties over writing new posts. Sorry, I hope all of you don’t feel neglected, but I had never been to my Ju Ju Bee’s new home and it has been so long since I’ve had Jewels and Dee in the same place and mostly all to myself.
But at the very least I figure all of you deserve some of the highlights:
Food: I had some of the best food I’ve ever eaten while I was there. The first night our karaoke fun was delayed and we hit a little cafe that was full of hipsters and beautiful people. In fact, almost everywhere we went was full of hipsters and beautiful people.
I know there have to be be ugly people in Minneapolis somewhere. It’s the midwest for goodness sake– there have to at least be fat people. But I didn’t see any. I wonder if they are all relegated by some big-city code to stay home at on the weekends and avoid the night life. Or maybe they were all hibernating for the winter.
Anyway, the food. We had spring rolls with kimchi (I don’t know how to spell that) and curried egg salad along with a hibiscus flower champagne thingy. It was AMAZING. And that was just the first night!
On Saturday we went to a place called the Keys for breakfast. BEST BREAKFAST OF MY LIFE. First, Julie had the most amazing looking bloody Mary I’ve ever seen. That thing was like art. And it came with a little Miller High Life pony on the side. It was perfect; we all took pictures of it.
I had scrambled eggs with garlic, onions, spinach and cream cheese in them. AMAZING. It came with a side of home fries that were to DIE for that I topped off with hot sauce and then proceeded to make love to for the subsequent hour (maybe hours — I don’t know how long we were there). It also came with a side of toast made from their homemade bread.
I didn’t really care about the bread. It was kind of dry, not squishy enough and it was some whole grain crap full of crunchy bits in it. But it came with a side of HEAVENLY strawberry jam. I asked for extra. And Azlan gave me his. I put so much jam on that bread that everyone was laughing at me. Maybe I should have just used my fingers to transport that glorious concoction to my mouth. But that seemed uncouth. So instead I smeared it a centimeter thick onto my bread.
But that was just breakfast.
Saturday night I had what may have been the best meal of my life. Even if it wasn’t the best it was so good that for now it has eclipsed every other great meal I’ve had. I took Julie and Dee out for dinner that night and made Julie pick the place. It was her birthday meal after all — She chose McCormick and Schmidt’s. If you have occasion and are in Minneapolis I highly recommended it.
I had the mixed grill with a cucumber and strawberry salad to start. First off the salad was beautiful. And I can’t believe how amazing the strawberries tasted. I mean it was january for goodness sake. Where can you get amazing strawberries that time of year? (At McCormick and Schmidt’s that’s where.) The main dish(es) were the mixed grill. It was grilled salmon with a heavenly butter-lemon sauce on a bed of wilted spinach, filet oscar on a potato cake and a grilled scallop and prawn on a bed of tomatoey-lime goodness.
AMAZING. I ate it all. Well, except for the potato cake. It just wasn’t a priority considering the rest of the deliciousness on the plate.
Libations: Friday night we had some karaoke fun at the 1029 and I accidentally had 6 cocktails instead of 3. I guess when you ask for a double for your first drink they keep giving you doubles. And thye burn the drinks at the 1029 in a delightful way.
Saturday night after our McCormick and Schmidt’s adventure of grilled deliciousness we headed to Psycho Suzy’s. It’s a 2-story tiki bar in the tundra of Minnesota. We had a flaming drink as a group and then I had a delicious beverage that came in a mug shaped like a coconut. I also saved all the stir sticks!
Entertainment: Perhaps the most entertaining element of the trip was the fact that Julie didn’t know that Dee was coming. Keeping it a secret was harder than I thought it would be. But it was all worth it when we got to Minneapolis.
Dee hunkered down in the front seat and I covered her with pillows. I went up to Julie’s house said hi and then told her she had to come get her birthday present out of the car. As she opened the car door Dee started to move — it totally freaked Julie out. And when Dee popped her head out Jewels SCREAMED and started jumping up and down. It was so adorable. We all laughed and hugged. It was a great start.
Later, at the 1029 I got to meet a bunch of Julie’s Minneapolis pals. Including Mary. Who is apparently the Minneapolis version of me. Only she’s cuter…and has a hot boyfriend…and she’s Asian. But other than that we are totally alike.
Well, as I said, karaoke was the entertainment the first night. We sang at the 1029 and it was GREAT. I even got a karaoke crush on one of the men who sang. Sadly he left shortly after his song and I didn’t even get to introduce myself. I guess our love wasn’t meant to be.
After the bar we went back to Julie and Brandon’s and sang even more karaoke. In fact, I sang karaoke until I could barely talk the next day.
Anyone who knows me and who knows Ryan Ross would have been incredibly entertained by our interactions. He was actually very nice to me at first. By breakfast apparently we were acting like an old married couple who had grown to hate one another.
We also all slept in for 4 days in a row, and I have to say sleeping in is always entertaining. Beyond that just hanging with Julie and Dee was far more entertainment than any one person needs.
Heck,just driving there and back with Dee was a great time. I’ve decided that we all need to plan a vacation together each year for the rest of our lives. I wonder if they will be okay with that.
City Driving: I drove everywhere and I feel like a rock star about it for several reasons. First of all, I found my way around it in the big city. That felt good. I even made it to Eden Prairie all on my own.
The driving highlight was definitely the parking. I had really never parallel parked before and on Saturday night I parked on a veritable glacier in front of psycho Suzy’s! Seriously, we are talking ice at at least a 30-degree angle.
Family: On the way to Minneapolis Dee and I stayed over at my sister’s in Brookings for a night and I got to have breakfast with my sissa. Which is always great. Tonya also got to give Dee and me a tour of her offices. And her offices — the football department at SDSU — are full of man candy. It was a little embarrassing but it was nice.
The last day I was in Minneapolis I also got to visit with my aunts and some of my cousins who live in the area. That was really fun — and I actually didn’t think it was going to be all that great. I mean I haven’t seen any of them for years. What were we going talk about? Well we found things I should have known they would have a lot to say — I mean they are my family.
Of course there was a lot more to the trip than these few photos and words can convey. I actually miss Julie even more than I did before the visit. Heck, I could almost justify living in Minneapolis just because she’s there. Although, I did want to come home by the end of the vaca. I think that’s how you know it’s a good one.
My next trip will be to the Denver/Boulder areas. I plan on seeing TONS of friends on that trip: Dave & Jill, Katy & Tom, Brandy & David, Aaron and more! Hopefully, it will be just as good as the NY and Minneapolis trips have been.