Oh hi, friends. Did you miss me? I hope not too much, because you were all busy out having the best Memorial Day ever. Lord knows I did...because THIS GIRL came to town!
Kait spontaneously booked a flight to Minneapolis for the holiday weekend shortly after I returned from Paris, and braved the third-world Spirit Airlines (AND a layover at O'Hare!) to come see me, Claire, and her oldest brother Tom. From the moment I picked her up at the airport on Thursday, with a white chocolate Caribou cold press waiting in the cup-holder, the weekend offered nothing but straight-up magic. I couldn't be happier or feel luckier to have such a great friend in my life!
We started off right away with lunch at Surly, which was delicious...we both highly recommend the "hog frites," a decadent combo of pulled pork, French fries, pepperjack fondue and giardinera veggies. Having totally binged on beer and pork, we headed straight for Minnehaha Falls...in ballet flats (me) and maxi skirt (Kait)...for a nature walk/"hike!" Probably not our best idea in hindsight, but the park looked gorgeous and the weather was perfect for a long walk full of chatting and catching up.
After a few hours we met up with Claire and Emily, a new Minneapolis resident and college friend, at Hola Arepa for happy hour on their pretty patio. Emily just returned from nine months of traveling the world with her boyfriend Kevin, and had so many amazing stories and photos to share...even having just returned from Paris, talking to her triggered my wanderlust in a big way.
These two were pretty happy to see each other, too...
Unfortunately, the theft of Claire's wristlet, containing all her cards and ID, put a bit of a damper on the evening. Kait and I were both exhausted...she got up at 3am CST and I was up by 4 due to excitement to see her...so we turned in early.
Claire had to work Friday morning, so Kait and I headed out for to take advantage of another beautiful spring day in Minny! We grabbed delicious breakfast sandwiches at Sun Street Breads...
...and headed straight for the Lakes, of course! I feel like summer life in the Twin Cities centers around Calhoun, Harriet, and Lake of the Isles, and it was so gratifying to be able to show Kaitlin how beautiful they are. We ate our sandwiches overlooking Lake of the Isles, then headed over and parked near Tin Fish to rent Nice Ride bikes! I absolutely loved them...we cycled both Isles and Calhoun, stopping (often) to take photos and admire the views.
Once Claire got off work, we grabbed a few beers and headed straight for my roof to bask in the sun.
Sometimes it's nice to be able to take a break from how "downtown" my apartment feels and just admire the gorgeous park views. Look at all those trees! Kaitlin remarked all weekend about how green Minneapolis seemed compared to Baltimore, where houses with yards are way less common than the row houses I love so much.
And really, would it be rooftop day-drinking without a terrible Lizzie-attempt-at-a-three-person-selfie? (Having ridiculously pretty friends mitigates the awful camera framing, I guess...)
We had plans to meet Tom as soon as he got off work and head to one of my favorite hidden gems of Minneapolis for dinner...Pig Ate My Pizza, in Robbinsdale.
Every time I've been there, Ive had to wait 30-45 minutes, but we miraculously walked in and were seated right away! I'm convinced Kaitlin is good luck.
We split a few different pies and the verdict was unanimous: dinner was fantastic. Back at my apartment, Kait force-fed me cherry beer that tasted like Kool-Aid before we headed out to Cowboy Jack's.
The rooftop wasn't too packed and the weather was gorgeous, but Jack's was only stop #1. We had a date with dueling pianists at the Shout House, Claire's current favorite bar in the Twin Cities. Having scored a table right up front, we settled in for an evening of cocktails and watching our friend Charlie requesting "Free Bird."
Dirty little secret: I ultimately threw the pianist $20 to play it for him. He was thrilled. I'm the best.
We found ourselves moving a bit more slowly than expected on Saturday morning, and ended up all hanging out in my bed chatting and rehashing the last 24 hours for a solid hour. I remember looking at Kait and Claire at one point and just being totally overcome by how content I was with two of my closest friends there and together...it felt incredibly natural and right to be there with them.
Kait and Tom grabbed brunch, and Claire and I grabbed bagels quickly, before our planned trip to A La Mode (of course) for pedis. It was Kait's first, and Claire's first in a while, and it was a hit with both of them (also of course). We picked Tom right back up and started a mini-brewery tour with a stop at Indeed.
Public service announcement: it's officially summer at Indeed, and that means they're tapping LSD, their lavender, sunflower honey, and date-infused summer ale. It's as delicious as I remembered. So everyone should probably go have some soon.
Stop 2: Dangerous Man!
DM is Tom's favorite brewery, so it was great for him to be able to share it with Kait.
We sampled their Peanut Butter Porter, which I had heard is legendary. It 100% lived up to the hype...it tasted like drinking a peanut butter cup.
And Chino for dinner! We chowed on carne asada, "Cuban Pork Crisis" carnitas, sopes, and empanadas...before snarky fortunes made me giggle.
Being totally worn out by our Friday night shenanigans, we settled on girls' night in and watched (mocked) "Fifty Shades of Grey." HA.
Sunday brought a delicious, boozy brunch at Haute Dish...the first meal in Minnesota in which Kait did NOT consume a pork product.
We spent a few more hours hiding from the rain and chatting, and then headed to Lakeville for an insane Italian feast courtesy of Dick and the Jodester! I'm not even kidding...lasagna, garlic bread, wine...oh, and Asian Invasion salad because Kait requested it (and because it toooootally went with Italian food, HA!). Claire's better half, Mr. Rabon, returned from a bachelor party in NC that evening, so we hung out at her apartment and spent some quality time with him!
And Monday dawned gloomy and gray, but we didn't let it get us down: after a failed attempt to grab Mojo Monkey Donuts, we instead ended up with scones and croissants from Bread and Chocolate. Sufficiently fueled up, we headed over to the North Loop for a spectacular Mississippi nature walk featuring a little Minneapolis "love:"
A pretty spectacular skyline:
And of course, a few good (bad) selfies with my fave.
We lunched with Claire's family, and all too soon, it was time to take my bestie to the airport. I'm already dreaming about the next time I get to see her, whether it's a hometown trip this summer or a visit to Harvard to hang out this fall as she starts grad school there! I love her lots and couldn't imagine a better weekend. Here's hoping yours was at least a fraction as good as ours...because ours would be pretty hard to beat.