fall weekend vibes

Hopping weekend over here! Good food and drinks, adventures and aspirational outings...one for the record books in many ways. 

Started the weekend strong on Friday with a fantastic happy hour with Hannah and Abby at Pazzaluna in St. Paul...get the Sophia Loren, a pear-and-amaretto martini that, like its namesake, is a true classic. 

I spent Saturday morning on a frigid solo walk around Lake Harriet...my intended companion, Anna, was unable to make it as she and her husband Kevin welcomed their sweet baby boy to the world that morning instead! I think that beats a lake walk any day, personally. :)

Jodester, Jonathan and I rendezvoused mid-afternoon to start the 2016 Midwest Homes Luxury Condo/Apartment Tour (what a mouthful!). Offering nine different sites this year, we checked out the Portland Tower condos and Edition Residences on Saturday afternoon. Both were finished beautifully and boasted fantastic views of the new Vikings stadium...although with price tags well out of my price range, it felt a bit masochistic to fall in love with views and finishes. 

Fortunately, we had Spoon and Stable in our future to dull the pain! 

It's my favorite place in the Twin Cities, I swear. We grabbed our usual corner booth in the bar and quickly ordered three of their new fall cocktails...a highball for Jonathan, a Jack Rose for mama, and a Sidecar for me.

Perfect homage to fall flavors. (Pro tip: while S&S's dining room books out three months in advance, dedicated fans can always get a seat in the bar if you show up by around 5pm. The place is genuinely FULL by about 5:30, though!)

The cocktails, as always, lived up to our high expectations. Jonathan also followed up with the daily, a riff on a Manhattan that gave the St. Paul Grill's a run for its money. 

(We may have ordered most of the bar menu: crispy potatoes, french fries with Bearnaise powder, creamed spinach and cheese curds, Brussels sprouts with apple butter and hazelnut crumbles, pork belly tacos, duck meatloaf sliders, and a butternut squash soup that nearly brought tears to my eyes. SO GOOD.)

All followed up with a decadent apple brown butter cake with apple-and-buttermilk custard and candied apple slices. Diane Yang, the house pastry chef, can do no wrong in my eyes. 

From Spoon and Stable, we hopped in a particularly hilarious Uber to head to the Target Center! The event? The "Kellogg's Tour Of Champions Gymnastics Exhibition." The crowd? Me, my mom and Jonathan, and thousands of little girls who do gymnastics and their parents. It was completely adorable - so many of them had cute signs or were wearing their gymnastics gear. I totally remember little Lizzie circa 1996 being similarly obsessed with the 96 team...and, despite the fact that I could barely do a handspring, thinking Olympic gold was in my future. 

The event itself was totally not what I was expecting...I was hoping for the actual Olympic routines, and instead it was a campy, choreographed and very overproduced romp through sound-and-lights "flashy" gymnastics. Our nosebleed seats didn't help much, either...still, in spite of all of that, the sheer athleticism and spectacle of what these people can do with their bodies blew me away. All in all, a fun, if random, night out! 

Sunday found us finishing up the Luxury Condo Tour, with stops in Minnetonka and Uptown. While the Walkway stole my heart with its amazing rooftop pool deck and suspended-over-the-sidewalk glass hot tub...

...the true winner for the day was The Lakes, a truly luxe, brand-new apartment complex adjacent to the Calhoun Beach Club. The kicker? The very most basic model started at $2800 a month, with penthouse units going for eight times that. That said, with finishings like those above, it's totally worth it. 

Not to mention the view from the roof of Lake Calhoun...which, on a day like yesterday, was stunning enough to make me want to sign away my life for continual access. As much as  I may moan about them, I truly do love both of my Twin Cities so much! 

Happy Monday, campers! Here's to cinnamon coffee and leaving work early for board meetings, hooray!