Worst weather, best people: a weekend at home!

Dorothy Gale hit the nail square on the head... "There's no place like home." I snuck back to Minneapolis the weekend before the Labor Day holiday thanks to an insanely good flight deal, and had a fabulous whirlwind 72 hours with my parents and best friends in the process! 

At first, Dick, Jodester and I had grand plans of spending all day Friday on Lake Minnetonka - boating, scoping out stunning real estate, and getting me in a Minnesota lake for the first time this summer. Instead, the forecast was for weather in the low to mid 60s and rain all weekend. Damn it, Minnesota! What was this bull? Fortunately, I have the world's best parents, and they planned a doubleheader Friday evening of my favorite places: Spoon and Stable and the Guthrie! 

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that Spoon and Stable is the best restaurant in the Twin Cities. And if you don't acknowledge that, I will fight you. No, I kid. But not really. We showed up nice and early to clock time at the bar with Elliot, who made me their Daily per usual. The feature of the day involved, among other things, bourbon and orgeat, a an almond-and-rose liqueur that was revelatory. I adored it. Then again, I've never had a cocktail at Spoon that I didn't adore. 

We sat down to dine, and right after our salads showed up, so did this little munch!!

LOOK at the chins on this pumpkin, my baby cousin Hugh Arnold! He (and his parents Jake and Brook, as well as cousin Matt and aunt/uncle Mary Beth and Dave!) had been down the street at the Hewing having happy hour, and popped over to say hello (and for snuggles/second base, obvs). Such a fun surprise - I hadn't seen Hugh since he was a tiny two-month old at the third Arnold brother Josh's wedding in Miami

My very favorite person at Spoon is our server of choice, Nikki, who is an utter delight and spoils us rotten at every turn, chatting all evening and surprising us with treats in the form of extra dessert. Papa Bear loves to debate the age-old quandary: would you choose greatfood and average service, or average food and great service? Fortunately at S&S, you don't have to choose, but the service provided by people like Elliot and Nikki is so outstanding that it's almost ruined me for normal dining experiences. I seriously love it there so much it's a bit absurd. 

After doing a fairly obscene number on the honey and cream cake (sue me), we headed down the street to my other fave place in the Cities, my beloved Guthrie, for their final performance of "Native Gardens!"

Having no idea what we were getting into, we were all blown away by the show, a comedy about neighbors warring over their yards and property lines. It felt shockingly topical and universal, and I think, based on the audience's response, we weren't the only ones who could relate. For me, the highlight was my dad laughing his ass off, which rarely happens in a theater!

I spent Saturday morning having a much-needed catch-up with my hairstylist Jen, getting colored and cut and cleaned up, before a reunion with my very own ride-or-die, Kelsie! We chose to spend the afternoon doing what we do best: an alcohol crawl through the Twin Cities, duh. 

We started at Rojo with margaritas and guacamole...

...moved to Tattersall for a peek at their totally revamped cocktail menu...if you go, I HIGHLY recommend the new 18th and Central or the Humzinger...

...And we wrapped up our day out at Indeed, where I drank IPAs (and a Mexican Honey, duh) to my heart's content! Look at the changes California has wrought in me...and it's only been two months! 

We headed back to the Schwegfam World Headquarters for a fantastic Inner Circle dinner with my parents, who love Kelsie so much that they actually use the hashtag #4thchild with her. Realistically, we've been friends for literally half our lives and I'm pretty sure at this point she's grandfathered in. My dad grilled us burgers, we drank plenty of wine, and had a blast catching up until late!

Sunday morning marked the first time all weekend that I'd seen Minnesota blue skies, and we celebrated by heading to Lake Harriet for a morning lap. While I'd been on-and-off nostalgic all weekend, this was the first moment that I really, truly felt like I'd left the Cities, rather than just gone on some bizarre extended vacation. Looking at the skyline on the horizon tugged at my heartstrings in a way that metaphorically screamed that that view doesn't belong to me anymore...it's incredibly weird, and I still haven't really synthesized it. More to come, eventually. 

We vacated the premises as storms loomed more seriously on the horizon, and I headed home to clean up and pack before meeting Hannah in Edina for coffee! We chatted for nearly two hours about everything from "The Bachelorette" to our love lives, and I was so engrossed that I didn't even bother to snap a picture. Shame on me! That said, she's coming to California in a little over a month, and I can't wait to spend a week catching up then! 

All too soon, it was goodbye to Hannah and time for a crazy-enthusiastic hello!!!! to baby Ryan Reuvers! 

This not-so-little cutie pie (and his amazing parents, Zach and Colleen!) met up with me at Tavern on France for patio mimosas and a ton of cuddles. He was so excited to finally meet me that he pooped straight through not one, but two outfit changes. I have that effect on guys, apparently ;) 

The side-eye says it all...I'm clearly ready for parenthood. It was beyond fun to catch up with Zach and Colleen and meet their little man, who is just as precious as they are...can't wait for more quality time when they head to the Bay Area in THREE weeks! 

My parents came and met me, we had a disastrous dinner at Al Vento, and before I knew it it was time to head to MSP and board a late flight back west. While the weekend was a total whirlwind of activities and socializing, it gave me exactly the boost I needed as I headed into Stanford's year-end. Minnesota is good for my soul, friends - or at least it is now. We'll see if my tune changes come wintertime, when my thin new-Californian blood has to deal with subzero temps again!