Oh, lovely, lovely Minneapolis! After a long weekend with some pretty amazing (and kind, Minnesota kind- by which I mean I have never met kinder strangers in all my travels) people, I feel both exhausted and fulfilled. Some good times were had- late nights and hazy mornings, amazing food and amazing music, dancing and laughing those laughs that leave your belly and sides sore (or maybe that was the hanging upside-down from a door frame part?). All of it was that soul-searching goodness that I needed. I needed to feel young and carefree, and to feel the aching in my heart that comes from being away from Andrew and the boys for a couple of days. There is a clarity in chosen space from your everyday life, and also an appreciation necessary for being good, no great, to those you adore. I adore my boys. I adore my girls. I feel it every day.
Ingrid, her sister Signa, and Signa’s boyfriend Anders made my stay so comfortable and easy, and also just such fun. They showed me the great places to eat; Brasa was a favorite- if you go, you must have the red beans and rice AND the guacamole and chips were the best I’ve ever had… everything was perfection, actually. Moscow on the Hill (located in St. Paul) was equally divine- Russian food like dumplings and stews that knocked my socks off (as did the vodka). Plus, down the street is a drool-worthy men’s clothing and leather goods store, whose salesmen I begged to open an online store… I could go on and on about this city and its greatness. If it weren’t for the legendary bad winters, I would be trying to convince Andrew to move there right now.
We happened to visit during Art a Whirl, the country’s largest open studio tour. Though we missed much of the art, we did drop by one night for an outdoor concert and some serious people-watching before heading out to a late dinner. The luxury of an open afternoon and evening, the freedom to create our own schedules and do as we pleased left us sleep-deprived but happy and rejuvenated somehow. Though poor Ingrid was sick as a dog for most of the trip, she pushed through and survived (poor thing), nearly losing her voice and her ability to take a deep breath. We seem to take turns feeling crappy and rallying each other, it seems!
The store Forage Modern Workshop was apparently designed with me in mind, oh how I wanted to buy every single thing in there. It had the most amazing collection of hand made and vintage items… I bought a blanket and don’t regret it.
The aesthetic everywhere was really inspiring- a mish mash of everything-goes but artsy and modern. Everywhere we looked, I felt inspired by the way people in this city dress and carry themselves. They are the kind of hip that is not pretentious or snobby. You know, the best kind.
Haley, Ingrid, and I spent the entire morning drinking coffee, eating, and talking here (they have outdoor seating for soaking up some sun) until my hind end fell asleep and we had to peel ourselves off the chairs and back into the real world.
And the main reason for our trip: Haley’s album release party. It did not disappoint. This girl is a full on mix of sweetheart meets rockstar, grit meets a clear-voiced pixie, shiny and new. I was so moved by one of her songs I had tears streaming down my cheeks. Her album comes out today… you might want to give it a listen (and then buy it of course)!
I may have partaken in some actual crazy-dancing and tomfoolery that night. It was that good. I hope you have had a weekend filled with this kind of heart and soul. Thank you Ingrid, Signa, Anders, and Haley, for making it great. I can only try to make it up to you!