Minneapolis was one of those places I’d been curious about for years.
Anyone and everyone I’d met from there would preach the gospel of breezy summers spent on “the lake” and long winters ice skating and snowmobiling. Joey only added to the Minneapolis mystique since he’d spent his early years there — but when I asked too many questions about the place, he’d just shoot me an annoyed look. “You just don’t get it. You have to visit to understand.”
In a way, he was right. When our friend Katherine picked us up from the airport, she’d already conjured up big plans for the night. “Our friends have a pontoon. Wanna go out on Lake Minnetonka after dinner?” Kat, Gala, and I were obviously not well-versed in the necessities of lake life. “What’s a pontoon?” Nothing elicits a laugh from a native quite like that question.
We learned soon enough. Looping through the woods to Lord Fletchers, we suddenly felt like we’d been transported into an 80s teen movie. The restaurant on the lake was surrounded by an outdoor patio full of round thatched roof bars stocked with wicker chairs. Peppy, tan teen girls took our orders as biker gangs strolled past. The sun was out and everyone mingled regardless of social stature while downing a few drinks too many.
Dinner complete, we boarded the pontoon and zoomed down Lake Minnetonka, backed by a soundtrack of Lana Del Rey and Frank Ocean. Sipping Sofia champagne from the can, it was hard to believe that a few hours earlier, we’d been wandering the streets of Manhattan.
Embracing lake life means that you always have a bikini on under your shorts and tank. You’re not afraid to dive off the side of the boat, even as darkness sets in. And, you’ve jumped off more than one bridge in your lifetime without a second thought. We weren’t ready to go that far so we just sat back and watched our hosts take the plunge.
The next day, we set out to undo the deep fried sins of our lakeside dinner from the night before. Our first stop was Tao Natural Foods on Hennepin Ave.
Hearty, healthy and complete with a kick-ass juice menu, it was just what we needed after a week of very questionable food choices.
Our next stop was Spyhouse Coffee. As a side note, I always forget how spacious businesses (including coffee shops) are in the midwest. So. Much. Room.
The specialty menu was especially good – we each ordered the Spygirl, featuring lavender. It tasted amazing. Gala and I spent the rest of the weekend scheming about how we could recreate their caffeinated masterpiece.
As we spent more time exploring the city, we noticed that there seemed to be ivy everywhere. I’ve always loved the way it looks when it weaves its way up the sides of buildings.
After a day of shopping and Instax-snapping, we were told that dinner at Psycho Suzi’s was an absolute must. A multi-level tiki bar full of shrunken head decor? Yes!!! To entice us further, someone summed it up as “Disneyland for adults.”
The place was off the hook. We killed time at one of the many bars until our table was ready and couldn’t resist the crazy mugs, which Kat kept. I’m sure her husband and cats are thrilled about seeing that every day! Haha. Dinner was even better. Indulging in an appetizer of deep-fried cheese curds (a Midwestern delicacy), we fell in love with the patron’s jukebox selections. I never thought I’d hear Marilyn Manson in a tiki bar, but there’s a first time for everything.
Over the weekend, we taught The Blogcademy at a beautiful art gallery, Public Functionary. The space was an industrial dream of polished concrete floors and tons of natural light. Even better, the walls were still stenciled in gold from a previous art show. The group of women in attendance were on top of their game, asking tons of questions and scribbling piles of notes. A full recap of the workshop will be coming soon but in a nutshell, the Minneapolis group blew our minds in the best way possible.
After class wrapped, we headed out to Pride. Such a perfect weekend to be in Minneapolis! I was too busy taking in the sights to snap any photos but let’s just say that the champagne pours off balconies into the mouths below were plentiful and our neighbors’ dance routines kept us endlessly entertained for hours.
I won’t lie, we were completely Prince obsessed the entire time we were in town and visiting First Avenue was a must. Though I didn’t spot Prince, I did see his star.
We ended our stay with a walk along the unruly Mississippi River and agreed that our visit was much too short. We’re already dreaming of excuses for another visit (and another trip down Lake Minnetonka). Minneapolis, thanks for showing us a good time. I have a feeling we won’t be able to stay away for long.