Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekend Getaway: Minnesota

Hello, hello!

I hope this finds you and yours well and staying as warm as possible!

This weekend, I took a fairly spontaneous trip to Minnesota (St. Paul area) to visit a dear friend from college.  She has had so many new and exciting things happen in her life in the recent past, and I decided to just make the trip up there to see/experience it all first hand!

So, after teaching lessons Friday evening (got done at 6:30), I headed out - armed with Google and AAA maps (no GPS for this girl), a road trip care package from my brother (complete with our favorite road trip snacks and a mix CD), Nicholas Sparks' newest book on CD (from the library), and a double-shot vanilla cappuccino smoothie from Scooter's.

The drive went really well and pretty fast, both going and coming back.  Since it was mostly dark both times, I didn't see too many sites on the road (not that there were many to be seen, anyway).  On the way out, though, I was driving through Iowa and saw a bunch of red lights blinking in unison across the horizon.  At first, I thought it was an airport, but couldn't figure out which one, because I was in the middle of Iowa.  I don't know how it finally occurred to me that they were the windmills, but that's what they were!  There were soooo many, though, and it was kind-of creepy to only see all those hundreds of red lights blinking simultaneously out there in the distance.

After arriving a little after 2 a.m., we proceeded to have a most lovely weekend together!  And as my mother's daughter, I documented it with pictures.  ☺

Saturday's brunch at The Good Earth included salmon with potato hash and poached eggs and pumpkin pancakes with applesauce and dried cranberries.  All the food here is made from organic and mostly local ingredients.

 Then, we made a trip to St. Olaf college where my friend did part of her master's program and where my cousin is a senior!
(for all you relatives out there...)
What a stunningly beautiful chapel!  (This is one of many windows there - pictures don't do it justice)
My cousin works at a cafe on campus where my friend used to go with other grad students a lot (though they hadn't met till now), and he made us drinks before we left.  This was my Pumpkin Spice Latte.)
A picture on the campus of Luther Seminary (where she also attended).
A delicious meal was prepared for us by my friend's thoughtful and talented boyfriend.  After supper, the night continued with lots of great conversation and a came of Scattergories.
One of the "new and exciting" things I went to experience was a litter of 7 kittens.  Need I say more...?  ☺
For now, their names are Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, and Ti.

Such a good (and young!) mama kitty.
Her sweet dog, Rondo, is pretty great, too!  I got to experience giving him a bath before I left on Sunday.
Since my friend is a (talented, organized, amazing) music/worship director, I took my trumpet and was able to participate in Sunday's All Saint's Day service.  It was so great to see her in her element (and hear her play organ!!), and also such a blessing to be able to be part of it all.

Afterward, we ate at a cafe that doubles as a bike shop - pretty cool...and also yummy!

A lot of people thought I was a little crazy for making this trip alone, but I really didn't think twice about it.  I figured there is no time like the present (and it was the only weekend between now and Christmas - when the kittens would be finding new homes - that worked), so I just went...and I'm so glad I did!  It was a really wonderful trip, and I feel like I got to do and see everything I wanted to.  Of course, there are lots of touristy things we didn't take time to do or see, but that doesn't matter - it's the real and meaningful "attractions" that matter most.  ☺

Also - I never shared my Halloween costume with you all!  I was originally going to dress up as something completely different (an idea I'm saving for next year, so not sharing now), but then I found this priceless sweatshirt-turned-cat-cardigan at Goodwill, and couldn't not be the Crazy Cat Lady.

That's all, folks!  Hope you have an exceptional week!

Home without a kitten or a Minnesotan accent,

Favorites of the day:
having student evaluations done!
This is what Charlie's doing right now.

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