Secret Gardens

July 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

The term “staycation” sort of makes me cringe, but I gotta say that it rocks.  My friend Erik came to visit me these last couple of days, and we saw so much of Minneapolis that I had either not seen before or that I hadn’t visited in years.  We met at Covenant Bible College in Ecuador and became good friends right away.  We lost touch for a long time, but have reconnected and it is really cool to me that we are still good friends after all this time.  It is reassuring that people don’t change all that much.

Yesterday was full of adventure and lots of walking.  The day started at the Sculpture Garden and even thought the conservatory was closed, we found a side door that was open and snuck in for five minutes before maintenance kicked us out.  The glass koi sculpture is beautiful!  Of course we made our first stop at the cherry on the spoon, but the pieces that caught my attention were the zen garden with random quotes, and the two-way mirror.  Cool, weird, kinda creepy.  From there, we walked across the freeway to St. Mary’s Basilica (America’s first basilica), and ate lunch at Joe’s Garage (more delicious fish tacos).  This area of Minneapolis is absolutely charming and European and I was delighted to have discovered it for the first time and sad at the same time that I’d never known of this tiny corner of the city.

We walked through Loring Park, then back to the car, and made a stop at the Wedge for snacks.  The plan was to have a late dinner, so we stocked up on protein bars and water and a double espresso.  We made a quick stop at Marathon Sports to exchange shoes and then we parked near Lake Harriet.  I saw a guy running with little red shorts, a ripped upper body and spiky blonde hair.  I nudged Erik, “You just saw someone famous!”  It was our sexy gay weatherman, Sven Sundgaard.  Of course, Erik is from L.A., so a local weatherman sighting hardly qualifies as a brush with fame.  But that little guy can run!  Not too long after that, he passed us again.  Off to the Rose Gardens (mostly rows of dying roses) and Historic Fountains (we never did figure out what that meant), we were unimpressed, and crossed the street to the Japanese/Peace (not sure of the official name) Gardens on the north side of Lake Harriet.  Ducking into a shelter, like Lucy crawling into the wardrobe, we found a passageway into the forest for a bird sanctuary.  Very few birds, but it was a lovely walk in the woods.

An aside: I feel like I am not writing very well today, but I wanted to get my memories written down!  I may edit this later.

After the Lake Harriet walk (and Erik’s observation that people in Minneapolis are more healthy than the beach community of L.A.), we moved on to Uptown where we mostly perused books at Magers & Quinn.  Nearing seven o’clock, we drove through Downtown, Northeast and Dinkytown before driving past my favorite house in St. Paul (a mushroomy fairy tale house in Highland Park) and a historic tour down Summit Ave.  I was slightly disappointed to find out Erik had no idea who Garrison Keillor is.  We capped our night with an exquisit meal at Kincaid’s (also the only place open downtown St. Paul on Monday at 9pm).  I ordered scallops with tuna and caviar, and washed it down with a Summit Mai Bock and then topped it all off with crem brulee.  I practically rolled home.

I think I make a darn good tour guide of my beloved Twin Cities.

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