A few years ago, they were able to get up here two or three times a year, and we always had a BLAST showing them around, and doing stuff in the cities. For the last couple of years, however, we've had a hard time "keeping up the tradition". SO GLAD, we FINALLY rectified the situation this weekend.
They arrived Friday evening, and we spent a couple of hours catching up at Robin and David's. I went home around 10:00, and, APPARENTLY, they all stayed up until about midnight, continuing the "revelry".
I rejoined the group (and Duane came too!) Saturday morning, and we all headed downtown to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market...one of our FAVORITE places to take visitors. We hit the breakfast sausage guys, the pastry ladies, found rhubarb and strawberries (grown "regionally"), bought olives and had a GREAT time looking at all the produce and flowers. It POURED on us as we were getting ready to leave, but, Dave, being the SWELL GUY that he is, went and got the car, and picked us up as we were huddling under one of the roofed buildings....it REALLY rained hard!
Enjoying the breakfast sausages!
After the farmer's market, we went back to Robin and Dave's to "regroup", then headed to IKEA, so that Ashley could get stuff for her dorm room (she's going to that "other" Iowa university...we won't say any more about that!).
I was also looking for bookcases for the new apartment, and think I found what I want, but the Pilot was so full of Ashley's stuff (and people!) that I opted to go back for it another time!
Lunch at IKEA
After eating meatballs at the IKEA cafe (they are REALLY good, and CHEAP!!!), we went across Lindau Avenue to the Mall of America. Yet AGAIN...locals going to the mall on a Saturday...what's UP with that??!! We all split up (to look for what we needed), and Duane and I went to Harry & David (to see who was working), Marshall's, and I needed to get ANOTHER MOA gift card (I use them for online purchases instead of my check card...that way if the number gets "stolen", they can only get what I've loaded onto the card!).
After the mall, we went back to the house to "regroup" again. Kim, Emilie, Abigail, Ashley and I drove to Woodbury, so that Ashley could meet her room mate for next year (at that "other" state university that we aren't talking about). I think she and her room mate will get along VERY well...they were practically TWINS...very cute!
After dropping Ashley off, we stopped at Trader Joe's to get a few things, then headed to Apple Valley to meet Duane to have dinner at Two Guys from Italy, a FABULOUS Italian restaurant on Galaxy Drive.
UNFORTUNATELY, when we got there, we discovered that they were CLOSED for remodelling...grrrr... We waited for Duane to get there to figure out where to go instead, and ended up going to La Luz. It was kind of funny...we discovered Two Guys from Italy on our last trip to Apple Valley because La Luz wasn't open yet, and now have discovered La Luz because Two Guys from Italy was closed.
La Luz was really good! They don't open until next weekend, but were doing the "soft opening" thing. Their cubano sandwiches are REALLY good, and their "Cuban potato salad" is AMAZING. If you are ever in Apple Valley, I recommend La Luz!
After dinner, we went to Barnes & Noble, Half Price Books, and SuperTarget to pass some time. (Robin and Dave were having a Tupperware "get together" at their place, which is why the rest of us went out for the evening without them.)
After shopping the night away, we went back to Eagan to have gelato at Ring Mountain (highly recommended if you are in Eagan!), then Kim took the girls back to Robin and Dave's, and Duane brought me home, where I COLLAPSED into bed as soon as I got here...it was a LONG, but FUN FUN FUN day!
Today I hung out around home most of the morning. I burned pictures from yesterday onto CD's for Kim, Ashley, Robin and Dave, and Duane, then used the rhubarb purchased yesterday to make a crisp to take over when I went.
After eating the crisp, Robin, David, Abigail, Kim, Ashley, and I (Emilie spent the day at Valley Fair, an amusement park, with her church youth group) went to Storables- a FABULOUS "organize all of your stuff" store in Edina, had lunch at Big Bowl (LOVE that place!), went to Linden Hills and shopped at Bibelot, then for ice cream at Sebastian Joe's, and then went back to Robin and Dave's, where Kim and Ashley loaded up their car and headed back to Des Moines.
It was an AWESOME, BUSY weekend, and I'm SO GLAD we had the chance to FINALLY connect again. Some of my FAVORITE memories, here in the cities, have involved Kim and Ashley, when they were up here for visits...they are so much fun! Here's hoping the "get together two or three times a year" thing starts up all over again... (after we recover from THIS weekend)!!!!
Hope YOUR weekend was FABULOUS as well!