Sunday, June 12, 2016

Tena and Tracy's Visit!!!

My friends Tena and Tracy paid a LONG OVERDUE visit to the cities this weekend.  They left a few hours ago, and I AM EXHAUSTED...but a SUPER GOOD exhausted!  We had a BLAST!!!

They arrived on Friday afternoon, and, after dropping their bags, and checking the "possible places to go/experiences to have/restaurants to try" checklist that I created...


They had just come from seeing their friend Stephen in "Seussical:  The Musical" in Mankato, and had just had two mediocre restaurant experiences.  We have AMAZING restaurants here in the cities,  so I made it my mission to have FABULOUS food at each meal!!!

We had appetizers/lunch at Houlihan's...

...followed by a quick trip to explore the Eagan Outlet Mall...

 ...followed by dinner at Mancini's Char House.  Fabulous restaurant tally after day one...TWO for TWO!!!!

After dinner, we drove around the Summit Avenue area of St. Paul to look at the fabulous and amazing old mansions, then headed back to Eagan.

We decided we were too tired for much else, so watched a movie.  After much deliberation, we decided on "Grease II", which ended up being WAY WORSE than any of us remembered, but it was fun to mock it as we watched.  Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield must look back at this and CRINGE...we certainly did!!!

We made an early night of it, and were in bed by 9:30 (we were tired!!).

Saturday morning, we got up, got ready, and headed to the St. Paul Farmer's Market.  It was a SUPER HOT day, but wasn't too terrible (yet), so enjoyed walking around looking at all the great stuff!  I stopped by Chef Earl's BBQ Sauce booth, chatted with Earl and Felicia for awhile, and I bought ANOTHER bottle of sauce (Hot Chocolate Baby)...even though I already have nine bottles of their other flavors in my fridge because they are so dang good!  I also ran into my friend Susan, who was helping sell jellies and syrups at a friend's booth.

We went from the farmer's market to The Buttered Tin for breakfast (THREE for THREE!).  I had an AMAZING Huevos Rancheros Benedict.  Tena had the Bananas Foster French Toast.  Tracy had my favorite...the Biscuits and Gravy.  We also shared a "milk ball", which was a dinner roll type pastry, filled with strawberry rhubarb cream cheese...AMAZING!

After breakfast we took a brief tour of the St. Paul Union Depot, then headed to the Ft. Snelling Light Rail Station to head to downtown Minneapolis for MORE adventures (yes, I know the light rail runs from RIGHT outside the depot to Minneapolis, and we COULD have just left the car in the ramp and taken the light rail there and back...NOW...doh!).

In Minneapolis, we walked to the Foshay (my FAVORITE building in the twin cities), and took the elevator to the museum and open air observation deck on the top of the building.  It's been closed for about a year and a half, so I'm THRILLED that it's finally open, and was equally THRILLED that we could go up and view the city!  Tena, in all of her trips to the city, has NEVER been to the top, so I was EVEN MORE THRILLED she finally decided she wanted to go.  It was AWESOME!!!

After the Foshay, we took photos at the former Schmidt Music building "Music Wall"...

...then headed to Brit's Pub for Pimm's Cups, and appetizers (FOUR for FOUR)!  It was LOVELY to sit in air-conditioning (the temp outside was about 95 at this point, with a dew point of 75...).

We then walked a few blocks to take pictures at First Avenue...

 ...then took the light rail back to Ft. Snelling, and came back to the townhouse to cool off, rest, and get ready to head out for more FABULOUS food at Cafe Latte (FIVE for FIVE)!

Tracy and I had an AMAZING salad combination plate of a Wild Apricot and Wild Rice Salad, and a Kalamata Feta Greek Salad, and Duane and Tena split a yummy Chicken Nacho Pizza.  We all had AWESOME desserts!  My Dark Chocolate Tres Leche Cake was DELICIOUS!!!

After a quick stop at Trader Joes, we headed home...COMPLETELY wilted and exhausted, and watched a couple of episodes of The Carol Burnett Show before collapsing into bed (well...Duane and I went to bed...Tena and Tracy, apparently, stayed up for another two hours chatting...oy!).

Today, we got up, got ready, and headed to Colossal Cafe for breakfast (SIX for SIX).  Duane and I haven't been for AGES, so it was nice to go again.  I had an AMAZING Bacon Egg and Cheese Sandwich on one of their savory scones.  Tena had the Apple, Walnut, and Brie Flappers.  Tracy had the same sandwich I did, only with sausage.  Duane had a flapper, scrambled eggs, and sausage.  So GOOD!

We then made a quick stop at A Baker's Wife for pastries, came back to the townhouse, and Tena and Tracy loaded up the car, and headed back to points south.

It was a long overdue, whirlwind weekend (the first, I hope, of MANY).  So fun!  So exhausting!  So fun!!!!

Here's hoping your were able to spend time with YOUR BFF's recently too!!!