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Minnesota Day 1: A Day of Firsts

For those of you who have missed it I am in Minnesota on “vacation.”  It’s been years since I left town and it wasn’t for a blogging conference/family reunion/wedding etc.  Already I am so much more relaxed!

I left at the crack of dawn yesterday and had my first amazing experience with in flight wi-fi- I got to post deals from 38,000 feet in the air!  I felt very impressive plugging away on my lap top while the business man in the suit next to me played games on his cell phone.  Technology is amazing sometimes.


Once I landed my friends (Bob and Emera) picked me up at the airport and we headed to the Mall of America to grab some lunch.  I have been to the mall several times before to shop but they have some very cool places to eat as well.  I will say as commercial as the Mall of America is, it’s still pretty awe-inspiring to walk inside.  The mall has different wings to shop in as well as the amusement park in the middle- so while you walk around it sounds like Busch Gardens.  They have some really cool shops we don’t have at home as well so we did a little window shopping but nothing of substance.


We ended up eating at this little place called “Pardon My French.”  They had French sandwiches, salads, soups and pastries that all looked amazing.  The girl who rang us up had one of the best French accents I have heard in the States.  I got this REALLY good chicken sandwich with red pepper on it- the sweetness from the pepper and the fresh bread made it taste incredible.  It also came with one of the best “side salads” I have ever had.  It used greens (no iceberg lettuce- yay!) and had this incredible honey dressing.


After my friends had their dessert we headed out to Ikea.

Now let me point out for the record I have NEVER BEEN to Ikea.   I always hear how amazing it is, how great the prices are and how innovative they are with their products.  It was everything I had heard and more.  The Ikea in Minneapolis is a big huge building near the Mall of America so it looks very intimidating when you pull up.  Once you get inside you have to get a map and then you take a pencil so you can write down the numbers of any items you are interested in.


The way the store works is that you walk through huge rooms full of displays.  Pretend dorm rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, laundry rooms and just about everything you can think of.  I saw couches that made me want to curl up and go to sleep.  I saw kitchens that made me green with envy.  It was like walking through HGTV!


I love the back splash in this one!


I LOVED this light fixture!  It would be way too big for my place but it’s so cool looking!


 My friend Bob thinks he is funny (that’s a giant vase).


In case you missed it this toilet is for Display Only.  I really hope for their sake no one has used it!


This seems to be one of the new decorating things- hanging stuff off the wall or the bottom of the shelves instead of things taking up room on the counter.

After we left Ikea we drove a few hours to the great little town where Bob and Emera live.  It’s so beautiful and quiet here- this morning as I have been working I have seen two sets of Amish go by in their buggies.  Another great relief has been the weather- after weeks of over 90 degree temperatures the high yesterday was only 83 degrees!

Once we got settled in Emera made an incredible dinner with vegetables from their garden which we ate on the front porch.  Then we packed up (note during the cooking and packing I am actually working- these guys take such good care of me) and headed over to a friend’s place to go watch the Perseid meteor shower.  Julie Wilcox from WVEC had mentioned it on Sunday morning and I had mentioned that I would like to see it.  Since in the city I can see about three stars I thought the view might be better here.


After saying hello to the property owner we walked the short distance to their fire pit and built a fire (my contribution was to ball up newspaper).  The temperature had easily dropped into the 50s at this point so it was getting cool outside.  We sat around the fire and waited for it to get pitch black outside.  Then we grabbed a big blanket and went down to the field.

Laying on our backs we saw atleast a dozen meteors streak across the sky.  You could see thousands of stars and the Milky Way looked so beautiful.  For someone who is going, going, going all the time it was so nice to sit still and just gaze.  It was pretty much the same way I feel when I watch the ocean.

That was when I had another of my “first” experiences- listening to coyotes!  I have always read the way a coyote cries described in books but never heard one in real life.  It’s such a sad sound!  Surrounded by coyotes, owls and so many other noises looking at the sky it was a perfectly peaceful evening!