Sunday, April 27, 2014

Family trip to Minnesota

It's amazing how some things in life change and others stay completely the same. I know that is not exactly an original thought, but after a weekend back in Minnesota it really rings true to me. M and I's life has changed so much with new jobs, a new city, a new house and big new life stage with a daughter. However, being back in Minnesota it was as if we were almost 24 year olds again at the Lone Tree. My old boss at Honeywell still had the same humor, downtown was still really fun and my drinking buddies were still ready and willing to share stories of guys trips past over multiple rounds of whiskey.

There will always be a part of me that looks back on the years I spent in Minneapolis fondly, and I think having a connection to the city in the future is important. I've now been back three times in the two and a half years since moving from Columbus, and while I probably can't keep up that rate, it would be nice to have periodic trips back. There will always be a part of me that wishes we still lived there, even if I enjoy the advantages of where we currently live.

The one big thing that has changed with our lives is our daughter, and traveling with her was something that was a big concern. She had never been on a plane before, and we were extremely concerned about the ins and outs of traveling with a child. I don't know if we were lucky or if it isn't as big of a deal, but it really couldn't have gone much better traveling with her. She slept for 75% of the first flight and 100% of the second flight, and to say that was a relief would be an understatement.

Other random thoughts from the trip:
  1. One of the best sandwiches of all time is the Surdyk's wine bar in the Minneapolis airport. Seriously try the Italian Stallion (no onions) if you ever have a free 30 minutes at MSP.
  2. When traveling - be the easy person to travel with - not the difficult one. M is thankfully a good traveling companion, who makes my life easier by looking up directions, coordinating activities with friends and keeping me sane.
  3. Being hungover with children around is absolutely terrible. I knew this before, but it is worth repeating and considering again next time I think another whiskey is a good idea.
  4. I miss the people I work with, but not the work. It is nice to know that on a day to day basis the work I am currently doing is better than at any other time before.
  5. The food scene in Minneapolis is really, really good. From old standbys like Amore Victoria to a somewhat new experience at the Smack Shack (we had gone to the food truck, but not the restaurant) to eating my way through downtown Minneapolis on Friday night (Bradstreet Crafthouse is worth going back to time and time again), it was all outstanding.
  6. Minneapolis is still very cold. We lucked out with weather on Friday/Saturday, but the cold rain of today provided a stark contrast to the weather in Columbus. It felt like going from winter to spring traveling from Minneapolis to Columbus.
  7. Twins game> Clippers game....and it isn't close at all.
  8. Now that going to Target Field isn't as trendy as it was when the stadium opened, you can get close seats for not very much. We paid $50/seat for seats between home and 3rd that were 2nd row behind the Champions Club. 
  9. Minneapolis is an underrated city - and not just by the country at-large - M's old coworkers didn't really believe us when we said we planned this trip to visit friends and eat good food. 
  10. Good hosts can make all the difference. Thankfully we were set up all weekend with some of the best hosts around. I can't say enough about their hospitality in letting them into their home. L loved crawling around and playing with their two kids. It was such a better option than a hotel.

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