5 Twin Cities Dates to go on this Summer

So you found that special someone did ya? I bet you want to take them out on some great dates too! Not to worry, I’ve done all of the creative thinking for you. All you have to do is follow the instructions below and enjoy your date. Oh, and by the way, I will expect an invite to the wedding since I am helping you out after all ;).

1. Longfellow Neighborhood Date:

Start the evening around 5pm with a stroll by Minnehaha falls, and then take a swing into Sea Salt Eatery for some great food. When you are finished eating their scrumptious sea food, drive a few miles to the Riverview Theater to catch a movie. I’m a lover of all things vintage, and this is my favorite theater in the metro because walking in is like taking a step back in time. When we took my mom there for the first time, she said that it reminded her of the theaters she grew up going to. Another reason I like it is because it’s easy on the wallet. Instead of showing the most current films, it plays the most popular movies that just exited the regular theaters. So go ahead, get your special someone some popcorn AND a soda… You can afford it ;)! Finish out the evening across the street at the charming Riverview Cafe to grab a late coffee, tea, or wine at their wine bar. You might even be able to catch some live music before or after the movie! Check Riverview’s schedule to see who is playing when you are planning to go.

2. Downtown Minneapolis Date:

I can’t get enough of the beautiful weather in the summer, so take a walk across the Stone Arch Bridge. If you have the time, consider setting up a tour of the Mill City Museum as well. When you are ready to go inside, head over to The Dakota Jazz club for an amazing dinner and to listen to some tunes. You will need to reserve your table and tickets in advance. Do this by clicking here. This will be a fun & classy evening that anyone would enjoy.

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3. Uptown Minneapolis Date:

This is a great date to have on a Saturday afternoon. Head over to Surdyk’s in North East sometime before lunch. Take a look around their their deli and cheese shop to pick out the perfect picnic spread (including at least 1 or 2 of their amazing cheeses). I recently went here with a friend and accidentally spent over $20 on cheese alone. It’s all just soooo good. Take your food to go and drive over to lake Calhoun. Rent a canoe, enjoy a paddle around the lakes, and eat your lunch together on one of the more secluded lakes for a bit of romance.

4. Stillwater, MN Date:

Take the half hour drive east to Historic Stillwater. Wander down historic Main Street together and look in all of the shops. At your scheduled departure time, head south on main street to where the riverboats are docked. Have a great dinner and enjoy the sights as you boat down the river. Surprisingly, you can get both the boat ride and dinner for only $30 a person! Book your tickets here.

 

5. Edina, MN Date:

Centennial Lakes in Edina may be man made, but it has a certain charm to it. Walk hand-in hand around the lakes, play some mini golf, and then head up the stairs to Pinstripes for dinner. To extend your evening, schedule a game of indoor bocce or bowling at Pinstripes, or relax by either one of their 2 outdoor fire pits.

 

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Why You Won’t go on Vacation & Why You Probably Should

You could be in Amsterdam in eight hours. In Cape Town in sixteen. You could be scaling the Andes Mountains in Patagonia right now –while  wearing your favorite Patagonia coat. So why are you still sitting on your couch? Why haven’t you left your home state in twenty years? And why aren’t you living the crazy life you’ve always dreamed of? It’s a proven fact that people are happier when they have a vacation planned. It’s often said that a vacation gives you something to look forward to. This alone should be enough to convince you to start saving for a trip. However, it’s not always that easy, is it? If you are anything like me, practicality often gets in the way of adventure. Three of the biggest reasons people don’t take vacations is because of money, time, and flat out fear.

Addressing the “I don’t have enough money” mindset:

Have you ever put new tires before a Las Vegas getaway with friends? Or maybe a new lawn mower got in the way of that perfect getaway to Chicago. Whatever it is that stops you from saving for a vacation, it doesn’t have to take away from the exciting adventure that could await. Sometimes all it takes is a simple shift in mindset to make the unthinkable happen.

When Dan and I were first married we made very little money. I worked part-time while finishing school as Dan started his first year teaching. Our apartment was a one bedroom located in the bad part of Minneapolis. Despite that, we decided that traveling would be a priority for us. But how did we do it? We traded some things for others. So, I want to propose a question. What are the things in your life that you don’t actually need?  Consider dropping your cable to put that money aside for a trip. Do you need the newspaper when many are available to read online? Transportation is necessary, but does it have to be a 2016 model? Just start thinking about it. I could bet that most people reading this article could at least save $10 a month in a vacation fund. It’s a start!

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Addressing the “I’m too busy” mindset:

Have you ever been so busy that the thought of adding one more thing to your schedule makes you feel like you’ll break? I have, and at this point a vacation isn’t just a want, it’s a need. You can only run on low batteries for so long before they run out. If the thought of laying on the white sand beaches of Aruba is cathartic, imagine how healing it would be to actually be there. Between the two of us, Dan and I work over 130 hours a week. Add a social life to that, errands, cleaning house… etc… we aren’t left with much extra time. Our particular schedule may look different than yours, but I know that we aren’t the only ones who have only a precious few hours to spend leisurely. That’s why you need to recharge your batteries. Our lives are so busy, that if we don’t slow down from time to time, we really could break. If you have enough PTO, use some. If your parents said they would watch your kids, don’t feel guilty, take advantage of the opportunity. If you think you’ve got too much going on at work, take care of the things that need attention right away, and leave the rest for later.

 

 

Addressing the “I’m too scared” mindset:

When you are at the end of your life looking back at all you’ve done, won’t you want to reflect on all of the seized opportunities, and revel in the fact that you took control of life? In the short life I’ve already lived, I’ve learned that some of the scariest experiences in life are the best experiences. When we were in the Cayman Islands a few years back, Dan made me hold a stingray while on a snorkeling adventure. I was terrified while I watched others pick them up, but I was also jealous of the life experience they were having. He saw the wistful look in my eye and encouraged me to hold one even though I was scared. I’m thankful for the push he gave me. That will forever be one of my favorite experiences in life. What are the things you have wanted to do, but you let fear stand in the way?

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Can you see the man swimming after the stingray :D!?

 

 

If you are still struggling to justify a vacation, I will give you a few more reasons to just bite the bullet and plan the trip:

  1. It’s a chance to invest in yourself.
  2. It gives you the break you need to recharge your batteries for life.
  3. If you’re married or dating, it’s a chance to invest in your relationship.
  4. It helps you expand your interests.
  5. It opens your world view.
  6. It’s a chance to invest in your family.
  7. It’s a chance to build new relationships.
  8. It can be a spiritual experience.
  9. Because accumulating experiences is better than collecting stuff
  10. It’s a chance to give back (missions or volunteer trips)

 

 

 

  • PS, I want to give a quick shout out to my husband Dan for doing an amazing edit on this post!

 

 

How Minnesotans Handle the Spring

It’s all relative. How we handle different experiences has to do with what we’ve already done. Sometimes you know how to navigate a situation like the back of your hand, and others leave you wondering how it will turn out. One thing I know for sure is that as Minnesotans we understand the cold. But something happens year after year leaving us unsure of what to do and how to act. It is spring! Spring isn’t a definitive time in Minnesota and it throws us all out of whack. Yes, all of us. How can I know that we ALL go through this strange and confusing range of emotions in the spring?  Social media. You can learn a lot about human nature from it ;)! So how confused are we? Scroll down to read about our varying actions and emotions regarding this confusing season.

1. We wear inappropriate clothing

One day it’s 50 degrees, so we throw on our Daisy Dukes and a pair of flip flops. Let’s be real here, in warmer climates 50 degrees is not shorts weather. The next day we assume it will be just the same and we look like a fool wearing those same shorts and flip flops in 20 degree weather. You reason with yourself, “but it looked sunny when I peaked out my window this morning!” Don’t worry Minnesotans, it’s not your fault, it’s the erratic weather’s. We’ve all been there and take pity on you.

2. We measure our snow. 

It starts to warm up just a bit and all the snow slowly goes away, but leave it to spring to pile it on us again. In the dead of winter the steady dumping of that white stuff aint no thang. It feels like an injustice in the spring though. To cope with it, we pull our rulers out and measure, post it on social media, and voice our opinions about the unwanted snowfall. It shouldn’t surprise us that it happened, because it happens every year, but this measuring thing is just one of the many ways we can feel like we have control about what’s going on.

3. We get nostalgic

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Winter Wonderland – You have to admit that it’s beautiful

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas comes back onto the playlist, and in between the rants and pictures of the snowfall totals, we see the overly romantic folks talking about the fluffy snow that’s hung lightly on the branches. When they wake up the next morning and realize the snow is still there, they pull out their rulers and post photos of that instead.

4. The Weather Nazi’s terrorize us into putting the flannel sheets on again

AKA the morning news anchors. They get us excited about our warm days and then use phrases like “it won’t stay long” or “beware of plummeting temperatures.” In reality it only goes back down to 20-40 degrees, but they have you so nervous about the plummet that you pull out the flannel sheets again. 35 degree temperatures and a  1″-3″ snowfall in the dead of winter would feel amazing, but they’ve got to build it up come spring time. Why not add on a winter weather advisory for the drama of it all?

5. We take spring break trips to make it through winter forgetting that Minnesota starts to warm up at the same time.

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We want to rub it in the faces of our friends that we are basking in the sun. We leave for our trips to Florida and then see pictures of people back home in Minnesota out on walks proclaiming the glory of 60 degrees. In reality, we probably booked that warm weather trip in January when we thought we couldn’t survive the cold temps a day longer. At that point we fail to realize that Minnesota DOES get some warm days by the time spring break hits. It may be warmer where you are, Spring Breakers, but not THAT much warmer. You only get small bragging rights.

6. Minnesotans who have moved away to warmer climates mock us.

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The abuse of winter haunts us years after we have moved away. If you have lived in Minnesota, you will never forget how cold it gets (no matter how many times your therapist tells you that you must). When you make the move, and experience 75 degrees and sunny in March, the sunshine feels like a victors prize that you can’t help but gloat about. You all know you would do the exact same thing if you moved away, so don’t condemn them too much ;).

7. We post TBT pictures to remind us of warmer times.

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We are all guilty of it… We open the shades the morning after a 60 degree day and see the snow falling again. We throw ourselves into a state of depression, snuggle under our electric blankets, and post TBT pictures of our vacations to remind ourselves that it won’t last forever. It can’t, right? RIGHT?

8. Ultimately we get over it, forget that time of year that we were so confused, and then do it all over again the next spring.

Good luck Minnesotans.