This year, I did something I never ever ever imagined I would do in my wildest dreams.
I planned my major summer vacation to take place in Minnesota.
What reason could I possibly have for vacationing in the mid-west?
Erik happens to be from right outside of Minneapolis, and I love visiting new spots … so to the midwest it was!
Erik had flown out earlier in the week to have a bit of solo time with his family, so he came to pick me up at the airport and then drove us to St. Paul to meet Pamela and Becka, two of my best friends from NYU.
We had a very satisfying dinner at Punch Pizza, and it looked like this:
After dinner, Erik took off to meet his mama for dinner, and I stayed with the girls to wander around downtown Minneapolis. We caught sight of the Aquatennial fireworks from Pamela’s office building …
… and then …
… we situated ourselves at Zelo for dessert!
Obviously, I was in heaven going back and forth between the rhubarb crumble and the chocolate lava cake.
(I did, however, have significantly less of the chocolate because, as I have mentioned, I was ulcer-ridden this whole summer and under doctor’s orders to stay away from chocolate, tomato, caffeine, soda, spicy food, citrus, alcohol, and any other food that sounds fun.)
The next morning, we were up with the sun in preparation for Becka’s yoga class. Lucky for me, Becka is a yoga instructor and she and Pamela pulled some strings to get me in!
I warmed up with a soymilked vanilla rooibos and a Van’s with jam:
The class was excellent! I hadn’t been to hot yoga in ages, and Becka made me realize how much I missed it. Also, the yoga studio was conveniently located above Bread and Chocolate:
I had lotssssssssss of samples:
And I took the ladies’ advice and ordered the almond croissant:
Ahhhhhhhhh, this was incredible. It was stuffed with almond paste. Mmmmmmm, it was like eating a delicious hunk of marzipan wrapped in perfectly buttery, sweet, flaky bread.
Between the croissant and the chai I got with it, I well exceeded my sugar quota for the day. I could hardly see straight when I was done! We counteracted the sugar daze with a long walk through their St. Paul neighborhood.
My goodness, would you look at this house?!
It was one of dozens and dozens. I have never seen such a high concentration of beautiful houses!
After our walk, Erik came back and collected me to head to his mom’s house for some grilling action.
We had corn on the cob, baked beans, and brats!
Watermelon for a palette-cleanser:
And carrot cake made by JohnO, Erik’s stepdad.
After dinner, Erik took me for a walk around Lake Calhoun.
I was sold in 30 seconds.
… we …
… move …
… to …