Entries tagged with “Mall of America”.

Over the holiday weekend, Christy’s sister came to visit us.  Her style of visiting family isn’t going out to see a ton of sights.  She enjoyed just hanging out together – sitting on the front porch swing as opposed to driving frenetically around to see lots of places.  Last year when the rest of her family came, we hit up a bunch of places from this list.

So with Sarah we visited the

Franklin Street Bakery an awesome neighborhood bakery with $1 stimulus bread,

Maria’s Cafe a neighborhood Colombian Restaurant with great pancakes,

an Oromo Wedding luncheon/adventure which included a stop at Holy Land Deli where we all got to see lamb heart, goat feet, and many other “delicacies”,

the Mall of America the symbol of American consumerism,

Ikea the symbol of high quality low cost furniture and accessories,

Seward Church and their Memorial Day cook-out,

Famous Dave’s BBQ a great place for all-types of barbecue and excellent service,

Minnehaha Falls pretty every time of year and always something new,

Downtown Riverfront walking the Heritage Trail – including Stone Arch Bridge, the Guthrie, and St Anthony Main,

Tuggs Tavern great burgers – mine had a fried egg on it and Sarah’s had hashbrowns bigger than her burger patty,

Midtown Global Market another neighborhood gem with great food and stores,

watched me race the Brian Kraft 5k,

hung out at the Landscape Arboretum lots of flowers and trees, especially iris and lilacs,

a relaxing walk on the Midtown Greenway yet another neighborhood treat,

lots of Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot (thanks Hoovers for introducing this great game to us),

and much more!

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Awhile back I wrote a list of links that we had e-mailed to my in-laws so
they could pick out some places to visit on their recent week here in the Twin Cities. Around the same time Bible Money Matters wrote a post about frugal things to do in the Metro-area. Our lists had a lot of overlap.

You may know that the Republican National Convention is being held in St Paul, so naturally there is a lot of tourism buzz around the Twin Cities. This led to the New York Times writing a list of things to see during the 36 hours before the convention starts. I took a look at the list and we’ve done quite a few of these things. So here is there list:

1) MINNEHAHA FALLS – check! website we saw it in the winter and summer!!

2) INTERMISSION WITH A VIEW aka Guthrie Theater –not yet website this is a pretty cool looking theater from the outside with a cantilevered bridge that let’s you stand above the Mississippi River!

3) THAT’S SOME MEATBALL aka 112 Eatery – not yet website there are a ton of great places to eat in the Twin Cities so it may take awhile to hit them all up.

4) WAREHOUSES FOR HUMANS aka 414 Soundbar and Lee’s Liquor Loungeprobably not we aren’t big drinkers so these may be cool and all, but we’ll probably pass.

5) YOU GOING TO EAT THAT? aka Al’s Breakfast not yet sounds great.

6) A NECKLACE OF BLUE aka Chain of Lakes definitely been there! website this is a wonderful part of the city that you could just spend lots of time relaxing and enjoying the sights.

7) SPOON FEEDING aka Walker Art Center just wentwebsite we actually went while the in-laws where here. The art is very modern, the sculpture garden is a lot of fun, and the putt-putt golf course is challenging. The course is “artist designed mini-golf.”

8) AMBULATORY RETAIL aka Mall of America and beyond done Mall of America, never heard of the others. Mall of America is large and an impressive display of consumerism. The other stores listed, Bibelot, Cooks of Crocus Hill, and Dixies on Grand sound pretty interesting but may not be worth the drive.

9) THE NORTH STAR aka nightlife in Uptown. We enjoy the Uptown scene but in short spurts and we’ve never really fully indulged. They suggested Brasa Rotisserie, 331 Club, and Nye’s Polonaise Room.

10) HERE COMES A REGULAR aka CC Club Nope. See #4

11) MEETING ACROSS THE RIVER aka St Paul City Hall and Mickey’s Diner never thought to visit city hall, Mickey’s is great! We’ve been to Minneapolis’ City Hall which is quite impressive. Mickey’s Diner is a cool relic of a by-gone era. Nice greasy food in an old diner car featured in movies and replicated.

12) A HISTORIC VISIT aka Minnesota History Center Should have. The History Center has had some pretty good exhibits since we’ve been here but we never made the journey.


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It was a very busy first week of our new adventure in Minneapolis.

I posted earlier on the first part of the week.  The rest of the week was just as busy and fun-filled.

Wednesday was another training day.  The morning was spent learning basics of volunteer management and then the afternoon was spent with the state Americorps people learning about poverty.  We watched a video, People Like Us, which had some interesting information and perspectives.  I’ve learned a lot about the poverty perspective, but this video also included interviews with the “elite rich.” We then did a poverty simulation, during which my “family” ran out of money a couple of times.  In the discussion period we talked about the safety supports we the “middle class” have and how the poor often don’t.

Thursday was the the first day at my new school.  Sanford is a small middle school in the system but has a high percentage of immigrants and free lunch kids. I got to meet the principal who will be my site supervisor and some of the other support staff.  Most of the teachers were teaching! I got to meet a few of the kids during a Lunch with the Principal.

Friday was a regular VISTA meeting day to check-in and debrief about the past few weeks and what is coming up.  This was the first time I got to meet the rest of the VISTA’s serving in the Minneapolis Public Schools. It seems like a pretty good group of 20 something’s.

It wasn’t all work! We did manage to have some fun. Thursday night I went to Lake Calhoun to run, after stopping by our house and picking up mail. We spent those nights at the hotel, just relaxing.  Friday night we went with Kristofer and Amy to IKEA.  We had planned on going to the Mall of America, but spent too much time at IKEA.  But we got a really good deal on a wardrobe segment.  Originally $70 we got it from the As Is section for $15.  The box was a little torn up, but were told that everything should still be inside.  That was very exciting!

Saturday we went to explore Minneapolis and went to Minnehaha Falls Park.  It was very beautiful, and frozen over!  We were able to walk around on the ice covered creek.  I’ll post some pictures later, but here is the album (if you can’t wait).  We saw American Gangster at a very cool looking 1940’s style Riverview Theater.

To top the weekend off we got to hear John Piper speak, live at Bethlehem Baptist Church.  He rotates between the 3 sites, his sermons are played live via video links, so it was quite cool to actually attend the right site to hear him speak.

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