Saturday, August 09, 2014

Saturday in the Twin Cities

Early Evening

Did I wear the young ones out today? The apartment is quiet...


They planned a day's worth of events and foods and ramblings and now, in the early evening, they're taking a nap upstairs, as if to conserve energy for the rest of my visit! Or is it that their week is long and the play weekend is short and it has to accommodate missed sleep from previous days?

What a full and beautiful day it has been!

From a delicious brunch at the French Hen Cafe (a name with such a good intertwining of two themes that seem to be running through my life right now)...

minneapolis-3.jpg a walk along the grand Mississippi River (the grandest of natural wonders, don't you think? - my girl muses) and then to the dam that creates the pounding waterfall that surely proves her point...




And, too, we side-step to the Polish Fest, right there, by the river. (So many Poles in the Twin Cities? Who knew!)

(Polish organic farmers)

Of course, it's all about the food here...

(typical fare: potato pancakes, kielbasa, pierogi, stuffed cabbage...)

(paczki -- doughnuts, filled with rose or plum jam)

...and the polka dancing...



...but not only. (What thoughts are meandering through this woman's head, as she sits there in her wreath of flowers and her clothes of red and white?)


We linger for a while...



...then go further into the neighborhood, where my girl and her husband show me a truly Polish bar, a place, they say, where in the evenings, there is more polka dancing and singing too.  
Polish songs? I ask.  
More like 'Moon River'... she tells me, smiling.

We sip a Polish beer...


... then walk even deeper into the neighborhood, pausing at a Polish sausage store...


...where, in fact, you can also pick up (and I do!) Polish sauerkraut and a Polish herbal tea I like (Melysa)...


And that's not the end. We visit a cafe with good, strong coffee ('the Empire') and a delicious peach cake (I'll be baking one on Monday, just you wait!), and then still more: we go to an apple cider distillery ('Sociable Cider Werks'), where you can see the vats and sample the product (so add that to my list of beverage distilleries that I have now visited)...



...and now my favorite Twin Cities couple is plum tuckered out, but me, I'm so excited about being here and seeing the city through their eyes, that I sit back and take this moment to jot down a few notes and download a few photos, because I know that if I do any of this after dinner, I will be the one dozing off and it will take me one hour to write one sentences (which is what happened last night, hence the ridiculously late posting).

After Dinner

We eat our evening meal as a foursome -- with his mom who happens to be in town right now, at the terrific 112 Eatery. Aside from birthdays and weddings more recently, I never eat out in restaurants in lively configurations these days and so it is especially delightful to indulge in all the foods and accoutrements of a grand dining experience, where it's more than just me, or just Ed and me. 


And now its nearly over -- I'll have a Sunday morning and then puff! -- out I'll go, to become once more a more distant (but always so very eager!) participant in their lives. 

between meals

You could say that I am writing this between meals. There was breakfast (ah, how well I remember it!)...


(Is he grinning because he knows he'll get a break from morning photos for two days?)

And a lovely walk through the farmette yard, appreciating the strong show of annuals, especially now, in the full heat of August (note the expanding nasturtium and of course the cosmos)...


And then there will be dinner. Greatly anticipated, well planned, delicious sounding, happily reserved dinner, in Minneapolis.

Except, what's this? As I wait in Madison at the parking lot where the bus picks up riders, an email comes in on someone's iPhone from Megabus. Running late.

Geez Louise! Not JUST late. 1 hr. 45 min. late. Of course, if you know Megabus, you'll know that there are no comfortable waiting areas. You're on the curb. It works well, except when the bus is ultra late.

There is a big "I should have known" running through me. Last time I took this bus to the Twin Cities, it was two hours late getting there and four hours late coming back. And it was winter. The curb seemed like a cold and lonely place to wait.

The email notice tells us not to move far. The driver will try to make up some of the lost time. Fine, but it's hot and there is little shade. Some of the people leave. I go to a nearby Arby's with a view toward the stop.

And no sooner do I settle in with my computer and an iced tea than boom! The bus arrives. So not 1 hr. 45 min. late but only 45 min (at this point) late. Me, I'm happy. (My daughter obligingly calls the restaurant yet a third time to change the reservation. I can imagine her sweet voice -- no, not at 10:30 after all... yes, I know you're immensely busy and it's the weekend... now she's coming in not so late, but still late, so we can be there at 9:30...) Less happy will be those people who left the stop for a while.

And now what's this? We're not going to Minneapolis? Oh, we're going to downtown Madison first! Who knew. No wonder this trip takes six hours. Lord.

(This is the time that I think of trains zipping between points on other continents and sigh. We almost got a rail link to Minneapolis. Almost.)

And so the bulk of the post is written between meals. Breakfast, dinner. 'It ends with dinner. At Bar La Grassa, where I eat like a pig and indulge in that feeling of well being that comes when irksome details resolve themselves, as they so often do and life proceeds smoothly, lovingly forward.