From fall to winter in two hours

A journey that began the morning of June 3rd ended last night when my flight landed in Minneapolis. Two and half years – that’s how long it too me to fly around the world. But I’d say I got a good amount done during that time. I’ve also seen an incredible amount of the world.

According to TripAdvisor I’ve seen 6% of the world with Chandler, and even more when factoring in what I’ve done on my own. The map below recounts everywhere we’ve gone together – which is literally everything I’ve done the last two year and a half years, with the exception of my trip to Italy summer of 2013 with my mom and sister.

Map of tripThese last two weeks were spent in DFW, Texas…the area that Chandler’s always considered home. It was really exciting to be somewhere that was familiar to at least one of us. I got to meet his family and friends, see where he grew up, and go to some of his favourite spots.

One of the first things we did was go to the Gaylord ICE Show featuring Frosty the Snowman. It was hilarious seeing people not accustomed to cold/ice go through the exhibition – and lest you think I’m mocking Texans, I’m far from used to that same cold and I’m sure I looked just as silly!

But really, the sculptures were stunning – the attention to detail was amazing and the Frosty theme was so much fun. They even had ice slides for the kiddos…which only made me want to click my heels three times to be sledding back home in Brainerd.

Gaylord ICE 1

Gaylord ICE 2

Aside from that afternoon, we had strictly fall weather in Texas…which was awesome given it’s my favourite season and I knew I had definitely missed it in Minnesota this year!

I spent Thanksgiving with Chandler’s family – it was lovely to be surrounded by a family during a holiday! The following day Chandler, his brother, and I went to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, all of which was lovely, especially the Japanese Garden. The trees were stunning and the site of them being reflected on the water was incredible.

We spent the afternoon wandering through the grounds, feeding the fish, and goofing off. All the while, the temps were high 60s, low 70s – a perfect reminder of why I love this season.

Japanese Garden 1

Japanese Garden 2Afterward, we made our way to some of Fort Worth’s museums. We needed to kill some time because our main museum had half-price tickets at 5 pm, so we found ourselves at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. I have no better way to describe this museum than by repeating the comment my boyfriend made about it: This place looks exactly like the paintings in Pawnee…from Parks & Rec.

After that rough patch, we found ourselves at the Kimbell Art Museum. Impressive in and of itself, it had some lovely artwork, including: Claude Monet’s Weeping Willow, Hubert Robert’s The Fountain, and Gerrit Dou’s Dentist By Candlight. My favourite piece was Modello for the Fountain of the Moor by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, because the finished piece now stands in Piazza Navona – possibly my favourite spot in Rome.

But what really blew my mind was their special exhibit – Faces of Impressionism: Portraits from the Musée d’Orsay. Never before have I been in such a magnificent room…filled with works by Edgar Degas (including his first painting depicting a ballerina, Orchestra of the Opera), Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet, and Claude Monet (I loved Woman with a Parasol turned to the Right – despite its name!).

The following day we were a little less high-brow, and we spent the afternoon at Revolver Brewery. I’m not a beer drinker, but I got to reconnect with a friend from high school. It was also my first truly “Texan” day. With the honky-tonk band playing in the background and everyone around me wearing cowboy boots, the landscape looked pretty picturesque.

Revolver Brewery

Revolver Brewery 2And now, I’m happy to say I’m home. And so far, Minneapolis is everything I remembered it to be. Also, I’m even more excited to show it to Chandler when he gets up here in a few weeks. He got to show me his home, and soon, I’ll get to do the same.

I’m just going to need to bundle up first! Minnesota is a lot colder than Texas was!

Botanical Garden

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