Never a tourist in your own city?

So the saying goes, “You’re never a tourist in your own city,” but those who say it have clearly never had anyone visit them. My boyfriend arrived in Minneapolis December 21st, and after Christmas and family events had died down (in places like Brainerd/Little Falls/Randall/Elk River), we found ourselves back in Minneapolis – civilization.

We spent the first few days looking at jobs, apartments, and other big kid things before realizing: it’s MINNEAPOLIS! And I hadn’t shown Chandler anything (nor given him any reason to want to stay a while longer unless you count freezing weather, no snow, and enough sunless days in a row to make anyone depressed).

So we started our tour of Minneapolis on New Year’s Eve – at 612Brew. Chandler loves breweries and sampling local beers – I’ve always been more of a wine or gin drinker myself, but even I found something I liked here! The space was small, but between the cozy atmosphere, board games on every table, and food truck outside, the place felt like home. And their Payback Oatmeal Porter didn’t hurt either : )

My sister accompanied us as our DD (and constant entertainer) and we found ourselves weaving through downtown showing Chandler our favourite buildings, restaurants, and libraries. After a quick stop at Mesa Pizza (because yes, at the age of 24, I still crave mac ‘n’ cheese pizza), we made it back to my sister’s for a small house party to ring in the New Year.

Because things had been so calm the night before, we were able to start the next day (fairly) fresh and early. Our first stop was for brunch at Colossal Cafe. Shortly put, it was delicious. And you should eat their egg and cheese sandwich on a homemade biscuit immediately.

Then it was off to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, one of my favourite places in the city, and TripAdvisor’s top attraction in Minneapolis. After nearly four hours, we realized we had only seen 2/3 of the exhibits! Some of the art reminded us of our recent trip abroad (and made us want to go back!). Other bits reminded us you can never escape where you’ve been haha (Ethiopia):

EthiopiaBut after a quick trip through the gift shop (in the same way I can never leave a bookstore without purchasing a book, I can almost never leave a museum gift shop without buying  something as well!), we vowed to return another day, because we had one more stop to make before the sun set.

Minnehaha Falls. I’ve been in the spring, but never in the winter, and the thought of walking behind the frozen falls fascinated me. We couldn’t stay long – Chandler hasn’t quite acclimated to the temperature difference, but what time we did spend there was incredible.

Minnehaha Falls 1Minnehaha Falls 4

Minnehaha Falls 3The following day we were back to being responsible adults and we spent some time in Uptown checking out apartment options. Fun fact…Minneapolis is the second hardest city in the United States to find a rental in. The only place more difficult: San Jose, CA. Of course, my boyfriend found this “fun fact” while complaining about apartment hunting…I haven’t actually been able to confirm it independently : )

The next day it was back to fun in the…well, we still haven’t had much sun lately, so we’ll just say fun. Once again we decided to start the day with brunch! This time it was at Pracna On Main, because anyone who came in between 11 am and 2 pm could request a free brunch entree – one of the only perks I’ve noticed for using Twitter (free stuff! For when you’re on a budget).

That afternoon we decided to meander through the Walker Art Center – because it’s free on the first Saturday of the month. I have to say, I’m not a big fan of contemporary art and I was thrilled that the only thing I had to pay for was parking. The whole time we were inside I just wanted to click my heels three times and find myself back in MIA.

Luckily, things got better once we got outside. Freezing as it was, I’ve always loved the sculpture garden. There’s something about that damn cherry and spoon that always make me feel at home.

Sculpture GardenThere’s still a lot more I have to show Chandler, but I think this was a good first dip in Minneapolis. What are some of your favourite things to do here (or in St. Paul!)? I may have to add them to our list…

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