Eat Pray Love Journey – Day 7 – Minneapolis, Minnesota
I’m pretty much a morning person. I don’t like to sleep in because I feel like I’m wasting time and the longer I sleep, my back starts to hurt. I know, I’m an old lady. I like to take advantage of the morning as best as I can because I feel most productive then. Going to school from elementary to college at 8am and working at 8am has trained me to become a morning person. On Day 7 of my trip, I didn’t sleep in like any other previous days. I got up early around seven in the morning to get ready for the day and to grab breakfast at the house I was staying at. AirBnB said that this house provides breakfast if you wake up early enough. They said it can be Chinese or American food. I was excited about this part of the morning because I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to get to know the family over breakfast. But! If you remember from the previous post, I learned that there was some language barrier between me and my host family. Even though there was this language barrier, I still wanted food. So I went over to the kitchen and said good morning. The lady smiled at me and directed me to milk and cereal. Unfortunately, no Chinese food for breakfast. There wasn’t anything too exciting about the cereal. It was just very bland Chex cereal. So bland that I only poured myself like 4 spoons of it. Then her husband came over and started speaking to me in Chinese. He gave me tea and explained how there were leaves seeping in the pot of hot water. He kindly gave me a thermo of hot water just in case I wanted more. There was no room for me to tell him that I didn’t know any Chinese so I just nodded, smiled at him, and continuously thanked him. The only thing I understood from him was when he said “cha” which means tea in Chinese. I only knew this because of Cha For Tea, one of my favorite boba shops. Once he gave me my tea, he and his wife left for the day. I hung out in the house for a little bit. As I was drinking my green tea, I noticed diagonally in front of me was a picture of cats hanging on the wall. I thought that was interesting… After much sipping my morning tea, I decided to explore the neighborhood before meeting up with Mark. Ah, look at all those tall trees lined up and the golden leaves on the ground! Do you see those brown bags on the right side of the picture? Those are bags of leaves! I know I sound ridiculous for being amazed by that but I just don’t see that in sunny SoCal. This neighborhood had a homey touch to it with a spacious front yard. Nowadays in Orange County at least, a lot of the newer homes don’t have a front lawn where kids can play outside. It was nice to see something different in this neighborhood. They looked like they’re from those classic American movies. I didn’t want my mini adventure in the neighborhood to end but Mark was on his way to pick me up! For lunch, we went to Macy’s at Nicollet Mall which is located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. To be more specific, we ate at Sky Room in Macy’s. Did you know that Macy’s is a pretty big deal here? Who would have thought that you could grab lunch at Macy’s? Apparently it’s common that all Macy’s has a food court except maybe California. Mark was saying that Minnesotans would be surprised to not see a food court at Macy’s if they were to come to California. Sky Room currently has 4 stars with 54 reviews on Yelp. They have a wide range of food such as an all you can eat salad bar, noodles, Mexican food, and the list goes on. I got myself a chicken panini sandwich with a side of coleslaw for $7.20. It was surprisingly good as it was fresh from the grill and service was great there too! The Sky Room itself was all white and spacious. There was a white grand piano in the Sky Room but I think we just missed the pianist. We got there at a good time though when the crowd was dying down. A lot of businessmen and women come here for lunch since it’s pretty convenient to get to. I would highly suggest checking out the Sky Room for lunch because it’s a hidden gem and while you’re eating, you have a great view of the city. We walked around downtown Minneapolis and it was actually quite a peaceful walk. It wasn’t as busy as I was expecting it to be but I guess it’s because everyone was working inside. We went to this one building that was a shopping center but also where some big banks were housed. The interior design was quite eccentric it felt like you were outside in. Then we finally drove over to Mall of America! This historical touristy mall is known for having an amusement park! It was hard to capture a decent picture of the amusement park but here’s what I got: Yup, there’s a Peeps & Company store at the mall. I’ve never seen so many Peeps products before in one store. When I first got to the mall I was overwhelmed at how big it was and how there were so many stores. According to Mark it’s only big because there are two of the same stores. For example, there are two American Eagle, two Journeys, two A&W, and two of almost all of the big branded ones. I was looking for postcards and found one store called “Love From Minnesota” and another store called “I Love Minnesota”. Funny, huh? They both basically sold similar souvenirs. Isn’t the picture below a little funny? Windows on the left side and Apple to the right. I wonder how the employees from both sides feel when they see each other so closely. Like I told Christian, I told Mark that I wanted to see anything scenic that I wouldn’t be able to see in SoCal. He took to one of the 10,000 lakes in Minneapolis called Lake Calhoun. This lake was unbelievable! The reflection of the clouds on the water was so clear! I didn’t realize how clear it was until I took a picture! I was so amazed at how clear the reflection was. Mark said that when it’s winter, the lake is frozen and people will drive on it! I think they will ice skate on it too. It’s just like in the movies! We went over to Minneapolis Sculpture Garden which is freely opened to the public. It has 4.5 stars with 95 reviews on Yelp. There are artworks scattered around this scenic botanical garden. You can probably finish walking around the garden within an hour or so depending on how long you want to stand in front of a sculpture and look pensive. I love seeing trees lined up. I’m not sure if it’s the OCD in me but I appreciate symmetry and structure. Yup, I love trees that are lined up. For dinner, I had Vietnamese food at Quang Restaurant! I know, I was surprised too that there was authentic Vietnamese food in Minneapolis. When we got there, it was so busy! I shouldn’t have been surprised it was busy because it has some good reviews on Yelp. It has 4 stars with more than 400 reviews! Sometimes on a cold day, I like to get cold food. So I got myself a vermicelli with beef. It had the fish sauce where you pour over the noodles. The fish sauce could have been a little sweeter and a tad bit less watery but overall it was good for the fact that it’s in Minnesota. Definitely, nothing can beat Vietnamese food from SoCal! If I’m back in Minneapolis and I’m craving some kind of Vietnamese food, I wouldn’t mind coming back here. After dinner, I went to go play kickball with Mark and his friends. Good thing I brought my workout clothes! (Yes, I worked out throughout the first half of my trip.) The thing was, I ended up not playing. The captain had all the positions assigned for the whole game so there was no spot for me. It worked out well that I didn’t play because I haven’t played kickball since forever ago and I was afraid that I going to mess up the game for whatever reason. When we got there, I didn’t realize how cold it was going to be! I think it went down to high 20’s or low 30’s! It was so cold that a few of Mark’s friends gave me a scarf and gloves to bundle up in. It helped for a little bit wearing those. I had my legs crossed like Indian style because I was so cold and I wanted to curl up but doing that was a bad idea. My legs got numb pretty quickly because I had lost circulation in my legs from the cold weather. So I stretched my legs out and had to shake them off to get the circulation going. I did that periodically throughout the game. I probably looked weird doing that. Note to self: Quadruple layer up in workout clothes when you’re in Minnesota in the fall at night time. Oh man, it was pretty painful being outside in the cold. I don’t know how I survived that night but I think it helped that the game was entertaining. Unfortunately, Mark’s team lost but it was a good game to watch! Afterwards, we all hung out at Yard House to stay warm. It was fun meeting new friends, seeing Minnesotan nature, and experiencing darn cold weather! I loved it all! Thanks Mark for showing me around!