minnesota twins

7.09.2014

it's been almost two weeks since claudin and i were in minnesota for our annual "twin trip" and i've had this post drafted for days, but the fourth of july + the slow death of my computer put a wrench in the works. i mean, a beautiful weekend spent with family and friends is one thing {and you can't just SKIP america's favorite holiday so i HAD to blog about that first}, but a computer on the fritz is another. anyway. minnesota, finally!

we stayed in duluth three days and never got to see lake superior while we were there - not even after running 26.2 miles down its coast. the fog remained tightly drawn like a misty curtain over the length of its banks and only the distant sounds of water lapping gave any kind of hint to the great lake that extended beyond. but what the seaport town lacked in idyllic seaportness that weekend, it made up for with the architechtual charm of its historic downtown.
the main street is decked out in herringbone brickwork and accessorized with streetlamps, which really suites the handsome turn-of-century buildings that line it, if i do say so myself. we strolled the kinks out of our marathon-pounded muscles, going from one end of town to the other, taking pictures and stopping in locally owned shops along the way. touring duluth was like the best post-race recovery in disguise. and not that the town wasn't captivating enough with it's dapper charisma, but after a few days, we drove down to the twin cities for the next leg of our trip.

it was decidedly summer when we arrived in saint paul {with blue skies and all!}, only not in the muggy- northestern kind of way, but the mild-midwestern kind of way. we checked in at our airbnb, which was an 1880s victorian on the outside and stylistically scandinavian on the inside. there were bright ferns hanging on the front porch and twinklelights strung in the patio. there were succulents on the windowsills and stacks of vinyls in the music room. it was bright and modern, with an integrity that would make the designers at ikea proud. since there was all kinds of daylight left after we unpacked, claudin and i walked the mile downtown to grab some pizza and raise our glasses to "vacation".

doesn't it just FEEL sweedish?

we spent the next few days riding around on bikes, going from one restaurant or cafe to the next, eating small amounts at each, and stopping at shops in between. there's no better way to get to know a place than by eating your way through wandering it. better yet is getting lost a few times and finding those hidden jems yelp doesn't tell you about. but with nothing on the agenda, it was all good. so we took our time lingering over empty plates and dregs of coffee, enjoying uninterrupted conversation. and even though our arms were relieved to be free of twenty-pound koala-babies, we carried thoughts of those sweet little ones into every children's bookstore or clothing boutique we saw. 

bike share programs may scream "tourist" but, who really cares when you look this cute cruisin' around.


the copper hen was as beautiful as it was delicious. we shared a cheese board and took cookies that were as big as our faces to go.
spending the afternoon doing some "coffee shop research"  
ok, so we did have one thing scheduled during our stay in the twin cities and that was a day at the salon. oh, the demands!  i booked us appointments at honeycomb, which came highly recommended by yelp and that i can now attest to. it was a bright space, thoughtfully curated with minnesota-made products and run by an awesome group of women. i enjoyed talking with my stylist - who was also the owner - about opening and running a successful business, taking loads of mental notes the whole time.
then, two hours and a combined four inches of hair shorter, claudin and i biked alllllll the way back to our airbnb.it was almost another entire marathon we covered biking from minneapolis to st paul, but after getting "turned around" a couple of times, we probably logged closer to thirty miles that day. at least we got see spectacular views of the mighty mississippi, even if it was ten o'clock at night and already dark. did i mention that minnesota has the most impressive {and safe and very well-lit} bike system in probably the entire country? well it does and hopefully that puts any fears to rest.
refueling at grand ole creamery 
plus, we never would've got to catch this sight of the cathedral of st paul at night

this vacation was totally indulgent {as they should be, no?} aside from the race, there we no responsibilities or obligations. we stayed up late, we watched movies, we citied-around, and ate our weights worth in great food. the days were so packed that it almost kept my mind distracted from how badly i missed august. when i got home though and got to see those shaky legs take two tentative steps, with arms out for balance and mouth open in concentration, it was like the fun was just getting started. it's pretty great when coming home is just as good as going on vacation.

19 comments:

Claudin Mangum said...

Puts me right back there - two weeks ago. i love this lewie! again, not only are your visuals spectacular, but the narrative is on point and delightful! thanks for another fantastic twinner trip, coach. ;)

Amy S. said...

It looks like such a charming place!
And it's great that you and your sister were able to have some quality time together, just the two of you, doing things you really enjoy. But I bet it was nice to come home to that cute little kiddo of yours (and his daddy too, I suppose! :-) )
Are y'all planning on any MT visits this summer?

lucinda said...

yeah, it's funny how something as basic as getting a hair cut is actually a special treat. ha! minneapolis really is a great town with so much to do.

lucinda said...

it was my third time in minnesota and each visit i get to know it a little better and like it a bit more. i love getting to explore cool places with my sister - it'll be even more fun when the children are a little older and we can bring them with!

lucinda said...

*sigh* 'twas a good one... on to the next!

Sarah said...

OMG, why am I just now hearing about airbnb? I mean, I just took a look and I could have saved big buck on our recent Chattanooga trip? What a neat concept. Looks like you had a perfect escape!

Heather @ Run Like a G! said...

Hello! Thank you for checking out my blog!
I love this recap! What a fun trip! I also read your marathon recap! Way to go, congrats on such an awesome marathon!!!! :)

gillian claire said...

oh goodness, SO many lovely photos here!

lucinda said...

hi! thanks heather! i've enjoyed following along your running journey. you have a positivity that comes through in your blog and is inspirational. keep it up! :)

Petra said...

sounds and looks like a fantastic trip. a good friend of mine lives there. seems like I really have to visit her :)

lucinda said...

oh you should! there's so much to do and i can only imgine what kind of pictures you'd take with YOUR skills!

Hannah Smith | fox and willow said...

oh man! this is making me want to go on a vacation with my sister asap! everything here sounds amazing! well, except I wouldn't have been able to bike that much, ha!

lucinda said...

ha! well even epic bike rides are fun when you've got a cohort. ;)

Latrina M. said...

Wow, Minneapolis seems like such a cute + fun city! I loved your imagery. :)

And yes! AIRBND is just about the best, I use them whenever I travel!

ANY clue as to what record player that was? I love it! :)

lucinda said...

i know what you mean, seeing all these travel posts around the interwebs has given me some serious wanderlust! hopefully our little MN trip should hold me over until the next one!

Indy O'Hara said...

Yesssss, I love travel posts! I really love that foggy city photo - nice capture! And everything looks so wonderful, makes me want to hit the road again! :)

lucinda said...

i heard you! that was awesome, thanks caitlin!

Caitlin said...

I cheered for both of you around mile 24.7 or so! Best of luck in your upcoming races! So cool you guys do an annual twin trip. So cute. :-)

Tanya Jean said...

How perfect are all of these pictures, and being able to get your hair done. I'm definitely in need at the moment! I just adore Minneapolis and getting to visit :)
xo TJ

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