one of my favorite places in mn

I’m at the airport. I’m going home.

I moved to CA 3 years ago this month (I arrived on Halloween!). I haven’t been back to Duluth, MN since I left. I didn’t feel capable before now. I miss the place. I miss the people. Desperately.

I feel ready now. I love my new place. I love my work. I love the few friends I’ve made. FYI - making friends in your late 40’s in a place where you know no one is a CHALLENGE.

I’m feeling strong, ready to go back and receive all the love and visit all the favorite places. Although, as I type this, I’m crying. So maybe not?

One of my jobs/passions/hobbies is to do theatre. I act in/direct/produce plays and musicals, and I had quite a few remarkable experiences with the theatre community in Duluth. Tonight, a friend is hosting a house concert for me. She’s hired a pianist and my friends are all preparing songs from shows I directed to sing for me. To celebrate and honor me. I don’t quite know what to do with that. I’m not good at receiving.

So tonight, that’s my goal. To just open my heart and let it all in. And to love them all back as fiercely as I can.

9

THE ENCHANTED ROCK GARDEN 

6445 Lyndale Ave S, Richfield, MN 55423
(612) 866-1140

I don’t usually do reviews, but this place is my absolute favorite place to go when I’m home. The staff are extremely friendly, and really excited to teach you things about rocks and crystals. They can tell you where they came from, how they formed, what they mean in different cultures, and what they were used for, and so on. Really helpful! 

I think I MAYBE covered half the store in these photos. It really doesn’t do them justice. If I had the time, I’d build a light box and photograph some nicer specimens and help them make their website shine, but alas, I had to go home at SOME point. 

Their online presence is at best minimal, so if you want anything, sadly, you have to visit. I can tell you one thing, it’s a really nice attraction. I spend HOURS in this place. EVERYTHING is for sale. One of my favorite pieces, (which SADLY and STUPIDLY I neglected to photograph) is of a fossilized Ammonite Fossil that had opalized. But get this. The opal was DEEP RED. And it’s the size of a salad plate. 

Anyways. 

Upon walking in, it would probably feel like walking in to grandpa’s basement but the organization of this place is incredible. The stones are all carefully managed. There’s even a 50% off section in the very back. The staff are very friendly albeit shy, but also extremely helpful. 

I recommend this to anyone that is in the Minneapolis, MN area! 

I’d sign up to buy and ship things to folks who are interested, but I’m no longer there, haha! 

“Is this your favorite cup of coffee?”

“Yes, this is the cold brew and it’s my favorite cup for now.”

“How many cups of coffee do you drink in a day?”

“I don’t really drink that much coffee in one day, it’s just that if I don’t have it, I fall apart and I’m definitely addicted to coffee in that way.  This place is just my home away from home really.”

Bull Run Coffee | Lyndale Ave. S | Minneapolis, MN

anonymous asked:

Hi Katie! Coming to MN for Christmas to visit family. They live outside of St. Paul/Minneapolis about 15-25 min. Any suggestions for Christmas enjoyment? Coffee shops to read in? Places to enjoy lovely meals?

oh gosh, yes! christmas in minnesota is one of my very favorite things. here’s a list of things i think anyone visiting minnesota during the winter should do:

- ice skating at the depot or at the landmark (or on any of our 10,000+ lakes, really).
- sledding at the orono public golf course.
- watch the holidazzle parade.
- grab a donut from bogart’s.
- see ‘a christmas carol’ at the guthrie.
- try cross-country skiing at theodore wirth park.
- wine-tasting at lucia’s.
- wander around rice park.
eat at brasa.
- take a tour of christmas lights.
- visit one of many breweries.
- …or do both at the same time and drink beer while you take a tour of christmas lights.
- hang out at the minneapolis institute of art.
- grab a coffee from any of the following:
      - spyhouse
      - five watt
      - bull run
      - urban bean
      - bob’s java hut (so serious about this one)
      - claddagh coffee
- …and then take a walk around one of the lakes (my favorites are calhoun, harriet, and lake of the isles).
- visit a christmas tree farm in lake elmo or somerset.
- free yoga at the union depot.
- go see the beautiful holiday flower show in the sunken garden.
- visit a winter farmer’s market.

hope this helps, friend.

xo

“Is this your favorite coffee?”

“It’s not exactly coffee… it’s a chai tea latte and it is definitely my favorite one of those.  This place makes the best chai in Minnesota.”

“Do you drink coffee often?”

“Yes.  I drink daily.  Probably one cup of coffee a day.  I don’t want to become an addict although I’m sure that I’m on the verge of being one.”

Uncommon Grounds | Hennepin Ave | Minneapolis, MN