Neither of us grew up with a family cabin.
As we’ve moved back to our home state, I’ve a deep longing to make up for 34 years of cabin life.
I never felt this longing before. Friends would tell me they were “going up North.” I generally knew where Up North was, but didn’t really know what they did.
In hindsight, I get why my folks didn’t want to own a cabin. Still, I’m intrigued by cabin life and feel drawn towards Northern Minnesota.
Our friends graciously invited us to their family cabin for a weekend.
Even though we’ve lived in the Twin Cities most of our lives, there are many classic and much talked-about restaurants we haven’t visited.
The North Loop area in downtown Minneapolis has boomed since our first move to Fargo and we haven’t spent much time there. In fact, we rarely go to downtown Minneapolis on weekends. I love working there, but am eager to catch the early bus after work to beat the traffic and crowds.
It’s possible to find parking downtown, but you will have to navigate around all of the construction, meters, and pay lots/ramps, all typical downtown stuff. If you can take a bus, the light rail, or Lyft, it’s a breeze. And, you don’t have to worry about enjoying some drinks.
It’s been years since I’ve visited the Mill City Farmers Market.
This market is larger than the Midtown Farmers Market (my recent post here) and much smaller than the Minneapolis and St. Paul downtown markets.
It’s really a perfect size.
Founded by Brenda Langton, the market is located in a space between Spoonriver and The Guthrie near the Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis. On a nice morning, the scene is dreamy; Happy people walking their dogs and wandering the market, the morning sunlight glow illuminating the grassy hill and sculptures rising up from Gold Medal Park.
This stretch of 2nd street N. is very busy, but I never have trouble finding a street parking spot earlier in the morning. I like to visit the markets before 9 a.m.
I visited Trader Joe’s with the intention of buying the three, strangest frozen food items I could find for this taste test.
I lost my nerve when I encountered microwavable shrimp tacos sprinkled cotija cheese and an unsettling cheap bag of frozen paella listing “fish powder” as one of its ingredients .
See my running list of things we’ve tried at Trader Joe’s.
In the end, I chose three items that peaked my curiosity. I’ve walked by them on many visits, wavering on whether or not I wanted to finally buy them. After work one evening, I heated them all up for dinner. Here’s my thoughts:
I think we skipped spring in the Twin Cities.
Winter transitioned right into summer when that April blizzard transitioned into 90 degree weather. I realized that I had forgotten about visiting farmers markets. This winter and nonexistent spring, I’ve gotten into the habit of visiting bakeries and getting my groceries first thing Saturday morning.
Visiting the Midtown Farmers Market was an instant mood booster. As people shopped, live music played and children played ping pong with police officers and a giant carrot mascot. This is my go-to farmers market; it’s close to home, smaller, yet provides my staples (veggies, eggs, bread, fruit, meat, pickles), and has several vendors serving hot meals and beverages like coffee drinks and kombucha.