Our anniversary trip to Minneapolis began very, very early the morning of Sunday, July 13. We woke up at 3:45 AM and, in a sleepy haze, packed all of our stuff into the car. My mother-in-law was nice enough to also wake up at the asscrack of dawn and drive us to the airport. Our 6:00 AM flight to Salt Lake City was short and uneventful (and the SLC airport was surprisingly cool, filled with lots of good artwork and photography). Our flight from SLC to Minneapolis was longer, but I kept myself busy watching 27 Dresses on my iPod, reading Fast Food Nation, and taking pictures of the clouds.
My brother Wade met us at the airport. I was really excited, as it had been a year since we'd seen each other. He took us on a scenic route to his apartment. On the way, I noticed the gorgeous blue sky and all the incredible and interesting brick buildings.
When we got to Wade's apartment, we were immediately greeted by his two cats, Gregor and Grete (pronounced "Greta"). They were great companions for our entire stay at Wade's place. They were both really sweet cats, although Gregor (grey and white) was a little more needy and annoying. But he also reminded me a lot of our own Kerwin, which made him very endearing. Grete was just a plain ol' sweetheart, with the cutest pale pink nose ever.
Wade decided to take us to the nearby Midtown Global Market for lunch, which boasts all kinds of food for all kinds of tastes.
We originally went to the pizza place, but the clerk with the very scary drawn-on eyebrows informed us that she didn't have many kinds of pizza for us to choose from, so we decided to eat Mexican instead. The food was good; it reminded me a lot of Rubio's.
In the area we were sitting, a "musician" was playing on the small stage provided. He was pretty awful. My favorite part was when he sang "What a Wonderful World" and added in the "oh yeaaaaaaaah" at the end all Louie-style.
I took this picture of my brother during lunch, and I like it a lot. Do you think we look alike?
After lunch, we went on a driving tour of the city. I became slightly obsessed with the skull and crossbones hanging from Wade's rearview mirror.
We stopped at Wade's place of employment for the summer, The Electric Fetus, a well-known music store in Minneapolis. I haven't been in a music store in ages due to owning an iPod, so this was a welcome visit. I loved the store. My two favorite parts were the big plastic dog and the big robot creature.
I also found a really cool wallet there, which Wade later bought for me as a belated birthday gift. What's not to like about a crab wallet? (Now I can tell everyone that I have crabs, and it won't be a lie. Thanks, Wade!)
We continued our tour, listening to rap (later dubbed "bad rapple") and Wade pointing out random places as we drove by. I found this building (located on the university campus) to be rather interesting.
There is some amazing street art in Minneapolis, but the only picture I really got of any of it was this.
I took this "accidental portrait" of Roy during our driving tour by pointing my camera over my shoulder (I was sitting shotgun) and clicking away. It turned out pretty good, don't you think? (Kim, do you recognize the sunglasses?)
We stopped for ice cream at Sebastian Joe's, and it was really amazing. On the way back to the car, I took this picture. The sky was not that dark; as a matter of fact, it was still daylight! Still, I love the way this picture came out, so I'm keeping it as is.
At this point, I was so close to crashing and burning (due to getting up at 3:45 AM and being on a plane for four hours) that we decided to go back to Wade's apartment and take a nap. It was the best nap ever, lasting at least two hours. I was feeling pretty energized when I woke up. It was a good thing too, because even though it was only 8:00 PM, we had a long night ahead of us.
Wade took us to the Hard Times Cafe, an eccentric little place that specializes in healthy food. Our cashier had a mohawk, and the cook had tattoos on his face - these are things that you don't often see in our area of southern California. We had to write down our own orders, which I found a refreshing change of pace.
Wade's friends Ryan and Nicole met us there and then we all walked to a nearby bar called Palmer's. We were almost immediately greeted by the dog that hangs out there regularly (but I didn't get any pictures of it). We headed outside and I saw this, which made me laugh.
We also met Wade's girlfriend, Stacy, who later became an instrumental part in the success of our whole trip.
After hanging out for awhile and taking some MySpace-type pictures, we headed inside to watch the band.
The band was Cadillac Kolstad and the Flats. They were really great, and Stacy happens to know them personally. (And she was nice enough to get me a signed copy of their CD, which thrilled me.) I took some video of their performance with Wade's point and shoot, but for some reason it didn't transfer over to my flash drive. (Wade, can you send the videos to me?)
Each member of the band had this amazing hair, but the singer/piano player had the best head of hair I've probably ever seen on a man. It was massive! (But you can't tell from this picture. By the way, this isn't a good picture, but I was shooting in darkness without any flash or anything with Wade's point and shoot. Still, I love this picture anyway.)
Lots of people danced, and Stacy kept trying to get me to dance with her, but at that point, I was feeling a bit shy (yes, it does happen to me). So I didn't dance, but I did a lot of people watching. There were some interesting characters in the bar. To name a couple: 1) a man who looked just like Smokey in Fried Green Tomatoes (long beard and all) was pushing another old man in a wheelchair and told us that he was the King of the Jews; and 2) a woman who was obviously on meth, who would randomly begin dancing while walking around the bar, while her tongue was darting in and out of her mouth constantly.
We left in the wee hours of the morning, came back to Wade's, and crashed. At this point, I already knew that Minneapolis was something special.