38 Hours in Minnesota

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting my college friends, Veronica “Curlicue” Jones and Milo “Nic” Knickerbocker, in their new home of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Veronica and I were roommates, solemates (due to our love of shoes), and soulmates (due to the fact that we were best friends from the first time I tripped over a box to hug her and she caught me with a hug and a laugh) freshman and sophomore years of college. Milo and I are friends because of our shared nerdiness and love of inappropriate jokes. She and Milo have been dating since freshman year (as predicted by me), and are living in Minnesota while Milo attends grad school. So, thanks to MLK, I had the chance to FINALLY make my way across Wisconsin and the mighty Mississippi to hang out and freeze and laugh and have a blast TOGETHER. Here’s what happened.


  • Drove all the way across America’s Dairyland twice without seeing a single cow. I did, however, see a herd of goats.
  • Called Milo to get directions to their apartment building; He answered my call by asking, “Are you lost yet?” and proceeded to give me directions that showed I was only three minutes from them.
  • Went on a “fake date” with Milo at Wild Onion in St. Paul while Curlicue was still at work.
  • Was thoroughly confused by where St. Paul ended and Minneapolis began.
  • Surprised Curlicue with my presence at her workplace, and was subsequently enveloped in an across-the-counter hug.
  • Was given a London Fog by Curlicue during her break
  • Returned to the apartment with Milo to play with Indy until Curlicue arrived home, and was thoroughly amused at his confusion regarding the bunny’s behavior.
  • Exchanged Christmas gifts and was thoroughly trounced in a game of Nerd Battle by both Milo and Curlicue. (Apparently I need to learn more about Star Trek and protons.)
  • Woke up at the ungodly early hour of 7am to go to breakfast.
  • Decided that said breakfast was delicious enough to warrant getting up at 7am on a Saturday
  • Visited four bookstores, including Garrison Keillor’s establishment, Common Goods, Curlicue’s workplace, and James and Mary Laurie Booksellers, where I was delighted to discover I had visited five years previously with my family, and where I fell asleep on the floor reading Nora Ephron until Milo found me.
  • Was super impressed by the Mill City Museum. Flour Power Tower! View of the city! FREE COOKIE AND BREAD SAMPLES!
  • Wrote notes in a Dunn Bros. coffee shop to a favorite college English professor who hails from Minnesota
  • Almost froze to death while wandering down Nicollet Avenue
  • Managed to get from the Nicollet Mall almost to our dinner restaurant using only skyways
  • Felt very British during a dinner at Brit’s Pub, where we spent two hours talking, drinking, eating and being generally congenial.
  • Watched The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi while providing our own commentary track and trying not to fall asleep.
  • Drove away the next morning feeling totally content but wishing I could spend more time with my friends!

I thought about, but did not…

  • Jump into the Mississippi River just to say I had done it
  • Rearrange all of Milo’s Doctor Who collection in the middle of the night
  • Hide in Laurie Booksellers until they closed and then having a Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler kind of adventure.
  • Don an apron in the Mill City Test Kitchen and start baking bread and cookies and pies.
  • Run into the biggest Target I have ever seen, convince the manager that I was the Queen of Bismarck and that everything should be free for me, and go on a shopping spree in the $1 bins.
  • Shirk my responsibilities as a grad student and stay an extra day

I did not…

  • Spend enough time in Minneapolis
  • See any twins
  • Impersonate Mary Tyler Moore (…next time…)

Friends at the Mill City Museum!


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