Patti Paolella and I have been planning our second version of a post Thanksgiving dinner party and my week long visit to Richfield, MN for the past two years. V1.0 was in 2017 and the 2018 version just never quite got off the ground (my fault entirely). I regret now not having posted the V1.0 visit on this blog. I would if my memory could handle the variety of activities that visit entailed. Suffice it to say V1.0 was worth a repeat.
My Minnesota visit was from December 3rd through the 7th. Yes, to the cold and snowy MN. I traveled from Boynton Beach, FL and 79 sunny degrees to a week of 22-35 snowy degrees in the Twin Cities area.
Getting reacquainted with Patti’s two dogs – Sunny and Jillian – took up most of the week. I think they finally got used to me being around on Saturday, the 7th.
I arrived Tuesday evening and got to use my new winter coat (thank you Kohl’s) and my great $7 snow boots (thank you World Thrift) – not easy things to find in Florida. We ate dinner at LYN65, great restaurant close to Patti’s house. Great atmosphere and good food, slippery parking lot but good food!
Wednesday started off with coffee and nervous stares from both dogs, especially Jill. I was just not something that belonged in her house. Patti and I planned a Thanksgiving dinner party for Friday so we shopped for a turkey and all the trimmings.
One good thing about being in a MN winter is you can go grocery shopping first and then other stops without a thought of food spoilage like in FL all year round. We made a short stop at Value Village to search for some unexpected treasures (because you never know). Had an early lunch at the Wooden Hill Brewing Company and a flight of beers. Unexpectedly great burgers and all 4 brews were great and varied. [note: the name of the Wooden Hill came from the owners grandfather that sent them off to bed by saying “It’s time to go up the wooden hill.”]
Patti bought two tickets for the Black Nativity performance (written by Langston Hughes). Great gospel singing – I was exhausted after the show and I wasn’t the one singing.
Thursday we packed in a visit to Uncle Hugo’s Second Hand Bookstore which is half SciFi and half mystery books. Patti has been getting their monthly newsletter for years – addressed to a previous owner – but had never visited it. I liked the look of the books they recommended so we ventured over for a visit. Great place filled with interesting new and used books and staffed with lots of knowledgeable people. We did a repeat visit to StevenBe’s yarn shop. It was crazy at our first visit and equally, if just a bit different, crazy this time. As before there was a box of free yarn on their back porch. We snagged a huge tangle of yarn that came in handy for later crafting.
I baked two fruit pies for our Friday party so when we went to visit Patti’s friend Janey Weston, we took a blueberry pie with us. It was a great visit. Got to see Janey’s studio – a stone carver – and enjoyed some homemade soup. Got to see a nice sample of gray petrified wood in Janey’s front yard.
We followed up this visit with a short stop at the Holidazzle festival area. Too cold to stay too long but it was a worthwhile stop to enjoy some winter fun.
Friday we did some pre-party shopping and gathered some crafting stuff from Michaels. We enjoyed a few hours of silly crafting – should have allotted more crafting time however…
Dinner party was a success. We had invited four people to join us – Sharon and Colleen – two of Ray’s VA work friends. Colleen’s husband Charlie and Patti’s friend Professor Dave. Food, beer, wine, discussions were free flowing all night. Patti decided it was more of an idea-filled salon evening then just a dinner party.
Just so I could squeeze in a few more hours with Patti before flying home I booked an afternoon flight. We started Saturday morning with a breakfast pannekoeken. Look it up. Then a stop at an herbal store where we watched a family of wild turkeys stroll across the street. Not something I expected to see in the middle of Minneapolis.
Alas my visit ended and Patti and I spent the next week trying to pick out a highlight and not being able to. It was a good visit and worthy of a V3.0 next year. Thank you Sunny and Jillian for your hospitality, even though it was begrudgingly given. You guys did get to enjoy all the turkey leftovers you know…