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This last week has been a whirlwind – I had 4 days of Americorps training in St. Paul followed by a wedding in Minneapolis and then I started my Americorps service this past Monday.

About St. Paul – I absolutely loved it!  Last week was the first time I’d ever visited the city.  (I’ve found that one of the best ways to get acquainted with a new city is to run its streets – literally).  I ran at sunrise, when the mist was clearing over St. Paul’s Cathedral and all the early risers were taking advantage of the cooler weather.  I ran up Summit Street where the collection of historic homes is impressive, down Grand Avenue past cute shops and neighborhood coffee dens and through downtown.  I felt safe (for the most part; the first day I ran by the homeless shelter and made sure to vary my route the following day).  I also managed to try out some local brews at Great Lakes Brewery.  And the hipster music scene at Amsterdam Bar (Gentlemen Lovers, you rock!).  Another night we checked out a comedy show at the Joke Joint (after a questionable Mexican dinner…I think we had the last laugh).

At the end of the week, JG picked me up and we headed to Minneapolis for the wedding weekend.  In between the rehearsal dinner (since when is a wedding couple obligated to invite all out of town guests to dinner the night before a wedding?  The rehearsal dinner was another wedding in and of itself!), the actual wedding and the Sunday brunch, we managed to check out the free sculpture garden at the Walker Art Museum and dine at Hell’s Kitchen.  (Interesting tidbit – in Minnesota, a bloody mary drink is always served with a small glass of beer on the side).

It was kind of hard to head back to our new hometown after a week in the Twin Cities.  We tried to alleviate the pain by hitting up REI on our way back.  We picked up snow pants, windbreakers (and a bathing suit for me!) before the sticker shock of how expensive this winter crap was sent us running out the door.  We haven’t even begun to purchase long underwear and the myriad of other layers that are required for an average MN winter and already we are down big $$$.  (We took advantage of a sale at our local sports outfitter last week, each of us purchasing an “around town jacket” and a ski jacket.  Even though:  (a) the jackets were half off, and (b) MN doesn’t charge tax on most clothing items, we still spent over $500 on the jackets alone).  Forget wearing tank tops and cut-offs year-round – I’m learning it’s expensive to live in the North!

A few fun photos from the week:

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