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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Visiting Minneapolis

I was only in Minneapolis for two days total (Saturday afternoon, Sunday, and Monday morning), but I enjoyed the time to visit with family and friends and check out a city I'd never been to before.

I got in at about 1 pm on Saturday. My brother picked me up at the airport, and we headed straight to packet pick-up. The whole drive I kept admiring the city: it's very clean and pretty.
I also noticed that I didn't see any homeless people at all: this is a stark contrast to New Orleans, which has seen its homeless population increase, despite more available addiction treatment centers and psych beds (the city is in a bit of a dither about a new shelter that is planned; it's a no-restrictions shelter, meaning that drugs, sex, and alcohol won't be banned. These rules are the reason that many shelters go unused by the city's homeless, but the risks of such a shelter are causing qualms to those who live and work nearby). It's odd that I'd notice something like that, but the homeless problem is so pervasive in New Orleans that I see twenty or more homeless people every day, so I immediately noticed the contrast.

We headed back to my brother's house for an afternoon of playtime with the kids! I brought the kids their late birthday gifts (they are both born in September, less than a year apart), and we had fun opening presents and playing with the Duplos I bought them. Of course, out of two sets of Duplo blocks, the star of the show was the tiny little toy wrench that came with one of the sets. Alanna spent all day walking around the house "fixing" things and coming back to report: "I fix the wheels! I fix the wheels with the wrench!" She's three, and everything is still exciting for her.
I didn't get much quality time with Tre, unfortunately. He was terribly sick the whole time - apparently, he was on week three of a bad cold, and he kind of just rested on the sofa with a blanket the whole time, poor kid. I did get to play with the kids a good deal, though, since I stayed Monday morning, too, and got to take them to the park.

The other highlight of the trip was getting coffee with Lisa! Not only did she spectate the race, she picked me up later for some Caribou coffee (where I also got a seltzer water - thank goodness. It finally stopped my post-race stomach cramps). Lisa lives in (and loves!) Minneapolis, and I enjoyed hearing more about the city from her. Plus, we discussed our lives lately, and how our various hips are two post-op hips; her one! (Lisa got to return to running last week after her labral tear surgery!). Looking for Lisa along the race course was excellent mid-race entertainment (I sometimes need a distraction, like doing pace math in my head or looking for people I know), and I'm so glad she also made the effort to meet in person later.

This trip was quite short, and much of it was spent in a post-race haze, so next time I plan to explore the twin cities area more. Luckily the race itself gives you a tour of some beautiful areas, so I did get to sight-see a little. More time and better planning next visit!


  1. Minneapolis is a fun, pretty city! My boyfriend used to live there so I spend some weekends there. Less fun in the winter. :)

    I also notice when other cities don't have much of a homeless population. I couldn't even count the number of homeless people I see every day (my school has a shelter across the street, so there's that...), so it's definitely noticeable to not see them every day or have someone ask you for money when you're just trying to get somewhere.

  2. I am so glad that we got a chance to meet up for coffee in the afternoon! It was wonderful to chat with you!! And I am glad you had a positive experience in MSP. As you know, I adore this city so it makes me really happy when others see the beauty and positive aspects of living here!

    We are in Portland right now and they definitely have a huge homeless population. It's very sad to see and also made me feel a little bit unsafe at times (and thankful that I'm with Phil on this trip as I feel more safe with him by my side). I guess one upside to our awful winter climate is that it means that we don't have as big of a problem with the homeless population since you couldn't really survive on our streets from dec-feb/mar...