August 26, 2012

MN Week Part 2

The celebration of all things Minnesota continued and we had a blast.

Wednesday night, we enjoyed a breakfast hotdish including eggs and fake sausage and lots of green peppers.  We used freshly grated cheese that I picked up in Wisconsin (I know, epic fail on the MN week.)  Hotdish is the signature food here in Minnesota.  You can actually purchase a hotdish cookbook.  Out here in the MN nice state, potlucks are extremely popular and bringing a hotdish to a potluck is just second nature for most.

We also finally enjoyed a bottle of wine from Winehaven that we purchased last year on our anniversary.  Check out their website.  Or even better, go see them in person.  There aren't too many things better than a nice fall day at a little family owned vineyard.  They are very knowledgeable and extremely friendly and they have a good selection of wine.  If you like sweet wine, this is definitely your place because they make some honey wines that are pretty tasty (although a little too sweet for my taste.)

On Thursday night, we did what every person in the country should do at least once in their lifetime - we went to the Great MN Get Together.  It is the state fair located here in the Twin Cities for those of you who didn't know.  It is the largest state fair in the country as far as daily attendance.  It lasts for 12 days and always end on Labor Day.  The total attendance in 2009 was equivalent to 34% of the entire state's population.  Trust me, this is a big deal.

We got to the fair around 4:30 and met up with Justin's sister and her whole family.  It was a much needed reunion because I was starting to go through withdrawals from all 4 Johnson's.  The girls had gotten their fair-do's and were just running around and having a great time.

You should see the amount of toys these kids had in bags.  They go every year on the first day of the fair and they put in at least 10 hours.  That's just crazy, but it's an awesome family tradition.  I like to go for a little while two times to eat the food that I want to eat without feeling like a balloon walking about the fair grounds.  From them, we were able to get our hands on some cookies from Sweet Martha's - a state fair classic.

After we wandered from them, Justin and I grabbed a beer and watched some people.  This event is one of a kind for people watching.  You think it's fun in Times Square?  I promise, you haven't seen anything until you come to the MN state fair.  My personal favorite is watching for families that are dressed alike.  My favorite this time was the family completely in bright orange jumpsuits and they had written in Sharpie on the backs "yes, we are all together."  

We met up with Brady, Kelsey and two of their friends shortly after our first beer and we headed to O'Gara's for some Blarney Beans or Leprechaun (deep fried green beans.)  They were delicious.  Also, the best part about O'Gara's at the fair?  They have the best bathrooms on the entire fairgrounds.  They are clean, indoor and air conditioned and there isn't really ever a line.  Obviously, we had to take a picture in the bathrooms.

After O'Garas, we stopped for Cheese Curds and Corn - conveniently located 1/2 block away from each other.  Brady & Justin stopped for a photo at the giant slide (a must at least once in your lifetime.)

We tracked down mini donuts after that and headed to the free show at the Leinie's Lodge.  I regret to inform you that this was not a MN band, but they were fantastic anyways.  The band is called Dawes. I'm including my new favorite song of theirs as well as a photo that my co-worker/photographer friend took.  Please check out his website too - he is a pretty talented kid.

It was perfect.  It started to rain right at the end.  Justin & I ran through the rain to get my dad his favorite fair food - a hot turkey sandwich.  We get him one of those any time he gives us a ride there.  It's only a few miles from our house, but our bikes don't have headlights so it's nice to have someone that can give us a ride.

Friday night, we hung out at home and watched Young Adult which is a movie that is based in Minnesota staring Charlize Theron.  I wasn't a huge fan of the movie.  Justin liked it a little more than me.  It was extremely awkward and he likes that kind of stuff.  I didn't hate it, but I just didn't get much out of it.  Saturday, we spent the day just lounging and enjoying a weekend that doesn't require a lot of activity.  We saw The Campaign in theaters and enjoyed the rainy Saturday afternoon - caught up on a lot of reading and a little bit of cleaning.  

Today, we will be finishing up our MN week with a trip to the Farmer's Market and possibly even a bloody mary at our favorite St. Paul weekend lunch location, the Lowertown Bulldog.  

I will wrap up my MN week with a post tonight including all my favorite MN summer things to do - even though I didn't get to all of them this week.  

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Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.