Good morning, happy Monday and welcome back!
Mother-daughter weekend in Minneapolis was so.much.fun!! I picked my Mom up at 6:30am on Saturday morning (we’re serious about our shopping,) and set off in the cold, dark, misty fog.
So foggy that ice even formed on my car’s side mirrors!
It was actually very fitting that we were headed up north to go Christmas shopping, because the scenery was straight out of a winter wonderland. :)
3.5 hours later, we arrived at our shopping destination: The Mall of America!
Whenever I go to insanely large places like this, I take a picture of where I park, so I am certain not to get lost. The MOA names their parking lots after the states – we were in Texas – yeehaw!
We decided that if we couldn’t go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, we’d it least shop at the department store in Minneapolis. ;)
The mall was decorated gorgeously for the season!! Enormous, shining wreathes hung from the ceiling with ropes of twinklling lights.
Of course, there was the Christmas tree! This massive beauty spanned the entire 4 floors of the mall!
Mmmkay – enough pictures…it was time to SHOP!!
And so we did – for about 2 hours – until we were gnawing at our packages, we were so hungry!
We made a pit stop at a place that I used to eat at all the time when I lived in Minneapolis – (like their Pasta Fresca? Try my version!) – Noodles & Company! Noodles & Company is similar to Chipotle in that it’s freshly made “fast food.” It’s awesome!
We ordered two dishes to share:
Japanese Pan Noodles: Chewy udon noodles pan seared in a hot skillet with fresh vegetables, shrimp and sweet & spicy soy sauce.
Shrimp Pad Thai: Homestyle rice noodle stir fry with all the fixins’.
MY FAVORITES!!! I’ve forgotten how much I loved these dishes – we devoured!
After lunch we digested a bit by exploring Lego Land…
And the indoor Amusement Park!
Soon enough, we realized those savory bowls of delicious Asian noodle goodness called for something sweet…Coldstone to the rescue!
We ordered the “kid size” bowls, because honestly, anything more of Coldstone would seriously make me sick. It is the richest ice cream on earth – but the most delish, as well :)
I got my staple: Cake Batter Ice Cream with a Brownie Mixin.
Mumsie got an AWESOME duo: Oatmeal Cookie Dough Ice Cream with a Peanut Butter Cup Mixin.
OMG! We both agreed that even a kiddie sized portion may have been too much – but it was worth it. Sooo creamy, thick and amazing. :)
4 hours of some serious shopping later, we had lugs of Christmas goodies and legs that were about to collapse! Seriously – we shopped until we literally dropped. I don’t think I would have made it to another store by the end!!
I reeeeally wanted to pick up a few shirts and sweaters while we were there, but I have a serious shopping problem: I am the pickiest clothes-picker-outer you will ever meet in your entire life. Of the 526 stores in the entire mall – I could not find ONE SINGLE SHIRT that I loved. Who am I?! Who goes to the Mall of America and can’t find a single clothing item they want to buy?
I’m just at a point in my life where, if I don’t absolutely love something, I’m not going to buy it. There’s no point in wasting money on something that I’ll get home and say “ehhh” to.
I DID, however, pick up this adorable bowl!
My morning oats will love it here!
And some body splash. My Mom and I got ridiculous at Bath & Body Works. With the coupons we brought with us, coupled with some store promotions going on, we got 7 bottles of body splash and 3 bottles of soap for $24. Considering that each of these bottles of body splash are normally $12 – that is outstanding! Ahhh, I love a good deal :)
I also picked out some necklaces!
Nice and simple for this girl :)
After the mall, we headed downtown…or rather, Uptown for dinner! Uptown is the area just southwest of downtown, and is where I had my apartment when I lived in Minneapolis. It’s got a super funky, hiptser vibe – I just love it!!
It’s also home to Calhoun Square, which has got some terrific bars, restaurants and little shops.
Our dinner destination: Stellas Fish Cafe & Oyster Bar!
I.Love.Stellas. They have got THE freshest fish, and the vibe inside is super cool.
My Mom and I split Grilled Salmon with Bernaise Sauce, Grilled Asparagus & Mashed Potatoes.
While we waited for our food, we reviewed the placemats on how to clean a fish, and made mental notes.
Oh, we also started with a Spinach, Pine Nut & Goat Cheese Salad.
To die for. Must replicate at some point…
Our dinner was absolutely, unbelieveable in every single way. The freshest, most perfectly grilled salmon paired with a creamy, buttery bernaise sauce and charred, salty asparagus – HEAVEN!
Oh, and don’t even get me started on the mashed potatoes! Buttery, garlicky, whipped peaks of perfection.
Stella’s is where it’s at. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to end our night.
Or maybe we could, because after dinner we headed to the promised land: TRADER JOES!!!
Have you ever?!?!?!?!
I never knew and was seriously jumping up and down when I saw these – fresh, on the stalk, Brussels Sprouts!!!
We walked around in a daze for about 30 minutes and picked up alll my favorites. Seriously, does food make YOU this excited?!
After TJ’s, we decided to call it a night. 6 hours of shopping, 1 crazy good dinner and a visit to adult candy land was just about the end for us two ladies. :) We laid our heads at the fabulous Marquette Hotel in downtown Minneapolsi. Stunning.
I can’t say enough about this hotel – it was gorgeous! I slept like a little shopping angel, but woke bright and early to hit up my favorite breakfast place in all of Minneapolis: The Uptown Diner.
My last meal in Minneapolis when I moved was at the diner, and I must eat there every time I return!
It’s a fact that the Uptown Diner serves the best coffee – so of course, we got a couple mugs!
Cream and a little sugar, please.
The Uptown Diner is super cool, a little retro, and always reliable. I’ve never had a bad meal here, ever!
I started with might be my #1 fave thing on the menu: Thick Cut French Toast.
Cinnamon-sugary goodness topped with a drizzling of maple syrup = the best breakfast on earth.
Which, ok, might be riveled by the Florentine Omelet and Hashbrowns. :)
Which we crushed. :)
Ahhhh – it was with happy bellies, a trunk full of Christmas gifts and some great memories that we hit the road back home. With some candy, natch. :)
I do love Minneapolis with a large portion of my heart, but it is definitely good to be home. Time to get started on another short week – it’s Thanksgiving in a few days, my friends!!
Have a wonderful Monday!!