One of my goals for this year is to visit as many State Parks/Wilderness Areas/Waterfalls as possible. Tennessee is so beautiful and there are so many places within reasonable driving distance to explore! Harpeth River State Park was first on my list, I couldn't believe how close it was, only 15 minutes away! (Review includes a handy pros and cons list!)
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of dining at Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis. On all accounts, it was a fantastic experience. To start, the decor is absolutely beautiful. The skylights and large windows add to the lovely bright atmosphere. It is warm and cozy, a perfect mix of modern industrial meets farmhouse. Fitting, since the space was formally a stable. The colors consist of natural pallatte of whites and creams, dark woods, and interesting textures.
Enough with the BEAUTIFUL BREATHTAKING design of Spoon & Stable. Lets move on to the equally wonderful food and beverages.
We came. We saw. We conquered. In total, we walked 13 miles on the hottest day of September in NYC for years. From Little Italy, to Nolita, through Chinatown, to Brooklyn, back to Grand Central Station, by Gramercy Park, through Chelsea, and back to The High Line! Plus - a map of all of my favorite spots in New York City, including destinations for our next visits!
Like true wannabe local New Yorkers, we hopped on the the right subway, only after three visits to the wrong entrance. Heh heh heh. We walked through the Hudson River Park, saw the Irish Hunger Memorial, saw what the fuss over Shake Shack was all about, and finally; CARROTS WELLINGTON. I love NYC.
Our second day in Boston involved savory doughnuts, a trip to Blue Hills Reservation with the loveliest hiking trails I've ever seen in my life, Boston Harbor, Boston's North End, and Barcelona Wine Bar!
Boston - Day 1: Tatte Bakery & Cafe, Beacon Hill, Acorn Street, Boston Common, Flour, Myers & Chang
Our first day in Boston was so lovely! We ate terrifically, lots of pastries and cookies. After dessert, I mean breakfast, we walked over to the cozy area that is Beacon Hill. The gas-lit lamps, beautiful row houses, brick sidewalks, and cobblestone streets will bring you back into time. I almost expected to see a Christmas roast in a store window and carolers on the corner.
Our friend and host, Salah, took us to a 24 hour vegetarian restaurant called Clover. Everything except for the ketchup and mayonnaise is home made and locally sourced. They purchase ingredients from farmers who cultivate the soil with a goal of producing delicious vegetables. Their motto is to keep things simple and to stand on the foundation of fantastic ingredients. Clover boasts of their turn around times at an average of 3.5 minutes per order, slower than McDonalds, they say, but they still consider themselves 'fast-food'. My kind of place! It is also open 24 hours, I believe, and sits in a college heavy area, making it a great late night stop post-bar. Which also means crazy antics are highly probable...
We spent a majority of our week in Minneapolis close to Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. Never in my life have I seen so many wild flowers, not to mention monarch butterflies and bees!! (I haven't seen one monarch butterfly this year in Nashville!) The other thing that was quite notable, was how easy it is to be active around there. There are bike rentals in addition to lake rentals with paddle boarding, kayaking, sail-boating, canoeing, etc. The trails are super easy to access and they all connect. People of all ages and sizes visit the lakes for an opportunity to be active, and thats what is so great about Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun.
The other common thread between our favorite spots, was the commitment to locally sourced goods and ingredients. Many of the restaurants served things they've grown themselves from rooftop gardens, or as you'll read below, their own 100-acre farm!
The area around Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, make up my favorite place on Earth. Here are some highlights from our trip and also part of my campaign to get Chris to think about moving back to Minneapolis some day...