Minnesota, Day 2: Friday, February 25, 2022

It was 3 degrees this morning. Frosty! I am very proud of how I got up before 7 and survived without coffee for a whole half an hour before we stopped at The Baker’s Wife pastry shop for breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and coffee, all of which were delicious. As a bonus, they had a very nice cow statue outside. I got KG to take a picture of me with it.

This is a very good cow

KG took a half day today (they work at the University of Minnesota in the Office of Undergraduate Education). I love a good college campus, so I went with them. While they were working, I ate my breakfast and drank my coffee in the union and then holed up in the basement of Tate Hall, where I got a decent amount of grading and lesson planning done.

There’s something comforting and exciting about a college campus to me. All that learning, the energy, the bustling around and people walking everywhere and old buildings built for the purpose of gaining and disseminating knowledge. I love that energy.

After KG got off work, we went to a Vietnamese place down the street from the U. (That’s what everyone calls the University of Minnesota here: “the U.”) We had tasty bánh mìs that really hit the spot.

After lunch, we went to the Minneapolis Bouldering Project, a really nice bouldering gym.

GO KG!

It was a lot of fun to climb again, and also very difficult. I am weak. I mostly did the easier colors (they are on the circuit system, not your standard V# scale). I tried a few of the spicier ones and didn’t make it all the way, but that’s okay. It just felt great to be in a climbing gym again, you know? That was my whole world for senior year of college and most of grad school, and being among the strong climbers and smell of chalk and sweat just felt like home.

Friends who climb ❤

After the gym, and after my forearms were thoroughly pumped, we went to a very hipster plant store called Mother, which I enjoyed but which was a little extra. That was followed by a VERY GOOD kids’ bookstore called Wild Rumpus, where there were two chinchillas, a Barbary dove named Mo (sounded a lot like a mourning dove), a cockatiel, and two cats.

The chinchillas’ names were Newbery and Caldecott. I CANNOT.

Newbery and Caldecott the chinchillas!

I got a couple of postcards, one for my freshman year college roommate Rachel, who is now a pen pal, and the other for my ex, Wiggs (with whom I am still friends!), because it had a drawing of the animals with the cockatiel front and center.

KG and I petted the Wild Rumpus cats before we left. Meow.

We then headed over to the Bloomington REI store, where KG works (in addition to the U) to rent our cross country skis for tomorrow. That store is massive. There’s a climbing wall, a rental shop, a huge floor of clothes… very impressive. The skis were shockingly cheap to rent because of KG’s employee discount, and they were also much skinnier and lighter than downhill skis. We decided to pick them up the next day so that we didn’t have to pay for an extra night. Then we headed back to KG’s place.

The plan was originally to get dinner with their roommate Brian again, but he was busy. So KG and I ended up just chilling and watching more Love is Blind season 2. Even though it is very stupid, I started feeling very strong emotions for everyone, except Shayne. Fuck Shayne. That guy is the worst. He is like a human beer keg.

Eventually, KG and I realized we were properly hungry, so we went to Taco Taxi and got some really divine tacos to go. Then we came back and watched more Love is Blind until I’m pretty sure that at least 75% of our brain cells died screaming.

So, all in all, it was another pleasant day in this frigid, friend-filled land.

Spotted at MBP

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