A City Girl Guide: Uptown places to hit and places to miss

I’ve been adventuring to uptown a lot to really find the best places to go. It’s probably the most popular place with 20 something kids.

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Back in the day it was a thriving, local, cultural filled with hipsters. Now it’s still there but as I walked around I found myself more overwhelmed in traffic and college guys. Each street was fancy and buzy as the next, there was a lot of shops like H&M, Urban Outfitters, with Mac shop across the street to vintage shops and classic records stores next to a run down for sale building next to a sex book shop. Uptown is open to all but the classic things that really make a place either weren’t there or were being left to rotten over time. Don’t get me wrong there is a lot of things in Uptown that are great and what bring people here, like the art fair this weekend (August __&_). Being able to live here, if can afford it, is perfect because everything is a walk away and a bus right to down town. There the lakes to walk around or run, even bike. Here are a few places you should hit up when in Uptown (and few things to pass on).

  • Stella’s Fish Cafe: It can be a little over price but you are getting sea food and there is no sea in Minnesota despite what people may think with all our lakes and referring it to as “beach”.  But there happy hour is pretty nice with 2 beers and the 2nd one for a dollar. Take a stop in, but get there early so you can get the happy hour and beat the crowd. Try out the roof top in the summer you’ll get a nice view of Uptown.

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  • Libertine: across from Stella’s the happy hour is alright but the atmosphere and serves is pretty nice. We had a really friendly willing to chat with us waiter while we enjoyed our pints. What I really liked about this place was fact it had games, like yard games, beer pond, janga- I don’t know why you need games at a bar but perfect for those awkward first dates. I also loved the words they had around the place.
  • LynLake Brewery: Off Lyndale Street sits a place that every time I have gone to Uptown I ended up here. Which if you follow me or know me at all that SAYS a lot. I’ve try a lot of brewery’s in a SEA of Brewery in Minnesota and this is the only one were I got a drink and I actually liked it. Coming from 2 years of Ciders (which was not seen with an EYE ROLL) and good Heineken trying to find a good drink has been hard.  They have a roof top that really has good views, large tables so you have to sit with people you don’t know! And the servers are pretty friendly, which again I LOVE. So definitely check them out!lynlakebrewery.jpg
  • Up Down: an Arcade bar with a lot of old school games, pinball, and ske Ball. This place is super fun, but it doesn’t get packed there isn’t a lot of room to move around. And sometimes you have to really wait for a game to open, which might be awhile if the person isn’t willing to be like “okay we had 4 tries let’s give others a chance.” There really isn’t much place to sit, so you might end up in a game that you have no idea what your doing or the point-it could be fun! I say the best time to go is on a Saturday that’s the best deal with paying 5 for double the tokens and you never know you might have people handing you there extras before they leave!

What I’ve  walked the streets of Uptown and the neighborhoods I really avoid all the general chains and anything that is in a strip try to keep to the main streets like Lyndale and dig deep for the good places. One place I want to try is this pizza joint on Lyndale across from the VFW bar.  There is a really almost similar feel of San Fran to this place with restaurants in houses, which I liked a lot when I was in San Fran but here I don’t know there not calling to me. The only place that’s ice cream is Milkjam, which has the LONGEST Que! It’s a popular on instagram so no question why there it is popular. But is it worth it? Are they good to feed me personally? Or is it all for that shot? The question I ask myself, but I never once had the patients to even go in the line.  A lot of the places can be packed with people. And that’s the one thing I really don’t really enjoy much about uptown, there is something lost in how popular it’s become.

Over all, I wouldn’t say I’m packing up my bags to move in, if I could even afraid it, I think if you want a place that is going to give you a lot, that is well known and your visiting definitely come to Uptown, walk the lakes, hit up LynLake.

Next week we are talking about an area that doesn’t want to become Uptown at all.

A City Girl Guide: Favourite walk in MPLS

It seems only write to start writing these city girl guides again about Minnesota since that is where I am living ATM. 

Refer to this map throughout:

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First Stop St. Anthony West: We are starting this walk on the other side of the River in St. Anthony West. I call this “St. Anthony Side” but its St Anthony West, down from University Street area filled with college student housing. It’s a quiet area that is along the Mississippi River. It is pretty easy to get here, even by car. Parking can be a hassle some days but this side is the best side to park on. You want to begin more near Hennepin Island (look at the map) because we will end back over here for some food.

IMG_0423Walk Across the Stone Arch Bridge: This is my favorite spot, maybe cause in college my friend lived nearby and we would walk all the time or maybe cause it was easy to get to or maybe the fact I didn’t have to be in the city but still get those views. It’s a popular bridge with runners, bikers, and families. You get to see the damn, the cityscape.  Once you reach the other side there is a lot you can see like the Guthrie Theater which brings us to the next point of our destination. On the other side of the bridge is where the free parking lot is, head under the bridge to the very end there are only 10 spots, 2-hour parking but it is free!

Mill City Park and Guthrie Theater: Guthrie Theater has a lot of great plays on that I recommend looking and seeing about going to a show, but on this walk head up the escalator to the bridge where you get to see a view of the stone arch bridge. Pass the Guthrie Theater there is the Mill City Park, a great park to walk around, sit, read a book or go to Izzy Ice Cream (if the line isn’t too long). On the other side, heading back to the bridge you pass the Mill City Museum, a fun place where you get a history of the area. I recommend.

Walk the Streets: Head east down away from the Bridge. You’re going to walk in a more quite, neighborhood area but you want to get to the edge of the city center to Penny’s Cafe. A cute little cafe in a business building where you can sit in the window and watch people stuck in traffic.

Cross the Hennepin bridge: You going to head out of the coffee shop and to the more traffic friendly Hennepin bridge back over the water back to the St Anthony side. Here you will get a nice view of the river, it will be more hustle since cars can drive on here too.18422441_10155156166528463_2356481777854599859_o

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Nicollet Island and more of St. Anthony: Nicollet Island is a small park with wedding venue and a hotel on it, walking on you’ll end up in a row of restaurants of St. Anthony. There all pretty great, I’ve eaten at Pracna on Main. This area has no shops only food, but it’s really nice in the summer. There is much, only places to eat, wedding venues, homes, and a segway tour. But it is worth walking through!

This walk can take up to two hours depending how long you spend in each spot, I mean if you don’t stop and walk it takes 15 minutes. This area is more of a walking area and on the way, you can stop for a coffee or a place to eat. But remember these are sit down places that will take up to an hour. I personally, walk either across the bridge then head to the park or walk along the St. Anthony side.

 

If you are going to take this walk, let me know I’d love to know 🙂 Also I am planning on doing a City Girl Guide of Minnesota every weekend starting NEXT weekend!

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A City Girl Guide: What to do this Summer

A city girl guide to what to do for your Minnesota summer 

I haven’t had a proper Minnesota Summer in a long time. This one is going to be different not only is it my first summer back and I’m trying to find the best places; I’m still experience culture shock and trying to find where I  belong. But also I personally have some big decisions to figure out. So far I’ve done a few different things to make it the best summer it can be. Which I’ve shared on Instagram.

The best time to come to Minnesota is Summer; we spend about 6 months of the year inside that those summer months of being outside we use it up; there are events to movies in the park to concerts in the park to so much more. So if your coming to Minnesota plan to come to Minnesota with an empty suit case cause we have the biggest mall in Northern America–Mall of America and there are no tax on clothes! (selling it!)

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But really there is a lot more to do then shop. This list can be applied anywhere really.

What to do in Minnesota?

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  • Minnesota State Fair: its at the end of the summer but its probably the biggest most anticipate event of the whole summer. With food stands, food on sticks, music, horses, horse shows, pigs, cows, chicken and ducks, concerts, more food, rides, different booths with a lot of free stuff, car shows, tractor shows. Then there is the people watching; its a Minnesota event that you don’t want to miss.
  • Lakes: sure you can go on your boat, go tubbing, jet skying. But I live in the city and really getting thrown off or hit by a wave (from a boat) isn’t really ideal–i’d do it if I was invited; but more like hit those city lakes or rivers. Go sailing, paddle boarding, tube down the river is something I want to do. Minnesota is NOWHERE near a OCEAN we are the land of 10,000 lakes with dirt. But on those hot summer days. Lakes are what you got and time to enjoy before there is ice on them!
  • Parks: there are a lot of state parks around Minnesota to go and spend a nice afternoon; hike, have a picnic. Enjoy the outdoors. And for me a day in the outdoors is just fine.
  • ROAD TRIP: take a road trip to a small town; doesn’t have to be too far, could be a 20 minute drive outside the city (like Stillwater)  take the day, go somewhere small. Walk, sit in a pub, outside, have some food, a beer and some good conversation. Find the most random small town. I want to go to New Ulm cause they say its like Germany I been to Germany, lets check it out!Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
  • Brewers or Roof top bars: Brewers are big here; and really summer is a good time to enjoy yourself. So going to the brewers sitting on their decks; going to a roof top after work is a great way to spend the evening and enjoy the nice weather after being inside all day.
  • Spend a weekend up north: I loved when I went somewhere especially Galway or Killarney for the weekend. Here we have up north (Duluth) near lake superior. Rent an Airbnb and spend a weekend there; your even near a city there is Duluth.
  • Movies in the Park: I would spend a lot of my summers in Minnesota going to the movies in the park. They would have them all over the city parks a movie for the whole summer. Its a bit buggy, but so fun to have an evening out in the park watching a movie. There is also music in the park too.
  • Baseball game: If you every in America there is nothing like going to a baseball game. its something you have to do at least once maybe twice a summer.

And that’s the list. I plan to do more about guides to Minnesota esp. Twin cities of places and things to do. This is a BIG city, not as big as New York but bigger then Cork. Kind of why it can be overwhelming and feel lost at time. But I plan to do it by area so look out for those. My goal is to convince you  to come to Minnesota if your going to come visit the states. cause what I figure out not many tourist attractions or a place people know expect for Fargo but thats in North Dakota.

A City Girl Guide: Wicklow National Park

I went on a road trip through Wicklow National Park.  And here is my guide to the Park.

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Coming from Dublin going towards Bray heading are way towards Glendalough. We were going to go the faster route to Glendalough, but of course, I got mixed up with directions and way to go. The thing about Ireland signage you really need to know what direction you are
heading and what the town’s you want to hit–like for this we could have taken both roads. It’s confusing but it all works out for the best.

Once you’re off the major road and heading in the direction of Glendalough keep going, the road will run right into it.

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Glendalough: ‘the valley of the two lakes’ it has a lot to offer from learning about the history and cultural to a nice walk through the woods or around lakes, and a waterfall. Find out more here: http://www.glendalough.ie/

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We kept driving through Wicklow National park Our point of destination was the Sally Gap then to the Guinness lake.

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Sally Gap: one of two east-to-west passes across the Wicklow Mountains. Basically, it’s a four-way stop sign, with incredible views of the Wicklow Park.

As we drove further down the mountains towards the lake, we pulled over to get different views not only of the lake but the area as well.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetLough Tay: also known as Guinness Lake for the owners are the Guinness family, it’s private property so only way to see it is above, which is the best way to see it.

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Next stop was the Powerscourt Gardens.

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Powerscourt Gardens is a large country estate which is noted for its house and landscaped gardens. The Powerscourt is pretty cool despite that it was winter and there were no flowers. The view and the amount of garden and history you got were worth wild. There is a tea room that is a must try (we didn’t but we were told we should have–next time).

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Then we headed towards Bray.

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Bray: having it be so close to Dublin it is a popular tourist destination and holiday home area. A lot like Kinsale but a lot bigger and diversity I think. We got there pretty late but made it just in time to do the walk seeing the little train between the towns go by and walked the beach and the town. We didn’t stop in anywhere since we wanted to get back before it was even later. But, when looking into Bray I found lots of pubs, cafes, and places to eat however we never went except to the McDs. For more on Bray click here for lovin.com has 45 things! 🙂

 

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City Girl Guide: What’s new in Cork City

If you like a larger City Girl Guide of Cork comment below. OR an even Larger City Girl Guide to Ireland–that is something I love to try but would take a lot of time–comment below letting me know what you would like to see.

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I always say a lot can happen in a day. I also said how Cork needed a doughnut shop well in my 5 months away from Cork not only did a lot happen they got a doughnut shop–TWO! You could prob hear my frustration. There was not much new in Cork, my favorite places were still there and it still rained a lot. It’s Ireland. But no worries I saw that the door changed, I saw the new sign and I noticed the new menu in Silly Goose. Because details and little things are what I pay attention to.

First, lets talk about the doughnuts. There are two: Huckleberry’s Doughnuts & Oh My Donut. I kept hearing about them because I kept telling people about my frustration “the IMG_8720minute I leave they get doughnut shops”. And I have gotten not so happy reviews on them–there over price, the doughnuts are all the same, and one places get their doughnuts made by one of the grocery stores. It’s like walking into the English Market and buying over price fruit they got from Tescos (true). So, I wasn’t too keen on wanting to spend 4 euros for a doughnut that wasn’t even made in the shop. But, after having a doughnut-themed cake in Silly Goose –the ice cream really helped, and need food the next morning; me and my bet friend bit our stubbornness (mine lets be honest) and went into Oh My Donut.  I’m a classy girl who just wants a plain chocolate doughnut–which they didn’t have so I went with a plain doughnut to my surprise had jelly in it–I wasn’t pleased.IMG_8569

Local doughnuts are a trend, even here, there are some popping up–and I wouldn’t call myself a doughnut girl–I usually get doughnuts when I’m starving for food. So, I couldn’t be a doughnut review person–what I will say if it’s going to be a hype thing it better be worth it.

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The next new thing are the shops . The new building around the English market and Patrick’s Street, is getting close-to being finished  No one really knows what’s going to be in there for businesses or shops. Can definitely say Forever 21 is not coming to Cork? Which to be fair, I’m over the cheap, not even well-made, bad ethics shop anyways. I’d stick with Penny’s. I am getting really into ethical fashion and buying lasting pieces. Another shop which is across the way from the new high-rise building (it’s probably 10 floors), is Sostrene Grene (the sisters Grene). Which is a little bit like Tigger but I say a little bit more for the mid-twenties and mothers. This place is like  IKEA without the furniture. Look at the pictures below to see more:

I love shops like these, they make me want to buy a loft and just go nuts!

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Building being built is on the left in reflection

Having all these new things pop up in Cork is always a good thing, so many abandon buildings and Cork is a great city that deserves it. These new building and business coming to Cork hopefully means a vibrant, things to do, variety, kids have places to go and things to do, and maybe outside of homes will look nicer (because if you ever walk around Cork, or really any city in Ireland you see outside of homes are no flower gardens–and that has a lot to do with housing and renting laws they have–I don’t know much but I’ve listened and experienced.)

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetThe one thing that worries me about all these new things is losing what I love about Cork which is how Irish and true Irish it really is. There’s a few tourist shops and pubs that are gear towards tourist but that’s it, I’m also worried about having it become Americanized, no TGIF or Hardrock cafe’s please. This also means its up and coming people will want to live there–meaning rent will go up, which I am experience in Minnesota to be a real pain in the bum of economics. And you know a lot of this is just how life works and how countries evolved. But, don’t forget your roots.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetOverall I was quite excited for all the new things Cork had, the new menu at Silly Goose, to the new art around, and the shops. I will say the big advertising and selling point for things is to make it “Instagram able” and me being 25 years old knowing how far we come, cringed yet gets excited towards that word.

I’m excited about the things Cork had and I wonder what they well have when I come back as long as Monday club is still there, the drinks are still good I’ll be happy and there is no TGIFs.

 

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City Girl Guide: Few hours in Austria

Go to the train station, buy a ticket and we were off to Austria. Public transportation and Europe you can do that so easily. 

We were only in Strasbourg, Austria for a few hours, which for me was fine because I love taking day trips and seeing a place for a day. You have a limited amount of time, so it forces you to see things that you never would see, do things you wouldn’t do because you may never have a chance to do it again.

Austria was one of my favorite places we visited on our daughter daddy adventure. Why? It was a little city, with barely any hustle, with a view that you had to see for yourself.

Dad wanted to go because he wanted to see the Alps and we couldn’t see them while in Munich. It was too foggy and the buildings were too tall so you couldn’t see them. But when we were in Sulsberg, Austria they were right there.It was a nice warm day, everyone was out and about, the locals were biking, sitting on the grass enjoying the nice weather on their lunch break. There were a bunch of tours walking around, we managed to get in one, which was quite funny since I kept saying how we could hold up an umbrella and see if people started to follow us. And we were doing just that. 

After walking around the city streets, and seeing the major areas, Mozart home; we walked around the city, and took a chance to walk up to the castle that sat right on the hill. 

Fun fact: my cap on my camera fell off and I had to chase it down the hill in front of a lot of none English speaking people older than my dad. 

When we finally got to the top of the castle, we payed to go in just to get the view of the alps, and 8 euro was worth the view.  I have never seen moutons like these before, it was like being by the ocean, looking at them realizing that there is more out there. I mean, I won’t go and climb it but to see them is now checked off my bucket list.We ended our time with food. We had Asian food for lunch, both me and dad were sick of the heavy food. The food was very good, I had soup which was dumb for a warm day, if you ask me.  On our way back to the train, we stopped for ice cream, which was a much better idea.  The whole city of Strasbourg was cute like you were in some Disney Princess movie. I loved the buildings, the walk along the river seeing the hills in the distance. It was a warm day sunny day, something you hardly ever get in Ireland. 

 

It was a great day in Austria, and I would go back since there is more to see.