Thursday, January 23, 2014

Travel: City Love Part II

After yesterday's post on my deep adoration for Minneapolis/St. Paul, I felt I needed a follow-up post. The Twin Cities have been far to good for me to be summed up in a paragraph. Minnesota, you've done me right these past {almost} six years, and it's time for me to pay my dues.

Don't get me wrong, I have a very special place in my heart for Wisconsin. Having grown up there, I appreciate and admire it, especially my tiny hometown - it's where I grew up, and learned everything I know from the best parents there are. While I love visiting my parents and spending summer weekends at our cabin, for the time being, Minneapolis is now my home.

When family and friends from out of state ask me what I like about Minneapolis, I actually find myself at a loss for words. But how is that possible when I love a city so much? Well, let's start with the obvious:

People like visiting us. In 2013, Minneapolis was one of the world's hottest travel destinations {figuratively, not literally}. But literally, we are the coldest. Minneapolis is America's coldest major city, according to this list. Despite all of that, Minneapolitans are still some of the happiest {third happiest, at that}, with the third best quality of life and low stress.

That might be because we don't have terrible traffic. Minneapolis is the fifth most accessible metro area in the U.S. Which is one of the reasons Minneapolis is the third best American city to live in (including the third best city for Millennials). Speaking of third, Minneapolis is also the third most literate city in the U.S, and the best city for families in the U.S.

Twin Cities dwellers are big on fitness. Minneapolis/St. Paul has recently been named the healthiest, fittest city {technically cities} in the world. While we're full of jocks, we're also the fifth nerdiest {I'm a closet LOTR fan myself...}

And in the Twin Cities, we like all things green. Minneapolis also has the best parks system in the nation, and boasts one of the most beautiful parks in the world with Minnehaha Park. Minneapolis is also big on "going green" and is #4 of 12 cities leading the way in sustainabilityOn multiple lists - and we're a top 10 clean energy state. On the topic of clean, Minneapolis is the fourth cleanest city in the world.

We're also romantics. Minneapolis popped up on the most unexpectedly romantic cities list last year {particularly the Stone Arch Bridge - right outside our window and on my walk to work!} Speaking of walk to work, Minneapolis is unbelievably walkable. Ninth most walkable city in the U.S., at that {but we recommend staying inside in the winter}. Unless you have a cute little pooch, of course {Minneapolis is the tenth best city for dogs}. 

Now, let's talk food. Minnesotans might be of mostly northern European descent, but the Twin Cities rank sixth for best pizza. What goes great with pizza? Beer and sports. Minneapolis is also the sixth best city for beer {I'm a fan of Fulton, Summit and Surly, myself}, and the sixth best city for sports fans {go Gophers!}

And one of my personal favorites? We have some good, good coffee to keep us warm on those polar vortex days.

See what I mean?

But apart from all of the lists the Twin Cities top, that's not why I love it here. I can't sum it up in a single word or phrase, but it's the way I feel taking walks across the Stone Arch Bridge with Jack. The way the skyline looks against the bright pink sky on warm summer mornings. The Norwegian chai ice cream at Izzy's {topped with an Izzy scoop of salted caramel} on the hottest day of the summer, or even the coldest day of the winter {yes, even during the polar vortex}. The excitement of a home Minnesota Gopher football game in October, and spending each anniversary at our favorite romantic restaurant {112 Eatery}. It's looking at the electric blue Soap Factory lights through our apartment window after drinks and dinner at Aster Cafe. It's our old running path through Uptown and around the Sculpture Garden, and Saturday brunch at Uptown Diner trying to ward off any signs of the night before. It's the just far enough drive back to my hometown, and the amazing "I'm home" feeling I get when I see the skyline on the horizon on the drive back.

Not to mention, this city was where I went to college, graduated as a Golden Gopher, started my career, made my best friends and found the {gentle}man of my dreams. Not to mention, my family is never more than a short drive away.

Why yes, I do love this city.


|| Photos are property of Jackson Faith Photography. Do not use or distribute. ||

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