an anniversary of love


these are my parents and today is their 47th wedding anniversary. today is also the day {six years ago} that my father died. 

i'm certain the occurrence of these two events not a coincidence. i believe my dad held on until this exact date before passing. i think he chose to leave us on the same day they got married so that we would have something happy to celebrate after he was gone. he was like that: very strong-willed and a total romantic. so today isn't an anniversary of his death, it's an anniversary of their love. because he would've wanted it that way.

music mix: 03


the title of this playlist might as well be kings of convenience since half the songs on this mix are theirs. but what can i say, the kings and i are having a moment... which has been lingering ever since spotify introduced us weeks ago. they're not a new band, but they're new to me {*sigh* such is my musical foresight}. but really, who wants to be that person that brags about knowing a band "before they got big"? i think it's way cooler to be the person who still likes a bands even [decades] after they got big. at least, that is how i justify my lag in social trends.

anyway, this playlist is much like lazy summer days: easy, breezy. it's got the mellow, wistful vibe i've been wanting to rock out to these days. and by "rock out" i mean gently swaying in a hammock or porch swing. so pour yourself a glass of sun tea and enjoy!

spotify | mix 03
01. the girl from back then - kings of convenience
02. so sorry - feist
03. anonanimal - andrew bird
04. peacetime resistance - kings of convenience
05boat behind - kings of convenience
06. the bend - real estate
07yet again - grizzly bear
08. rule my world - kings of convenience
09. mykonos - fleet foxes
10. mrs. cold - kings of convenience
11. know-how - kings of convenience
12. the limit to your love - feist
13try sidsel endresen / bugge wesseltoft

minnesota twins


it's been almost two weeks since claudin and i were in minnesota for our annual "twin trip" and i've had this post drafted for days, but the fourth of july + the slow death of my computer put a wrench in the works. i mean, a beautiful weekend spent with family and friends is one thing {and you can't just SKIP america's favorite holiday so i HAD to blog about that first}, but a computer on the fritz is another. anyway. minnesota, finally!

we stayed in duluth three days and never got to see lake superior while we were there - not even after running 26.2 miles down its coast. the fog remained tightly drawn like a misty curtain over the length of its banks and only the distant sounds of water lapping gave any kind of hint to the great lake that extended beyond. but what the seaport town lacked in idyllic seaportness that weekend, it made up for with the architechtual charm of its historic downtown.
the main street is decked out in herringbone brickwork and accessorized with streetlamps, which really suites the handsome turn-of-century buildings that line it, if i do say so myself. we strolled the kinks out of our marathon-pounded muscles, going from one end of town to the other, taking pictures and stopping in locally owned shops along the way. touring duluth was like the best post-race recovery in disguise. and not that the town wasn't captivating enough with it's dapper charisma, but after a few days, we drove down to the twin cities for the next leg of our trip.

it was decidedly summer when we arrived in saint paul {with blue skies and all!}, only not in the muggy- northestern kind of way, but the mild-midwestern kind of way. we checked in at our airbnb, which was an 1880s victorian on the outside and stylistically scandinavian on the inside. there were bright ferns hanging on the front porch and twinklelights strung in the patio. there were succulents on the windowsills and stacks of vinyls in the music room. it was bright and modern, with an integrity that would make the designers at ikea proud. since there was all kinds of daylight left after we unpacked, claudin and i walked the mile downtown to grab some pizza and raise our glasses to "vacation".

doesn't it just FEEL sweedish?

we spent the next few days riding around on bikes, going from one restaurant or cafe to the next, eating small amounts at each, and stopping at shops in between. there's no better way to get to know a place than by eating your way through wandering it. better yet is getting lost a few times and finding those hidden jems yelp doesn't tell you about. but with nothing on the agenda, it was all good. so we took our time lingering over empty plates and dregs of coffee, enjoying uninterrupted conversation. and even though our arms were relieved to be free of twenty-pound koala-babies, we carried thoughts of those sweet little ones into every children's bookstore or clothing boutique we saw. 

bike share programs may scream "tourist" but, who really cares when you look this cute cruisin' around.

the copper hen was as beautiful as it was delicious. we shared a cheese board and took cookies that were as big as our faces to go.
spending the afternoon doing some "coffee shop research"  
ok, so we did have one thing scheduled during our stay in the twin cities and that was a day at the salon. oh, the demands!  i booked us appointments at honeycomb, which came highly recommended by yelp and that i can now attest to. it was a bright space, thoughtfully curated with minnesota-made products and run by an awesome group of women. i enjoyed talking with my stylist - who was also the owner - about opening and running a successful business, taking loads of mental notes the whole time.
then, two hours and a combined four inches of hair shorter, claudin and i biked alllllll the way back to our was almost another entire marathon we covered biking from minneapolis to st paul, but after getting "turned around" a couple of times, we probably logged closer to thirty miles that day. at least we got see spectacular views of the mighty mississippi, even if it was ten o'clock at night and already dark. did i mention that minnesota has the most impressive {and safe and very well-lit} bike system in probably the entire country? well it does and hopefully that puts any fears to rest.
refueling at grand ole creamery 
plus, we never would've got to catch this sight of the cathedral of st paul at night

this vacation was totally indulgent {as they should be, no?} aside from the race, there we no responsibilities or obligations. we stayed up late, we watched movies, we citied-around, and ate our weights worth in great food. the days were so packed that it almost kept my mind distracted from how badly i missed august. when i got home though and got to see those shaky legs take two tentative steps, with arms out for balance and mouth open in concentration, it was like the fun was just getting started. it's pretty great when coming home is just as good as going on vacation.

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