December 08, 2014

Sightseeing in the Twin Cities OOTD

In October, I packed up my family and we headed to the Twin Cities. The reasons were multiple but the most immediate was a conference. I presented and received an award for my dissertation at a small conference focusing on a subfield of my discipline. The timing overlapped with my wedding anniversary so I was thrilled that Chris could join me. And because I still haven't been apart overnight from Emilia (#firsttimemomanxiety), her presence was a given.

The conference was located in St. Paul and Chris took care of the majority of our restaurant and sightseeing planning. Though he often does this for our trips (which is awesome) I felt especially grateful that he did so this time around due to the convening pressures of work, my presentation preparation, and the startup. My only request was to visit the Mall of America. Seriously... I couldn't imagine a trip to the area without it, both as a scholar interested in consumer culture and an American interested in shopping!

While there we loved visiting the St. Paul Children's Museum, Minnehaha Park, the Walker Art Center and adjacent sculpture garden, and the open galleries in Lowertown. Above is an abstract selfie from the Walker.

We visited some excellent restaurants too. Le Town Talk is a diner turned French restaurant. They have a champagne cocktail program that is pretty stellar. We really liked our noodle dishes at Tanpopo in Lowertown. We had a delicious meal at Pazzaluna with family that relocated from Pittsburgh to the area. And we enjoyed the cookies and Italian fare at the Cosetta Market. If you are familiar with Dunn Bros Coffee, it began in St. Paul and although it is a chain we liked it enough to grab our morning cups from them. All places were plenty kid friendly!

Although the conference was held at the beautiful, historic Saint Paul Hotel, we stayed at the nearby Doubletree, which was more affordable and (more importantly for Emilia!) had a pool. We did rent a car which I was very glad about. It meant we could venture much further than otherwise possible. I considered applying to graduate school at the University of Minnesota and although I didn't, I did daydream a bit about what my life would have been like as a student there. I am glad I stayed in Pittsburgh but I quite liked the Twin Cities. I hope we get to go back soon!

Outfit details:
Marc by Marc Jacobs Mareika dress (skirt here, top here, dress from same collection here)
Burberry Brit trench coat
Salvadore Ferragamo My Joy flats
Spanx tights
Longchamp tote (current season here)

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