Today, I received an email that just made my day. My friend Brooke asked her friend (who is from Minneapolis) to share her "Why I Love Minneapolis" list. This is what she wrote...and it made me really excited which is great because I have not been feeling so hot about moving.

And also, after reading, you will understand why I wish this girl still lived there because we'd probably become fast friends. Maybe I will ask her if she can put me in touch with some of her old friends. Is that weird? I don't know...probably going to be doing a lot of weird things to get friends. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Ha.

10. The Winters
You may think I am crazy when I say this, but winter can actually be kind of fun. There is nothing like being snowed in your home with a bottle of whiskey, and some friends who WALKED over because they can't get their car out of their parking spot.

9. The Skyways
If you go or work downtown, you can get to almost any building without every going outside. Obviously amazing in the winter. There are little convenient stores, coffee shops, barbers, florists etc all through out the sky ways. It's pretty cool, but you will probably get lost your first time.

8.5: St. Paul
St. Paul is super "old" school, as in you can hear a pin drop on a Thursday night at 9pm, but it is quite awesome. That is where the Science museum is, the history museum, a bunch of cool old school Libraries. There is also an area called Grand Ave, which is one of my favorite streets in the Twin Cities. Lots of cool shops, nightlife, awesome irish pubs but it can get a tiny bit college-y. Lower Town is an awesome neighborhood downtown St. Paul and there is a super cool farmers market there and lots of artist lofts.

8. Biking
You can literally bike ANYWHERE and feel safe. There are bike lanes on pretty much every road, and I think Minneapolis was voted most bike friendly city in 2010 when I lived there.

7. The Zombie Pub Crawl
Every year, the week or two before Halloween, the Zombie Pub Crawl happens. There are literally over 10,000 people in one neighborhood dressed like Zombies, doing Jager Bombs and drinking PBR's all over the place.

6. The Music Scene (Okay- hard to compare to Austin...but still)
The music scene is awesome, really it's an amazing community. You may know of a little band named Atmosphere, or Brother Ali, or Polica, or Doomtree. (lots of underground hip-hop) A few of my favorite Venues include: Cause Soundbar (I used to work there!) it's kind of a dive-y bar but usually gets a lot of great bands. First Ave is pretty skanky but suuuuper epic for shows. (Prince used to own it!)  Also The Varsity Theater is hands down the coooooolest venue I have ever been to.

5. Lake Minnetonka
If you love to party on an amazingly gigantic lake Spring Break style, Lake Minnetonka is the place. Think Lake Travis partying times 10. It's so fun. You can do lots of stuff with kids and families on the lake too.
4. Core Power Yoga
Best Yoga studio I have ever been a part of, hands down. (it's a chain though, but still awesome)
3. Northern Minnesota
If you want to venture away from the city and If you are outdoorsy Northern MN is absolutely amazing (about 2 hours North of Minneapolis) The city of Duluth is super cool, it's right on Lake Superior and there is a lot of sight seeing there.  Silver Bay is my favorite for camping and hiking. There is also the Boundary Waters which I guess is pretty epic but I have never been. (shame on me) It's definitely my goal when we move back. If you ski, Lutsen is awesome in the winter.

2.5: People are super freaking nice.
The "Minnesota Nice" thing is not a joke. Everyone is friendly, so don't get freaked out if a random stranger starts chatting with you on the Lightrail (another awesome thing about Minneapolis! The transportation!) They are just being nice! Also when you go to the bars, you will get chatted up...people love to party in Minnie so they always think everyone is their best friends. I always have fun when I go out there because people just want to chat and party. Hardly any pretension unless you go to 1st Ave downtown. People also really love having groups of friends there, so you won't have any problems meeting people!

Minneapolis is quickly becoming a beer mecca which is so awesome. There are a lot of hipsters there, so why not? Surly Brewing is who started it all. Now there is Fulton, Lake Harriett Brewing, Indeed Brewing, Dangerous Man, and the list goes on.

1.5: The Chain of Lakes
The Chain of Lakes is in the southern part of the city, mostly by uptown and South Minneapolis. Lake Harriett is the  lower key lake, there is a beach and a amphitheater but that's about it. Lake Calhoun is absolutely amazing. I used to live a 1/2 block from there and sometimes I cry myself to sleep thinking about how much I miss it. It is an exact 5k around (not sure if you are a runner) and has tons of plush green grass, ice cream stands, band stages, 2 beaches and always has a bunch of people flying kites/grilling/playing frisbee/drinking beer/having an amazing time. All with a view of the Minneapolis Skyline of course! You can also wind surf on that lake which I have though always looked amazingly fun, just never have done it. They also rent Kayaks and paddle boards, and there is usually a yoga class or two happening somewhere around that lake. It's my fave, obvi.

1. The Summers
It is no joke that Minneapolis is the best place in the world to be in the summer. There is ALWAYS a music festival, marathon, triathlon, beer tent, art show, concert, etc, etc etc. I love it there so much. Oh, and once it hits like 50 degrees outside, all of the patios open up outside, and everyone is biking around in t-shirts and shorts and loving life ;)

Other Advice:
For the love of God, don't street park. In the winter they have snow emergency routes and sometimes you have to wake up at 7am just to move your car. Then you have to find a spot that is usually blocks from your house/apt because only half of the parking spots are available in the Twin Cities because they have to plow one side of the street. It's Hell, but not if you have your own parking spot ;)

Eat at Brassa, The Sample Room, The Butcher and the Boar, Chino Latino, Longfellow Grill, Victors, Blackbird, Heidi's, and the list goes on and is probably different since I have lived there. (I still visit like 4 times a year so I still kind of have a good grip)