Visitors are the BEST

My much-alluded to 5 weeks in California this summer were hot, wonderful, and in the business of happiness. Unfortunately, however, they were not spent with my best bud…BUT he came to visit!

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(picture taken at Noah’s Bagels in LA)

Noah visited for a weekend, and we spent Shabbat at camp and then took Sunday to go out on the [heavily-trafficked-and-sprawling] town [of Los Angeles].

Happy day.

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The day started with a momentous occasion…the renting of my first rental car!

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First stop was The Grove, an outdoor shopping center/food market in LA with a fun downtown-y feel.

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We enjoyed some time walking around the stores and stalls, looking at the various treasures:

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Eventually, it was time to get down to business with the food, so we went to the Farmers Market area:

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The Farmers Market is basically a large collection of restaurants, food shops, and specialty stores. After looking around for a little while, I got a vegetable crepe with cheese from the Crepe Company:

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After The Grove, we drove to Santa Monica for some beach-walking and more window shopping.

California sunshine:

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The beach was crowded! And there appeared to be some sort of anti-war installation:

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Overall, a great visit and day out and about. 🙂

Minneapolis Farmer’s Market

This weekend was SO beautiful. Sunday was pretty much the perfect day – a slight breeze but sunny temperatures in the 60s….perfect bliss. To take advantage of the weather, I rode my bike to do all of my errands:

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Due to the gorgeous weather, this weekend was also the season opener for the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market. Minneapolis’ farmer’s market is located on the north end of Lyndale past downtown, and it’s been at that location since 1937! According to their signage, it is the largest open air market in the upper midwest.

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I would believe it! Even though it wasn’t too packed with vendors today (presumably since it was the opening weekend), I visited the farmer’s market several times last summer and fall, and it is quite an operation. You can enjoy a bounty of farmer’s market staples…

like flowers:

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and fruits and vegetables:

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In addition, there’s a separate area with crafts, soaps, jewelry, clothes, prepared food and sauces, and meats:

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Stands that caught my eye on this visit included homemade pasta (in flavors like basil, italian herb, and spinach!):

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pottery:

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and homemade soaps:

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The roasted sweetcorn also seemed to be a hit judging from the number of people who were eating it:

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I give the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market an A+++. There’s a lot of variety, fresh and delicious produce, and great people watching. Plus it is incredibly affordable. The produce usually goes 2 or 3 bins for $5. To give you an idea, a bin would usually include 5-6 onions, peppers, or pieces of fruit – at the least. There’s also a ton of variety. On this visit I saw: onions of all types, cabbage, yellow squash, oranges, grapes, plantains, tomatoes, sweet peppers, potatoes, green beans, hot peppers, mango, ginger, and strawberries…to name a few.

I bought green beans, cabbage, and onions. Check back soon for my recipes on how I used them!