Minneapolis Day 1: Bike ride to Lake Nokomis

Sara K, whom you might know from her regular comments on this blog, is almost Dr. Sara K. She’s spent the last few years working toward a PhD, and I’m in Minneapolis to see her defense.

After navigating myself from the airport to my AirBnB, (thanks light rail!) I used the app on my phone to find a Nice Ride. Those would be the bike share bikes in the Twin Cities.

There was a bank of bikes not far from my place, and I rode about 25 minutes to Lake Nokomis, where I locked up my bike at another station. Easy as pie!

One thing I enjoyed about Lake Nokomis, was that they had seperate paths for walkers and bikes. The path in the foreground is for walkers; the one in the back is for bikes. Very smart, Minneapolis!

While it was full-on warm spring in Portland, it was still early spring in the North Star State. I would call what I experienced mid-to-late-March weather.

A variety of Sara’s relatives (and Sara herself, plus Shawn) arrived and we ate and chatted.

Shawn and Sara gave me a ride back to my place, which was also nice, as I was not wearing a mid-to-late March coat and I was a bit chilled when the sun was going down.

What a great start to my trip!

Anniversary dinner at Navarre

It’s our seventeenth anniversary and to celebrate, we had a delicious meal at Navarre. The restaurant was deserted, as it was a glorious warm spring day and everyone else was probably hiking or some other outdoorsy Portland thing.

Due to the full staff and the lack of other customers, our food came fast. While we ate dinner we traded off asking questions of our favorite memories. Examples: favorite vacation we’ve taken/ favorite wedding we’ve attended/ favorite thing about our house, etc. It turned out to be a pretty fun game.

We forgot to take a picture in the restaurant, so here we are by the car.

I float for the first time

Call me float-curious. Floating, the practice of paying money to lie in a dark in a tank of water with a bunch of Epsom salts was very intriguing to me.

Not enough to pay money, but I was interested.

Enter friend Kelly, who gets free floats as a part of her volunteer gig. She gifted me one, so I signed up.

Float On has a very cool waiting room. The walls are covered with this stretchy fabric that was mesmerizing. Plus, look at all those stretchy fabric things on the ceiling! And there was tea.

And look at this great mural in the bathroom!

Here’s my room. You are looking at the shower and the door to the tank.

From the other direction, the door to the hallway, a complementary robe (that I didn’t need to use) and on the right, the filtering system for the tank.

I was given an orientation, I showered, got into the tank and closed the door.

And then 90 minutes passed.

At first, I thought I needed to be inert in the water, but eventually I realized that I could move around if I wanted. After I started some slow movement of my limbs, I enjoyed floating more.

And yet.

I’m a person who regularly experiences insomnia, so I’m quite familiar with the feeling of being awake in a dark room, alone with my thoughts.

I also am a swimmer with a goodly amount of body fat, so floating is also a thing that happens to me on a regular basis.

When I started thinking of things I would rather spend money on than floating that would also relax me (massage, acupuncture, a nap—which is free) I concluded that floating was not for me.

And I’m so glad I got to figure that out for free.

If you are float curious, I recommend Float On. It was a great operation.

Messages on the bus ride home

I interpreted the very direct message on the power pole to be referring to suicide, of which there seems to be an unreasonable amount of going on right now. But today I can see that it can also refer to just getting to exist in this world. Our homeless population probably feels like we don’t think they get to live.

I loved thinking of the number of flyers and signs that had been posted to this pole over the years.