sarah vs the world

Not a video game, not a comic, not a band, but an amazing adventure continues...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A summertime visit to MPLS with the whole family!

The trip to Minneapolis actually seems like a while ago now, so I think it is time to get a bit of updating done.  I took the A380 from Dubai to JFK sitting in the top deck.  Had a lovely sleep, caught up on all the movies, and was ready to hit NYC big time.  My limo collected me and over the bridge we went to the lovely Manhattan.  This time I stayed in Midtown to stay close to Penn Station, but still managed to hit up some usual favs and find some new local places.  I always enjoying killing time in New York.  I genuinely feel at home there now.  It's awesome.  New York photos abound....
Over the bridge we go...
The view from my apartment in the wee AM hours
Some friendly dating advice on the fridge of my apt (aka New Rules to Live By)
Local neighbourhood exploring....
The old wooden escalators at Macy's
 
Veg Breakky around the corner!  Amazing.
Walking the High Line...
Unfortunately this rooftop bar was not open yet!
If anyone else has this same photo, send to me.  I have quite the collection growing.
SF Coffee amazement on the HL
My fabulosa Mexicana lunch including a blood orange margarita!
But sadly my few days of eating, shopping and drinking in NYC came to a close on an early morning as I walked to Penn Station to begin my mammoth train journey from New York to Indianapolis to meet my parents.  From there we would continue the drive up to Minneapolis to see the rest of the Grubb Clan.  I had breakfast a couple of hours into the journey where I met Gretchen and her 2 fabulous kids Eliza and Ben.  They were travelling all the way through to Chicago also in a sleeping car.  After lunch, we noticed we had been stopped for quite a long time.  Eventually we heard that there was a rock slide further up blocking all the tracks!  So after a LONG time more, we were pushed onto buses, waiting even longer, being very uncomfortable in the bus for 6 hours until we drove around the rock slide.  Our dreams of sleeping in our lovely train beds didn't happen until about 2am that next day.  My lovely train sit down dinner was turned into a stop at McD's at 11pm!  Yuck.  But having Gretchen and the kids on the journey did make it more fun.  Not quite the trip we hoped for, but absolutely unforgettable.  I still will keep travelling my beloved Amtrak.
The journey begins in my sleeping car...
Catching up on some TV eps
Eliza, Ben and I waiting for a broken down bus
All of us doing our best to look very sad about our train ride
Eventually I made it to Mom & Dad in Indianapolis.  We continued the drive on Minneapolis.  And soon enough, all the Grubbs were within walking distance of each other, including the newest Grubb -- little Nora Lee.  We managed to fit a lot in: BBQs, board games, drinking, eating, Minnesota State Fair, catching up with old friends, brunch, the Lakes, the Walker Art Centre and a big joint birthday at the end for me and Dad. 
Nora on the bus ride to the Fair
The Ex-Minnesota Resident Grubbs at the Minnesota State Fair
My beer battered brat on a stick (of course!)
Followed by Minnesota Microbrews....yum
And the Sweet Martha's Choc Chip Cookies + all you can drink Milk (staple)
My bros with their babies
Nora loving the colours
MPLS Summer Lake Lifestyle (Go Stand Up Paddle Boards!)
Brock, Amber and Nora at the Spoon Bridge & Cherry
 
Auntie Sarah's mad babysitting skills....(including some diaper/nappy changes!)
Yup it is a Grubb Thing
Jonny and I at brunch
And our first round of drinks
My Birthday Match Book!
But sadly it had to come to an end.  I was back on the plane to Baku.  The last couple of weeks we have managed to get around town a bit.  The weather has cooled down a bit, so not quite a much fun as before I left, but still.  We attended the 'World Cup' Polo competition which was amazing.  The getting lost on the bus, the horrible Russian beer, Papa John's pizza, the dressing up and the hilarious British commentator all made it well worth it.  We even learned how to say 'applause' in Azeri.  Fabulous.
The horses
Me and an Azerbaijani Polo Player
Afterwards, there was a party at the Jumeirah Hotel here.  So Ale and I booked a room and had a lovely time.  Breakfast the next morning, followed by several hours at the beach, then onto the waterpark, closing out our long day at the Spa for some treatments.  Totally amazing.  
The Polo Party
The view from our room of the Caspian Sea
The Hotel from the beach side
Will leave this update with a few photos of other things around the town.  Explanations where required.
Photos of Baku
Zirka and I made to the Cook Zone - where you grill your food at the table.  I ordered 'sausages' which just turned out to be hot dogs.  Luckily Zirka got steak as well.
Chinese Lazy Susan
Local Rooftop drinking night out
 Becks and I enjoying the views from the Hilton 360 Bar
 And the Summer Breeze Cocktail(s)
That's about all for now.  Hope you have enjoyed the read.  I have booked a trip back to Ohio for Christmas including a stay at a Log Cabin near Mom and Dad's place for all the Grubbs to be together again -- twice in one year!  How unprecedented. 
Expecting others to begin arriving here soon, so I am sure the adventure is only just beginning.  More to come.  
Miss and love you all.
Sxo

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