Off the map at AWP Minneapolis

If you followed any of my Twitter or Facebook updates during AWP Minneapolis, you'll have noticed that there was quite a bit going on within the confines of the Convention Center and hotel and the sheltering skyways in between:
Managing table 1724 with the fantastic Julie Armstrong at my side.
That was all such a whirlwind of fun and work and wonder (and blue! so much blue!). But that's not all there was!

My good friend Jenny Gallagher, a Minnesota-native transplanted to little Chestertown, was awesome enough to make plans to visit home while I was at AWP. She made sure that I left the gigantic conference bubble for a while to see more of the actual Minneapolis. 

She took me to a very filling breakfast at Tiny Diner, which is only appropriate since our friendship was forged over pastry and tea when I worked at Evergrain Bread Co.

Banana-chocolate chip pancakes and maple links. Delicious chai lattes. This is what our friendship is made of. And me asking Jenny to say everything in her kick-ass Minnesotan accent.

Later that day, we ate fantastically rich Thai food for dinner and browsed/shopped at Magers & Quinn, one of my new favorite indie bookstores. 

The sisters Gallagher!

On Saturday morning (before Team Lit House snuck out of the conference early), Jenny and her lovely sister Katie Gallagher (who has previously visited little Chestertown!) took me on a last Minneapolis excursion. We went to Sunstreet Breads for breakfast (pastries! tea!). I got a chocolate-almond bearclaw that I just had to photograph because it actually looks like a bear claw! Just look at that pastry-fist wrapped around a paw-full of chocolate-and-almond goodness. And a chai latte, of course.

(I also bought a rhubarb turnover for the plane later because I have serious pastry needs.)

We followed up our delicious gluttony with a brisk walk around Lake Harriet, a visit to the famous sculpture garden, and ended up at a letterpress shop that Jenny and Katie had scouted out earlier: Lunalux!

Lunalux was half working-print-shop and half storefront. There was a poster on the window advertising an offsite AWP reading that I'd just missed the night before (of course!). And when I went inside, the letterpress lockup for that poster was still in the proof press where it was printed. I loved that.

Last night's party & the morning after.

Then it was all luggage and airports and planes all the way back to Maryland. But it was such a fun and full visit to Minneapolis. I can't wait to visit again! Jenny and Katie and I will still have lots to see and do. In the meantime, it's hard to beat coming back home to this:


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