8.28.2011

Concert Road Trip: Minneapolis & U2

I haven't been to Minnesota since I was a kid.
And I've never been to the Mega Mall. (How un-American of me, right?)



But you know what isn't American?
IKEA.




And you know what is SUPER AWESOME?
IKEA.

I'm pretty sure I want to live in this fake apartment.


I put this couch on my 'things I want to buy when I have some money' list.



It's so comfy.
I loved this chair and ottoman too.


I was so in aw walking around IKEA. Everything there is well made and pretty inexpensive. At one point, T said to me 'Nic, close your mouth.' I couldn't. It was awesomeness overload for me.

What about this super white kitchen? All I could think about was how colorful all my vegetables would be against all the bright white.



We looked at everything. T even tested at some bar stools.


I only ended up buying some new cutting boards but I definitely have plans to come back soon!!



IKEA makes me happy.

BUT...this was not the sole purpose of our trip. We were actually in Minneapolis to see U2!!!!
I bought T tickets for our anniversary last year. He was pretty bumped since they are one of his 'bucket list' bands.

After IKEA though, we had to get food in our bellies before the big show!!

And I heard that if you're in Minneapolis....


There is one thing that you have to eat...


That's right folks...



It's a cheeseburger with the cheese on the INSIDE.

I had heard all about Jucy Lucy's from my co-worker and I was stoked to try one.
I asked the concierge for the closest local place serving them and she recommended Matt's Bar.



Which claims to be the original home of the Jucy Lucy!!
We took a cab there and then walked right in and grabbed a booth in the corner.
I loved this place. It was totally decked out in 70's type decor. No frills. Simple menus. Walls filled with awards for the burgers.


And they served Grainbelt. Which is delicious and sort of vintage-y type beer. I felt like we were in the 70's or in the The High Life Lounge.


There was one server working all the tables. But since the menu is pretty small and people show up for one thing- she had it all handled.
We each ordered a Jucy Lucy and a basket 'o' fries to share.
Everything arrived wrapped up like a present.



I took one bite and was hooked.


It might be the best burger I ever tasted. The cheese was all melty and gooey in the inside. It was awesome.

I also learned that it's impossible to take a good picture of someone biting into something.



But whatever. It was delicious. As you can tell...



Our bellies were full....


 ...and we were happy.  :)



Time to get ready for the show!!
As I said, I purchased the tickets to U2 for Todd last year and he was REALLY excited to see them play. Bono was on his bucket list!
The concert was at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota so we got into our concert gear and headed to the show.


 Now this is where I cannot stop kicking myself....
Considering it was U2 and we were taking a cab a ways away from our hotel, I didn't bring my camera. I was worried that security would be searching bags and confiscate it. I wouldn't have time to go back to the hotel so I just skipped it.

When we got there, they did a really lousy bag check and everyone and their brother had a camera....I was not very happy I wouldn't be able to take any pics. But I did get one with my blackberry of the stage. It was UNBELIEVABLE.


 I'm not sure this picture even does it justice. It was so HUGE. Before the show started, they flashed up statistics on the giant screen. There were about 60,000 people at the show. It's the biggest concert I've ever been to.

Interpol opened for them and were really good.


source

Then there was a lot of waiting until U2 came out....
When they did, the sound was deafening!


They had a great setlist:


When they played 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' I could literally feel the stadium shaking. It was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had at a concert.

My favorite part of the show was when they did 'It's a Beautiful Day.' They had a video stream of Mark Kelly (Senator Gabrielle Gifford's husband that is up in space) and asked him what is on his mind...
Watch the video below to see his response.


It gave me goosebumps. Definitely the best part of the show for me.

It started raining about halfway through...pretty hard. So we stood underneath and watched the remainder of the show. Here's a great picture of the stadium. I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people there, singing together.


We had a great time!! It was an amazing experience.

The next morning we got up for breakfast before hitting the road.
I saw a sign for a local diner across the street from the hotel, but turned out it was closed for remodeling. So we wandered around until we ran into this...

I was pretty stoked to check it out. It was in the basement of the building and had a dark and cozy sort of vibe. All the staff was wearing PJs and lounge wear as their uniform.


Their menu was pretty extensive. I had a hard time picking what to choose....but I ended up going with the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and a side of eggs.


 The pancakes were SO good. Light, fluffy with a sweet lemon flavor. I ate them without syrup- they were that sweet and creamy.

T ordered the basic breakfast with their own potatoes and toast.



T said it was delicious. We were both pretty excited to try their own homemade peanut butter.


 It was amazing. Peanuts, honey, salt...so good I bought us each a little jar. :)


Mine only lasted about 2 weeks...and that is because I paced myself.

They had this sign in the bathroom of Hell's Kitchen. Made me laugh.


We had a great time in Minnesota and would definitley go back to see another show, check out the nightlife....and eat Jucy Lucy's. :)