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A couple of my friends packed up the car with me and headed over to the Twin Cities to surprise our good friend for her birthday. We had the perfect plan: your roommate was going to distract her to make sure she did not plan anything for the weekend, one of her college buddies was also going to drive over from Chicago, and we were going to bring the birthday cake. Trick candles included, of course. Unfortunately, our masterfully laid plan was broken up a couple of hours before we arrived. Our fantastic birthday friend was booking some other plans and our accomplice in St. Paul had to let her know we were coming so that she would not go wondering off before we arrived. So although we did not get to run up to her door, she was still pretty excited, and she even had a little time to start throwing ideas out for our weekend adventures.

The weekend began at a place I had never heard of before, Minnehaha Falls. Apart from the awesome name, Minnehaha is just a fantastic place to visit if you are ever in Minneapolis. In the middle of a large city you find this beautiful waterfall and trails that lead you out to the Mississippi River. The park around it is just fantastic -- with lots of wedding party photo opportunities might I add -- and it does not hurt when you have a gorgeous day to go exploring. It should be noted after our own experience that there are two paths at the fork in the path to the Mississippi, one is a little more rustic feel, not difficult to navigate, but when we were there it was slightly flooded. The other path is actually built to have utility vehicles go through, so it is a little easer on the feet. It should not surprise anyone that we picked the flooded route and it was not until the journey back that we realized the other side was a little nicer --lesson learned.

Along the way we found some interesting things, including this cliff that had carvings from visitors that found their way down to see the mighty Mississippi. In my head I was imagining a fantastic photo shoot in front of this wall with some off camera lighting.

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We tried to pack in our adventure as much as possible, so we ate a quick lunch and headed over to the fabulous Minnesota Zoo. I have to say, I was really impressed with how the curators put the exhibits together. Everything flowed wonderfully and really felt like it was meant for folks of all ages. Again, it looked like another prime wedding photography spot, the tipoff was that they were setting up for a wedding reception when we left. Hopefully all the animals will jam to the dance music just fine.

Of course, it would not be a fun trip unless I acted like my normal self.

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And there is no going to a zoo without some wildlife photos. One of my favorites of the day, this amazing looking shark. I love the light coming in on this little fella.

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Then we discovered something amazing about the tiger exhibit, they had a display tracking camera that snapped a photo when you walked though the gate, just like how they track the animals in the wild. Of course, when we discovered this phenomenal little gadget, we put it to good use.

I have no idea why some of our friends walked up ahead pretending they did not know us ;-)

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Hi there handsome!

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The next day we headed out bright and early to the Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis. Now all the natives of the area are probably thinking, you guys are such tourists. You are right, but we did go with some locals who had not been there before, so I am thinking we are a little more legit. Not to mention, we wanted to see that famous cherry on top of the spoon.

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And now it is time to embarrass my buddy. Just kidding. I will leave you with this shot of us discovering the awesome powers of reflection. We were working on our synchronized photography skills, I think we look like a perfect 10.

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  1. Love the colors in the first shot and the detail with the bear. Very awesome!

  2. hahaha!! love the tracking shots!!!! and the riding the tortoise one too! too funny!!! have a rad weekend amy!!

  3. Thanks you guys, I thought it was very awesome too :-)

  4. LOL... I would totally ride the turtle too!

  5. I love the carvings picture...and your blog header is genius!

  6. What a fun day this looks like. great pictures!