8 a.m.: As if my wife and I don’t have enough conflict in our lives, my favorite breakfast place happens to be on the same corner as hers, 38th Street and Grand Avenue in south Minneapolis. We sometimes debate till after the car is parked. My pick: Victor’s 1959 Café for the Cuban Scrambler (eggs, black beans, plantains). Hers: Grand Cafe for more froufrou brunch fare (which I must admit is still mighty good).
10 a.m.: While many Western suburb residents fight traffic into the city on weekdays, we do the opposite and often breeze out of town on weekends to one of the exceptionally maintained Three Rivers District parks. Our favorite is Gale Woods Farm (7210 County Road 110 W., Minnetrista). Our two young daughters eat up the chance to hang with the animals while we buy naturally raised pork or beef to eat up later in the week. You didn’t think it was just a petting farm? Then comes the scenic hike to Whaletail Lake or a bike ride on the neighboring Dakota Rail Trail.
2 p.m.: Nap time = errand time. A trip to Northern Brewer to start another batch of homemade IPA would be ideal (1150 Grand Av., St. Paul). I might stop in at the Electric Fetus, Treehouse or Hymie’s record stores (all in south Minneapolis) looking for old vinyl, which I buy to offset all the new digital music I procure daily for my job.
3 p.m.: The zoos, Children’s Museum and Science Museum are all great for kids — on weekdays, when everybody else’s kids aren’t there. On weekends, I often take my girls to smaller, funkier museums like the electrifying Bakken Museum (3537 Zenith Av. S., Mpls.), where my elder daughter always nervously contemplates the robotic Frankenstein show. She still hasn’t seen it yet. Or the Bell Museum of Natural History, whose wildlife panoramas are dated but oddly alluring (10 Church St. SE., Mpls.). Yes, more dead animals.
6 p.m.: Having spent big chunks of our lives in Austin, Texas, my wife and I do agree on one front when it comes to dining out: Food always tastes better outside, and in tortillas. No place has a better combo of scenery, savory tacos and laid-back vibe than Sea Salt Eatery (in Minnehaha Falls Park). It’s also kid-friendly, beer-snob-friendly and — if the Roe Family or Nikki & the Ruemates are strumming on the patio — a fine place for music, too.
8 p.m.: Much like the breakfast entry, my perfect night of nightclubbing involves two places in proximity. The hippie-ish Cedar Cultural Center is the warmest listening room in town, and usually offers earlier, mellower, all-ages shows (416 Cedar Av. S., Mpls.). For later, louder, wilder shows, the punkier Triple Rock is just down the street (629 Cedar Av. S.) and often worlds away musically.
1 a.m.: If I have a little writing or unwinding to do at the end of the night, I’ll pop in to my neighborhood brewpub, Town Hall Tap (4810 Chicago Av. S., Mpls.). I learned the hard way not to order the Java Porter then: There’s enough coffee in it to keep you awake for hours. As you can see here, my sleep time is already brief enough.