29 July 2010

My Great Minnesota Adventure, Day 4!

Today we had a lazy morning and then met up with Jena for a trip to Minnehaha (ha ha ha! ahem, sorry couldn't resist) Falls.  But first, a bit of a side trip.  Our first stop was a quaint little chocolate shop with the most amazing chocolates!!  And the next was to Caribou Coffee, my first actually to the coffee shop, as April was most kind and got me a bag to enjoy coffee at home in the mornings without having to go out for it!

Then on to Minnehaha Falls--a park on the outskirts of Minneapolis.  First on the agenda was lunch at the Sea Salt Eatery in the park.  Of course, seafood was the mainstay of the menu--we all had something different and the portions were huge!  Highly recommended...and try the beer--it's locally brewed!

After that, we wandered around the trail that took us from the top of the falls, down to the bottom, and back up again...

After all of that wandering around, it was time for dessert, which meant ice cream from Izzy's--a local ice creamery and very busy spot for a sunny afternoon!  The interesting part about Izzy's is the Izzy-sized scoop, which is a dollop of a different flavor--your choice of about 30+ flavors.  Actually click here for a list of the flavors currently being served.  How current you ask?  It's updated about every 30 minutes!

After we left Jena (thanks for the fun afternoon), April & I went home to pack our bags and had a bit of dinner (Chipotle!  Which is insanely inexpensive comparatively speaking to NYC prices!!) on our way to the Centennial Show Boat Theatre to watch a play, who's name is of course escaping me at the moment.  It was fun and very Shakespeare-esque!

Then, just when you think the evening is over, April & I stopped for a few provisions and headed north to the lake!  Of course, after 3+ hours of driving in the dark and a quick tour of the cabin, we were ready for bed so we could get up early and go exploring!!


28 July 2010

My Great Minnesota Adventure, Day 3!

Four VERY exciting things happened today:

1.  I met April's friend Shana.

2.  Breakfast at Mickey's.  mmmmmm.....it was delicious.  I think I still prefer burgers & milkshakes, but the pancakes were awfully delicious!

3.  We drove to see the Largest Ball of Twine in the World Made by One Person, dubbed The Notorious B.O.T. or BOT for short and actually found it!  I say actually because it's not marked other than on a sign as your heading into the town, which reads "Home of the World's Largest Ball of Twine" but then neglects to tell you how to find it.

4.  We went to a winery.  They had really good wine...and a cute dog.

Four not-so-exciting things:
1.  Shana was sick...although she still went with us, so definite kudos to her!
2.  BOT was in a gazebo, protected by glass, which made taking pictures rather difficult and kinda hard to see (as you no doubt noticed by the picture above).
3.  The BOT museum was closed and there were NO TSHIRTS!!  i mean, c'mon people you are sitting on a GOLD MINE! GOLD MINE!! with BOT tshirts...alas...we drove away empty handed.  :(
4.  The winery did not ship to NY.  Phooey on that!  I deliberately packed light so as not to have to check a bag.  And while the wine was good, I didn't want to have to worry about packing it and checking my bag.  Lazy, perhaps, but well...it's ridiculous.  If you are reading this and live in either MN or NY, write your Representative and Senators and let them know how ridiculous.  Yes, I already did. Why do you ask?!?!?!?

ALSO! In looking at my pictures, I was reminded of yet another EXCITING thing that happened.  After we got back to St. Paul, we went in search of this:

I know you're in awe...and wondering what the?  but it's the worlds largest stucco snowman, mascot, I believe, of the school across the street!  Sit back and revel in its glory for a moment.  I did!  :)

And just when you think it couldn't have gotten any better, that night we met up with more Friends of April for dinner at a brewery (yummy beer!) in Minneapolis.  Afterward, we went to Sharon's house where we played games.  And by played, I mean they played and I--like an ungracious guest--fell asleep on the couch.  oooops!  did I mention how relaxed I felt around April?  And when you add beer and a comfy couch, it's just a VERY anti-social combination!!


27 July 2010

My Great Minnesota Adventure, Day 2!

So after a sleep in, I had AMAZING (yes, that's a word you're gonna hear a lot this trip!) Minnesota coffee.  If you ever have the chance to drink Caribou Coffee, Minnesota Blend--DO!  It's wonderful and robust, but smooth and perfectly roasted.

Anyway, I digress.

After lounging around, April, April's Mom, and I had an early lunch (Chinese, YUM!) and headed to the Minnesota Science Museum to go see their exhibition of The Dead Sea Scrolls.  They were AMAZING!  If you're in the area, you should definitely carve out a couple of hours of your time and see them. [on a side note: I recently discovered there is a workshop you can take, which has more in-depth information & guest speakers, which takes place just south of the Twin Cities.]

We were advised it would take 2 hours.  We thought we got through the exhibit much faster, however, to our amazement, it was just over two hours...time flies when you're viewing ancient history and are archaeology buffs, such as April & I are!

Later that evening, we met up with Sara to go watch the St. Paul Saints (whose mascot is a pig named Mudonna) take on the Ft. Worth Cats.  In the spirit of being a devoted Texan, I was one of maybe 5 fans in a packed stadium cheering for Ft. Worth.  We had front row bleacher seats, which was great...until everyone walked in front of us, completely oblivious to the fact that we were (shocking, but true) trying to watch the baseball game.  I mean, really, who goes to the game to watch?!??!?!?

It was a great start to the game, but in the end, the Saints (whose mascot is a pig named Mudonna) came back to pull of the win.  April & Sara didn't gloat...TOO MUCH...although more than my liking, since it meant that Ft. Worth lost.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some....but that's a long way to travel to lose (I'm just saying).

We headed home in anticipation of the next day [spoiler alert: The Big Ball of Twine!!  woo-hoo!]


My Great Minnesota Adventure, Day 1!

So my "Great MN Adventure" began with April picking me up at the airport, introducing me to Flat Nico (more about her later), and heading to dinner at Chevy's with friends of April's who were spending the weekend in NYC, sightseeing and babysitting the darling pupcicle (adventurous of them to say the least!).

Amazingly enough, the trip to the airport and the flights were shockingly smooth and very un-Sherry-is-traveling-like.  Except of course, for my carryon bag (yes, I am capable of packing for a long weekend in a carryon--and even had room for presents!!)...which decided to be difficult and the handle got stuck in the up position, which cause quite a ruckus on the plane from NYC to Chicago, as my bag had to go in sideways (gasp!) and thus not as many bags could fit in the overhead compartment.  Several people with their HUGE carryons were grouchy about it, but the gentleman sitting on the end of the row, very nicely came to my defense and was happy to put he & his wife's bags on and around my bag to help conserve space....but of course, you know some people just need to complain about something.  In case you're wondering, I graciously checked the bag in Chicago, so as to not have any grouchy plane neighbors (see, I am capable of consideration when it is absolutely required).

ON A SIDE NOTE:   April & I managed to fix the handle (with duck tape, of course), however, it wasn't a permanent fix, and well, I ended up having the same problem on the flights home.  sigh...oh well, given my typical airport adventures I'm certainly not complaining!!

After dinner, we had a bit of an early night (thank you April)...and I even slept in the next morning (well, every morning in fact.  I think April is relaxing for me, as I tend to sleep a lot around her...maybe it's because it's not the hustle & bustle of my normal life, maybe it's the nice, cool, air conditioned room, maybe it's the fact that she lets me!)  Regardless....it was a great start to a great weekend!