“Through all these cities and all these towns, it’s in my blood and it’s all around” – Tom Cochrane
Miles traveled: 279.1
I woke up with a bit of what seems to be a cold – really just sinuses, but otherwise I feel pretty good. It’s more annoying than anything else really. At the moment, I blame the mecca of down that was the Westin Minneapolis (and before you go there, trust me I’m not living it up in high end hotels every night – I go where Hotwire tells me – and sometimes that’s a superb 67% off deal at the Westin, and other times it’s a 40% off deal at a Best Western with doors on the exterior). Sarah and down anything do not generally mix well. It’s like feeding my sister blueberries. Doesn’t end well. So the fact that I slept amongst down pillows, under a down comforter, on top if a down mattress topper, and surrounded by what I can only imagine to be down-infused wallpaper and carpet, didn’t bode well for me. Aside from not being able to breathe through my nose, I do feel perfectly well – so I shall press on!
This morning I headed to a park just north of the city to go on a nice walk along the Mississippi River. Even got to stick my toes in the water along the beach-like banks near the walking trail. While a bit cloudy this morning, the weather was great – a bit cooler and a nice breeze along the river. No complaints here! My next stop was the Mall of America. Oh lord. So any of you that know me even remotely well know that I hate shopping, I don’t enjoy crowds (I make exceptions for live shows and concerts), and malls give me anxiety due to the two aforementioned items. I felt inclined to go so I can at the very least say I’ve been there! I was able to acquire my postcard and sticker, so it wasn’t a complete bust. An amusement park in the center of a mall – that’s just pure craziness. Hundreds of stores and thousands of people in a single confined space – the horrors. I was in and out in less than 45 minutes – phew! I survived. They should make shirts for that. (They probably do I just likely only saw 10% of the place and missed the shirt).
My phone chimed just as I was reaching the pinnacle of my self-imposed Mall of America torture, and it was a text from my pal Lindsay (whom I met at my former employer and also is an HR professional) saying she had just landed. So excited! So I made my way to the airport to pick up my road trip buddy for the next couple of days, and we headed to grab lunch before hitting the road. We had lunch at the 58 Club, which is home to the original Juicy Lucy hamburger. What in the heck is that you ask? It is a delicious burger stuffed with a pocket of tasty melted American cheese. Not too shabby and it’s a Minnesoter thing, dontcha know. Yah. You betcha.
After lunch we began our trek to Green Bay, WI. Now as the passenger in a road trippin’ vehicle, you have but one job to do. That’s to capture the state line “welcome” signs to the best of your ability as we cross into new territory. This position requires attention to detail and quick camera work with ninja-like proficiency. Well, Lindsay failed so miserably at the Welcome to Wisconsin state-line that we literally decided to turn around and go for a re-do! It was that bad (pictured below)! Hilarious. Second time around, Lindsay was focused and ready – and the picture was successfully captured! Phew. I would have hated to have fired Lindsay from her position, just hours into her visit. It’s an awfully long walk back to Baltimore – ha! Totally kidding, I would never make someone walk halfway across America because of one small blunder! Anyways, we ended up detouring to a local brewery called Pitchfork to do a tasting after the stress of the state-line fiasco. Once back on the road, we headed east towards Green Bay – home of the Packers.
The countryside of Wisconsin is quite nice to look at as you are driving through. Rural farmland and cheese country (can’t wait to try some cheese curds tomorrow), dotted with old barns and silos. It was a nice drive; we ran into a very light rainstorm and meandered through some rather terrifying highway road construction with the guidance of the GPS lady! Green Bay has actually a neat little downtown area, which i wasn’t really expecting to see. Looks like it will be a pretty fun place to explore tomorrow before hitting the road. It was a bit late when we got into town, so we stopped by a local spot for some dinner – enjoyed a tasty pizza and some potstickers (yes, an odd combination, but food is food and it was good food!) before heading to the hotel.
Today was a fun day with a few detours and some amazing Minnesotan and Wisconsin accents (which I simply cannot get enough of – it’s unfortunate the accents are hard to translate into text otherwise this blog post would be filled with a fine sample of conversations between this southerner and the folks from Minnesota and Wisconsin – yah you betcha)! It’s great to have a passenger in the ole Jeep again and it’s sure to make for a fun couple of days! Lindsay is a travel junkie herself, so can’t wait to see what kind of trouble we can get ourselves into this weekend! Lambeau field and cheese curds are at the top of the agenda tomorrow before heading north – cannot wait – it should be another fun day on the road!!
Until next time…