After fleeing the bugs of eastern Montana and an adventure in urgent care in North Dakota, we were happy to move on to another state. Although, truth be told, my first day in the Twin Cities was spent in a benadryl stupor, waiting for the steroids to kick in. We had decided to take a couple of days there, thankfully, and by the next morning I was feeling better enough to wander around the Mill District. It was a sunny, sparkling fall day, and despite the fact that I could still feel welts rising up on my hands, I decided I wasn’t going to let that keep me from my Mary Tyler Moore moment.
We ate some of the best pizza anywhere at a place called Punch. The pizzas cook up in a blisteringly hot oven in about 80 seconds. They taste like the pizzas we had in Italy—that crazy good.
After lunch and a little neighborhood shopping, we were feeling our shopping groove so we decided to take on The Mall. You know the one. The Mall of AMERICA. As if it isn’t normally crazy enough, there was some sort of scrapbooking convention, which was INSANE. These people had wheeled storage for their photos and papers with seats on the top of them. There were seminars on a variety of scrapbook pages, from a variety of vendors. It was fascinating.
We also went to the Lego store, being of the Lego generation (sure, it's a thing). It was pretty impressive, even for someone who isn’t so much of a brickhead.
We were pretty tuckered out after a day of shopping, so that was about it for us and Minneapolis. We headed back to our room to make some dinner and watch a movie.
The next day we drove around the Lake of the Isles area and hit what I can only assume is the largest Target store, since it’s at their headquarters in downtown Minneapolis. I mean, if you’re in Minneapolis, you might as well see the Target, right?
After heading out of the MSP area, our goal was to get to the Upper Peninsula for the night, where I’d booked a hotel in Escanaba. But you can’t cross Wisconsin without making at least one stop for dairy, can you? And when the Burnett Dairy Cheese Store is on the road you’re on, well, I rest my case. It's a dairy case. Full of cheese. Get it?
We didn’t, however, buy the Cajun pickled herring. You have to draw the line somewhere.
We were fortunate enough to see some beautiful fall colors while traveling through the Chequamegon National Forest. We had some rain, as well, but I think it only made everything more beautiful.
By the time we did get to Escanaba, it was after dark, and it’s possible there was some moonlight, but we crashed and burned upon entry, so I don’t recall. However David took the car over to the local quick lube oil change in the morning and chatted with the nicest bunch of guys about how low the oil was (gotta watch that), and so we did get to meet a few Escanabans. They’re great folks. The Upper Penninsula of Michigan is definitely rural and it does have a hunter’s safety kind of orange glow to it, but the people are lovely. Just like over the border in Wisconsin.
Up next: remember how Montana was eating me alive? Well, I decide to pay that forward by eating everything in Michigan. And it ain’t pretty either.