Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day Six: The "Mini-Apple" is...

Before I go any farther, we would like to apologize in case the next few posts are difficult to read. The hotel we're staying in has Internet access, but it's a little sketchy to log on to the computer. So we are doing this from our phone, which is rather difficult. This is also why we haven't put up pictures in a few days.
After making a rather large list of things to do, places to visit last night, we came up with a plan for today. We got three of the places on our list done. We wanted to explore St. Paul first, since that seemed the most logical. Our first stop today was Rice Park. It's a tiny park, all of like a square mile wide, but it has a handful of Snoopy statues. Apparently, Charles M. Shultz was from St. Paul. We couldn't park because there was no close spots, but we got a few pictures of some of the statues, like Peppermint Patty kicking a ball and Marcy, reading on the park bench. Our second location was Summitt Avenue. This stretch of road is so neat. It is the longest continuous stretch of Victorian-age houses and buildings in the country. We didn't want to be super creepy and walk up and down the road, but that's apparently what they do. So we got pictures of a few of those. Probably the coolest, most architectually interesting is the St. Paul Cathedral, that anchors the road. Depending on where on the horizon you look, there are two buildings that can pass off as the state Capitol, and this is one of them. It is a huge building.
Anyway, from there, we headed west to the Mall of America. On the way to the mall, we passed the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, so we were able to see all of the planes take off. This area is very commercial/industrial. They have the airport, a Delta hub (we're thinking), the mall, and the "Waterpark of America". Not quite as impressive as the mall itself. I have never seen anything that big before. There are four floors- three Bath & Body Works stores, two Victoria's Secret, and even entire stores for flip-flops & scrapbooking! There are even stores dedicated to the Mall itself, uniquely called "The Mall of America Store"! Unfortunately, none of the stores had very good postcards.
After that, we decided we'd go on an adventure through Uptown Minneapolis to find the Sculpture Garden. We parked the car (MUCH cheaper than Chicago!) and went on a hunt. We walked and walked, and couldn't find it. We reached the highway and decided to turn back. The walk was not much fun- it was close to 100 today, which wouldn't be so bad, but with all of the cars and road work, it made it much hotter. Anyway, we got back to the car and headed for the hotel, and found a bridgeway that we think might have led to the Garden. We got stuck in some traffic, threatened to throw Rhe out the window, then the co-pilot. After awhile, everyone made it back safely!
We got back to the hotel and took a break before going out on the town. We met up with a friend who worked at summer camp with Dawn, and spent a few hours talking. It was nice to catch up and reminisce. We also drove through the University of Minnesota campus and it is ginormous! We've added it to our list of places to visit tomorrow, when it's light out so we can wander and gawk at its immense size. Apparently their stadium is huge, but they can't get enough people there to fill it because they are not very good. So, that is where we are now. We just finished our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (Dad-style), and now it is time for bed. We are planning on seeing the sights we missed today, and adding a few more to the list. Until then!

States Visited: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin (7/50)
Provinces Visited: Ontario (1/10)
License Plates Seen: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming (45/50)
Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan (7/10)

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