I was not entirely sure what to expect from Minneapolis. For a town of only 300,000, there is a surprisingly ‘big city’ feel to it. Unlike the sprawling feel of many mid-sized cities in California, there are legitimate skyscrapers and a very centralized downtown. My knowledge of this part of the US was pretty weak. In fact, I had never understood what people meant by the “twin cities.” I guess I just never thought about it that hard. For anyone still wondering, the twin cities are Minneapolis and St. Paul, which are basically next-door neighbors. St. Paul is like the older, more mature twin compared to the rambunctious younger Minneapolis. Of course that’s also where the Twin’s baseball team get there name. Another mystery solved through traveling!
The main reason I was even heading so far North was due to a chance meeting in Lake Tahoe last winter. Out one night in King’s Beach I made friends with Jennifer B, who was visiting from Minnesota. We kept in touch and when she heard I was trying to make a road trip happen, she insisted that Minneapolis should be on my short list of places to see.
Now, with the distance closing, I was realizing just how awkward it might be to visit and stay with a friend that you hardly know. But I’ve been known to take a chance on less reliable circumstances and usually with memorable results!
As it turned out, Jenn B. and her incredible group of friends made the four days there so much fun. I felt like a local, which is what any real traveler strives for. My time in Minneapolis was one of the major highlights of this trip, no matter what may come after.
Jenn and I had some of the best food and drinks the area can offer. She’s been bartending in the twin cities for 7 years, so to say she knows a lot of people there is putting it lightly. We went out for food three nights in a row – ordering appetizers, entrees, drinks, and everything worth trying on the menu. All of it was delicious. From sauteed shishito peppers, beautiful sushi rolls, and quail egg and bacon robata one night to deep dish pizza, gelato, tempranillo and lemon cello the next. I actually had a bowl of corn chowder so good it gave me chills. That’s right I said corn chowder! I didn’t even know you could make that into fine dining. And that same worthy establishment is a complete tequila bar with all the options you could ever imagine.
It was a mini vacation in the midst of my travels and a chance to enjoy myself in a city where I’d brought no agenda or list of things to see. I put down the camera for a few days (which explains the lack of pictures) and immersed myself in the moment.
I would say Minneapolis has been the biggest surprise of the trip so far. It was an unforgettable stop, and I can’t wait to go back. As Jenn said, “I just want you to know you haven’t seen everything there is here yet.”
Yep, those days were full of fun. But not all was well for the motorhome in Minneapolis. Remember the leaky clutch? Well, I was heading to the Mall of America one night when it finally caught up with me…
While I was in Minneapolis the clutch fluid leaked out and I lost the ability to put the motorhome into gear. Which is why when I rolled into the middle of traffic and tried to shift from 1st to 2nd it wouldn’t work!! I got stuck in neutral and stuck in the middle of traffic!
Luckily I was able to flag down some drivers to help me push it back into a neighborhood where I could safely park it. But now I was faced with a broken down vehicle and 2000 miles from home.
I have to say thank you one more time to Jenn and Becki for not hesitating in inviting me to stay at their house while I sorted it out. Not only that, but Becki got me in touch with, Ed, a mechanic friend of hers. The video documents his help in getting the motorhome road-worthy again!