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Six Miles along Victory Memorial Parkway

Oh boy – it’s a somber night in the household after watching the Packers fall short this week.

What’s better is looking at my trip pictures and reliving all the fun we had. I wrote about our trip through Eau Claire and Chippewa falls and although that was amazing, we had more shenanigans in store.

We woke up early Saturday morning and loaded up on the continental breakfast. I love it when you find hotels with a hot dish – it can be a challenge to eat healthy on the road – and this hit the spot with some delicious scrambled eggs, french toast, and sausage links.

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We said goodbye to Eau Claire and headed West across the Mississippi and into Minnesota.

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Our first stop was Victory Memorial Parkway – a part of the Grand Rounds Scenic By way in Minneapolis. Every tree has a memorial stone at the base in honor of the servicemen of Hennepin County. There’s two lanes on either side with a substantial boulevard in between where the memorial trees line either edge. Smack in the middle is a biking and walking path – and on a warm and slightly breeze October day, we were taking advantage of the weather and out on our feet!

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We tackled an 18 mission banner first and literally breezed through it. The locations were so close together that we completed the entire thing in less than an hour – when a usual banner of that size would be closer to 3 hours.

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It’s a pretty one – I love it!

Since we flew through that so quickly and the day was young, we got ambitious and decided to tackle the 66 mission banner – our largest EVER to date:

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This would take us all the way down Victory Memorial Drive and then across and all the way down AND back up Victory Memorial Parkway. It *looked* short on the map and easier to do on foot, so we parked the car and got walking.

Gorgeous, gorgeous day – lots of people out playing Pokemon Go, walking their dogs, and a few folks reading on blankets. Despite ample traffic, it felt quiet and removed from the chaos. I REALLY wish we had something like this in Green Bay!

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I was working up a decent sweat and I kept glancing at Ben who was wearing his new sweatshirt (I can’t convince the boy to take it off since he’s bought it).

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We were about 20 missions in when we realized it was a LOT more walking then we had planned on AND we didn’t bring a phone charger with us. We went into a big of crisis mode at that point, trying to keep our screens extra low and picking up the pace. We didn’t want to be miles away from the car with no working phones and have to walk all the way back – and then back AGAIN to finish the rest of the banner.

Another 10 minutes later and we began to notice it was getting really cloudy and overcast. Sure enough, we started seeing tiny drops on our phone screens. Oh no. Hustling, panting, and chugging along – we managed to get 56 of the 66 done before my cell went dead. I grabbed Ben’s phone and kept working on his while he walked the extra .4 miles back to the car (we made it most of the way!). The car grabbed me just as the rain really began to fall and with our phones plugged into chargers and our feet throbbing from all the exercise, we finished the rest of the mission in the car.

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It was much later than we anticipated when we finished (4pm) so we started the drive into town to find our hotel. The plan was to check in and get our luggage all sorted before it got dark and then try and find some place for dinner.

We were smart and packed a few snacks and lots of bottled water. I often don’t like to drink when we have road trips but I’m learning that’s not an option. You need to stay hydrated!!

The skyline:

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Downtown Minneapolis was chaotic and the roads leading into our hotel were blocked off for some event (apparently there was a zombie Halloween party going on). After our GPS pointed out which tall building was our hotel, we saw a parking ramp right next door. Long story short – the hotel was actually 6 blocks away (huh?!). By the time we found our hotel, checked in and walked back to move the car to a closer location, we’d already incurred a $30 parking fee. Exhausted and not thinking too clearly, we grabbed our suitcases and walked them through the throngs of zombies all the way back to the hotel.

We couldn’t roll the luggage because the ground was LITTERED in fake blood. Pretty messy and nasty. Some of the folks at the party staying in our hotel:

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By the time we got our luggage into our rooms and sat down on the bed, everything hurt. We hadn’t had anything substantial to eat since breakfast and my feet were killing me. We found this hotel via Living Social and as part of the offer we received a food credit in the attached dining area. We figured even if it was uber pricey, with the credit we probably would be comparable to some other place that would require more walking. (why do I never think about ordering pizza or something that delivers??)

The dining room / bar reminded me a LOT of LA. It felt urban and glitzy and was almost empty – surprising to us on a Saturday night (maybe that’s why they were doing a Living Social promotion??)

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We were the only ones not eating at the bar, so we spread out on the booth and laughed about the folly of the day. I was actually pretty impressed with our food too. We both ordered a pulled chicken sandwich with a semi-spicy sauce. I didn’t have much of an appetite and only ate half of mine. Ben was MORE than happy to gobble up the rest.

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From there we slowly staggered back up to our room…

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And after more than 16,500 steps on our pedometers, we literally fell into bed and instantly crashed to sleep.

(at the time we were SO tired and a bit defeated about the parking lot hassle but this is how the best memories are made, don’t you think?)

 

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2 Responses

  1. I guess you can take heart that the Bears won and the Vikings lost on Monday, right? 😀

    • Yes – that helps a little bit. I kinda wish we’d lose all the rest of our games and finally wise up to make some needed adjustments. Sick of just being a “good? team that never can make it to the SuperBowl.

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