Minnesota Mini Vacation - Day One

Who doesn’t like to get away for a bit? We took a day off recently so that we could have a three day weekend to get out of town for a breather. Since we wanted to take Little Guy along with us, we chose the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul MN) as our mini vacation destination (close but not so close that it didn’t feel like getting away).

We left home early on Day One, arriving at our first stop The Mall of America, just in time for lunch at Johnny Rockets. We ate our burgers and fries while overlooking the amusement park in the center of the mall. To say that Little Guy was intrigued, would be the understatement of the year. We promised him we’d check out all the rides after we’d wandered through the mall.

We are such frugal shoppers, that we rarely even enter the big stores and tiny niche shops that fill such a place. However, we are big fans of people watching and window shopping, and we did a lot of both. We started on the third floor and after circling it, went to the second and then the first. Once we’d wandered through each of the floors we headed for the amusement park area.

Little Guy is still pretty short, and was not going to be able to ride many of the rides (much to his disappointment). Instead of spending $20 or $30 on a “ticket package” that might result in three rides, we opted for a trip to the Nickelodeon store (the park is sponsored by Nickelodeon), where Little Guy picked out a stuffed moose named Tyrone. Tyrone is one of the stars of Little Guy’s favorite non-train cartoon, The Backyardigans. For the rest of the trip, LG and Tyrone were inseparable.

Just after he got Tyrone!  So excited!!
Relaxing in the hotel room...
We left the mall (lunch and Tyrone our only purchases), found our hotel and checked in. Then we went in search of dinner. Hubby wanted to try a German Restaurant (Gasthof zur Gemutlichkeit) which he had seen featured on an episode of the Travel Network's Man vs. Food. We got there just as the doors were opening for the dinner hour. We were greeted warmly and taken to a roomy booth. It was one of many which skirted a large (but cozy) room filled with long family style tables. Our waitress was friendly and helpful.  She brought us fresh bread and butter while we perused the menus. I ordered a Parmesan pork schnitzel, which came with potato dumplings and a lovely house salad. Hubby went for the challenge* meal that included a meter of bratwurst coiled over a heaping bed of sour kraut - with a side of potato croquettes. Little Guy had (of course) a cheeseburger.

The food was excellent! Every part of our meal was simply mouth watering. And if that weren’t enough, there was live music. A smiling man in lederhosen walked around the dining area chatting with guests and taking special requests to play on his accordion (ever hear Black Sabbath’s Iron Man on the accordion? It’s surprisingly good!). Little Guy was amazed. He thought the accordion music was wonderful (as did we). The musician was a natural performer.  He played a variety of requests and traditional German tunes, laughing genially with all of the people he met. When he got to our table, Little Guy asked for “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, which the guy said was a family favorite, singing and playing with gusto. He then went on to perform “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and the Alphabet song for LG, followed by “Can’t Help Falling in Love” for Hubby and I. It was a perfect way to end the first day of our little adventure! We left with big smiles on our faces, and tummies full of yummy food.

*Hubby’s eyes were bigger than his belly on this particular night, and he did not finish his meter of bratwurst – though he made a very heavy dent in it. Though he left without getting the certificate that the completed challenge promised, he still had a great time and a yummy meal to boot.

1 comment:

  1. Its great that you managed to get away - it sounds fun. What else did you get up to? x



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