Jun 11, 2011
|Socrates is quoted as saying, “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” I never really understood that until we started this job in Minnesota. We have been so busy working that our trip journal has become a little barren as of late. However, we finally had a day off without rain so decided to try to do some local exploring yesterday. (Every week since we arrived here it seems like the weather somehow knows which two days we have off and chooses those days for the weekly rain.)
After a lazy morning lounging around in Clyde we decided to head out on our day’s adventure, so, of course, that meant we had to decide where our lunch out was to be for the day. Minnesota is known for its walleye dinners and “hot dishes” (casseroles) but Minneapolis is known for the “Juicy Lucy”. Upon the enthusiastic recommendation of our many Minnesota friends and our kids we decided we should seek out this calorie-laden treat as our lunch goal.
Now, the big debate is where to get the “original” Juicy Lucy. There are two places in Minneapolis which claim the bragging rights as the “original” Juicy Lucy. These two places are Matt’s Bar and the 5-8 Club. So, which should we go to? It was decided (after many Google searches, talking to friends, and consideration of parking availability for Clyde) we would head over to the 5-8 Club. We also, in our research of the two rivals, read that the 5-8 Club had onion straws “not to be missed”.
After a leisurely drive from East Bethel through the towns of Andover, Anoka, and Champlin we ended up at the 5-8 Club. We were not disappointed. The onion straws were amazingly good (but should probably be renamed “heart attack in a basket”) and my Swiss cheese Juicy Lucy was very tasty. Willis, knowing I would share my Juicy Lucy with him, ordered the broasted chicken. He was very pleased with his meal saying the broasted chicken was as good as he ate when we were at Moosehead Lake, Maine, back in August of 2008 (that, by the way, is the ultimate compliment for broasted chicken in Willis’ world).
We continued our day by visiting Coon Rapids and then Blaine. While in Blaine we stopped in at Mills Fleet Farm where we did a little shopping and I treated myself to some of the yummiest sponge candy ever tasted. Mills Fleet Farm is like a Lowes, Tractor Supply, and huge old time general store all rolled into one. Since I am fighting some bursitis in my left hip, I ended up letting Willis push me around this huge store in a wheelchair, but the chair didn’t slow me down when it came to loading up our basket with some bulk food items and other assorted goodies.
To top our day off, on the way back to the campground we stopped at Aldi where I found some amazing fresh blueberries (only $1.29 per pint basket) and strawberries (only 99 cents per quart basket) and lots of other lovely fresh produce. Our little refrigerator in Clyde never felt so nearly to burst as it did after I came out of Aldi with lettuce, corn-on-the-cob, sweet cherries, peaches, tomatoes (okay, those last two didn’t go in the fridge…but you get my point).
Speaking of all this fresh produce, one other thing I want to share with you…rhubarb. Rhubarb seems to grow in abundance here in Minnesota. Thanks to the kindness of friends I am getting to pick and fix rhubarb to my heart’s content! I love rhubarb and have always, in the past, paid outrageous prices for a few fresh stalks of it in the grocery store in order to indulge my taste for stewed rhubarb, but here in Minnesota I am so enjoying the prolificacy of this yummy treat. Hopefully all the calcium and vitamins C and K which I am getting from the rhubarb will counteract all the negative sugary effects of the sponge candy… (okay, I know, wishful thinking…)
Anyway, know that Willis, Blayde and I are all doing great up here in the cool north of Minnesota (the temperature as I type this today, noon, is 58 degrees). We are super busy on our workdays but so enjoying meeting all the people, the cool weather, and the green surroundings. Once my hip gets to feeling better we still have plans to visit places such as Mall of America, the Cathedral of St. Paul, Macalester College, Duluth and Lake Superior and other places on our “be sure to visit” list from friends and family. We are always open to suggestions, too, so don’t hesitate to email us if you have some places to add to our list.