This weekend was a whirlwind road trip. The Hubby and I took Friday off to drive down to Carbondale, Illinois for my Mom’s 60th birthday party. We had to pick up my sister, Erin, at the St. Louis airport at midnight along the way, so we worked it out so that the Hubby and I could spend a couple hours at the City Museum in St. Louis. The City Museum is one of my favorite places to play in the world. I always feel 10 years younger there. The museum is eccentric and whimsical; it consists of found art and lots of tunnels and man-made caves to explore and crawl around in, curving staircases to climb, and slides and ropes and even a ball pit!
Yesterday was a pretty awesome birthday.
We started out the morning with my favorite naughty breakfast – gluten-free cinnamon apple crepes rolled with cinnamon cream cheese from Original Pancake House. My arteries are hardening just looking at the photo again. Mmmm…and yes, that’s bacon in the background. What kind of birthday would it be without bacon?
Before I left Minneapolis I got mail.
From my sister.
It’s a birthday present!
No, wait… it’s two.
Look at how cool this stuff is.
She picked this up from a Darwin Day event. Snazzy! I actually don’t own any Darwin shirts (I’ve got an Einstein and a da Vinci, but no Darwins), so this is very exciting and science nerdtastic.
And she made me this incredible rainbow-colored scarf. My sister knows how to work a knit and perl.
Thanks for the awesome presents, seestor!
My birthday weekend was pretty awesome. I went on a roadtrip on Saturday, and spent Sunday with the Hubby, friends and family.
Saturday: Road Adventures and A House Party
Ashley and I hung out on Saturday. We decided to go on a road trip down to the SPAM Museum in Austin, MN. We left Robbinsdale at about 10pm and fueled up with Carribou and snacks for the drive. Austin is located in South Central MN, about 1.75 hr from the Twin Cities.
I was a little suprised to see that the Spam Museum was actually very well done and a fun place to visit. It’s brand new (it opened in 2003), and there are all sorts of games and interactive displays to mess around with. Who knew Spam could be so interesting? The museum is truly a marketing wonder. I am a little ticked at the TV display showing the Monty Python clip featuring Spam. I’ve been humming it all weekend.
The SPAM Museum had a lot of the historical advertisements displayed, including this old-timey politically incorrect ad for Hormel Chili: “Made for Americans! It’s not too hot!. I can’t tell if they’re talking about the chili or the Caucasian “Senorita”.
And I almost lost it in the gift shop. I couldn’t help but notice that this little piggy likes his Spam a bit too much. I mean, seriously? Talk about a fatal attraction.
We were only in the Spam Museum for about an 1.5 hr, so Ashley and I decided to continue our road trip. We took the scenic route east through Preston, Lanesboro, Rushford and then up to my old stomping grounds of Winona before heading back up the Mississippi to Minneapolis. Ashley hadn’t been in this part of Minnesota before and I was delighted to see her excitement at the bluffs, the Root River, the woody hills and the Mississippi River. We stopped at Garvin Heights, a scenic overlook above Winona, which was nostalgic for me and pretty amazing for her.
Saturday night the Hubby and I went to a party at our friends’ house and hung out with a bunch of people who we don’t get to see that often, so that was an excellent treat. Speaking of treats: One of the hosts made Beef Wellington…soooo good…
Sunday: Shopping, Shopping, Eating, Swimming, More Eating
On Sunday morning we went to the Minneapolis Farmers Market. Now, you may have read my post from the last time I visited. April 24th was the “preview weekend” that didn’t start until 9am, but I didn’t know that so I showed up at 7am and the place looked like this:
Well, on Sunday May 8th we didn’t show up until 11am and…well, this is why I usually try to hit the Farmer’s Market at 7am:
The Market was wonderfully, insanely packed! I mean it was really, really packed, but the people watching was stupendous. All of the street musicians and performance artists were out. All of the vendor tents were up. There were flowers everywhere you looked, and tons and tons of veggies, meats, cheeses, spices. It was fabulous. What a difference a few weeks and a few hours makes!
After the Farmers Market, the Hubby and I headed over to this little Flea Market which we heard about from a friend who was vending there. It’s not a permanent thing – it was really more of a community garage sale, but with more eclectic items for sale. I found a metal coin bank – you know one of these guys (photo source):
Mine is older than at least late 1950’s because Pakistan isn’t on the map yet – it’s still a part of India. Africa contains these gems: French West Africa, Gold Coast, Belgian Congo, North and SouthRhodesia, Bechuana Land and Tanganyika. In the Middle East and Asia, Russia starts at Poland and Romania, and you can find the countries of Arabia, Manchuria, Tibet, Siam, and Netherland Indies.
The Hubby’s found this Fire Extinguisher for $10. It’s probably worth that in the copper or brass of which it’s made, and we found a similar extinguisher in Stillwater going for $95. He’s going to try to incorporate it into his steampunk or diesel punk costume that he’s working on for CONvergence.
After that we celebrated Mother’s Day with the Hubby Momma and my birthday with his family at QCumbers in Edina (a slightly upscale Old Country Buffet). I got some sweeeet birthday swag! Then we headed over to the YMCA for a little swimming and the hot tub, and finally we hit Tiger Sushi 2 in Minneapolis that evening to celebrate my birthday with some friends. A day of shopping, eating and swimming (and more eating!) – what’s not to love?
It was an excellent Birthday Weekend.