We started our visit of the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.  A neoclassic building with many floors to explore and pieces from famous artists abound.

We came to Minneapolis to pickup Alyssa at the airport on July 18. She finished her travels in London, Germany, and Scotland to join us across the country. She had a wonderful time abroad and we’ve been enjoying looking through all her photographs and hearing about her travels. Now the traveling trio is back together, so you could be seeing more interesting photos and reading some foodie blogs as Alyssa continues this trip with us.

The Cathedral of St. Paul was pretty impressive to Lisa and Bob.  However  Alyssa just visited many ancient cathedrals in England and was less dazzled.

Dinner in St. Paul started with an internet search for “cheap eats.” Manana restaurant had 4.5 stars and good reviews so we checked it out. Specializing in Salvadorian and Mexican food with pupusas (thick corn tortilla stuffed with meat or cheese) as a favorite item. The chile rellenos were delicious and had a nice topping sauce.

Next was the Minneapolis Sculpture Park and the Walker Art Center. It was a very hot day and the sculpture park didn’t have much shade so we walked through it quickly to get inside the art center. A very contemporary building with varied exhibits … some we liked and others we didn’t. But we really enjoyed the interactive “Graffiti Nature” in the teamLab room the most. You were invited to participate by coloring a butterfly, frog, or alligator then scanning the image which then becomes part of the live ecosystem. It was very creative and fun! Check it out: https://walkerart.org/calendar/2017/teamlab-graffiti-nature.

Of course we just had to see the “Mall of America” since we were in the neighborhood. Not that we are shoppers but we heard it was massive so we wanted to see it for ourselves. And YES, it is MASSIVE!!! Three levels of stores with an amusement park in the center of it all. Something to see once in your life.

Learned about the nearby town of Stillwater, MN from our camping RV neighbors, Jim and Rosalie, drove there to discover that “Lumberjack Days” was going on that weekend. What timing! Food trucks, local bands (we really enjoyed  Crankshaft), beer tent, giant Jenga, and, of course, lumberjack competitions. Who knew? Log cutting with chainsaws, axe throwing, and log running were part of the show. Great place to people-watch and we loved the dancing dinosaur!

The River Oasis Cafe which is know as the best burgers in Stillwater was a must for dinner. Inside the decor brought you back in time with the stainless steel accessories and teal vinyl booths. Our waitress was very nice and recommended the garlic mushroom burger and the hangover burger which was bacon, fried egg, hash browns and cheese burger (Bob’s choice). Alyssa chose the breakfast burrito which was filled with scrambled eggs, black bean-corn-tomato relish, potatoes, queso and topped with a poblano coriander sauce. Wonderful combinations of flavors in all the dishes.

We were told that this area was a great foodie place and now we can definitely agree!

Great to have Alyssa with us again, as we had on to the Dakotas.