Whew! Bryce and I recently returned from our whirlwind, 12-day road trip to Minnesota where we spent lots of much needed quality time with family and friends. There’s no feeling quite like seeing the people you love for the first time after moving half way across the country. Every gathering, every conversation, every meal, every laugh becomes a cherished memory. While visiting those we love, we also caught up with our favorite Minnesota sites, tourist traps, restaurants, and foods – many of which we miss almost as much as family and friends. Okay, not really, but I need a few cheese curds in my life and folks here in Virginia are blissfully unaware of their presence. It’s a little sad, I know. Anyway, over the next few days, I’ll share a day-by-day rundown of the people and places we saw as well as the delicious food we ate during our vacation back to my Minnesota home.
DAY 1 (Sunday 6/24): We left Harrisonburg bright and early, driving off before 8:00 am. (Yes, we can do early mornings despite someone’s lack of faith – ahem, Bill Newton.) Bryce thoughtfully put together travel-friendly sandwiches and snacks so we could avoid spending money at fast food joints along the way. To keep things interesting throughout the 11-hour trek, we took turns at the wheel every few hours and switched between iTunes playlists and NPR podcasts. I love me some “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” and “The Splendid Table.” Our first day of travel took us through Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana to our rest stop with one of my friends from high school and his wife in Normal, Illinois. Jonathan and Julie were gracious hosts, offering us not only their home but also a great grilled dinner, the likes of which we seldom see in Virginia owing to our lack of a grill. Consider us new fans of turkey burgers, with which experimentation will commence soon! We also enjoyed our first corn on the cob of the season, so often hit or miss. Luckily for us, this was certainly a hit and got me thinking about fun things to try with corn later this summer. Yay for more inspiration! We finished our first day en route home to Minnesota by relaxing in the hot tub, drinking bottles of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy in hand, and basking in great conversation with great friends. Vacation was definitely and thankfully underway. Next post – day 2 – Minnesota!