Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Days in Minneapolis - Part I

In 2013, I tried twice to travel to Minneapolis.  Initially I really wanted to visit during the winter but a major March snow storm put an end to that trip.  Always check with your bus system if expecting bad weather. Traveling from Chicago, you can get a Megabus ticket to Minneapolis very cheap.  So third time's a charm. I finally made it to the Mall of America city in May 2013.  I arrived on a beautiful spring day.

I have discovered that I tend to have a goal with each trip I take.  For Mexico, it was lay on the beach and soak up sun.  For Portland, check out why its considered quirky.  Once I got to Minneapolis, I realized the goal for this trip was to visit as many restaurants as possible with happy hour specials.  Why?  Because Chicago doesn't have happy hour.

My first stop was Nicollet Mall.  Actually, this boulevard area is where I spent a lot of my time while in the city.  Lots of restaurants in the downtown area.  First stop, a place with a patio please.  The Local, an Irish pub, drew my eye since I was in the mood for a whiskey and ginger and they offered a huge patio area. (picture to the right shows part of it)  Oh man, this place did not fail me.  Their signature drink is The Big Ginger with 2 Gingers whiskey.  Then I munched on Chicken Shots. Yuuuummmy.  Breaded chicken bites with a 2 Gingers glaze.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about them.  The finale consisted of Guinness Mousse.  Seriously, if you go to  Minneapolis, you must try this place.  It is so good.

Minneapolis is the first city I visited with bike rental stations.  They had them throughout the city.  After stuffing my face, I rented one and cruised around the river area.  Like Chicago, it is a very bike friendly city.  I wish I had a bike lock though cause there were times I wanted to lock up the bike so I could go inside somewhere and there wasn't a rental station to park bike.

By this time, I was tired and needed to find that hotel I booked on Priceline's Name Your Own Price deal.  Luckily, the bus system is easy to navigate as is the light-rail system.  A ticket has a 2 1/2 hour transfer time limit between bus, trolley and light-rail and is reasonably priced ($1.75).

The bus dropped me 'near' my hotel but I had to hoof it about 3/4 mile.  Then I discovered the hotel offered a downtown shuttle service.  Yeah, I utilized that convenience the next two days.

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