May 23, 2019-Great Lakes Day 5

(click here for today's pictures)

We all slept very well last night. I did wake up in the middle of the night and it took me a while to get back to sleep. That was around 2:30 and I already felt very rested, so after I had a few more hours of sleep I was awake right after Robby.

This breakfast was probably the best one-they had applesauce, fruit cups, cheese, salsa and granola bars. The kids went to town on the cheese and granola bars. After breakfast, we all pottied again since we had a long drive ahead of us. Then we loaded the cart and then van and headed on our way.

The seat switcheroo is still working well in the car, Whitman is the only one not changing seats because of his car seat so every morning he is excited about having a new seat mate. We listened to our book some more as we drove down the road. Robby though didn’t appear to be listening to the book-when he asked me a question about the book, he didn’t know who was a mouse and who was a boy. Gasp!

We ended up finishing that book before we passed out ipads. Our drive this morning was around 4 hours. We did stop once at a gas station where Robby bought cheese curds before we left Wisconsin-you can’t be in Wisconsin and not have cheese curds.

Not all of the kids were excited about eating cheese curds. We did make it mandatory for everyone to try one. They were received with a mixed reaction. Whitman and Graham thought that they were the greatest things ever. Campbell also liked them. Reagan, Anderson and Keaton weren’t impressed at all.

After the cheese curd/gas stop, I drove while Robby called Bingo numbers. The kids love bingo even though my prizes are pretty sad (they just stay in my travel box until a trip so it is really all just leftover prizes). When we did play cover all, Robby did up the ante with 4 choices for prizes-a slushie, 5 dollars, ride in the front seat for an hour or pick your spot to sleep tonight.

Reagan was the first to win cover all so she picked the 5 dollars. There was a big tie next with Campbell picking the front seat. Anderson prefers to sleep on the floor rather than sharing a bed so he opted for a slushie. Whitman did as well and asked about every 5 minutes about his slushie.

Our main stop this morning was the Spam Museum in Austin, Minneapolis. It had moved since we had been there last. The new location was pretty much like the old one, but it was still interesting. The favorite part was when everyone worked on packaging cans of Spam to see how fast they could do it. They even had a play area inside the museum which the kids used to burn off some energy.

Graham’s favorite part of the museum was the Spambassadors who were walking around with spamples for everyone to try. His favorite was bacon. When it came time to buy some Spam in the gift shop, there was a big debate. Graham wanted bacon while Anderson wanted cheese. My favorite was tocino which is only sold in the Philippians or maybe Guam-I'm not sure. It was delicious, and we will be frying up some when we get home.

Once we had seen all of the museum, we headed back to the car. Robby worked on putting in some address in the GPS while I started on straightening and making lunches. We let Campbell cash in her “sit in the front seat reward” so I sat in the back. That was fine because it gave me room to make my sandwiches fairly easily.

After we ate, I closed my eyes for a second until we were pulling up to a Wendys for the 50 cent frostys. Everyone had one but Keaton. She opted for a Sprite instead of a frosty. The drive was about an hour, and we were soon in downtown St. Paul.

We stopped at the Charlie Brown statues to take a few pictures. It was in a little park that took up a block. There we found an electric scooter to rent for a few minutes. Robby and I were the only ones who could legit-ly ride the scooters, but everyone took a whirl around the park.

Campbell struggled on it because she wasn’t tall enough so we didn’t let Keaton and Whitman try. When we did look over there and saw them sitting on the bench pouting, we did let them ride with Robby for a second or two. That appeased everyone and they have decided that they want a scooter like that for the house.

It was just a few more miles to the state capitol building. Graham, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman went with me to walk to the capitol steps. The kids all raced so I was the last one there. We guessed it was a quarter of a mile to the top of the steps and back to the car which was a good thing because we haven’t really done much walking today at all.

Our next stop was the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Keaton needed to go to the bathroom so we did quickly go into another art museum. Then we walked around some sculptures including the iconic Cherry on Spoonbridge. I had been wanting to see that sculpture for a while so I can mark it off the list.

It was just a few miles to Matt’s Bar. We were in search of a Jucy Lucy. Apparently, many years ago two bars in this area made a burgers with cheese in the middle. Ever since then both bars claim that the are the home of the original Jucy Lucy (Matt’s Bar) or the Juicy Lucy (5-8 Club). We choose to visit Matt’s Bar, and it was quite an experience.

The place was tiny, we knew that when we drove up. The line was out the door, we quickly realized that. We jumped in line and not only was the line out the door, the line was through the restaurant. You just waited in line until a table opened up. As you waited in line, you were standing right beside folks enjoying their Jucy Lucys.

We were prepared to sit at two tables but were able to squeeze at the same table. We were squeezed, but thankfully we didn’t have to squeeze as much as the people that were right behind Reagan and Keaton. They had 5 adults in a booth that was almost meant for just 2.

We ordered 4 Juicy Lucys, 2 grilled cheese and one order of French fries. The fries were served in a huge basket and were enough. When you cut into the burger, the cheese would just ooze out. The boys acted like it was the best thing ever and wanted to figure out how to make them at home.

I am so glad that we opted to wait out the land and try something new. It was a great stop. The next stop was not as exciting-Walmart. Of course by the 5th day of the trip, we needed to replenish a few things-water bottles, chips, bread and cokes. The one thing that we do not need at all is cheese-gracious me, we brought a ton and since we added the cheese curds, we now have enough cheese to stop us all up.

Of course, while we were at Walmart we also purchased some ice cream to eat at the hotel. It was just a short ride to the hotel after we had loaded up the all of our groceries. It was a bit tough finding spots to put all of our new food. We had eaten enough to have some room, but I had quickly filled all of that room with things that we have acquired on this trip.

The hotel was just a few miles away so it didn’t take us long at all to arrive. It is again laundry night so we were quickly changed into pajamas and clean undies. Robby quickly threw the laundry in the washer and hopefully things work well.

While we were eating our ice cream, the kids listed some of their favorites. I do think that the St. Louis arch along with the Cubs game and all of Chicago were favorite activities. The favorite foods included the cookie dough, the Chicago pizza, tonight’s Jucy Lucy burger, and the Chicago popcorn.

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