Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Day on the Road: Bloomington, MN to Madison, WI

Since I'm sure there will be many future "Day on the Road" posts, I called this one by its beginning and ending destinations.

We got a late start from the hotel, but we were in no hurry since we had no reservations and no specific destination, it seemed fine.

We stopped over at the Mall before we got on the road. We made plans to go home a different way and stop by the Spam Museum on our way. :-)

However, we were distracted by a billboard for Historic Northfield (MN). For those of you who are NOT up on your US history, the Northfield Bank is where the James Gang and the Younger Boys begin their downward spiral with the murder of a bank teller during a bungled robbery attempt on the First National Bank. We are proof that tourism advertising works. We somehow gravitated towards the historic district and began looking for historical markers (which we are well-versed in spotting). We saw none, so we wandered into a bookstore and were able to gather some info there. The bookseller pointed us down the street to the Historical Society, which wasn't open yet, so we ate lunch at the James Gang Hideaway. :-) It opened at 1 p.m., and we finally got to go in and wander around. The Historical Museum is in the actual bank where the robbery took place, and all the original fixtures are still there--the bank counter, the safe, etc. Kinda cool. We visited a couple of other stores and admired Northfield's artistic atmosphere.

So then we were late getting to the Spam Museum in Austin, MN. We only had forty minutes to enjoy all the humor in there. It was, in short, hilarious. The whole museum had a tongue-in-cheek attitude starting with some business cards at the front desk: "Spam--we're on the web now, and yes, we see the irony." HAHAHAHA!!!! There were photo ops galore, starting with a huge personified can of Spam wearing a Santa hat, an overhead conveyor belt transporting hundreds of different styles of Spam cans throughout the museum, and a whole lot of interactive stuff including a mock-up of the restaurant where the whole Monty-Python/Spam/Vikings skit took place (while the scene plays itself over and over on an overhead TV monitor). We really did not have enough time to laugh ourselves silly. And then we only had five minutes to select our souvenirs from the ubiquitous gift shop.

So the hard travel came late in the afternoon and into the evening. I was determined to get us as far as we could, so we wouldn't have to drive so far tomorrow. We crossed into Wisconsin and picked up one of those travel coupon books and looked for a hotel. We decided to push ourselves to Madison and made advanced reservations for the same Red Roof Inn we stayed at on the way there. We stopped around 8 p.m. at a McDonald's for dinner, and we arrived at about 9:30, still in good humor.

We took turns on the computer, checking our regular sites (blogs, IA, WWL, and of course, our e-mail), watched the second half of "The Sound of Music", and then collapsed into bed.

I hope we can get an early start tomorrow. I have rehearsal at 6:30....

Oh, PS!! I forgot to mention--I got THE shoes!!! :-)

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