A Brief Introduction to (Southern) Minnesota

In Minnesota we had our second (count ‘em) spider in the car incident. It started with an innocent, ‘let’s get a picture of the welcome to Minnesota sign’ moment! There was, conveniently, a parking area by the welcome sign, and, not so conveniently, a large grassy area between the parking area and the welcome sign which we traversed for the photo op. (All for you, bloggers). Of course, in this trek a small but still terrifying spider made it its business to cling to my pants and crawl up my leg as soon as Alan began merging back onto the highway. It was then that I blacked out. I enter this phase of sheer panic in the presence of spiders. It’s the absolute worst in confined spaces and a million times worse when actual contact is made. I screamed bloody murder and squished myself as far up against the door of the car as I could while Alan simultaneously managed to merge with moving traffic and transport the spider from my pants to the window. Ugh. Thank god for a husband that vowed to kill the spiders for me. I hate spiders so much, if I could wish for anything in the world I would wish that spiders didn’t exist. ONE WISH. I would choose that over world peace and calories that don’t count. That’s how much I hate them.

::here it is, worth it?::
::here it is, worth it?::

I digress. Aside from the spiders, we saw a nice little slice of southern Minnesota’s diner and gas station scene. We stopped for lunch in the town of Luverne at JJ’s drive-in, a 50’s feeling spot where we got our skinny burger, fries, and dessert fix. I love skinny burgers. In fact, the thinner the better. Yum. These were just right. And finishing it off with a Blizzard type ice cream concoction was mighty dynamite.

From there we drove through long stretches of corn and cows. While I can’t say I agree with the southern Minnesotan majority’s political and social views (spotted in southern Minnesota: anti abortion signs everywhere and an impeach Obama bumper sticker), the folks here are lovely, and their accents even better. The gas station attendant said, “here ya go” in the “oh Bobby, don’tchya know” dialect. That about made my day. We bought a lotto ticket at this Fairmont, MN gas station hoping it was one of those “random” enough places to win. (This is our new retirement plan… playing the lottery in weird places).

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I’m pretty sure the folks in charge of naming stuff in Minnesota used up all their energy working on the names for towns (for instance, Welcome, Harmony, Blue Earth) that when it came to counties they just admitted defeat and numbered them.

Another observation made while driving through Minnesota: corn fed cows are not happy cows. (But they are tasty cows).

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Also, the clouds here are real nice.

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Big moves were made this day… we crossed the Mississippi! And, even bigger and more awesome milestone… we are back in the land of DUNKS! God I love Dunkin Donuts. They say America runs on Dunks, but it’s not true. Only the eastern half does, and it’s a shame, because the only thing holding back the west coast is its lack of Dunks. I’ve been told for years that a Dunks is coming to LA, but my pipe dream is yet to come true, so I live in bated anticipation of those pink and orange signs each time I make it back east.

Phew. That LONG day’s drive took us finally to Sconnie! Comin’ up next.

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