Sunday, August 26, 2007

Coast-to-coast Day 4 - Minn. to Chicago

We get a later start – too tired to be up at 6 again. Hit Twin Cities, and do our usual driving tour, but this is a bigger city (or cities). It’s Sat. morning, so things are quiet. We find the University of Minnesota across the river from downtown Minneapolis, thinking we’d find some restaurants, have a nice brunch. If it exists, we must have missed the street. We drive all around the campus, though, and end up back in downtown Minneapolis. The university is huge, with three campuses in the area. At one point, we're on an overpass and look down, and find ourselves right above the crumbled pieces of the I-35 bridge. Giant blocks of concrete, looking as if it had been deliberately demolished. Not finding any eateries, we head for St. Paul and find ourselves stuck in traffic, at the entrance to the Minnesota State Fair. The state capitol building is grandiose and impressive. This must have been a wealthy state in the mid 1800’s, trying to prove itself to the Eastern states. Lunch at the historic Mickey’s Diner (slow, but hey, it’s got character -- the guy at the info desk at the capitol told us it's where Jesse took Arnold for lunch).

On to Madison, WI. It’s off the freeway. I can see why people love this town. It’s the perfect merger of capitol and university town. The city planning was fabulous, with a big capitol building on a knoll, and a spoke pattern, with boulevards radiating out, one of which heads straight to the Univ of Wisconsin. Lively pedestrian area between the two. We chew up a few more miles after dinner and decide to skip Chicago, but stay in a southern suburb called Harvey, IL, on the Tri-State Tollway. Comfort Inn.

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