Category Archives: Road Trips

A Drive Through the Country

Today was the 25th New London to New Brighton Antique Car Run.

Don’t know what that is?  I didn’t either…until last year.

I know, I know.  This is the part of the show where you’re all trying to figure out if I’ve totally lost my marbles, wanting to talk to about…antique cars.

I don’t think so…yet.

But anyway.  Marcus’ side of the family?  Are (major) car people.  And some close family friends are car people too.  So they brought up a couple of their cars to make the run this year.

The run itself is this really festive production with hundreds of old cars and people in period costumes and a course meant to pay homage to the London to Brighton Car Run in England.

In order to participate, your car has to have a certain number of cylinders in the engine (it’s not a very big number) and be REALLY OLD.  Think: Pre-1910.

Feel like a fish out of water yet?

Me too.

Since I’m terrible at the specifics, just have a look at our sweet ride.

Right?

The run actually spans an entire day (it’s a 120 mile course), but for those members of the group made of less sterner stuff, joining-up for a portion of the ride is a totally acceptable way to go.

So, in the spirit of Living Life To The Fullest (and being supportive children and all that) Michelle and I drove out to Buffalo to meet-up with them so that we could ride along  for a while.

We ended up getting out there at about 1:30, which was actually perfect.  There was a bit of a chill in the air this morning, but by the time we made our way into the country, it was pleasantly warm with only happy, puffy clouds dotting the sky.

Driving in the great wide open isn’t new to me – my high school boyfriend had a rockin’ baby blue Celica that he ferried me to and from school in every day.

But experiencing the countryside in this type of car was unlike any other driving experience I’ve ever had.

It was really…pastoral.

And then I got really carried away with all of the road signage.

I’m just…really sorry about that.  Really.

I don’t know what got into me.

It just happens sometimes.

We probably rode for about 35 minutes, until we rolled into mile 91 and our car started overheating.

At that point, it just seemed best to call it a day.

Have you ever ridden in an antique car or participated in any sort of car show/run?

Bloggers, when you take photos, are your subjects usually people or things?

I’ll be honest, lately I’ve been MUCH more into things than people.  I’m not sure if it’s because things are a better narrator, or if it’s because I have zero experience capturing candid shots of people.

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North Dakota in a Nutshell

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Uno: When I was planning my outfits for this trip, I realized that I own what could only be described as an excess of gray, black and green.

Dos: I had no idea we were only 65 miles away from the Canadian border until I had a WTF moment as we were driving through the strip mall parking lot, and it was filled with Manitoba plates.

Tres: Chilaquiles cure everything.

Quatro: I’m on a pretty ferocious Hunger Games-jag at the moment.

Cinco: I will never be a Fighting Sioux, but I have to say, I look pretty freaking adorable in that jersey.

I have no idea as to how one spells the number six en espanol, so that’s where our journey ends.

Girl Adventure: Day 4

Today, we drove back to Minnesota.

In Cedar Rapids, we visited Coe College, an institution from which I recieved many-a-mailing my senior year of high school in order to see their collection of Conger works as well as the semi-down-low Grant Woods collection they have there. Conger was totally disappointing, but Cone, another American painter whom they have 60 pieces by was fascinating. So, good morning.

Otherwise, we got to fully sample the rich fabric of small-town America taking 63 North back to Rochester and from there, rolling on to Minneapolis. We were totally thwarted by every cafe we tried to stop for lunch at after 1 pm, however we found some seriously excellent bakeries and returned to the homeland with a potpourri of loaves, sweets, and princess tortes. Excellent.

Last night I introduced Mom to the song, “What would Brian Boitano do?” from South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut while watching the NCAA tournament, which has been fantastically upsetting thus far. Frankly, I’m glad I didn’t make a bracket this year because there is no way I ever would have picked even remotely right.

Tomorrow, back to the real world.

Girl Adventure: Day 3

Confirming my theory about last night, after sitting down on my bed to watch Grey’s Anatomy, I really did not move from it for the rest of the night. Like, getting up for Chardonnay was a major undertaking. But I was SO happy. Volksmarching through the city is hard.

This morning we slept in, scavenged for breakfast and checked out of our hotel – the only two items on the agenda being lunch at Lawry’s and driving to Cedar Rapids, IA.

Yes, Lawry’s is a seasoned salt. BUT, it is also a steakhouse. And honestly, next to Jax, it may be my favorite. It is everything that a glamourous, classic steakhouse should be. Plus, their lunch specials are out-of-this world. If Lawry’s was in Minneapolis, I think I would be hauling people there all the time. Nevertheless, Mom and I had an extremely pleasant lunch of prime rib in various incarnations culminating with the “Chocolate Bag.” The Chocolate Bag is a dessert – it is a bag of dark chocolate filled with white chocolate mousse and berries. It is a lot like heaven.

The rest of the day was dedicated to driving to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. What a thrill – we got to bond with every small town and corn field that America’s bread basket has to offer.

That being said, we do have a great suite at the Residence Inn. The best part is at this hotel, they have a sign that welcomes their perks club members by name and level. So when we checked in, it said, “Basic: Pamela W.” Like, OMFG.

I will spend the rest of the night on the couch watching the NCAA tournament and reading home design magazines with a bottle of J.W. Morris Merlot. Rock.

Girl Adventure: Day 1

Mom and I left this morning at 5 am. Which, given the hour, was pure magic. It was actually nice to see the sun rise as we drove through Wisconsin but seriously, it was still an indecent hour to set out at.

As per the Girl Adventure-Itinerary, we ate breakfast at Denny’s Diner in the Wisconsin Dells, a throwback to the days when we had a yearly family vacation there at the end of August. Denny’s is decorated in a totally 50’s motif. However, in the spirit of St. Patrick’s day, they had boldly re-purposed their white Christmas tree as a St. Patrick’s day tree. C’est magique.

We got into Chicago about an hour early, which was super (Note: I didn’t know that Soldier Field looked so…historical). We’re at the Hyatt on Wacker (I knw, right?), and the best part about our room is that we’re super-close to an office building and the workers inside are totally excellent for people-watching.

Once we managed to get the car into a safe ramp, we found ourselves at “the bean” in Millenium Park. For those of you who know Tiffany & Co., the bean is a classic necklace pendant, so really its almost as if something came along and laid a giant Tiffany egg.

Following that portion of our adventure, I spotted the Chicago Public Library which turns out to be home to the largest Tiffany-glass dome in the world. Totally worth it.

Finally, making up for my lack of St. Paddy’s yesterday, Mom and I had dinner at Elephant and Castle (a pub).

SONIC

Billy and I are currently on a journey to welcome the Elk River Sonic into the world. It took us about 40 minutes to get to Elk River and we have been waiting in line for approximately 10 minutes. There is no end in sight. And I am starving.

Since friends and family day is free, you can rest assured that Billy and I will be plundering.

UPDATE: Billy and I ordered thirty dollars worth of food. This included three Sonic Burgers with Cheese, two Frito Burritos, two large Chili Cheese Fries, one Onion Rings and three large Blue Coconut Cream Slushes. We ended up waiting for about 45 minutes and it was amazing.

Cabin: Day 1

We managed to escape the #1 small town in the nation today at 10 am. Spot tried his hardest to yowl for the first half hour or so until we let him out of his travelling kitty carrier at which point he monopolized my right arm. Mostly I think he was miffed about the indignity of being zipped into a duffel bag. I can’t say that I blame him.

It rained pretty much the entire way up which was…rad. Wheb we finally got to the cabin and had to unpack the car, the water spilling off of the roof outside of the front door resembled some sort of waterfall-type waterpark element.

Now everything seems to have cleared up and its finally sunny outside, albeit a touch cool. Tonight we will dine at Ideal Corners which most closely resembles a firetrap. But Dad really loves their buffet.