Hi okay we’re back! On to Day 2!
We got up and I mean: Pete was up at the crack of dawn. Up and pulling on clothes and dragging me out the door because OMG IT IS TIME TO GET BREAKFAST MOMMMMMM.
Have I ever mentioned Pete’s complete and undying affection for the hotel continental breakfast? Because holy hell, that child loves a good hotel continental breakfast. This spot did not disappoint, they had one of the better hotel spreads where they not only have donuts/pastries/bagels/fruit/waffles/cereal/etc., BUT ALSO the hot bar like stuff to make breakfast sandwiches, and biscuits and gravy. The ‘nice’ one. Pete was in heaven. I should also mention, hotel breakfast is one of the few times I don’t chide or hen-peck but instead just let him go nuts. So he pretty much requested one of everything, as usual, and I dragged three plates of food back to our room. That he then vaguely picked at while watching cartoons.
After our very long, drawn out, overabundant breakfast, we showered and got ready and headed out to do some exploring. First up: Train Museum, y’all! There is a model train museum in Minneapolis, you guys. Here’s the kicker that we only realized as we pulled up to the place, though: we failed to check when it opened. As it turned out, they were not open for another 2 hours. Errrrrr…. Whoops.
At this point I would just like to say, thank goodness for smartphones, because thanks to a quick search we discovered we were right near Como Park. Como Park is this lovely, huuuuuge park that also is the site of the (FREEEEEEE) zoo and Conservatory. So we hopped on down to Como Park and took in the sights, mainly the zoo.
We spent a few hours wandering the zoo, which was actually a really cool zoo, and then we spotted Como Town, which is like this little amusement park type thing, and then it was all over. Because Como Town has a train, my friends. So we loaded up a Como Town card and let that kid go to town on the rides for awhile.
There was a momentary case of The Sads when it came time to leave, I won’t lie. However Pete soon got over his melancholy when he realized we were finally heading back to the train museum.
The Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum is chock-ful of model trains, several of them interactive (you can manipulate the trains themselves via switches, or any number of light-up and moving portions of the dioramas surrounding them). It is actually spread across two buildings, so if you ever visit don’t miss out on one or the other of them. Pete had a blast and we stayed there much longer than we thought. Which ended up not being a big deal, because right when we got there the rain started and kept up for a few hours.
Once done with the museum it was lunch time, so we headed to the Linden Hills neighborhood for some walking and dining. Tilia is one of those amazing spots that is not only a well-respected, sophisticated bistro, but also very child friendly. I love you, Minneapolis.
Yeah, just check out that chaos. We were going to fit in juuuuuuust fine.
So the staff is super-awesome with kids, addressing them more often than the adults (or at least that was the case for us). One of the waiters kept coming over and chatting up Pete, like he wasn’t even our waiter. They gave him a box of toys when we were seated and made a point to take his drink and food orders first, and not from us but from him. Let me just tell you: all that attention on the kiddos really pays off. Pete was on his very best behavior. It is funny how that works.
What did Scott order? It’s a mystery, I have no idea. Probably fancy biscuits and gravy I got a roasted-pineapple french toast confection with a coconut foam. It was so insanely good. This place, it’s a keeper. I think whenever we go back we will always stop here for a meal.
After brunch we just kinda ran amok in the neighborhood. Lots of cute storefronts (several closed, bummer) and little restaurants.
And then, my eyeballs almost fell out of my head, because what do you know, there was The Wild Rumpus. Which is an awesome bookstore that I really really wanted to visit, but I didn’t think we’d have the time, so I never looked up the address. Welp, what do you know. To add to the weirdness of it all, some kid was kind enough to hold the wee kid door for Pete, and he pretty much was a Pete Look-Alike who had traveled from a few years in the future. Bizarre.
Yeah you guys, that’s a live chicken. And a boat in the ceiling. Just a few of the many quirky details in this place (it is chock-ful of animals, by the way. Don’t come here if you have animal-related allergies).
We drove around a bit after that, just checking out the lake and other areas, then went back to the hotel to decompress before heading back out again.
We got a light-rail pass (Pete almost DIED at the awesome; man I forgot how much he loved those darn ‘trains’) and rode that sucker all the way to the end, near the Metrodome. Then hoofed it several blocks to a brewery Scott wanted to try. The neighborhood was… interesting. Actually if I were kid-free I would not have thought twice, but kids in tow bring out the nervous mommy in me. We didn’t get mugged, run over, or shot at, so: all was well. I did have a minor internal freak-out and gave my poor dear husband lots of dirty looks for DRAGGING OUR INNOCENT FAMILY THROUGH THIS TERRIFYING NEIGHBORHOOD.
God bless the hormonal, paranoid pregnant mothers of the world, am I right? Actually I am a little embarrassed in retrospect, because it wasn’t that bad at all. Heh.
I *think* that the place we stopped was called Town Hall Brewery. It didn’t have a kid’s menu, nor milk, clearly not kid friendly. Whoops. But we were still full from brunch anyway, so Pete and I splitting a meal wasn’t a big deal, and I got him a house-made root beer which he loved. They also didn’t have much beyond burgers, and the burgers were pretty minimalist (see that? That’s me being nice in my wording. Those things were sparse; at least they put 2 pickle slices on Scott’s. Pete and I didn’t get that luxury). The burgers were yummy, I do remember that, so I guess burger ‘filler’ be damned. And Scott did like the beer he got, so that was a plus.
Then we headed back to the light rail as quickly as we could (before it got dark) and away we went back to the hotel.
Then we gave Pete a bath and off to bed. We didn’t have much in the way of toys for him, so he improvised with plastic hotel cups. Turns out he can keep pretty entertained with those things.
I won’t lie, I was exhausted so we skipped books and instead I let him watch cartoons on my phone until he passed out. And yeah, that clock says 10:30p. Late nights while on vacation, my friends! YOLO and all that crap.
Day 3 to come soon.