Wednesday, May 17, 2000

I spent most of the first five months of 2000 on the road...

...mostly in the Minneapolis and Denver areas. There was also a week in San Francisco and some time in Daytona and Orlando.

In Minneapolis...

The steak at Manny's melted in my mouth. Dessert there was a brownie sundae thing that cost $14. The waiter described how big it was so I asked him if it was enough for me and my date to share. He said it would be enough for six people to share. When it came to the table I quickly saw that he was not exaggerating too much. This thing was HUGE. It was dessert that night, as well as breakfast the next day, and lunch, and a midday snack.

Also in Minneapolis is one of my favorite places for Sunday Brunch: the Pickled Parrot. They have all the typical breakfast and lunch stuff with carving stations and omelet stations, but the coolest thing about this place is the make-your-own-Bloody-Mary-bar! They give you the vodka and you do the rest. They have all kinds of mixers and ingredients and since you make it yourself, you can be as adventurous as you want.

No trip to the Twin Cities area would be complete without a visit to the Mall Of America, the largest mall in the USA. This place is enormous! If you spent 10 minutes in each of the shops, it would take more than four days to do everything.

In the Denver area...

I tried Rocky Mountain Oysters for the first (and last!) time. I had NO idea what they were!! (no, they are NOT seafood and no, they do NOT taste like chicken, and I have no desire to eat them again). I was told that they are a local delicacy, but my friend would not tell me exactly what they were until it was too late.

I went on several road trips while based in the Denver area. We drove up to Nebraska and Wyoming, went out to the real neighborhood of South Park, and in a 19 hour day I drove out to Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. There is a monument where Arizona and New Mexico and Utah all meet with Colorado, so you can literally be in all four states at one time. This whole drive was very pretty and scenic.

I went to the world's largest hot spring water pool in Colorado's Rockies. Millions of gallons of this spring water comes out of the ground at 122°F and they chill it down to 90-something for use in the pool. On the way back home from there, we stopped off and had a pizza at Beau-Jo's. Bring your appetite when you go there because their specialties include a five-pound pizza. But that pales in comparison to their "Challenge", which is 12-to-14 pounds! If two people order the "Challenge" and eat it in one hour, they get the pizza for free, $100, and a T-shirt.

You can see pics here.

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