A Travellerspoint blog

From River Traffic to Freeway Jams

Made it to downtown Minneapolis

sunny 23 °C

Friday 23rd May, Room 1266, Marquette Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota

A quick Blog tonight as the streets of Minneapolis are calling us!

Bob said it was definitely Saturday today, and I came to believe him. I was sure we had booked 2 nights for Minneapolis but maybe we had changed that for some reason. Thankfully it was Friday and we have 2 nights here to gather ourselves and enjoy this great city.

Last night we wandered into another restored downtown (a lot of these larger river towns must have been pretty grim a few years ago but now they are all busily reviving their centres). We even saw something not seen in the "bible belt"!


After checking a couple of restaurants on our short list, we plumped for this, which specialised in Creole food:-


Being quite adventurous, John had Blackened Tilapia, also known as St. Peter's fish, Tilapia is a white, flaky, mild tasting fish perfect for blackening (12.99). Blackening is a Louisiana cooking method in which the meat is dredged in butter and coated with spices, then dropped in an extremely hot cast iron skillet. The butter cooks off, leaving a dark flavorful crust on the outside and tender juicy meat on the inside. Served with rice and vegetables.

It was all delicious but the veg was fantastic


Bob had Chicken Tchoupitoulas (13.99), pronounced chop-a-TOO-lus and named for a Native Louisiana Indian Tribe. A grilled chicken breast seasoned with Cajun spices served over a hash of diced fried potatoes, ham, mushrooms and green onions topped off with a New Orleans Bearnaise Sauce. Served with vegetables.


The meal was great and good value in a nice atmosphere.

No free breakfast this morning so Arthur fixed the TomTom to guide us to the nearest "Perky" Perkins. One of his favourites, 2nd only to Denny's.


He may have been attracted by this


You already have a flavour of what we have been experiencing on the Great River Road, and there are just a few more photos to add to that, including some for "tug spotters"!


Highway 395 reached a climax with those views from the ferry across Kootenay Lake. For this part of the trip, this view, from a bluff above Winona, MN, was gobsmacking. "On a clear day, you may see for 30 miles". Well we had a really clear day and we could see more than 30 miles. It put the whole basin into perspective, with the river, the lakes, the islands and the swamps, as well as the greater valley with its bluffs, cut down by the river.

A-M-A-Z-ING! During the day, we stayed mostly on the Wisconsin side, but hopped over to towns on the Minnesota side as and when, which was pretty often. We reckon we crossed about 12 times. Of course, here there are far more crossings that down river where bridges are few and far between.


No pictures can do this view justice. If you get the chance, do this drive, it is a really good introduction to the USA given that towns and villages are pretty normal.

We have to mark down today's drive, however, for lack of mowing activity. Probably too far from the John Deere factory?

We stopped in Red Wing at the National Eagle Centre, a smashing place to learn about the Bald and Golden Eagles, and we are pretty sure we had spotted a couple of circling Baldies on the way there. The town itself was also smashing with tributes to the Chiefs Wapasha I, II and III (heads of the Sioux nation) who were probably treated appallingly by the early Americans.


By the way, C&C of Derby, that picture was not one of ours. It was a picture of a poster at a scenic outlook. Sorry if we misled you. I find it difficult to believe that that number of bald eagles would sit in a tree together, but it looked genuine.


We found a smashing hotel in Minneapolis. One where Bob can get his privileges with his Hilton Gold card and one of the best rooms we have ever had anywhere. John typing this at his "executive desk". Stan trying to stop Arthur eating all the free "hors d'oeuvres" in the "Executive Lounge" on the 19th Floor (we are on the 12th). And we are now going to wander the streets. We were last here in 1996


And the very unusual "landing". We can't work out how they've done this layout.


Oh, the jams? As we got closer to St Paul (twin city with Minneapolis) the traffic going the other way was solid (it's Memorial Day weekend so everyone leaving town) then we caught up with the traffic going out the other way and got stuck for 20 minutes or so. Had to drive twice round the block here before we found the place to park for the hotel valet. But made it with sanity intact, almost.

Night night and thank you for your comments.


Posted by Johnash 19:28 Archived in USA Tagged iowa minnesota minneapolis wisconsin great_river_road usa_road_trip marquette_hotel

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Yet another great set of pics! Minneapolis hotel looks fab. Have added the upper Mississippi valley to my 'bucket list', & will hope Buzzard Billy's is still in business if I ever get there. Enjoy M+StP & take care!

by IanT

I had your quiche again today at breakfast but I would have preferred the pancakes that was on offer on the menu in one of the photos. You have been so lucky with the weather such clear photos. keep safe xxxx

by vivienne

Awww and there we were believing you had an award winning photo of the eagles!!!!!!! Lots more "genuine" pics though, we're enjoying every mile of your trip. Nice hotel room too, the beds look very comfy.

by Sue and Gordy

Another set of amazing views, it seems never ending. You've certainly picked a mighty fine road trip so all your hard work preparing for this trip is paying off.
The food looked good but I'm with Bob on the Cajun chicken even though the fish did look nice.
John you look awfully posh sitting at your executive desk. Lord sugar watch out there's a new kid on the block!!!

by Antonia

It did occur to me that the eagle picture looked a little 'staged' but accepted it as most things in the USA are bigger and better....lol

by Cherry and Chris

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