Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bikes, Beverages, Breaks, Bites and Buddies: The Twin Cities Tour

It's been a while since our last blog post...We are still near Rochester and enjoying a wonderful Minnesota summer! Especially love the walks on the gravel roads to visit our "neighbors".

Once we do hit the road, one of our favorite activities will be exploring all the fun sights, sounds and tastes in nearby towns. So, we have been "practicing" the art of exploring America by taking trips up to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul. And of course, when you add Bikes, Beverages, Breaks, Bites and Buddies to the mix, it is bound to be a great time!

Last weekend we were thrilled that Angela, Matt and Dave could join us at Minnehaha Falls for another Bikes, Beverages, Breaks, Bites and Buddies tour!
The bike path system in the Cities is amazing...the Grand Rounds takes you around the lakes, rivers and creeks without having to compete too much with the city car traffic.
Biking under 35W
Doug researched possible brew, food, and ice cream stops and came up with a formidable challenge...60 miles of biking with 15+ possible brewery/food stops and 4 ice cream stops. I have got to figure out how to improve the brewery/ice cream ratio!
As you may have guessed, it is next to impossible to give the proper amount of time to fully enjoy 15 breweries in one day, but Doug is always up for a challenge! I am happy that Sebastian Joe's Ice Cream was the first stop...we were going to need calories to accomplish our Herculean task.
A beautiful ride around Lake Harriet and Calhoun and a hop onto the Cedar Lake trail brought us into downtown Minneapolis and our lunch stop at Rock Bottom Brewery. Rock Bottom has the perfect combination of wonderful food and craft beers. Since I had to pace myself for the 14 possible future stops, I just helped Doug sample the Smoking Loon IPA...can beer be declared "lovely"? Well, the Smoking Loon was! Lobster and Shrimp Enchiladas...delicious and spicy, but that's what I get when I let Doug order...Lovely and Spicy!
Already running out of time, we passed by Fulton Brewery (been there before) and decided to try Boom Island. We discovered Belgium-inspired craft beer in a party atmosphere as they were celebrating "Boom Days" complete with activities and free food! 

Crossing the Mississippi River into Northeast Minneapolis...a cute Blue Collar neighborhood that houses four breweries: Dangerous Man, Indeed, BauHaus, and 612 Brew.

Sadly, Dangerous Man and Doug's favorite, BauHaus, are closed on Sundays....
Sad Faces :-(

...but Indeed and 612 Brew inspired happy times once again!

The afternoon was coming to a close as we biked down West River Parkway passing by the many beautiful Mississippi River sites including the Stone Arch Bridge, the Sculpture Garden and the Mill City Museum. We said good-bye to Matt and Angela and headed back on the Greenway to meet our son for dinner at Salsa a la Salsa in Uptown. A delicious but spicy Mexican meal...need tums or more ice cream...was made even better by a visit with not only one, but TWO sons....BONUS!

Made our way back to Minnehaha Falls after enjoying sunset over Lake Hiawatha.

Our Twin Cities tour ended up being only 42 miles around Minneapolis, and included just one ice cream shop, 4 breweries and 2 restaurants, but it was a wonderful way to enjoy Bikes, Beverages, Breaks, Bites and Buddies...And good "tourist training" for when we hit the road in September!

Thanks for following along!
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