They have Olive Gardens there too!
About halfway through my holiday vacation, Marathon Man flew in and joined me. Yes he was subjected to an awkward church service where both of us vowed to sing loudly (note both of us would totally make the American Idol show…the part when they show all the hideously off key singers). I attempted to show him all my religious murals I painted on the Sunday School classroom walls, but they painted over all my masterpieces except the friggin rainbow and list of Ten Commandments. Yes, back in the day, I was an above average painter and the Church asked me to decorate all the walls with scenes from the bible like David & Goliath, Adam & Eve, baby Moses in the reeds, Johan & the whale, Noah, etc. Don’t mistake my enjoyment in painting church frescos with real religion since I am a submarine Lutheran (only surface during major religious holidays).
We drove off up to Minnesota to visit his extended family. I guess there are still charted areas in the Iowa wilderness because the Garman GPS device (love it!) would suddenly go bonkers on us and say we were driving in the middle of a corn field. We NEVER left the highway but this happened three times in Iowa alone.
While in Minneapolis, we did various tourist things to pass the time. We spent a few hours walking the Mall of America deciding on whether to shop, ride the Camp Snoopy roller coaster, or go to the basement Aquarium. In the end we did nothing and ate lunch at Olive Garden (for real, we are the lamest people ever….lame but delicious).
Later we took in the Science museum and had a blast. It is one of those hands on children’s museum which would explain why there were so many obnoxious kids running around there. Here are pictures of M-Man having fun with a ball and a blowing fan.
Me with a shark…or teenager in a shark costume (I wonder if he is really smiling under the mask).
One night we hit up the casino and played nickel slots. Did I mention we are lame? Anyway we played keno, some weird matching game, and hit pay dirt in video poker. You would think we were playing with larger sums of money because at one point M-Man gasped and said “wait, don’t touch anything, I accidently hit bet max” which of course was 20 credits or a whole dollar! Luckily we got a three of a kind and cashed out a whole $2.50 richer after 2 hours and twelve diet Pepsis later. Actually we were elated and I wanted to run up to the Indian pit boss and shout out I TOOK THE HOUSE DOWN…BOYEEE!
To celebrate our $2.50 win, we went on a hunt for ice cream. I typed in Dairy Queen on the Garman GPS and it took us to some guy’s house in the middle of a neighborhood. I wonder if it was some guy who decided to mess with ice cream hungry people and throw them off track some. Actually it would be really funny to list your enemies or nosey neighbors in Garman under some adult themed shop. Imagine answering that door. Nice.
We finished up our Minnesota visit with a Viking game. We left for the game about five hours before kickoff in hopes of finding some cheap parking and having some fun at the tailgate. After getting off the highway, we spotted an open street parking spot on a side street. M-Man quickly swerved into it and we were all excited at our extraordinary luck (the meter was free on Sunday). Now all we had to do was walk to the stadium which was (according to M-Man) just a few blocks down that street. Few blocks my ass! It turned out to be just over a mile. Did I mention it was about -5 degrees outside? We were not wholly prepared for subzero conditions because the stadium has a dome and is essentially quite temperate during the dead of Minnesota winter. I was shuffling so fast that I was one notch down from actually jogging.
After about 10 minutes I lost all feeling in my face, fingertips, and toes. As we approached a bar (granted the first business that seemed to be open downtown on a Sunday) M-Man suggested we go inside and warm up (or in my case get an IV of hot liquids). This bar was nutzoid Viking fan central. EVERYONE in the establishment was wearing a Viking jersey, marti gras beads, face paint, etc. I tried to blend in by wearing my only purple sweatshirt which clearly said K-STATE boldly across the chest. Whatever, it was effort!
After warming up briefly, we headed back on the Oregon Trail towards the stadium (we lost poor Billy in a bad ferry crossing). We passed a few tailgates in parking lots where the participants were obviously freezing and drunk. Forgoing the tailgate games and festivities in lieu of warmth, we headed directly into the stadium and tried to amuse ourselves for 90 minutes. I don’t know terribly much about real Vikings except the whole ship, explorer, giant baby stuff. I guess they have a battle horn that they blow after the introduction of the team, after a touchdown, after a first down, hell after someone takes a piss. I wouldn’t be so irked about constantly hearing this mythical deafening horn reverberate in the dome if it didn’t sound so much like fisting a cow. In the end, Viking won with an end of the game field goal (directed towards our section) and clinched their spot in the playoffs. Yaaaaay!