Cross Country Road Trip 2012: Minnesota

Get ready for Part VII of our cross country road trip recap: Minnesota!

To recap, we drove 3,815 miles through 12 states, coast to coast. Our route took us through New York, Ontario in Canada, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, to Portland, Oregon. Check out the route:


From Wisconsin it was a long drive to Minnesota but we finally arrived around 4PM.


Our first stop was the Mall of America. We actually we hadn’t planned to stop here at all but we had about an hour to kill before dinner and it was on the way.



John coerced me into riding one of the roller coasters in the mall even though I didn’t want to. We saw this picture after the ride and cracked up. This photo pretty much sums up the entirety of our marriage (John ebullient, Kim vaguely disgusted – kidding!):


After we’d had our fill of the mall and rollercoasters, we headed into Minneapolis for dinner.


We got to see the Gold Medal Flour company on the way! Nice!


We met up with an old friend of John’s, Cliff, his wife, and their supercute newborn for dinner. Nye’s Chopin Dining Room is a kitschy, dimly lit, piano lounge serving up the best Polish food I’ve ever had. The ambiance was awesome. In Somerville this place would be hipster haven. Not so in Minneapolis, the waitresses are for real and there was an old Polish couple at every table. I want to go back immediately.


After dinner we drove 2 hours to our final destination (Buffalo, Minnesota) and hotel for the night.

The next morning we were up and headed one hour west to Darwin, Minnesota.


If you didn’t know, Darwin is home to the World’s Largest Ball of Twine (made by one man).


If there was one thing John was the most excited to see on our trip, it was the World’s Largest Ball of Twine. I couldn’t understand it as hard as I tried. It’s just a ball of twine!!


But being there in Darwin, peering into the pagoda to see the twine ball in all its’ splendor, just got me somehow. I stood there with my mouth hanging open like an idiot. “Only one man made this? Really? It’s amazing!”


Something clicked, I just got it. Somehow that silly twine ball, on a sleepy street in the middle of Minnesota, won me over. These are the experiences you would never have unless you drove across the country and bumped into them along the way. It’s really magical.


John’s excitement knows no bounds.


We signed the visitors guest book, bought some souvenirs, and hit the road. Incidentally this is the only picture I got of our rental car.


From Darwin it was 4 hours southwest to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We snacked, listened to podcasts, and John talked almost nonstop about the Ball of Twine.


Stay tuned for Part VIII – South Dakota

Author: Domestocrat

I'm a lady who enjoys photography, football, cooking, long drives with the windows down, This American Life, kettlecorn, hot yoga, pop punk, my nephews, my cat Reggie, and my home: Boston.

8 thoughts

  1. I understand your husband’s compulsion. Seeing the world’s largest ball of twine is high on my bucket list, too! My family travels all over to see “world’s largests” for our blog!

  2. Ah yes, the Polonaise. I used to live in Minneapolis, and enjoyed a couple good meals there. I forgot about that place. :) Thanks for the memory.

  3. fantastic post, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite experts of this sector don’t notice this. You must continue your writing. I am sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

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