Saturday, January 22, 2011

BEERtrekkin ~ Independence, MO to Minneapolis, MN

Made the final leg of our trip safe and sound and in the most snow out of the whole road trip. Nothing blizzardesque thankfully but it can still be nerve-wracking, especially when one has to worry as much if not more about the idiots in cars, trucks, and semis surrounding you. All’s well that ends well though and this morning I am snug as a bug inside while outside awaits the eventual adventure into WHITE.

I must say we got our trip started off quite well in Independence, Missouri with a stop into Happy Hour, a liquor store Jenn was savvy enough to locate via some kind of iPhone app (I don’t ask how - I just accept) and as soon as I stepped inside (after snapping a pic, of course) and wandered back to the beer section, bliss was found in the form of a beertastic 12oz singles selection. Even better, all were very reasonably priced. I did snag one 750ml bottle of tasty brew: the Boulevard Smokestack Series Long Strange Tripel. I could have gone even more beercrazy but I kept in mind 1) space in the car…aka lack thereof and 2) more beertopia shopping trips once in Minneapolis and so I left with a significant and perfectly proportioned stash.

I think it was a good thing that this was the last leg of the trip. Sitting in a car chair for hours on end is fun for no one, especially babies but all-in-all, Lily was a super trooper….minus the aliens and guns and co-ed shower rooms of course.

So, how did the last Residence Inn measure up against the other? The Internet was by far the best I mooched in all three nights, but the food and service was the least impressive. Nothing bad or horrendous but certainly nothing that would inspire me to frequent Residence Inns on a regular basis. Now, the Residence Inn in Paducah was another story. 6 Star service and hands down the best hotel provided dinner I have ever and may ever eat. Ever. What was it? Melt-in-your mouth brisket. That’s right, brisket so tender butter would melt in shame. Add to that crocked and seasoned corn, potatoes both stewed and baked, and a salad… yeah, twas that good.

To digress for a moment…
Ya know, in comparison to my first couple BEERtreks this trip, I would definitely say that the muse is back and the rust has worn off. This is good because I have at least one BEERflection to tackle this weekend before the Terrapin Dinner at Broken Barrel Tavern on Tuesday and the Field of Beers on Friday, both shared with my Lovely of course.

And now back to our regularly scheduled vacation programming…

I quipped about it on FaceBook briefly but let me delve a wee bit deeper into the phenomenon known as the Rest Area. Yes, you read me right: Rest Area. Apparently the concept of all-in-one does not include this road trip necessity whilst driving through Iowa. On multiple occasions we came across the promising blue sign of restroom relief but nay oh weary bladder-laden traveler. All is not necessarily well in your world of relief. If one should stumble across just a Rest Stop, then prepare to stretch those legs and use those muscles to dig yourself a hole. That's right, an outhouse without the house or the out. Apparently tis only for those who feel like stopping in freezing cold weather with snow all around and no desire to brave the frigid air while there is no sign of warm sanctuary. But wait! All is not lost! Should one travel farther, than the beacon of a Modern Rest Area will grace one's presence. As one creeps upon this hopeful utopia of heated covered sequestered rest and relief, don’t get your hopes up. Is there shelter? Yes. Is it heated (and in the summer cooled)? Yes. Is it bigger than your living room? Sure didn’t look like it. Blink once and you see it, blink twice and poof! It’s gone. Ay caramba.

Also of amusement were a few choice road signs and one gas station in particular named (I kid you not) Kum & Go. Obviously named by a member of the male species. As the sis and I were musing over this quaint choice of words, what should appear but an exit side for Manly Forest City. Wow… in sharing the gas station particulars with Mike and Paula, Mike quipped that it used to be spelled with a “C” and 'Oh How Times Have Changed'. Suffice to say, I love my friends.

As the night waned, my Love texted me about a couple shows she had watched on Food Network. DDD featured QFanatic in Minneapolis, a pretty outrageous (so it seems) BBQ joint with a multitude of sauces, the most popular of which is their Espresso Sauce. Color me hungrily intrigued so I do believe that will be a burgundian destination this weekend. Also on TV was Outrageous Food which featured Burger Jones, a burger joint also in (ta-dah!) Minneapolis. As I lounged on the couch under a warm chocolate hued fuzzy blanket, I got to watch the very DDD and Outrageous Foods my Love had texted me about. Suffice to say, she knows me very well. XOXO.

Some veggie bites in the tummy and a couple more Sweetwater 420, sleep crept in and the eyes slid shut. Last thing I remember was...

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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