Surfing The Skyway

Although this week’s prior blogs make it sound like I spent all week cleaning, that wasn’t really the case.

Between my cleaning bouts, I took a few well-timed breaks to get my fix of Ellen DeGeneres’ and Bonnie Hunt’s talk shows, catch up on my soap opera and make fleece blankets for my grandnephew and grandniece.

And, on Thursday morning, Hubby Bryan and I set out for Eau Claire, Wis., where we spent the afternoon and evening exploring before coming back over the border for two nights in downtown Minneapolis. It was our winter getaway in lieu of going someplace warm and tropical.

Eau Claire seems like a nice city — and there’s not near the amount of snow there compared to here. After looking forward to relaxing in the hot tub at our hotel, however, we were disappointed to arrive and find it overrun with kids — the waterpark had free admission night, and every kid in the Eau Claire vicinity must have been there.

Our time in downtown Minneapolis was largely spent exploring the vast skyway system. By the end of the stay, Bryan and I were pretty proud of our ability to get around without going outside. During business hours, they skyway is almost like a city within itself, with all kinds of shops and eateries. It was fun to see people carrying Valentine’s bouquets out of the tiny florist shops. But after the business day is concluded, the skyway is almost like a ghost town, although still a nice way to get from Point A to Point B during the winter, if you can navigate the maze.

Truth be told, I’d rather navigate the downtown skyway maze than the maze of people at the Mall of America, to which we took the light rail on Saturday afternoon. We also braved the nearby IKEA store, also a zoo. But within the space of a couple hours, we were ready to jump back on the train and head for the calm of downtown.

On Saturday night, we celebrated my birthday and Valentine’s Day at the Rockbottom Brewery, which in addition to handcrafted beers also has a fine menu. I stuffed myself on homemade chicken pot pie, leaving little room for the birthday brownie dessert that waitress Mandy surprised me with. It was warm and gooey and yummy and covered with both ice cream and whipped cream, so, with Bryan’s help, I licked the plate clean.

It was a good birthday; next year, though, I think I’ll plan to celebrate it someplace warmer.