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July 5, 2012 / Jim Fenton

Mississippi River Day 2: Friendly Minneapolis

This article is part of a series about our recent vacation traveling down the Mississippi River. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.

Mary and Kenna

Kenna tossing her hat like Mary Tyler Moore

The second day of our trip was a day to explore Minneapolis. Since it was still very hot (although starting to cool), we decided to explore downtown Minneapolis in the morning, before the heat of the day.

Downtown Minneapolis is very well planned and bicycle friendly. We walked several blocks from our hotel past the local government offices, and then came to Nicolet Mall, the shopping district. A farmers’ market shared the wide sidewalk for several blocks, with a wide variety of fresh, reasonably-priced produce. We bought some pluots and bananas for the trip. We walked through what is apparently the flagship Target department store, which was nice but not as over-the-top wonderful as we thought it might be.

At one point a man on the street asked if we are from Fargo. I was a bit suspicious (we don’t sound anything like the people in the movie by that name) but played along. We had a nice conversation about various towns in California, and then he turned at an intersection and wished us a good trip. We’re not sure whether the people here are friendlier or we are just more open to conversations like this, but we are enjoying it.

Mall of America

The Mall of America

We took the light rail to the Mall of America, a huge shopping mall and theme park south of town. Its climate-controlled atmosphere was a good break from the heat. There was a lot to see there (both stores and amusement park in the middle), so we walked a long way.

After returning via light rail, we set out in search of something with regional character for dinner. We ended up at a small restaurant in northeast Minneapolis called Rachel’s, where we sat outdoors in a very pleasant garden area. I had “from scratch” Corned Beef Hash, which was so much better than the canned hash that I used to eat with some regularity. The owner of Rachel’s stopped and had a very pleasant chat with us, further reinforcing our impression of Minneapolis as a very friendly city.

Mississippi River crossings today: 2
July 5, 2012

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