Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Question...

And Happy Easter, to those who celebrate!

Okay, here's the question:

D, C and I are going on a road trip in a couple of weeks. We're heading south, and/or maybe east or west. Places we may stop MAY include KY, TN, NC OR Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

C is 14 and would do some museums, but not JUST museums. He's also not into amusement parks.

We all hate shopping.

We're all nerds.

We like hiking (moderately). We like quirky things. We like good food. We love soaking up the culture of the new place.

Any suggestions?

We'd be very grateful. (We're already very disorganized).

HUGE thanks on this!

34 comments:

Greg said...

Minneapolis occupies a spot on the MIssissippi. A river town, its origins tied to flour mills and grain exchange. There is the world renown Guthrie Theatre and the Walker Art Center. Good restaurants, etc. Lakes dot the city, bike trails, etc. Ask Anno about her impression of the city. If you're heading this way, let me know. We could meet for coffee. Have a great trip. It sounds like a wonderful adventure!

Sister Sassy said...

hmmmm, I can suggest a really yummy Southern Food place in Roscoe Village but that is about 15 minutes outside the city just past Lakeview. Its called Wishbone and you can find their website. YUM!

As far as what to do...hmmmm... I lived there for a year and I haven't the foggiest aside from museums and such. Of course Science and Industry is always amazing.

I'll ask JimmyEW if he can think of anything interesting or unique that doesn't involve roller coasters or shopping.

Sister Sassy said...

Ok, I'm acting like you know I'm talking about Chicago. Sorry for being confusing. If you want to ditch the south trip and come to our frozen tundra up here I'll let you share a bed with Kiki ;)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Good suggestions, Greg. I forgot to mention that we all love theatre, and seeing a Broadway show in Chicago and something at the Guthrie would definitely appeal, as would meeting you! I have another friend in MN, as well as D's brother and my SIL, although they're often traveling.

Sassy, I'll have to check that out. I assume you're talking about Chi-town? And yes, we all love the Museum of Science and Industry and haven't been there in a while.

Thanks so much to both of you!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I already assumed Chicago, based on some things you've said in your blog. And um, I love your area, but not til Summer! But if you guys want to come down to A2, we have plenty of room and would love to see you and you could have that Cheese Delight thing. ;-)

Lilacspecs said...

Come to Belgium!

anno said...

If I were headed to KY, TN, and NC, I think I'd get snagged by the view of the redbuds coming into bloom in the Smoky Mountains and just stay there. Believe it or not, even I like to go camping in the Smokies. Wake up in the morning, brew some coffee, eat a bagel, hike a little, read a lot, hunt for wildflowers. Watch out for snakes. My idea of heaven.

I think Greg's hit the highlights of the Minneapolis area, although he doesn't emphasize enough the pleasures of walking around the Walker Center & surrounding gardens, which connect via pedestrian bridges to Loring Park (where once there were some interesting restaurants) and eventually the downtown pedestrian mall. There are great trails around the lakes, too.

And for a rainy day, there's always Mall of America...

Mae Travels said...

A zoo is a nice change on a long trip with a lot of museums -- and in Chicago, you HAVE to see the Art Inst and the Field Museum. A few years ago we enjoyed the animal houses and other animal displays in the Chicago Zoo.

If you go through St.Louis, that's another good midwestern zoo.

I'm a big fan of zoos as long a they have high standards for treating the animals -- and they are definitely not just for kids.

glamah16 said...

Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo,Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contempory Art, Du Sable.Neghborhoods like the funky Bucktown( a great used bookstore on Miwaukee that I cant remember the name). try the Arcitectural Boat Tours , and the Chicago Trolley,Weird Chicago Tours( fun it takes you on tours of Chicago odd and violent historical past),Hyde Park/Kenwood( we could have coffee and visit more great book stores and the Uof C) and home of Obama,and so much more. Visit the burbs for Six Flags ,and water parks. Theres a big one in Wisconin called Kallaharii or something like that.

Dru said...

When I was in CHicago, I liked going to the Navy Pier.

If you're on the Outer Banks (NC) a scenic drive through the area is nice.

glamah16 said...

http://kalahariresort.com/hub/
This is the Water Park.
http://www.weirdchicago.com/
Here is the weird Tours.
http://www.chicagotours.us/tours/tourType.cfm?ttid2=1422&gclid=CIyBmM2-o5ICFQE8xwodB3spQQ
And a link for the Boat Tours.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Oh, Lilac, I would love to come to Belgium, but with the dollar, etc., that's not in the cards right now. ;-)

Anno - great suggestions (except for Mall of America, lol). The Smokies are a possibility, but now I think I'm yearning for urban stuff with all these great ideas.

Mae - we do love zoos and we haven't seen any of the ones you mentioned.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Coco - GREAT suggestions - we love "weird" tours - have done them in many cities, and we were thinking of an overnight at a waterpark area. And I would so love to meet you for coffee! And the neighborhoods sound good, too. And thanks for the links, too!

Dru - C loves the Navy Pier, too. It was a big hit with all our exchange students who went there, too.

April said...

No personal suggestions, but definitely pick up the AAA travel books. They've got lots of ideas for every possible interest!

writingwrongs said...

Well, I hope I get to see you! Greg already made some great suggestions. If Third is still playing at the Guthrie, I highly recommend that.

Also, if you like zoos, try the Minnesota Zoo. Depending on what the weather is doing and when you'll be here, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is nice too. Not flashy, but if you're into plants and stuff, it's great (assuming anything is growing yet).

I've never been, but Andrew likes the Mill City Museum.

Let me think on this some more. We can email if you decide to head this way. That would be So. Cool.

Charity

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

April, I agree - those books rock!

Charity, that would, indeed, be SO cool! Great suggestions, too. After a breakfast with the family on this end, Minneapolis as the end point is looking more and more likely. ;-)

Marianne Arkins said...

It's not THAT far to NH. Why aren't you coming here? Lots to do in NH, Boston, PA, NY... c'mon. It'd be fun!

Enjoy your trip :-)

Maria said...

Don't forget the MN Science Museum. I love that place...and the MN Zoo. Lakes, lakes and more lakes... I miss MN. Can you tell?

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Two words, Marianne: too. cold. ;-)
Too long a drive for this vacation, too. But we will definitely hit that area one of these days (ie. summer)!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Oops! Maria, sorry... I missed your post via my e-mail. It sounds like you loved it there. And it does seem like we're headed that way!

citizen jane said...

Some suggestions for if you head south towards TN & NC... Great Smokey Mountains National Park is great fun -- easy hiking, beautiful scenery, even some educational opportunities. Gatlinburg on the TN side of the park is quirky -- touristy but in a un-self-aware way.

Nashville -- also a great destination. Lots of culture -- much more than just country music. Good food. Really good food.

I'm going to be heading to Atlanta/Knoxville/Franklin, NC week after next (tour of the in-laws... not a pleasure trip in the least) so I'll look through my trip stuff to see if anything might appeal to y'all if that's the way you're heading.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Jane - thanks so much for the suggestions. Looks like we'll definitely have to spend some time in the Great Smokey Mountains - if not this trip, then one soon. We also want to hit Atlanta one of these days, but the traffic there drives me insane, so I know we'll skip that for this trip. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Nashville, though, if you'd care to share them!

Sandy C. said...

I wish I had suggestions. I've never visited. But we are like you. We hate shopping and love to immerse ourselves into a new place :)

Sounds like a lovely trip!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Thanks, Sandy. And a trip to Boston at some point is definitely in the offing. If you guys ever come to Michigan, I can let you know lots of Ella-friendly (and not!) things to do.

Goofball said...

I loved New England, especially Vermont.

and I adore the Rockies. I absolutely adore the Rockies. And Vancouver island. ...but I guess you didn't ask for Canadian suggestions. Too bad, the Kootenays are so great as well ;)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'm dying to go to the Rockies and to Vancouver Island, Goofball, but Vancouver Island would be too far afield and I wouldn't want to be driving around the Rockies at this time of year!

cablegirl said...

See, now this is what I get for not reading through my google reader for a day or two.

COME TO MIAMI.

Ok, it's not th cultural highlight of the South, but it is Northern Cuba and it is a place like no other.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

CG, we looked at Miami. The flights were outrageous and the driving would have been a LOT for a week. We don't have good stamina for being in the car more than 6 - 8 hours/day. But someday... and I'd love to see "Northern Cuba" especially, so to speak. But I think you should come up to MI and you and I could take a road trip to Toronto! ;-)

Lilac's Mom said...

OMG---have you been to Pittsburgh? We get such a bad rap...we are an easy drive from Michigan (I've done it a bunch of times) and we have so much to do.....Carnegie Science Center--FANTASTIC with a SUBMARINE you can explore; Andy Warhol Museum if you get off on him; KENNYWOOD PARK a wonderful old family style amusement park; theaters and music up the wazoo; wonderful food of all kinds--Monterey Bay-seafood to die for- Fatheads- burgers to die for- Majorca- tapas to die for - Primanti Brothers - sandwiches you will die from they are so good- clog the arteries at the Cheesecake Factory...the list goes on....I kid you not, Pittsburgh is a GREAT place to visit!!!!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Hi Lilac's Mom - you must be one excited lady around now with your daughter coming home! And I LOVE Pittsburgh! I went to Carnegie for my first two years of college and my fave thing about the whole experience was living in Pittsburgh. We'd talked about Pittsburgh, but initially we wanted someplace WARM, but then since we have a lot of relatives/friends in the Chicago/Milwaukee/Minneapolis areas, we gravitated that way. But yes, Pittsburgh is a definite for some time. In fact, I'm reading a Pittsburgh-based novel right now - Lifelines by CJ Lyon, and the protagonist just had her first Primanti Bros. sandwich.

Jerseygirl89 said...

I read all through the comments and I don't think anyone mentioned the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. . .I LOVE that place.

Gunfighter said...

All those places and no stop in Virginia?

You wound me.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I agree, Jerseygirl - we'd DEFINITELY see the Shedd.

Actually, Gunfighter, we looked at flying to DC because it was actually cheap to do that right now, and doing a split between DC and Colonial Williamsburg and I'm sure we will, one of these days (and yes, I know there's so much more to see in VA, too!), but for this trip, C really wanted a meandering road trip, so we all agreed we'd be okay with that.

painted maypole said...

don't know much about the rest, but in chicago the art museum is incredible, and shedd aquarium rocks. go for a walk along the lake, and listen to the song "Lake Shore Drive" while driving on it. skip hard rock and go get a chili cheese dog and an amusing and sometimes dancing waitstaff at Ed Debevick's. There's quite a bit of good, quirky theatre in town. find something and go! eat EXCELLENT german food at berghoff.(disclaimer: all my info is about a decade old, but as far as I know, still stands)