Monday, May 02, 2005

Let's play tourist

OK, so the weather has been crap around here. It was barely in the 40's all weekend, leading to extreme laziness on our part and not a lot to blog about for me. Here's the down and dirty...
For superfabulousfunFriday, boy decided to take us on an urban adventure. He had the idea to try and navigate to the Mall of America from our house using public transportation alone. To most people that probably sounds simple enough, but alas, this is Minnesota, land of the SUV commuter.
Problem A: we live in the 'burbs. Problem B: the Twin Cities suck when it comes to public transportation. Look this trip up on the metro transit's website and they'll tell you it's not possible.
Up until a year ago we had nothing but the bus, and now we can lay claim to a single light rail line that will help you, the tourist, get easily from the airport to downtown Minneapolis or the Mall of America, and not much else. Ironically, we have one of our most public embarassments to thank for the light rail. It was none other than governor and ex-WWF star Jesse Ventura that got it built. In between having pissing matches with the media and acting like a playground bully, that is.
Anyway, we had to conceede right at the start that there was going to be some driving on our part, since the closest bus stop to our house is about three miles and is only serviced during rush hours.
It was interesting and enlightening to play tourist in our own city, and we did make it to the MOA and back using public transportation after driving 15 minutes to the nearest transit station to our home.
Total travel time on bus and light rail to complete a trip that would be about a 40 minute drive= 1hr 45 minutes. So most of our evening was spent either on bus or train, with a brief stop at the mall for some dinner. Good thing we decided to eat at the bar instead of waiting for a table.
It was an evening's worth of adventure, and particularly enlightening for boy, who had never ridden the bus a kid like I had. And since it was so freaking cold, I even got to take my Color on Color scarf out for it's debut.
The whole trip made us wishful for Europe or the great American cities where public transpo is avaliable, convenient and used by everyone. Unfortunately, unless you're fluent in English and willing to do some substantial research, figuring out how to combine bus and train trips to reach your desitnation is almost impossible, and understanding separate fare systems and how/where to pay is out of the question. It's shameful, really, and a far cry from places we've visited where you can buy a ticket, understand the route, choose the train and travel far and return safely without speaking a word of the language.
At one point, while we were waiting downtown for the bus to take us back out to the burbs, boy looked around and wondered "so if you weren't from here, how would you know this is the bus stop when there's no sign or anything?" And he was right, there was no sign.

I did get some cooking in as well. I had planned on doing a turkey breast on the grill rotisserie on Saturday, only to discover AFTER I had screwed around for an hour digging out the electric part and getting the thing on the spit, that the infrared burner was too gunky (or it was just too windy) and wouldn't stay lit. So it was into the oven instead, and plan B for dinner (takeout pizza). I also managed to brave the weather long enough to make it out to my garden and cut down the rhubarb that was HUGE.

I whipped it up into a rhubarb crisp that was deeelicious. (Note the yummy tangelo waiting to give up its zest to the cause). If the weather would have been acting like the first of May instead of the first of November, I would have made the buttermilk ice cream to go along with it (which, btw, I have tried and it's fab).
Sunday I turned the turkey breast carcass into stock that's now sitting in my fridge waiting to turn into something yum. Unfortunatley, it was not at all photogenic so no pics.

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