And just like that, we’ve arrived at our final destination: Austin, Minnesota. It’s hard to believe we’ve been on the road for an entire week already. On the other hand, Sioux Falls already feels like a lifetime ago. This has been a fantastic trip.
Tara is ready to be home, while I kinda wish we still had a few more days. Still, I’m sure I will be very happy to pull into our driveway tomorrow afternoon. I’m going to try to keep this post short. Ish. Ha. Good luck, self.
Because we only had a 3.5-hour drive today, we were in no rush to leave Madison. We (sort of) slept in…if 6:30 counts as sleeping in?…and then grabbed breakfast at Cracker Barrel. We made a quick stop at a cheese shop, because…when in Wisconsin, right? Loaded up on cheese blocks, cheese curds, and cheese spreads. Tried the cheese curds in the car. Wisconsin lives up to its billing when it comes to cheesiness.
The drive through Wisconsin to the Minnesota border was beautiful, all rolling green pastures and lakes and dairy farms and puffy clouds. This is probably my favorite part of the country.
We got to the Spam Museum at about 1:30. Parked the car and Tara asked me where the entrance was. I was confused, because it looked nothing like I remembered from my visit 10 years ago. Well, no wonder: we learned they moved to a smaller building in the heart of downtown Austin, Minnesota five years ago. Hormel needed the office space, so they took over the museum. How rude!
The Spam Museum might have downsized, but it’s still pretty freakin’ interesting.
I especially liked the exhibit devoted to old products and cans. Some of which are admittedly questionable.
Man, I wish they still sold ox joints in gravy!
We killed an hour in the museum and then dropped $160 in the gift shop. Yes, we loaded up on Spam paraphernalia…but a lot of that is gifts for our coworkers. Boy, are they in for a treat!
We Accidentally Went to a Gay Bar
After getting our canned meat’s worth of entertainment, we checked into our motel, then stopped into a bar that…whoopsie…turned out to be a gay bar. Haha. The name alone should have tipped us off (B&J’s), but I didn’t realize that until I saw a few of the patrons at the bar. Doesn’t matter; the fried pickles and Spam sliders hit the spot! As did my Old Fashioneds and Tara’s cider.
After the bar, we walked around downtown Austin. Like so many small towns in America dating back to the 1880s, it’s pretty cute.
The tree in this photo is known as the Millennium Maple. It was the first tree planted in the new millennium, going into the ground at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2000.
I don’t have the heart to tell them the millennium actually began on January 1, 2001. There was enough debate about that 20 years ago.
We are now in our hotel room, drinking whiskey and cider and about to play cards. We ordered a pizza from Domino’s, which may not be an ideal final meal on our road trip, but it was cheap and convenient. Tried to order from a “local” joint but the lady on the phone told us they were in Albert Lea, MN, which is 22 miles away. Not shockingly, they don’t deliver out here.
We’re going to play some cards and enjoy our last night on the road before heading out early tomorrow.
Next stop: home, sweet home!