Pinky the pink elephant in DeForest, Wisconsin

A Road Trip. Day 10. Minneapolis to Chicago.

After nine days on the road, it was time to go home. We’d driven nearly 4,000 miles and only had about 400 left to go on our tenth day, our last day. Our next destination was Chicago. Home.

I was sad to be done with my vacation, the longest I’d taken in a long while, sad to be static again, sad that the next day there would be no more world’s largest things to see, but, all the same, excited to see my cats, to sleep in my own bed, to stretch my legs.

But we still had those last 400 miles to go, and a giant spoon and cherry to see.

Spoonbridge and cherry in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I had never been to Minneapolis before. I usually avoid big cities on road trips because I don’t like dealing with traffic and parking and crowds. I’d previously driven through Minnesota, but never made it out that way.

There was only one thing I really knew about Minneapolis: they had a giant Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture. And I couldn’t come to Minneapolis without seeing the giant Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture.

Spoonbridge and cherry in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Spoonbridge and cherry in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Spoonbridge and cherry in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Tim and I spent the morning at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden where we checked out the giant utensil, the big blue rooster (it took all my power there not to write something else), and all the other sculptures in the garden.

Hahn/Cock - big blue rooster at Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in Minnesota

And then we spent a little more time in the city, wandering Nicollet Mall, finding the Mary Tyler Moore sculpture, before hopping in the car, heading towards Wisconsin, and beginning the home stretch of our ten-day journey.

Mary Tyler Moore statue in Minnespolis, Minnesota.

We, of course, had to drive through Wisconsin to get from Minneapolis to Chicago. And most of the Wisconsin roadside attractions I had on my list for the day I’d seen before, but wanted to revisit. A giant Western Mouse. Pinky, the pink elephant, and Sissie the Cow in DeForest. And my favorite cheese shop, Mousehouse Cheesehaus. But I managed to sneak in a few new things too. Another giant mouse. A tall fiberglass cowboy. And the world’s largest Sinclair dinosaur.

We stopped in Madison for a diner dinner at Monty’s Blue Plate Diner. I had a Thanksgiving feast. And, of course, one last milkshake for the road…

Roast Turkey Platter with cranberry applesauce, garlic butter broccoli, turkey gravy, and mashed potatoes at Monty's Blue Plate Diner in Madison, Wisconsin.

Double chocolate milkshake at Monty's Blue Plate Diner in Madison, Wisconsin.

And then we returned to the car, satisfyingly stuffed, and crossed the border back into Illinois for the first time in ten days. Our next destination was home. My cats. My bed. And my static life.

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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

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