Having a toddler causes you to listen to a lot of children’s music, so naturally this song came to mind when we found out we would be driving to Minneapolis, Minnesota (I gave some background in this post, and talked about our last day in Eugene in this post).
Since we needed to move all of our stuff we drove there as opposed to flying. My dad offered to drive his truck with a U-Haul trailer attached, while Kyle, the toddler and I drove our car. We took four days and three nights to get there, stopping in Spokane, WA, Billings, MT, and Sioux Falls, SD.
Since I planned the trip I knew we would be spending a LOT of time in the car, so I made sure to pack clothes that would be comfortable, travel well, and stylish. I am writing all about my travel wardrobe in this post.
The last stop we made in Eugene was at Voodoo Doughnuts. They started in Portland but opened their third and fourth locations in Eugene and Denver respectively. I knew there wouldn’t be anything quite like them in Minneapolis, so I insisted we go there for breakfast. I had my usual Old Dirty Bastard (raised doughnut with chocolate, peanut butter, and Oreos), Kyle had the Memphis Mafia (banana fritter with peanut butter and chocolate chips), and Grayson had a blueberry doughnut — at least some of it. Most of it ended up being crushed into powder… toddlers…
Our first stop was in Stevenson, Washington to visit Kyle’s uncle Scott and his wife Lori at The Cabin. A little coffee and frozen custard place with a giant sculpture of a Sasquatch eating a cone. They recently bought the business, and treated Grayson to his own mini cone. It must have been delicious because he actually managed to eat most of it, with only a few drips escaping his mouth and running down his arm.
Our next stop was at a really neat park in Kennewick, WA. Grayson really enjoyed getting out to stretch his legs and play on the swings. He found the water really amusing, but didn’t get that close.
After getting back in the car, Grayson kicked back and “read” some of his books. You can see how stuffed the car is. Don’t forget we also have dad’s truck and a Uhaul trailor bursting with our belongings. We even got rid of a bunch of things. Nothing like moving to make you realize how much stuff you have.
By the time we hit Spokane, WA I was feeling pretty good about the trip. I had made all of the hotel reservations ahead of time, so check-in was a breeze. We did some Googling and decided to head to Iron Goat Brewing for dinner. Their food was really good, and I loved the cheeky names of their beer. Kyle got the Trashy Blonde, dad ordered the Goatmeal Stout, and I got the Garbage Pale. I also really enjoyed the sound of the Headbutt IPA and the Bleating Red Ale.
Before bed, Grayson and I made use of the hotel’s pool. He had a really good time splashing and riding on my back in the water. It was a great way to wind down and have some fun before the rest of the drive to Minnesota.
We stopped in Wallace, ID where they have a cool mining exhibit. Grayson loved seeing all of the wheels, and he even walked through a mock tunnel.
However he was beginning to get cabin fever in the car. I can’t blame him. I do envy his ability to stretch his legs out though.
The worst part of this day was the time change. While I had mapped out our trip and broke it into about equal chunks, I didn’t take the time change into account. This meant that each day was effectively one hour longer than we were driving.
By the time we got into Billings, MT it was pretty late. I liked the sound of Thirsty Street Brewing Company, so we decided to go there for dinner. Their beer is really delicious. Kyle ordered the Code Response Rye IPA, I chose the Rimrock’d Amber Ale, and dad got the Big Bison American Stout. We didn’t realize this before we got there, but the only food they serve are hot dogs and chips. It’s actually a really neat idea, and the hot dogs are from Pioneer Meats in Big Timber and they have Grains of Montana Buns. It was nice to eat locally produced food.
Today we traveled through the rest of Montana, nipped the corner of Wyoming, and most of the way across South Dakota. One thing I really love about Wyoming is a good number of their rest stops have playgrounds. We stopped at two of them, and it was nice to let Grayson run around and let loose some pent-up energy.
Another time change happened between Rapid City and where we were staying in Sioux Falls. Looking at the clock we knew that we wouldn’t have time to drive to Mt. Rushmore like we were planning. Instead we stopped at Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota. It’s a pretty neat place. The large building is broken up into various different store fronts. They also have a large courtyard with places to take photographs. We of course took advantage of this.
We even found a mini-Mt. Rushmore. So we sort of got to go see it. We are making plans to take a weekend to go see Mt. Rushmore and other sights in the area, so we’re not too heartbroken to have missed it this time around.
We rolled in to Sioux Falls after 10pm local time, and went straight to bed. It was a really long day, and we were just excited to get into beds. We were really looking forward to reaching Minneapolis the following day.