Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Things you won't see in Minnesota

Last week I was fortunate enough to take a vacation to Niagara Falls (my husband’s hometown) and New York City to visit my fabulous in-laws. Personally, I love the Twin Cities, but the great thing about venturing away from home is that you see what makes other cities unique. So today I bring you a list of a few things you won’t see in lovely Minnesota…and to keep this from being a boring slide show of tourist attractions, I’m opting for some lesser known rarities that caused me to take a second look.

The Bit-O-Paris Motel in Niagara Falls has obviously seen better days, because I couldn’t find anything resembling a romantic, European city in this run down ghetto of a place. (Mind you, I actually never went inside…I’m not that daring). The main drag in the Falls is lined with little motels like this that were apparently quite a draw back when this town was the honeymoon capital of the world. My husband informed me that the “Bit-O” was also the high school party location. My sister-in-law mentioned that someone was murdered there recently. The sign says there is vacancy. Shocking.

Also in Niagara Falls, I spotted a black squirrel. Odd, no? I have nothing else to say about that.

Of course, in NYC, you see all kinds of different types. I was particularly intrigued by the wizardish man in Central Park carrying a sign that said “Blackwolf the Dragonmaster.” Huh? According to a Google search, it turns out this character has his own website and is trying to get donations to make a movie about his adventures. I see a blockbuster in the making.

And, while not a peculiar sighting, I’ll wrap up with photo of a Broadway sign. Granted, there are probably hundreds of Broadways in Minnesota, but there is only one Broadway that I love, and seeing a couple musicals was the highlight of my week away.

Other noteworthy observations of my trip (sans photos)… the visitor at St. Patrick’s Cathedral who decided to break with tradition and cool her face/neck off with the holy water; the JFK employee who yelled at a passenger in front of hundreds of bystanders, throwing a suitcase and making a little boy cry; a little girl getting sea sick and throwing up all over herself; and numerous tourist attractions that were actually quite fun to visit. Ah, the joys of travel. Let me know if you’ve seen anything particularly crazy or fun on your vacations!

At the end of the day though, there’s no place like home. I was happy to return to my busy but blessed life in the land of deep fried cheese curds, pond hockey, oversized shopping malls, and Prince.

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