When Allison and Paul visited us on Wednesday, they told us that Minneapolis truly supports their mom & pop donut shops. Places like Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme have a hard time making it. So this morning, we paid a visit to Mojo Monkey, one of the highest rated donut shops in town. (Let’s be honest, we picked it because of the name.)
This place specialized in custom donuts that you’re not going to find at Krispy Kreme. We tried the Maple Bacon, PB&J (with potato chips on top), Peanut Pretzel and Cookie Dough, along with a few “mainstream” varieties. It was a fun time, and the place was pretty bustling even though we were there around 10:00.
Our next stop was the Science Museum of Minnesota, which was conveniently located just a few miles from Mojo Monkey, nestled between downtown St. Paul and the Mississippi River. We bought the platinum package at the museum, which included their mummy exhibit and tickets to watch their IMAX movie called “National Parks Adventure”. We ended up spending about 6 hours at the museum, so I’d say we had a pretty good time.
This museum spanned 4 or 5 floors, and because of its configuration, you enter on the top floor. You immediately walk into an exhibit about the Mississippi River, which is suitable, since you can see it right out the window. The river begins in Lake Itasca, which sounds like an “Indian” name, is really just a combination of the latin words for “truth” and “head”.
The mummy exhibit contained five actual mummies. The exhibit focused on Peru and Egypt, as both societies practiced mummification. (Peru started the practice 1,500 years before Egypt did, about 7,000 years ago.)
One sign on display for the Peruvian mummies stated “Some people kept mummies in their homes or brought them to festivals.” Has anyone noticed that Uncle Bob hasn’t had much to say?
The Roman and Egyptian “dynasties” overlapped to the degree that there was a sarcophagus on display that had Roman influences. One volunteer had told us that there were Roman numerals on it, but we never could find them.
The museum had an extensive collection of dinosaur fossils. One of the highlights was the Triceratops. This was the most complete skeleton known, and the largest, being about one and a half times larger than the rest. Only three other museums in the world display “real” Triceratops skeletons.
The IMAX movie about the National Parks was unbelievable. It mainly followed three people who traveled the country in their Subaru and did rock climbing, ice climbing, hiking, etc. in various National Parks. (This movie was combining all of our favorite things!) We left the movie realizing that there are many, many National Parks we haven’t been able to visit yet. KK even mentioned that he might have got a little case of Rock Fever during the movie. A nod to our 2010 trip to Utah that was rock-filled.
We grabbed some lunch in the café at the museum. It was surprisingly reasonable and tasty. There was “music” playing throughout our meal, and at the end Miles pointed out that an instrument was playing a note for every earthquake happening on the planet. Since Oklahoma is basically the earthquake capitol now, we had to check it out.
There was a monitor that you could swipe and rotate the planet to see where earthquakes were occurring. We did manage to zoom in and select earthquakes that were located a few miles from Perry and Stillwater back home.
Marissa and I spent some time in a hands-on area that had dozens of stations where you could learn and play about various topics such as wind tunnels, batteries, electric conduction, math & music, and many more. This part of the museum was quite busy and popular. In fact, there were several interactive displays that were always busy and I never got to participate in. (Yes, most were in the collection of “Questionable Medical Devices”, but don’t judge.)
Following the museum, it was finally time to attend Allison & Paul’s Rehearsal Dinner Cookout at Boom Island Park. This location was fantastic, as it was just across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis. (The weather was perfect, no mosquitos, got to visit with family, brats and hamburgers, this evening had it all.)
Allison said about 70 people had RSVP’d to attend and it may have hit that number. They had a huge turnout.
When we had dinner with Allison and Paul on Wednesday, Paul had mentioned his love of putting maple syrup on his bratwurst. Fortunately, he brought a bottle of syrup to the cookout and he demonstrated on Stephanie’s dinner.
After trying it, I heard one of Paul’s friends use phrases like “game-changer” and “tastes like breakfast”. It is definitely different, and I’d encourage you to try your next bratwurst “Minnesota-style”.
Minneapolis has a pretty skyline, but once it started getting dark, it was twice as nice. The art deco style highrise was lit up gorgeous and it reflected off a nearby building as if it were on fire. A great view to end the night.
We ended up shutting down the party when it got to be around 9:00. Everybody needed to get home at a decent time since tomorrow’s the big day.
While at the museum, I went in search of KK and found him in what I deemed the “geezer exhibit”. You will find a geezer in their natural habitat when they are rocking their yellow t-shirt, hat, and in a relaxed stance with their legs crossed. Keep on the lookout for a geezer habitat in your area.