Welcome to another chapter in this Vixen's adventure down Route 66. Last I left you my sister Lisa and I were in Jamestown, ND and ready to head out to Minnesota for a family get together and another meet-up with the lovely Cat from Deep Midnight Perfumes. Make sure to stop by every Thursday for a new post about the experiences that happened while three chicks got their kicks on Route 66.
Day 3 ~ September 2nd ~ Jamestown, ND to Minneapolis, MN ~ 327 miles
Day three of our trip brought us to Minnesota. The first stop was at our Aunt and Uncle's just outside of Melrose, MN. Having parents that both came from families of 8 children you end up with lots of relatives! Most are still back in Minnesota so when they hear you are passing through you can not get away without stopping. It had been along time since I had been out to the lake so it was also a chance for a little nostalgia.
My grandparents originally owned this property on Big Birch Lake. This is where I spent half of every summer trip to Minnesota as a kid and teenager. The old green mobile home styled cabin with a big screened in patio my have been replace with a very, very nice new house but it still felt like stepping back in time. I felt like a little kid as I walked out on the dock. I spent a lot of time in that water with my cousins. Way out on the end of that dock is where a Sunfish mistook my toe for something yummy and gave it a bite.
As nice as it was to see everyone lets get to the real reason we stopped. Long Johns! Now, some of you may be familiar with Long Johns but others are probably saying "huh?". Long Johns are doughnuts that seem to be regional to mostly the Midwest area of the US. Summers in Minnesota was the only time we ever had them so my Aunt was a sweetheart to make sure there was a box of them there straight from the Melrose Bakery. The doughnut part is basically the same as a Maple Bar which is pretty universal and topped with a creamy white frosting. The standard toppings from childhood days were coconut, sprinkles or chopped nuts. Whatever this bakery is doing they are definitely doing it right! No other doughnut has ever come close.
Leaving Melrose we stopped at the Sinclair Gas Station to fill up. These are something else we do not have here in Oregon. Sinclair always used a big green dinosaur for their logo and he used to grace many stations. Over time he seemed to fade away but thankfully the green guy seems to be making a comeback as we found quite a few of these newer statues on the trip.
We end the days drive about 1.5 hours down the freeway in Minneapolis, MN. One half of the Twin Cities (the other being St Paul) Minneapolis is a fun town to visit. Many times I've heard my mother talk about passing by the Foshay Tower when she worked in Minneapolis before she was married. Opened in 1929 the beautiful Art Deco styled skyscraper stood as the tallest building in the city until 1972.
I love this photo of my mom (front) and her friends on the Observation Balcony on top of the Foshay Tower back in the early Sixties. It still looks about the same today.
Used as office space until 2006, today the Foshay is a fancy hotel with a retro vibe. It is owned by the W chain but is still called the Foshay Tower. While it had its moments overall it was a nice hotel. Decorated with a modern speakeasy vibe and lots of retro goodness everywhere. The building itself is gorgeous and the hotel reincarnation is unique and fun. And free champagne at check in? Oh la la!
Check out the purple walls and black doors in our room. Accented with hot pink and lime green furnishings this hotel is definitely not the normal.
At the entrance to the Observation Balcony. The tower was built to resemble the Washington Monument.
A beautiful and windy view from the top of the tower. The Observation Balcony is free for guests of the hotel but a fee is charged for those who are not. Worth the price if you are in the area.
Up on the 27th floor is the Prohibition Bar. Lisa and I grabbed a seat by the window and enjoyed some cocktails in the very relaxed setting while we waited to meet up with some friends. The photo shows my Bleuphoria Cocktail (yum!) and Lisa's beer of choice. My Cherry Sour Gimlet did not get his photo taken but how could I be in a bar called Prohibition and not order a Gimlet? The drinks here are not cheap but wow do they pack a punch! By the time our friends picked us up downstairs for an evening out this Vixen was already feeling pretty "happy".
The first stop of the night was dinner at Hell's Kitchen right next to the Foshay Tower. No, it is not connected to the TV show. Like so many restaurants and bars in Minneapolis, Hell's Kitchen has a cool and offbeat design and atmosphere. The food was great! The live music was fun but a bit load for trying to have a conversation with friends.
This is the second time we have had the chance to meet up with Cat and her husband John when visiting Minneapolis. Cat and John run Deep Midnight Perfumes on Etsy. If you have followed any of the big giveaways here on the LVL Blog you will recognize Deep Midnight Perfumes as a long time sponsor. They are two of the sweetest people you will ever meet and we always have such fun with them. They always show us a fabulous night on the town.
A selfie from Hell. My sister on the left and me on the right.
After Hell's Kitchen we crossed the bridge to visit Donny Dirk's Zombie Den. Donny Dirk's is one of four businesses that are owned by the same people. In July we visited their other two restaurants, Psycho Suzi's Tiki Bar and Betty Danger's Country Club, and they were lots of fun but the Zombie Den was not open. So this time it seemed like a must stop.
Donny Dirk's Zombie Den is really just a small, dark dive bar that has been decorated to have a strange, dark, weird feel to it. I had just started to look over the cocktail menu to see what crazy Zombie themed drinks awaited me when our visit was cut short. A chemical smell was bothering some of the party so we had to leave. Was it formaldehyde? Maybe some embalming fluid? Or possibly that is just how a Zombie Den smells (this nose did not smell anything). Alas, there would be no Flaming Zombie on the list of drinks that night. Perhaps we will meet again some dark night Mr. Dirk.
Instead we spent the rest of the night at the Red Stag Supper Club. I just love the name. Such a retro thing the Supper Club. Where they really clubs? Did you have to belong? Hum, let me go look that up. Supper Clubs were considered a "destination" where people would spend the whole evening, from cocktails to after dinner entertainment. They became popular in the 1930s and 1940s in the Midwestern states of the US. Well, there you go!
The big stage that adorns the outside of the building.
Inside was beautiful with lots of wood accents and a big old fashion bar.
We had some late night appetizers that consisted of Charcuterie (plate of fancy meats), Smelt Fries (yup, that would be little fishes) and house made potato chips. Look at the size of those chips! It was a great time and, as always, we had fun spending time with Cat and John. It was then back to the Foshay for a few hours of sleep as the next day would bring us two new states and more adventures to be had.
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