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Plans in Peril?

rain 70 °F
View Glacier National Park on baecation2016's travel map.

Our game plan seemed solid. Get up early, finish packing, settle the pets, and leave the house by 11 am for the drive to my parents house just north of the airport. Here my mother would take us to Logan Airport where we’d have enough time to catch our flight to Minneapolis/St. Paul (and hopefully a pre-flight beer and lunch). But northbound traffic on I-95 humbled our optimism. . .

As a 90 minute ETA morphed into over a 120 minute one, we quickly grew concerned that our plan to catch our evening connection (the 10p Empire Builder sleepliner roomette to Montana) was about to have some major setbacks.

Heidi called Mummie and briefed her of our predicament. Once closer to the exit, we asked her to be in the car and ready to take off once we arrived with our luggage.
Our anxiety and relative panic grew after a Google search for later flights yielded a list of delays (due to incoming rain) and ticket prices exceeding $3,000!
Mummie, typically a nervous and cautious driver, assumed the role of Mama Bear (bears are the total spirit animal of this trip) and with a flair of Boston aggression drove her personal best Lynn to Logan run we’ve ever witnessed. She declared, “Girls, you are NOT missing this flight. It’s not going to happen.” And in that moment, we believed her.

At the “kiss and go”, we waved our goodbyes and ran to TSA. Thankfully, the security lines were short and despite an overzealous, newly-hired agent that stopped every bag for screening, we made it just in time for the boarding of our group assignment!

The 3 hour flight was made a little less painful by in-flight snacks (50% off Jetblue flights with use of a Jetblue card) and views of beautiful fluffy clouds, the Great Lakes, and an introduction to the many lakes of Minnesota.


Craft brews, good times, and a brief architectural history lesson

Since we still had (thank goodness) 5 hours to kill in the Twin Cities and it was a rainy day, our plan to visit breweries was put into action.

Our first stop was Surly Brewing Company.
It is a huge campus with several outdoor beer gardens, a massive taproom/restaurant , and an upstairs pizza eatery/bar with Surly craft brews on tap.

For pizzas, Claudia got an amazing pizza with arugula, Manchego, caramelized onions, and a soubise sauce. She had been new to soubise, but is now a forever fan. Thank you French cuisine!

Heidi got the Disturbance, a pizza with chipotle-tomato sauce queso Oaxaca, pickled onion, lime crema and jalapeno relish.

The beers were amazing, but the winner goes to Grapefruit Supreme, a deliciously crafted grapefruit ale in the style of a Berliner Weiss.

The next stop was a must do for us: Urban Growler Brewing Co, a lesbian couple co-owned microbrewery that doubles as a local live music venue, Sunday morning farmer’s market, and general locale of badassery.

We were welcomed by friendly servers and then by co-owner Jill Pavlak , who shared her success stories as a brewmaster (first woman owned craft brewery in the STATE) and gave us her well wishes in our journey to Glacier National Park.


Jill Pavlak, center, co-owner of Urban Growler

The cover band was awesome and a some fans rocked out on the dance floor to their tunes.

A lady was on site screen printing custom brewery t shirts, so we had to support all of it!

Our last stop was Bad Weather Brewing Co, which was ironic as the terrible rainstorm had finally cleared up by the time we arrived to this St. Paul establishment.

Here were did some half pours and settled on a to-go growler of a Witbier.
We met a semi- retired St Paul research historian named Jim Sazevich who was doing research at a nearby table. He knew a grew deal about the history of his hometown St. Paul (and it's namesake Cathedral of St. Paul) but also of New England towns, such as Newburyport, MA, the subject of one of his books! He was eager to show us his favorite sites around his beloved home town, but unfortunately we had other plans.

In an effort to not be dramatically late to our next and most important leg of the trip, we bid Jim adieu and headed over to the Union Depot with sufficient time to spare.
The Union Depot is a large, relatively underutilized train station with beautiful high ceilings.

A very tired Claudia waiting for the Empire Builder.

Our time here was brief as the attendant began early boarding on the platform for sleeper car passengers (early boarding is one of the many perks of this ticket upgrade, more to follow in an upcoming post).
Heidi in our roomette.

The view from the sleeper car hallway.

Our very tiring, long, stressful, but super fun day traveling to and away from the Twin Cities ended with a much needed night’s sleep in our beds as prepared by our attendant Susan.

Happy trails, the mountains are calling and we must go!

Claudia & Heidi

Posted by baecation2016 15:24 Archived in USA Tagged cities airport st pizza twin amtrak union paul brewery depot soubise jetblue Comments (0)

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