with all the researching we did about the twin cities and what to check out, we missed an important tidbit: st paul is charles schultz’s hometown!
one of our friends on the trip pointed out a bronze charlie brown statue, and a lucy statue dressed in dutch costume, on the way to the science museum. that prompted us to google the city and this led to exciting discoveries the next couple of days.
we tried to look for a list online so we can locate all of the statues, however, there does not seem to be one. we also found out that the statues are spread out across st paul, minneapolis and as far as santa rosa in california, where schultz moved to. nevertheless it turned out more exciting being surprised by a new statue while roaming around.
one of the events that we were pretty excited about was the st paul winter carnival. for one, it’s at this event that our guys were competing for the first annual ION autonomous snowplow competition; and for another, none of us have been to a winter carnival before and looked forward to seeing what it was all about.
this was the 125th year of the winter carnival and was held at peace park, in the middle of downtown st paul. we got an “in progress” view of the ice sculptures being made, and it was just nice being there before the crowd and being able to take some pictures.
food trucks were lined up along one side of the park. simply steve’s offered a sampling of their tater tot hotdish, a regional minnesotan dish, and we were hooked! a hot dinner on a bitterly cold night, yes please! some of the fare that we partook during the carnival were freshly made corn dogs, kettle corn, fried cheese curds, maple caramel taffy and mini donuts from mini donut express (they were hot and melted in our mouths! mmm).
the st paul bouncing team was also there for a short entertainment segment. it looked like fun, and one of our friends encouraged me to try, but fear got the best of me. best part was seeing the winter carnival mascot get bounced up in the air!
(maple caramel taffy being rolled in a trough of ice)
i really had a good time visiting one of the coldest cities in the US. when else would i think to go there during winter?! and i think the rest of the group had a good time as well. don’t you think sooe??
winter in the twin cities? cheeks and i bounced that question back and forth before we decided “yes, lets!”
we were lucky to have been there on a weekend when it was probably considered warm in st paul/mpls: upper 20s – lower 30s; however, that’s not warm enough from someone from ohio! but that did not stop us! we drove around st paul, and then across the mississippi to minneapolis, going the wrong way on one-way streets, missing exits and getting lost numerous times! thanks to the iphone, we found our way nonetheless and were left with funny memories.
(the science museum of minnesota)
(downtown st paul)
(legoland at the mall of america)
(the minneapolis institute of arts)
(view of downtown minneapolis from inside the museum)
we had compiled a list of places to see and eat at, but there is only so much one can do in 3 days. more on the st paul winter carnival, peanuts statues and the cathedral of st paul in the next posts. stay tuned!
in the meantime, for anyone who’s planning to visit the twin cities, here is our compiled list: twincities_guide.pdf
hope this will come in handy, and please do share with us your experiences at any of these places. happy travels!