A few weeks ago, Peter checked his email and found out that one of this favorite bands from his misbegotten youth, The Suburbs, was going to be playing in their home town of Minneapolis on Valentine’s Day.
“Wanna go?” he said, and I said, “Sure. ” And since we are in Nashville, Minneapolis is only 2 hours away by plane and tickets are cheap.
I was surprised how many people I knew in Nashville had experienced Minneapolis in the wintertime themselves. And left. And, oh, how they laughed that I was going there. They were generally of the opinion that if I was careful and didn’t go out to much, I might make it back.
But early on Valentine’s Day, I pulled on my one and only pair of snow boots, which I’ve had and rarely used for 30 years. I put on two layers of sweaters, a neck gaiter, and an old woolen cap, and tucked some heavy mittens I still had from my semester in Russia in my backpack.
Peter told me of the Skyway, an above-ground route that allows Minnesotans to travel from building to building without risking frostbite.
But the Skyway was one part of Minneapolis I have yet to experience, even though at this point I seem to make it there about once in a decade or so. We were there in the summer of 1999 for the wedding of some friends we were to see later, in the fall on our road trip through the United States in 2008, and now I was to see it in the winter.
Minneapolis never fails to blow my mind, and it didn’t fail this time. I watched the great white snowdrifts below as we landed. The pilot announced the temperature outside was 2 degrees, with a wind chill factor of negative 11. Minnesotans care very much about what the wind chill factor is.
I had thought a skyway would take us to the rental car center, but we had to step outside. I expressed my fear and another traveller laughed and said, “You think this is cold?”
On the ground as we went to pick up our rental car, a large splash of coffee was frozen solid. I don’t know how long it had been there, but it almost certainly will remain until the Spring thaw, as trying to wash it away will only create more ice..
We pulled out, and right on our route to downtown Minneapolis, the Mall of America beckoned us in.
Minneaplis in 2 Days #8: Time to Go Home