CODI 2005 – Homeward Bound!

Sadly the two “spare days” after the end of CODI 2005 have flown by and tomorrow morning we’re setting off back to the UK. By the way, just in case anyone wants to know what “the sun going down on CODI 2005” looked like, here it is/was:
sun set on Wednesday evening
We spent most of yesterday in St Paul (the sibling to Minneapolis in the title “The Twin Cities”). As some of the Horizon mailing list regulars will know, we were keen to visit the Catbus exhibit at the Minnesota Children’s Museum – and just to prove we did, here’s Bryony in the front seat:
driving the Catbus
…and here’s Totoro himself:
…and there’s more pictures here!
For lunch, we walked about a mile out of St Paul to Red’s Pizza Savoy. After the cosmopolitan Minneapolis, Red’s felt like a taste of true Americana.
We even made it back in time to go and give the Loring Park squirrel’s their tea:

CODI 2005

Sunday afternoon
Well, it turned out that half of Minneapolis got to Hell’s Kitchen ahead of us, and the wait for a table was 90 minutes. Instead, we finished up at Caribou Coffee (next door to Brit’s Pub) for breakfast.
We wanted to get something to feed the Loring Park squirrels with, but all we could find at Target was a catering sized pack of “Squirrel & Critter food” …so, we ended up buying that!
Within minutes of arriving at Loring Park, we were surrounded by dozens of hungry squirrels – a few are even tame enough to eat straight from your hand:

CODI 2005

Sunday morning
The start of our 2nd full day in Minneapolis and the last of the jetlag has finally gone. Outside it’s grim and murky – ideal for making the English abroad feel just like they’re back home 🙂

…at least the weather here is still better than what we left behind in the UK:

Yesterday morning we wandered off to try and find somewhere for breakfast but, after strolling up and down Nicollet Mall and Marquette Ave South, the best we could find was a small Starbucks. So today, we’ve done a bit of research and decided the nearby Hell’s Kitchen looks like a good place to go!
We were surprised how few people there where walking around the streets at 9am on a Saturday morning. It wasn’t until we were heading back to the hotel that we realised that they’ve got more sense than to wander around on a chilly morning – they’re all using the Skyway system. I can’t think of a single city in the UK that has one of these.
After freshening up, we walked up to Nicollet and jumped on the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit and went to the Mall of America ($1.50 each way). My jetlag caught up with me, and the huge 50ft Snoopy in the center of the Mall started looking really surreal – I half expected it to come alive and start a rampage 😀
Bryony was well chuffed with the Hello Kitty store, although the promised appearance of the eponymous feline at 12pm failed to materialise. Given my hazy jetlagged state, that was probably a good thing!
In the afternoon I headed off to the Summit meeting, whilst Bryony went to Loring Park, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and the Walker Art Center.