Chicago You're Next!

If you guys thought I was proud of myself when I conquered driving in downtown Madison, you should see me now. I made it safely there and back again to visit my friends, the Brownes, up in Minneapolis. I'm positively obnoxious with power!!! Look out Chicago, you are next in line to be my b**ch!

The ride up was interesting. Ben and I saw bald eagles in Sauk City, scores of deer in the fields along the highway, awesome sandstone structures and every rest area between here and there. The girl and the dog, they need lottsa pee-breaks doncha know. One of us drank A. LOT. of diet Coke on the way! Some of the waysides had cool features like this ode to the Passenger Pigeon...

And a cool sculpture homage to Wisconsin's Law Enforcement...
The five hour highway driving was a cinch! I only got lost when I was about 3 blocks from the Browne's house. They live in a lovely neighborhood. I investigated it thoroughly...for quite some time.

But I made it. Here's proof. This here's the Brownes; Aaron, Terri and Sweet Willie B. Although I gave Will strict instructions in late September not to grow or do anything cute or new until I saw him again, he clearly realizes I have no authority over him. Last time I saw him he was kind of a paperweight. Don't get me wrong, he was an ADORABLE paperweight, but he clearly hadn't developed the MAD SKILZ he has now! WALKING while only holding your fingers, TALKING (well, making motorboat and other assorted sounds. It's not his fault that I never took BSL -baby as a second language. I'm convinced he's communicating fully, I just have a wee comprehension problem...) EATING-fruit and Cheerios (a.k.a. 'baby crack'. You should see him light up when he gets a hold of one of those oaten loops!) All in all he is the most adorable, smartest, advanced, amazing baby ever. And that's a clearly unbiased review from his honorary Aunt Min!

We had lunch and caught up a little and then they took me to the Minnesota zoo. What an amazing place! It's the second largest zoo in the country. Only the San Diego one is bigger. I've been to both and like this one best! We did the inside exhibits where it was warm; the dolphin tank; the shark tank; the birds etc. They had a great variety. We saw:

A Lotter Otters

And one of my favs, a cuddly Binterong. (Biggify this one. He's precious!)

Speaking of precious...look at this guy! (Aunt Min and Sweet Willie on the monorail touring the outdoor exhibits. Dig the tundra gear. Was I tricked out for the Minnesota experience or what!

Afterward we went home and had supper. Terri made a killer beef and lentil crock pot soup that if I can recreate even half as well, I'll post on my kitchen site later on. We visited through the evening and turned in early. I got custody of the two 80# fur beasts, Bentley and his buddy, golden retriever, Brinkley. We three had a sleepover in the family room down stairs. When I say 'sleep over'... they were 'asleep'. I keep getting pushed further 'over' to the edge of the bed. I think I have a new 'bed hog' exhibit idea for the Minnesota zoo!

This morning we went out for breakfast at a little place in their neighborhood that had wonderful food and a colorful waiter who just cracked me up. The funniest thing was watching Sweet Willie suck up pancake bits. Holy Cow! It's a good think he doesn't have a lot of teeth yet or one could loose a finger. I'm thinking of changing his nickname from 'Sweet Willie' to 'Hoover'. The boy does love his food

All too soon, it was time to go and Ben and I hit the open road for the trip back. True to our trip there, we thoroughly investigated the Browne's immediate neighborhood trying to find our highway. We could see it on several occasions, just 'couldn't get there from here'. But finally we were back on track!

[I want to put a THANK YOU here to the Brownes for the road kill rabbit you gave Bentley. He loves it! . He squeaked it all the way to the WI border and then he snuggled it and went to sleep all the way back to Mad-Town. Not one pee break! When we got home, he carried it in the house himself and is now curled up on the sofa with it. You're his favorite Aunt Terri and Uncle Aaron for sure now! Good call!

True to the way that my freaky life goes, this was my view most of the way back to Madison. For those of you who don't recognize it right away, that's the ass end of the Oscar Meyer Wiener mobile.

We kept passing each other. I felt like one of the Sausage race contestants at Miller Park. At one point I over took him (this is a closeup out the passenger window. I was hoping to get the kid who was driving and waving as I passed but I missed him.)

I'd pass them and then they'd KETCHUP! But finally, they couldn't cut the MUSTARD and I was the clear WIENER! An honor I RELISH than you very much!

And on that note I bid you Bon Nuit. My tired muttley and I are going to hit the hay! What a wonderful weekend! Sweet dreams all!


Mel said…
The binturong must be a new addition since I last visited the MN Zoo. I don't think I've been there since I graduated vet school in '94, though, so I imagine a good bit has changed. I'm really overdue for a visit to the Twin Cities.
MadCityMike said…
Very nice portrait of Auntie and Willie. Are you sure "Auntie" is only honorary? I see similar eyes.......hmmmmm....or is that just the look of "devilment"? ;)
YarnThrower said…
This entire post wreaks of "Awe...." So cute, and cracked up when I saw the back side of the weiner mobile. My kids would have been so excited...
Kitty Mommy said…
Boy has that lil dude gotten growed-up. What a cutie! I thought the weinermobile was Mrs. SABLE's territory though! ;o)
Elizabeth said…
I'm glad you had a great trip, and I'm amused that I seem to have pawned off the Oscar Meyer Stalker Wiener onto you! Enjoy it.

Also, I am well-familiar with the Law Enforcement Memorial Rest Stop. I've peed there many times.
kmkat said…
I too have read that passenger pigeon plaque.
Lisa/knitnzu said…
OMG, the weiner race!! You know, you'll see different things when you get lost in Chicago...
Terri Browne said…
Thanks again for the visit, we had a great time. I'm glad Ben slept the whole way home for you! Brinkley was pretty pooped out too.
Cindy G said…
Wow! I've never seen the Weinermobile from the ass end before.

Sounds like a wonderful trip - too much to comment on everything, but I think otters may be even cuter than kittens.
Anonymous said…
I would love the lentil and beef receipe once you have it posted. Of course I will need the link.

Thanks Chick :-)

William is looking fabulous and so are you. I could go for a hot dog. Why is that?
DPUTiger said…
I had a friend in college whose first "real job" was driving the Weinermobile. He was SO EXCITED the day he got that job that he forgot to go take pictures of the baseball game he'd promised to shoot for me (I was photo editor of the school paper and couldn't go to the game myself b/c I had class).

I always think of Brian whenever I see the Weinermobile.

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