The Garden State soundtrack was the soundtrack of my young adulthood.
The movie and the music resonated with what my friends and I were feeling in college. It captured our coming-of-age angst, anxiety, uncertainty, and desire for something more. Whatever more was. We weren’t quite sure (and probably still aren’t). But we knew it sometimes felt like that Shins song or trying to let ourselves feel like whatever we were actually feeling, falling in love with our best friend, or screaming into an infinite abyss. Watch a clip of the movie scene here.
This Minne-RoadTrip series of posts is sponsored by Visit Owatonna, Visit Faribault and Visiting Northfields. This meal was hosted by Visit Faribault.
I’m dedicating this short post to one of the most surprising dining experiences I’ve ever had.
After enjoying peanut butter porter at F-Town Brewery, my Faribault guide Kelly took me to dinner at The Depot located a few blocks away.
The Depot restaurant is located in a historic train depot building. According to this document on the Minnesota Historic Society, the Rock Island Train Depot was built in 1902. This depot was the biggest in Rice County and the train line served to connect southern Minnesota to Chicago and St. Louis. Chef Jeff LaBeau, a well-known chef in the community, owns the restaurant. His website mentions that he taught at the culinary program at Minnesota State Community and Technical College. This is where I completed a year of culinary school before we moved to Iowa.
The Depot menu offers a variety of American comfort dishes such as burgers, walleye, flatbreads, and appetizers. They make their fried cheese curds with the popular Faribault Dairy curds that sell out each week at the Cheese Cave. Other items include the famous Amablu cheese.
Read my post about visiting the Cheese Cave here.
Where else is a flimsy paper thimble of frozen beans and rice entrée, a cracker, three fruit snacks, mini lunch meat sandwich, sip of energy drink, chocolate-covered pretzel, grape, dumpling, and a hair-skin-nails supplement gummy a meal?
This Minne-RoadTrip series of posts is sponsored by Visit Owatonna, Visit Faribault and Visiting Northfield. All of these parks are free to visit. Rental fees for bikes, skis, classes, and other equipment may apply.
I spent more time outside than I have of for a while, thanks to the Minne-RoadTrip coordinators. During my three-day/three city tour in Southern Minnesota, I visited four parks. The rain held off during the entire trip and the weather warmed. At the time the leaves were just starting to turn vibrant colors, but, by now, they should be in full bloom. Here are four places in Southern Minnesota to soak in the fall colors. Run, walk or bike the trails, it’s up to you.
Sometimes it’s nice to simply be outside.
I’m obsessed with road trips.
Both near and far, I love traveling on the ground. You feel the bumps and curves. Moving between cities allows the local AM/FM radio waves to drift from one station to the next. Between songs, the DJ’s make announcements about the current weather patterns or local homecoming festivities.
Sure, you can stick to taking bathroom and break stops at the exits immediately off the freeway, or you can take detours. More often than not, a 5-10 minute drive will lead you to the main street of a small town where you can find a coffee shop or cafe.
I’ve been trying to finish Neil Gaimon’s novel American Gods for months. One of the best parts of taking the Minne-RoadTrip was finding myself with time to read. Reading a book about an epic road trip through small towns in the Midwest while on a road trip through southern Minnesota felt right.