Arrived in a warm Minneapolis, wandered though the city and found the hostel without any real issue. I was initially impressed by the main street as I walked down, spotted an arcade (more on that later) and quite a few interesting stops.
Chicago had such a fantastic transport system I was concerned I would be spoiled and struggle in other cities, alas here things are though not quite as extensive, it’s easy enough and once again dirt cheap ($1.50 for a ticket that covers bus and train for two and a half hours).
I found the hostel easy enough, with help from a few nice locals and checked in. This hostel is basically an old big town house, with various rooms and proper beds! No bunk bed for me to fall out of here (did my right foot an injury with a mistimed jump at the Chicago NI).
Yesterday I popped to the local shop, picked up some long overdue Fruit Loops for breakie (e-colour tastic!) and went back to plan the day. The heavens opened, just like sunny Glasgow it was pissing down – there goes navigating the streets. A plan was quickly made to visit Mall of America as it’s a short train journey away.
I’ve been to America quite a few times, shopping has always been on the cards – things are so cheap and compared to the UK high-street, their style is right up my street; never stuck for a surf/board shop to fill my credit card with.
The malls in Orlando and Miami never ceased to amaze with their sheer size (the Orlando Mall has a Van’s shop with a full skate park in the back…) so I wasn’t expecting to be overwhelmed by MOA, I wasn’t.
First impressions were a bigger version of Newcastle’s Metro Centre, due to it having a theme park right in the middle. Though it looked a bit better than the Metro Center’s, with a new Nickelodeon theme – it was just layer and layer of shops. I made a few purchases (couldn’t not) and had a good time. The Nascar Silicon Speedway caught my attention, almost full scale cars connected to three screens, a race was to be had. I sucked, got up to 9th position then spun out on the last lap, leaving no time to recover, it was damn fun though.
Finished the night at the hostel with the guests, cooked some food and watched Big on their 80’s movies channel, superb movie.
Today it was cold, snowing in the morning. I had a well needed sleep in and then did some Laundry before heading to the down town area to find out more about this arcade I saw yesterday. I got off the bus and thought I knew where I was going, American streets are all based on a block system and are therefore normally easy enough to navigate but…. in Minneapolis all the buildings have a first floor sky walk system which links each one across the road. I used these for a while, heading in what I though was the right direction. After 40 minutes I came out of a building to exactly the same point I started, good job Columbus.
After wandering the cold streets for another 10 or so minutes, I found what I was after. Gameworks, it reminded me of the fantastic and missed Pacman Cafe in Orlando. A similar setup for Gameworks, buy a card, load it with credit and go swiping though as many games as you can. For $24 I managed about three hours of solid gaming, it was truly superb – even stopped for a pint half way though as they have a bar right in the in the middle.
They had a good mix of new games, older games, pinball and even some retro classics, a shot on Pacman should never be missed if you ask me.
Back to the hostel this evening, going to hit the kitchen for the second night – nice big kitchen, so I decided a few nights cooking wouldn’t do any harm… that and a few beers from the local…
Tomorrow, Los Angeles… bring on the warm weather!