Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Real Chicago

Burger and Bone - you guys are really slipping, it's going to be tough figuring out who gets this beef jerky...

We left Minnesota tired and hungover as usual, driving about 7 hours to get to Chicago. We can tell that we're getting closer to home because when we rolled into Chicago, it took us about 30 minutes to go through 4 miles of traffic. We got to the Cubs game by the third inning and Jimmy’s Yankee shirt was already starting trouble. Some girl in line yelled at him for wearing it and not surprisingly she happened to be from New Jersey. The stadium was pretty much filled to capacity, but the only issue was that the crowd had nearly more Philly fans than Cubs fans… Philly fans will find a way to ruin anything. We got seated in front of some diehard Indians fans on vacation, it was really interesting to see how optimistic fan bases of shitty teams can be. The way they were talking, you’d think they’d won the World Series already. Naturally, the Cubs had a 2-0 lead until the 8th inning and then blew the game, sending the Philly fans into their usual asshole selves for the rest of the evening so we knew we needed to get out of the area fast.

Jimmy had another buddy from his online gaming adventures, so we met up with his friend Danny in Posen, IL which is pretty much like the Newark of the Chicago area. We went to a local Irish pub for a few beers to shoot the shit until they turned the lights on and we had to call it a night. Chicago will need to be explored further on Roadtrip 2.0 this winter because one Tuesday night was hardly enough time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


We got to Chicago and let me tell you, it was AHHH-Mazing. On the way there, we drove through these adorable little farms in Wisconsin that put us in a good mood from the start. The skyline of Chicago was breathtaking as we pulled up to this wonderful city. First, we took a stroll through the Northside to take in some of the sights, most notably the Sears tower - WOW that thing is tall! Then we popped into a museum to get a feel for the local flavor and it didn’t disappoint, the murals they had on display were outstanding!

After the museum, we walked down the quaint paths of Grant Park and spent some time in the botanical gardens which are unlike any gardens I’ve ever seen. Jimmy’s favorite flower was the ‘wild tiger lilac’ but I was more a fan of the ‘hybrid lavender tulips’… We’re going to need a tiebreaker on this one! Tired from our park excursion, we decided to get tickets for a small boat trip on Lake Michigan for an evening dinner to watch the sunset. The violin player they had on board sounded a little flat, but the view was so beautiful you could hardly notice. We finished the night with a few glasses of red wine at a local Asian fusion restaurant and called it a night. Although we were sad to leave Chicago, we had to keep it moving back east, but we will always keep the memories close to our hearts. (Pics coming soon!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Minnesota Don’t Ya Know

So after a long 12 hour drive we pulled up to Franco’s house around 2 am. His girlfriend Barb let us in since Franco was still at work. We got to meet our first Minnesotian and right away we noticed the awesome accent. Barb told us she was nervous we’d show up and be like the guys from the Jersey Shore (This was probably only our 3rd Jersey Shore reference all trip). Anyway Franco eventually showed up and since it was late and we drove for many hours, we called it an early night. I got some sleep and Dennis went to town on the blog I think he was up till like 5 am.

So our first official day in Minnesota we decided the first place we were gonna go was to the Twins game. The new stadium was awesome and it’s the first time Minnesota fans can actually enjoy an outdoor baseball game. If you are ever in the area I’d say go check out a Twins game it’s an awesome stadium and it’s a good time.

After the game we headed down town and hit up one of the newer bars in the area called the Cafeteria. We took an elevator up to the roof and hung out there for a bit. It was at the Cafeteria that Franco introduced us to one of his favorite shots the “Water Moccasin” (Crown Royal, Peach Schanpps, Pineapple). So after a round of drinks we made our way to the bar Franco currently works at - Stella’s Fish CafĂ©. It was an awesome bar we went up to the patio on the roof and chilled out until they forced everyone downstairs to one of the many bars downstairs. The “Water Moccasin” shots kept coming and we kept drinking em because Jersey can party with the best of em. We were in rare form but we were still standing. We helped clean up and close up the bar and it was back to Franco’s house for some pizza and cookies. Of course we had a sober driver take us home because safety is always number one. Our sober driver was actually driving stick for the first time and he nailed it. Either I’m a shitty driver or Dennis is a shitty teacher, you decide.

So as the first night came to a close we realized that we had agreed to go white water rafting in Duluth which was a few hours away from Franco’s house. After a night on the town white water rafting is not something you want to be doing with a hangover. Anyway we woke up to Franco blasting “Forever Young” by Jay Z and got ready for white water rafting. White water rafting was pretty cool but the rapids weren’t as tough as we thought it might be. It ended up being a lot of rowing with tiny bits of action mixed in. We might have been some of the shittiest rafters and couldn’t manage to park the boat properly at any of the stops down the river. We also managed to be the last boat to make it to the shore. Some the tour guides were a little goofy and one of em told us we had “Total H2O Dominance” down the river (whatever that means).

After rafting we decided to drive a few more hours to Nick’s lake houses up in Northern Minnesota (Franco’s roommate who would fit in perfectly down the Jersey shore). The party continued as you saw in the video blog with Dennis and the other Minnesotians who were cooking in the backyard. We had some food and drinks and hung out by the fire, it was a pretty chill night. We woke up the next morning and grabbed breakfast at some dinner in the middle of nowhere and we did some antique shopping since it was right next door to the diner. We eventually made it back to the house and just chilled out by the community pool and BBQ’d some burgers and brats. Then we rested up and got ready to continue our cross country casino tour at Mystic Casino.

We left Barb back at the house and the fellas went out for some gambling. Mystic Casino has alcohol throughout the entire place and all they have is black jack for table games. It has to be the most black jack ever in a casino. We played some black jack and got beat up and ended up donating some money. Franco played a few hands of black jack as well but he was smart he stopped after he was up 10 bucks.

After the casino Franco took us to Rick's Cabaret in downtown Minnesota. It was amateur night so some of the local girls danced on stage. They had four contestants and the top 3 would be awarded prize money. We stayed for the amateur contest and left shortly after. All and all in a was good chill night.

We hit the road and head for Chicago probably one of our last stops before we come back to Jersey.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Minnesota - in pics/video

Here are some pics and video from Minnesota with recap from Jimmy coming tomorrow...

3 Jersey boys drinking manly shots

Whitewater rafting on St. Louis River

Cabin Backyard on one of the 10,000 lakes

Middle of Nowhere, Northwest Minnesota

One water moccasin too many...

Real World - Brainerd, MN