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Day 19 - St. Paul, Minnesota

We had a nice weekend in Oregon over the weekend kicking back, getting some much needed rest, and doin some fishing and horseback riding. Today, were in St. Paul, Minnesota. As soon as we entered the St. Paul, Ziggy wanted to go to the Mall of America she saw on TV.

I said, "You saw it, but it's in Minneapolis. Not St. Paul. But it's only a hop-skip-and-jump from here. Twin cities and all." Just so you know Ziggy, Minnesota was the 32nd state in the USA and it became a state on May 11, 1858. Minnesota is from a Dakota Sioux Indian word that means "cloudy water" or "sky water" and refers to local rivers.

Then she reached into her bag and put on her Minnesota hat.

In St. Paul, we drove through the city's oldest, most exclusive neighborhoods. We drove by Historic Fort Snelling and the Governor's Mansion, State Capitol building, Landmark Center and the Xcel Center. We even went to Saint Paul Cathedral before driving down Summit Avenue to see where the lumber and railroad barons who built the city once lived in their splendor Victorian mansions. See why Minneapilis is called the "City of Lakes".

But then, it was up to Minneapolis to the Mall of America. I never saw anything that big in my life.

There are different types of rides for little children, families, and adults with stomachs of steel at the Park at the Mall of America (formerly known as Knott's Camp Snoopy). The "thrill" rides tend to go very quickly, have sudden stops, and may turn you upside down. Among the traditional-type rides are a roller coaster, ferris wheel, bumper cars, and carousel. Here are pictures of many of the rides with a very basic description of what type of person may ride them.

The Mall of America is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It has 520 stores, a sever-acre amusement park, employs 12,000 people, and attracts between 35 to 42 million visits a year, more than Disney World and the Grand Canyon combined. The mall also contains an AMC theater, a premium club, and at least 3 upscale restaurants. Aside from the upscale restaurants it contains a GameWorks, Planet Hollywood, and Rainforest Cafe.

There are different types of rides for little children, families, and adults with stomachs of steel at the Park at the Mall of America (formerly known as Knott's Camp Snoopy). The "thrill" rides tend to go very quickly, have sudden stops, and may turn you upside down. Among the traditional-type rides are a roller coaster, ferris wheel, bumper cars, and carousel. Here are pictures of many of the rides with a very basic description of what type of person may ride them.

The Mall of America is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It has 520 stores, a sever-acre amusement park, employs 12,000 people, and attracts between 35 to 42 million visits a year, more than Disney World and the Grand Canyon combined. The mall also contains an AMC theater, a premium club, and at least 3 upscale restaurants. Aside from the upscale restaurants it contains a GameWorks, Planet Hollywood, and Rainforest Cafe.

We met up with Mother and Daughter subscribers, Florence and Wendy G. and they showed us around. Wendy is a webmaster also and we talk on the phone every once in awhile so she knew we were coming. As we were waiting on Ziggy to get off one of the rides, Florence mentioned to me that Minnesota was famous for their stuffed mushrooms. Wendy told me to look over at this big plant and there was Ziggy getting sick. There was the little girl helping her and I thanked her.

Rachel took her to the restroom and cleaned her up. When they came out, I asked Rachel how old she was and she replied, 12. I then told her what Ziggy and I were doing across the United States. I said, "We've been asking alot of older people what being American meant to them. I'd be interested to hear what you had to say."

She said, "Most people take the freedom they have for granted and do not even pay it any attention. Children, as well as adults are so lucky to have what they have here in America. Some other countries force young children to work long hard hours, in strenuous conditions, for very little or no pay at all. The kids go home to barely any food and sleeping in one room houses where they have to get up again the next morning to do the same thing. With everything going for us Americans, we should not take for granted what we have and are experiencing, and should hope and pray that our lives stay as good as they are now in this great country."

"Wow! That's great Rachel. And thanks. Who ever said that kids today don't have a clue should talk to you. But it's time to go eat some mushrooms so thanks again." And off Ziggy and I went to find a place and that place was Red Oak Steaks & Wine.

Last week, when we were in Nevada, we had a Stuffed Mushroom Casserole Vegas Style. Well, although there are many recipes for stuffed mushrooms, I am sure, if you like clams, you love this one. Here's the recipe.

Minnesota Stuffed Mushrooms
Serves 8 to 12 as an appetizer, and 2 if I'm coming over

8-12 Fresh Mushrooms
1 (6 oz.) Can Clams (drained and finely minced)
(save 1/4 cup of clam juice for stuffing)
1 Green Onions (chopped finely, about 1 Tbs)
1 Egg (beaten)
1/2 tsp. Minced Garlic
1/8 tsp. Garlic Salt
1/2 C. Italian Style Bread Crumbs
1 tsp. Oregano Leaves
1 Tbsp. Melted Butter (cool)
2 Tbsp. Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp. Finely Grated Romano Cheese
2 Tbsp. Finely Grated Mozzarella Cheese (for stuffing)
1/4 Cup Finely Grated Mozzarella Cheese (for garnish)
1/4 Cup Melted Butter

Wash and remove stems from mushrooms, pat dry. Save stems for another recipe. In mixing bowl place clams, onions, garlic salt, minced garlic, butter and oregano. Mix through and blend well. Add Italian bread crumbs, egg, clam juice and blend.

Stir cheeses in clam stuffing and mix well. Place clam mixture inside mushroom cavity and slightly mound clam mixture. You should be able to stuff between 8 - 12 mushrooms depending on the size of mushrooms. Place mushrooms in slightly oiled baking dish.

Pour butter over mushrooms. Cover and place in a preheated oven at 350 decrease for about 35 - 40 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle freshly grated mozzarella cheese on top and pop back in oven just so the cheese melts slightly, garnish with freshly diced parsley.

I stepped on a mushroom once,
For this I was very sad,
And if I had seen it first,
I'd would have picked it and stuffed it,
Ate it and instead be glad.

_______________________________

Believe it or not, our next desitnation is Sacramento, California. It's off to the airport we go! See ya there.

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