An Update on a Couple of Big Things

I’d just like to add an update: April reminded me that we only visited a large floating loon in this post; the largest floating loon lives in Virginia. I mean, it’s so hard keeping large floating loons straight these days. Much like Grandma having to run down all the grandchildren’s names before she gets to the right kid.

April also reminded me that we visited the world’s largest FREESTANDING hockey stick. This, of course, piqued my curiosity and almost immediately I googled “world’s largest hockey stick.”

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s largest hockey stick is 205 feet long, weighing in at 62,000 pounds! It was commissioned by the Canadian Federal Government for the 1986 Expo in Vancouver. It now resides at the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan, Vancouver Island, Canada. April suggested that the freestanding label is “perhaps how we avoid size fights with the Canadians???”

I think perhaps she’s right ūüėČ

The Epicurious Texan

A few posts ago, I mentioned¬†that April and I had penchant for searching for ‚ÄúWorld‚Äôs Biggest [insert random object here]‚ÄĚ‚Äďwell, this trip was filled with them! ¬†I mean, how else are you going to break up a long road trip?

sidenote:¬†now that I‚Äôm thinking about it, Minnesota and Australia seem to have a large¬†number of ‚ÄúWorld‚Äôs Biggest‚ÄĚ objects. ¬†And I would also like to express my personal belief that if you‚Äôve never¬†seen the World‚Äôs Biggest Prawn in Ballina, NSW Australia, your life really is never going to be completely whole. ¬†Of course, you could disagree with me, but well‚Ķ.you‚Äôd be wrong.

Anyway, back to Minnesota and this trip.  April had already marked out several stops to see big things, such as the World’s Biggest Walleye.

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However, this turned out to be a BIG FAT LIE.  It’s not the biggest.  We have actually seen one bigger (ha! that’s what she said!!)…

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Paul Bunyan and Other Big Things

A few posts ago, I mentioned¬†that April and I had penchant for searching for “World’s Biggest [insert random object here]”–well, this trip was filled with them! ¬†I mean, how else are you going to break up a long road trip?

sidenote:¬†now that I’m thinking about it, Minnesota and Australia seem to have a large¬†number of “World’s Biggest” objects. ¬†And I would also like to express my personal belief that if you’ve never¬†seen the World’s Biggest Prawn in Ballina, NSW Australia, your life really is never going to be completely whole. ¬†Of course, you could disagree with me, but well….you’d be wrong.

Anyway, back to Minnesota and this trip. ¬†April had already marked out several stops to see big things, such as the World’s Biggest Walleye.

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However, this turned out to be a BIG FAT LIE. ¬†It’s not the biggest. ¬†We have actually seen one bigger (ha! that’s what she said!!). ¬†It was on my first trip to Minnesota years ago.

see?  this one is A LOT bigger!

see? this one is A LOT bigger!

We also stopped to see the World’s Largest Hockey Stick.

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I’m not arguing this point…it’s dangerous to even talk about hockey in Minnesota unless you’ve grown up there (or Canada) and since I grew up in neither place, I respectfully abstain from commenting…except to say that is also the biggest hockey puck I’ve ever seen.

While it took a bit of a detour and it’s hard to see the scale, this is apparently the World’s Largest Loon. ¬†It didn’t appear to be anchored, but of course, it could have just been on a really long line (The World’s Longest, perhaps?).

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I’ve already shown you the large lumberjack–again, not the biggest in the world but pretty darn big–and Smokey the Bear, which was the largest Smokey I’ve seen…does a bigger one exist? ¬†I’m not entirely sure. ¬†But¬†if it does, then that’s one biiiiiiiiiiig bear. ¬†And that’s all I have to say about that.

The¬†highlight of this trip (in terms of World’s Biggest objects) was Paul Bunyan and Babe. ¬†As long as I’ve been visiting Minnesota, I’ve been trying to track this elusive legend and his blue ox¬†[click here¬†for the story!].¬† We got close on my first trip, but…something didn’t seem quite right. ¬†Perhaps it was the blatant advertising for the bowling alley that shared its parking lot with the Minnesota icons?

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Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t imagine Paul Bunyan and Babe bowling with anything so…small…

This¬†trip was totally different. ¬†As soon as we pulled up, we knew it was the real deal. ¬†Paul Bunyan and Babe. ¬†My quest at last was over–and in the process–a few more World’s Largest objects added to my collection!

I HEART ROADTRIPS! ūüôā

Chinese Non-Delivery

Remember in my earlier posts about it being the start of low season and everything closing up early?  Turns out, that affected the food industry as well.  Since our deck had not one, but two grills, we decided it might be fun to grill something for dinner.  We found a grocery store, strolled around for awhile, but nothing struck our fancy.  So we decided Chinese delivery sounded great, bought some candy and left.

Get back to B&B, find the menu, and notice that they don’t offer delivery service between October and April. ¬†Great! Fantastic! ¬†We peruse through the rest of the menus that would deliver–at least in October–but nothing sounded as good, so we opted to go back into town to pick up dinner. ¬†Besides, I needed coffee supplies anyway–because thankfully while April was reading the menu, I was exploring kitchen supplies and noticed the only coffee on hand was decaf. ¬†DECAF! ¬†DEEEEEECAAAAAAFFFFFFFF. ¬†Who does that?!?!? Plus it also allowed us to pick up blizzards at Dairy Queen–so in the end, it was quite a successful jaunt into town.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. ¬†Chinese delivery take-out: ¬†it’s 7:40pm when we call. ¬†It’ll take about 30 minutes, can we¬†be there by 8pm? ¬†Uh,¬†what? ¬†Okay [definitely not arguing with getting our food faster]. ¬†She gives me the price and the address and just happens to mention not to be late because they close at 8pm. ¬†Okay. ¬†BY 8PM [she just keeps repeating this]. ¬†Message received loud and clear. ¬†We arrive at 7:53pm because, well, we definitely wanted our food–not just because we were hungry–rather we weren’t sure if any other food options would still be open other than the 24-hour gas mart. ¬†At this point we were even panicking that DQ might be closed.

Fortunately it was still open.

With food, blizzards, and coffee supplies in our hot little hands, we returned back to the B&B for a quiet night in, playing Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit. ¬†And for those of you in my life who think I’m a LotR’s fanatic, I just want you to know that April kicked my ass!

Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I feel like I should offer you a bit of history before the tequila starts flowing.  I mean, if you’re going to be celebrating, at least know what happened.

[side note: yes, I know that I’m interrupting a birthday trip but needs must, as I would feel neglectful if I didn’t mention it.  Okay, okay and I found a hilarious shirt I wanted to share with you (two actually–the other I posted on ShezzaSpeak).]

Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day (that’s September 16th).  May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo aka El D√≠a de la Batalla de Puebla was an important victory by the Mexicans against French troops, who outnumbered the Mexicans 2:1.  It is said to be the start of the Mexican resistance to French rule in Mexico.

There’s more stuff, but I know that at this point, you’re trying to decide if you want to start with cerveza, progress to margaritas and end with tequila or just start with the inevitable?

History lesson over: go drink some tequila!

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Salud!

The Great Canadian Trek

Having made the grand loop in International Falls in record time, we then decided to just go for broke and head to Canada.  After a few failed attempts by Siri and Google Maps (of course it was their fault!), we finally found a parking spot near the bridge to cross the border on foot.

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Once on the other side, we followed the sign (there was only one…as opposed to the US side, where there was a sign every 10 feet¬†and arrows on the walkway) to the Canadian Immigration Office.

After a few glances around to make sure that we were in the right building, we walked in and presented our passports.

What is your destination in Canada?

The Yukon, we thought we’d hike there (just kidding–I learn a loooong time ago not to mess with Border Patrol or Airport Security, but that’s a story for another time).

We just came to visit Fort Frances.

And your purpose for your visit?

To…visit…Fort…Frances.

Will you be visiting relatives?

No ma’am.

Friends?

No ma’am.

So, you’re not visiting anyone?

No ma’am.

Why are you here, again?

To just to see your beautiful town.

Silence [oh shit, we we not supposed to enter Canada?].  Agent looks very befuddled.

So you’re not visiting anyone? ¬†No family? ¬†No friends?

No ma’am, I’m visiting my friend, we drove up this morning from St. Paul and just wanted to wander about the town, maybe do some shopping, you know stuff like that.

Where are you staying?

International Falls–at a B&B.

So you don’t actually know anyone here?

No ma’am.

More silence. Big sigh [handing back our passports].

Alright.  Welcome to Canada.

We hightailed it out of the building and towards the quaint little town.  We found a cute little coffee shop but decided to stop on our way back, since it quickly became very apparent that most shops were either closed or closing soon.

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We walked down what we presumed to be the main¬†street. ¬†We peeked into a lot of windows with¬†CLOSED signs and stopped into the few shops that were open–mainly out of curiosity of what kind of shop would still be open at 4:15pm on a Saturday afternoon! ¬†We made a large block, stopping for photos along the way. ¬†We looped our way back to the cute little coffee shop for a coffee/hot chocolate and perhaps a snack before heading back.

We walked up, pulled on the door, and it didn’t open. ¬†HAHAHAHAHA. Oh look, it closed at 4:30pm!

Now we understood the Immigration Agent’s confusion about why we were visiting. ¬†Actually, we realized about 5 minutes in, but this really drove the point home.

Finally admitting defeat, we waved as we passed by the Immigration office.  Less than an hour after crossing into Canada we were back home.  The US Border Patrol agent chuckled at our story and seemed amused it took us almost an hour.

Yeah, things close up pretty early across the river.

Turns out, it was pretty much the same in International Falls.  As we walked towards the car, we noticed a souvenir shop.  We first checked the hours of operation, celebrated that we still had 15 minutes to grab some kitschy gifts, only to walk up to the door and discovered that they closed early for the day.

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Good thing we have a room with a view!