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Minneapolis or Bust: 100% on schedule!

Now that I have a job lined up for the summer, Minneapolis is 100% a-go! I’m also super stoked because I get to meet up again with a bunch of rad people, I get to meet Allison of Lemonade Life (her and her soon-to-be-hubby will be coming in!); I get to experience the State Fair for the first time (so excited about all the “on a stick” items that I can shake a stick at), finish shopping at Mall of America (you seriously need a full day or three days to do the entire mall, didn’t quite finish it the last time I was there) and spend a couple of hours at Albertville.

Hotel rooms in the area have already been booked because of the long weekend and the it’s the last week of the fair. I’ve asked a family member if I can stay with her, hopefully she says yes! If not, I’m sure Hotwire will find something for me. I’m renting a hatchback for this trip… I won’t be requiring a mini-van. Four days in Minneapolis… it can be done. I’ve done two days before.

Now that I know I can go on this trip, I’m already starting to plan. I know exactly what I want to do, where I want to go. When I travel, I follow a schedule. I know it’s pretty anal, but I’m so organized that I must have a schedule. It’s how I’ve always been and if I don’t create one, I feel… off. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Leave early.
It’s approximately six to eight hours from Winnipeg to Minneapolis, depending on how fast you’re going (I go the speed limit) and how many stops you make (I’ll have to stop a few times to get the blood flowing in to my legs). I plan on making lunches/snacks and bringing them with me so I’m not stopping to get something (I definitely want Starbucks to make my trip go a little smoother). I plan on leaving at 6am, this will allow me to get out of the city by 6:30, at customs by 7:30, a quick pit stop at Starbucks in Grand Forks around 8:30/9; arrive in Fargo around 10:30/11 to fuel up (I’ll burn 1/2 tank by the time I get to Fargo). I know traveling hours might not go as planned given there might be constructions, etc, but I should get in to Minneapolis around 4 (from Fargo, it’s 3 hours… that I know from a previous trip a few years ago).

Make snacks/meals and take them with you
Stopping to eat only throws you off schedule. Sure when you have kids this is difficult, but since I don’t have kids it’s possible for me.Yes, I do need a break… stopping at a rest area. There is no way my bladder could make it all the way. It’s dangerous, unhealthy and impossible. Not only do you control your spending, but you also can control what you eat. When I’m stuck in a car for longer than usual, my dietary needs have to change. I tend to eat lactose or dairy free foods. Bottom line: This is going to help me to stay on schedule… no stopping (with exception to Starbucks).

Don’t cook when I get in, go out to eat.
When you’re traveling for hours and if you’re staying with someone or at a hotel with a kitchenette, the last thing you want to do (well I want to do) is cook dinner. I plan on eating out. I’ll leave that to someone else. Still undecided about where to go, but I do have some ideas.

Shopping Day
Still undecided about if this should be the day I go to Albertville. I’m not worried about travel time to Albertville, it’s 20-30 minutes from Minneapolis. This would also be a perfect day to explore the city a bit more. Hop on the LRT and explore Nicollet Mall (Starbucks, Chipotle, Neiman Marcus and Target. FYI – Thursday’s from May-November is Farmer’s Market Day on Nicollet). Downtown is perfect for many photo ops.

State Fair
I am super-de-duper excited about visiting the State Fair. Most excited for trying out the various “on a stick” items they have (minus deep fried butter… who the hell eats that?!), riding a few rides, taking in the sights. I’ve heard such wonderful things about the fair from friends and family, that I am so excited about going! I’m not a huge ride person, but I think I might try out a few.

Jason DeRusha Cam Meet-Up
How do I explain this one? Um… So Jason DeRusha is a news reporter on WCCO news who does the nightly “Good Question” feature. For a while he would have a webcam stationed at his desk as a way to reach out to viewers, they’d log on to the chat module and we’d talk away. Last year I got to meet a few of these Jason-cammers and we had a nice dinner. This year we plan on doing the same. We definitely want to meet up at the fair and then meet up for dinner and drinks later. We’re still hashing out the details, trying to get everyone together in the same spot.

Twins Game
It’s now become tradition that while I’m on vacation in Minneapolis, seeing a Twins game is a must. I’ve been to three since 2009 and I’ve had a blast. I love baseball so for me it’s a no-brainer. The only problem is that the first home game that weekend is Labour Day (September 5) and I had planned to leave that day. Should I stay an extra day and leave on the 6th so I can take in a game? This is still up for debate?

This is a basic idea of what I plan on doing and, yes, I’ve already developed my time schedule. It’s nothing too extravagant or unattainable, just something simple that I know I can stick with.

Do you like creating a travel schedule? Do you tend to stick with it, or does it usually end up falling through the way side? What are your tips on creating and sticking to a schedule?

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