Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Double Date with Jon and Lauren

Saturday ended up being a gorgeous fall day, which is nice since we actually got to spend portions of it outside… or, at least in a bus looking outside :)

Jon and Lauren are friends of ours with whom we planned a double date for Saturday. It was a mystery date of sorts as we girls made the plans and the boys eventually learned what we were up to and got to come along ;)

We were to meet at noon for the St. Paul Gangster Tour. The gist of it is that you hop on a bus for two hours as they drive you around the various sites of Saint Paul that were well known back in the day for various gangster activity. The tour was at noon and Jon and Lauren were to meet us there. Josh and I didn’t have any plans before that, so we decided to head down an hour early and take in the tour of the Wabasha Street Caves. The caves are well known in Saint Paul and I had long wondered what they were like, so we figured $5/person was well worth it.

Surprisingly, there were probably 40+ people on the tour! I seriously thought the number would be closer to 8. It was pretty neat to see the caves and fun to learn some of its history, plus it would be a terrific venue for an event. It’s a relatively short tour and if you’re looking for something different to do on a Saturday morning, I recommend it. Plus, grab a vanilla chai at the little coffee shop nearby – yum!

Jon and Lauren met up with us at noon and we headed toward the bus. Our tour guide was dressed up as a gangster’s moll and had a great accent. She was giving all the people in line a hard time, which made it fun. Four older ladies were there dressed up in gangster wear and one had a plastic Tommy gun with sound effects. Fortunately, they weren’t too annoying.

Our tour guide’s name was Dawn but she played the role of Katy Kelly, George “Machine Gun” Kelly’s wife. She had a bustier and a replica Tommy gun and shared St. Paul’s gangster history with a good amount of jokes and sass. The bus was full and ran the gamut of ages. We felt it was a well spent $22/person. (For info. on Saint Paul's gangster history, I recommend John Dillinger Slept Here by Paul Maccabee. It's terribly interesting, especially when you learn how corrupt the St. Paul cops were back then and how they aided and abetted gangsters in just about every way they could.)

After the tour we stopped at Great Waters Brewing for a late lunch (get the meatloaf!) and then drove to Flat Earth Brewery for a tour. It is a microbrewery and, again, I thought there would be far fewer people than were actually in attendance. It is in no way set up to accommodate such a large group, so we basically had a free beer, listened to a 5 minute spiel by the owner and went on our (less crowded) way. Decent beer but I wouldn’t recommend the tour.

After that we went our separate ways and Josh and I went home for a few hours before the KISS concert at Target Center. Yes, we’re ’80s throwbacks, what can we say?! It was a fun show with lots of pyrotechnics and other special effects. Sitting next to me was a kid who was probably 11 or 12 and who was with his dad – I’m sure they were making a great memory together. Next to Josh was “Dave from LaCrosse” who seemed to really, really like Josh and even hugged him when we left. Why? The world may never know!