A Case of the Unexpecteds

Trip Start Nov 10, 2009
Trip End Dec 18, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The road called so back onto I-94 I went bound for the Twin Cities and hung over from a burgeoning cold and a brutal ticked dispatched by the Wisconsin Staties just the night before.

About 20 minutes into my drive, I hit the wall.  The need food, need rest, need to figure out what comes next wall.  I pulled off into idyllic Hudson, WI. The library dominated my thoughts as the bright glow of my "Check Engine" light tampered with my senses.

But...I was hungry and noticed that I was driving down a very quaint small town main street.  I pulled over and went looking for chow.  The town just feels welcoming.  There were little antique shops, music stores, coffee shops and junk stops. I walked about a block or so and saw Bert's Coffee Cafe (I know, kind of redundant) and stopped in for some tea and lunch.

I'm looking for energy and some motivation and I meet Bert's Mom at the counter.  She tells me that they bake their own bread and that their wheat bread is spectacular.  I order the Bert's Club and a cup of Chai Tea.

I took a seat with pull led out my laptop and settle down.  Paul comes over to talk to me.  Paul is Bert's husband (Bert is a woman by the way) he does deliveries for Bert's brother and helps out by keeping the Coffee Cafe supplied with all the ingredients they need to do what they do best.  Paul is about 50 years old with a thick grey mullet and a burly mustache.  We talked about traveling.  He spent a lot of time in the far east, Australia and New Zealand.  He's an affable old fellow who moves slowly around the place.

Bert's Club is a souped up ham sandwich with a seriously tasty cut of bacon and amazingly tasty bread.  They also used Miracle Whip which I quite like.  The sandwich was divine and at $5 was an enormous bargain.  The tea was so hot it took about 20 minutes to cool to drink-ability.

After Paul move along his Mom Vera stopped by.  Vera is an artist.  She does oil paintings and back in the day she and her artist friends would pile into a van and travel to various sites to paint nature scenes.  She came from a family of 5 and said that art helped her with her loneliness.  She would get lonely and focus on her art and she found a few people who were the same as her and the art was a good reason to get out of themselves to socialize and travel.  Bert's was adorned with Vera's works.  She is very talented.  She was "Rosie the riveter" for Northwest Airlines back in WWI (I'm not sure if that is factually correct but, I can check.  Was NWA around in WWI?) and then became a teacher for 21 years.  She did it to be closer to her kids.  Vera bemoaned the fate of teachers.  They aren't paid enough, aren't given their just due and that it's a tough, tough job.  I like to talk but, in this instance I knew my place was to simply listen.  So that I did.  I invited Vera to sit with me twice but, she preferred to stand and speak from a certain height.  Every so often she'd grab my arm for emphasis. She was very sweet.

I finished my chat with Vera and cruised the web a bit before picking up my gear, paying Bert and moving down the road. 

I went to the library once more.  Kara McGovern and Eric Shaivitz reminded me of the bounty the library holds and in this instance I was there to figure out where I could go to get the CE light fixed.  At this point I'm thinking that my new shoes are equal to Greg Brady's cursed tiki carving.  If Bert's wasn't such a revelation I'd be riding that theory for a while but, alas, cursed I am not.

I find a place to stay and a place to bring my car.  I'll stay in St. Cloud, MN, striking distance to MPLS and get my car fixed at a Subaru dealership in town.  I'll even see the Brendan Benson show that night.

I ditch the library and move on down the road.  The cold is kicking into high gear and I'm growing weary.  I stop in Brooklyn Park, MN, hit the Walgreen for some cold and flu remedies, get some Chinese food and get some rest. 

No show for me.  No St. Cloud.  The next day I bring my car to a dealership in Brooklyn Park, MN.

More on that next entry.
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