We awoke early today, around 6am, for a full day around town. We started the morning out with a run down on the waterfront. We knocked out around 5 miles of running, with a bit of walking and stair climbing up the hills to get back to downtown for some breakfast. Running along the waterfront was really nice and beautiful. The mountains in the distance are something that Minnesota can never match.
Once we got done with the run and breakfast we headed out for some more sightseeing. Our first stop of the day was at the EMP Museum. This is a contemporary pop-culture museum, and it happened to be hosting a 50 years of Star Trek exhibit that just opened up. It was somewhat similar to the Star Trek Experience that we’ve been to before, but different enough that none of it felt like a complete rehash. They had some cool artifacts from the movies, and lots of videos and signs talking about different aspects of the Star Trek phenomenon.
The museum also had an exhibit about science fiction and another one around fantasy. Both of these exhibits were filled with costumes, props and artwork from many different famous movies. They had an entire wall of science fiction guns that were taken from dozens of different movies. I also really enjoyed seeing Galaxy Quest well represented with a full statute of Saris (the big bad guy).
After sci-fi we headed into the fantasy room and got to see a bunch of artifacts from movies like Princess Bride. They also had a large amount of artwork that was done for games like Warcraft and Magic: The Gathering. Much of this artwork was truly amazing, and it was great to see it up close and personal. They also built the entire exhibit around the primary fantasy archetypes, such as Knight or Rogue or Damsel, and talked about how these various characters fit into those archetypes. Overall, a really fun exhibit. We finished off the museum with a quick jaunt through the Indie Video Game space as well as the Kurt Cobain exhibit that talked about the history of grunge music and Nirvana.
Once we finished at EMP we headed across the street to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation visitor center. This was a really amazing center that showed all of the incredible work that the foundation is doing around the world. It also encouraged you to think about new ideas to help those who are in need. The entire exhibit was incredibly well done, and I’d highly recommend seeing it if you’re ever in town.
On our walk back to the hotel we got some Pad Thai for lunch, and then I got a flight at Elysian Brewing. Overall, a bunch of solid beers, though none of them stood out to me as truly exceptional. I’m glad I got to give them a try however. Once we finished at the brewery it was time to head back to the room to rest up before our evening out.
We met with one of Lisa’s old friends for dinner, and he took us around to see a bunch of sites. We started with the flagship REI store, where I was able to pick up a new running hat, and my wife got some more nutrition for her marathon next week. After REI we headed to this nice wood-fired pizza restaurant and had a great meal, while re-connecting (in Lisa’s case) or connecting for the first time (in my case). We spent a big chunk of the evening hanging out, and being shown around the city. We didn’t even get back to our hotel room till close to 10pm. It was a really great night.
Getting to connect with people is one of the coolest part about trips like this. We even had a random guy on the bus politely enter into conversation with us when he overheard my wife and her friend talking about music conservatories. Turns out this random guy was an opera major just like Lisa. Hanging out the last two nights with people that we haven’t seen much before, or in many years, made this trip special in even more ways.
We ended up walking close to 5 miles today (apart from the run), and so tomorrow’s run will probably be pretty short. That’s OK though since later in the day we’re planning to hit some more taprooms, and sample more local flavor.