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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ah, what a splendid Monday. I had the day off from work. The last day of a long, 5-day weekend. Man, wouldn't it be great to have a 5-day weekend every week?

Just after 10:00am, I slipped down into Via and hit the starter button. A clean windshield, a full tank of gas, top down, and a nice selection of good music on the USB chip. A little jazz, a little blues, some bluegrass, and a sprinkling of rockabilly. The sky was mainly clear with just some puffy summertime clouds to take the edge off the sunshine. Ah, perfect.

I bee-lined it out of town as quick as I could. I decided to drive down the Mississippi River from the Twin Cities to Pepin, Wisconsin, to enjoy covered patio lunch at the Garden Pub, a bit over 80 miles from home. The first, and last, 30 or so miles of this drive is always the worst- big city interstates, road construction... blah. Crossing into Wisconsin means the hustle and bustle are gone, and on a weekday WI Hwy 35 is typically quiet, no weekend pleasure drivers to contend with, so long stretches of the highway are pretty much mine to enjoy. As I've shared before, the roads in this area are made for driving/motorcycling, and the Spider handled it all beautifully.

(Via, enjoying the wiggles and squiggles of WI Hwy 35, along the Mississippi River.)


The Garden Pub is a nice place to enjoy a summertime meal. They only have outdoor seating, combining this with the setting of the tiny town they are in, means this is a seasonal operation. Fortunately I arrived just ahead of the lunch crowd so my food arrived quickly, a pepperoni and sausage pizza.



Afterward, I didn't want to spoil the pleasant trip with rush hour traffic back home, so instead of continuing my rural meander I just headed back to the north to get into town before the traffic started to get crazy. Besides, the temperature was climbing high and I'd rather cut the trip short than extend it by putting the roof up and turning the AC on. A roof and air conditioning just make a roadster into a road cage. Where is the fun in that?

Steve.

(Via, posing along the shores of the Mississippi River near Pepin, WI.)
 

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A roof and air conditioning just make a roadster into a road cage. Where is the fun in that?
Nice drive! Totally agree with you. I gave a lift to a lady I work with today, she said "you'll have to put the top up so I don't mess up my hair" WTF???? Do you want a ride in a shiny new convertible or not??
 

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A long way for a pizza..! But what a nice drive.

And to a Scot, the idea of putting the roof UP when it gets warm is quite a novelty. With a jacket and scarf, it's just about warm enough to have the roof DOWN in midsummer...

Pic below taken in Glencoe at the weekend - saw the rainbow in the rear-view mirror and jammed on the brakes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A long way for a pizza..! But what a nice drive.

And to a Scot, the idea of putting the roof UP when it gets warm is quite a novelty. With a jacket and scarf, it's just about warm enough to have the roof DOWN in midsummer...

Pic below taken in Glencoe at the weekend - saw the rainbow in the rear-view mirror and jammed on the brakes!
Oh, what a wonderful place to drive a Spider, Scotland. We rented/hired a small sedan in your fine country a few years ago. Edinburgh to Fort William to Inverness, and back to Edinburgh. Except for the steering wheel and the driving lane being in the wrong locations, it was a great time in a beautiful setting.

Covering about half the area of your country was about the same as covering half the area of my home state of Minnesota here in the US of A. I preferred your scenery much more. Yesterday's cruise is about as close as it gets to the Scottish countryside.

Steve.
 

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I must agree and disagree, I agree the top must be down, but the air conditioner also needs to be on. I understand he is on the other side of the Mississippi, but he is also on the other end..... it is just too hot here to consider driving around without the ac blowing on you. also, you will probably still be a little sweaty when you get home....
 

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A long way for a pizza..! But what a nice drive.

And to a Scot, the idea of putting the roof UP when it gets warm is quite a novelty. With a jacket and scarf, it's just about warm enough to have the roof DOWN in midsummer...

Pic below taken in Glencoe at the weekend - saw the rainbow in the rear-view mirror and jammed on the brakes!
As an expat Scot living in the mountain West of the USA, it's amazing how much your expectation of reasonable distances gets reset living out here. I still remember arguing with my then soon-to-be mother in law that moving her daughter from Motherwell to the West End of Glasgow didn't mean they were only going to see each other twice a year. A couple of weeks ago, we decided it'd be easier just to drive the thousand miles or so to Lake Tahoe for our vacation. And until we had kids, a seven hour drive each way for a day's skiing seemed perfectly reasonable.
 

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Looks like a great day! We do quite a lot of 100mile lunches. Why not?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's not a bad place to be... and the roads are great for the Spider. Until you round a bend into a flock of sheep...
You are giving me reasons to return!

Great photos!

Steve.
 

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Steve, I enjoyed your reading about your 165 mile pizza adventure and I liked seeing the pictures. That sort of little adventure can be really fun in these cars.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Greg. Yes, a great lunch-getter vehicle, for sure.

AJJ- I think I'd stick to 4 wheels. My wife was constantly having to, uh, remind me which side if the road I should be on, in particular at turns. But boy, would I never tire of driving your countryside. Enjoy!

Steve.
 

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See below - coming back today from a MTB ride with my bike on the back... 20 miles, great roads, no cars.

Stevet - was in Minneapolis a couple of times in the last year or two, visiting its biggest employer... I really liked it!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
See below - coming back today from a MTB ride with my bike on the back... 20 miles, great roads, no cars.

Stevet - was in Minneapolis a couple of times in the last year or two, visiting its biggest employer... I really liked it!!
Another tasty road!

Minneapolis' biggest employer- health insurace, food processing, retail operations, or the University of Minnesota?
 

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Interesting - having been told they were at least one of the biggest employers, your note made me look this particular medical equipment company up... and they are #48!!

At least you got a pizza for your drive: I just got to the end of a 50 mile drive last week, and IMMEDIATELY had to turn round and go back to work. 100 mile round trip for nothing... but at least there was the pleasure of driving the Spider fast for a legitimate reason!
 

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