…our hopes of finding civilized niceties in Rochester on a Saturday night.
It’s the second-to-last Saturday before Christmas and guess what? In “downtown” Rochester, the stores close at 5 or 6:00 p.m. And if you want pizza, you will have to walk “at least a mile,” but really, no one can tell you in which direction. They just don’t seem to KNOW…and they LIVE here.
Alternatively (and proactively), you can get your act together and time your hunger with a shuttle to the “big mall.” Not the legendary Mall of America, which is just outside Minneapolis. (And I can see now why it is so famous…shopping not being very cosmopolitan in these parts.) Just “the one on the north end of town.” Which, if the south end of town is any indication, must look like it’s in the boonies. And I say that coming from the mountains.
I must say, I feel like a total Yank in these parts. And yet, isn’t this the America many of us dream of? Mom and Pop stores and no “big box” monstrosities marring the landscape and hording all the commerce? I mean, that’s the America this country was built on. It’s what makes shopping charming, tolerable. It’s what keeps America employed and fed. And, evidently, it’s what keeps America’s bedtime right after the Lawrence Welk re-runs. Even with my Little Girl in the Big City sensibilities, I can’t help but wish Mom and Pop could manage to stay up a little later in the evening. Come on, folks, have a second cup of coffee!
Rochester is a strange place indeed. And the Kahler Grand, where we are emprison–uh, staying–is an oddity worthy of a novel. It also home to the Meatloaf Cupcake. Need I say more?