Blue Earth, Minnesota
Sunday, July 18, 2010

The temperature was nicely up again today, making us want to go out for a ride.

We had a quick pedal around the cylce path around town and ended up at MacDonalds for a cooling tall iced latte. while we sat slurrping, Diane tried out the MacD wifi but was struggling to connect. Andy walked through the door with a polystyrene box and slapped it down on the table as he sat. In his Viet-American accent he explained that he had been all over town trying to catch up with us and had even been to Jasons house to ask him if he knew where we would be! He was definitely on a mission!

We opened the box and found to our surprise, a magnificent slice of strawberry cheesecake, with cream. Andy began telling us to eat it as he wandered around the place looking for a spoon. I told him that you can't bring your own food to a place like this and eat it but I think he didn't believe me. Diane as diplomatic as ever told Andy we would take it home to eat it later.

Andy told us that he was going to the chilli crop at the back of the farm office and would bring us some if we wanted them and then left. We didn't see him again.

The cheesecake only managed to get as far as the tables outside MacDonalds where we polished it off, eating it with our fingers. After gorging on the cheesecake we had a gentle ride around town. Its very 'Stepford' -esque here. Every garden and grassed verge looks like it has been cut to regulation height.

In the evening Mike and Gnoc had invited us for a Vietnamese meal, cooked by Gnoc.

The food was superb! We had a banquette of eggrolls, fried spicey rice, sticky rice (yummy), prawn crackers, sour soup with prawns, vegetables and Tilapia and a water melon cut into small chunks for dessert. There was more than enough food and some left over too.

Dinner conversation consisted of discussions on, local history, Mikes coin collection from around the world ( he is very proud of his collection..), different types of food including the fact that Andy, Gnocs brother, owns a restaraunt/Vietnamese tea house on the high street, and how Gnoc's family struggled with rationing during the Vietnamese war and after. What I also found interesting was how Vietnamese refer to the war as the American war- perceptions!

After dinner we went down into the cellar to play Pool or Billiards as Mike preferred to call it. The cellar has een re furbished beautifully and he has a sofa and tv all set up just in case there is a tornado risk! Looking at how strong his tornado shelter looks I don't hold any hope out for us surviving a direct tornado hit in the old house we are staying at.

On the way back from our night of Billiards and food dusk was just setting in and the fireflies were flickering on and off across the gardens- magical!

Tonight was a wonderful night and Mike and Gnoc are exceptional hosts and great friendly people. We will miss them when we leave. We will have to keep in touch when we get back to the UK.



 Riding around in the sunshine


 Mike advising Gnoc on her next shot

 Andy's famous Vietnamese tea room and restaurant