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BEST DAY TRIP Minneapolis 1999 -

Time to face the truth: There are people in our fine seven- (nine-? eleven-?) county metro area who have never seen the city. Either city. Pretty amazing, given that a mere 150 years ago St. Paul was the Twin Cities metro area. So here's an invitation to all of you (and especially those who refuse to drive I-94 for fear of being shot at): Come on down. Start with St. Paul--smaller, cuter, less intimidating. A Saturday would be good, when you can start your itinerary at the farmers' market on Wall and East Fifth Street. Having worked up an appetite (and, presumably, loaded half a ton of fresh vegetables into your car), wander over to Mickey's Diner or Cossetta Italian Market and Pizzeria, both on West Seventh. Full? Now it's time to nourish the spirit: Depending on your party's average age, try the new Children's Museum (Wabasha at Seventh), the Science Museum (Wabasha at Exchange), the History Center on Kellogg, or the Minnesota Museum of American Art at Landmark Center. (With the latter, make a resolution to come back on a Sunday afternoon at 1:00 for a guided tour of the building's, and the city's, gangster past.) Sticking around? Head over to Midway Stadium for a Saints game (at four bucks a ticket, you can't go wrong); afterward wash down the hot dogs with a margarita at Boca Chica on Concord. And then, before you're fully sloshed, get back on the freeway--fast. Because if you don't watch out, this day trip will turn into a lifetime.

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