First stop for Team North is Cleveland so Kristy can visit the stadium where the Indians play (Official Kristy Stadium Count: 1). Who's impressed that I know which baseball team is from Cleveland? Stacey doesn't, and she's actually there. After a lame joke about Cleveland Indians versus Native American Indians and Stacey's statement that basketball players are way hotter than baseball players, we're treated to a long look inside Stacey's head; she tells us she's only met her BF Ethan once and that "coffee shop" is New Yorkese for "diner". That's funny, I thought I could speak New Yorkese. Actually, I think the language she's speaking is McGillese, a language which frightens me more and more with each passing day. Frankly, I'd rather be watching the baseball game which is exactly what Kristy wants to do. Jack (easier than Mr. Schafer) agrees, against the wishes of almost everyone else, and in they go. Fortunately for Stacey, she learns that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland and thus a side trip (that's not so side) is born.
It's 9:53 and therefore time for a rant. They just learned about the Rock Hall? Seriously? First, it's a pretty famous place. Second, way to open a guide book, guys. Did no one ever think to look up fun stuff to do/see in the places they were planning on visiting before ever leaving Stoneybrook? I mean, I'm all for discovering new things along the way but seriously! As we'll see later, it's like no one put any thought into this trip at all.< /rant>
So. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's a fun place to visit. The building itself is all glassy and modern so that's cool, I guess. The hall of fame part isn't all that extensive but worth visiting. Most of the building is really a museum with a lot of rock and roll history and rotating exhibits. When I was there, one of the exhibits was actually about music and baseball. Too bad Kristy missed that. Anyway, I thought I took pictures of the Rock Hall but I can't find any so I guess I didn't. Oh, well.
The next chapter is Claudia's, leading up to her destination in Chicago. She tells us that so far they've stopped in Cleveland and Detroit. First of all, Detroit? Really? Was that a strictly baseball stadium stop? That puts the Official Kristy Stadium count at 2. Plus, Chicago is pretty much directly west of Cleveland. Detroit is west of Cleveland but also quite a bit north. As in, definitely not on the way. How obnoxious of Kristy.
Meanwhile back in the RV, we learn that Dawn eats wormy apples, Kristy washes her hair with soap, and Mary Anne likes to knit. Except we already knew that last part. We also learn that Stacey is a bitch (only we already knew that too). She yells at Claudia for reading her journal even though Claudia was just looking for a sketchbook. By the way, their fight continues all the way to Washington... The other really annoying person in the RV is Jack who makes jokes/mean comments about Mary Anne's father. Okay, I know Mary Anne's father is married to Jack's ex-wife but you don't do that to a thirteen year-old. Seriously.
So, the next stop is Chicago. There is a stadium stop (Official Count: 3, presumably ignoring the fact that Chicago has two baseball teams) though that actually comes after the visit to the Art Institute. Claudia especially wants to see the Impressionists (as does Mary Anne) which, sure, whatever.
I, too, have been to the Art Institute of Chicago but that was a long time ago. Sorry, no great insights there. Um, it was nice. So, yeah, back to the BSCers. Before leaving Chicago, they ate at Pizzeria Uno. Why, I ate there just last week!
Oh, they ate at the original one. Humph. I guess they also went to Water Tower Place while in Chicago. Apparently mall visits on cross country trips are all the rage, who'da thunk it. I'm pretty sure this mall stuff is mostly a set-up for Mary Anne's storyline so I'll just pretend they aren't idiots for going to malls, which, for the most part are generally fairly similar to each other.
Okay. Everyone on the trip got to pick one place to visit. One. At this point (maybe halfway across the country?) Kristy has visited FIVE places. THREE of them were out of the way! After Chicago, the next destination should've been Mary Anne's grandmother's house in Maynard, Iowa. Now, I don't know if the real Maynard, Iowa (which does exist) is the same as the one in the book. If so, Maynard looks pretty much west of Milwaukee which isn't so bad. Of course, that's assuming the roads go that way, too (I'm almost positive the Interstates don't) but it still seems like a pain. What the hell, Kristy? Why are you so damn special? Okay, I get that she wants to go to the field where the Brewers play, her stepfamily's name being Brewer and all. But honestly, the whole thing is pretty ridiculous. And Minneapolis is definitely out of the way. Not to mention, there are still more ballparks to come. Sometimes I just hate you, Kristy. < /rant>
All of this driving way the hell out of the way (and all of these visits to malls which Mary Anne can't stand) mean they'll be late getting to Iowa. When Mary Anne calls her grandmother, Granny Baker (not what Mary Anne calls her but I like it) insists on meeting them in Minnesota. Because Iowa is OUT OF THE WAY and because Midwesterners like to drive. Where do they meet? At Granny Baker's suggestion, they all go to the Mall of America! Just what Mary Anne wants!
While I do think it's pretty silly to visit malls all over the country, I would make an exception (hell, I have made an exception, though it wasn't my idea) for the Mall of America. Why? Because it's like the mall to end all malls. Yes, there's an amusement park inside, yes, there is a roller coaster, and yes, the mall is huge. Because I can't find any pictures of the MoA (can you imagine taking pictures of a mall?) I'll offer you a video instead. Yes, I know this takes place in Canada but if you get the context, you'll know that someone wanted to get married at the Mall of America. So I say it fits.
So Team North skips Iowa. I will therefore skip Iowa as well; my poor loyal reader
(Quick note: some pictures may be backwards. I haven't quite figured out my scanner yet...)
Next up for the BSC is South Dakota. I'll have to depart from the BSC narrative again for a few minutes in order to talk about how great South Dakota is. Dawn (the current narrator) tells us that, when she thinks of South Dakota, she thinks of nothing. The implication is quite obviously that South Dakota sucks. Which it most certainly does not. Now, I'm generally a city person (not so much in South Dakota) but I think I can appreciate some nature-y stuff now and then and that is something SD has in abundance. The state has the Black Hills, Custer State Park, cool caves, mountains with presidents and Native American chiefs carved into them, and the Badlands!
(Don't worry, I'll use this same exact picture in the next BSC post.)