Roadtrip: Part 1

Ask the Readers takes a break for a couple of weeks while I’m on my trip. Instead, I’ll regale you with tales from the road.

I loaded the girls into the car bright and early on Thursday morning. We spent an evening in Ankeny Iowa before moving on to the Twin Cities.


Adventures in the Land of Uff Da 

I’m looking Iowa, and feeling Minnesota*:

Question that people frequently ask me: Are you a farmer?
Me: No, but I play one on TV.

I don’t stay at the Bedbug Inn. However, I really hate staying at luxury hotels where there is a charge for everything. A hotel must have free Wifi and breakfast:



Pancake Miracles

And what wonderful times we live in: I had never seen this device before, but the Pancake Machine was a little miracle:

My enthusiasm for this device knows no bounds.

Press Here and 1 minute later, juicy pancakes shoot out of the machine.

I always loved the waffle makers at the breakfast bars, but the Pancake Machine raises the bar. Waffle makers can devolve into chaos if a hotel guest doesn’t spray the anti-stick stuff on the machine. Some smart engineer noticed these issues and invented the Pancake Machine. The company that makes this device is going to make a lot of money.

I salute you Pancake Machine Engineer! Miracles never cease.

What kind of sorcery is this?

But I digress…

On the first evening in the Twin Cities, we went to a place on the Mississippi River for pizza:

Moai on the Mississippi.

I spotted this guy making a nest in the eyes of one of the Moai. He wasn’t thrilled that I was taking his picture, but agreed not to sting me if I showed him the pancake machine.

On Saturday morning, we went to the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market. And there was a dinosaur (but no pancakes or pancake machines):


I love the Midwest. My current home-state of Colorado is nice, but I grew up outside of Chicago and the Rocky Mountain State isn’t quite the same. Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota feel like home.

The wonderful thing about financial independence is that you can be wherever the hell you want to be. When I have a longing to be home, I can just fire up the car and return to the Land of Beer and Cheese (Wisconsin), nice people (Iowa and Minnesota) or corruption (Chicago).

Life is good.


Part 2

This week, I visit the Physician on Fire before heading across the UP to stay near Mackinac Island.

  • Will the Physician on Fire try to give me another prostate exam?
  • Will I successfully pull off the Pancake Machine heist or will I be apprehended?

Tune in next week for answers to these probing questions and more!



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31 Responses to Roadtrip: Part 1

  1. Team CF says:

    That pancake machine is brilliant! The pancakes even look good. The marvels of modern technology 🙂
    Have fun and good luck with planning the heist!
    Team CF recently posted…Real Estate Report – May 2017My Profile

  2. Oh man I’m super intrigued by the pancake machine. I need one like now.

    I went online and found that they call it the “Quick Cakes Machine” but I prefer the pancake machine like you

    I then tried to see it in action on Youtube and have to admit I probably looped this 10x and each time was more thrilling than the next.

    Plus the music for the video is awesome.
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…The Power of Self-TalkMy Profile

    • wendy says:

      And did you see the second longer video about how to load the mix!? Don’t forget to burp the bag!!!

    • The machine is brilliant! And the maker of these things must be killing it; once you buy the machine, you buy the mix from them too.

  3. Have fun on your trip! Remember to visit the Surly brewery in MN!
    Linda@Frugal Turtle recently posted…Essential Camping Gear for That Amazing Camping TripMy Profile

  4. Kate says:

    I’m glad Minnesota is treating you well! People give us a hard time about the winters but the quality of life here is actually really good.

    Enjoy the rest of your road trip!

    P.S. love the Soundgarden reference 🙂

  5. Whoa, that patio on the Mississippi looks great. Sounds like a great trip so far. Hopefully you pull off the pancake machine heist 🙂
    Owen @ PlanEasy recently posted…First-Time Home Buyer? Boost Your Down Payment!My Profile

  6. Mrs. Groovy says:

    Love the pancake machine but I must make sure Mr, Groovy doesn’t see it!

    Nice to see you having so much fun (except for the prostate exam).
    Mrs. Groovy recently posted…Mr. Groovy Talks Some More Trash and Fritz Takes Control of Joe’s Mom’s BasementMy Profile

  7. In all my travels I can’t say I’ve seen a pancake machine either. Was this a chain or a mom and pop hotel. Inquiring minds want to check out the machine.

  8. Mackinac Island is cool for sure. But I’m sure the kids will LOVE the smell of horse poo on the island.
    Fervent Finance recently posted…To Buy or Not to BuyMy Profile

  9. ESI Money says:

    Say hi to the Midwest for me. I’ve lived in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Missouri, so it’s home to me too.

    But I do like Colorado better. 😉

    Bring us home a pancake machine!!!!
    ESI Money recently posted…Stop Making Money ExcusesMy Profile

  10. Wade says:

    Outshined…great song.

    So sad about Chris Cornell. Not sure why his death has brought out the nostalgia.

    Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Temple Of The Dog..this was just after I graduated from high school. Those CDs and song were the start of independence and college.

    I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos of Chris, Eddie and their early work.

    I am from West Central MN (live in Fargo now). Our typical “crappy” weather will great you. Sorry about that. It doesn’t get nice until June 15th. Then 6 days later, the days start getting shorter. Oops.

    Have fun on the trip despite the weather

    • Yeah, Outshined is a great tune; easily my favorite from Soundgarden.

      I like the clouds here in Minnesota! It’s a nice change from the perpetual sunshine in Colorado…

  11. Duuuude, that pancake machine is kickass!! I’ve never seen one of those before, but that’s a brilliant idea. I hate the old/cold pancakes at hotel breakfast bars that are probably cooked the night before. Yuck. But this is neat! 🙂 Sounds like you had a great trip; enjoy that early retirement!
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What’s For Dinner? May 26My Profile

  12. Brian says:

    I make pancakes for the kids every weekend. I may need to invest in one of those machines. 🙂

    Save travels. Looks like a great time so far. Watch out for POF and his latex gloves!
    Brian recently posted…Eliminating Debt to Make Your Investments Really Pay OffMy Profile

  13. Seems like you are having fun, that’s great. And this pancake machine is a badass.

    My wife makes great pancakes, one day we will invite to for pancakes breakfast.

  14. Amber tree says:

    Great fun, except maybe the prostate exam…!

    Enjoy your roadtrip and show us more marvels of technonlogy

  15. Mr. Tako says:

    Haha, funny road trip post! That pancake machine looks cool!

    We just got back from a road trip. I’ll have to do a writeup about it too!
    Mr. Tako recently posted…Profitability Doesn’t Matter?My Profile

  16. Jason says:

    That pancake machine does look good. And your pictures make me miss home. Minnesota will always be home and I look forward to being closer to FI to visit more often than just once or twice a year.

  17. haha great fun! That pancake machine looks amazing!

  18. Lily says:

    I was under the assumption everything good in MN is on sticks. Will there be food on sticks in part 2?

    I legitimately need that pancake machine though. I run BnBs – this girl’s got people to feed.

  19. Steve Poling says:

    you tell us about the pancake machine and don’t research whether it’s made by a public company, its market, its competitors, and what it offers the investor? i suspect Benjamin Graham would whup your butt. (But John Bogle would tell you to enjoy your vacation.)

  20. Mary says:

    I am with ya on the free breakfast. When we travel we like to stay at Drury Inn whenever we can because they also have free dinner! And you even get free cocktails! Can’t beat it.

  21. Pingback: The Sunday Best (6/3/2017) - Physician on FIRE

  22. Daniel says:

    The pancake machine!! We ran into this the past weekend (at a Holiday Inn Express), my kids loved it and luckily the pancakes tasted good (because I made a mistake and turned my back on the children, and 4 button pushes later we had 8 pancakes)…….

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