Last night was a beautiful evening for a cruise down the Mississippi River which, is exactly what my wife and I did.

This past Father's Day my daughter thoughtfully gave me a gift certificate for a Mississippi River Happy Hour and Pizza Cruise on the Minneapolis Queen. This paddleboat is docked at Bohemian Flats Park on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. With an upper and lower deck with inside and outside seating on both levels, it can handle quite a few passengers. This particular cruise was comfortably filled upstairs and down, with a private party being hosted inside on the upper level. There was bar, from which I purchased several libations, and a galley where they served the pizza and salad. Guests are allowed to move freely on boat as you traverse the mighty Mississippi.

As we tooled along the river, Captain Tom, pointed out various points of interest along he way with a brief history of each spot. Interestingly, the Short Line bridge has piers that were built using the stone cut from the local riverbanks. They were cut so precisely that they fit together like Legos and didn't require any mortise. It's seldom used by the rail industry today. Also Minneapolis and Saint Paul share the cost of lighting the Lake Street bridge and as we passed under it on our way back to the dock, it was noted that the Minneapolis half was lit up while the Saint Paul side was more cost conservative and their half wasn't on yet. One of the other things that impressed me was how quickly we were able to get through the Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was being allowed to drive the boat. I'm sure I looked like a little kid on Christmas when I returned to the table where my wife was waiting. We both had a wonderful, enjoyable and relaxing evening. A big thanks to Captain Tom and the crew for being such fine hosts and making our cruise fun.