Monday morning I set out on a quick road trip to Bemidji, Minnesota to deliver my daughter, Rose, and her friend, Chloe, to one of Concordia College’s language camps, Sup sogŭi Hosu. Sup sogŭi Hosu is the Korean Language Village that Rose attended for two weeks last summer. She had an absolute blast so is going for a full month this summer to earn credit for learning about Korean language and culture. Bemidji is quite a drive (about 5 hours from my home) but the drive went quickly with two girls and my son, Ryan, chatting much of the way.
After getting Rose and Chloe settled in at camp, Ryan and I drove to my cousin Kari’s house in Bemidji and had supper with Kari and her family. Then at about 8:15 p.m. we started our drive towards home with the intent of driving as far as I could until I got too tired. We didn’t get terribly far before I decided to spend the night at the Cedarwood Motel in Pine River, Minnesota.
I’ve driven through Pine River before but have never stopped and am glad to discover that Pine River has a fun little downtown and is considered the birthplace of the Paul Bunyan state trail (a multi-use trail that goes from Bemidji to Brainerd that I want to bike some day). After a good night’s sleep at the Cedarwood Motel (somewhat spartan but clean & inexpensive), Ryan and I had breakfast at the Cottage Cafe where the food was super good. Ryan’s fascinated with finding knives, fishing equipment and old stuff these days so we visited a thrift shop after breakfast in search of cool stuff. We then stopped in to Ole & Lena’s Sweet Revenge, a 50’s style malt shop complete with old fashioned soda fountain.
Ryan picked up some of his favorite candy at Ole & Lena’s – Zotz. Have you had Zotz before? They are a hard candy with a fizzy center. Ryan bought four packages of Zotz (four individually wrapped zots are packaged in a strip of four) in four different flavors (Watermelon, Green Apple, Cherry and Blue Raspberry). We ate two packages on the trip home but Ryan still has two to go.
I don’t know much about Zotz other than they are fun to eat and taste good but found a few things after a quick internet search. Apparently, Zotz were introduced in the U.S. in 1968 and they are made by an Italian company. They are somewhat hard but specialty candy shops usually carry them. Back at home in Northfield, we can find Zotz at Cocoa Bean Toys & Sweets. Even though Ryan still has some Zotz and I’m sure he’d share one or two with me, I figured I would stop in to Cocoa Bean today and buy some Zotz of my own. They have many flavors (I got orange) plus all sorts of other wonderful candies and gifts. Be sure to stop by Cocoa Bean for all of your Zotz and other candy needs!