Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Sunday Afternoon "STAY"cation!

Minnesota is a gorgeous state....especially in the Summer!
The Minneapolis metro area is filled with wonderful green spaces and interesting history!
In fact...lots of people travel to Minnesota for their vacations!

That is why when people ask us if we are traveling in the summer....My answer is WHY?!

We do like to travel....
We have taken lots of great vacations all over the place...

BUT....
We don't really like to travel in the summer!
Taking extended trips, while interesting and exciting....can also be exhausting!

You have to PLAN....
You have to PACK....
It is EXPENSIVE!

This Sunday was a rare day when we really didn't have any plans....
SO....
We did a mini 4 Hour "Stay"Cation right here in Minneapolis.

We didn't have to PACK.....
We didn't HAVE a PLAN....

We could act like tourists in our own backyard....
We grabbed the camera....
Mr. S. knows enough not to wear socks with his sandals....so maybe we didn't really look like the typical tourists!!!

We got in the car and headed to the Mississippi River....



We stopped at the scenic overlook to get a view of Historic Fort Snelling.
Fort Snelling is interesting because it was an outpost built in 1819.  The really interesting thing is the location....at the juncture of the Minnesota River and the Mississippi! 
If you are interested...here is a link to the Historic Fort Snelling Website
 
Imagine what it must have been like to live here almost 200 years ago....
I was really appreciating the ability to hop back into the air conditioned car!

Then just a few minutes of driving and we were at Minnehaha Falls.
You know....the famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow...
By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them;
Bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water
The name Minnehaha comes from the Dakota language " mni" meaning water, and "ȟaȟa" meaning waterfall. 
The park is gorgeous....with lots of wonderful plants and walkways.  It is a little green oasis....
Back in the car....time to hit downtown for lunch!
Downtown was bustling....the very first concert in the new baseball stadium was later that evening so there were lots of "tourists" around....we blended right in!  A late lunch in a cool dark restaurant and we were ready to head back to the river front!


The Mississippi River plays a huge role in the history of Minnesota.  The St. Anthony Waterfall powered the huge flour mills for Pillsbury and General Mills.  Because of all the rain the last weeks, the falls were beautiful.  Standing on the Stone Arch Bridge, you could actually feel the spray from the river.  The Guthrie Theater on the downtown side of the river was designed to play homage to the grain industry!

Our "Stay"cation was almost over.....

A quick stop for groceries....as we planned to have dinner at our favorite spot....

 "The Sweetwater Grille"!  They serve delicious grilled hotdogs and have a lovely red house wine ala Three Buck Chuck!


We had a great time....
And....we didn't have to worry about who would feed the cat or water the flowers!

HMMMMM......what should we do next time!!!???



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