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Wall Drug in South Dakota


April 28, 2017

Wall Drug Store is one place you must see if you visit South Dakota. My dad came here a log time ago and said we needed this unique place on our itinerary. We stopped here on our way to the Badlands to see what the buzz was about.

This place is big so allow yourself plenty of time. We spent about 90 minutes here, a whole day is really needed to see everything. It is not just one store but MANY stores. We explored the main store on the left. That alone was big enough. Another new store was going up.

We entered the main building, it looks like an old west scene, complete with characters to take selfies with.

Even Zoltar the fortune teller.

There is even a chapel inside the store, very beautiful! Quite an interesting story of its history too.

Just before leaving we stopped in the ice cream shop for a treat. As always, ice water is free.

Also the gift shop, what do you choose?

You could easily make a day of this place, we had a hard time leaving but the journey continues. Be sure to bring your camera!

Minneapolis – City By Nature


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Day 1- 9/18

We arrived in Minneapolis in pouring rain around 6 PM after leaving home about 12 hours earlier.  On the way we saw Pickwick Mill and Pepin while traveling the Great River Road.  Tired and hungry,  we stopped for dinner at Saguaro ( Arizona/Mexican cuisine). Turns out it is one of he best Mexican restaurants in Minneapolis.  We have to agree! The staff were friendly and we enjoyed our experience there.

Saguaro restaurant in Minneapolis

Saguaro inside

Our dinners, we both chose the Taco Platter, but you could do a lot of mixing and matching. A great way to end our day and relax after a long day on the road.

Saguaro Dinner 9-18-15

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Day 2 – 9/19

The rain was gone and we were ready for adventure!  We took care of some family business first. My maternal Grandmother and her sister grew up here and we went to the Lyndale neighborhood where they lived.  Saw my former great-grandparent’s house, now rented by two tenants. It was good to see it again after 15 years.

Great Grandma's house 2015

We also went to the other side of their block where my teen grandma picked up some groceries for the family. I don’t know what it was called then but now it’s Kyle’s Market, open 9 to 9 daily.

Kyle's Market in Minneapolis

We also paid respects to my great-grandparents and great-aunt at Lakewood Cemetery along the shores of Lake Calhoun.  We also discovered the Pillsbury family is buried here, we could see the tall monument from my family’s grave site.  More on Pillsbury later.

Pillsbury family monument in Minneapolis

On our way to our next place we saw a vintage White Castle Hamburger building, now Xcentric Goods.

Xcentric Goods antiques in Minneapolis

We soon arrived Minnehaha Park, a popular park for over a century.  It’s also the center point of the founding of Minneapolis.  On location is the Princess Depot that used to bring people to the park on a train. Now, it’s a museum open seasonally.

Minnehaha Depot in Minneapolis

Minnehaha Depot Marker and picture

The first settler of Minneapolis, Colonel John H. Stevens  is memorialized here with his former home turned into a museum. Also a statue in front of the house.

John H. Steven's House in Minneapolis

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We happened to be there when the groundskeepers were making their rounds (you can see them behind the statue). Even though the museum was not really open for visitors at 7:45 AM, they did for us since they are just nice people 🙂 Lets go in! There is a plaque just outside of the door.

John H. Stevens House plaque

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That was fun, thanks for the great tour!  Now we proceeded to the other great attraction of this park, Minnehaha Falls.  As we got closer, you could hear the rush of water. The sunrise was illuminating the mist the falls created, beautiful!

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An interesting fact, President Johnson visited the falls in 1964, they marked where he stood in concrete and you can stand there too.

President Johnson's Visit at Minnehaha Falls

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There were stairs going down to the bottom of the falls, offering this view.

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The park also has a large pavilion for events.

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It was now almost 9, time for our next attraction.  We were treated to a great skyline view on the way!

Minneapolis Skyline view

The Basilica of St. Mary was our next stop, very beautiful!

Basillica of St. Mary in MinneapolisIMG_3279

We crossed the street to Walker’s Art Center and Sculpture Park to take our picture with the trademark Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture.  We were not the only ones taking selfies here  🙂 here is ours.

Greetings From Minneapolis!

The frame around the picture tells you what was coming up next.  It was time for lunch and we had it in the historic Band Box Diner.  There is only one in the whole city, and world!    We are lucky to have been able to eat there at all.  In March 2015 the 30-year old grill stopped working and they didn’t have enough money to  buy a new one. Not to worry though,  the customers banded together and raised the funds to buy a NEW GRILL!  We are so happy they did, this landmark restaurant is too good to close!

Band Box selfie

Bandbox inside

After lunch, time for our biggest attraction for today, Foshay Tower.  The W Minneapolis Hotel is also in this building.  It has the only sky deck in the Twin Cities for visitors to enjoy, the view is from 30 stories up.  For adults not staying there, it’s $8 to go to the sky deck. What a wonderful view! You could see St. Paul, also the Minnesota Twin’s Target Field inside the stands.

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St. Paul from Foshay Tower

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Our last stop for the day was St. Anthony Falls and Heritage Trail. Here is our location.

Mill Ruins Park and St. Anthony Falls  Heritage Trail

By then it was 3:30 and we had until 5, when we went to have dinner with some relatives.  A beautiful afternoon with many people there enjoying the day.

St. Anthony Falls and bridge

On the other side of the bridge you could see the remnants of the former flour-milling era.

Pillsbury and Gold Medal Flour factories

Pillsbury and Gold Medal Flour factories

Along the trail are also free viewing scopes that kids really enjoy looking in.

Sight seeing scopes for viewing

The trail goes by Mill Ruins Park, which is still undergoing development but the first phase is what you see here.

Mill Ruins Park sign

It is also a popular wedding venue, you could see the wedding party taking photos below.

Mill Ruins Park wedding

Mill Ruins Park 2

You could also see Mill City Museum from the trail, not enough time to stop there unfortunately. You could see people up there!

Mill City Museum in Minneapolis

A Segway Tour just went by us, they made a turn and went under our part of the trail on the Stone Arch Bridge.

Segway Tour on St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail

It was time to be on our way. We hear music from a street musician playing on his guitar as we head back.

Guitar Player at Mill Ruins Park

One thing we noticed about this friendly city, photo shoots!  We saw three today, there may have been more we didn’t know about.  We had a great day, on Sunday we were going to see some of St. Paul before going back to Madison.

Photoshoots in Minneapolis

 

 

H.H. Bennett Studio in the Wisconsin Dells – A SESQUICENTENNIAL Celebration!


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H.H.Bennett Studio at Dells

H.H. Bennett Plaque at WI DellsOliver and Jean Dyer Reese plaque in the Dells

This was  a very special weekend at H.H. Bennett Studio, they were celebrating their 150th Anniversary and we had to be a part of it. It was our first time visiting and we were in for a treat! Admission is $7 for adults, but waived on this weekend. They always accept donations. There were costumed interpreters, even Ho-Chunk music and dancing since H.H. Bennett was kind to them and allowed him to photograph them. Just outside of the right-side building is a rotating picture display.

Bennett Studio Rotating Pictures at Dells

H.H. Bennett was a pioneer in photography, he invented the “snapper” in 1878. You no longer had to sit perfectly still for 5 minutes or more to get a portrait taken. He took pictures all over the Dells with his new technique. His most famous shot was his son Ashley jumping at Stand Rock. It took him 17 tries to get this shot. Bennett’s work helped bring people to the Dells and the tourism industry was born there!

Stand Rock Jump in Upper DellsAshley Jump at Stand Rock

Just before a Dells Boat Tour left the dock, Bennett would take a picture of the group in the boat and have the picture developed and printed by the time the group came back. It took A LOT longer to do the tour in the 1880’s, you had to help row the boat! Now it only takes two hours and the crew does all the work.

Photo by H.H. Bennett

Photo by H.H. Bennett

The tradition continues now, we got our picture taken just before the tour we did three days later.

Upper Dells Al and Laurie Kutil  6-17-15

We went inside, you could get many souveniers, including prints of Bennett’s famous photos.  The docents near the museum entrance greeted and welcomed us. We knew this was going to be fun! The studio continues to support the Ho-Chunk Nation by selling their jewelery and books.

Inside H.H. Bennett Studio at the Dells

Ho-Chunk Indian Jewelery at Bennet Studio.

I hear drums!  A couple of representatives of the Ho-Chunk are going to be performing some dance and song for the guests. Two talented children showed us what they have learned so far about their culture’s traditions.

There was much to see inside the museum, new displays and really liked how the older building showed how his studio probably originally looked. Also the history of cameras and what ordinary people used in times past, including myself!

Bennett’s descendants are still involved with the museum today. Betsy Grant, Bennett’s Great-Granddaughter, was on hand to tell us about his many accomplishments. It was great meeting you Betsy!

Bennett Legacy Lives OnBetsy Grant, H.H. Bennett Great-grandaughter

Bennett Legacy Lives onsign

3-D display using Bennett’s photos

Bennett Display at the Dells

Bennett Studio display

Stereo viewers, precursor to Viewmasters.

Stereo Viewers ar Bennett Studio in the Dells

The Bennett Studio, and displays inside.

H.H. Bennett Studio in dells

Bennet Studio Collage

I had my picture taken with H.H. Bennett himself  🙂  Al wasn’t nearby at the time.

Selfie with H.H. Bennett at Bennett Studio

On the 2nd floor they showed 40 minutes of silent film that Miriam Bennett shot from the 1920’s through the 60’s. These excerpts are Broadway Street scenes from the 20’s, 50’s and some Ho-Chunk dancing. I added some music to the movies.

Miriam Bennett Films at Bennett Studio

We had a great time learning about this great Photographer. Nearby is the house where he lived, on 825 Oak Street. The season for visiting here is usually early May through late October.

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H.H. Bennett Original Studio in the Dells