"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
This was the beginning of our vacation to South Dakota and Wyoming. We saw this billboard and knew we had to stop here! Blue Earth is home to a Green Giant plant. It is located in Green Giant Park. The statue was dedicated August 7, 1979. Here is the plaque at the base of the statue.
There also is a sign at the park with some Green Giant facts.
A short visit, we had to continue our journey West but we hope to get to the museum here on our next trip to this area.
Quite a delicious breakfast, we finished at about 7:30. Our next stop was the Capitol. On the way we found the Fitzgerald Theater, where A Prairie Home Companion radio show takes place. We listen to that show! How great to finally see it.
The Capitol building was not far from here, right now it is undergoing some renovations.
A closeup of the gold decoration on the building. The sign says “Minnesota”.
And on top of the Capitol.
We further explored the grounds, most other government buildings are here near the Capitol. The Minnesota History Center.
Also many memorials and monuments. A statue of Leif Erikson near the Capitol.
Outside of the Veterans building is a display of large boulders, each engraved with an excerpt from a letter written by a vet during their tour of duty. Very touching.
A timeline to the Women’s Suffrage Movement, dedicated in 2000.
We got done exploring here and went back downtown to see more. The Landmark Center, formerly the courthouse. Now it is a center for performances and special events throughout the year. It has an ice skating rink outside in the winter.
See those heads in the picture? There are metal Peanuts™ characters in this downtown area. Lets see a few more, I didn’t get all of them.
We finished exploring downtown and headed to another neighborhood called “Lowertown“. It’s a historic neighborhood with an upbeat atmosphere and a beautiful square-shaped park called Mears Park. A former warehouse district, it now the “in” place to live and work.
Many delightful business in and around the square. It was a nice warm morning and people were eating alfresco at The Buttered Tin.
After exploring Mears Park and the square we enjoyed lunch at The Bulldog. The food was wonderful and I could see why they are a popular place to go, especially on game day. A Minnesota Vikings game was beginning at noon and it played on the many TVs while we ate. Thankfully we weren’t wearing Green Bay Packer clothes that day, we would have received a few side-eyed glances 🙂
After lunch we stopped to see one last attraction before heading back home. We enjoyed some great views of the city and water on The Mississippi River Trail. It is a trail that spans 800 miles with the start point at Itaska State Park.
Across the Mississippi you can also see the river boats to go on cruises. This is the Padelford Riverboats Landing where you can choose your boat ride.
Enjoy a view of the skyline and all the activity in this vibrant city. The First National Bank‘s “1st” on top of the building is visible for 20 miles at night and 75 miles in the air. We saw it on our arrival in the morning, flashing red (see video at top of page).
And from here our trip is concluded, 1:40 PM and time to go back home. It was a fun trip and it was great seeing family too. We are glad you could join us for the last 3 days.
The big moment we have been waiting for, our ascent to the 30th floor Observation Deck of The Foshay in Minneapolis. It was now 1:40 PM. It has only been open 8 years so we chose a good time to visit. The building once dominated the Minneapolis skyline, but now it is surrounded by other taller skyscapers. Not all views are blocked however. It was constructed in 1929 and named after the founder, Wilbur Foshay.
See some local news coverage about the tower.
We went in to get our tickets at the desk, such cool lighting inside.
The clerk gave us a special key card to get us to the 30th floor. We’re here!
There is more than the observation deck here, we also enjoyed the museum on this floor before going out.
The original program for the dedication of the building.
The other side of the museum. Here you can see the stairs to the deck and in the far left corner is a video alcove.
We learned John Phillips Sousa was comissioned to write a special a special march to be played during the tower dedication in 1929. That was the only time this was performed for many decades. The reason being Mr. Foshay’s check to him in payment for writing and playing the music bounced. Sousa forbade the piece from being performed again until payment was made. Sousa’s estate was finally paid in the 1990’s by the citizens of Minneapolis raising the money. Now you can hear it too.
Now that we saw the museum, time to go out on the deck!
The deck as you can see is open air and you are well enclosed. I could see places where we had been while exploring the city today. We could see the Basilica of St. Mary. Also a train behind it.
Also Target Field, where the Minnesota Twins play baseball. I could see right inside the stands!
Other views. There were free viewing scopes at each corner (except West)