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Blue Earth, Minnesota-Home of the Jolly Green Giant


4-24-17

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.

 

St. Paul – Capitol of Minnesota


9-20-15

Our last day in town, we elected to have breakfast in St. Paul so we left before sunrise.  One great thing we learned about this city, FREE PARKING on Sundays.  Enjoy this video as we go to St. Paul.

We  explored a bit of downtown before breakfast. It sure is pretty at dawn. The Minnesota Children’s Museum.

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Palace Theater, undergoing renovation.

Palace Theater St. Paul

Park Square Theater for live performances.

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We discovered we were right next to Hamm Building, the founder of Hamm’s  Beer. There was  a marker across from the building. One of the many commercials.

Hamm Bear monument

Hamm's Beer history

We had breakfast at Mickey’s Dining Car, a historic landmark in St. Paul.

Mickey's Dining Car Collage

Inside Mickey's Diner Car

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.

Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul

The Capitol building was not far from here, right now it is undergoing some renovations.

IMinnesota Capitol in St. Paul

A closeup of the gold decoration on the building. The sign says “Minnesota”.

Minnesota Capitol decoraion

And on top of the Capitol.

Capitol Dome top

We further explored the grounds, most other government buildings are here near the Capitol. The Minnesota History Center.

Minnesota History Center

The beautiful Cathedral of St. Paul is close to here as well. I could see it from the Foshay Tower in Minneapolis.

Cathedral of St. Paul

Minnesota State Office Building

Minnesota State Office Building

State Veteran Service Building

State Veteran Service Building in St. Paul

Also many memorials and monuments.  A statue of Leif Erikson near the Capitol.

Leif Erikson statue in St. Paul

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.

Veteran Stones Memorial inn St. Paul

A timeline to the Women’s Suffrage Movement, dedicated in 2000.

Woman's Suffrage Movement timeline monument

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.

Landmark Center in St. Paul

A castle stand up display in park by the center.

Castle Display by Landmark Center

The Hamm Building we saw a bit of earlier.

Hamm Building

A couple of the fine businesses in the Hamm Building is the Meritage restaurant.  Also Landmark Jewelers and Heimie’s Haberdashery.

Meritage Restaurant in St. Paul

Landmark Jewelers and Heimie's Haberdashery in St. Paul

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.

Peanuts in St. Paul

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.

Lowertown clock

Lowertown HistoryLowertown function of Form marker

Mears Park

Mears Park Pavillion

Mears Park brook

Many delightful business in and around the square.  It was a nice warm morning and people were eating alfresco at The Buttered Tin.

The Buttered Tin in St. Paul

Barrío Tequila Bar and Food

Barrio in Lowertown

Public Kitchen and Bar

Public Kitchen and Bar in St. Paul

Faces bistro

Faces in Lowertown

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  🙂

The Bulldog restaurant in Lowertown

The Bulldog inside

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.

This trail has many interesting views. On the right is the St. Paul Municipal Elevator and Sackhouse.  It has been restored and you can go inside, its HUGE! There are signs inside describing its history.

Mississippi River Trail and Municipal Elevator

View from the other side.

St. Paul Municipal Elevator and Sackhouse

Inside Municipal Elevator in St. Paul

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.

Padelford Boat Landing in St. Paul

The Jonathan Padelford Paddleboat in St. Paul

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).

St. Paul Skyline from Mississippi River Trail

First National Bank 1st

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.

Thanks for Visiting Minnesota erase

 

W Minneapolis – The Foshay – First Skyscraper in Minnesota!


9-19-15

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.

Foshay Tower - W Minneapolis Hotel

See some local news coverage about the tower.

We went in to get our tickets at the desk, such cool lighting inside.

Foshay Tower entrance

Foshay lobby

Foshay Lobby 2

The clerk gave us a special key card to get us to the 30th floor.  We’re here!

30th Floor at Foshay

There is more than the observation deck here, we also enjoyed the museum on this floor before going out.

Museum at Foshay

The original program for the dedication of the building.

Dedication program of Foshay

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.

Foshay Museum 2nd Half

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.

Foshay March Sousa info

Now that we saw the museum, time to go out on the deck!

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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.

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Also Target Field, where the Minnesota Twins play baseball. I could see right inside the stands!

Minnesota Twins Stadium

Other views. There were free viewing scopes at each corner (except West)

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The building right across from us.

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A rooftop garden at the Hilton Garden Inn right across from us.

Hilton Garden Inn in Minneapolis

You could see St. Paul, the air was quite clear. We were going there to explore on Sunday.

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We completed our tour here, it was now 3 PM and we had a great time! Plan on taking a minimum of an hour here to see everything.