Tag Archive | diner

Minneapolis – City By Nature

9-18, 19, 20-2015

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


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


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




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!


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


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


The park also has a large pavilion for events.


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.


St. Paul from Foshay Tower


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



Oregon – Wisconsin’s Horse Capital

Oregon Wisconsin signOregon Watertower

7-22-13  and 3-21-15 and my whole life

The village of Oregon is where my Dad grew up, but this is the first time I really gave it a close look.  This is his boyhood home.

Dad's Oregon home

Oregon is known as the Horse Capital since there were once more horses than people early in its history.  The population is currently 9,231 and growing. Located just 7 miles south of Madison, you are close to the big city while still able to enjoy small town charm. Incorporated  in 1883, it has retained its character and downtown historic buildings enjoying steady business.

Downtown Oregon Wisconsin

Downtown is defined by two structures, the monument on the left and the historic water tower.  This is the first WW I monument in the country, erected in 1920.

World War I Granite Memorial Monument sign

Oregon Memorial Bench

At Prairie Mound Cemetery, Oregon also honors their Revolutionary War vet, Nathaniel Ames. We visited his gravesite and saw the two-sided marker there.

Nathaniel Ames Marker in Oregon

The historic water tower is now longer in use, but left up since its one of Oregon’s distinguishing features.

Oregon Historic  Water TowerOregon Water Tower sign

Across the street from the water tower is the city band shell where performances by the Oregon Community Band take place over the summer.

Oregon Band ShellOregon Community Band sign

We also visited the former Red Brick School Building, now a business called Gorman & Co.

Red Brick School 2Red Brick school Sign

Lincoln Street is another historic district close to downtown.

Lincoln Steet Historic District sign

Gilbert House

Gilbert House

Palmer House

Palmer House

Warner House

Warner House

Rose House

Rose House

Algard House

Algard House

All quite beautiful, I will check back at the Rose House after renovations are complete.

Oregon is still closely tied to the farming community.  The Oregon Farm Center is a mill where they grind product that farmers bring in. Dave Kanable was there and has  good reputation for taking care of his customers. He also knew my grandparents.   They also sell birdseed, products for chicken care and dog food in bulk.

Oregon Farm Center

Oregon has all services needed for shoppers so going into Madison isn’t necessary.  Oregon Shopping Plaza is the main retail center. Bill’s Food Center is the anchor business and is known for fine service and wide selection of food.

Oregon Shopping Plaza

Relax at Oregon Bowl after a hard day’s work.

Oregon Bowl-Oregon, WI

If you are hungry, enjoy a great meal at De Broux Diner.  My Taco Salad was delicious!  2015-It is now in Evansville.

DeBroux Diner in Oregon, WI

De Broux Diner Taco Salad

On our return visit in 2015 we had lunch at their new restaurant, Headquarters Bar and Restaurant. Great food! They also have a meat raffle on the first sunday of the month.


We really enjoyed Oregon. I wish I had some horses to show you but they must have all been inside that day 🙂

Oregon WW I Monument

Related Sites

*  Oregon Historical Society

*  Chamber of Commerce

*  Oregon Observer newspaper

*  Han’s Christmas Farm

*  Mark’s Barber and Styling

*  DeBroux Diner

*  Bill’s Food Center