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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Let's Go to the Mall! - Touring the St. Croix River Valley

We really got around in the 3 days we were at Willow River State Park.
One of our stops was at Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, Minnesota.

I didn't "feel" most of the sculpture, but I did like a few of the rather large pieces.

When we stopped in downtown Hudson to buy chocolates at Knoke's we noticed the old Post Office across the street had been turned in to a restaurant called the Postmark Grille.  On the inside they had kept the marble counter and the Postmaster doorway but everything else was removed and remodeled.  It was pretty neat, I gotta say I loved the metal eagle above the exterior door.

Knoke's Chocolates were satisfactory, but not really worth a drive out of the way or anything.  Another place that was satisfactory but not really worth a drive out of the way was the town of Hastings in Minnesota.  Their bridge that was erected in 2013 was awesome.

Their historic downtown that they tried to revitalize in the 1990's is withering away along the river.  The shops were dusty and empty, but most had the tin ceilings visible through the windows.

I liked the one that was originally probably the pharmacist.  What was that other word they used to use?  Apothecary?  See the little mortar and pestle at the top?

Hastings City Hall was a pretty colored brick, but it was closed.  We couldn't find the historic Dakotah County Courthouse.

There are always surprises when you wander without a plan and seeing a new huge bridge being built across the St. Croix River.  The Minnesota DOT even has a video showing the progress, but here's what we observed from the road.

We also took a daytrip in to the Twin Cities because Wayne had never been to the Mall of America, if you can believe that.  On the way we spotted the dome of St. Paul's and popped in for a look.

Wayne was afraid he would burst into flame when we entered but nothing mystical occurred.

I don't usually go inside churches on my architecture tours, it feels a little weird to me to take pictures when people are praying.  Signs proclaimed photography was allowed but I kept it to a minimum.

At the Mall of America Wayne really wanted to get a shave at the Art of Shaving but they were booked full for the whole day.

He also geeked out over the Lego display.  I geeked out over the Vera Bradley store and bought a new Smartphone 2.0 wristlet without having to worry about shipping.  They had just gone on sale that day in the Cobalt color.  Score!

There were weird looking folks at the mall.  I don't know what secret the unknown kid was telling the green fairy, could be anything, right?

And for those that caught the Robin Sparkles reference in the title, enjoy the video!!  Happy Canada Day!!


  1. I'm with Wayne on the Legos. I really, really want to go to Legoland, but have to find a child to take.

  2. I'm with Wayne on the Legos. I really, really want to go to Legoland, but have to find a child to take.

  3. Hey, I've never been to the Mall of America, either. Must be high time, huh?