September 26, 2017


by Rosemary

The city skyline.

A trip to Minneapolis would hardly be complete without a visit to the Mall of America. We were overwhelmed by the country's largest shopping venue, which has over 500 stores, a wedding chapel, two mini-golf courses, an aquarium, more than 50 restaurants, its own transit hub, and a theme park right in the middle of the mall.

There were more candy stores than we could count.

Adventurers ride a zip line above the theme park.

This 60-foot-high art installation consists of thousands of strands of yarn.

After exhausting ourselves walking several miles around and around the mall, we needed some fresh air, so the next day we went to Minnehaha Park. (For unknown reasons, our GPS system could not pronounce "Minnehaha", but rendered it as "Minne-heh-heh" or occasionally "Minne-hee-hee".)

The falls look great today, but in 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson visited this spot, there were problems. Due to a drought, the creek was nothing but a trickle, the falls just a dribble. City officials, eager to make an impression, opened up all the fire hydrants to send water downstream for a photo opportunity. Half a century later, our photo opportunity did not require special effects.

We hiked beside the creek to the point where it joins the Mississippi River. Along the way, we saw this heron hunting for lunch.

We were in town at exactly the right time to attend the Minnesota State Fair. We viewed the top prize winners in nearly every category: livestock, crops, flowers, baked goods, canned goods, textiles, and honey. At the "Miracle of Birth" center we witnessed the birth of both a lamb and a calf. There were an amazing number of food stands, an extensive midway with all the usual games, an array of thrill rides, a kiddie area, and a big parade.

Lambs born in the past day or two relax with their mothers.

It wouldn't be a state fair without butter sculptures.

This dancing traffic cone represented
the Department of Transportation in the parade.

The "Sky High Swings" didn't look like something we wanted to do. Judging from the empty seats, not many others wanted to, either.

But we did ride the giant ferris wheel.

Next: Adventures in Wisconsin

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