We drove to MN on I-80 through Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa. It went by pretty quickly and we only made one short stop at Cabela's in Nebraska, then spent the night in North Platte. After covering much of Iowa, we were just 8 miles from my sister Sally so we stopped in Mason City to see her. My niece Natalie showed up as well which was a pleasant surprise. Upon arriving in Grand Meadow, Minnesota the odometer read 1,453 miles. We had spent 23 hours on the road.
In Minnesota we were able to spend a little time with all but one of my siblings...sorry Becky...and Marylea met Jerry, Nancy, Sally, Tommy, Larry, Penny, and Sherry as well as my mom, nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. (Don't worry Marylea there will NOT be a test on names!) We had a great time and want to thank my sister Nancy for letting us camp out at her house and for feeding us and playing chauffer.
Since Marylea had never been to Wisconsin we planned a trip to Winona, Minnesota where we could cross the bridge into Wisconsin. We took the scenic route and exited I-90 at St. Charles to check out the Amish shop off the interstate. Talk about skilled workers. We went through St. Charles as I hoped we would find a favorite spot of mine, an old house full of antiques that I had visited years ago.
I almost missed it when Marylea found a sign...whew! Here are some photos of that awesome place.
This set of stairs is immediately inside the door to the left. It is a floating spiral staircase that has been painted and antiqued. The gold rope is really a rope that was dipped in plaster and nailed to the wall to cover the gap.
The photo to the right is the parlor, the first room you enter. Every room is this packed with antiques and salvaged items given new uses...such as old watches turned into brooches, cigar boxes made into purses, spoons make into necklaces. WATCH for my adaptation on her ideas in a later blog.
I didn't see it at first but this room is has a wainscot around it. I had to move some bags to reveal it. It is actually tooled leather coated with varnish.
The back staircase was lined with pages from magazines as a form of wallpaper.
This family tree wrapped around a corner and extended up onto the ceiling. The oak leaves were cut from burlap and had a black and white photo pasted to each.
Another room was wallpapered with a QUILT!!!! It was glued right to the wall and looked fabulous.
I had a wonderful visit with the owner of the home and we exchanged info. I hope to keep in touch and share some of her creative ideas.
We continued on to Winona and first stopped at Garvin Heights to overlook the city below. The wind was whipping so we took a couple photos and hit the road. You can see the bluffs of Wisconsin in the background. They are on the other side of the Mississippi River. While we were there I took Marylea to see some local sights, showed her where I went to college and where I hung out. The scenery and architecure are AMAZING in Winona and I would really love to live there again someday but for now I just have to snap photos to help me remember.
I used to study in this cemetery during college days in Winona, and often walked and admired the architecture.
We later crossed the bridge and headed to Fountain City to buy some lefse...YUM and snap some photos!
Our last adventure in Minnesota ended at my brother's stables checking out his horses.
Stay tuned for more of our adventures.