Saturday, June 29, 2013

Road Trip {MN-WI-IL-IA-MN}

Sorry, no new craft project this weekend.  Partly because I was out of town for nearly a week this month and partly because I just haven't had the right motivation to do anything crafty.  But fear not, I have something for you.  The reason I was out of town was because I took a road trip to Illinois to see my sister.  And I documented it with Instagram.  So, in case you aren't following me on Instagram - here are some highlights from my trip:

My plan was to follow along the Mississippi River as much as possible on the way to my sister's in East Peoria, IL.  My first stop was Hastings, MN but before hitting the Great River Road (and the aforementioned Mississippi River), I stopped to see the Vermillion Falls.

Next stop - Red Wing, MN.  Home of Red Wing Shoes and the world's largest boot (size 638 1/2 D in case you are wondering).

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This boot is on display in the downtown Red Wing Shoe Store along with the Red Wing Shoe Company Museum.

Continuing down the Mississippi, I stopped at a little wayside area in Lake City to check out Lake Pepin.  Lake Pepin is a naturally occuring lake and the widest naturally occuring part of the Mississippi River.  Neat, huh?

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And also apparently the birthplace of waterskiing.

Next stop - Wabaha, MN.  You may be familiar with the town from the Grumpy Old Men movies.  But I wasn't looking for any grumpy old men.  I was there to visit the National Eagle Center.  I learned a lot of interesting information about eagles at their eagle program, including an upclose look at a couple of bald eagles and a golden eagle.

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Step out the back door of the Eagle Center and you are right on the banks of the Mississippi River.

I headed south for a little bit and crossed the river at LaCrosse, WI.  There I made a stop at Olive Juice Quilt Shop and had a very late lunch/early dinner before continuing south on the Great River Road on the Wisconsin side of the river.  {Apparently there was nothing interesting in Wisconsin because I took no pictures.}

Past Prairie Du Chien, I headed away from the river and stopped in Galena, IL for the night.

After the overnight stop in Galena, I continued south and back on the Great River Road in Illinois.  That was until I came to Interstate 80 and I finished my trip to East Peoria on the always exciting interstate system.

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But not before a little photo op of the Mississippi River from the rest stop.

Apparently there isn't really anything to do in Peoria, so on Saturday my sister and I went to Chicago {about 2 1/2-3 hours away}.  Since we had both been to Chicago a few times previously, we tried something new - a Stray Boots tour.  If you are not familiar with Stray Boots {and I wasn't until I stumbled across them while researching things to do in Chicago} just think urban tour + scavenger hunt.  And it was a lot of fun!  {They are available in about a dozen or so cities and I highly recommend you check it out.}  We actually did two - Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier.

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Before leaving the city, I made sure we stopped for ice cream at the Ghiradelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop.  So yummy!

Sunday, we went to Starved Rock State Park for some hiking.  {That was after we got lost trying to find another park.}  The park is known for its interesting rock formations, canyons, and waterfalls.  The hiking there was really good and the scenery was pretty.

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Before I knew it, my long weekend was coming to a close and it was time to head back home.  The return trip went through Iowa.  First, a stop in Iowa City for a quick look at my alma mater - The University of Iowa.

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The old capitol was looking picture perfect.  Then it was off to my parent's house in northeast Iowa.  

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I stayed overnight and in the morning got in a nice walk with their dog, Sasha, just before a quick shower hit.  Then it was back home but not before one last stop - The Spam Museum in Austin, MN.

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Now before you start laughing, let me tell you that this is a really good museum.  If you are ever in the area, you should definitely check it out.  Besides, they give out Spam samples there.

That was my road trip.  Thanks for letting me share it with you.  Have a great weekend!

I am sharing this at some of my favorite parties.

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