Wisconsin and Minnesota 2008


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Note: This travelog was written in 2017, so many details have long been forgotten since we took the trip.

Thursday, October 23, 2008: There's nothing unusual about us spending a long weekend in Minnesota and/or Wisconsin, but this trip involved so many classic destinations and unique activities that we finally decided to make a travelog out of it. We spent the night before at the Holiday Inn Express in DeForest, where we got this beautiful sunrise photo. We had stayed here earlier three months earlier for Sara & Adam's wedding.

On our way out of DeForest, we passed Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet, a landmark for the many, many trips we've taken from Indiana to Wisconsin over the years.
Forty minutes later, we were passing what was left of Lake Delton after a damaged road caused it to drain in June. There was very little water left. Fortunately, it was all repaired and back to normal by the next summer.
There's the Tommy Bartlett Thrill Show sign! Uncle Mark works there and Debbie's family has been fans of the show for decades.
Another 40 minutes later, we were passing the distinctive rocky bluffs at Camp Douglas, another favorite landmark.
An hour of driving took us to Onalaska, Wisconsin, ...
... home of Apple Valley.
We turned right on Schilling Road, named for Debbie's great-grandparents, who owned a farm and all the land in the valley. It was Debbie's grandfather who sold off the land in the 70s as Apple Valley Estates.
Apple Valley Park is located in the center of the valley. When Debbie's grandparents still lived here, this was a brand new park and we had several family gatherings at the pavilion here.
This large home was built on the bones of the original farmhouse. It's difficult to visualize the home that used to be here, but it's under there somewhere. It had been sold before Debbie was born (or soon after), so she'd never been inside.
This is the tiny road that leads behind the farmhouse. It was named Goose Pond Court after Debbie's grandparents. In the 70s, they started a family newsletter called the Goose Pond Honker, referring to themselves as Mother Goose and the Wild Gander. While they lived there, their address was still considered to be Schilling Road, but at some point later (most likely when another home was built), this became an official named road and part of Debbie's grandparents' legacy.
Here's their former home. It was originally the farm's chicken coop but had been converted to a small home long, long ago, and then remodeled and enlarged after that. Debbie's uncle lived there in the 70s and Debbie's parents lived there briefly in the early 60s. There were many family gatherings here.
Speaking of family gatherings, Debbie's aunt's former home in Holmen was the site of several as well.
Just a few miles up the road is Galesville, Wisconsin.
We headed downtown ...
... and got out at the town square.
Our destination was Phoneco, a company that restores and sells vintage phones. We had arranged with the owner to stop by for a tour.
Why? Because Debbie's grandfather designed this building, which housed Schilling Electric Co. A display on the wall included photos and history of the building and site, including how it looked when it was first turned into Schilling Electric Co.
Many of the rooms are laid out like a museum.
Some things are for sale and some things are not, ...
... including this friendly office kitty, one of two we encountered.
Here are some really vintage phones.
From this window, you can see up the street to the town square.
After spending some time looking around the museum and display rooms, we were given a tour of the full facility.
What used to be factory rooms are now storage rooms for telephones, parts, and supplies.
The building has several floors, so we headed down two flights.
It's nice to have a Schilling back in the building again.
Here are some more rooms, ...
... and more flights of stairs.
It was really great to see the building and try to picture it the way it looked seventy years earlier.
Next up: we headed to the site of Gale College, where Debbie's grandparents met in the 1930s. It is currently being restored as the Old Main Historical & Community Arts Center.
Nearby is the site of the newer Schilling Electric building, built in 1960.
The last major site to visit before leaving was the large house on Gale Avenue where Debbie's grandparents lived while her grandfather was mayor of Galesville. With eight children, they needed the space.
Galesville is known as the Garden of Eden because a guy named Rev. O. Van Slyke decided that it matched the biblical description of Eden and published a pamphlet explaining that. If you need any copies of the pamphlet, please Contact Us because Debbie has inherited many copies.
We crossed the Mississippi into Minnesota, passed through Winona, and saw the beautiful Winona County Courthouse.
Across Lake Winona, we started up the road to Garvin Heights Park.
How had Debbie never been here before? It hardly seems possible, but it was true.
The view from up here is stunning.
Here's the view to the north, ...
... over the town of Winona, ...
... and to the south. That's the Mississippi River in the distance.
Just over a half hour up the road is the town of Wabasha, Minnesota.
We got out for a short walk around town. It's the home of the National Eagle Center but it wasn't eagle season, so we didn't see any.
We did see the local DFL headquarters, which you don't see much of in Indiana.
We stopped for a few minutes to admire the African gray geese in Malone Park.
Twenty five minutes later, we were in Lake City, and there is exactly one thing you must do when you are in Lake City: go to the Dairy Queen there. This was just under the halfway point between home and Grandma's house when Debbie was growing up, and this was the magical place that we got to stop along the way.
Fifteen minutes up the road, we arrived in Red Wing.
It's home to the historic St. James Hotel. Maybe someday we'll have time to stay overnight here.
We were in the land of Scandinavians so we did a little shopping.
We were happy to find that Red Wing, famous for its boots, had a series of boot-shaped statues on display.
Here's one.
Here's another.
And here's one more.
It was another 25 minutes to Minneapolis. We passed Augsburg College where Debbie's mother used to work as a librarian until her death in 1985.
Ten minutes later, we were in downtown Minneapolis.
We stopped to get a couple of photos of the Young-Quinlan building, where Debbie's other grandfather worked as a bricklayer during its construction.
Next, we headed down Lake Street to Ingebretsen's, a Scandinavian store straight from himmelen.
We continued east on Lake Street past Jelly Roll Cemetery. It probably has a real name, but that's the name that Debbie, Kris, and Kathy called it every time they drove to the Uptown Theater in high school, because of the headstones shaped like jelly rolls.
Speaking of theaters, here's the Grandview Theater, where Debbie saw her first R-rated movie ("King of the Gypsies," on a date) in 1978. By the time that she saw "Alien" here in 1979, she was getting closer to 17.
Dinner was at Mancini's on West 7th Avenue in St. Paul. This place was the ultimate in decadence when Debbie was a teenager and spent her hard-earned money on a rare lobster dinner.
Many years later, Mancini's is much more casual, but it has still the very best surf and turf on the planet and Debbie is much more able to afford it!
Friday, October 24, 2008: This may have been our first visit to an IKEA in the US but we can't remember anymore. This IKEA is probably the only one to feature a Snoopy statue in front.
Oh yeahhhhh. An open-faced shrimp sandwich AND Swedish pancakes is the breakfast of champions.
Since we were so far away from home, buying all these Billy cabinets wasn't yet feasible.
We headed to Highland Park, the area of St. Paul where Debbie grew up.
On Edgcumbe Road is the old public pool Debbie used to visit. There's nothing left but a crumbling old building.
Her old grade school is now the Talmud Torah of St. Paul.
Here's the house Debbie where Debbie lived from 4th grade until her parents sold it in 1984.
Here's the house next door. The current owners appear to be very seriously into gardening.
Among this jungle of plants, statues, and knick knacks is this sign that says, "Live Simply."
Next, we headed to Macalester College, Debbie's alma mater. This is the field outside the Leonard Center.
Here's the sculpture area outside the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center.
This was one of Debbie's favorite sculptures of all time.
There's the back of Old Main.
Around the front of Old Main is The Rock. It features a different look every time we visit.
Here's Dupre Hall, where Debbie lived her junior and senior years of college.
The tree is still there (just a little taller) but the cafeteria building is radically different now.
From this angle, Turck and Doty Halls look just like they did in the early 80s, ...
... but in this view from Grand Avenue, it's clear that Turck Hall has been majorly overhauled. A bathroom now exists where Debbie's first floor dorm room used to be.
Here's the front of the Leonard Center facing Snelling Avenue, ...
... and Immanuel Lutheran Church, where Debbie's family were members when they lived in the area.
Of course, a college as politically active as Macalester would hold an Obama rally.
The house across the street is ready.
We went to the St. Clair Broiler across the street from the southernmost point of campus, ...
... where we had a great time catching up with Rick and Russ, Debbie's colleagues from her Intran days.
Our next stop was the 3M Employee Store where we met Debbie's dad and brother.
As a former employee, her dad is able to bring guests with him into the store, even guests like our little mascot, Orchy. As you can see, Orchy loves the great prices on Scotch tape as much as we do!
From there, we headed from St. Paul to Minneapolis to visit the Groveland Gallery.
We were there for a show of Jerry Rudquist's work.
He was a professor at Macalester College while Debbie was a student there, and she always admired his paintings.
We already owned one original painting that we had purchased online from Groveland Gallery, and it is similar in style to this one.
Once we entered this room and found three paintings of the Warflower series, it was all over. We knew we had to own one of these.
We went out to our car to think about it for a while, which was parked across a field from the beautiful Walker Art Center. Then we went back in ...
... to purchase this gorgeous painting, which would be shipped to us after the show closed.
Afterward, we went to Leanne Chin for some delicious Chinese food, ...
... then drove back to Groveland Gallery again to buy this beauty.
Finally, we headed to the hotel where Debbie's family was gathering to celebrate Laura and Shawn's wedding the next day. We had a little party in Mary and Bob's suite, ...
... where Laura and Shawn posed with Orchy.
Saturday, October 25, 2008: The next morning, we joined Debbie's brother, Doug, and father, Bob, for breakfast at Baker's Square, a long-time family favorite because of their French Silk pie.
After breakfast, we went back to the hotel and got a good look at the outcome of Bob's recent chainsaw accident.
We also enjoyed some Gale Force Software-labeled Jones Soda and watched some videos Doug brought.
A visit to the Twin Cities always involves a trip to Carbone's.
Mark and Emmie joined us for lunch there.
After lunch, we loaded up the coolers in our van with one dozen Carbone's Specials to bring home. Do not underestimate our love of this pizza.
By 5:30, we were dressed up real pretty and ready for a wedding.
We were at the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum.
Check it out.
We did. We strolled through the gallery before the ceremony.
Debbie and Doug photographed each other as they always do.
The Schilling contingent was joined by Paul and Judi.
Here comes the bride, escorted down the aisle by her father and mother.
Here are the bride and groom.
There was a beautiful sunset as the reception started.
The dessert table featured a traditional Norwegian almond ring wedding cake, plus fresh lefse.
Maid of honor Melissa gave a speech while her daughter enjoyed walking around and checking out the sculpture.
Wedding guests included Rachel, Heather, ...
... Judi, Paul, Mark, ...
... Becky, Emmie, ...
... Dawn, Isaac, Renee, ...
... and Orchy, who was happy to pose with the green apple wedding favors.
We signed the guest book and spend the rest of the evening having a lovely time with our family.
Sunday, October 26, 2008: We left early the next morning and got to Norske Nook at breakfast time.
A couple of hours later, we were visiting Carol in Lake Delton, ...
... then we headed to a grocery store to stock up on lefse.
Our last taste of Wisconsin was at Culver's on the way out of the state.

** THE END **


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