Minnesota and Wisconsin June 2018:
Day 2 - St. Paul


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Minnesota and Wisconsin June 2018: [Day 1 - St. Paul] [Day 2 - St. Paul] [Day 3 - St. Paul] [Day 4 - Wisconsin Dells] [Day 5 - Madison]

Friday, June 8, 2018: Jean had talked us into visiting her at the hardware store where she works, just a couple of blocks from the Macalester campus. Just inside the front door is this beautiful display of craft sodas, so we picked up a couple of flavors.
Jean had told us that there were three floors but we had to see it for ourselves.
We had the whole second floor to ourselves so we looked closely at all the wares.
Check it out! It's a selection of Rite in the Rain notebooks. Debbie's cousin Karl is CEO of Rite in the Rain, so of course we had to buy one.
The second floor offers great views of the art supplies store, Wet Paint, across the street.
In the basement level, Tom scrutinized the selection of faucets. His company works closely with a faucet manufacturer so he always wants to see what's available.
So many cords! So many colors! Of course we had to buy some in purple. We also found a couple of packages of personalized Kelly pencils for our granddaughter in the grandparent-bait section of the store.
Her's an action shot of Jean making the sale. A bag of Dot's pretzels might have ended up in our pile of purchases right before this was taken.
We headed to Minneapolis for the morning, passing this very sad scene of Debbie's college Dairy Queen, now abandoned, presumably because Debbie is no longer in town to buy Peanut Buster Parfaits.
There's the mighty Mississippi River in front of the Minneapolis skyline.
Augsburg College has a new logo. Debbie's late mother worked there as a librarian decades ago.
There's the new US Bank stadium, opened in 2016.
We passed the brightly colored mosaics of Touchstone Plaza in Peavey Park.
We arrived at the American Swedish Institute, a place Debbie had never visited despite living in St. Paul for 15 years.
Let's go in, shall we?
This plaque notes that the Carl and Leslie Nelson Cultural Center of the American Swedish Institute was dedicated in the presence of Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden on October 6, 2012.
We arrived before the museum opened so we could have breakfast at Fika, the cafe on the grounds. It serves full lunches at mid-day, but just pastries and beverages this early in the day.
We'll take it all!
Cooler heads prevailed and we ended up with a cinnamon bun (bottom), a cardamom bun (top), and a kokostoppar (middle), which is a coconut puff on a chocolate base. The buns were dense and delicious, and the coconut puff was very tasty.
On one wall of the cafe is this gigantic woven rug which depicts a photo-realistic image of Swedish bags. This thing is huge - perhaps 10+ feet in height.
We gazed across the courtyard as we waited for the museum to open. It is housed in the Turnblad Mansion, which served as a private home to Swan and Christine Turnblad's family from 1908 to 1929, when they donated the home to the Institute.
At 10:00, we made our way to the mansion. We passed this adorable garden through the window on our way.
No! Too cute! A Dala horse that you can ride! Where are our grandchildren when we need them?
Here is where the modern building starts meeting with the mansion.
Here's the main entrance to the mansion.
To our left, a clear sign told us that we'd be seeing statues throughout the home that were created by Kim Simonsson. They're probably going to be adorable, right? Not creepy at all. We'll see...
Oh, look! This is adorable: a statue of a girl offering a flower to a rabbit. Correction: a two-headed rabbit. Hmmm.
Here's the large pantry for the kitchen, ...
... and here's the kitchen. Note the statue of the little child holding the severed head of the dead goose at her feet. Whimsical!
This little alcove leads to the main entrance of the mansion where a covered entry protects arrivals from the elements. We'll show it to you later.
Doesn't every home have a coat closet like this? No?
Look! Identical twins! They're holding hands and they're staring at us, and if Stanley Kubrick taught us anything, it is that we are supposed to fear them. This is the alcove next to ...
... the music room. Green Lady here could use a nap. Check the mirror to see our reflection.
Here's the beautiful salon with a not-very-creepy statue in it. Wait, is that a glass deer skull on her shoulder?
In the Moorish-styled den is one of eleven beautiful porcelain stoves in the home, the largest collection of Swedish tile stoves outside of Sweden.
Here's the dining room with its lovely curved window bank at one end, ...
... its ornate built-in glass-covered shelves at the other end, ...
... and an elaborately carved fireplace mantle.
Here's the focal point of the Grand Hall: a two-story mahogany fireplace mantel.
Here is one of at least three staircases in the home. This one was the biggest and most ornate, so we decided it was the one we had to try first.
Here's a closer look at the huge stained glass window on the landing.
A balcony across from the landing provides another good place to view the stained glass.
This gorgeous room is the solarium. Every home needs one of these. The main building where we first arrived is visible through the windows across the courtyard.
Here's the library, which the family used as a living room.
Here's a cozy alcove off of the library.
Here's the smaller reading room, ...
... with its own stove and an extra creepy statue of a kid being suffocated by a deer.
This lovely room was a bedchamber. When you live in a mansion, you have bedchambers, not bedrooms.
These stoves (kakalugner) were ordered from catalogs published by Swedish kakelugn manufacturers. This beauty in the dressing room was manufactured by Uppsala Ekeby, and was #40 in the 1904 catalog.
Here's an alcove in another bedchamber.
This is another bedchamber that is smaller than the rest.
There's a third floor to the mansion and this room is called the lobby.
From this level, we could see that the main Institute building had a grass roof, which contributes to its LEED certification.
This room is the immigration gallery.
The turret has been converted to a play area for little visitors.
The center of the third floor contains the ballroom with its impressive glass ceiling. Behind us is a full stage for performances.
According to the museum guide, this room is actually referred to as a bedroom instead of a bedchamber, but we have no idea why. It now contains a display of Swedish handcrafts.
This was originally an artist's studio for the Turnblads' daughter Lillian. It is now used as a large playroom for visitors, themed after the children's book series, "Ulla the Baker."
It also has a porcelain tile stove, but the base has been covered up to protect it from children and vice versa.
Look at these sweet little fabric lussekatter (St. Lucia rolls) and other fabric goodies, and that adorable fabric fire pit behind the table.
In the basement, there's a traditional art gallery. We played our usual game of choosing our favorite pieces in the gallery, and as usual, we were in agreement. It's great to have identical decorating taste as your spouse.
We finished touring the mansion and headed back to the main building, but took one last photo of the mansion so you can see the covered entryway as we promised earlier. The gorgeous solarium sits on top of it.
We love a Scandinavian-themed gift shop! We spotted the same red stuffed Dala horses that we had bought in Stockholm a few months before we learned that we'd be grandparents. This is the first time we've seen them since that day, despite being in many Scandinavian-themed stores since.
So many socks! How to choose? Simple - start by eliminating the ones we own (exactly one pair - those bright red Dala-esque ones in the top row center), then agonize over all of the rest, eventually deciding on the tasteful grey ones right next to the Dala socks.
Speaking of Dala-esque, look at these teeny-tiny Dala horses! At only $1.50 each, we wanted to buy them all, but limited ourselves to just one. We also bought some excellent birch bark-themed paper straws because it is fun to say "birch" with a Swedish accent (say "beeeeerch" and be sure to roll your r's).
Our route back to St. Paul took us down Lake Street for a bit, ...
... then over on the Crosstown, which Debbie realized isn't actually called that on any signs. We saw the light rail pass by and made a note to ride it in the future.
Home, sweet home. This set of signs always reminds Debbie that she is coming back to the place where she grew up.
Speaking of her youth, this very location used to be a Zantigo fast food restaurant when she was a teenager. It was named Zapata before that, but a name change was required for legal reasons, but we digress. Then Taco Bell bought Zantigo and this location changed to a Taco Bell. Decades went by. Then one day, a fast food miracle occurred - Zantigo came back!
Thanks to Jean for the tip. As soon as she told us, we knew where we'd be going for lunch.
The music system played not one, but two Hall and Oates songs while we dined. Clearly, this meal was meant to be.
This little bit of art was on the concrete outside. No idea why.
We drove up the windy portion of Snelling Road ...
... to the wonderful land of Highland Park, home of the old water tower (beige - left) and the new water tower (blue - right). The new water tower isn't really new anymore, because it has been there since before Debbie moved here in 1971.
As we always do, we drove past the house where Debbie lived as a kid.
We picked up some ice for our cooler across the street from Cretin-Derham Hall, a combined high school that used to be two separate single-sex high schools.
There's Macalester again.
Back on campus, we decided to see a little bit more of the college.
The view from our room in 30 Mac looked out at the breezeway that links Doty Hall on the left with Turck Hall on the right.
Here's the entrance to Bigelow Hall where Debbie lived for one semester her sophomore year. This shot is significant because a vending machine used to stand here and every once in a while, Debbie would treat herself to a Hostess Suzy-Q from this very location.
Here's the door to 327 Bigelow.
It's changed a bit since Debbie lived there.
The corridor and window next to the room have changed a bit too.
But if you look carefully, you can still see the ghosts of sophomores past.
The view from the window has changed because of the large Turck Hall addition on the right where Debbie's freshman year room used to be.
The lounge looks pretty similar ...
... until you turn your head to the left and see an entire modern kitchen. Back in our day, we had a Hot Pot and that was good enough for us.
The signs on the dorm room doors had different memes on them. This one featured Max the Cat, who had recently achieved fame as the cat who visits the Macalester Library on a daily basis.
This view of the Turck Hall courtyard hasn't changed much other than that the bike racks used to be under the roof.
Here's Debbie's favorite sculpture on campus.
The sculptor was the head of the art department during her time at Mac and all we can say about him is that this sculpture sure is beautiful.
We were headed to the art department for a reunion activity.
The interior of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center has changed dramatically over the years.
The art department is now the Joan Adams Mondale Hall of Studio Art, which is unrecognizable to former art student Debbie, but it sure looks like a great place to hang out.
Even the stairwells are filled with art.
We were here for Professor Ruthann Godollei's demonstration of the letterpress studio.
There were drawers filled with different fonts for printing, ...
... and the walls were filled with prints made with the letterpress.
Here's an old logo for the Mac Weekly a million years ago.
This is the setup for printing seed packets, ...
... which alumni helped fill with wildflower seeds to share.
After the demonstration, we looked around a little more and were both taken by this cool string art.
Debbie got a little verklempt when she saw that the painting studio was named after her late art professor Jerry Rudquist. We own three Rudquist original paintings because we are such fans of his work.
Here's the outside of the art wing of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center.
We admired the Mac banners hanging along the walkways on campus.
Somehow, this combination of blue and orange isn't quite as hard on the eyes as the more traditional version is.
We opted not to visit Olin-Rice Science Center (previously two separate buildings) because we'd be having dinner there the next evening with plenty of time to look around. Debbie spent a lot of time here in the 80s working on her computer science degree.
As we passed the library, we looked for any signs of Max the Cat or the sign that banned him from the library in 2017, but no such luck.
Kagin Commons has a huge new entrance on it, where "new" can mean anything from 5 - 30 years old. Things change on campus and time goes by, so it's hard to keep track of when stuff like this was built.
We visited Debbie's art class tree and discovered that one of the main branches was now gone. It was still there in 2014 and when Debbie drew it as an art class assignment from a third-floor window in Dupre. RIP, tree-branch-on-the-left.
Debbie's friend Ken tipped her off to the existence of 1) a stairwell behind Doty Hall and 2) sanctioned graffiti on said stairwell. If you look closely, you'll spot Christopher Walken's head immortalized in black and white.
Here's another view.
Speaking of Ken, we ran into him and his former roommate Kurt in the courtyards between all of the dorms. As we walked toward one of the Bigelow Hall doors to get in, we stumbled across the current location of WMCN, the college's radio station. For the record, it's on the Bigelow end of that covered walkway where the bike stands used to be. Kurt peeked in for a better look.
30 Mac consists of double and single rooms surrounding a central lounge, with smaller lounge areas just outside, so it is perfect for hanging out with classmates. Here are Kevin, Shelley, Kurt, Ken, ...
... Nancy, Dianne, Tom, and George.
George and Shelley broke out some scotch and we opened a couple of bottles of wine.
Paula worked on the evening reception's presentation which would feature photos of reunion attendees from their years at Mac.
Debbie and Ken had lots to catch up on since it had been 25 years since they had last seen each other.
Kate does a lot of work for the college and has a full tartan wardrobe for college occasions like this one.
Kath, Karen, and Treg joined us and other classmates came and went.
There was much bonding ...
... and drinking ...
... and laughing.
After late afternoon cocktails, it was time to head over to the Leonard Center for dinner. On the way, Debbie took a photo of ...
... Kirk Hall, a residence hall that is the location of many college legends.
Three food trucks were parked outside of the Leonard Center, ...
... so we could grab some dinner before the official class get-together started. Here are Treg, Dianne, Kevin, Scott, and Karen.
We got a bowl of pork belly from Moral Omnivore and a gyro from Pharoah's Gyros, washed down with Summit Brewing Co.'s Dakota Soul.
John's daughter Kara was our class photographer for the evening.
Jenny was all smiles as usual.
We were asked to provide two truths and a lie to use in Saturday's presentation. Here's Debbie's.
Some photos are filled with too much handsome, like this one. Here are Guillermo, George, and Yianni.
This is the only photo we got of Pancho ...
... so we're including one taken by Kara as well.
It was a beautiful evening out, so it was hard to talk people into staying at the official location for our cluster's reception in the Leonard Center, ...
... but John managed to get us all gathered indoors as we waited for President Rosenberg to visit.
While we waited, a slide show was showing photos of attendees.
Macalester published a book of student photos every fall, and Debbie scanned and published three of them, so John sent her a box with eight more to scan three days before the reunion. With Tom's help, she got them scanned that day so the reunion committee could use the scanned images for this presentation and Saturday's. Here are Debbie's photos, ...
... and here are Dianne's photos. They're both from the class of 1984, so their photos start with the 1980 Spotlight (left) and advance to the 1983 Spotlight (right).
Ken is from the class of 1982, so his photos start with the 1978 Spotlight that was hand-typed. Doing this for nearly 100 reunion attendees had to have been a crazy amount of work, especially in just three days, but everyone appreciated the end result.
In the back of the room was the Macalester College Athletic Hall of Fame. There were names dating back to the early 1900s.
Bob and Debbie perused the wall, looking for familiar names.
Julia was one of the more successful athletes from our era.
President Rosenberg arrived around 9:00 to speak to our group.

Many people headed to O'Gara's next but we chose not to and went to bed instead. The party came back to 30 Mac at 11:00 and raged until late into the night.

Day 3 >


Minnesota and Wisconsin June 2018: [Day 1 - St. Paul] [Day 2 - St. Paul] [Day 3 - St. Paul] [Day 4 - Wisconsin Dells] [Day 5 - Madison]

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