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


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Minnesota and Wisconsin November 2018: [Day 1 - St. Paul] [Day 2 - St. Paul] [Day 3 - Onalaska] [Day 4 - La Crosse]

Friday, November 2, 2018: Good morning, St. Paul! Here's the view from our hotel room ...
... and there's the lovely Cathedral again.
Debbie's dad had pacemaker surgery first thing this morning, so we headed over to the hospital around the time he was expected to be back in his room.
The surgery went very well.
One by one, a series of medical personnel stopped by to talk with Bob.
He was a popular guy.
Only a couple of hours after surgery, he was sitting up and feeling pretty good.
We went out around noon to get some lunch and run some errands. There's the view past the Xcel Energy Center toward downtown St. Paul.
Here's a cool building.
We passed the Minnesota History Center, which might be worth a visit if we are ever in town more than a day or two.
There's the Capitol building, which we'd be getting a closer look after lunch.
Speaking of lunch, hello Leeann Chin! We try to make a stop at a Leeann Chin location somewhere in the Cities on every visit. This was our first trip to this location, which was located on the spot where the old Midway Center used to be.
It's not a flattering photo of Tom, but it's the only one we took during lunch.
We worked our way through St. Paul city streets to get to our next stop.
Pretty building.
Our destination was Solo Vino, a liquor store that stocked ...
... RockFilter Bourbon, from a distillery owned by a childhood friend of Debbie's. Even though we aren't bourbon fans, we bought the bottle on the left.
We headed back to downtown past WA Frost and the Cathedral.
This time, we decided to take a closer look at the Capitol. This was the first time Debbie had gotten this close since long before she moved away from Minnesota in 1987.
Here's the side view.
A light rail train passed us at the intersection. Note to self: ride this on a future visit.
We followed it around to a station a few blocks away, ...
... past Frogtown Square, a place that we didn't know existed until this very moment, and back to the hotel.
We went out for a walk in downtown St. Paul. We passed Mickey's Dining Car, which we were surprised to see had a small parking lot. The Bank with the One at the Top photobombed it.
Here's the Minnesota Children's Museum.
We were here to experience the wonder that is Candyland.
It was an unexpected treat to find some more specimens of Peanuts statues to add to our Statues collection. Here's Snoopy ...
... and Lucy.
Oh my. The first thing that hits you when you enter is the heavenly smell of melted chocolate and freshly-popped popcorn. Any 1970s shopping trip to downtown St. Paul always involved buy a small paper bag filled with some sort of candy, often red sour balls.
We had no need for a decorative tin. None whatsoever. But that didn't stop us from discussing for ten minutes the pros and cons of each of the sizes.
Large windows offer a glimpse into the room where it happens: candy making.
Teenage Debbie would have been proud of mid-50s Debbie for making this trek, and also for being able to justify the purchase of ...
... a medium Candyland tin filled with caramel corn.
Around the corner from Candyland is West Seventh Place, home of ...
... the Hamm's Bear monument.
Placed in 2005, this monument tells the history of the Hamm's Bear and his place in Hamm's Beer advertising. He was a cute little guy.
Here's the beautiful Landmark Center.
Right next to our photography vantage point was a building with shiny glass standing between us and another Snoopy/Woodstock statue.
We were back at the hospital by mid-afternoon, where the good news had just come in that Bob was now approved to undergo his original surgery and that it had been rescheduled for Monday.
We were all very happy with this news, especially Bob's wife, Becky.
Cousin Paul sent flowers so we got a photo to send to him so he could see how lovely they were.
After a couple of hours of hanging out, we gave them some downtime and headed out to dinner on our own. We were going to eat at Mickey's Diner, but that tiny parking lot we had seen earlier was full, so we thought about what to do next as we waited for a red light in front of the Minnesota Public Radio building.
We drove past Forepaugh's Restaurant where Debbie worked bussing tables in the late 1970s.
Here it is: Mancini's Char House, home of the most delicious grilled lobster tail on the planet.
This used to be much cheaper back in the 70s, but Debbie had much less money back then, so it pretty much evens out.
Mmmm, delicious. All this and a basket of grilled garlic bread piled high enough to feed a table of eight. The only thing that would have made this better is if we had been able to make plans to meet friends there, but the nature of our trip made pre-planning impossible.
Here's a horrible photo of the Schmidt's Brewery tower.
Here's an even worse photo of whatever business is currently in the Clark's Submarine Sandwiches building on West Seventh. (RIP, Clark's. You will never be forgotten.)
Let's make it a trio of bad photos: here is recently back-from-the-dead Zantigo, which was replaced by a Taco Bell decades ago and has since returned. (Hear that, Clark's? You can come back now. Please.)
While at Mancini's, we made last minute plans to head to Harriett Brasserie in Minneapolis, ...
... where we got to have drinks and dessert with dear friends Norie and Bill.
There was much reminiscing, laughing, and swapping of travel stories.
It was late when we said farewell, ...
... and headed back to St. Paul past Debbie's favorite Minneapolis movie theater, the Uptown. Ask her about the boiler room someday.

Day 3 >


Minnesota and Wisconsin November 2018: [Day 1 - St. Paul] [Day 2 - St. Paul] [Day 3 - Onalaska] [Day 4 - La Crosse]

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