Day 1 - St. Paul
|Thursday, November 1, 2018: We left home at 5:00 AM in the rain.
|The rain had stopped and unfortunately, so had our progress by the time we reached Chicago around 7:00 AM Central time.
|There's downtown Chicago off to the east.
|Every time we drive by the Zurich building, we take a photo that shows a different angle of this amazing structure.
|Medieval Times has been officially renamed Johnny's Castle in our van.
|Castle Rock was looking quite beautiful in the sun as we drove through Wisconsin.
|We passed cranberry bogs as we got near Tomah. That Bosshard Bogs sign is pretty cool.
|Wisconsin has lots of scenic marshes along the highway.
|There's Eau Claire.
|It was early afternoon when we made it to the Wisconsin-Minnesota border.
|Minnesota Welcomes You.
|So does the 3M building, ...
|... the Bank with the One at the Top (far left) and the Capitol building (far right), ...
|... and the Cathedral of St. Paul.
|We arrived at Union Hospital around 2:00 PM.
|We were here to see Debbie's dad after his surgery.
|But surprise! His surgery was postponed at the last minute so he was moved to a different wing of the hospital shortly after our arrival.
|So we settled into his new room and waited for news of what would happen next.
|A cardiologist met with us when it was determined that Bob would need a pacemaker first.
|We took an opportunity to head out for dinner. Our hotel was two blocks away, and the Cathedral was just up the hill.
|Here's the view from the parking garage adjacent to the hotel. Those are the backs of buildings along West 7th Street.
|Our route to dinner took us right past the front of the hospital. Bob's room was on the top floor in the back left corner, so it was a little more quiet and private.
|Here's the front of the hospital with its entrance just below street level.
|Of course, we were headed to Carbone's Pizza on Randoph Avenue.
|It had been expanded and renovated the previous winter, and this was our second visit since the change, ...
|... but our first time getting to see how they had updated the original space. We were happy to see that they had left some small portions of the classic 70s - 80s decor in place.
|We had called our order in during our drive, so we had a hot, delicious Carbone's Special on our table less than 20 minutes after arriving.
|This pleased Debbie very much.
|Fifteen minutes later, we had wolfed down our food and were on our way back.
|As you can see, Tom hates these stoplights that are used to regulate cars entering the freeways in Minnesota.
|Here's the sign on the old Schmidt Brewery.
|This section of 35E didn't exist when Debbie grew up in St. Paul, so it is very strange to use it instead of West 7th Avenue when going to downtown St. Paul from Carbone's.
|Less than an hour after leaving, we were passing the Cathedral and pulling into the Holiday Inn's parking garage again, then we headed back to the hospital.
|By 7:45, Bob had finally been given the green light to eat some food after waiting all day to see if he'd have surgery, so we said goodnight and headed out.
|The Cathedral looked lovely in the dark.
|Here's West Seventh on the other side of the hotel from where we normally entered, ...
... and here's the view of the Xcel Energy Center on the site of the old Civic Center, as seen from the hotel's fancy glass front elevator.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy