Friday, October 13, 2017

Another Birthday Adventure… Stockholm and the St. Croix River Valley: Part II


Attending an art fair is another great reason to explore a new town.  There are pros and cons to visiting a new town during an event, so just be prepared for anything.  You may have to wait in line to visit a long awaited establishment, and depending on how far you’ve traveled, if you will be visiting in the future (or will make future visits/plan to visit again), and your mood; you will have to decide if it is worth the wait.


The purpose of this trip was to celebrate a friend's birthday… and explore some of the towns along the St. Croix River (WI HWY 35 and MN HWY 61).  Ted and I had traveled to Maiden Rock, WI and Stockholm, WI in the spring and had been dying to go back to visit again.  Even after this trip, we would still like to go back again.




Prescott, WI


First stop, The Twisted Oak Coffee Shop in downtown Prescott.  It is hard to see the sign if you park across the street as the complete logo Twisted Oak Coffee Shop is on the window pane and not the wood awning.  It is worth finding this coffee shop, though.  The cozy shop has only a handful of small tables inside, but has overflow tables out on the sidewalk.  Inside, the lighting and furniture are dark like a cabin.  The drinks are delicious and the scone (from Emily’s Bakery & Deli in Hastings) was a little lighter and fluffier than expected, but still rather tasty.  I would have preferred it without the icing (even though the icing had a nice flavor).









If it is nice out, take your coffee across the street by the river.  Prescott is the confluence of the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers.  You might (have flashbacks to childhood) feel like you are in a Disney movie as the railroad bridge towers over the river look like Mickey Mouse ears!




Maiden Rock, WI


As we were thirsty, we stopped at Ole’s Bar & Grill.  The new bar owner, and her good friend, the bartender settled us in right away with crisp, slightly spicy bloody mary’s



We stopped at the Green Queen artists’ shop, a lovely little shop specializing in all things pollination, across the street.  In addition to jewelry, art, and wind chimes; they also carry…





Stockholm, WI


After pulling off the road at a few scenic lookouts, we arrived outside of Stockholm… cars lined HWY 35 (and the neighborhood) for about a quarter of a mile in either direction of downtown.  Anxiety was high while we navigated the streets, dodging cars and people; however, we were persistent and ended up finding a perfect spot just outside of town.  As we walked into town, we stopped at several of the small artist shops…



Our spirits sank when we saw the line at the Stockholm Pie Shop as it was out the door.  So, rather than wait in line (as we were already quite hungry), we went to Lena’s Lucky Star restaurant to grab lunch.  Again, our spirits sank as we opened the door and saw the crowd of people waiting for tables.  We took a chance and put our name in anyway and ended up waiting less than five minutes!  Whew!  AC and good food on a 90 degree day.  As it was a busy day, a limited menu was served, but all we needed was something light and a cold beer… so the Nacho’s Grande (with ground beef, beans, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes) and Mango Blonde (from Lift Bridge) were a perfect combination.  The nachos were nice and light and the perfect size for sharing (for two).  




The main event: the Stockholm Art Fair!  The fair is held past the railroad tracks by the river at the Stockholm Village Park.  The giant trees (and artists’ tents) were a blessing in the heat of the day.


The art was fabulous, of course… going to an art fair is like going to an art gallery, only in a more casual atmosphere.  Browsing with a friend is a great way to spend the day!


Pepin, WI


After Stockholm, we stopped at the Pickle Factory Pub… fancy restaurant upstairs… casual bar downstairs… great place for people to stop when they are boating…


Wabasha, MN




We crossed back over the river through the beautiful Nelson-Trevino Bottoms State Natural Area (so beautiful in the slanting rays of the afternoon sun!) to the home of the Grumpy Old Men Festival… stopped at Slippery’s Tavern Restaurantthe clam chowder is as good as they claim!!




After taking pictures with the Grumpy Old Men benches we headed home along HWY 61 as we were sleeeeepy… again, a lovely drive along the river!


The “D” Trip on HWY 12



So, here’s the deal with this trip… it took place several months ago… in the spring...


Over the past several years our good friends have led us on many urban explorations in Minneapolis and now we are returning the favor by taking them on road trips in suburban and rural areas.
  
Our fellow explorers are always up for traveling off the beaten path, so they make excellent traveling companions.  I make mention of that as there were at least three unplanned stops on this road trip… and these guys were up for the adventure!


Darwin, MN


First stop, Darwin, MN for the “World’s Largest Ball of Twine Rolled by One Man.”


 


Mr. Johnson began rolling a ball of twine back in 1950 and continued until 1979..  Soon he had to move the ball outside on support beams… read more here at Atlas Obscura.

 


If you want to touch the ball of twine and visit the museum, make sure to call ahead to schedule a tour.  As it happened we had other places to visit, so we contented ourselves with looking at the ball of twine through the glass structure and reading about Mr. Johnson and the process of creating this large work of art.




Dassel, MN




You never know what you’ll find driving down HWY 12.  You just might find one of the most interesting museums you’ll ever visit (as least in my opinion).  The was one of those “bonus stops,” not on our itinerary.  We were driving along and what in the world did we see?  A mushroom shaped vintage gas station (not in service).  Photo op!  And what did our wondrous eyes see… but a sign for The Dassel History Center & Ergot Museum!  Only one of four had any idea what ergot is; a fungus that grows on the stalk of grains such as rye, oats, or wheat.  When ingested...




Cokato, MN


On our way out to Darwin, we noticed this ginormous log on the back of a pickup truck.  So of course we said to ourselves… “we need to stop and get our picture taken with that truck.”  The things you see while on a road trip!  




Delano, MN




Beer stop at Lupine Brewing.  One card, eight growlers, $35.00… good deal.  So, since we were heading out this way anyway, we thought we would pick up a growler.  And how do you decide which beer to choose?  Sample a flight… after tasting a flight, we settled on the Barleywine (so tasty!).


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
This town had two breweries… South Fork was the other brewery… which is now closed.  Unfortunately, we know some of the reasons why: the beer was not our favorite and the old couches and broken pallet table left something to be desired.  The staff were friendly and (the company was amazing as our friends are excellent conversationalists), so the experience was not an entire loss.  All of that said, there may be others out there who have different opinions about this former brewery.  Everyone has his or her own preferences.


Howard Lake, MN


A nice surprise was driving by Grandpa Ittel’s Meats, the local meat market.  We were looking for a place to eat, when we found this place.  Tasty beef jerky.  They have won awards for their meats.  



 


If you are hungry stop at Frontera Cafe & Bistro, a charming, little Mexican bistro.  The enchilada’s were delicious!  


Waverly, MN
 
Behind the Moon Antiques store… found a reed organ!  I love the sound of accordion and I am lucky enough to have a husband who humors me…




Long Lake, MN


Birches on the Lake… mmm… another tasty Barleywine.  The atmosphere is casual elegance.  Fine dining upstairs and bar downstairs.  We went in the spring, so it was still a little chilly so we wouldn’t have enjoyed the patio.  In the summer it would be lovely to sit by a fire pit or in the Adirondack chairs.




The Red Rooster is a tasty, family friendly restaurant that was hoppin on a Saturday night.  The burger and grilled cheese were delicious.  The portions are large, so we took half home (next time we might share).

 





What a great day!


 

Thursday, August 24, 2017




Saskatchewan and Alberta Canadian Adventure


What do you do when you have a family reunion one weekend and a wedding the next weekend (both seven hours away from home)? Do you drive back and forth?  No, way!  You find a fabulous new place to visit during the week!  


First leg: St. Paul, MN to Bismarck, ND


Some would say the drive from St. Paul to Bismarck is flat and ugly, but I beg to differ.  Northwestern Minnesota’s rolling hills send a little thrill through me every time I see them.  And there is something so intriguing about the widow makers (dead trees) rising out of the shallow lakes with birds roosting in them (in Minnesota and North Dakota).  Once you are in Eastern North Dakota, the land is quite flat, but the austerity is beautiful.  Growing up in the Twin Cities surrounded by trees, the wide-open spaces came as a shock the first time I drove through sixteen years ago.  After that first time, it just became more beautiful with each visit.  There is beauty in the stark landscape.


The wide-open spaces showcase the clouds like an IMAX theater would.  The combination of the ever-changing clouds and buttes in the distance is lovely.  Ted always has to remind me that I don’t need to take pictures of all of the clouds!




Second Leg (Day One): On the way to Moose Jaw, AB


Our journey began in Bismarck, ND; a lovely place in its own right.  We began by traveling north on HWY 83.  The way the sunlight glanced across the rolling hills was a wonderful way to begin... and just look at those sunflowers.  You can't help but smile passing by so many happy flowers!




Washburn, ND

Check out the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center… it functions as a rest stop, interpretive center, and art gallery.  12-foot-tall metal statues of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and Mandan Chief Sheheke are awaiting your visit!  Walk off your stiff legs by admiring the metal bison sculptures.  















Then head to Fort Mandan (a mile or two down the road) to walk by the river and take a picture with Seaman, the Newfoundland that Lewis picked up in Pennsylvania for his journey.






Remember to never judge a book by its cover!  We stopped at the little market in town (with friendly and helpful staff) to grab a pastry and we were a little skeptical with what we saw in the bakery case.  We didn’t want to grab a large container of anything as we were not sure if we could travel over the border with an open package.  Well we found a two pack of scones from the bakery that didn’t look like much… but OMG they were delicious, dense and light at the same time… one apple cinnamon and one blueberry… both super tasty!  So, don’t judge that book by its cover!





Garrison, ND




We had to check out Wally the Walleye… however, there is some debate over Garrison, ND being the Walleye Capitol of the World versus the other Garrison… Garrison, MN being the Walleye Capitol of the World.  Check out the debate here.  At any rate, this stop made for a great photo op!



After heading through Minot, ND; we had to drive a two-lane highway… just a little nerve wracking… but everything turned out alright!


Okay, another life lesson… remember to look at the step by step directions that your husband prints out so that you don’t miss the turn off!  Oh, well… if we wouldn’t have traveled 25 miles out of the way we never would have discovered Noonan, ND… what a cool name!  We didn’t have time to stop and explore… but just the name made us smile.


Moose Jaw, AB “the friendly city”


What a charming town!  The old-style buildings that line Main Street bring the past to life.  Take a walk down Main Street to admire the buildings and check out the boutiques.  Learn about the history of Moose Jaw by taking a walking tour of the many murals downtown.



If you are staying in Moose Jaw, the Grant Hall Hotel is an excellent choice.  I think I said, “This is soooo beautiful,” at least twenty times… I’m pretty sure we lost count.  The first floor (ground floor to you Canadians) was an interesting mix of feminine and masculine opulence; crystal chandeliers, lovely crown molding, yet also animal print upholstery and paintings of hunting parties.  Our room was on the same floor as a party room and a lovely rooftop patio (which we looked at longingly as there was a heat warning)!  Our room was comfortable, beautiful, and luxurious.  Even though this is a turn of the century building, it has all the modern amenities and comforts… even plush bathrobes and a flat screen TV (if you absolutely need to watch TV).  Now, sleeping on any bed but my own usually gives me a backache, but this bed was quite comfortable and I woke up back ache free!







Have a bite to eat and/or drinks at the ground floor restaurant.  We only had time for dessert and a nightcap; but both were absolutely fabulous… drinking specialty cocktails and eating Haskap Berry Crisp was a lovely way to spend our last evening hours after having walked all over downtown.  The continental breakfast was mediocre (in our opinion), so we recommend buying the hot breakfast.





It only makes sense to walk the downtown strip, but also check out the lovely Crescent Park as it sits across the road directly behind the hotel.  In 1978, the city’s coat of arms was fashioned into a flower bed (for Moose Jaw’s Diamond Jubilee) … Queen Elizabeth II visited the city that year… everyone loved the flower bed so they decided to make it permanent!




There are many great choices for dining, but we made a point to stop at the Déjà vu Café.  With over 80 flavors of milkshakes and over 100 flavors of sauces and dry rubs for the homemade chicken strips or chicken wings, this had our names written all over it!  Ted learned about this café on the Travel Channel and it did not disappoint.  The chicken and sauces were all quite tasty... and why aren’t all fries served with gravy?  The fries were great on their own, but oh, man, the gravy took them up a notch!  Yummy coleslaw and a pistachio shake rounded out the meal… but so delicious!



So, all in all, eating at the Déjà vu Café was a great experience!  Even though it was busy (as it always is), our server was willing to chat and tell us a little about the area.





As we were walking down main street we stumbled upon the Prairie Bee Meadery!  What a nice surprise… the store was closing in five minutes and this wonderful lady could have just rushed us out, but she gave us a wonderful experience.  We were able to sample several styles of mead AND learn a little about Calgary as she had lived there in the past.  We enjoyed the Haskap Haven Honey Wine so much, we had to take a bottle home.        


Throughout this post, I will point out interesting differences between the United States and Canada, so pay attention and you will know more than we knew before we visited!  As mentioned above, the ground floor was the first floor and the first floor was the second floor (and so on)... we aren’t sure if this is the case in all buildings in Canada as we had only traveled in one other elevator while we were there and forgot to look at the buttons.


Well… we couldn’t leave Moose Jaw without seeing Mac the Moose (the second largest moose in the world)!  Check out more information on RoadsideAmerica.com (an interesting and useful website for your road trip).  He was moved from his original site to the visitor center recently and a large airplane sculpture called the Snowbird Tutor Jet (in honor of Canada’s military air show team) keeps him company!





If we would have had more time, we would have checked out the “Tunnels of Moose Jaw” tours.  It’s possible that Al Capone operated his business out of Moose Jaw for a while, so that is what one of the tours is about.  The other tour is about the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the experiences of Chinese Immigrants.  

Third Leg (Day Two): Moose Jaw, SK to Calgary, AB


Calgary or bust!  That was our road trip adventure motto of the day!  


For this leg of our journey, we were able to drive on HWY 1 (a four-lane highway) the entire way to Calgary… whoo whoo!  No need to grip that steering wheel so tight!


Here are a few of the sights on the way…  


Snow?!?  Nope… that is salt from the salt mines in Morse, SK.  Apparently, there can be snow in the summer, but that was not snow.  Just after driving through Morse, we viewed Lake Leed south of HWY 1.  This is one of the larger lakes (GINORMOUS, in our opinion) just off HWY 1 in SK, very pretty.




Lovely mustard seed and canola crops (almost as beautiful as sunflower fields) line the highway.


There is a Humpty’s Restaurant in just about every other town… we didn’t have time to stop, but the name put a smile on our face.




Another name that you will see driving through Canada is Husky (gas stations).  Oil and Gas is the main industry besides ranching and tourism in SK and AB.  The Husky sign makes for a great photo op!




The world’s largest tee pee stands tall along HWY 1 in Medicine Hat, AB.  We couldn’t stop for it on the way to Calgary, but made a mental note to stop by on our return trip.





CALGARY!!!


Okay, that was a long drive, but Calgary is worth it, what a beautiful skyline! This photo was taken from Memorial Park (a tree was planted for each soldier that gave his life in World War I) across the Bow River.




Our Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) was located in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Calgary.  Sunny Heights, Urban Cottage #3… what a charming name and place!  Being centrally located was a major draw for this rental.  The cottage is a five or six block walk to the Kensington neighborhood and a similar distance to get across the river to downtown.  This is our kind of place as we love to walk to explore a city!



Sunnyside is an artsy neighborhood in which many students from ACAD (Alberta College of Art + Design), the local art school, live.

First night… we checked in and headed straight to social hour (happy hour) at Midtown Kitchen in Kensington (like I said, so close!) pulled pork sliders… yum!   


Second Stop: Oak Tree Tavern… awesome patio with downtown views, casual atmosphere, and tasty pickle soup!






One of the other nice things about this neighborhood is that there is a Safeway grocery store, a light rail stop, and a gas station (in addition to the many specialty shops and restaurants) all within a two or three block radius.  So we stopped at Safeway (and the wonderful Sidewalk Citizen) to get some picnic and snack foods (a great way to save money on vacation!).  We usually go out to eat for one to two meals per day on vacation, but you could do more or less depending on your budget.

The Peace Bridge is a lovely sight to behold from either side of the Bow River.
   


Back to the lovely cottage for a good night’s rest! :)


Day Three: Exploring Calgary


Originally our plan had been to spend the day in Banff National Park; however, it was supposed to rain, so we decided to stay in Calgary (so much fun!).


We started the day by walking down to the Vendome Café, a recommendation from locals and our vacation rental owner.  She was right, we tried the salmon benedict and a banana chocolate chip muffin… delicious!  




We really wanted to see the Olympic Center, so we headed to the site of the 1988 Olympic complex.  The buildings are still in use for skiing and snowboarding in the winter and mountain biking, summer bobsledding, summer luge, and zip line in the summer.  We tried the Skyline Luge and really enjoyed it.  The course was steep enough to be thrilling, but not so steep as to be terrifying!  The most gripping part of the entire experience was riding up the ski lift as there is no seat belt… (of course there is no seat belt… there’s never a seat belt on a ski lift!).  Anyway, on our way down, we zoomed around the curves, racing each other to the end.  We definitely recommend trying this out!






After the luge, we headed to the Wild Rose Brewery… located in an old airplane hangar.  We really enjoyed the Brown and Gose Ales.  Always sit at the bar and you will make a friend!




The locals told us the best place to grab poutine was at the Big Cheese Poutinerie.  So, we headed back to Sunnyside and walked over.  




Well, guess what?  The Sunnyside/Kensington neighborhood celebrated Harry Potter Day the day before, and some of the businesses still had paintings depicting characters and places from the stories!  OMG… lots of photo ops!  The Regal Cat Cafe is one of many interesting places to visit… but be sure to make a reservation if you want to visit with the cats!




We took an afternoon tour of the Calgary Tower and recommend getting the audio tour if you want to learn more about the city’s history.  The audio program comes on an ipod like device with headphones.  The city is broken into quadrants and the program shows pictures of the city so you can match the name to the building.


 





After the tower tour, we walked to the city hall, a relatively new construction glass building, and the Olympic Plaza.  If you are into taking photos with sculptures, there are many to keep you busy at the plaza and outside city hall; horses, lions, women’s suffragists, and prominent figures galore.







Well, it started to rain, as forcasted, and we decided to head back to Sunnyside via the pedestrian mall, Stephen Avenue.  We continued learning about Calgary by reading plaques and viewing statues along the walkway.   




Lined with restaurants and shops, this is a great place to hang out downtown.  It began to rain harder, so we decided to try out Calgary’s CTrain light rail and  with a little help from a helpful Calgarian we figured out how many Toonies ($2 coins) and Loonies ($1 coins) we needed to ride the train.  FYI, if you are riding within the downtown area, your fare is free!  As we were headed across the river, that did not apply to us.  The fare was similar to what you pay in the Twin Cities, about three dollars during rush hour.  The train was packed, but it was clean and our fellow passengers were polite; they respected others’ personal space so it was a pleasant trip home.

We rested up to wake up early 5ish to get to Banff National Park (the first national park) and Lake Louise around 7:30/8:00.  Everyone we talked to (and all the reviews online) say to get there as early as possible to avoid the crowds.  This was even more important as Canadian National Parks passes are free in 2017 for the 150th year anniversary of the National Park Service.  


Third Leg, Calgary to Banff, AB


Day Three: Mountains, Lakes, and Waterfalls in Banff National Park


We had purchased an app called Gypsy Guide for five dollars.  What an awesome, informative app!  Basically it is tour guide for your road trip.  The narrator shares information, advice, and history based on where you are at.  We highly recommend purchasing this app.  The tour guide will tell you about how animals cross the highways… on a bridge built just for animals!  Tunnels didn’t work for all animals, so parks began to build wildlife crossings.




Well, as per usual, I moved slowly that morning, so we did not get to the town of Banff until 7:45… stopped at the visitor center to purchase some bear spray for $30, which happened to be unnecessary as there were so many people on the trails, but better safe than sorry, eh?  We were advised to walk in groups and/or make noise so as not to startle any bears and this was not a problem because as I mentioned there were many people hiking.


Also, check out this photo… these crosswalks are diagonal!  Shouldn’t all intersections work this way?  All lights turn red and pedestrians have three options; walk left, right or diagonal.



After getting the bear spray we drove to the town of Lake Louise to use the bathroom and check out a gift shop.  We ended up making it to a parking lot near Lake Louise by about 9:00.  By that time, the main parking lot by the Fairmont Hotel (sitting on the lake) was full (and there were cops directing traffic).





Bow River leading to the Fairmont Hotel



So, we drove a short ways back down the road to the next closest parking lot (still a 10-15 minute hike back up along the Bow River to the closer parking lot).  After we arrived back at that parking lot and wove our way through the sea of cars… walked along the path by the hotel… and we finally saw the famed aqua waters of Lake Louise!  We were not only astounded by the amazing views, but also by the number of visitors/hikers.  Wow!




If you are up for a hike, take the trail up to Mirror Lake and continue up to the Tea house on Lake Agnes.  Don’t be fooled 3.5 Kilometers seems like a short hike, but the elevation and steepness of the trail make this hike somewhat difficult, especially for us city slickers!  We walk for miles in the city, but don’t often hike steep hills or at high elevations, so this trail was challenging for us.  As it was so beautiful, we stopped to take photos and admire the landscape often.  We even made friends on the trail!  It was interesting to hear people speaking in all different languages as we hiked; French, Spanish, Japanese...




We were fooled into thinking the trail wasn’t that steep in the beginning of the hike… but learned soon enough what the trail was like; challenging and breathtaking.


Mirror Lake!


We made it to Mirror Lake, admired the view, took a rest break and decided to hike the rest of the way to Lake Agnes as we were so close (within .8 KM).  The last portion of the trail is stairs… just before the stairs you begin to hear the waterfall, that's how you'll know you're close… and finally… Lake Agnes!

Lake Agnes!!!


As I mentioned previously, many people were enjoying the trail (there were lines at the Tea House)… so when I reached the top, I admired the view with a feeling of joy and triumph, took some pictures, and headed back down.  


The trip down was slightly easier, so it took much less time.  At the bottom, we spent some more time admiring the aqua waters of Lake Louise and relaxed before the next part of our adventure.



As it was early to mid afternoon and we were pretty tired from our hike, we decided to head back to Banff and take the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain.  We had been planning to do this all along, but hadn't purchased tickets as the views would not be as good in the rain.  We stopped in as the tour buses were beginning to leave so we didn't have to wait that long…


Another life lesson: don't park all the way down the road just because you see cars lined up… be patient and drive all the way to the parking lot to see if anyone has left!  We walked an extra half mile because I decided to park far away!


Anyway… back to the gondola… this is definitely worth it!  The ride up is relaxing, and once you get to the top, you get to spend at least an hour and a half before you have to go back down…



The views are amazing and there are plaques with the names of the mountains, information about wildlife, and the history of the area.  We enjoyed a mini bottle of wine (from a winery we visited on our honeymoon) inside one of the restaurants and admired the view!





There were wildfires in Jasper National Park, so the view to the northwest was a little hazy, but the view southeast was phenomenal!



Next time we visit, we will stay at least one night in Banff or Canmore so as to spend more time in the park.  We loved Calgary, so we will definitely stay there as well!


Fourth Leg, Calgary, AB to Regina, SK


Before leaving Calgary, we stopped at Red’s Diner for a tasty breakfast… the Kensington Benedict was delicious… and we finally learned what the green sign with a stick figure on it meant… EXIT!


 




The last, most wonderful establishment we visited was Pie Junkie… it’s a good thing this place is so far away, otherwise I would be visiting this shop all of the time!




PIE, PIE, PIE… YUM, YUM, YUM!  That’s all I have to say about that… :)  Okay, I have more to say… the Bacon, Cheddar, Arugula quiche was creamy and delicious.  AND the Sour Cherry hand held is also delightful!


After talking to several people from Calgary, I thought, oh man… here comes a long, flat, boring drive.  They all said there wasn’t much between these two cities, but I beg to differ.  


This time as we drove by we decided to stop to break up the trip a little:


Medicine Hat, AB “the gas city”


Hell’s Basement Brewing: we had a pleasant stop, made a friend, drank one flight of fairly tasty beer, learned about the area and then headed to the largest Tee Pee.  So, Rudyard Kipling visited Medicine Hat in 1907 and check out what he said… that, “This part of the country seems to have all hell for a basement, and the only trap door seems to be in Medicine Hat.”  Hence the name Hell’s Basement Brewing… the brewery even hosts a collection of Rudyard Kipling’s works in honor of his history and influence in Medicine Hat.


Medicine Hat is also home to the world’s largest tepee (the Saamis Tepee) over the top of the Saamis Archaeological Site.  It was originally built in Calgary for the 1988 Winter Olympics.  I’m always up for a history lesson and it was interesting to learn about the history of the native people of Canada.  So, stop at the Medicine Hat Information Center/Rest Stop and then hop over to visit the Saami Tepee!




Swift Current, AB “where life makes sense”


The town of Swift Current has an interesting slogan… I wonder if it is easier to understand each other in this town...




Traveling home to Bismarck (I say home, because Bismarck feels like a second home to me) was still a fun trip!  As I have mentioned several times, I love, love, love the prairie… it’s simplicity is majestic and fills my soul with peace.


Extra pics for your viewing pleasure… other majestic sights that awe and delight!







Art from Sunnyside:

Spring Board Performance features shipping containers with murals.



Murals!





Another Birthday Adventure… Stockholm and the St. Croix River Valley: Part II Attending an art fair is another great reason to explore a...