Roadtripping to Minnesota

Minnesota state line

What a wonderful week in Illinois with Dave, Molly and Maggie. The Adler Planetarium was so much fun, even if the wind tried to blow us into Lake Michigan. The downtown Chicago Skyline was something to see. I was amazed at the different shapes of the high rises. One was shaped like a fidget spinner with three wings. You have to wonder how they do not topple in the wind. After all, it is the windy city. This building has a wind tunnel built in so that does not happen. Still I wonder if the top does not sway with the wind?

Building with built in wind tunnel

I also got to have lunch with my good friend Lynn at Panera Bread. It was so nice to get together with her. We do not see each other often but when we do it is a lot of laughs and twice as many hugs.

Myself and my friend Lynn

With many hugs for Dave and the girls and a promise I will be back I headed off to Minnesota to pick up my daughter Katelyn who was visiting her fiancé. Up through Illinois and into Wisconson. I have been to Wisconson a couple of times and each time immensely enjoyed it. It is a beautiful state even in the late fall. I happened to stop at Wisconsin Dells. I do not think I have seen that many water parks. It looked like a children’s playground.

On through Wisconson into Minnesota. What a pretty state. With highways lined with trees and then miles of farmland it was a beautiful drive.

Beautiful Minnesota Highway

Driving along the highway as I was enjoying the trees and the open land, every once in a while there would appear out of nowhere a large rock formation. Like a tree it looked like it just grew there. Getting closer to Winona Minnesota I started to notice something on the mountain ahead. A large home or a castle maybe. It seemed to jut up from the top through the trees. What is that??

Strange formation

As I got closer there happened to be a Walmart close by so I pulled in to get a better look at what that was. It was a large rock formation like the ones I had seen on the side of the road. Wow it was huge. Strange how it looked as if the mountain had popped its top so to speak and a large rock just protruded up the middle.

Is that a rock??
Large rock formation

Winding my way north in Minnesota on Hwy 14 then on Highwy 61 I was following a large river. As I crossed a bridge, that I read on a sign that I was was crossing the mighty Mississippi River. What? Really? Wow! I never knew the Mississippi River was this far north. Looking a little deeper into the Mississippi River it actually starts as a small creek out of Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and travels 2,348 miles (3779 km) until it pours into the Gulf of Mexico. Incredible! I knew I was beside the Mississippi River when I came across a Riverboat. Unfortunately they were closed for the season. I could have gone on a Riverboat Fantasy! Lol.

Mississippi Riverboat

With a quick stop where my daughter was staying to tell her I am going sightseeing I headed off to The Mall of America in Minneapolis. I had been told that the mall was huge. I was not disappointed. I lucked out in finding a parking lot I could fit my Roadtrek in and wandered inside.

Entrance to the Mall of America

Walking in the door you are greeted with a Sea Life Aquarium. How cool. Looking from above you could see Sting Ray’s swimming around.

Sealife at the Mall of America

The size of the mall itself was vast. Four floors of store shopping with an amusement park in the middle. As I entered the amusement park area there is a two story M & M store. I immediately thought of my friends Ganice and Hugh who have a custom van all done in a M & M theme.

M & M Store
Ganice and Hugh’s M & M van

The amusement part of the mall had everything you would expect in a amusement park. Rides including a ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, a flying bat ride and even a roller coaster. With carnival games, bouncy houses and cotton candy stands you almost forgot you were inside a shopping mall.

Amusement park

As I walked out into the shopping portion of the mall I could help but stop amd admire the beauty of the Christmas decor.

Christmas decorations at the mall

I waved a wonderful goodbye to Minneapolis and headed south. The weather was starting to turn. The wind a little colder and then the rains came. I stopped in the town of Hastings and stayed at the Walmart there. What a wonderful town with a beautiful old courthouse. Interestingly there is also a attraction there called Extreme Sandbox. There you can play in a large sandbox with actual digging equipment. Can you imagine building a sand castle with an excavator? A definite have to do on my next trip to Minnesota.

Courthouse Hastings Minnesota

I loved this bridge as I was leaving town.

Bridge in Hastings

Off to pick up my daughter, Katelyn and head across Michigan’s U.P. ( Upper Penninsula) back to Ontario. I have been to the “U.P.” many times. It is a scenic area at anytime of year. Across the Mackinac Bridge is majestic trip every time.

Mackinac Bridge, Michigan

Even though I have been to Michigan many times I had never been to Frankenmuth and Bronner’s, The Worlds Largest Christmas Store.

Entering Frankenmuth, Michigan

Bronner’s is a Christmas wonderland. You can find everything Christmas in this huge store. Walking into the store you are transported to the north pole. Sparkling lights, tree toppers and ornaments galore. What a fun wander through a Chriatmas wonderland.

Santa at the entrance to Bronner’s
The beauty of Bronner’s

What a wonderful roadtrip and a great adventure with my daughter Katelyn.

I cannot wait to go back to Minnesota and play in a sandbox and enjoy the beauty that the state has to offer.

Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure.

See you next week!


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