Duke and I are really enjoying our summer road trip. We made a conscious decision that on this trip we wanted to make a point of seeing friends and family many of whom we hadn't seen in a long time. Every time I send Christmas cards I tell people that I would love to get together and then nothing happens. This year I am actually visiting a few of those people.
From Chicago we drove north to Colgate Wisconsin where we stayed with my college friend Diane and her husband Tom. It had been over 30 years since I last saw Diane and Tom. We stayed up and talked until midnight. On Friday they took us to Holy Hill Basilica. It is a beautiful church that sits on a hill overlooking all the surrounding land. You can see it from the field behind their house.
We climbed to the top of the steeple. I am not particularly afraid of heights but the wind in the open steeple made the last staircase to the top a bit scary. The view from the top made the climb very worth it. After climbing down we hiked all around the grounds.
Back at Tom and Diane's house we ate lunch on the porch and watched a pair of Sand Hill Cranes and their baby feast on a plate of corn that Diane set out in the yard.
After lunch and we hit the road again. We drove across Wisconsin to visit my Aunt Dorothy in Eau Claire for a couple of days. She took us to visit the Chippewa Valley Museum and we went for a walk along the Chippewa River which was over its banks and blocked the trail at one point
It is always fun to visit Aunt Dorothy. We hope to be back soon.
From Eau Claire we went to St Paul to tour the Minnesota state capital building. Someone told us it is the second most beautiful capitol building in the U.S. after the Utah capitol which we also visited on this trip. We got to climb up to the roof to see the gold statue and the great view. While we were waiting for the tour we walked over to see the beautiful St Paul Cathedral.
Sunday night we spent south of St Paul in Red Wing, Minnesota. We stayed at the nicest bed and breakfast that we have stayed at on this trip. Moondance Inn is located in a big old mansion. The rooms were wonderful, the hosts were friendly and the food was great. We walked downtown and had one of the best dinners of our trip at Nortons.
Monday we checked out the Red Wing Shoes factory store. We saw the biggest boot in the world and bought some shoes.
From Red Wing we drove south along the Mississippi and spent the night in La Crosse Wisconsin. Last night we walked along the water front and then had hamburgers and root beer at at Rudy's Drive-In in La Crosse. The car-hops were on roller skates and our tray hung from the window of the truck. It was an absolutely perfect end to a hot summer evening.