Land of 10,000 smiles

We popped next door for a day or two to visit a neighbor we hadn’t seen in a while and Minnesota welcomed us with 10,000 smiles.

Thanks for the hospitality, old friend. We’ll see you again soon and you can count me and several thousand of my friends to join you on Feb. 4 for the big game. We appreciate the invite.

Meanwhile, thanks to our exceptional hosts, we had a great time scouting Minneapolis and its surrounding lakes.

We started out in Forest Lake where my Aunt Doris and Uncle Steve took us on a lake cruise and served us apricot grilled salmon, Minnesota Wild Rice and homemade/home grown raspberry peach pie. While we digested all those delicacies, we watched the sun set over still waters and I’m never, not going to celebrate that view.

Then, we headed into the city, where my son Vinnie and his girlfriend Danni showed us the wonders of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Loring Park, Lowry Park and Lake Calhoun. What I love about Minneapolis is the cool juxtaposition of pastoral and urban, an A.A. Milne pollination station in the shadow of the majestic Basilica, a Giverny-like garden on the edge of I-94.

I can’t wait to head back for a more leisurely tour. My camera and I know exactly where we’re heading the next time we head west.

Meanwhile, here area few shots of our quick weekend visit:

Sunset over the milkweed. I’m telling you, lake sunsets never get old.
And, neither do my aunt and uncle. Here they are with Vinnie and my mom midway through our Forest Lake cruise.
Look closely at the sky. We enjoyed a flock of pelicans warming up for their trek north. It was really cool to see them adjust their formations as they trained for the big trip south.
This exhibit in the Sculpture Garden is called “For whom the Bell Tolls” and, every hour, it tolls silently, leaving open the translation of the artist’s message to each individual viewer. I love that and I love our personal tour guides pictured underneath.
I thought this pollination station, located in the center of Loring Park, right in the middle of Minneapolis, looked like something Winnie the Pooh might enjoy.
I can’t describe how much I enjoy this picture of the little Brett Favre fan sketching underneath the iconic cherry on a spoon sculpture with the Basilica in one corner, and the giant blue rooster in the middle. You’re quirky, Minneapolis, and we love you for it.
I mean, is this Giverny or Minneapolis? You decide.






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