Monday, November 02, 2015

24 July 2015 Vacation Starts

A red-eye from Spokane to Seattle to Chicago to Minneapolis finally got me to our vacation destination, Minnesota. Unlike usual red-eyes, I slept poorly so I was beat when I arrived, but it is a vacation!

Our first stop was a park Ali had visited the day before on her arrival. She knew I wanted to stretch out after three flights and had enjoyed the flowers on her visit. She thought I would too.

We were entertained by a parade of ducks.

The flowers were worth a visit, and I was ready to drive after a stretch and a walk.

I also needed fortification so we made a short visit to the small town of Marine on St. Croix where we celebrated vacation with a visit to St. Croix Chocolates. Oh my, they were decadent. Ali enjoyed the mocha chocolates while I was guiltily happy with a couple lemon selections. I was also getting used to the rotating button transmission selector on our rental Chrysler 200. I really didn't expect to like the car, but it grew quickly on me. Despite being committed to manual transmissions, I thought Chrysler's rotating knob improved the layout of the interior enormously.

This trip was mostly about Minnesota State Parks in the northeastern part of the state. Our first visit was at William O'Brien State Park. It set the tone for the week with clean trails, many wildflowers, and gorgeous water. Today made me realize how weak Ohio's state parks have become.

I noticed a cache called Franconia Sculpture Park. We've visited a few outdoor sculpture parks. Some are exceptional; some not so. I wanted to visit this one to see if it was a good one. I liked it best of all those we have visited so far.

I have to get enough of these diversion suggestions right so Ali is at least willing to listen when I think about deviating from her highly detailed vacation plans. ;-) I think she was okay with this one.

Interstate State Park

Carpets of wildflower leaves were visible from the trail. Spring must be colorful when all is in bloom.

Interstate State Park also has huge glacial potholes. We enjoyed walking above into and through the formations.

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