She has a goal to have visited all 50 states before 2014. She fills in a state with a detail from the flag or the state flower whenever she visits one. This was her first trip to Wisconsin, but she got it filled in at the same time as some others because she knew she was coming to visit us.
She landed in Minneapolis, but we didn't really spend much time there since she got home so late. La Crosse is in a tri-state area, so on Saturday we decided to eat breakfast in Wisconsin, lunch in Minnesota and dinner in Iowa. It turned out a little differently, but I think the best part of travel is going with the flow.
We woke up fairly late, so we actually started the day with a late breakfast at Marge's, a diner here in town that is only open for breakfast and lunch. They are firm believers in gigantic portions
We didn't head to Minnesota right away. There were still showers to be taken and consignment store shopping to be done. Eventually we headed across the river.
We headed to Lanesboro, where I worked as a stage manager at the Commonweal Theatre in 2007. When I arrived in Lanesboro on a winter night four years ago, I felt like I was entering a snow globe village as we drove down into the valley. In addition to the theatre, people also come to Lanesboro to hop on the bicycle trails and river activities like kayaking, tubing and canoeing. It's a beautiful little town of less than 800 people, but it's bustling in the summer.
For a late lunch/early dinner, we hit up one of my favorite haunts, Pedal Pushers. I ate there a lot before shows when I worked at the theatre.
Housed in an old drug store, Pedal Pushers features classic diner food with a dedication to locally sourced ingredients. It's the best of both worlds. I indulged a bit with a Great Balls of Fire burger, fries and a root beer. Dionne had lasagna and we shared an order of cheese curds.
I was telling Dionne about my friend Jerome, and how he and another actor used to sneak over to Pedal Pushers during the show for coffee and pie. I was sad because I thought that he had already gone to California for grad school. Turns out, he's in town for another month or so and working at Pedal Pushers until he leaves!
I had to include both of these, because if you put them together, they'd make a great picture.
We wandered around for awhile after we ate. There are at on of cute shops in Lanesboro offering everything from handcrafted jewelry to Amish goods to your basic state themed tourist fodder.
This diner has been "Coming Soon" for at least a year. I can't wait until it's open.
Dionne and I are both old enough to remember when phone booths were more prevalent, but it's still pretty fun to see one.
My favorite shop in Lanesboro is Slant Avenue Mercantile. It's a well curated, beautifully merchandised shop chock full of gifts, stationery, classic toys, home decor, locally produced coffee and more.
You can tell that there was even careful thought put into the candy selection. I could seriously spend quite a bit of time and money in there if I had it. However, we were short on both so after a quick stop for something to drink we headed for Iowa. I'm breaking this up into two posts so that I don't bombard you with pictures. We kind of discovered the coolest ice cream parlor ever.
Until then, let me reiterate that Lanesboro is a pretty nice little place to visit if you find yourself in southeast Minnesota.