Trip to the state fair comes later in the weekPublished 10:17am Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Because of the heat the annual trip Monday to the Minnesota State Fair was postponed until Friday.
Kay Hahn and her guest will be joining us on the trip as she was the winner of the drawing at the Senior Center building during the Mower County Fair.
We will depart at 7:30 a.m. from the Walmart parking lot and return about 6:30 p.m. Seats are still available. Call 507-438-3946 or 507-433-9391 to join us.
We recently held our annual Mystery Trip this past week. If the early clues helped you, you will know that our destination is the same name as a well-known performer. country singer Winona Ryder was born there in 1929.
The second clue was, “Looking for Betty Jo.” Which was the restaurant where we had our noon lunch. It was a quaint, historic building with a lot of memorabilia and signs everywhere. They also make the best chicken dumpling soup.
Now if I told you we were going to Winona, many would say, “Well, I have been there.” Our First stop was at the beautiful Visitors Center, situated on the Mississippi River. This was also our coffee stop at Bloedow Bakery Bismarks with Bavarian crème filling and strips of crisp bacon on top of the whipped maple frosting was absolutely awesome. These Bismarcks are a trademark of this hometown bakery which has been in operation since 1924.
The weather was beautiful, making each stop comfortable. Our first tour was at the Hauser Cathedral Crafts. We watched the artists show us how they would design, paint and assemble stained glass windows. Much time and labor is spent in cutting glass, firing and leading the glass into a window.
Later, our step-on guide pointed out many windows in banks, churches and the county courthouse, which alone has more than 100 stained glass windows.
More than 100 downtown Winona sites are on the National Register in this city of just over 25,000. It is a beautiful city nestled in the bluffs along the mighty river that created them. Three colleges —Winona State, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical are located here.
More than 42 places of worship, beautiful bike and walking trails were pointed out by the city councilmen who acted as our guide for a two-hour bus tour. He also pointed out Sugar Mountain.
Ever wonder what became of the Watkins Man? Well, he is still going strong at 131 years old. Watkins and Winona go hand in hand and is a must see stop to check out its museum and memorabilia and perhaps purchase a spice or two. Another stop on the tour included an example of Polish history in Winona. The Polish church, St Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church, dates back to 1894 and was built on Romanesque and Baroque elements with a silvery dome. The beautiful stained glass windows gave us a feeling of being in Europe.
Our last stop was to the Garvin Heights Vineyard. We walked to the vineyard where we learned about the various grapes we see growing and were invited to a tasting, which featured wines made from this Upper Mississippi River Valley. This was a relaxing way to end our busy day.
After our visit, we realized that time did not allow us to visit so many places. I now know why our daughter chose to go to Winona to further her education and certainly never wanted to leave. We want to make another trip back someday, and I’m sure we will.