Friday, September 30, 2016

Grand Casino Mille Lacs, MN

Grand Casino Mille Lacs is off highway 169 by Mille Lacs Lake, with an address of Onamia, MN. It has a large parking lot in back for oversized vehicles. There are plugins that can be used for $25 a night, or $12.50 if you have their players card. Without hookups you can park in the lot for free. There is shuttle service to the casino, a dog kennel and 24-hour security. This is a large casino with a convention center/entertainment, hotel, gaming, restaurants, movie theater, swimming pool, shopping outlets, child care and free internet.

Verizon - 4G 2 bar. There is free internet, you have to ask for the password. We did get over the air TV channels.

You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Family time


They say time goes by fast when you’re having fun, and this past month did just that. We spent a month at our daughter and son-in-law’s and granddaughters and kept busy. We played games, read books, went for walks, colored, etc. We went to the MN Children’s Book Festival in Red Wing, raptor release in Hastings, Interstate State Park and watched the girls in races. Our son and daughter-in-law flew in from Virginia for a long weekend over Labor Day and brought their VR (virtual reality) headset with, and we played with that. We went to the St. Paul farmers market and walked downtown and along the river. And the girls started school in September.

I’ve done separate posts for the MN Children's Book Festival, raptor release, Interstate State Park and downtown St. Paul.

Some pictures of our stay are below. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.  1 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hastings, MN along the Mississippi River

Hastings, MN is a town along the Mississippi River. When you come over the hill and see their bridge, you can’t help but admire it. The history is that a rope ferry in 1854 was the only means to cross for wagons and passengers for 41 years. Hastings’ first wagon bridge, opened in 1895, was famous for its spiral approach. The unique design allowed steamboats to pass underneath. 
Spiralhastings  As vehicles became bigger and heavier, the bridge wasn’t able to support them, and a steel truss tied-arch bridge was constructed in 1951. In 2013 a free-standing tied-arch bridge was constructed. There is also a railroad bridge built in 1871 and reconstructed in 1980. 

Significant flooding in Hastings has been recorded in 1881, 1952, 1965, 1969, 1993, 2001 and 2014 (what I could find in history) with 1965 reaching the all-time high cresting at 25.9 feet. 

For those of you who play Pokemon Go, this river walk has Pokestops, gyms and pokemon to catch. There’s a nice historic area downtown also.

For more pictures, please click here. You can click on any of these pictures to enlarge them.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Raptor Release and Apple Orchard

The Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center holds a raptor release every fall.  This is presented by the 3M Foundation in partnership with The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota and CNC. They release 4-6 wild birds of prey after being rehabilitated by The Raptor Center’s veterinarians. The event is free and runs from 10-3, with raptors released at 11:00 and at 2:00. There are children’s activities and raptors on display, hiking trails and a visitor center. Hay ride tours of the attached apple orchard are given, and you can pick your own apples or buy bagged ones and other goods in the Apple Shack. 

You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them. For more pictures please click here.