Midwest Knit Girl

Mini-Trip Lowdown

Posted on: September 2, 2007

It is truly amazing how just a couple of days out of town can relax you. So much so that you mess up your Monkey sock and have to rip it out and start all over again – but you don’t mind. How cool is that??

Thursday’s 1st Stop: Bogus Creek Cafe, Stockholm, Wisconsin

We left home around 10am and decided to travel down to Stockholm on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River because we wanted to meander along the bluffs and take our time, we weren’t in a hurry and just wanted to have a relaxing drive. Between Minnesota and Wisconsin there are only so many places you can cross the Mississippi River. We decided to head for the bridge in Hastings. BEEP. Bad decision. Turns out they had the bridge down to one lane for traffic because they were inspecting it. Okay, no problem. We’ll go to Redwing instead. So we turn off a side street and make our way to Redwing. BEEP. Another bad decision. They were also inspecting the bridge and this time we had no choice but to sit in traffic and wait. We waited about 20 minutes before we got to cross the bridge, then we had to wait another 20 minutes before we could get through the stoplight that was favoring north/south traffic instead of east/west bridge traffic on the other side of the bridge.

Oh, along the way we kept seeing what looked like cobwebs in the outer branches of some trees. My cousin left me a comment at flickr suggesting it was something called forest tent caterpillers. I did a little research based on that thought but I think they might actually be fall webworm only because of some recent bulletins they put out and the descriptions they provided. Either way, this was creepy stuff. 

Finally we reach Stockholm. Worth the wait as always. It’s just a cute little town of 97 people but in the summer months they can get thousands of people coming through it any given time. The attraction for us is the Bogus Creek Cafe. It’s a wonderful little place that we’ve eaten at about a half dozen times or so. The woman who owns it, Colleen is a doll. She always has time to chat and genuinely appreciates your feedback. 

My husband’s meal was salmon cakes with poached eggs, corn on the cob, cantelope, watermelon and cheddar cheese bread made on site. I don’t even like salmon and I would have eaten this based on presentation alone!  I had the fettucine with a tomato basil sauce, it had roasted peppers and onions in it as well. Totally delicious. If you’re ever in the Pepin Lake area, you MUST go there, the food is fresh and unique. Or check out the bakery for the Swedish treats made right there along with the breads.

Thursday’s 2nd Stop: Coffee Mill Motel, Wabasha, MN

Next up – we headed further south to the bridge that would take us back to the Minnesota side to the Coffee Mill Motel in Wabasha (or Warbashar as we jokingly refer to it). Oh, no bridge inspections here, thank goodness. The Coffee Mill Motel isn’t anything spectacular, just your basic place to sleep that doesn’t cost as much as an Americinn or other similar place. The only bummer was that the window didn’t open so the only way to get fresh air was to have the door open which brought in flies as well. I killed a lot of those guys, let me tell you!

Thursday’s Final Stop: Slippery’s 

We decided to have dinner and a few drinks at Slippery’s Bar and Grill, the same bar and grill referred to in the movies Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men. We enjoyed a fresh grilled cheeseburger and live music on the patio and watched the sun set. The music was performed by 3 local guys who were having a great time. The gentleman on the left in the picture was originally the only one scheduled and his buddies showed up as a surprise to play along (this was the last night of live music for the year, we totally lucked out on this event). That really made the night all the more special for everyone. They played good old fashioned NOT screaming rock and roll – Springsteen, Skynard, you get the picture.

Sunset off of Slippery’s dock 

Friday’s 1st Stop: Stacy’s Kitchen

We had breakfast at Stacy’s Kitchen in Wabasha, she doesn’t have a website but we always seem to find out info while we’re there so here’s all you need to know- go there. Very good food, reasonable prices, super friendly service. They just opened in May 2007, and it’s a family affair because all of the siblings were involved in some way in the actual building of the restaurant (one is a contractor, one does sheetrock and the other does something else that escapes me) and Stacy is the chef.

Friday’s 2nd Stop: National Eagle Center

Wow, how cool to see an eagle thisclose. Seriously, this bird is huge! I wish I could remember its name, there were three of them in the enclosure and I just don’t know which one it is but I think it might be Harriet. Basically, all three were injured birds and now reside at the National Eagle Center. While we were there we purchased a carved eagle because the wood it was carved out of, ironwood, is very unusual. Plus it’s just beautiful.

Friday’s 3rd Stop: Paddleboat Ride on the Pearl of The Lake in Lake City, MN

Just a good old fashioned paddleboat ride down the Mississippi River (90 minutes long), the sun was shining and the breeze was perfect.

Friday’s 4th Stop: Lunch at Slippery’s

Ate sandwiches and enjoyed the continuing gorgeous weather on the deck.

Friday’s 5th Stop: Pontoon Ride, Dinner & Drinks

Signed up for a pontoon ride where the maximum number of passengers is 6, we were the only 2 that signed up. Gee, bummer. Wink wink. Spent two hours (this was early evening, 6-8pm) tooling up the Mississippi and then back down again. Then we had dinner (bad one for me – I requested my steak to be medium rare, in fact we both ordered it that way, both orders came back mooing at us so we sent them back, his was returned perfect, mine wasn’t so they comp’d it off the bill but not until they said they could try again – I don’t think so, thanks but credit the bill instead) so hubby shared his with me. Then back out to the patio to see Grae the bartender (great kid, just out of college, 6’6″ and full of energy!) and finish off the night.

Tree shot on the river – note the one tree changing already due to lack of rain this year:

On Saturday we decided to head down to Winona and cross over that way to Wisconsin and cruise home on the Wisconsin side. We stopped once again in Stockholm to pick up some bread and have some ice cream. We also hung around talked to the owner again – she’s so fun to chat with – and then headed home. Gotta love mini vacations, don’t you?


3 Responses to "Mini-Trip Lowdown"

Beautiful pictures – I especially love the shots from the river. Glad you enjoyed your mini-vacay. I’m a huge fan of getting the hell out of Dodge whenever I get the chance.

Ewww, webworms sounds almost as bad as the caterpillars we saw. You’re right: either way, yuck.

Thanks for writing about your trip. Weekend getaways are great, aren’t they?

Looks like a lovely trip! You’re making me a little homesick. My mom grew up in Lake City, so we spent a lot of time in all those towns when I was little. My grandparents had a great view of Lake Pepin from their front windows.

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Down, Stella!


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