From June 23:
On Tuesday morning we got up and had another hotel breakfast. More of the same, traditional “hot” hotel food. This time Abbi threw her yogurt at me and pretty much got it all over the place. It was by far my favorite.
After we got cleaned up and finally headed out we drove a few miles away to the Marine Art Museum, enjoying more gorgeous views of the Mighty Mississippi.
We always try to work a good art museum into every major trip, and this one was such a nice find. The Marine Art Museum was in this tiny Minnesota town, but is a world class art museum that has all kinds of amazing art in it – including Van Gogh and Monet, two of our faves. And they also have one of only two copies of the “Washington Crossing the Delaware” paintings – which was very cool to see in person.
We asked to see if we could get a free admission with our member passes for our Frist Art Museum, but they don’t do any reciprocal memberships. It was “Free Student” day, so both girls were free.
No photography was allowed in the museum, so no pictures to share. They had several good exhibitions and a small Kids Area we took turns playing with Abbi in. She’s just not into fine art yet. And they had a nice patio outside to play on as well. Lilli enjoyed the Art for the most part, but they definitely aren’t as into museums as we are.
They have some great collections, some really world class artists, and a very unique concept. Each painting has something to do with water. It was definitely worth the stop and such a cute town.
From there we headed about 45 minutes north to Wabasha, Minnesota for the National Eagle Center. It was also right on the Mississippi River. This area of Minnesota was so gorgeous – the weather was perfect in the 70s and just no humidity.
Another view of the center. Wabasha was another cute, adorable small town.
The Eagle Center was so much fun. It’s a gorgeous building right on the water with all kinds of kid activities and things for them to touch and explore. Lots of various centers, coloring stations, and other learning activities – like this giant eagle nest.
It was two stories with a balcony to enjoy the river and watch for eagles.
Abbi loved it out there!
They had several eagles who for various reasons couldn’t go back in the wild. They were in an open room where you could enjoy them and hear about their stories. There was usually a trainer in the room to answer any questions about them. They were truly gorgeous birds.
Lilli and one of the Eagles. When they all started “squawking” that was supposed to mean they saw an Eagle flying overhead. We never saw any wild eagles flying, but I don’t think we really knew what to look for.
We got there right in time for the afternoon Eagle talk. The trainer did a fantastic job – she was so cute and obviously a huge eagle lover and expert. She talked for around 45 minutes and shared all about eagles and other similar birds and had tons of things she passed around from feathers to photographs and all kinds of “hands on” things to touch that kept the girls interested. Then she brought one of the eagles in so we could watch it eat lunch.
Getting to touch an Eagle claw. I’d definitely recommend the Eagle Center and especially the Trainer talk. We learned a ton about the birds that made us appreciate them even more. And, we learned it’s illegal to keep an eagle feather. Who knew??
From there we asked recommendations on where to eat in this cute town, and someone in the gift shop sent us towards this Silver Star Saloon. We weren’t really in what we consider “the West” yet, but we were so excited about heading West that it sounded perfect and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
It was a really cute saloon and the girls loved all the fun Western details. And the food was delicious, too!
Even the bathroom was full of Western details.
Posing on an Eagle bench with the girls – of course Lilli picked out an Eagle in the gift shop and an owl for Abbi. We had a great time exploring the small towns of Winona and Wabasha, but it was time to head somewhere a little more urban and get our shop on.