Touring St. Paul, Part 2

Read Part 1 of touring St. Paul {here} and come along with me now for Part 2.

I mentioned in part 1 that George our tour guide had a bit of an agenda when he planned what we would see.

His wife Betty lived for a time in the city, but never visited some of the sights, so part of our day was related to Betty's bucket list. 

After breakfast at Mickey's Diner we headed to St. Anthony Falls.

St. Anthony Falls are the only true water falls on the entire Mississippi River.

St. Anthony Falls

The above picture is the falls before they modernized it.  The river was used to power all the mills that were built on its shores.

St. Anthony Falls Mississippi River Minnesota
St. Anthony Falls suffered a partial collapse so they had to be stabilized, and the new concrete falls were born.  Above is the same area where the steep falls originally were.

The Mississippi River starts in Northern Minnesota, up in Itasca.  George took us there a few years ago too.  If it wasn't for George I would probably never know anything about Minnesota history.

This photo is the headwaters, the birthplace of the mighty Mississippi.

Headwaters Mississippi River Itasca Minnesota

Hardly mighty at this point huh?

General Mills Grain Mill Minnesota,

General Mills and Pillsbury both are headquartered in Minnesota, and there is a whole touristy-artsy area dedicated to the history of the grain industry called Mill City.
Mill City Mississippi River Front Minnesota,

This area was a beautiful, fun, history rich place to hang out.  I could of spent the whole day here if we had the time, but this wasn't my bucket list.

With a Mississippi River view on one side, old buildings have been revitalized into apartments, businesses, and a museum.

Mill City Mississippi River Front Minnesota,

You can see a partially collapsed wall of a mill, which was left that way on purpose and the new museum was built inside.

An old railroad bridge has been turned into an observation deck with views out over the Mississippi.

Mill City Mississippi River Front Minnesota,

This foot bridge will take you all the way across the river with a nice view of the riverfront.  Especially if you actually walk all the way across it, unlike me.

Mill City Mississippi River Front Minnesota,

The next stop on Betty's bucket list was Minnehaha Falls.  Which isn't really in St. Paul, but would you have known that?  I didn't.

Minnehaha Falls, Minnesota,

We had a lot of rain in the spring into June and July, so Minnehaha falls isn't always falling quite this much at this time of year.  By mid August often it's a trickle.

Minnehaha Falls is a 53-foot waterfall and Minnehaha Creek is a tributary of the Mississippi River.  There is a really nice park here that was packed on our Friday afternoon visit.

Minnehaha Falls, Minnesota,
 When did parking meters become so involved that it takes a couple people to figure them out?

It was starting to get really hot and humid, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to dive into the falls or take a cool ride.  I did neither.  Instead I trudged along on foot thinking about the cool feel of the air conditioning that was waiting for me in the car.

Minnehaha Falls, Minnesota,

In June a professional kayak-er decided to go over Minnehaha Falls when the water was really thunderous. 

The guy wore a head cam, so you can get the feel for what it would be like to go over the falls with him (if you were a bit crazy) right in the spot below where I snapped this picture.

Minnehaha Falls, Minnesota,

The kid in the yellow t shirt - bottom left - belongs to me.  I realize you can't see him.  He has a kayak, and the thought never occurred to him to take it over a water fall. 


Minnehaha Falls: First Descent from OGP Productions on Vimeo.

Minneapolis is building, smack dab in the center, a new $975 million dollar stadium for the Vikings football team.  The team is covering some of the cost.  Wonder if a new expensive stadium will help them win?

For all you football fans, this is what it looks like now.  I think it's suppose to be done for the 2016 season.

New Minnesota Vikings Stadium,

They demolished the old dome, and the new stadium goes in the same spot.....after they talked forever about where to build the new one and in what city.  I don't get it, but that's just me.

Our last stop for the day was Izzy's Ice Cream.  There is a St. Paul Location and one in Minneapolis but we were getting close to rush hour traffic so opted not to back track into St. Paul, and instead we hit up the Minneapolis Izzy's.

Minneapolis Izzys Ice Cream Shop,

Heading to Izzy's was the frosting on our cake, or the cream in our cone.  Whichever.

Minneapolis Izzys Ice Cream Shop

During the summer we hear lots of hype in Minnesota about cool treats and I had Izzy's built up in my head.  This place was recently named one of the best ice cream shops in America.

They make over 150 flavors, featuring 32 a day some of which are different at each of their locations. 

32 is a lot for me to pick between, so I got my ipad out in the car before we arrived to narrow down my choices.  What. A. Geek.

You don't want to be the person in line behind me if I don't know what I'm ordering.

There shall be no photos of our actual ice creams......everyone was far too busy licking before it melted to waste one drip that might fall to the ground due to grabbing a camera, so these photos are from the Izzy's web site.

Minneapolis Izzys Ice Cream Shop

They have a little scoop sample thingy where you can get five scoops of the flavors of your choice.  The little scoops are called an Izzy scoop and that's what I picked.  Straight up, no toppings.

However what I ordered is not what is pictured in the photo above.  That's called a Hot Dish, and it's filled with all 32 flavors of the day.

Yeah, I should of got that - and you get to keep the LeCreuset pan.

Minneapolis Izzys Ice Cream Shop

Now before you think oink oink Bliss, an Izzy scoop is pretty small, designed I'm sure for people like me who find it hard to pick just one or two flavors and thus hold up the line. 

Of course I would of split that Hot Dish with at least one other person.

And because inquiring minds want to know, my five flavors were.......

A lemon, a raspberry, something with chocolate pieces in it, a salted caramel, and my unlikely favorite was the grapefruit sorbet.

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  1. ooh raspberry ice cream is my favorite and now i want some. thanks for that.

  2. I miss ice cream. Ice cream was my friend.

  3. I like grapefruit sorbet! I like grapefruit anything.
    I think the falls look fun.
    I need to know what is under the 32 flavors? Cookie crust?
    You didn't try brown sugar bourban or basil? I need to know what basil ice cream tastes like.
    I think I might have to order the 32 Special. Can I choose my color of Le Creuset? I can't mix red with my french blue and kiwi. ;)

  4. Ice cream heaven! I hate deciding, so five smalls would be good.

  5. So many places I haven't been to. We like to go to Minnehaha Falls...and I cannot imagine ANYONE wanting to go over it in a Kayak...

  6. I have a soft spot for a place called Izzy's! Wow that sounds amazing..the salted caramel would be my pick but grapefruit sorbet sounds refreshing! I just watched that video and my palms are sweating. Yikes! I'm glad your child never thought about doing that. The falls are lovely and remind me of the falls around my daughter's college campus. Gorgeous!

  7. It was fun to continue this tour! Looks like a very nice city. I love cities that have water in them too. Our Atlanta city is landlocked I'm afraid. The ice cream looked good. I love ice cream so that would've been a fun place to go with so many flavors!

  8. Obviously I'm behind because this says part 2 and I havent' come to part 1 in my email yet, but since ice cream is involved, I'm in! Is there a maple syrup flavored ice cream? I have never been to St. Paul, but it looks like fun. I kind of want to try one of those bikes too.

  9. Let's take one of those bikey carts over the falls. Got your headcam?

  10. I often follow Cheryl in Wisconsin, but have a hard time coming up with comments as good as hers! Ice cream, ice cream . . . we all scream for ice cream. [I know, Cheryl . . . lame (: ]

  11. What a tour - looks like fun - that kayaker IS nuts - but they do it here too on the Lachine Rapids -
    That ice cream looks so good that I'm now going downstairs and making myself a cone -
    Please don't look at the time on this comment

  12. Having never been to Minn/St Paul, you have given us a really nice snapshot of what it looks like. I am always thrilled to see when cities put value on those wonderful, older building and decide to re-vamp them rather than just knock them down. I think I could watch that kayak ride video on loop. I find it very relaxing somehow. Although I'm way to chicken to ever do that myself. Eating ice cream is much more my speed.


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