Friday, September 6, 2013

St. Paul, St. Mary, and Sinclair Lewis...............The Twin Cities and Sauk Centre, Minnesota

We are still in Minnesota.  We've found so much to see that we just can't leave yet!

This morning we hung around our comfy hotel until the last minute, using the treadmills and swimming. We enjoyed some pampering and rest!

Then off we went to see the middle floor of the Mall of America............we had to see the entire thing, or die trying.  I found a really fun store that only sells things to make your brain work. Apparently my brain is not working, as I seem to have forgotten the name of the might have been Brain....or Mental.......(oh, this is so frustrating when you lose the very thing you are talking about!!!)  Anyway, we played with all the cool things in the store, bought a yoga DVD, and then finished our mall experience.

Randy has returned from his evening swim to tell me that it was called "Marbles." He is apparently I have lost my marbles, literally.

First off, we drove by the Minnesota State Capitol.  If they build a capitol, you have to go see it if you're in the city they built it in, is my theory.  So we did. We did not go into this one, but we were tempted, as it has the world's tallest self-supporting marble dome.     It is also built with more than 25  kinds of stone.

We had decided that we wanted to see the Cathedral of St. Paul which is built in the same style of St. Peter's in Rome. It is nowhere near the size of St. Peter's, but it is truly beautiful. (If you know me well, you know that getting back to Rome is high on my Bucket List, so seeing this mini-version was to whet our appetites for the "big one," when and if we ever get there.) St. Paul's was completed in 1915 and can seat 3,000 people. Behind the altar are statues of several  saints, called the Shrine of Nations.

                                Photos will try to show you what I cannot possibly describe.

When we left The Cathedral of St. Paul, we thought it would be nice to find a place in downtown Minneapolis for lunch.  We aimed for downtown, and instead of a restaurant, we landed right in front of The Basilica of St. Mary.  Since Randy and I have already visited three Basilicas in our travels together, we had to stop.  This one was the first in the United States. It is in the Beaux Art style of architecture, and walking in the front door took our breath away. It was completed in 1908, and is currently undergoing restoration.

We needed to get back on the road, so with Thelma's help we left the Twin Cities and went northwest on Interstate 94.  Lunch was finally found at a Subway in a northern suburb instead, but we'd gotten sidetracked by our church touring.
I received a brochure from the Chamber of Commerce of Sauk Centre, Minnesota.  I always circle those little numbers on the travel ad postcards and start getting advertisements months in advance of any trip we take. Since we don't really know our destinations, I circle most of those little numbers, and the stuff just keeps on coming. I save the ones that look interesting.
Sauk Centre is the original "Main Street."  The reason it says that is because it was the birthplace and boyhood home of Sinclair Lewis, who wrote a book titled Main Street.  The town picked up on that title and advertises itself that way. We went to see Sinclair Lewis' home, which was closed by the time we got there, but we did a walkabout and took a picture.

We've seen a lot of towns that seem to represent the idea of "Main Street" with more enthusiasm and authenticity, frankly.  Aside from a movie theatre that is original vintage, the Main Street appears to be rather ordinary, in our opinion.  However the people we've met here have been wonderful, and we chose to stay tonight at a chain motel near the interstate. We've shot a few games of pool, using the sauna and swimming. 
One last picture:  When we were having lunch today, this statue was in front of the strip mall where we ate.  I fell in love with it,  and wanted to share it with you.
Copyright: KP Gillenwater 2013