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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Visit to Scandia

Thursday morning Ron, Mary and I went to visit cousin Kathy in Minneapolis. She was unable to attend the family reunion, so we went to her place instead. We brought lunch with us. We had a good time eating and talking. She told anecdotes about life on the farm in the old days. After this, we continued on to an institution in Swedish America, Ingebretsen's. It's a store that sells every imaginable Scandinavian souvenir, textiles, glass, food, handcraft and much else. They have a counter with fresh meats and fish too. Ron got a bucket with pickled herring. We had dinner at home, and then Ron and I went to a couple of clothing stores. I did some shopping again, even though my suitcase is already too heavy. It's hard to resist such bargains.

This morning I went to the post office to ask what it would cost to send a package to Sweden. I packed a parcel that Ron will mail to me later. Lunch on the porch was risotto and vegetables, with the herring. It was very tasty. Then we drove up to Scandia, to a place called Gammelgarden. It's an outdoor museum with houses from the Swedish settler's time (1850s). There was a small church, immigrant house, vicarage, barn, cottage and a visitor center with souvenir shop and assembly hall. All made of wood. They had tried to keep the buildings in the shape they were 150 years ago. Ron and I took the guided tour of the place. Very interesting to see. On the way back we drove over a bridge and into Wisconsin. The only reason for this was the fact that I had never visited that state. Wisconsin and Minnesota look very similar, both states have farmland with quite large areas of forest. We came back to the house in Stillwater in the afternoon. After changing shoes I walked perhaps 100 meters down the street and 157 steps down a steep hill, and ended up in the center of town. It's really close. I walked up and down the main street, looking in the touristy shops. There were mostly antique stores, restaurants and places selling candy and souvenirs. I didn't buy anything (!), but it was still fun to see what is regarded to be an "antique" item here. The 157 steps were a lot harder to walk up than down.

Tomorrow I'm going to Chicago to visit Jeane and her family!

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