Monday, August 18, 2008

Tourists in Our Own City

This past week my sister and I took the kids on an urban adventure. We had hoped to catch the Minneapolis Farmer's market as it weaves its way down the Nicollet Mall downtown, but instead decided to stick to the river.

Arriving just in time for the 11:00 a.m. Lock and Dam tour on the Mississippi, we jumped at the chance to go inside the facility and check out the inner workings of this wonder so close to home. The tour was fabulous, just what engineer-to-be Carl could have ever wished for. Unfortunately, the river traffic was non-existent and we weren't able to see the lock in action. We heard that weekends are the time to catch the canoes and speedboats going to and fro. Did you know that anyone can use it? You just show up, pull on the rope to let them know you're interested in a lift and boom! Nine million gallons of water just start a flowin'! The process takes nine minutes... that's one million gallons of water being moved per minute. Impressive, to say the least.

We also wandered across the Stone Arch bridge, an old train bridge that has been restored to its glory and is now used for biking and walking. The photo above is the Mill City Museum, an old flour mill that once had a horrible fire and has since been turned into quite an interesting place.

Next to the new Guthrie theater is a new park, sorely needed green space in a dense down town area. There's a winding path to the top of a hill in the middle of the park that makes a great running trail for kids. From the top we viewed the construction of the replacement 35W bridge that will be completed this year. The top proved to be a perfect place for lunch as well.

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