8/17 – a six hour train ride west on the Amtrak Empire Builder (which journeys 46 hours to get from Chicago to Seattle) took us from Portage, Wisconsin to St. Paul, Minnesota, giving us a glimpse of the Mississippi River along the way. Leg room! Reclining seats that you can actually sleep in! Dining car! Bar car! Snacks! Here is sunset in Winona, where we enjoyed a stretch-your-legs stop.
St. Paul is the first big city we’ve been to in a while. We checked out the neighborhood, and opted to treat ourselves to some excellent Thai food, then found the T-Mobile store to get a new phone that should work overseas (good riddance, Verizon!).
To get downtown, we had our choice of bus or light rail. We took the bus, and will use the Metro to get to the airport on Monday.
On Sunday morning we visited St Paul’s Cathedral, and participated in the high mass. I knew all the hymns! The cantor had a crystal tenor, and the pipe organ was fabulous.
Just down the road from the Cathedral is Summit Avenue, where F. Scott Fitzgerald and the railroad magnate James J. Hill’s posh estates are located. We looked for Garrison Keillor’s house, but couldn’t tell which one it was…
We ended our sight seeing by treating ourselves to some excellent Vietnamese food. (I guess we were too long in the Land of Cheese…)
Tomorrow, we fly!