NEW RICHLAND-HARTLAND-ELLENDALE-GENEVA AREA

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What is a “staycation”? A staycation is staying in your home overnight while enjoying vacation-type things during the day away from your home. For example: 

• A drive to the new Spam Museum in Austin with a Spam meal nearby.

• A drive to the Meredith Wilson (Mr. Music Man) Museum in Mason City, Iowa.

• A drive to the National Eagle Museum in Wabasha with a meal at Slippery’s while watching “Grumpy Old Men” at the same time.

• A drive to the second largest tourist attraction in Minnesota at Cabela’s in Owatonna.

• Take a day cruise with pizza on the Pelican Breeze cruise boat on Albert Lea Lake.

• A drive to Fountain, MN and seeing a sinkhole or two.

• A drive to Harmony and doing the Niagara Cave tour.

• A drive to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. While there, eat in the cafeteria as you listen to all the different voices and notice all the different apparel.

• A drive to see the huge Jolly Green Giant at Blue Earth. While there, stop at the rest stop on I-90 and read about the East meeting the West and completion of the freeway at Blue Earth.

• A drive to Zumbrota to see a functional covered bridge built in 1869.

• A drive to Kellogg, MN to see one of the 10 coolest toy stores in the world. Enjoy a huge ice cream cone either before or after you ride the carousel.

• A drive to Chatfield to the Free Music Lending Library—the only library of its kind in the world. Visit an Amish road stand along the way.

• A drive to the apple capital of the world for apples at LaCrescent in the fall; maybe a side trip to a lock and dam on the Mississippi River.

• A drive to Lanesboro to see the fish hatchery. Notice all the tourist attractions, especially those attracting bicyclists.

• A drive to Red Wing and seeing the store on site at Red Wing Shoes. Stop at the old train depot—now a fast foot restaurant.

• A drive to see one of the professional sport teams in Minnesota. (An interesting thing about the first Vikings football game played at the new US Bank Stadium was the number of attendees—almost 67,000. That is more than all of the people living in Owatonna, Austin and Albert Lea! Uffda.)

• A drive to one of the area casinos. Genie and I did this going to Diamond Jo’s on Thursday, August 25, as it was the birthday celebration for August birthdays and hers was in August. (We went with a maximum of how much we would spend and a three-hour stay maximum.) When Genie came back to the table after picking up dessert as part of her free birthday buffet, Genie told me she was suddenly having an attack of vertigo and needed help to get to the ladies’. T’was then a random act of kindness was given by Dale Schultz of Kensett, Iowa. Dale recognized our situation, got my attention and said if I would help him get out of his wheelchair, we could use his wheelchair and return it later. We did so after Genie recycled the buffet in the ladies’ room.

If money is tight, you’re short on time, a health situation, cabin fever, boredom or many other situations, staycation might be a solution.

P. S. Genie was diagnosed as having vertigo and is now doctoring for it.

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Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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