Friday, June 10, 2016

La Crosse, WI Day 2: A Pretty Garden and a Trip up the Old Man

Today, my 2nd day on vacation in La Crosse, Wisconsin, was both magical and profound.  I woke to the news that Muhammad Ali, a proponent of peace, was laid to rest in Louisville, Kentucky.  But the best part of the day was spent on the La Crosse Queen, a riverboat tour of the Mississippi River.  Before I boarded this incredible riverboat, I explore La Crosse's International Garden which was one of the most magnificent gardens I've ever seen.

The most incredible part of the day was when I took the La Crosse Queen riverboat tour up the Mississippi river to Winona, Minnesota.  The lakefront houses, the bluffs, and the Amtrack bridge were quite a sight to see.

I have to say that today was the greatest day I could have spent in La Crosse.  Although it was hot, it was gorgeous.  The weather was good, the scenery magnificent, and the hospitality amazing!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

La Crosse, WI Day 1: In the Air and Down By the River

I'm on vacation!!!  For the first time in 3 years I have a job that lets me have paid vacation time.  And the first place I wanted to visit after obtaining my new job was La Crosse, Wisconsin in the western edge of the state.  I've wanted to visit this city along the Mississippi River for years, just to see the city's famous bluffs.  La Crosse was named after the Native American sport that combines hockey, baseball, football and basketball but was created long before any of those sports gained prominence in the United States. 

After a 3 1/2 hour drive from Milwaukee, I arrived in La Crosse and headed straight for Grandfather's Bluff, the premier place to see the entire city along with the river.  They have a wonderful observation deck at the top of the bluffs where I was able to take many great photos of the city.  It was also incredibly relaxing.

After my visit to the Bluffs, it was time to check out the water.  I grabbed some lunch at a famous sub sandwich shop (not naming names) before heading over to the Black River where I saw some amazing houseboats making me very jealous that I don't own one. 

I then made my way down to Riverside Park, which is located off of  2nd Street and has an incredible riverwalk.  This is where the Black, La Crosse and Mississippi Rivers merge.

Along the riverwalk, there are many interesting statues which reminded me of when I visited Savannah, Georgia 3 years ago including an eagle and Hiawatha, the famous Iriquois leader.

I don't know the significance of the 3rd sculpture along the river of 2 children and their dog, but I might learn about them tomorrow when I go on the River Queen boat tour.

The most surprising thing I saw on the river today was a huge barge helmed by Marquette Transportation.

This is what they were transporting:

I'm in La Crosse for the next couple of days before exploring another southern Wisconsin attraction on my way back east.  More fun to follow!