We're off to see the wizard... the wonderful wizard of oz...

Grand Rapids Travel Blog

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some small trees on the way to Grand Rapids, MN (we thought that it looked like charlie brown christmas tree)

after getting some gas at the historical gas station we stopped off at a visitor center and got some information on the surrounding areas... the nice thing about the midwest is you can get info on pretty much the whole state... not just what's in that town.  So I saw a brochure on Grand Rapids... I showed my mom and I thought it was really close to Duluth... well, it wasn't... it was another hour and a half away.  We figured we came this far we may as well drive that little bit to see some history.  So good thing we ended up leaving almost 4 hours earlier than what my mom wanted to leave!

I typed in the address into my GPS and we were off!  The trip there was really nice...

trees on the way to Grand Rapids, MN
it was mostly on back roads and they were lined with trees.  It's sort of interesting because everytime I drive anywhere in Pennsylvania the roads are lined with trees too but the base of them are big and round where as here they are very very skinny... mostly birtch trees... with some pine trees.  To us with the lack of foliage on the trees we felt that they looked like something out of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" So at one point on the way we decided to pull over and take a picture... the idea was nice but not too practical.  See in Minnesota the state bird is the Loon... but since the Mosquito's get as big as birds the joke around here is that is the honorary state bird.  My mom got out of the car and a swarm of mosquitos flew in and we were in a catch 22 situation..
Judy Garland's Birth Home
. if we open the window to get them out other mosquitos would fly in... if we shut the window we would have to try and kill them or let them be.  And these aren't normal mosquitos who just bite every once and a while.  I think that since there are so many they are in higher demand for blood so they'll suck almost anything! 

I came to Minnesota in 1994 on vacation... I got bit by a mosquito... the next time I got bit was 3 weeks ago at a softball game.  For some reason they didn't like me over on the east coast (my aunt said it's because mosquitos don't like blood with garlic and onions in it... and that's why neither her, my cousin or I were getting bit but my cousins friend who came home with them from china did)... it makes logical sense... but not out here! So we put the back window down for a bit and and took off.

Mississippi River about 91 miles from where it starts
.. they got the hint (after I was swatting at them) and flew out the back as we were driving.

Grand Rapids was a nice town... though they do have construction right now so I had to call to figure out our way around it.  The original House Location has a mall on it... so the Judy Garlands house is on different land than it used to be. 

After the house we went and had lunch at a local in called the sawmill... that's what the receptionist (desk woman) named Judy suggested from the museum.  And then we went off.

On our way out we passed over a bridge that said Mississippi River and I told my mom to stop off at the Library to check it out.  Grand Rapids is about 90 miles or so from the starting point of the Great river in Lake Itasca.  So the river is fairly narrow compared to how it looks in the twin cities and down in New Orleans!!  It just looked like a back yard river... more than half the size smaller than the Mississippi is in the Twin Cities.  There is a walk way with a Pier where you can sit and enjoy the nature...

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some small trees on the way to Gra…
some small trees on the way to Gr…
trees on the way to Grand Rapids, …
trees on the way to Grand Rapids,…
Judy Garlands Birth Home
Judy Garland's Birth Home
Mississippi River about 91 miles f…
Mississippi River about 91 miles …
Mississippi River about 91 miles f…
Mississippi River about 91 miles …
Mississippi River about 91 miles f…
Mississippi River about 91 miles …
Mississippi River about 91 miles f…
Mississippi River about 91 miles …
Mississippi River about 91 miles f…
Mississippi River about 91 miles …
Mississippi River about 91 miles f…
Mississippi River about 91 miles …
Mississippi River about 91 miles f…
Mississippi River about 91 miles …
Grand Rapids Sights & Attractions review
Unknown history in a small little place
Never knowing what you may come into when going to some historical sights my mom and I were hesitant. But the museum was a pretty good find. The fir… read entire review
Grand Rapids Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Local's say a very good restaurant
When asking around for a good place to eat my mom and I were directed to the Sawmill Inn. They are apparently known for their ribeye which is consider… read entire review
Grand Rapids
photo by: alyssa_ob