Tag Archive for downtown

Downtown St. Paul, Cosetta, and the Wabasha Street Caves

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I’ve been to Minneapolis a number of times, but somehow, I hadn’t made it to neighboring St. Paul, the capitol of Minnesota. So on my last trip to the area, I was determined to spend an afternoon there. It didn’t make any sense to this wanderluster to be that close to the city and never step a foot in it.

And I am glad I did! As one native remarked as I was trudging my way up to the Cathedral of Saint Paul—

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–it’s a city full of beautiful architecture and rich culture. Well, what he actually said is more beautiful and richer than Minneapolis, but I’m not willing to take sides on that debate. I will say that my afternoon traipsing through the downtown was full of awesome discoveries.

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The first of them was in that picture—the Landmark Center. It’s gorgeous and is now used as an event space. The second was the statues of the Peanuts throughout the neighboring parks.

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I honestly didn’t know Charles Schultz was from St. Paul. Happening upon little trivia tidbits like that is why I love exploring cities.

St. Paul Hotel

St. Paul Hotel

After a Dunn Bros coffee and checking out the Rice Park area, I decided it was time to hunt down that Cathedral, which took my breath away as I passed it on the bus into town.

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So off I went, getting closer and closer.

Passing the Xcel Center

Passing the Xcel Center

My stomach insisted on lunch before my journeying could continue, so I check out nearby Cosetta (2011 7th St.) a St. Paul institution.

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Amelia Island: Downtown Fernandina Beach and Walker’s Landing

It’s nearly six months later, but I’m finally finishing up my photo blogs for our Amelia Island trip last May. Because I’ve only had one short vacation since then, it doesn’t actually feel that long ago that Ben and I wandered the streets of downtown Fernandina Beach, though we live on the other coast now. I love it here, but there’s something to be said for warm beach towns where cold fog is an unknown quantity.

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Fernandina Beach is the city under seven flags, which means seven different countries have claimed it at one point or another. Those influences are present walking the few short blocks near their retail center along Centre Street. Just follow Highway A1A in and you can’t miss it.

Original US Post Office Lamps

Original US Post Office Lamps

Walking by the Island Art Gallery

Walking by the Island Art Gallery

The Palace Saloon, oldest operating bar in Florida.

The Palace Saloon, oldest operating bar in Florida.

There are several beautiful churches on the small stretch, and a few just down the low-numbered side streets.

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Bijou

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My husband and I celebrated the sale of our North Carolina home with a prix fixe meal at this modern, French-inflected New American restaurant on Hayward’s downtown stretch. Using an Amazon Local deal, we dined on three courses each for only $40 including a glass of champagne. It was the second time I’d been to Bijou, and I love their bold design scheme of golds and greens with a luxurious dividing screen between lounge and dining room.

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It might seem contrary to the ambience, but both Sunday nights I’ve been have been popular ones for watching football in the lounge. I’ve enjoyed that contrast of upscale dining with regular old sports-fan enthusiasm. On our previous trip, I also enjoyed the creative cocktail list and a delicious cream of cauliflower soup. For this dinner, the best course ended up being my first one, a puff pastry served with lobster, carrots, and peas in a Pernod sauce.

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The puff pastry was almost overbrowned, which is the perfect time to serve it in my opinion. The delicate sauce showed off the succulent lobster bites, and the peas and carrots hearkened back to a traditional pot pie.

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