Sunday September 3, 2023 Cedar Falls, Iowa to Minneapolis, Minnesota

Kent at the Flour City Museum
Vintage Combine
Mary Tyler Moore Statue
Mall of America Amusement Park
Mall of America
Kent with the Wahlberg Boys

We departed Cedar Falls around 9:00am bound for The Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where we spent two nights at the Radisson Blu Hotel. The ride took us about three and one-half hours passing through beautiful countryside filled with lush green soybean fields and golden colored corn fields. Mixed in were meandering stripes of green trees creating a patchwork of colors.

Our home for the next two nights was the Radisson Blu at The Mall of America. The hotel was very neat, clean and comfortable with views over The Mall of America and the airport from our 12th floor room.

We headed out to The Mill City Museum located on the Mississippi River front in downtown Minneapolis. The museum was built within the ruins of the Washburn A Mill, the flagship mill of the Washburn-Crosby Company which later became General Mills. It was the largest and most technologically advanced mill in the world when it was completed in 1880. Millers at the Washburn mills in the 1870’s perfected a new process for milling, a revolution that made fine wheat flour available to the masses for the first time. Soon thereafter Minneapolis became the flour milling capital of the world, a title it held from 1880 until 1930. At peak production, the mill ground enough flour to make 12 million loaves of bread a day. Flour used to come in 196-pound family barrels, but over time flour sacks were introduced and sold in 100, 50- and 25-pound quantities. After Betty Crocker was introduced in 1921, flour began coming in even smaller sized bags. In 1928, Washburn-Crosby Company merged with 28 other mills and was renamed General Mills. In 2001, General Mills purchased Pillsbury uniting Minnesota’s two largest flour manufacturers.

The museum includes an interesting 19-minute film about the history of Minneapolis, some history of Betty Crocker and the Pillsbury Dough Boy, the history of the areas’ flour production and more. They have a very interesting elevator tour where guest sit in a room sized elevator and as they ride up and down the elevator the wall sized doors open to a room from the former mill along with film footage and stories about the mill. There is a ninth-floor roof top outdoor observation deck where you can look out over the river and city.

On our way back to our hotel we stopped in the downtown area to snap a photo of the bronze statue of Mary Tyler Moore. The statue has sat at the corner of 7th Street and Nicollet streets since 2001.The statue captures the iconic moment Mary throws her tam in the air during the opening credits of the 1970’s hit TV Show. The shows’ images of Minneapolis and references to the city helped catapult the city to a national stage.

We then visited The Mall of America which was extremely busy with shoppers of all ages and sizes. The ground floor has an enormous amusement park with roller coaster rides and carnival type booths of all sorts. Four stories of mall surround the amusement park with shops of every imaginable type. You can find tattoo shops, hookah shops, clothing stores, restaurants and so much more.

After wandering around the mall for some time we stopped at the Wahlberg family burger restaurant called Whaleburger’s for a bite to eat before returning to our hotel for the night.