Sunday, April 24, 2016

Village Detour

Minnesota wasn't sure what season it wanted to give us this past week again. There was rain and even a few snow flakes a couple days. Really cold mornings, that turned into fine nights, and then we had yesterday, sunny warm and appeared to be scripted for a spring Saturday. Both my daughter and I should have been more productive on the home front than we were, but after tidying up the living spaces, a little laundry, and lunch of the leftover soup from last week and hummus on toast, we collected a friend and made an afternoon detour. 

I live in a nice small town nestled right on the Mississippi river. Not far, and part of the broader community is where the Mississippi and St Croix River meet. The St Croix River valley is home to several picturesque small towns and little villages that are perfect for a  wander. While DH and I regularly are in Afton for wine club, we rarely have had any of the kids with when we've stopped there. On route is a regional park that  the high school uses for cross country training and for their meets. In the fall, we have a selection of orchards that we pick apples and pumpkins from, but their not quite as far up the valley as Afton. I decided to take the twenty minute drive along the forested winding St Croix trail rather than the slightly faster county roads. All total, we spent less than three hours out and about, but it feels like much more of a get away. Here's our spring Saturday detour in (rather poor) pictures. 

Afton has several boutiques and upcycle repurposed shops, with an eclectic mix of old and new, artisan made items, and a variety of textiles. I feel a little bad as I look for an eye as to what could I try to do myself, if I dedicate to the time, as opposed to actually shopping and buying.



There was an impromptu string trio setting up next to a day spa. Both the girls are violinist so stopped and listened a bit. 

Then the girls spotted a "secret garden" behind a fence, so maneuvered their phones to capture a shot or two. I knew the real secret was that it was part of a publicly welcome garden (just down the block a bit), and a garden center. 

I found three bulb pots of hostas and crossing my fingers that these will survive the rabbits.

 Complimentary tea for visitors and what little quaint village is complete without a a spot for foodies to get their share of local sauces, jams, salsa's and chutneys.
Just two boats docked at the publicly available slips. No slipped boats in yet, but people everywhere painting boats, and starting to get them ready to put back in the water. 

 April can be hit or miss. This is the St Croix on a calm day, ice free. Little dots of green are emerging across the and up the shoreline.


  1. Beautiful there! I have a hard time imagining rain mixed with snowflakes. I am currently wearing a sun dress and flip flops. As much as I love spring I know it is just days until we are in full fledged summer which gets a tad miserable until mid October.

    1. Today we are back to rain, and it is needed. It hasn't been stormy, just continuous light most of the day. I'll get my hostas in tomorrow night, though today I am nursing my very sore back and knee again.

  2. The weather here is bloody freezing I'm not a happy bunny lol I need sunshine and warmth. Sorry to hear about your back that can be pretty miserable I know.

    1. I have some bad days with arthritis and then I inevitably overcompensate and my back takes the brunt of stress. Thanks for the kindcwords and I hope you get that sun.

  3. I love poking around in a little town and a lot of times the diners are fab. You make me want to go out and explore.


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