Looking Back in Pictures

Leah and I are winding down our Great Lakes circumnavigation 200 miles south of Lake Erie, where a hundred or more local and distant celebrants have gathered in Ligonier, PA to party with Tiff and Jim on their 25th wedding anniversary.

Appropriately, it was Ligonier and the surrounding Laurel Highlands where Leah and I broke our Airstream cherry. It was the cusp of winter/spring; it was the day after Leah’s 60ish birthday; and it was my first day of retirement.

We dug ourselves out of a major New Jersey snowstorm, and loaded up the Airstream and the F-150 with a year’s worth of gear and courage. Our maiden voyage left us white-knuckled as we precariously cruised the backroads to find Tiff and Jim’s country house in darkness. That was 29 months ago.

Today, we are seasoned road warriors who have grown in confidence, and somehow avoid repeating our original mistakes. Instead, we make new mistakes, which keeps us on our toes.

Circling back to Ligonier after three months of Great Lakes coastal roads has also given me time to reflect on the places I traveled, the things I’ve seen, and the moments I captured.

What follows is a snapshot retrospective along our route:

Niagara Falls ON
Niagara Falls, Ontario–Victoria Avenue
Wawa ON
Wawa, Ontario–Young’s General Store
St. Ignace MI
St. Ignace, Michigan–Castle Rock
Ft. Williams, ON
Fort William, Ontario–Mount McKay
Duluth MN
Duluth, Minnesota–Canal Park
Duluth MN (2)
Eldes Corner, Minnesota–Jay Cooke State Park
Carlton MN
Carlton, Minnesota–Buffalo Valley RV Campground
Cloquet MN
Esko, Minnesota–East Highway 61
Bayfield WI
Bayfield, Wisconsin–Howl Adventure Center
LaPointe WI
Bayfield, Wisconsin–1st Street
Musining MI
Munising, Michigan–The Dogpatch
Sturgeon Bay WI
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin–N. 3rd Avenue
Ellison Bay WI
Ellison Bay, Wisconsin–WI-42
Egg Harbor WI
Egg Harbor, Wisconsin–WI-42
Devil's Doorway, WI.jpg
Baraboo, Wisconsin–Devil’s Doorway, Devil’s Lake State Park
Baraboo, WI
Baraboo, Wisconsin–Circus World
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Wisconsin Dell, Wisconsin–Broadway
Plain, WI
Plain, Wisconsin–Ederer Dairy Supply
Milwaukee WI
Milwaukee, Wisconsin–Lakefront Brewery
Stay Puft
Highland Park, Illinois–Ravinia Festival
Niles IL
Niles, Illinois–Leaning Tower of Niles
Grand Rapids MI
Grand Rapids, Michigan–Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
Traverse City, MI
Traverse City, Michigan–Warehouse District
Dearborn, MI
Dearborn, Michigan–Ford Rouge Factory
Detroit, MI
Detroit, Michigan–Heidelberg Project
Detroit, MI1
Detroit, Michigan–Comerica Park
Long Live Rock Leah
Cleveland, Ohio–Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Bellefountaine, OH
Bellefontaine, Ohio–S. Main Street
Pittsburgh, PA 1
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania–Andy Warhol Museum (Keith Haring)
Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania–Mattress Factory (Yayoi Kusama)
Willie and Leah
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania–PNC Park (Willie “Pops” Stargell)
Ligonier PA
Ligonier, PA–Fort Ligonier

This is only the beginning for us. Stay tuned for more travel follies…

The Temple of Conspicuous Consumption

A photo essay…

In honor of the 25th birthday of Mall of America®, here are 25 incredible facts + figures about the nation’s largest retail and entertainment destination (as reported by Mall of America).

  • 1.15 MILES: Walking distance around one level of Mall of America
  • 8 ACRES OF SKYLIGHTS: What allows about 70% of the natural light to enter the Mall
  • 4 OUT OF 10: Visitors to Mall of America who are tourists
  • 9: Yankee Stadiums that can fit inside the Mall
  • 27: Rides and attractions in Nickelodeon Universe®
  • 43: Boeing 747s that could fit inside the Mall
  • 65: How many semi-trucks were needed to transport trees to the theme park to create the outdoor feel of an indoor park
  • 70 DEGREES: Temperature inside Mall of America whether its spring, summer, winter or fall
  • 100+ POUNDS: Amount of food fed daily to animals at SEA LIFE® Minnesota Aquarium — plus 90 extra pounds on the days the sharks are fed
  • 347: Statues of Liberty that could lie inside the Mall
  • 400+: Events held at Mall of America each year
  • 520+: Stores located in Mall of America
  • 8,700+: Weddings that have been performed at Mall of America
  • 11,000: Year-round employees at Mall of America (13,000 during peak periods)
  • 12,750: On-site parking spaces at Mall of America in two ramps
  • 30,000+: Live plants in Nickelodeon Universe® — plus 400 live trees climbing as high as 35 feet tall
  • 32,000+: Tons of trash recycled each year
  • 170,000+: Legos that have been lost in the LEGO® play area
  • 1.3 MILLION-GALLONS: Size of the aquarium at SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium
  • 5.6 MILLION: Square feet of gross building area
  • 40 MILLION: Visitors annually which is more than the combined populations of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa…and Canada
  • 174+ MILLION: Number of rides ridden in the park since opening
  • $650+ MILLION: Cost to build Mall of America
  • NEARLY $2 BILLION: How much Mall of America generates in economic activity annually for the state of Minnesota
  • 0: Sales tax on clothing in Minnesota

amusement park

rides

Dora

legos

drone race

flying

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