Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

We started the last day here in the Twin Cities with a trip to get some authentic Mexican food. Being from southern California, there is not a shortage of great Mexican restaurants. But having been gone for over a month already, we are savoring the opportunity to eat at a good one.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

Minnesota is a dry state. That means on Sundays, you cannot buy alcohol from the store. At a restaurant though it is all fair game. These guys behind us are taking advantage of this little loophole with mugs after mugs of draft beer on this late Sunday morning.

The upcoming full moon is known in the western world as the harvest moon. Before mechanized farming and electricity were available, farmers took advantage of the brightest moon light to work well into the night for their fall harvest. In China, Vietnam and many other Asian countries, the full moon near the autumnal equinox is also celebrated. As a matter of fact, it is one of the most important holidays and many countries even celebrate it as a national holiday.

We are joining our friends this evening to attend a Moon Festival event hosted at the Landmark Center located in downtown. I have not celebrated one since I was a teenager and Marlene and the kids have never experienced one so we are looking forward to it.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

We had some time between lunch and the start of the festival so we took advantage of the downtime and cruised down the famed Summit Ave.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

Summit Ave is located at the highest hill near downtown Saint Paul. As the city was growing in the late 1800s, the wealthier citizens of Saint Paul decided to build their homes on this street so they would have the best views all over town.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

Some of these buildings are just stunning to look at. The closer to get to downtown on Summit Avenue, the bigger the houses got.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

Right at the end as Summit meanders its way down the hill towards downtown, you will see the beautiful Cathedral of Saint Paul. Just like the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, Archbishop John Ireland was responsible for getting the project going. In fact, the same architect designed both this cathedral, as well as the basilica.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

Not all of the Summit Avenue homes are private residences but many still are. Coming from California, it is pretty amazing what you can get for your money here. You can pretty much buy a castle here for what a bungalow goes for in Los Angeles.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

As we drove down the street, it seemed like every 3rd or 4th home had a for sale sign in front of it. If you are planning on moving to Saint Paul, you can have the pick of the litter here.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

We saw many groups of people walking along sidewalks doing tours of the Summit Avenue. It would have been great to be able to take one of these tours.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

If we had the time, we would have definitely taken a tour. Or better yet, get a real estate agent to take you around to see the ones on the market for free.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

We made a couple of passes up the down Summit before heading downtown to Rice Park which is the area right outside the Landmark Center where the Moon Festival is held.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

As we sat and waited for Chris, Jen and Cleo to meet us, Ava decided to take our DSLR camera and go to town with taking some photos. These are some of the gems she came up with.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

Some lady with a blue shirt.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

Me and my rear end.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

And finally, she captured some better photos of the band who was playing at the park.

Ava the photog. #stpaul #minnesota #photography

If you don’t believe that she took that photo, here is proof of her in action. Our little photographer in the making!

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

Finally, we met up with everyone and went in to check out the Moon Festival. As a kid, a typical Moon Festival activity is going to the park after the moon has risen and eat moon cake while gazing at the moon. 

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

The event is organized by the Vietnamese community here in Saint Paul and everyone is welcome to participate.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

The girls had a blast doing some of the arts and crafts like Mila’s paper dragon. She has not quite grasped the concept of coloring. These scribbles are the best she’s got.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

Ava’s rainbow dragon turned out a bit more colorful.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

The lion dancing troupe brought some smaller, kid-sized lions that the girls got to try on.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

This is a traditional Vietnamese dance that was performed on the stage in the middle of this old, rescued federal building.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

The girls got to get on stage and try those moves themselves with these cool kitty cat paper lanterns.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

Then the lion dancers started going to town. They really put on a great show complete with martial arts demonstrations by each of the members.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

Check out this little boy. He is working that lion head like a champ.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

The lion dancers ended their performance and the Moon Festival by working their way back out to Rice Park. The Landmark Center is in the background of this photo. It was once a federal building that was almost demolished to make room for a more ‘modern’ and ‘useful’ high rise.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

We had a great time in Saint Paul and tomorrow we will be heading east into Wisconsin. There are probably a few days of boondocking ahead of us and as the weather is turning a bit on the cold side, it will be interesting.

Day 45: Summit Ave in St. Paul and the Moon Festival.

We had one last dinner with our good friends and since all good things must come to an end, we bid farewell and hoped to see them again soon.

over and out,
dan 

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