The reunion will kick off in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minneapolis-Saint Paul International airport is the largest and most convenient airport in the area. It has many direct and one-stop arrivals and departures daily - both from international as well as domestic carriers. Meeting together in Minneapolis will make travel much easier for many of us. There will be no need to rent cars since we will all be touring together on our chartered bus which will depart and return to our hotels in Minneapolis.
On the evening of Tuesday, July 25, we will meet at a Welcome Reception at Applebee's Restaurant next to The Commons Hotel. It will be a chance to say hello and become reacquainted with relatives we haven't seen in a long time (or maybe never met before?).
On Wednesday, July 26, we will tour Minneapolis. First, we will visit the American Swedish Institute. The Institute is housed in the mansion built by Svan Turnblad, the owner and publisher of Svenska Amerikansak Posten, the largest Swedish newspaper in America. We will have a Smorgas lunch there before visiting the Mill City Museum. The Museum sits on the banks of the Mississippi River on the site of what was once the world's largest flour mill. Afterward, we will return to our hotels, and dinner will be on our own.
The next morning, Thursday, July 27, we will leave Minneapolis for the Nordicfest in Decorah, Iowa. We will arrive in time for lunch at Pinter's Gardens and Pumpkins before visiting the Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum and Heritage Center. This will be of special interest for us, for it houses the largest collection of Norwegian-American artifacts in the world. We will enjoy dinner at some of the many wonderful food booths that the festival is known for and will be entertained by the Nordicfests' Opening Ceremony.
The next day, Friday, July 28, we will head to St. Peter, Minnesota. This is where Wilhelm and Thora Kruger, Hans Astrup's parents, ran an immigrant hotel and lived for many years. This is also where they are buried. St. Peter is a delightful town with an interesting historic center which we will visit. We will have lunch at the popular 3rd Street Tavern, which is well known for its wonderful Bar B Q.
After visiting some family sites, we will move on to Montevideo, Minnesota for two nights. On Saturday morning we will visit the Swensson Farm Museum and Chippewa Historic Village (description above). After a picnic lunch, we will enjoy a little fika at the site where Hans and Lena were married. Dinner each night will be on our own in Montevideo, which offers a variety of good, well priced restaurants. A list of recommended places will be provided.
On Sunday, July 30 we will drive to Browns Valley, South Dakota for a headstone laying ceremony at the grave of Hans Astrup Kruger. After lunch we will visit Bristol and see the homestead of Ole and and Birgit Svang. We will enjoy a real American Bar B Q at Lynn Lake Lodge before attending an evening service at Bergen Lutheran Church which Ole and Birgit Svang helped found. After church, we hope to chat with some of the church members.
Finally, on Monday, July 31, we return to Minneapolis where we will say our good byes. Along the way we will make a stop at Hans and Lena's homestead along Big Stone Lake and then have a picnic lunch in Litchfield, Minnesota, where Gerda Blitzen lived for many years.
Tues., July 25 Minneapolis, Minnesota
5:30 - 7:30 - Welcome Reception at Applebee's (adjacent to The Commons Hotel)
Wed., July 26 Minneapolis
10:00 - Tour American Swedish Institute*
12 noon - Lunch at ASI
1:30 - Tour Mill City Museum
3:30 - Depart for hotel(s)
Dinner on own
Thurs., July 27 Minneapolis - Decorah, Iowa
8:30 - Hotel check-out
9:00 - Depart The Commons Hotel for Decorah, IA*
12:00 - Lunch at Pinter's Gardens and Pumpkins, Decorah
1:30 - Tour Vesterheim Museum
4:30 - Check-in at Quality Inn and Suites
5:45 - Dinner at Nordicfest
6:45 - Nordicfest Opening Ceremony
Return to hotel
Fri., July 28 - Decorah, IA - St. Peter - Montevideo, MN
9:00 - Hotel check-out
9:30 - Depart Quality Inn for St. Peter, MN
12:30 - Lunch at 3rd Street Tavern
1:30 - Tour Nicollet County Historical Society
2:30 - Visit Woodhill Cemetery, burial site of Wilhelm and Thora Kruger
3:00 - Depart for Montevideo
5:00 - Check-in at The Crossings by Grandstay
Dinner on own
Sat., July 29 Montevideo - Granite Falls, MN
11:00 - Depart hotel for the Swensson Farm Museum
12:30 - Depart for Chippewa Historic Village
1:00 - Lunch followed by self-guided tour of the village
3:00 - Depart for Granite Falls and Fika
3:45 - Return to hotel
Dinner on own
Sun., July 30 Montevideo, MN - Brown's Valley - Bristol - Webster, South Dakota
10:00 - Hotel check-out
10:30 - Depart for Brown's Valley, SD
12 noon - Hans Astrup Kruger headstone laying ceremony
12:30 - Lunch
1:30 - Depart for Bristol
2:30 - Visit to Ole and Birgit Svang's homestead
4:00 - Check-in at Lynn Lake Lodge
5:00 - Bar B Q at Lynn Lake Lodge
7:00 - Service at Bergen Lutheran Church
8:00 - Visit with church members
8:45 - Return to Lodge
Mon., July 31 Webster, SD - Minneapolis, MN
8:00 - Breakfast
9:00 - Lodge check-out
9:30 - Depart for Minneapolis with stops made at Big Stone Lake, SD and Litchfield, MN
3:30 - Arrive at The Commons Hotel**
*The bus will be departing from The Commons Hotel. If you are staying elsewhere, please make arrangements to meet the group there. On Wednesday morning, you may wish to go directly to The American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave., Minneappolis).
**Arrangements can be made for drop-off at Minneapolis - St. Paul Airport.