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After Dubuque & breakfast burritos on April 4th, we continued on towards Winona, Minnesota. But when we passed by a catholic church with a garden of massive shrines made out of shells, precious stones, and broken glass we knew we had to turn off to check it out. These strange and maticulously hand-built castle-shaped shrines are part of the Dickyville Grotto in the village of Dickyville, Wisconsin. Hmmm… They were apparently all built by a single priest between 1925 and 1930.

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Eric & I were amazed by his handiwork until we rounded a corner in the garden to discover a huge shrine to Christopher Columbus, “Discoverer of America”. Say what now? A shrine in a churchyard to a man who was not the first European to come to America, who enslaved and killed off tons of Native Americans, and wait, this shrine is bigger than the one to Jesus?! I’m a bit confused, but a lot disgusted.

Anyway, besides that it was neato.

We arrived in Winona fairly early and wandered around downtown some before settling in at the Acoustic Cafe for a free dinner and some computer work.

The dinner crowd for the most part trickled off while we played our Pocket Vinyl show, except for a large group at the back for a Birthday party. Eric played Happy Birthday on the piano while they all sang along, and at the end of the night they bought my painting for the Birthday Girl.

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This is possibly my favorite show painting on this tour so far.

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As we hung out after the show a couple named Whit & Sky invited us back to their apartment to spend the night. When we arrived I was completely thrilled to discover that one of their housemates breeds hedgehogs! Almost 30 of the prickly little creatures were scurrying around in large bins lining the wall of the living room, and I got to hold one of the babies!

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Our show had finished fairly early in the evening and we soon discovered that Whit owned Eric’s favorite board game of all time and new obsession: Risk Legacy. It was brand new and none of them had ever played before, we we broke it out and played a game, much to Eric’s delight. So, a fairly unexpectedly fun day on tour!

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