“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It Goes On.”
Robert Frost

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Once More Round the Lake

We had family visiting from another state over the Labor Day holiday and we had to get them out to the premier lake in the Twin-Cities area. Luckily the rain and high humidity departed and we were blessed with a fantastic Labor Day tour of beautiful Lake Minnetonka.

Lake Minnetonka is the 10th largest lake in Minnesota; it has over 14,000 acres of water (approximately 22 square miles) with more than 100 miles of shoreline.  The maximum depth of the lake is 113 feet. Lake Minnetonka is also the most heavily-used lake in Minnesota. (source)

Since my relatives are land-lubbers, we decided on the safe and smooth ride aboard the lovely and very vintage Steamboat Minnehaha. In the early 1900's the Steamboat Minnehaha was created as an extension of the Twin Cities' streetcar system.

 The Steamboat Minnehaha on Lake Minnetonka, MN.:

It all came to an end with the rise in popularity of automobiles and the steamboat was scuttled in 1926.  For five decades, the Minnehaha lay at the bottom of lake Minnetonka.

That changed, however, in 1980, when a salvage team discovered her and raised her back to the surface.  Finally, after a complete restoration, the Minnehaha returned to passenger service in 1996 and has operated on Lake Minnetonka every season since.

Watching the Minnehaha come into dock from a previous tour. 

 Waiting to board....

 I have the window seat and can't wait to get going!

 We are just leaving the dock and heading out of the bay into the main lake.

The lake was not nearly as crowded as in the warmer days of summer, but there were still many people out enjoying the beautiful day.  We saw several groups of sailboats and kayaks like the ones in the photos above.

This dad had his daughter out on the paddleboard and was keeping
 a close eye on us!

 An actual steam engine still runs in the belly of the Steamboat Minnehaha.

Here are just a few of the more modest homes on Lake Minnetonka. These are the ones I would choose to live in if I had a full-time housekeeper, gardener and maintenance crew!

Some historic mansions remain on the lake, but are more secluded and mostly hidden from the prying eyes of tourists.  A few include prominent estates once owned by the first families of Minnesota, such as the Pillsburys (as in the Pillsbury Doughboy), the Daytons (Daytons Department Stores and founder of Target stores) and the Bells (General Mills). Most of the larger homes now are owned by professional athletes and insurance company CEO's.

The former Pillsbury house may still be for sale, I found this info on a real-estate site. It's been reduced to $24 million. Here's a photo from the site.....

Former Pillsbury House – $24,000,000 | Pricey Pads:


I much prefer these "smaller" homes!

Our tour took us around the "Big Island" and then back into the bay.  It was a pleasurable hour-long cruise around the lake.

The Steamboat Minnehaha is a floating museum and a real treasure to the city of Excelsior on the bay of Lake Minnetonka. 

I hope you enjoyed this little trip with me. We still have a few more weeks of this glorious weather so maybe we'll make it back out to the lake before winter sets in.  I hope you're enjoying this 
beautiful time of year too!

See you soon!
~~ Diane ~~


  1. What a beautiful place! I love everything here from the water, to the boats, to the homes. Wow!

  2. Great photos! Thanks for taking us along on your trip around the lake!

  3. Nice to know about that beautiful lake, you have shared some amazing pictures, thank you :)

  4. The lake is beautiful, Diane, with so much history behind it. That is something that would interest me to see. I went to our lake a couple weeks ago, and it was so low. It made me sad. I've never seen it that low. California needs rain so bad. These really are terrific photos of this lovely place. Thanks for sharing them.

    love, ~Sheri

    1. Sheri... we lived near Sacramento in the late 80's and there was a mild drought then and I remember the lake being low, the American River area was still gorgeous though. It rained in the fall and winter and everything was green then. The summers were Golden though (I heard that's why it's called the Golden State), not sure if that's true.... We are having rain here again right now. Wish I could send some your way.... it is very sad what CA and the whole west coast is going through.

  5. How beautiful! I feel like I was on the steamboat with you. All that water is so relaxing. Someday we hope to travel to your area. I'd like one of those "small" homes also. Our whole house would probably fit in their living room, lol. Fun post Diane!

  6. Ah Diane what a beautiful lake. Loved seeing the steamboat. The homes are gorgeous but like you my tastes run more to the smaller ones. Oh I sure do hope you have more time on the water before winter sets. Well happy sailing friend. Thank you for letting me come along. Hugs

  7. These are beautiful photographs! What a lovely way to spend time.

  8. So pretty and relaxing! I'll be right over ;)

  9. Dear Diane, how lovely I so enjoyed a tour around the lake – it’s wet and windy (again) in the UK so glimpses of blue sky and sunshine are always very welcome. It looks as though you had a wonderful trip; some of those homes are amazing.

  10. Fascinating post, I loved seeing the houses. Wow!

  11. I babysit on Fridays for my granddaughter... While she has been napping I've enjoyed looking at your blog. I'm old enough to remember some of these vintage things from my childhood!

  12. 24 million, I will take two! LOL! Gorgeous photos! Really enjoyed this trip ;o)

  13. What a nice blog Diane.....I did love the story about the toast too......neat cookbook you ended up with...see you on Etsy.


Thank you for leaving a comment! I do read them all and will try to respond if I'm able. Please know that all comments are appreciated, I love to hear your thoughts on my posts! ~ Diane