12 FEBRUARY 2011

On our way to Westby we passed through Mississippi River country with its telltale bluffs. It looks like the cows beat us here for a drink.

We crawled through deep, dark forests.....

.....and broke out into the openwinding past a pair of shapely hills.

On the outskirts of Westby we saw the first sign of Scandinaviaa Viking with a mug of beer staring at a burger and about to be hit by a flying bowling pin. This is the snowmobiling hangout andaccording to the signPam's back under under new management!

This Viking who's kindly pointing the way either lost his horns or hasn't earned them yet.

Judging from the array of Scandinavian flags, this must be the place.

Our stomachs were hounding us and a gift store does not provide a hot meal, so we pulled in across the street at Ole and Lena's Kaffe Hus for some lunch. It was a slow afternoon and we were the only customers.

The counter where you order your meal faced a rack of candy and souveniers.

Frames covered the lovely old track-lit brick wall. Lena and Ole, the eternal butt of ethnic Norwegian jokes in this region, really did live at one time—a photo of their gravestone attests to this. There's also a packet of jokes available. We were too interested in eating to bother with them. Oh alright, here goes (note the Norvegian accent): Ole and Lena got married. On their honeymoon trip they were nearing Minneapolis when Ole put his hand on Lena's knee. Giggling, Lena said, "Ole, yew can go farther if ya vant to"... so Ole drove to Duluth.

Since the Packers recently won the Super Bowl, this cheesy gear should have been sold out.

We crossed the street to go to the shop and encountered these dueling elfish characters ready to lance each other with the American and Norwegian flags.

Just around the corner under the bow of a mighty Viking ship, was the entrance to Dregne's.

There were quite a few of these merry trolls around. This one is rollicking atop jars of Swedish gooseberry preserves.

Flatbreadthe one thing that we did buyis almost as thin as paper, but tastes a lot better.

A beautiful Scandinavian outfit.

Another, more subdued in color, is quite smart in appearance.

There's all kinds of stuff in this shop—from fashionable outfits to dishes, furniture, guns (and the remains of creatures killed by them) and so much more!

Just what I need to light up my garden.

These beautiful hand-pained horses stood out from the other knickknacks.

Scandinavian humor is no joke. It's almost frightening!

And what would a Scandinavian shop be without cool, fearsome Vikings?

When those fearsome Vikings come home too late from carousing and plundering, they will have a heck of an encounter with Mrs. Viking. I do not envy them!

Well, we had our fill of Scandinavian stuff so we headed out of town. This handsome old home—now serving as a bed & breakfast called Westby House—caught my eye. A couple of trees in the yard would really top it off nicely.

Dregne's Scandinavian Gifts

Ole and Lena's Kaffe Hus

Westby House Inn