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The other primary activity on our second-anniversary weekend getaway was visiting the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota. I had never heard of it until a coworker mentioned it in passing when I said how I had nothing planned for our anniversary weekend. After checking out their website, I knew that’s where Andrew and I would celebrate our anniversary!
The admission rates are a little pricey, at $10 per person. However, the National Eagle Center is a non-profit dedicated to the conservation of eagles, and your admission fee goes towards that cause. Andrew and I were able to enter for free because it is a participating Blue Star Museum. (The sign at the center erroneously stated that free admission was for “active duty” military families, but Blue Star Museums also allows Guard and Reserve families to enter for free by showing a CAC card or military dependent ID.)
The museum itself consists of two floors of all sorts of information about eagles; it answered questions about eagles that I didn’t even know I had! The exhibit that Andrew and I enjoyed the most was “Eagles Everywhere,” about how eagles are found in so many parts of American culture, as well as cultures around the world. We especially enjoyed the portion of the exhibit about the eagle in the military, such as a “full bird” colonel and the 101st Airborne Division Screaming Eagles from Fort Campbell. (Air Assault!)
The most exciting part of the Center is the eagle viewing room. The eagles are tethered instead of caged so that you can be within a few feet of them. It makes for neat photos like the one above! Unfortunately, you can’t hold the eagles, which Andrew found disappointing. (He wanted some pictures of him holding a bald eagle for Recruiting purposes 😛 )
What we didn’t spend on admission fees to the museum, we certainly spent at the gift shop! We bought an ornament for our Christmas tree as well as some postcards. Andrew also picked up an eagle figurine and a photo of an angry eagle named Columbia for his office. I joked that if any future soldiers wanted to drop out, they would need to look Columbia in the eyes and tell her they’re sorry 😉
One of my favorite memories from this trip is seeing bald eagles flying around in the wild. I had never seen a bald eagle in the wild before (to my knowledge), and it was incredibly mesmerizing!
Have you ever seen an eagle in the wild?