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Whether planned or spur of the moment, museum trips are enjoyed

Each year, Spam Museum in Austin proves to be an enticing diversion for drivers on Interstate 90.

The city's top tourist attraction seems to be drawing as many visitors this summer as in years past.

It seems every visitor has their own "feel good story" to tell, said Gretchen Ramlo, a Spam Museum employee.

A large number of groups visit the museum during the summer, said Cheryl Corey, executive director of the Austin Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

The museum doesn't issue attendance numbers, but a sampling of visitors one day last week turned up a mix of people from across the country and throughout the world.


Participants in the Great River Shakespeare Festival came from Winona to Austin to see the Spam Museum and the Hormel Girls Musical, including Laurie Flanigan, who wrote the script and lyrics for "Hormel Girls."

Three of them were from Milwaukee, New York City and Australia.

"When I heard about the Spam Museum I was so excited to come," said Brian White of New York City. "It's definitely living up to the dream."

Stephanie Lambourn, an actress from Australia, had never heard of Spam before coming to the museum.

"I didn't know we made Spam in Australia, but one of the employees said we do, so I'm going to scope out Black Pepper Spam when I get home," she said.

Jackie Macuk of Tomball, Texas, vacationed at Mount Rushmore with her mother, Mary, and instead of going straight back to Mary's home in Peoria, Ill., they stopped off in Austin to visit the Spam Museum.

"It's a bit of a detour, but a friend of mine suggested we stop and see the Spam Museum and that it was just fascinating," Jackie said. "We had never heard of the Spam Museum, but as soon as we heard there was one, it went right on the schedule."

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