Thursday, September 6, 2012

City of Bikes

One of my favorite things about Minneapolis is the Midtown Greenway. I know I've said this before, but it really is an expressway for cyclists. And I love that this city has a strong, community-supported bike culture. It's not perfect--personally, I'm looking forward to the day when Minneapolis and St. Paul and every suburb are connected by dedicated trails--but it's pretty amazing nonetheless.

 Check out this video about the Midtown Greenway:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back In The Cities

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind.  A really great whirlwind.  And we've landed back in the Twin Cities.  Hooray!  This should lead to more blog posts.  Finally.  For now, I will leave you with a taste of the Great Minnesota Get Together (a.k.a The State Fair).

Cheese Curds

Walleye Roll--Giggles' Campfire Grill

Strawberry Scone--French Meadow Bakery

Cosmic Black & White Cupcake--French Meadow Bakery

And two of our favorite signs (although we didn't actually eat at either place)...

We're looking forward to writing more and soon!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Little House

Growing up, I was a huge fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read all the Little House books, watched the series and did as many book reports as I possibly could on her. Total nerd. :) So, it's a no-brainer that I would want to visit Walnut Grove, MN and see the museum.

Now, the town of Walnut Grove is home to 534 people--give or take. It's small and, unfortunately, there isn't too much to do besides visit the museum. That aside, the museum itself is fun, especially for kids.

It's set up like a little town with a handful of buildings to explore. There's even a room filled with interactive stations for kids--like learning to wash clothes using a washboard. Fun, right? There's a covered wagon that can actually be climbed on and a room filled with memorabilia from the television series.

The well-stocked gift shop has everything from peppermint sticks and bonnets to books and series DVDs. What else does a prairie fan need? :)

If you do want to make the drive to Walnut Grove, my main recommendation would be to pack a lunch, because I'm serious when I say there isn't much else. They do have a Nellie's Cafe, but it seems to close early (at least it's was closed when we went). Besides, it might be more fun to have a picnic along the banks of Plum Creek.

sod house replica

schoolhouse replica

a letter written by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Spy: Adam Turman Prints

Minneapolis-based graphic artist Adam Turman captures the best aspects of Minnesota with his striking illustrations and prints. I love walking around the Cities and seeing his work pop up everywhere. Whether it's his cityscapes, cycling prints or retro pin-up girls, his work charms me with its vibrant colors and captivating images. It also has the ability to fill me up with all that warm and fuzzy Minnesota pride.

Below is a small taste of his work (I also put a few more prints on my other blog) and make sure to check out his website too!

© 2011. All rights reserved.

© 2011. All rights reserved.

© 2011. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Red Jacket Trail

We went on our first official bike ride of the season this weekend.

We parked next to Mount Kato, which is the local snowboarding/skiing/mountain biking hill and tried out the The Red Jacket Trail that runs from Mankato to Rapidan. First, we rode into Mankato and then turned around and went for a bit in the other direction. The ride was great--lots of trees. We went over the Le Sueur River too.

Only one problem--we didn't bike over the river in the fashion I'd have liked. Instead, we crossed it by biking alongside a regular old road. Booooooring.

The way we should have crossed it was on a giant 80 foot bridge. Unfortunately, it's going through some repair work.

An entire chunk is currently missing. Personally, I think I could have made the jump. ;) EXTREME!!!

My favorite part of the ride--the lemonade. There were all these makeshift lemonade stands thrown together by wee wandering peddlers. It was Lemonade Day, doncha know? All along the trail kids had set up booths at strategic points to lure unsuspecting cyclists in for 50 cent lemonade and chocolate chip cookies.

They didn't stop at just drinks and sweets either--they also sold items like homemade bracelets. Shrewd marketers, I tell you. They set up persuasive little billboards along the way that said things like, "Thirsty, yet?" and "You're almost to Crazy Cat Lemonade!" I really liked the Crazy Cat kids because they even drew a crazy cat on their billboards. Jonathan and I only had a dollar on us, otherwise I think we'd have been completely taken in by those gypsies.

Monday, May 30, 2011

What I Want To Do

Sitting here in our humid, windswept apartment on the prairie (we have no central air conditioning), I've been daydreaming about what kind of fun and/or illuminating experiences I want to have while we're living in the The Star of the North.

So, here's the beginning of the list I've been dreaming up:

1. Kayak down the Mississippi River

2. Visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove, MN--because why wouldn't you?

3. Go to a Twins Game (better yet, BIKE to a Twins Game)

4. Do the Tweed Ride

5. Take classes at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts--I really, really love this place and the attached Coffee Gallery sells yummy brownies! So, it's definitely a win-win. :)

6. Participate in workshops at The Loft

7. Bike on as many trails as we can find

8. See something at MPR's Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul

9. Go to the St. Paul Winter Carnival

10. Explore the Boundary Waters

11. Visit lots of museums, like the Mill City Museum or the MIA, as much as possible

12. Find Paul Bunyan and share some s'mores

13. Get strong enough and crazy enough to do the Muddy Buddy

14. Eat just nibble a small piece of lutefisk and then move on to the lefse--Uff da!

15. Hang out with Sven, Ole and Lena and eat more lutefisk. :)

Phew, that's it for now.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Search Begins

Spring has sprung from its icy trap and Jonathan and I can finally wander about in search of adventure. One of the "must-do-soon" items on our list is dropping our poor, dusty kayaks into some refreshing waters.

We started our investigation of the local waterways at Rapidan Dam Park.

The Blue Earth River runs along the park.

It looks both scenic . . .

. . .and tranquil.

The park has a canoe launch and a Dam Store (that's just fun to say). Apparently, the Dam Store is famous for its delicious homemade pies. We'll have to try them some time and see.

And as the name suggests, there's also a dam to walk across--which we did.

This looks like a promising place to start paddling. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to wet our toes soon!