We are blessed in Minnesota. Out west are the prairies, to the south the Mississippi River valley, to the east well its pretty much wisconsin, but the real magic is up north. Lake Superior is magic and in the winter the north shore truly shines with frozen water falls and snow covered pines.
Lake Superior is a canvas that changes with the seasons. Winter brings a whole different level of wanderlust. Superior calls you and brings you to her ever changing shore. As you walk you notice frozen waterfalls high above the tunnel cliffs and take in where water meets the sky.
Gooseberry takes on a whole new life in the winter and she is beautiful. Her summer roar is silenced by the ice, yet she is strong and she still flows. Winter is my favorite time of year to see the falls, the crowds are long gone and it is quiet. So quiet that you can hear the pines rustle in the wind and if you listen close enough you can hear the cracking of the ice.
Christmas lights light up the Duluth harbor as the chilly wind reaches around your back to remind you that, yes it is still winter. Bentlyville is Minnesota’s answer to the Christmas light fight, it’s beautiful, magical, and simply I cannot begin to describe in words how amazing it is. All of the lights are timed to music while eager children line up to chat with Santa.
Even though it is cold, winter is a great time to visit Duluth and take in the attractions. Groupon lead us to the Lake Superior Zoo. If you are not familiar with the Zoo you should definitely go! The zoo is still recovering from the 2012 flash floods that took every one by surprise, including the seal who was swimming down grand avenue. In the Zoo you will of course find animals and an unexpected water fall. The very falls that flooded and caused the damage to the Zoo.
As you know Christmas lights instantly turn me into a giddy 8 year old. When a friend of mine posted about the lights in Mankato I knew I had to go! Mankato is an hour drive for us and Jay was up for the adventure. Along the way we notice this huge building outline in lights….. it was Minnesota’s Largest Candy store!! I have heard about this mystical place but had never been and Jay well he knows me all to well and pulled right on in.
Like words cannot describe this place! It is fucking amazing!!! They have practically every candy your little heart could imagine and then some. From glass bottle sodas to pies, to gummy turkey legs, and OMG the world’s greatest chips! Yes I said worlds greatest chips! Zapp’s to be exact! Are fucking hands down the only chips you will ever need in your life. It’s been established that I cannot eat anything of the chocolate variety, nut rolls get me excited! Homemade nut rolls to be exact and of course I bought two. One peanut and one pecan because hello options! In addition to that I walked out with a couple pieces of divinity and I was instantly 5 again standing in my grandma’s living room. She made it every holiday and I have long for it since her passing. Anyways this place! You guys is amazing!! You must go!!
Now back to the lights because hello the lights were my original reason for the trip. Sibley Park is beautifully lit and best of all they give you options. You can A. Get out of your car and walk or B. You can drive through the lights. We chose to do both. The lights like in Duluth are timed to music which for some reason makes it more fun. I liked the lights in Mankato a lot better than Bentleyville. Why you ask? Because there wasn’t a huge crowed and we didn’t feel rushed, plus they were simply beautiful. Not to mention the park is home to some real life reindeer which I am certain will take flight on Christmas Eve.
Two tiny tyrants rounded out our November adventure. Because hello what’s more fun than going to Auntie’s house to decorate cookies, play Operation, and Watch Christmas movies. It’s an excellent time with little to no rules and if you want to eat the sprinkles go on ahead, we’ll get you a bowl!
Just for fun, let’s throw in a few photos of the light rail derailment that happened right outside my office. It truly made the last day of November interesting. I stood in the skyway FaceTiming Jack so he could see the broken train as he asked “Auntie they fixing it” in his sweet little voice. The train was righted at around 7:30 and by morning light rail trains were chugging down the tracks. It’s all fixed now, in which I again had to FaceTime Jack to show him that, yes the trains are fixed.
I hope all of you have a fabulous November filled with adventure, love, and more laughter than one soul could ever handle.