You Betcha, Our Minnesota Adventures 2016

I was on a mission in the summer of 2016 tour.  My mission was to seek and find a moose and a beaver in the wild.  We set our circus tour to accommodate my crazy whim to seek these creatures out.  Suffice it to say that we never once saw a moose and the only beaver we did see was dead on the side of the road.  However, after a month of exploring this amazing state, we captured some memories of a lifetime.

Minnesota has about 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.  The landscape is absolutely beautiful!  Rocky hills that are covered in an array of wild flowers of buttery golden, majestic purple, vibrant orange and red.  I was surprised because I always think of Minnesota as a winter wonderland and not a gorgeous summer garden.

We performed many shows in the state in the month we were there and were able to spend our down time exploring its wonders and beauties.  We couldn’t miss the Mall of America that is simply ginormous!!!  Luckily, we got out having only spent money on four build your own Lego figures.  Since we travel in the bus for most of the year, our kids collect these mini figures as they travel and store well in small spaces.  We are from Orlando, so the amusement park indoors was not something we were going to spend money on (I’m cheap that way) but it was still very cool to see such large Ferris wheels and rollercoasters indoors.

We also went to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and LOVED it!  It is a hands on experience for the kids and lots of learning while having fun.  I specifically started a Little House on the Prairie unit study and history era of that time based on our tour schedule up there.  We have read the books and enjoyed the show so it was fun to talk about all the cities and towns that we knew and loved from this series.  The kids were able to dress up and play as kids of these times did.  My oldest son was “thrilled” (NOT) to have his sister dress him up in prairie clothes.  LOL  We spent the entire day there and loved every moment of it.

We then camped at Plum Creek (you know it from the tv/book series).  Being from Florida, our kids know not to swim in lakes.  However, with the assurance of some new friends we met there, the kids jumped in and enjoyed swimming where the real life Laura would have swam.

We then routed WAY up north to a little town called Grand Marias in search of moose.  We were told that there was a specific place that you could camp at (rather remote) and the trails where the moose could be found.  {{{blog continued below}}}

So we threw caution to the wind, cranked up the bus and took off in search of this campground with moose.  The road got rougher as we got deeper into the woods.  We found the campsite area but decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea to camp because the mosquitos were by the zillions and as huge as birds.  Okay, not that bad but we did decide to camp in town instead.  So we turned around and headed back to civilization before nightfall.

When we got settled into the campground, the kids decided to play the jellybean game called Bamboozled!  If you haven’t played this disgusting game, grab your camera and get ready for some awesome faces of horror, tears of laughter and lots of water to wash down the flavors.  It’s a game where you spin and have to pick horrible and not so horrible jellybeans (you never know which is which).  I didn’t play as someone had to take pictures after all.  That’s my story and sticking to it!  LOL

Grand Marias is located on Lake Superior.  Did you know that this lake never reaches temperatures higher than 42F???  Yes, no matter the time of year, it will be between 37 and 42F.  CRAZY COLD!  Seriously, it was like deciding to jump in a glass of nearly frozen water.  Shocked all the systems.  Now, I don’t speak from first hand experience except for my feet because, well, you know, someone had to take pictures and all.  This mom doesn’t do cold water under any conditions.  Nope!  The most unique thing about the lake was that beach area.  It is totally made of rocks.  These rocks are similar to river rocks and maintain the heat of the sun.  My clever kids decided to freeze themselves in the water (seconds at a time) and then take turns covering each other with these hot rocks.  It really was such a bizarre experience and so very uniquely Minnesota.

Though I never did see the illusive moose nor beaver, the month we spent in the way up north was one to remember!  Hope you enjoy the 50 or so pictures of our month up there.  In the summer, Minnesota is simply breathtakingly beautiful.  This Florida girl won’t risk a winter there.

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