I just want to start of by saying I am not a Minnesota native but have most certainly come to appreciate the beauty of this state, specifically lake country where we live. I am a North Dakota native however so just a friendly neighbor who made a few moves and ended up as close to home as we could manage. Our Minnesota story began in Duluth, MN and is also where our second daughter was born.  Our first was born in Mayfield Heights, Ohio (very close to Cleveland) so we like to keep things busy to say the least as we have seen three different cities in three years….why not right?  Moving is fun!
   Duluth is such a beautiful place and we were sad to leave the city itself but so happy to be closer to our family.  If you ever have an opportunity for a weekend getaway (so long that you live within driving distance) I highly recommend Duluth and what it has to offer.  In Duluth itself there is tons of great eating.  Our favorites were Va Bene which sits along the shore of Lake Superior, Tavern on the Hill by UMD, Blackwoods, and also Northern Waters Smokehaus.  You won’t have the full Duluth experience if you don’t go to the breweries in town.  There is Bent Paddle, Fitger’s and Canal Park Brewing Company and afterwards head for a walk down the shore of Lake Superior to look at the lighthouses and lift bridge.  If your feeling adventurous definitely go up the North Shore to Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse, both will provide you with some seriously beautiful scenery and photo ops!  Often, when we were looking for something relaxing to do we would just head up the north shore for a drive. There is plenty to do if you are visiting Duluth, the old Glensheen Mansion is pretty interesting to walk through as well as it has a lot of old and rich history.  (Am I sounding like an advertisement yet?)
   Now we reside in Lake Park, MN a very tiny town! We are pretty excited to be back in lakes country again.  We left in the summer of 2014 to head to Ohio for my husbands job training.  We were then placed in Duluth until December 2016, so with that being said, lake time for us has been hit and miss, especially since two of the three summers I was pregnant.  I am not keen on traveling (in terms of riding in the car and spending hours in airports) as it is so you can almost forget it when there’s a baby on the way.  I digress…back on track now.  So, this summer we are planning on getting as much lake time in as possible between Justin’s parent’s lake which is about a 40 minute drive from our house and also my grandma’s cabin near Bemidji, MN which is about an hour and a half from us.  SO MUCH CLOSER!
   A few other ideas I’ve had for myself are capturing some of Minnesota’s beauty on camera.  I will claim no photography skills but really I might just share some pretty sunsets (or sunrises with our youngest) we catch.  I have an old camera with one of those giant lenses somewhere I need to break out of a moving box.  I really would like to be more attentive towards using my camera and not relying on my phone so much to capture memories.  iPhones are great and all, and actually take pretty decent pictures, but there is just something nostalgic about using a camera and getting home to download all the excitement you just captured.  If you have any references for how to be an o.k. amateur photographer, please, send them my way.
(Originally posted March 2nd, 2017)

Author: Jessica Omdalen

Stay at home mom and wife with a passion for writing, loving my family, and just doing life!

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