There’s No Place Like Home

     This past week we were able to take a quick "vacation" to the Twin Cities.  As owners and operators of a resort and outfitter our summers tend to be busy so we do not take a normal summer vacation as some families do.  We do however like to go down south to "unwind" after the season and have some family time before school starts for the year.

     This year was our third year in a row that we have been able to go to Valleyfair and the Minnesota State Fair.  We also added a trip to the Science Museum, a boat ride on Lake Minnetonka, school clothes shopping, a Monster Truck Show, and breakfast with friends to this year’s agenda.    

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   On Monday we went to the Science Museum to see the Body Worlds Exhibit.  This is the most incredible display I have ever seen and I encourage everyone to attend it.  The exhibit is real human bodies that have been preserved through some sort of process called Plastination.  The bodies are posed and displayed to show people how the human body works.  Some show muscles, others show bones, and then there are displays where only blood vessels remain.  It is the most awe-inspiring exhibit and I hope to be able to see it again before it leaves the museum in December.  While at the Science Museum we also saw an Imax film, played with interactive exhibits and saw dinosaur bones. 

     Monday evening Mike’s brother took us for a boat ride on Lake Minnetonka.  It isn’t a wilderness lake like we are used to, but it is pretty in its own way.  There are gorgeous homes, gigantic boats, and lovely restaurants dotting the entire shoreline.  It was this evening when I discovered you can take a kid out of the wilderness but you can’t take the wilderness out of a kid.

     Our son Josh is the closest thing to Tarzan on earth.  He runs around barefoot all summer, has the suntan of a coppertone kid, and loves to catch fish, crayfish, frogs, and any other moving animal.  While on our boat ride he kept asking when we were going to fish.  When we got to the restaurant and were waiting to be seated I found him outside trying to catch a frog.  While dining on the outdoor patio he pursued a grasshopper until he caught it and he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just pee behind a tree.  That’s our Josh.


    Tuesday found the Prom family enjoying Valleyfair Amusement Park.  Our daughter Abby loves water; playing in the rain and swimming in the river are two of her favorite activities.  At Valleyfair she had the most fun on a ride called The Wave where a big boat goes down a hill and drenches everyone inside.  After the ride you can go stand on a bridge and get drenched by the tidal wave caused by the next boat to come down the hill.  She must have done this 8 or 9 times before I could tear her dripping body away. 

     Since Tuesday was "All about the rides," Wednesday was "All about the food," according to Abby.  That is what the Minnesota State Fair is known for, every kind of food on a stick imaginable.  Spaghetti and meatballs on a stick, hotdish on a stick, pickles on a stick and more.  Our favorite fair foods are the french fries and warm chocolate chip cookies but we had to indulge in many other items such as malts, corndogs, hush puppies, steak kabobs, popcorn, and too many other items to remember.  Of course the best part of the Fair for Josh was the DNR and Forestry area where there was a pond filled with Minnesota Game Fish.  Abby enjoyed watching a female cat get spayed and we all learned something in Red Rover’s Safety House.  The Minnesota State Fair has so many educational opportunities you need more than a day to take it all in.  

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   The Grand Finale of the entire trip was the Monster Truck Show at the State Fair Coliseum.  We had never attended a show like this but we purchased VIP tickets and were able to get a close look at these huge trucks.  We all enjoyed watching the drag racing and stunt tricks but if we ever go again we will definitely bring ear plugs.

     We all enjoyed our time together on our family "vacation."   I have to admit my favorite part of the trip was each morning when I was able to go for a run along the Minnesota River.  The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is located right next door to the Holiday Inn Select in Bloomington where we like to stay.   This is an awesome place to get away from people, see wildlife, and get some fresh air.  If it weren’t for the planes taking off and landing overhead I would say it was near perfect.  One morning I saw deer, another I saw wild turkeys, and most mornings I didn’t see another person.

     Our family agrees the Twin Cities is a great place to visit, but there is no place like our home on the Gunflint Trail.