Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I can't get over how much I loved Minnesota! It is beautiful and Minneapolis is such a cool city (emphasis on cool). It was a long drive there (a little over 18 hours), but we stayed the night in Gillette, WY with some very good friends and then continued on the next day to Minneapolis. My sister and brother-in-law live in Minneapolis, as my sister's husband, Ricky, is going to graduate school there. Unfortunately, Tyler could not come due to a new job and no vacation time. Poor guy.

Elanor was so good in the car on the way there fortunately! Along the way we stopped at Independence Rock in Wyoming.
She was pretty much only making silly faces.
Independence Rock.

The next day we mostly drove through South Dakota. It was surprisingly beautiful and green, especially the Black Hills area. 

We took a lunch break on the prairie:

We made it to Minnesota!
(as viewed through a dirty windshield with my phone)
Minnesota is green farmland with quaint farms.

 The first day in Minneapolis we had some ice cream, saw some lakes, and went to very cool children's book store in the morning.
 In the afternoon, we explored the Mississippi River around the area my sister lives. She lives very close to the river in the Dinkytown area (Bob Dylan lived in this area for a bit, if anyone was wondering). There are many islands on the river and we had fun exploring them.

Playing Pooh Sticks

My sister, Jessica, and Elanor
(there was sooo much water running through the river since they had a very snowy winter and a very rainy spring in Minnesota).
Inside a tree.
Under the Stone Arch Bridge

Minneapolis from the Stone Arch foot bridge
(Jessica lives real close to this bridge so we went on it everyday, since the view is so beautiful!).
More pictures on the bridge:

This picture is hilarious.

The World Cup is still going on but the U.S. was still in it while we were in Minnesota and we went and watched the USA vs Germany game outside of the Twins Stadium on a huge screen. It was a lot of fun to cheer on the U.S. team (we are soccer fans)!
All decked out in stars and stripes.
Later on that day, we went to a lake and had a lot of fun swimming and playing in the sand. Going to a lake is a very Minnesotan thing to do, as they have thousands of them.

Elanor and Ricky building a sand castle.
We had to make the obligatory trip to the Mall of America (I am not a big mall fan). They do have an American Girl store, though, so I was a bit excited.

Elanor and I by the Avatar: the last airbender ride. We love Avatar.
Elanor air bending with Aang.
She has been wanting Momo, from Avatar for a long time, so we found her one at the Nickelodeon store and she was so excited!

Elanor went on a couple rides at the mall, one being the carousel and another a small roller coaster, which she loved (she likes to live on the edge).

Elanor with her Uncle Ricky on the carousel.
I was really excited to be at the American Girl Store!
Jessica with Kit
(she had Kit and Felicity and I had Kirsten and bitty baby--Kirsten and Felicity are unfortunately discontinued...)
Elanor with Heidi and another Bitty Baby she picked up.
We got Heidi some new clothes!
(Heidi was my American girl baby doll from when I was a kid and I gave her to Elanor on her 1st birthday)
We explored the Dinkytown area and I really wanted pictures with this awesome Bob Dylan mural (he is one of our most favorite singer/songwriters ever).

Elanor took this one of Jess and I.
Jess took us to her favorite used bookstore in Dinkytown and it was wonderful! I could have spent a lot more time there!
Elanor took this one as well.

We also saw a bit of St. Paul, ate some delicious cake and went to this Scandinavian store and got a few little things.
Outside of the Scandinavian store.
Inside the store, there was this huge wooden viking.

On Saturday we walked across the Stone Arch bridge and went to the Farmer's Market (picked up some tasty croissants and an egg sandwich) and also explored the Guthrie Theatre, which was right next to the Farmer's Market.
Jess and Elanor outside the Guthrie Theatre.
The Guthrie Theatre is huge! It has several theaters inside it, like a movie theatre, but instead it is for plays. I wish I could have seen a show! The Guthrie has a nice outdoor balcony, where you can sit down and admire the view.

Elanor with Momo in tow, on the balcony, with the Gold Medal Flour sign in the background (the mill actually blew up a long time ago and is now a museum).
Elanor and Jessica--it was quite windy and blew Jessica's hat off the balcony right after I took this picture! We were able to find it fortunately.

 On our last day in Minneapolis, we went on two bike rides! The first we took earlier on in the day around Nicollet Island. It is a pretty little island on the Mississippi, with beautiful houses and a quaint hotel. We unfortunately did not have a camera or even a phone! However, we went on another bike ride in the evening and I did bring my phone.

 We used these city rental bikes that are all over the city (Jess and Ricky have a special pass to use them for free). Elanor fit into the basket and we put that elastic thing around her waist. She seemed pretty safe and we did not go too fast or anything (for all those people concerned with safety). Elanor had so much fun and kept urging me to go faster!

We biked over to a beautiful park on the other side of the river and up a perfectly round, green hill.
The Guthrie Theatre and the mill from the top of the hill.
Running around on the hill.

Jess and Elanor.
(taken by Elanor)
Ricky is not in many pictures, as he had work and class and homework, but we did see him a lot in the evenings and Elanor loves her Uncle Ricky and it was so good to spend time with him!

The next day we headed back to Utah, but we had Jessica this time to help with driving and entertaining Elanor which made it much easier! We again, stopped and stayed the night with our friends, Mikaela and Evan in Gillette, WY. We love them and Elanor and their little boy, Malachi get along so well.
Malachi and Elanor jammin'.

It was such a fun trip and I encourage people to go to Minnesota! It  is a beautiful place and I would love to go back, many times if possible!


  1. That looks like such a fun trip. I am absolutely in love with Elanor's bathing suit, by the way! So cute!

  2. I lived in Mineapolis for a year, just 2 blocks from the stadium. My favorite things were the apple orchard in the fall, and the art museum. (There are Vangouhs and Rembrandts and the armless venus that was in the new pride and prejudice)

  3. I was born in MN but haven't been there in my memory. This post is making me want to go! Also, now I want a Momo. ;)

  4. Wow, it sound so nice! And you have some INCREDIBLE pictures on this post. That one of Elanor sitting in front of the bridge is to die for. It is seriously an excellent photo and entirely adorable of her! Good job, Elizabeth! I'm so glad you had a good time. It sounds so fun to go somewhere new. I'd like to do it!