Steve and I are getting ready to head to north to Minnesota again this week. We’ve been going there several times a year to visit friends and family and for doctor’s visits at the Mayo Clinic where I’m being treated. It is about a 7-hour drive from our house in Crete, Neb., to Minneapolis and fortunately, there’s always plenty to see and do along the way.

As we prepare this week to return to the Mayo Clinic and then venture to the Twin Cities for the North American TBEX conference for travel bloggers and related industry professionals, we thought we’d share some of the postcards we’ve received from the great state of Minnesota.

The first postcard we received from Minnesota was from former colleagues of mine, Mary Pack and Walt Radcliffe. They sent us this beautiful postcard that features the Minnesota state bird, the Common Loon, and the state flower, the Lady Slipper. Walt and Mary were in Minnesota for an annual visit to the world renowned Mayo Clinic.

Like Mary and Walt, we’ve made several trips to the clinic. In fact, we wrote our very first blog post from the clinic and you can read it HERE.  Of course, we’ve sent ourselves a postcard or two from the Mayo Clinic like this one of a statue depicting founders Doctors William and Charles Mayo.

This statue is located in the Feith Family Statuary Park adjacent to the Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated nonprofit medical group practice in the world, employing more than 3,800 physicians and scientists and 50,900 health staff. They specialize in treating difficult cases (like mine) and spend more than $500 million a year on research. I have been so blessed by the care I’ve received and my experiences at the Mayo Clinic  [read more about that here] and am grateful we’re within a day’s drive of the clinic in Minnesota.

On a brighter note, the other postcards we’ve received from Minnesota are from our friends, the Bissons.

 

Last summer, they sent us postcards from the ever-popular Minnesota State Fair! Rick, Karen, Sawyer, and Cory drove to Minnesota last summer from their home in the Florida Keys. They loved the State Fair, including all of the fried food on a stick they could handle. We loved their postcards and their picks for the best fair food.

 

[well]Best of the best – Fried cheese curds

Best sweet – Martha’s pail of cookies and as much milk as you could drink for just $2.00

Best savory – Totchos (tots, taco meat, cheese, sour cream, bacon, green onion)

Weirdest food – Deep fried giant green olives stuffed with cream cheese on a stick and served with Ranch dip

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Adam Turman’s interpretation of the Great Minnesota Get-Together is the 12th in a series of original art created exclusively for the State Fair. Turman is a Twin Cities illustrator, muralist, fine artist and screen printer.

We’re really excited for our upcoming trip to Minnesota and look forward to meeting with the folks at Explore Minnesota at the TBEX conference. We can’t wait to lean more about tourism in Minnesota and explore places like The Mall of America (with some tax-free shopping), historic Stillwater, MN, and of course, a few of the incredible 10,000 lakes that make this state one-of-a-kind.

[well]When you’re traveling next, be sure to send us a postcard at Postcard Jar, P.O. Box 334, Crete, NE 68333. We’d love to hear from you![/well]

  • Just over two years ago, we stopped in Pawhuska to have lunch at Ree Drummond's @PWMercantile. From the person opening the door for us to the folks tending the line giving us water, we felt welcome from the moment we set foot in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.⁣
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But it turns out it wasn't just @thepioneerwoman and her husband, Ladd, who went above and beyond to welcome visitors. No, it turns out what they did was just par for the course in this town that's home to some of the friendliest and most welcoming people we've met in all our travels. ⁣
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So we bought a house there. We got it in part, so we could be a part of the community we've come to love. But we also got it so we could help welcome folks to town and let them know how glad we are they came to visit. Come and see Pawhuska. And when you do, stay awhile.
  • Fried dill pickles are a little different in North Dakota than they are in most other places we've been. Instead of just dipping some dill chips in batter, dropping them in the fryer, and then serving them in a basket with ranch, the folks there take their time and make a dish to remember.⁣
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They start with a dill pickle spear, wrap that in Havarti cheese, then put a wonton wrapper around it all. Then, they fry it, and slice it open just so before serving them alongside a spicy aioli dipping sauce. We had these at a complimentary meal at Outlaws Bar and Grill in @visitwilliston, North Dakota.⁣
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Let's be honest, these pickles are just one of many reasons we look forward to our return to @northdakotalegendary next year.
  • Have you ever had the chance to watch a cruise ship come into or leave port? These massive ships, often 1,000 feet or more long, can maneuver themselves by the dock so gently that you don't even realize you've stopped (or started) moving.⁣
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In Bermuda, we had the chance to watch the Norwegian Escape depart. We watched as she pushed away from the dock, then spun 180 degrees on a point before heading out to sea.⁣
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We've seen ships do this dozens of times. In fact, we've been on ships and have been part of this type of maneuvering dozens of times. And yet, given the sheer size of the vessels, it never ceases to impress.
  • You know you want to. Do it. Just book the ticket and go. At the end of your life, you likely won't remember most of the stuff you bought in 2019, but you will always remember the journey you took and the experiences you had. So enrich your life and go. We've never regretted spending money for a trip.
  • This just might be the sweetest, best pecan roll we've ever had. At the @PWMercantile, they bake these delicious treats daily. Covered in a luscious caramel and finely chopped pecans, these rolls are the stuff dreams are made of. Have you had one?
  • Smack in the middle of Portland, Oregon, we found the International Rose Test Garden. Set on 4.5 acres of land, the garden offers visitors a chance to see 10,000 rose bushes from about 650 different varieties. ⁣
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We spent more than an hour walking the carefully tended paths, snapping photos, and just enjoying the beautiful flowers. Our visit here made us glad that we literally scheduled time on this trip to stop and smell the roses.
  • Set in a renovated middle school in Grinnell, Iowa, Hotel Grinnell is one of our favorite boutique hotels. The owner thoughtfully designed the space and included touches from school including “Hall Pass” key card sleeves, and a bar cleverly named, “The Periodic Table.” We wrote a story on this hotel, you can read all about it on our blog. Link in bio. @hotelgrinnell #hosted @traveliowa
  • Everyone has a happy place, a spot where the world melts away and a sense of relaxation and calm settles in. For Steve, this place is on board a cruise ship, out on open water. He can spend hours sitting and watching the water, the ship's wake, and looking out for other ships. He loves soaking up the sun and fresh ocean air while cruising along on the sea. ⁣
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What's your happy place? ⁣
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