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Have you tried a new Minnesota adventure lately?

  • Blog Post by: Christie Koester
  • August 16, 2010 - 4:23 PM

I’m someone who loves trying new adventures; thankfully so does my husband. These adventures could be anything from tasting alligator off the grill brought in from New Orleans to sampling warthog and biltong in South Africa to skiing down a black diamond in Montana (with little skills) or tasting my grandma’s home cooked specialty: pig’s feet. I might pick up a different book genre or sign up for a 5k; I may even polka with a lonely old man in the corner at Gasthof zur Gemütlichkeit in Northeast Minneapolis. I just do it because I know if I won’t, I’ll feel like I missed out. I will never know if I don’t try.

I love Minnesota because the variety of cool events and fun activities available for the willing. The truth is Minnesota has a lot to offer. Minnesota is not a state that encourages boredom. Below are just a few of my latest discoveries in the months of July and August. Some have been around for awhile, whereas others are fairly new.
 
Crofut Winery in Jordan, Minnesota
My husband Karl and I love tasting all kinds of wines. I wouldn’t say we’re wine connoisseurs by any means - we like our inexpensive $3.00 bottle wines and don’t have anything near a wine cellar in our house. However, we do enjoy stopping at wineries all over the world. Karl and I have been to wineries in Temecula, California; the island of Crete, Greece; and Cape Town, South Africa.
 
We recently received our Southwest Coupons in the mail and found savings off a bottle of wine at a winery practically in our backyard - we were thrilled. We waited for a beautiful Saturday and jumped in our car to try out Crofut Winery. We pulled up to a large purple sign that read FREE WINE TASTING along Highway 13. We love the word free! We drove up to a red barn and noted not very many people were there. Maybe Crofut was still unknown to many or we stopped during a slow time. Besides one other couple, we were the only ones tasting a variety of  award winning wines. We learned about the grapes and found out there are several other wineries in Minnesota (Minnesota Heartland Trail ). All and all we really enjoyed the day! It was something different and for a second we thought we were thousands of miles from home. We also purchased three bottles of wine. We might just be back for the big grape stomp coming in September! www.crofut.com.
 
Welcome to Crofut Winery in Jordan! Wine tastings are held in the red barn.

Welcome to Crofut Winery in Jordan! Wine tastings are held in the red barn.

 
There are 6.5 acres of commercial vines at Crofut Winer

There are 6.5 acres of commercial vines at Crofut Winer

 
Yes, FREE Wine Tasting! Can't go wrong there!

Yes, FREE Wine Tasting! Can't go wrong there!

 

PedalPub in Nord’east Minneapolis, Minnesota

My spontaneous girlfriend was turning 32 and wanted to do something different for her birthday. She sent out an email to a group of friends encouraging all of us to sign up for the PedalPub [on a Thursday night]. The cost would only be $20 per person for two hours of pedaling around Minneapolis. I had heard of the PedalPub but never spent time looking into it until her birthday. There were 16 of us who filled the seats of the PedalPub - not everyone had to pedal! Truthfully, I hadn’t laughed so hard in a long time and I was actually sore the next day. The best part: the looks and waves we received from those sitting at restaurants or driving in vehicles beside us. This is a definite must! There are several other routes to choose from. www.pedalpub.com
 
Karl and I enjoy our little adventure on the PedalPub in Nord'East, Minneapolis

Karl and I enjoy our little adventure on the PedalPub in Nord'East, Minneapolis

 
All 16 of us said we'd "do the PedalPub" again!

All 16 of us said we'd "do the PedalPub" again!

 

Sweet suites and firework show at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota

My husband’s friend was coming into town and had tickets for the Twins game and wanted us to go. My husband and I have been to Target Field twice already this year and have loved every minute. So when we were offered a chance to sit in a suite, the word “No” wasn’t even an option. I definitely wasn’t prepared for the awesomeness of the suites. General admission seating is great but from the view to the customer service to the cleanliness, the suites are incredible.
 
I was also able to find out more on the Pepsi Refresh Project. The Twins are competing against other Major League Baseball teams for a $200,000 Pepsi Grant. The Twins want to create a specialty softball field for Courage Center’s Rolling Twins youth softball wheelchair team, which currently plays in the a parking lot and is in desperate need of a “home field”. Check it out here and vote for your favorite idea. Voting ends tomorrow (August 17)!
 
We stayed after for an incredible firework show. As we watched fireworks dance along to music for 15 minutes, I almost felt like I was at the Bellagio in Las Vegas watching the water show! They really put on a great show! The fireworks were after the games on July 2 and August 13.
 
One last note: The 11-year-old little boy who sang the national anthem on Friday, August 13, was incredible...he gave me goose bumps!
 
The Target Field suites are SWEET!

The Target Field suites are SWEET!

 
The view of Target Field from the suites is one you don't want to miss

The view of Target Field from the suites is one you don't want to miss

 
Twice this summer Target Field blasted off an awesome firework display from the top of the "B" Ramp

Twice this summer Target Field blasted off an awesome firework display from the top of the "B" Ramp

 

Basilica Block Party Minneapolis, Minnesota

My husband has a bit of an obsession with music. I honestly don’t know how many CDs he owns (or where he hides them all), and I’m not sure I want to know. His all-time favorite band is Weezer. He is not shy to share that he is actually one of the original Weezer fan club members and is very proud of this.
 
Yes, my husband is one of the original Weezer Fan Club members and is darn proud of it too...

Yes, my husband is one of the original Weezer Fan Club members and is darn proud of it too...

 
When we heard Weezer was coming to the Basilica Block Party, we immediately purchased tickets. The Basilica Block Party was a first for us. We had a wonderful time! We enjoyed walking outside and listening to great music with a drink in hand. Summer never felt so good.
 
Weezer jammed during the Basilica Block Party this summer

Weezer jammed during the Basilica Block Party this summer

A Walk in the Park – Murphy-Hanrehan, Savage, Minnesota

I love the outdoors. I think Minnesota is incredibly beautiful (especially in summer and fall) and has plenty of parks available for those of us who want to break a sweat, get away or simply enjoy nature’s beauty. Our latest discovery has been Murphy-Hanrehan Park in Savage. I enjoyed charging up the steep hills and my husband liked looking for deer and pointing out unique bugs (he's an Eagle Scout...what can I say!). With the amount of lush greens and tall trees at Murphy-Hanrehan, there are many opportunities to scout garden snakes, beautiful butterflies, birds, deer and other critters. It’s a close, quiet break from the busyness of the city. The park offers plenty of trails and is a favorite among bikers!
 
Murphy-Hanrehan Park has plenty of awesome hiking paths and welcomes bikers!

Murphy-Hanrehan Park has plenty of awesome hiking paths and welcomes bikers!

 
What fun activities have you done lately this summer in Minnesota? Any suggestions of places we should try in the coming months?

 

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