1) We are super nice. It's even a term - Minnesota Nice - and we take it seriously. I'm totally tootin' our state's proverbial horn but people around here are just downright go out of their way to help out kind of people. Need directions? - check. Need to know the best restaurants? - lots of people will chime in. Want to join a dodge ball team? - seven people will offer theirs up in a flash. Mean people need not apply for residency.
2) The Minnesota State Fair. I've been blogging about it this week and it's completely awesome and the best state fair out there.* Where else can you find a llama costume contest, a daily parade, high school rodeo, a zagillion calories worth of delicioso food, seed art, 4H projects that will blow your mind, and the biggest pumpkin in the state all in one vicinity? It is the holy grail of the best time wasters ever.
*disclaimer - I've never been to another state fair, but ours is so crazy cool I can't imagine another even coming close to it
3) We have tons of lakes - in fact about 10,000 of them. We have more shoreline than Florida, California, and Hawaii combined and we utilize our lakes to their fullest. Canoes, kayaks, water skiing, fishing, wind surfing, paddle boarding, pontooning - we do it all.
4) We go through looooong winters here and I have never encountered people who embrace summer with such passion and verve because we all feel like frost is lurking right around the corner. Minnesotans realize that you have to soak up every minute of heat in order to survive February. If you visit us when we don't have snow you will see everyone outside as much as humanly possible.
5) If you visit us in the winter you will probably find that most Minnesotans believe that the long winter is better passed by embracing the opportunity to play outside in sub-zero temperatures. We've got hockey, figure skating, cross country skiing, downhill skiing (icy conditions at their finest), broomball, sledding, snowshoeing, winter camping, and a Winter Carnival complete with two parades (one by torchlight) and a weird rivalry between the Vulcans (who herald the beginning of permafrost melt) and the winter royalty (who bask in their frosty glory to the often bitter end). Oh, and we have an amusment park inside the Mall of America so if you're sick of being outside just go there and pretend it's summer for a bit.
6) Our farmers markets are amazing. We're so close to our farms that it takes no time at all to get fresh produce into the Twin Cities area. Our downtown Saint Paul market boasts only local produce within a 50 mile radius to satisfy locavores as well. We have many local Hmong farmers that have expanded the traditional Minnesota table to include yummy veggies like bitter melon, thai eggplant, thai peppers, bok choy, and hmong greens.
7) We're the birthplace of Target - the best most dangerous place in the world to drop $50...or sometimes $100....and unfortunately sometimes more. Man that place is a money suck.
BONUS #8 just for Heather.......
WE HAVE NO SHARKS! I too have a major phobia of sharks (when my imagination runs wild I can convince myself there are sharks in pools - crazy) and I am pleased to tell you that while there are sharks at the MN Zoo and the Mall of America Aquarium I think that's about it for those swimming, man-eating machines. No need to worry about shark attacks or swim next to shark bait while in our lakes and rivers - hooray!!
Heather, I hope this list convinces you to take a second look at Minnesota before permanently taking us off your list and doing something I'm sure you'd regret for the rest of your life (wink).