We could not justify a trip to the Middle-of-Nowhere, Iowa without adding something else. The Farm was several hours drive from a few different airports and we stayed in a neighboring state as there were no hotels in the area. If we were going to be doing that much driving, might as well take advantage of the region.
I fell in the love with the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota) instantly. This probably had something to do with the incredible seasonal weather since I’m sure if I was there in February and under 4 feet of snow, I would have a different opinion.
Mill Ruins Park quickly became my favorite spot in Minneapolis. Set on St. Anthony Falls of the Mississippi River, it is the site of several abandoned flour mills that have now become a large public park. Most of the mills are in ruins, but people embraced the quirky architecture and were able to save some of the structures; creating living spaces, museums and an extensive series of pedestrian paths.
I loved being in a walkable city. Bike rental stations were abundant and people used them. Though I wouldn’t describe myself as a “water person”, I had forgotten how much I missed having a river; rather, how much I missed the architecture that comes with having a river.
I took refuge at Common Good Books in St. Paul, an independent shop owned by the one and only, Garrison Keillor. The Husband soon realized I was on route to excess-weight baggage fees with my armload of books and quickly shuffled me upstairs to Nina’s Coffee Café.
Since we were there on a holiday weekend, the Walker Art Center was closed, but the adjacent sculpture garden was not. In fact, it is open year-round 6:00am – midnight, which just shows how much these cities appreciate public art.
My two favorite items in the sculpture garden could probably be considered the most simple of installations. The first, Sky Pesher.
It is difficult to describe and these pictures do not do it justice, but by being underground and looking up at the sky, the dimensions of the room play an optical illusion on you. It looks as though you could actually reach out and touch the sky.
The second was the 47 wind chimes placed in the trees. It is lovely and I think many public parks could benefit from this.
Other than the Seed Savers Farm, we did not see a lot of Iowa. But, of what I did see, I though it was beautiful in its own way. Again, I’m sure this had to do with the timing as this place can look extremely bare and desolate in the winter.
Back in the Twin Cities, while enjoying the brews of a local coffee house and watching the sun set over the Mississippi, we both thought, “Yeah, I could probably live here.”
Tomorrow I will be drawing a name for my seed giveaway. If you haven’t already, go enter now!