- My family and friends, of course.
- Mexican food that cannot easily be mistaken for Italian food. Also, Tortillaland tortillas. They do not exist here.
- Knowing my way to and from Walmart.
- The dry heat.
Now, I offer my list of Things About Minnesota that are Awesome:
Our apartment. It has many features, such as an elevator, a trash chute that goes right past the wall of our master bedroom, four walls, a ceiling, little shopping carts down in the parking garage for bringing your stuff upstairs, and those toilets that scare you because they fill way up with water before finally flushing. This is the view from our deck, which my kids haven't thrown anything off of. Yet.
Parks. The people of Minnesota know how to do parks. I have never seen so many beautiful, well-maintained parks, most of which surround a lake. Observe.
Giant fruit. The people of Minnesota know how to sculpt humongous fruit. (I chose these pictures specifically because they show my kids running away from me. That is all they do here--run away. Who can blame them? I mean, look at the size of that fruit!)
Giant glass fish sculptures. Giant Macey, who I always call my "Big Fish." (My instructions to Macey as I framed this picture were, "Stick your belly out as far as you can." She thought this was a hilarious idea. Far better than the standard "Cheese!" I'm starting a new trend.)Sculptures upon which your children can climb and finally stay in one spot for more than three seconds.Wildlife in the form of geese, deer, and Bette Davis. I found a running trail that goes right through the creepy, picturesque forest. On day one I ran past a gaggle of friendly Canadian geese and some goslings. "Hisssssss!" said the geese, while doing Karate Kid impersonations. [Well, technically they are Canadian geese, so what they really said was, "Hissssssss, eh?"] This morning I was trudging along when I came upon a female deer, not even twenty feet away from me. She looked up from where she was nibbling on the grass, gave me this look like, "What?" and then leaped into the forest picturesquely. And then I fell into a stream and Bette Davis came and I thought she was pushing me down into the water with a branch, but it turns out she was trying to help me out of the water because my sister looks just like her long, lost daughter. Oh wait, that wasn't me. That happened in an 80s movie. Sometimes my life feels like an eighties movie. Because it is so awesome.