Historic Fort Snelling and National Cemetery

For centuries, brave men and women have volunteered to put their lives on the line to protect our freedom. In honor of Memorial Day, this week’s Minnesota Mondays focuses on Historic Fort Snelling. Situated where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet, the fort was founded in 1820 to protect the fur trade. Throughout the years the fort played a key role in the American expansion while housing multiple military dignitaries, Presidents and enslaved people, including Dred and Harriet Scott. It also served as an internment camp in 1862, after the U.S.-Dakota War and the fort was used as a training center from the Civil War through World War II.Today, visitors to the historic site can experience what life was like in the 1800’s. They can visit the hospital and learn about the medicinal practices of the times, step into Sutler’s Store to see what items were available to soldiers for purchase, check out the barracks, Commanding Officer’s House, schoolhouse, Squad Room, Post Shops, Half-Moon Battery and the Round Tower.

Throughout the site, there are costumed staff to describe life at the fort. There’s also a variety of events throughout the day including Cannon and Infantry Drills, cooking demonstrations and Retreat Parades.

Give yourself plenty of time (at least 2.5 hours) to take in the site…and be sure to go to the top of the Round Tower for a great overview of the entire fort and an ideal spot for photos.

In addition to the historic site, Fort Snelling National Cemetery is just a few miles away. The final resting place of generations of military heroes (including my own beloved Grandfather), it’s a beautiful place to visit and honor those who have served our country with pride.

Cheers to Patio Season!


As the days grow longer and temps get higher in Minneapolis, there’s no place quite like the Rooftop Garden at Brit’s Pub. Located along the Nicollet Mall, the pub offers an authentic British Pub atmosphere with a dark wood bar, brown leather couches and plenty of TVs tuned into soccer matches.

While the atmosphere in the pub is rather inviting, if the weather is warm you need to make your way up the stairwell and onto the patio where you can sip a pint with views of the surrounding downtown buildings, listen to the British flags blowing in the breeze and perhaps enjoy some lawn bowling.

GardenFeeling hungry? The menu offers a variety of good eats including a superb Fish & Chips. On select summer evenings you can enjoy a movie on the lawn and other special events.

Be sure to take a selfie at the red phone booth! IMG_6059


Deliciously Retro

Is there anything more refreshing than a frosted mug of A&W Root beer?

MugIf you’re in need of a nostalgic dining experience, drive along I-35 to Faribault, MN. There you’ll find the Faribault A&W Drive-In  with carhop service during warmer months and an eat-in restaurant.

If you dine inside, you’ll be greeted by the classic Spokesbear Rooty, along with a mod take on the classic A&W color scheme with table service. Grab a spot to sit, peruse through the menu, and the restaurant’s speedy servers will get you a frosted mug of root beer in no time at all (and refill it while you enjoy your burger and fries).

It’s the ideal place to sip and remember the good ‘ol days of road trips, drive-ins and classic cars. #MNMondays #OnlyinMN #A&WRootbeer #Frostymug



Minnehaha Falls—A Minnesota Tradition

With Memorial Day less than three weeks away, I’ve got summer on the brain. One of my favorite warm weather spots in the metro is Minnehaha Falls. Situated right off the light rail line and close to the Mall of America, the Minnehaha Regional Park is the ideal place for enjoying some time outside.

Visitors can take the stairs/trail down to get an up close view of the 53-foot waterfall, or they can meander around the park area exploring river overlooks, limestone bluffs and historic buildings such as the Princess Depot, Longfellow House and John H. Stevens House. There’s also a variety of walking trails leading to Fort Snelling State Park, as well as gardens, picnic areas, a disc golf course and art sculptures.

MinnehahaFalls1If you have a hankering to dine on some fish, the park’s seasonal Sea Salt Eatery is open from April to late October in the Minnehaha Park Pavilion. Serving a variety of fish entrees and craft beers, the restaurant is a popular spot to grab a bite to eat—plan ahead there’s often a very long line!SeaSalt

Now, if we could just get this rain to move out of town…

#MNMondays #MinnehahaFalls #OnlyinMN

A “Welcome Home” Sign of Sorts

Perched on a hillside along Interstate 35 in Glenville, Minnesota, the Round Prairie Lutheran Church feels like a “Welcome Home” sign to me. Just two miles north of the Iowa-Minnesota Border, the little white church has been an iconic landmark on every family road trip, as well as all of my trips home from Drake University. This past weekend was no exception. In fact, not only did we drive by the classic church on the way back from Des Moines, but it was just after the building welcomed us back into the state that the clouds parted and we finally saw some sunshine after a rainy Drake Relays/Garth Brooks concert weekend getaway.

While I’ve never been inside, seeing the quintessential white church building always makes me happy. It’s a little beacon marking that the trip may be reaching its end, but the journey has been safe thus far.

According to the Albert Lea Tribune, the church celebrated its 150th Anniversary last fall. Judging by the photos on the Round Prairie Lutheran website, the church founded by Norwegian immigrants is as charming on the inside as it is on the outside…perhaps next time I should swing by for a service…#MNMondays #RoundPrairieLutheran