One, Two, Three Strikes and Fireworks!

It’s almost the Fourth of July, which has me thinking about fireworks…and I have to say, one of my favorite spots to see a great show is at Target Field.

Target_Field_Fireworks_2From Memorial Day to Labor Day, every Minnesota Twins Friday night home game at Target Field is a Fireworks Night. That’s right…even if it’s not the Fourth of July you can enjoy a spectacle of fireworks!

Target_Field_Fireworks_3jpgThe show happens in Center Field, just beyond Minnie & Paul. On Friday nights, after nine innings of baseball, fans can stay in their seats (or move closer for a better view of the outfield) and watch the countdown clock. The stadium will go dark, and “bing, bang, boom” the sky above Target Field will become illuminated with an array of fireworks that usually inspire  a good deal of “oohs and ahhs” from the crowd, regardless of the game’s final score.

What’s your favorite fireworks memory at Target Field?

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Flying Into Summer: The Aveda Butterfly Garden

As summer officially begins, there’s something special in the air at the Minnesota Zoo—the Aveda Butterfly Garden.  Just beyond of the Tropics Trail, visitors step outside and into a screen tent filled with flowers and plants…and lots of butterflies!

It’s a beautifully serene environment, where the birds outside of the tent are chirping, the scent of wildflowers fills the air and butterflies slowly bat their wings as they fly from one flower to another, sometimes landing on the shoulder (or nose) of zoo visitors. As a guest, you are asked to be cautious, as you never know where the butterflies may land…often it can be right on the path in front of you. The varied amounts of colors and sizes of butterfly species within the garden is amazing…it seems like no two are exactly alike.

The special summer exhibit is open from June 18 to September 5. If you visit, be sure to bring your camera. There’s plenty of photo opportunities to capture nature’s bounty of colors. #MnMondays

Bridge Back In Time

The Stone Arch Bridge crosses over the Mississippi River, connecting downtown Minneapolis to St. Anthony Main. Built by James J. Hill in 1883, the granite and limestone bridge consists of 23 arches.

StoneArch_MillCityViewFeaturing fantastic views of St. Anthony Falls, downtown skyline and the river, the pedestrian-only bridge is a popular place for locals and visitors. On the downtown side you’ll find Gold Medal Park where you can enjoy an urban park setting, the Guthrie Theater for local entertainment and the Mill City Museum which celebrates the city’s flour-focused beginnings.

StoneArch_CityViewOn the other side of Stone Arch is St. Anthony Main, a historic area which was once the home of flour mills. Today, you’ll find a variety of eateries including Tugg’s Tavern which offers an outdoor patio ideal for sipping a fresh-squeezed spiked lemonade.

Insider tip: when you’re in Gold Medal Park, grab ice cream at Izzy’s Ice Cream.

Where’s your favorite vantage point of the Stone Arch Bridge?

A Lift Bridge, Lighthouse and Loss of a Legendary Lady

As a tribute to my Great-Great Aunt Ruby—one of Duluth’s finest residents who passed away last week, today’s #MnMondays is all about Canal Park in Duluth, Mn.

Situated on the westernmost tip of Lake Superior, Canal Park is home to lighthouses, the famous Lift Bridge, Lake Superior Marine Museum and a variety of shops, hotels and restaurants. Popular with visitors and locals alike, the park welcomes guests and ships from around the world. This summer, the port will host the Tall Ships Festival from August 18-21. In addition to a variety of ships, the celebration will include the arrival of the Draken Harald Hårfagre—a hand-constructed Viking replica ship from Norway.

One of the loveliest views of the city, port and lakefront can be found by taking a walk out to the Duluth North Pier Lighthouse. Built in 1909, the structure is not open for tours, but it’s the perfect spot for photos.

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For those craving in-depth details about Lake Superior, shipwrecks and historical details, the Lake Superior Marine Museum. Need a little retail therapy? The DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace is former manufacturing warehouse built in 1909 that was transformed into a shopping and restaurant space in the 1980’s. If breweries are your thing, the Canal Park Brewing Company offers lake views, craft brews and pub foods.

 

LakeSuperiorProud Duluth resident for more than 50 years, my Great-Great Aunt Ruby was one of a kind. She and her dear husband Bob met many years ago in camera club and traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada capturing nature’s beauty through their camera lenses. Avid storytellers, they shared their photos and experiences with such great detail. As a young girl, I was inspired by their stories and credit them for my early interest in photography and travel writing. She’d come to the cities to visit, always bringing candy and bars to share while catching up over coffee.

The last time I visited with Ruby at the nursing home, we asked her what she missed the most and she said “My Freedom.” After 92 years on earth she has her angel wings along with the freedom to explore heaven with Bob, sip coffee with her siblings and flaunt her Norwegian pride.

In Ruby (and Bob’s) honor, I shall go forth with my camera in hand to capture all of life’s journeys…

Photo credit: the above photo was taken by Ruby’s late husband, Bob.