There 'snow place like home

There really isn't. And there is certainly no better medicine than spending time with family and friends.  I had a chance to head back to my small hometown, Spicer, MN, for about 10 days over the holidays and had an absolute blast - just what the doctor ordered!  As always, it was endless activities and so many good laughs.  It's amazing how a place so cold can make you feel so warm and fuzzy inside. 


My favorite place on earth. Upon arriving on the evening of Friday the 20th, after dabbling into the 8 homemade duck jerky flavors our father had waiting for us, Tiff and I made our way to the local watering hole, O'Neils (by means of a truck on the lake, obviously) where we were met by a number of familiar faces and Dick Score's "legendary" framed beer can collection.  It's always entertaining to wait at the shoreline for a truck to pick you up and bring you to the bar via ice in the same spot where you wait for a pontoon to pick you up and bring you to the bar in July.  Anyway, many Busch Lights (on tap) and good times had by all.  Over the next few days we were able to do a lot of our favorite winter activity, ice fishing, thanks to Jared and Katie Swenson and Andrew Cors.  "Ice fishing" is a broad term for: playing cards, grilling, watching TV, drinking beer, and peeing on the ice.  We ended up catching two whoppers along with a number of smaller eaters.  Green lake is a walleye enthusiast's paradise, but don't go telling everyone you know.
View of the lake from home in Spicer...
Spicer is nicer.
ice chariot

Home is where your friends are!
"Dick Dynasty"

Apparently this beer can collection was in the rafters of our garage my entire life. It's actually really freaking cool. Every can is different and dates back to the early 1900's. I am my father's daughter.
Catchin' some rays
Grilling on the ice, hula skirts optional
Beautiful Lake Day!

Catfish Hunter!
We had just snapped a line on a huge fish minutes before catching this guy. As we were pulling him up I knew he was the same fish we had just missed. Sure enough there was an extra hook in his mouth.


We spent Christmas Eve at my mother's downtown Minneapolis which was so cozy! The city always does a great job filling their streets with Christmas cheer and holiday spirit. On Christmas day, Tiff, my father, and I hopped in the Chevy and headed east despite blizzard conditions. We were off to our relatives farm in what they consider a town called Boscobel, but I prefer to call it BFE, Wisconsin. On the way we spotted at least 50 bald eagles in the Mississippi River Valley, won some beer money on scratch off lotto tickets, and saw some deadly human sized icicles formed on the side of the river bluffs.  My father's sister and her husband have a beautiful 400 acre farm on the rolling hills of SouthWestern Wisco. We snow shoed, made lefse (a Norwegian "delicacy"), ate cheese, and managed to find the Castle Rock Inn, a local hunter's drinking establishment offering cold beers and "fresh dinner rolls, thawed daily!" God bless the Midwest.
Oke Dokie cheddar pop - a gourmet MN Christmas dinner appetizer. It's a tradition.
Downtown Minneapolis - A Winter Wonderland!
4-wheel drive is not a frivolous add-on in the Midwest
California may have happy cows, but Wisconsin has happy farmers...look closely.
Either the beginning of a horror film, or an innocent brewski at the Castle Rock Inn

You buy cheese in Wisconsin by the 10's of pounds. The Wisconsin cheese thing is way more ridiculous than anyone even makes it out to be.
Over the stream and through the woods...
True outdoorsmen. The apples do not fall far.

Bender Ender

After Wisco, we were able to make it back to Spicer on Friday night for one last day of fishing and shenanigans on Saturday. The plan was to head back to Minneapolis on Sunday to rest before our sunrise flight back to FL Monday morning.  I was on my last wind Saturday night in Spicer, giving it all I had on the dance floor when we got the call - we were being recruited as epic fan's for both the last Vikings game to ever be played at the Metrodome on Sunday afternoon and the Wild hockey game Sunday evening.  Our teams needed us.  So, as loyal fanatics and legendary skol'ers, we stepped up and accepted our roles as "#1 fans" (proof is in the foam).  We managed to squeeze in 20 more hours of epic Minnesotanness in the waning hours of our trip.  Foam fingers, horns, and all things Skol were in play, and we had an absolute blast cheering on our Purple People Eaters at the dome one last time. We could have stopped skoling at that point, but instead, we skoled on and kept the dream alive all the way into the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul for the Wild game.  As always, the view from the blue line was super and we were able to grab dinner and drinks with a couple of the players after the game.  Huge thanks to Jay Ettinger for providing tickets to both events and for just going with the skol.  According to legend, during the few hours of shut eye we got before our 5am flight on Monday, I could be heard skoling in my sleep.  (In all seriousness, Tiff witnessed me saying "skol" in my sleep that night...) 
Last game in the Inflatable Toilet AKA The Metrodome!
Skol Vikings

Skol Wild

The End. For Now.

Alas, Monday morning came, and like a midwinter night's dream, the trip was over.  Once again, Minnesota and its citizens came through and refused to disappoint.  As I stepped off of the plane in Orlando in my fur coat, sweating profusely, and looking like a lunatic, I looked down into my purse to see a single horn from my Vikings helmet that snuck it's way in for the journey back south...  Minnesota always finds a way to come with me wherever I go.

When life gives you horns, skol.


(Note: video and a health update coming soon!)