The Great Outdoors

I’ve never been one with nature.  In fact, the whole idea of interacting with nature has often scared me to into a wild fit of screaming and dancing about like a crazy lady (it all started in third grade with an unexpected visit from a snake . . . eww.  And remind me to tell you about the gecko in Petite St Vincent. I still get shivers up my spine!).  Don’t get me wrong, I love and honor this great planet and respect all living creatures.  They each make this world beautiful and I love observing it . . . from a comfortable distance.

Erin blog 2 swimmingBut every year, my parents, my brother’s family and my family (#TeamNewburg) road trip to northern Minnesota for a week of family time and inevitably becoming one with nature.  This week I’m ‘up north’ with my family and we’re having a blast playing card games, swimming (in the chlorinated pool), taking long walks, snuggling up for movies and ‘unplugging’, as they say.  It’s been an annual trip we’ve taken for the past 8 years.  My boys just love spending time with their grandparents and cousins.  My husband gets more golf in this week than he does all year. My sister-in-law and I eat all Erin blog 2 fishingthe carbs we want.  My dad gets up extra early to take his grandsons fishing and teaches them how to cast and reel.  It really is a special week of family time that I treasure.

It is also a time that brings me insanely and uncomfortably close with the beauty of our great state.  In just a few short days, we’ve seen the following:

  1. Erin blog 2 turtleSnakes basking in the sun on the walking bridge
  2. Turtles taking a break on lily pads
  3. A frog on our grill, just in time for happy hour
  4. A wolf quietly observing from hole #5
  5. A bear, in the ditch watching the cars go by
  6. Eagles circling the pine trees, looking for lunch
  7. A deer surprising us in the gravel parking lot
  8. And more bees, mosquitos, birds, squirrels and chipmunks than we can count!!

Erin blog 2 hand in handIt’s incredible how beautiful a family vacation can be.  Not only for the uninterrupted time together, but also the reminder that even our greatest fears (whether reasonable or not!) can still provide the most amazing beauty.  I sit here in awe of what our great state of Minnesota has to offer and am thankful it provides a place for my family and I to enjoy the simplicity of life.  Lets be clear, I’ll still keep a healthy distance and there will definitely be many more unreasonable episodes of terror.  But, for this one week, I will become one with nature and simply enjoy the great outdoors.

Erin blog 2 fish cleaningI’d love to know how you and your family get away. We’re always looking for ideas for our family.

What do you love most about your state?

What’s your take on the great outdoors? Observe from a distance or become one with it?!?

 

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Fore!

I LOVE summer!  Living in Minnesota, what that means is trying to make the most of all (what seems to last) 15 minutes of it before winter kicks in again!

Being a bit of a hippie, my ‘normal’ (but seriously, what is ‘normal’ for this girl?) summer activities are all about hitting up as many outdoor music festivals I can, and I will for sure do that this summer.  BUT, a once in a lifetime event is coming to Hazeltine National Golf Course (my home course): THE 2016 RYDER CUP!  Okay, so if you’re not a golfer, you’re thinking, huh?  The Ryder Cup is a biennial men’s golf competition between the best 24 players from Europe and the United States. The competition is played every two years, with the venue alternating between courses in the USA and Europe. It will only be at Hazeltine National this one time, EVER!  Here is a picture of me and my hubby, John, with the Ryder Cup trophy:

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The trophy is only 17″ tall and weighs 4 lbs. but is fiercely fought over.  It’s not the traditional quiet, golf-clap kind of tournament, it’s one of the most patriotic events you’ll ever see.  In fact, you can barely hear yourself think over the “U- S- A” chants and the Europeans “Ole Ole Ole”!  The Ryder Cup tournament is actually bigger than the Super Bowl, and more like the ‘golf olympics’.  We’re expecting over 1/4 million people from all over the world right, here in my hometown!  The construction of the massive corporate villages and grandstands has already begun on the course, taking 4 months to get it all built!  As a member, I’ve been really involved in helping find private homes to rent for corporations and golf enthusiasts from all over the world.  I’ve met celebrities, corporate giants and even a cricket team with one thing in common….they LOVE golf.  I’ll keep you posted about all the happenings as we get ready to tee up for the greatest game ever played!  Fore!!

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