You’re in Minnesota, don’t cha know?
This weekend I travelled to Minnesota to visit my sister and her two kids. Having never been to that state and only hearing about how cold it is, I immediately noticed a change in the feel of clean air when in Minneapolis compared to that of Miami.
Each state has its own environmental protection agency, but not all cities faithfully practice proper environmental practices. Such as recycling. I live in a mid-rise apartment building in downtown Miami where the recycling area on the first floor of the garage is like entering a deep scary cave. Each time I bring a bag of plastics I prepare myself to see rodents or giant insects.
The clean air in Minneapolis and St. Paul is partly attributable to the large amounts of farm land near by and Minnesota’s reputation for being a state of 10,000 lakes. As of June 2009, the population in Minnesota reached a little over 5 million compared to Florida’s over 18.5 million. For comparison’s sake, the city of New York has reached 8 million residents last year.
It’s not everyday you see a windmill in your average shopping center in Miami.
No matter what destination you’re visiting, whether it’s the crisp air of Minneapolis, or the humid beaches of Miami, travelling fairly with responsibility to the destination to sustain its environment and culture is essential. Placing yourself responsible for the future of the destination you’re visiting leads to minimal deterioration of the current environment, society and culture. For this weekend’s adventure I had a couple things in mind.
- Partake in typical events or activities of the destination. In Minnesota’s case we would have gone ice fishing if it was still freezing, but with the tulips in bloom the spring weather was perfect to admire the cherry blossoms and flowers blooming.
- Support the local economy. For most of the year the weather in Minnesota supports ice freezing rather than flip flop wearing. So I bought my very own pair of Minnetonka moccasins.
My next visit to Minnesota has a much bigger list of to dos, such as seeing the Musinger/Clemens Gardens in St. Cloud. Explore Minnesota has ten of the best places to explore in Minnesota, one of them being the gardens, and another being the touring of the caves in northern Minnesota.
The arts and culture crowd has exploded in Minnesota, especially in the Twin Cities where art crawls and gastronomy hops have replaced the Mall of America. The heritage in Minnesota is also taken with extreme pride as traveller’s are welcomed to explore and discover the Scandinavian and Native American heritage left behind to descendants. There are enough cultural festivals to last the year, ranging from Cinco de Mayo to the Finnish American Summer Festival to the Festival of Nations.
What I loved about Minnesota is exactly what I miss about living in the north east – the seasons. In winter you can ski or go ice fishing, in the summer you can go sailing on Lake Minnetonka or water ski. With so many activities and events happening, you would hardly realise you were standing in sub zero weather in January and warm breezes a few months later in July.