Friday, 14 February 2014


Purple, this city may as well be painted down to its streets with it. This is the land that birthed both the 'Purple Rain' of music superstar Prince and the reign of the storied Lakers NBA franchise before they moved to Los Angeles (you know there's no 'land of lakes' in L.A., there's barely a drop of water in that dry house). Sure, that's enough to get this writer excited but believe me this city has a lot more to be proud of than just one of the worlds greatest musicians and ball-clubs. Besides these days they've got the Minnesota Timberwolves and Bon Iver singing songs about them for the twin cities hospitality. As cold as the ice that hangs off your windows and as hot as the hell of a good time yo'll have in Summer, no matter the season this place has reason to visit. Besides they have a shopping mall with a rollercoaster in the middle of it and dinosaur parks. What more could you ask for? If you're planning a trip take it from Jurassic Park legend Jeff Goldblum..."must go faster, must go faster".

The 48th largest city in these 52 States is home to Charlie Brown, the 'Great Gatsby' writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (his soloemn statue is here too) an epic menu worth of places to eat, a libaries worth of places to read, a 'Mall Of America' literally defining place to shop and a massive spoon with a cherry on top in the middle of it all too...literally. The land of twenty lakes and wetlands is a feast for the eyes and when the ice catches them as well as your throat it'll make for some of the best photo albums you've ever developed or shared on social-media. This is your time however so witness this great place in all its glory while you can because from superb suberbs to downtown developments this place has it all. You may want to lay your hat a little longer here because this welcoming place in one trip is one you can call home, whether your on a layover or pernament vacation like Aerosmith. As beautiful as Boston, as American as Kentucky and as young and hip as Portland this is another great American city that shows and tells you this land isn't just about New York or Hollywood. There's real depth here for you to explore.

Make a note in your travel journal to visit a place that is more than just the business connection between Chicago and Seattle. The home of the 'Chains Of Lakes' draws creation to the city by the writer, musician and artist load. You do remember the 'Jazz Age' of 'Gatsby' was birthed in writing here and not New York right? With the Mississipi River uniting Minnesota and Saint Paul, Minny draws everything in like a grand gesture. This big city is great all year round. Visit Lake Calhoun in Summer if you want to bring your fishing line and the forzen over Lake Harriet in Winter if you want to bring your kite for that festival. It's crazy to think that what you and your kids are standing on is inches of ice that seperates you from the coldest, chilling water. Trust me, however it's not as scary as you think, it's all fun and they've got hot chocolate (with marshmellows) and burgers too...sold?! The water tower of Prospect Park may be this places highest point, but this down to earth city is all about the little things. The places to eat, drink and hear great music with some great friends, and I tell you it doesn't get much better or cooler than Psycho Suzies. It's one of those places that you don't want to tell people too much about, because you wan't them to explore it themselves. So no spoilers here, just go, the only thing it'll ruin is all the other bars you go to back home.

From the Minneapolis Institue Of Arts to the science museum (want to see some real dinosaurs? They do actually plan on having some on their tour!) there's plenty of tourist things to do that are more than just the brochure to go along with the parks and rec of the great outdoors. So raining or sweltering you'll always find something to do even if you have a coat or not. Make sure you pack your thermals, scarfs, gloves and long-Johns however in the early months because jeez Louise it's going to be chilly. Still, that doesnt matter because what other place can you have a great time even if you feel like your about to lose your nipples? This place is more than just the great shops, bars, restaurants, parks and lakes however. It's about the people you meet and the experiences you have on a day to day basis. Sure you can take a picture of all the tourist landmarks you want and sure that'll be amazing, but it's the memories you leave behind here that really matter for your memories. They once said, 'take only photographs, leave only footprints' and when it comes to the beautifully simple ways of just truly living on vacation instead of rushing through it, Minnesota has it down. The M.P.L.S. Lakers may have left town, but Prince and his Paisley park haven't and you wont want to either. That't the long and short of it. For a couples retreat in a couple of weeks, it's all about the twins. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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