Hi guys! How are you all doing? I am home for a day before I head to Fargo tomorrow and then over to MN for the rest of the week. I love sharing these Travel Journals with you guys so I hope you like reading them! I always have fun driving from town to town and asking locals where they would head if they only had a day in their town. I usually am only in each town for work for one day and then drive out early in the morning so I try to pack as much fun in the afternoon after I finish all of my work. This past week I was in Northern Minnesota and then worked my way down towards the Twin Cities, but didn’t go into Minneapolis. Warning: This is a BIG post! I have a bunch of pictures but I love to share pictures of all the great things I see and try so enjoy! 🙂
I had a 12 hour drive ahead of me (omg) so I left Rapid City around 7 am. I caught the picture of the T-Rex near the 1880’s town. I love seeing random sculptures in places you’d least expect it, like a T-Rex in the middle of the prairie! The thing I didn’t capture is the skeleton of a man walking in front of the T-Rex with a rope leading the T-Rex.
I stopped in Brookings, SD which is where I went to college. It’s about 6 hours from Rapid and I knew I wanted to stop at my favorite place in Brookings, Cottonwood Coffee. They have a location downtown and then Cottonwood Cafe is in a location that was right across the street from my college apartment, so I went there ALL the time! I just love local coffee shops, I love fresh brewed coffee, I love the atmosphere here and that they feature local art. It’s an awesome place and they have great food too! If you’re ever in Brookings make sure you stop by!
So I made the 12 hour drive (again, omg) and ended up in International Falls, MN which is right on the border of Canada. I got there late and was so tired that I just went to bed and then the next day I had to leave and head to another town for more college fairs. I got some pictures of the scenery though! The first picture is near Bemidji, MN (I’ll be there this week) and the second one was getting closer to International Falls, MN. The selfie was because I feeling that lipstick and outfit. You get it, you feel me. I was also jamming to Pandora. Any guesses about what I was listening to? (Hint: Eminem) P.S Sorry about all the bugs on the windshield but that’s what happens when you travel all day. I can only wash the windshield so many times!
Ok this place was THE BEST. It’s called Kunnaris Farm Market/Kitchen & Coffee House. Tuesday I ended up in Virginia, MN for the night and got there around 2 pm. I turned to the internet because I was in the need of some coffee and Kunnaris was the first recommendation. I linked their website above but here is their Facebook page.
I pulled up and immediately knew that I was going to like this place. (The picture at the top of this post of the apples is from Kunnaris too). The pictures really speak for themselves but I absolutely loved the idea, the decor, and the products they were selling. It was such a cozy and classy place. One side of the building was the Farm Market and I ended up buying 2 nectarines, and apple, and a pear for my week. I also bought some awesome Rosemary Mint Lotion from them that was locally made and smells amazing. Their website is here!
The other side of the building is the cafe/coffee shop. I ordered a Turkey wrap with Apples and it was so good. This was a HALF size and was around $5 or less I believe. The staff was super friendly and gave me recommendations of things to do in the town and what to eat. I just absolutely loved this place and I will 100% be returning whenever I’m near Virginia, MN again!
After leaving the heaven that was Kunnaris I headed farther into Virgina. I visited some thrift stores and as I got towards their downtown it dawned on me that I had actually been to Virginia, MN last year! That’s how crazy this travel schedule I have for work is. I visit up to 4 cities a day and am staying in different hotels this year than I did last year. I stayed at the Holiday Inn near Virginia, MN and it was on the opposite side of town than the hotel I stayed at last year so I didn’t even realize that I had been in this town until I hit downtown. This sounds crazy I know, but seriously I forget where I am half the time. I just enter addresses into my GPS.
Anyways, after I realized where I was I remembered that there was a Co-Op in the town that I had been to last year! It’s called Natural Harvest Food Co-op. I love anything local, as I’m sure you are all learning but I especially love visiting local places that sell healthy foods and items. Last year I ate at their deli but since I had just eaten I mostly went to browse. I found these tissues that I had to buy for my mom because she loves strawberries. I also got a Cliff bar and a bag of Orange Tea. I’ve yet to try it but I’m sure it’ll be great!
After I shopped around Virginia a bit more I did some yoga and then it was time for dinner. Guess where I went? Back to Kunnaris. I had to soak it up! I ordered a crisp apple salad, and again this was a HALF and was literally less than $5. Mind blown. So good, I ate every single lettuce leaf and the bread was so good. I didn’t even ask what it was, I just gave some trust and ate it. Still don’t know what it was but I can only assume it was homemade which is my favorite type of bread. 🙂
We are onto Wednesday! I left Virginia, MN that morning and headed to Grand Rapids, MN. I was only there for the college fair but driving in they had a sign saying it was the birthplace of Judy Garland! This mural was on the side of a building downtown. It’s always cool to see what places you see when you travel that you may never have seen otherwise. I also had to take a picture of this nectarine because it was the best nectarine I’ve had in a long time. It was one of the 2 I had bought at Kunnaris.
Wednesday night I was staying in Rogers, MN which is 15 minutes away from Maple Grove, MN. I picked this location to spend the night specifically because I knew that Maple Grove had a ton of stores that we don’t have in South Dakota. Specifically Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods! I wrote a whole blog post on what I bought there, so check it out here!
I just love how you can get such great quality items at such affordable prices. ONE DAY SOUTH DAKOTA WILL GET ONE! I have to believe, otherwise why is life worth living?
I ended Wednesday night at Whole Foods. Again, check out the whole blog post on Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods right here! I just love going into these stores. It’s obviously more *exciting* for me because I so rarely get to go to these stores, but for some of you reading this you probably go get your groceries here weekly! I ate dinner from their salad bar and this lemonade was awesome. I bought an extra one to take home, and it’s sitting in my fridge right now!
Ok guys, that is going to be it for today! I hope you enjoyed part 1 of week 1 from my travel in MN! I will get part 2 up tomorrow for you guys to see what I did on Thursday and Friday. I appreciate you guys reading this and I hope you enjoyed all the pictures! What do you like to do when you travel? What do you always seek out? Mine is local local local (or TJ’s/Whole Foods). 🙂