Sunday, February 8, 2015

History in the Heart of Minneapolis

The Stone Arch Bridge, in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, is one of those rare places that is historic, beautiful, and still very much a part of life in the city.

The Stone Arch Bridge has always been one of my favorite Minnesota must-sees. I love the historic feel it adds to a modernized city. It has a classic structure, but it's the only arched bridge made of stone that crosses the Mississippi. Even though the bridge has only recently been converted into a walking path for pedestrians, it still holds memories for millions. So many late night strolls have been taken, first dates and kisses had, races and marathons run, proposals made, pub crawls peddled, pictures taken, the list goes on.

The history of the Stone Arch Bridge spans back to 1883, when it was constructed by railroad tycoon James J. Hill, and was surrounded by working mills of all types. Don't get me wrong, this post isn't supposed to be a history lesson, but this structure is simply amazing. 

History aside, take a look at the incredible view! With St. Anthony's Falls to your left and the Minneapolis Skyline directly in front of you (depending on which way you're facing), it's no wonder the bridge is always bustling with people. Even in the dead of winter.

With all the runners passing me by as I casually strolled across the bridge, I thought I'd try to join in with a quick freeze frame! 

Check it out! Rain, snow, freezing temps or shine, the Stone Arch Bridge is a Minnesota must-see for all.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ice Fishing? Sure! I'll Try Anything Once.

 I must start this post by saying that I am not the most "outdoorsy" Minnesotan in the state. However, ice fishing is arguably the most classic winter activity, so I had to give it a try!

I have been ice fishing one other time in my life, when I was around 13. I remember I spent the entire time panicking because I could hear the ice expanding (aka making loud cracking noises) underneath me. Now, ten years later I put my big girl pants on and headed out to one of the largest lakes in Minnesota, Lake Minnetonka.
Not having much of an idea of what to bring, my dad equipped me with an auger, fishing pole, and grub worms. As you can tell by the expression on my face, I thought those grub worms were pretty nasty. 

Besides that, getting started was pretty simple. First step, drill a hole in the ground with your auger, this also doubles as a workout. Next, bait the hook and get ready to get up close and personal with those grub worms. Finally, grab a bucket, drop your line in the water, and wait.

I'd say the hardest part about ice fishing is not drilling the hole or baiting the worm, but waiting for the fish to bite. While I had several layers on, it was about 13 degrees outside and I was freezing. I stared at the two fishermen next to me with envy, as they walked into their toasty warm ice house. I tested my patience, and after about 8 minutes I decided to call it a day.

Although it was a great experience and I am glad I tried it, I have decided my favorite part of ice fishing is warming up with a big cup of hot chocolate afterwards!