I have lived in more areas of Minnesota than most people have! That's a huge claim but here is a bit of my history.
I was born in Cloquet...which is near Duluth...and took my first steps in the yard at my maternal grandparents' farm home near there. When my dad came home after WWII ended, we lived for a short time in tiny Barnum then moved to Minneapolis.
This photo of my brother and me was taken in Powderhorn Park in South Minneapolis. My paternal grandma had a wonderful apartment on the edge of the park. Grandma worked for many years at the Burma Shave company and loved to take us downtown to the big stores including her favorite...Daytons.
Dad went to seminary while we lived in the Twin Cities, then pastored his first church in Cass Lake, MN. We learned to love the Northern Minnesota area.
The nearest "big town" was Bemidji. We did most of our shopping in Bemidji and also took frequent trips to visit friends in Walker. We spent lots of time at Itasca State Park, fished the big lakes in the area including Cass and Winnibigoshish, and learned a lot about Ojibwe culture and customs from our friends and neighbors.
At one point when dad was between churches we lived with my maternal grandparents and I went to school in Carlton.
Dad went on to pastor churches in several other small Minnesota towns including the tiny towns of Ponsford, Pine Point and Osage. In later years the Osage Baptist Church was designated as a historic building and moved to the Pioneer Village at Itasca. Dad's name is on a plaque on the building.
I went to junior high school in Park Rapids. During my teen years we moved to Detroit Lakes. I graduated from high school there, then went back to the Twin Cities for college. On a visit home from school, I met my future husband.
We had five children and remained in the Detroit Lakes area for more than 20 years...including 10 years on a hobby farm near Audubon.
I have included "snippets" of family history on many pages of the website including my great-grandfather's association with the Foshay Tower on the Minneapolis page and my paternal grandfather's involvement in the crime spree in St. Paul's history in the first half of the twentieth century when the city became a refuge for many of the most notorious gangsters of modern American history.
Our favorite family vacations were camping all over Minnesota...first with a huge tent and, eventually, with a pop-up camper.
We moved our family to Saint Paul in 1985. The kids grew up and went off to college, marriage, and far-off places. For a while we went back to tent camping, then to RV travel. Our favorite destinations are Minnesota's State Parks. We recently published our own State Parks E-book.
I just had to find a way to share my love for Minnesota! Who knew that building this site would make me a "work from home travel agent!"
It's so much fun to visit, and write about, the wonderful vacation spots in Minnesota. Sometimes we join our kids and grand-kids for a camping trip or a hotel stay. Other times we take off on our own to explore. Together we continue to learn more about Minnesota.
Not all of our travels are in Minnesota. Some of our family has lived in Alaska for years. We've made more than 30 trips there. As well, over the years, and either together or separately, we've been to Mexico, Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Morocco, and Ecuador.
My husband and I have always been both adventurous and entrepreneurial. He started a flooring business when we were newlyweds. I've started several businesses including an arts and crafts store in Detroit Lakes when our kids were young.
About ten years ago I learned that it was possible to create an online business. I jumped right in to create a website for the consulting company that I helped to found: Action Wheel Leadership..
If you are interested in a quick overview of how I came to do this, here is a video tour of the Site Build It program that I use.
Our sons now own the flooring business my husband started. Of course they wanted me to build them a website. That one is: Ramsey Carpet.
One of our daughters is a graphic designer. She is building her own Site Build It website: TJR Cool Graphics.
My husband and granddaughter on a recent trip to a Minnesota State Park.
Feel free to contact me if you have comments or questions about any of our websites, about the topics on the Visit Minnesota site or to ask questions about our site building provider.
For your graphic design needs, contact Joy Creating Cool Graphics
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