As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
This past weekend, Ashley and I spent the weekend in Duluth, Minnesota. We were working the Apologia booth at the MACHE convention, but we also had some time to get out and explore a bit.
Now, I have to confess that I wasn’t entirely thrilled when we got our list of conventions for the year and saw that we had been chosen to go to Minnesota. After all, April is springtime in PA, but it’s still COLD in Minnesota! But, God definitely had a hand in the scheduling and I believe we were sent exactly where we were needed. So, I thought I’d take a few minutes and just share some of the things that I observed and learned while spending some time in Duluth . . .
While our plane was descending, we were able to look down and get a glimpse of the landscape. I must admit, we were not excited to see all the snow; but we were amazed by all the bodies of water. We found out that Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” and the state’s name comes from a Dakota word for “clear water.” Makes perfect sense now!
The MACHE convention is pretty awesome. If you live in Minnesota, or close enough to drive there, I’d recommend the convention. All of the staff that we had opportunity to meet and interact with were tremendously helpful and kind. And they had a nice “spread” laid out for us booth workers on Thursday afternoon (huge fruit, veggie, and cheese trays). It was so dry in the convention center and the constant source of cold water was also quite welcome!
I met some of the nicest people – both at the convention and during our excursions around town. At supper one evening, my friend Roberta asked if we had experienced “Minnesota nice”. I had no clue what she was talking about, so I looked it up:
Minnesota nice is the stereotypical behavior of people born and raised in Minnesota to be courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered. The cultural characteristics of Minnesota nice include a polite friendliness, an aversion to confrontation, a tendency toward understatement, a disinclination to make a fuss or stand out, emotional restraint, and self-deprecation. It can also refer to traffic behavior, such as slowing down to allow another driver to enter a lane in front of the other person. (Wikipedia)
This is so true! We ate in several different restaurants and had THE NICEST waitstaff I’ve ever experienced in each one! This is one aspect of Minnesota that I could definitely get used to (if it just weren’t for all that snow!)
There are a lot of people named Heidi in Minnesota. I don’t normally encounter a lot of Heidi’s, so I found it interesting. I knew there were a lot of Scandinavian descendants in the area; but I did some research and found that they also have a lot of German descendants as well. So, there you have it!
As much as I don’t enjoy public speaking, I guess I can do it when the need arises. I was entrusted with the responsibility of giving a workshop on the importance of teaching a Biblical Worldview to our YOUNG children (not waiting ’til high school). There were quite a few in attendance, and they asked a lot of good questions afterwards, so I’m thinking I must have at least held their attention through to the end and peaked their interest enough to want to know more. (Now I might change my tune after I actually HEAR the workshop! LOL)
It is possible to tear down a VERY LARGE convention booth and get everything packed up in 55 minutes! This only works if you have a great group of people working with you and you can read each others’ minds.
There are some people that you can spend time with who literally make you feel like a better person. That’s how I feel about Joe & Zan Tyler. In one way, I feel like I’m in the presence of greatness when I’m with them; in another, I feel like I’m spending time with family. If you ever have opportunity to hear either (or both) of them speak, DO IT! You won’t be disappointed. You’ll leave with a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart. Trust me.
I was thrilled with the opportunity to finally meet (face-to-face) two friends that I’ve known online in various capacities for several years now. It’s so nice to know we have friends all over the United States; and one of the perks of traveling to conventions is getting to meet some of them. I met a lot of new friends there as well – I wish I would have thought to get contact information!
If you ever find yourself in Duluth, there is lots to see, do, and explore along the waterfront. I’d definitely recommend checking it out. I’d also recommend dining at Grandma’s Saloon & Grill and The Duluth Grill. Both have excellent food and wonderful service (the latter was even featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives!) The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has some fabulous chocolate creations too!
Thanks for being so welcoming, Minnesota! Maybe we’ll see you next year at MACHE – in St. Paul! (A new city to explore!)