Other, Travel

You should always stay in Minnesota

October 30, 2012
Nick and Colleen Hofmann

I waffled back and forth for a few months on my decision. Should I really travel to Minnesota for just the weekend? Would my cousin really care if I didn’t turn up at his wedding? Was it worth the rushing to the airport straight after work and then back again Sunday night? Finally, I gave up waffling, ate some of my dad’s delicious pancakes and booked my flight.

Turns out, it was worth it. Sure, I wish I wasn’t trapped in Charlotte due to Hurricane Sandy, but more on that later.

It also turns out, my cousin Nick did care that I turned up at his wedding. In fact, he cared quite a lot. He was grinning from ear to ear when I spotted him outside the church. Not only was it great to see him again, but the rest of  the Minnesotan Hofmann clan and my cousin’s beautiful new wife Brandi.

Nick and Brandi's Wedding

Nick and Brandi on their wedding day

My parents scooped me up at the airport and I wrestled two six-packs of beer for the backseat, one of which was New Belgium Abbey Ale. Coolest parents ever, right? Next up was the hunt for a bite to eat. Apparently, not much other than the Hy-Vee in Owatonna is open at 12 a.m. After marveling in the twenty-hour grocery store’s presentation, I settled on a salad and fruit. The next day my parents and I came back and marveled again. This time it was over Hy-Vee’s craft beer selection. Predictable, huh?

Owatonna Power Plant

The iconic Owatonna Power Plant

Saturday morning, while everyone was at the church, taking pictures and readying for the big day, my parents and I toured my uncle’s farm. I felt a little odd traipsing around his property with their dog Dutch barking his head off at us through the glass. But hey, we’re family. Trespassing laws don’t apply, right? My uncle John operates Prairie Hill Wildflowers where he sells native Minnesota wildflower seeds and plants. He and my dad frequently compare notes on seed and soil. My uncle and Nick’s latest venture involves growing a variety of hops. They even signed a contract with a company to sell them. So of course I had to check things out for myself.

Minnesota Prairie

View of the Minnesota prairie from my uncle’s farm

The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful in Owatonna for Nick and Brandi’s wedding. What a great time we had! My only wish was for more time to visit with my family. Too short and sweet of a weekend, if you ask me.

Here are more pictures from my trip to Minnesota:

Mom and dad posing in front of the Minnesota prairie

Dad and I

Pathway on the farm


Prairie Hill Wildflowers greenhouse


Minnesota hops yard

Purple wildflowers

The fluffiest grass ever

Fall foliage of Minnesota

To see the rest of the photos from my trip, visit this set on Flickr.

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