May 2014
Josie Bungert

Back in the land of Minnesota Nice

If you know me at all, you know that I am a proud Minnesotan. My good friend Katie once told me to write about how all Minnesota stereotypes are false. I looked her dead in the face, LOL’ed and said “no, they are all true.” So, now that I am officially back in the greatest state in the nation, I figured I would preach to my fellow state of hockey-ers and tell all of you non-Minnesotans what you’re missing out on.

Even though I didn’t go to school that far away, after leaving for the first time in my life, I immediately discovered how true Minnesota stereotypes really are. Just crossing the border from Iowa to Minnesota, I felt better, because merging onto the freeway after a rest stop wasn’t impossible. Like I said, even though I went to school only 6 hours away, the difference in driving is unbelievable. Here, people wave you over into their lane as you enter the freeway, and let you into their lane when you want to change lanes. It’s incredible. I had forgotten how easy driving can be when the people are courteous on the road!

Similar to that, going down the aisles at Target, people do not hesitate to say “after you” and “oh, honey go before me.” I swear, in Nebraska, I was run into by people rushing to get their cereal and oatmeal on a Saturday morning. I never understood the hurry, and grocery shopping always put me in a pretty bad mood. Here, any kind of shopping, is way more relaxed. I mean, how could it not be, since I don’t have to worry about getting my feet run over by over-eager moms?

So Starbucks is good and all, but Caribou Coffee is where it is AT. I am so happy to be back in a place where I can literally find one on every corner. Nothing beats the true up north, cozy cabin feel of Caribou Coffee. Even the names make you feel like you’re in a northern paradise: Campfire Mocha, Northern Lite Turtle Mocha, Caramel High Rise, and Apple Blast to name a few. Nothing puts me in my happy place more than a good cup of Caribou Coffee, especially now that they have a rockstar rewards program.

Lakes on lakes on lakes on lakes. No matter the weather, nothing makes a drive better than driving by one of the amazing lakes. And in the summer? Sitting by lakes, swimming in lakes, just seeing the beauty of sunsets over lakes.

Lakes leads me to weather. People who don’t live here think the weather constantly sucks, but they are so wrong. Sure, winter is pretty terrible here, but they say we suffer through it every year because the rest of the seasons are so beautiful. That couldn’t be more true. Take this Memorial Day weekend for example. Simply beautiful, every day, all day. And Fall. There is nothing like a Minnesota fall. It is one of the things I missed the most living in Nebraska for four years.

Ikea. Okay, yes a few other states have this glorious store, but not enough to make it so popular with everyone. Ikea is a filled with everything your home could want, along with things you have never seen or heard of before. The environment is great, the food is great ($1 frozen yogurt cones at the end of your shopping trip, the best), and half of my room is Ikea, so their products are trendy and awesomely priced. Every time I come home, I make at least one trip, and now that I’m back here for good, I plan on furnishing my future apartment with all Ikea. It’s a wonderful place!

Of course, the list goes on. But all of these aspects are ones I have experienced in the last week alone. As much as I don’t hate all other states, I am SO happy to be back in my truly happy place of Minnesota.