bit by the city-bug

We live in the most charming town. I have a friend who calls it Stars Hollow. Another who calls it Hallmark Town. It's really adorable and quaint and big enough to feel like there is something to do and somewhere to go, once you get your landmarks down. But every few months I have a little city-bug that creeps in. It's the voice in my head that reminds me how handy it was to live 10 minutes from Ikea, 15 minutes away from great museums, 5 minutes away from glorious city lakes that always had a band or movie playing.

That little city-bug tries to eat at my joy for living out in the country. And now, three years in, I know exactly what to do when she surfaces. And the remedy is actually the opposite of what I once thought. I don't go towards the city. In fact, I have learned that often that will lead to a disastrous outing...that the goal for going to the city will be thwarted by the long drive...which was the thing that made it handy to live in the city in the first place.

So I drive the other direction. Anywhere out into the country to find places and destinations I have never been. This makes for some marvelous adventures and in the end is the best way to combat the city-bug: to go find the charm of the country.

Friday the city-bug bit me hard. So I loaded up the kids, googled a nature preserve one town over that I have heard lots about and we left for an adventure. We played in the nature center for an hour, making up puppet shows, watching humming birds out the window, looking at all of the living and stuffed animals in the museum area. Then we found a new park with a huge slide and ended by visiting the town's library. I came home feeling excited with plans to return to the nature center to snowshoe in the winter and to frequent the new-to-me, but very old and charming library.

We continued our country exploration on Saturday, driving to Zumbrota to visit The Covered Bridge Park. It boasts the very last covered bridge in Minnesota and even better, it has an incredible playground that looks like a castle. It seems to be divided into age appropriate areas, so my kids stuck mostly to one section and older kids were on the other far end. The park is covered in huge trees so there is SHADE! People of the world, playgrounds are hardly ever shaded. For some reason when people plan parks they find the sunniest, tree-less space and plop their playground right in the middle. But shade is so, so welcome on hot summer days. We went out for ice cream and then visited a campground we have heard a lot about and always wanted to check out.

The benefit of the city-bug biting is that I now have four new area destinations to venture to when I'm feeling far away from the action. Some of them do require a bit of driving, but the beauty of the country is that there is never any traffic, the drive is beautiful (stunning lately) and I do like to throw in ice cream to break up a longer drive. That's a win-win-win.


Unknown said...

When you do need a quick Minneapolis stint, I'm always willing to be a sidekick. And I have a puppy to join in on the fun!

Becca Groves said...

You're on, Emily! Lucky you, right by those glorious lakes :)