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This summer, my family and I traveled to another world! The people were strange, the water tasted weird, and I had the time of my life!
Ok, I may have lied a little about the other world thing, but Minnesota is pretty far away from my home state of Georgia. And some of the people really are strange; we say soda or coke in Georgia, they say pop! I didn’t lie about the water either. At my grandparents’ house, the "water" is composed of one part water, two parts iron. Maybe it isn’t quite that bad, but I do not like the taste. (My mother says you get used to it, but I’m not so sure about that.)
► quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
I really did have the time of my life. I’m not a farm girl and never will be, but there is something about visiting the farm (it's been in my family since the homestead act of the late 1850’s) that appeals to a part of me. The calfs are cute and all end up with names by the time we leave. This past year the names happened to be P. Diddy, BGSHE (Big Giant Super Humungous Eyes), Milk Duds, and Junior Mints. Past names have been just about anything (they’re based on what we notice about the cow). The calfs may also escape a few times during our stay, but that’s not my fault! The horses are lovely with their soft, velvety noses, bright eyes, and high spirits. The cornfield is a private maze that can leave you lost for hours among the green stalks taller than your head (I’m short, but that just makes them seem taller) with silky tassels spilling from the green cocoon that surrounds the growing corn. Watch out for the beans (soybeans since they sell for the most now) for they grow clutching the ground and my uncle would not be happy if a portion of his crop was ruined. The old, worn, and slightly rusted swing-set with it’s flaky red paint may be a little dangerous (as my brother can attest to after falling on the ground when one of the seats, that have now been replaced, broke), but hours can be spent just swinging back and forth listening to the creeeak of the tired, yet persevering nuts and bolts. The many stray cats that lurk around the barn may seem annoying at times, but Stumpy is always just outside the house door for a quick pat (just make sure to wash your hands because stray cats can carry many diseases as well as ticks and fleas). This past year we even got to see a couple of litters of newborn kittens (until the mothers moved them due to our bothering)!
We also spent some time in the nearby town, New Ulm (a town formed so Germans could drink beer by a river). It’s a great place with a statue of Hermann the German, the Glockenspiel (a giant clock), the Bavarian Blast, and a quaint, small-town feel.
We used to drive up to the farm, but we flew this year. A two hour flight is much better than a two day drive. Minnesota is also an hour behind, so the flight was only one hour by my cell phone (of course, we did have to gain that hour back on the return flight).
I love visiting Minnesota and my grandparents every summer. It’s an experience I’ll treasure forever.
New Ulm: http://www.newulm.com/
Bavarian Blast: http://www.bavarianblast.com/Bavarian/Home.html
Hermann the German: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11260