11 Things You Need To Know About Surviving Minnesota Winters!!

Well the clocks have been set back, the days are getting shorter and shorter, and Minnesota has already experienced a few snowfalls. This can only mean one thing: winter is setting in, and it’s time to get ready. Most Minnesotans are seasoned pros, but there are still plenty of newcomers and visitors who don’t quite know what they’re in for. If you’re new to Minnesota or visiting during the winter season, these 11 Minnesota winter survival tips should come in handy.

Fall is HERE!!!

Fall is my favorite season of the year! The bonfires, the nice chilly weather, the beautiful colors of the trees, just being able to wear sweatshirts outside, just a great feeling to have.   Maybe I am biased but I honestly think that Minnesota is one of the most beautiful states to be in during the fall.  Below are 10 beautiful Fall color drives in Minnesota that will show you how beautiful fall can really be!

  1.  NORTH SHORE OF LAKE SUPERIORRoute: Hwy. 61, Duluth to Grand Portage
    Peak color: mid-Sept. to early Oct. 

     

    This route along America’s largest Great Lake is known for its great fall color and great lake views, making it very popular with fall color fans. Several state parks with wilderness rivers, waterfalls, hiking trails and scenic overlooks make for marvelous pit stops. Yellow aspen and birch hug the shoreline, with scarlet maples inland along forest roads. Make sure you have a reservation for a place to stay, and try planning midweek trips to avoid the busiest travel periods. This has been designated as an “All American Drive,” one of only 15 routes in the country so noted for their outstanding scenery. For an inland view, take Hwy. 1 through the colors of the Superior National Forest to Ely.

Image result for NORTH SHORE OF LAKE SUPERIOR during fall

2.  IRON RANGE LOOP

Route: Hwy. 169 from Virginia to Tower, Hwy. 135 through Biwabik back to Virginia
Peak color: mid-Sept. to early Oct.

There’s a beautiful mix of color on this circle drive, but plenty of other highlights as well: a tour of the Soudan Underground Mine, two major golf courses at Giants Ridge—The Legend and The Quarry—and the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame at Eveleth. At Virginia, there’s an overlook of the area’s deepest open pit mine and the popular Mesabi Bike Trail.

Image result for IRON RANGE LOOP during fall in minnesota

3.  EDGE OF THE WILDERNESS

Route: Hwy. 38, Grand Rapids to Bigfork
Peak color: mid-Sept. to early Oct.

This super scenic byway winds over hills through the colorful mix of pine and hardwoods of Chippewa National Forest. Return via Co. Rd. 7 and make a side trip to beautiful Scenic State Park. Or take one of the back roads through the forest, with stops at lakes and hiking trails along the way.

Image result for edge of the wilderness during fall in minnesota

4. MISSISSIPPI HEADWATERS

Route: Hwy. 71 between Park Rapids and Bemidji, plus numerous other roads around these towns
Peak color: mid-Sept. to early Oct.

Itasca State Park, the source of the mighty Mississippi River, is the star attraction on this route. Lake Bemidji State Park, with its birch and pine, is another highlight. There’s a paved bike trail in Itasca, and mountain bike trails in Bemidji State Park. You’ll also find scenic biking along the nearby Heartland Trail.

Chippewa Fall

5. OTTER TAIL COUNTY

Route: Hwys. 108 & 78, and numerous county roads
Peak color: late Sept. to early Oct.

The rolling countryside between Fergus Falls and Perham is a blend of wooded hills, lakes and farmland. Highlights include Maplewood and Glendalough state parks, the historic Phelps Mill, and the view from Inspiration Peak off Co. Rd. 38.

Image result for otter tail county during fall in minnesota

6. BRAINERD LAKES & MILLE LACS

Route: Hwy. 371 and 6, and the county roads between them, plus Hwy. 169
Peak color: late Sept. to early Oct.

Gull, Pelican and Cross lakes and the Whitefish Chain of Lakes sparkle amid woods of maple, oak, birch and aspen. Mille Lacs Kathio State Park is an expanse of colorful forest at the edge of Mille Lacs, and an observation tower here offers fantastic views. Fishing, boating, golfing and biking the Paul Bunyan Trail are favorite activities in this lake country.

Heartland Paul Bunyan Trail bike

7. ST. CROIX RIVER VALLEY

Route: Hwy. 95 from Taylors Falls to Afton
Peak color: late Sept. to mid-Oct.

The scenic St. Croix River winds through wooded hillsides and sheer cliffs. Four state parks feature great river views: InterstateWild RiverWilliam O’Brien and Afton. The charming towns of Stillwater, Taylors Falls and Afton have numerous antique and gift shops. Boat excursions on the river are a great way to see the fall color. This drive is very popular in the fall; consider a midweek visit to avoid weekend traffic.

Image result for saint croix river valley during fall in minnesota

8. TWIN CITIES TOURING

Route: Parkways around Minneapolis lakes, along Minnehaha Creek, Mississippi and Summit Avenue
Peak color: late Sept. to mid-Oct.

Few major cities can boast such beautiful drives, all of which are even prettier in the fall. Circle Lake of the Isles, Maka Ska, Harriet and Nokomis lakes, and visit Minnehaha Falls. They’re all along the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. The Lake Street and Ford Parkway bridges have great views of the Mississippi bordered by colorful, wooded hillsides. St. Paul’s tree-lined Summit Avenue is bordered by stately homes.

Image result for Minnehaha Creek during fall in minnesota

9. MISSISSIPPI RIVER VALLEY

Route: Hwy. 61 between Red Wing and La Crescent
Peak color: Mid-Oct.

Charming river towns and wooded bluffs border the Mississippi River on this colorful route, characterized by steep hillsides dressed in brilliant autumn hues of red, russet and gold. Several scenic overlooks, including those at Frontenac and Great River Bluffs state parks, are must-stops. You’ll also find several roadside apple stands for a tasty afternoon snack. This is a popular fall drive, so book your stay ahead of time.

Image result for Red Wing during fall in minnesota

10. MINNESOTA RIVER DRIVE

Route: Co. Rd. 6 & Hwy. 93 from Belle Plaine to Le Sueur, then Hwy. 169 to Mankato, then Hwy. 68 to New Ulm
Peak color: late Sept. to mid-Oct.

Follow the bend in the river, and the ribbon of yellow and gold hardwoods that borders the Minnesota River. Along the way, you’ll find riverside parks in Le Sueur, St. Peter, Mankato and New Ulm, as well as bluff-top overlooks in New Ulm. At Minneopa State Park, a trail follows the riverbank, and there are 45- foot double waterfalls along a creek as well as a herd of native bison.

Image result for Minnesota River Drive during fall in minnesota

These are Truly ones that should not be missed!

I want to thank http://www.exploreminnesota.com/travel-ideas/rainbow-routes-10-fall-color-drives/ for the descriptions of each location!

The #1 Reason to Put Your House on The Market TODAY!!!!

The #1 Reason to Put Your House on The Market TODAY! | MyKCM

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released the results of their latest Existing Home Sales Report which revealed that home sales declined 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million in June from 5.41 million in May, and are 2.2% below a year ago. Some may look at these numbers and think that now is a bad time to sell their house, but in fact, the opposite is true.

The national slowdown in sales is directly tied to a lack of inventory available for the buyers who are out in the market looking for their dream homes! In fact, the inventory of homes for sale had fallen year-over-year for 36 consecutive months before posting a modest 0.5% gain last month and has had an upward impact on home prices.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had this to say,

“It’s important to note that despite the modest year-over-year rise in inventory, the current level is far from what’s needed to satisfy demand levels. Furthermore, it remains to be seen if this modest increase will stick, given the fact that the robust economy is bringing more interested buyers into the market, and new home construction is failing to keep up.”

The few houses that are on the market are selling fast! According to NAR’s Realtors Confidence Index, properties were typically on the market for 26 days.

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many homeowners who is debating listing your house for sale this year, the time is now! Let’s get together to discuss the specifics of our market!

Tim Horton’s WHAT??!!

Tim Horton’s is a name that everyone knows and loves! They have great coffee and delicious food. PLUS, they just opened up here in Forest Lake, MN and you can already tell it’s going to be a big hit.   Since this fabulous coffee shop is now in town I thought it would be fitting to tell you 11 things you might not have known about the famous Tim Horton’s Coffee Shop!

1. It Was Founded by a Canadian Hockey Player

Miles Gilbert “Tim” Horton spent 24 years as a defenseman in the NHL, playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres, and was widely regarded as the strongest man in the game. Before opening the doughnut chain, he also tried his hand at a hamburger restaurant and a Studebaker dealership.

2. That’s A Lot of Coffee!

That's A Lot of Coffee!

Thanks to Tims, Canadians drink more coffee than Italians, Americans, the French or pretty much any other nation. In fact, we drink more than 14 billion cups of coffee each year. Tim Hortons serves more than 2 billion cups alone.

 

3. It Was Once Owned by Wendy’s International

Being bought out by a huge fast food chain is actually nothing new for Tim Hortons. From 1992 until the company went public in 2006, Hortons was owned by Dave Thomas’s popular burger chain. Hortons CEO Ron Joyce (pictured) controlled more shares of Wendy’s than even Thomas did, though, until Joyce sold his stock — today worth about $1.2 billion — and retired.

4.  It Sells 76 Percent of all Canadian Baked Goods

Along with coffee and doughnuts, Tim Hortons also sells bagels, sandwiches, panini, and wraps, and when all is said and done they command a massive share of the baked goods market. If you’re eating a doughnut in Canada, it’s most likely from Tim’s.

 

5. The First U.S. Locations Closed

In 1981, the first U.S. locations opened in Deerfield and Pompano Beach, Fla. Sales were dismal, so they closed soon after. But they wouldn’t be gone for long…

6. Offers Its Own Credit Card

Offers Its Own Credit Card

In 2014, Tim Hortons launched its “Double Double” Visa cards, a high-tech credit card with different light-up buttons that allow the consumer to use it as a regular Visa card or redeem the points racked up at the nearest Tim Hortons location.  This could possibly end my healthy eating if I were to get one of these 😲!

7. ‘The Priestley’ Was Real!

'The Priestley' Was Real!

CBS sitcom ‘How I Met Your Mother’ regularly spoofed all things Canadian (thanks to B.C.-born star Cobie Smulders. In one episode, guest star Jason Priestley proudly announced that Tim Hortons had named a doughnut after him. Shortly after the episode aired, Tim Hortons apparently did it for real, tweeting a picture of a new creation dubbed “The Priestley” — a timbit stuffed inside a strawberry-vanilla doughnut.

8. It’s in the Dictionary!

It's in the Dictionary!

So ubiquitous is Tim Hortons in Canada that “Double Double” actually made it into the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, where it’s defined as “a coffee with double cream and double sugar added.”

9. Because of Timmies, Canada eats more donuts per capita than any other country.

Donut

Even more than Americans!

10. They originally sold hamburgers

Image result for tim hortons hamburgers

Yep, hockey player Tim Horton, co-founder of the company, insisted their first stores sell char-grilled beef pucks. And the coffee? It cost just 10 cents.

11. They have a serious rivalry with Dunkin’ Donuts.

Image result for dunkin donuts and tim hortons

When Tim Hortons switched from Coke to Pepsi in the States, Dunkin’ spitefully switched from Pepsi to Coke.

I would like thank www.thedailymeal.com and http://www.foodnetwork.ca for providing the facts and some of the pics!

The new Tim Hortons Coffee Shop in Forest lake is located 107 12th St SW, Forest Lake, MN 55025.  Go grab some great coffee and some delicious food.

 

Moving up Is MORE Affordable Now Than Almost Any Other Time in 40 Years

Moving up Is MORE Affordable Now Than Almost Any Other Time in 40 Years

Moving up Is MORE Affordable Now Than Almost Any Other Time in 40 Years | MyKCM

If you are considering selling your current home, to either move up to a larger home or into a home in an area that better suits your current family needs, great news was just revealed.

Last week, Trulia posted a blog, Not Your Father’s Housing Market, which examined home affordability over the last 40+ years (1975-2016). Their research revealed that:

“Nationally, homes are just about the most affordable they’ve been in the last 40 years… the median household could afford a home 1.5 times more expensive than the median home price. In 1980, the median household could only afford about 3/4 of the median home price.

Despite relatively stagnant incomes, affordability has grown due to the sharp drop in mortgage rates over the last 30 years – from a high of over 16% in the 1980s to under 4% by 2016.

Of the nation’s 100 largest metros, only Miami became unaffordable between 1990 and 2016. Meanwhile, 22 metros have flipped from being unaffordable to becoming affordable in that same time frame.”

Here is a graph showing the Affordability Index compared to the 40-year average:

Moving up Is MORE Affordable Now Than Almost Any Other Time in 40 Years | MyKCM

The graph shows that housing affordability is better now than at any other time in the last forty years, except during the housing crash last decade.

(Remember that during the crash you could purchase distressed properties – foreclosures and short sales – at 20-50% discounts.)

There is no doubt that with home prices and mortgage rates on the rise, the affordability index will continue to fall. That is why if you are thinking of moving up, you probably shouldn’t wait.

Bottom Line

If you have held off on moving up to your family’s dream home because you were hoping to time the market, that time has come.

Fun Staycation ideas!!

Very soon Spring will be upon us and it couldn’t come fast enough!! One of the best things about Spring is going on Spring Break with your friends and family.  Sometimes, however, we just don’t have the funds to go to a nice warm beach, but that doesn’t mean you cant have a fantastic Spring Break at home.

More and more families are doing Staycations, what are Staycations? Staycation is to make it feel as much like a real family getaway as possible, without leaving the comfort of your own home.

let’s GET CREATIVE!

Chances are there are dozens of fun things to do in your own hometown that you either never have time for, or don’t even think about because they are so close by.  Here are 5 fun and creative ideas to get you started:

Try Geocaching:

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game that uses a GPS. Your family would use the GPS to navigate to a specific preset area and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden in that location.  How cool is that!!! This could be a blast with little kids, nothing like a good old treasure hunt to appease the appetites of kids and adults alike.  Related imageTo find more out about Geocaching and how to do it, go to https://www.geocaching.com/guide/.

Camp in Your Own Backyard:

Why not enjoy the great outdoors in your own backyard?  You can Set up a tent and sleeping bags, build a fire to cook some s’mores.  You can also download SkyView an app to identify stars, planets, and even satellites in the sky.  SkyView uses your phone’s screen and sensors to give you an augmented reality view of what’s up in the sky.

Image result for backyard camping

Theme Restaurant or Dinner Theater:

Depending on where you live there may be theme restaurants, dinner theater, or even a murder-mystery dinner train!  There are some pretty fun Murder-Mystery restaurants in Minnesota, one that comes to mind is The Dinner Detective Murder-Mystery Dinner Show is America’s largest interactive Murder-Mystery Dinner Shows for info on this dinner show go to https://www.thedinnerdetective.com/minneapolis/.  You and your family will not be disappointed.

Related image

Tackle a family project:

Spend your week together working on something to improve your home or build that tree house your kids have been bothering you about.  You’ll not only bond while painting and building together, but at the end of the week have something to show for your time!

Related image

To find some fun family projects to do go to https://www.pinterest.com/lowes/family-projects/?lp=true

Put on your own film festival:

Chose a theme and let each family member pick a movie, then settle down for a day of movies.  Don’t forget the snacks, and take breaks to discuss and rate each film.

Related image

go to http://www.partycurrent.com/movie-theme-party-ideas.html to find some fun movie theme’s!

Spring Break is a time to relax and just have fun, but who says you can’t do that at your own home and/or hometown.  Hopefully, the ideas above will not only be useful but helps you come up with even better things to do with your friends and family!

Thank you to www.livingwellspendingless.com for some of the ideas and info!

 

 

Winter Time Fun!!

With winter in full swing and Ground Hogs day just around to corner, which will probably tell us that we have another 6 weeks of winter left.  So, there is still a lot of time this winter to do some pretty fun things with your friends and family.  Below is a list of 4 fun events and activities to do with the family.

Skijoring and Dog Sledding.  

Sled Dogs

I don’t know about you but this is the first time I have ever heard of Skijoring….. AND IT SOUNDS LIKE A BLAST!! Skijoring is a form of dog sledding, but instead of riding in a sled, the person rides behind the dog on cross-country skis.  I have always wanted to try Dog Sledding and now there is a place right here in Minnesota to do it.   You can participate in Dog Sledding and Skijoring at Baker Park Reserve, the park has more than 2,700 acres of preserved area and is situated on the shores of Lake Independence.  passes are not required for those wishing to participate in the activities on the main trails.  For more information about Baker Park Reserve, you can go to www.threeriversparks.org.

Red Bull Crashed Ice 

To see how awesome this event is here is a link to a video: http://crashedice.redbull.com/en_INT/video/battle-finish

Ok….. This has got to be one of the coolest events during Minnesota winters!! This takes place on Feb. 24th and involves the toughest and best skaters in the world as they go down a 1600 foot track with a 12 foot drop right in front of the St. Paul Cathedral.  This is event is packed with over 120,000 fans, Crashed Ice is in it’s 5th year. If you can’t make it be sure to watch the action live on Red Bull TV!  This is definitely going to be on my list of activities to go to, it looks crazy! If you would like to get more info about this event and see some more awesome videos go to http://crashedice.redbull.com/en_INT/event/saint-paul-1.

The Winter Carnival

Image result for Winter carnival st paul 2018

The Winter Carnival is a huge event in Minnesota, and it runs from Jan. 27th through Feb. 10th.  It has so many activities and attractions to do and go to. Since 1886, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival has brought family-friendly events and community pride to Saint Paul and the Twin Cities metro area. Through city-wide special events, fun activities and more, the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation celebrates winter like only Minnesotans can!  Can you believe that? Minnesota has been doing this carnival for over 130 years that is a crazy amount of time, it just goes to show that it is a loved event here in Minnesota.  If you would like more info on the Winter Carnival you can go to www.wintercarnival.com.

Apostle Islands mainland sea caves 

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: Mainland Sea Caves

Only in cold winters like the ones here in Minnesota, can visitors walk across frozen Lake Superior to explore the Apostle Islands mainland sea caves.  These amazing ice formations that decorate the cliffs of Lake Superior: waterfalls frozen in place, entire cliff faces encased in inches of ice. For more info on the Ice Caves check out  http://www.lakesuperior.com/travel/wisconsin/ice-caves-of-apostle-islands-national-lakeshore/

If Lake Superior is a little to far for some of you, don’t worry, Minnehaha Falls when frozen is absolutely beautiful and definitely lives up to the beauty that the ice caves up north has and is a must see.  (See picture below of Minnehaha Falls) go to http://www.minneapolisparks.org/parks__destinations/parks__lakes/minnehaha_regional_park/ For more info.

Minnesota winters can definitely be daunting and a little depressing at times BUT it doesn’t meant that there isn’t anything to do.  Winter brings its own flavor of fun and excitement and you need to do a little more searching to find them and I promise you wont be dissatisfied with the fun winter brings.

3749 121st Avenue NW, Coon Rapids, MN

3749 121st Avenue NW, Coon Rapids, MN

For Sale

Presented By:

Eric Wilson

Professional Realtor
Realty Group, Inc.
612-306-1666
Licensed In: Minnesota
License #: 40424206

  • Link on Facebook
 

Logo

$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS | 2 (2 full ) BATHROOMS | 1775 SQUARE FEET

Beautiful home in GREAT LOCATION! Close to shopping, bike trails, and schools. This 4 bedroom, 2 bath home has a BIG foyer and is in great condition! It also has a nice size yard that backs up to bike trails. Come take a look at this house it wont last long!

 

3749 121st Avenue NW, Coon Rapids, MN

3749 121st Avenue NW, Coon Rapids, MN

For Sale

Presented By:

Eric Wilson

Professional Realtor
Realty Group, Inc.
612-306-1666
Licensed In: Minnesota
License #: 40424206

  • Link on Facebook
 

Logo

$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS | 2 (2 full ) BATHROOMS | 1775 SQUARE FEET

Beautiful home in GREAT LOCATION! Close to shopping, bike trails, and schools. This 4 bedroom, 2 bath home has a BIG foyer and is in great condition! It also has a nice size yard that backs up to bike trails. Come take a look at this house it wont last long!

 

20 CRAZY facts about Thanksgiving and the month of November.

November, in my opinion, is one of the best months of the year!! Why? Well, there are a few different reasons why November is great.  First, it is when everyone starts getting ready for CHRISTMAS!!! You really start to feel the holiday spirit in your community and everyone starts to put up Christmas lights and trees.  Most importantly Christmas music is acceptable to play and listen to…. For the most part haha.

Second, Thanksgiving…… Let’s be honest it’s one of the two only holidays where it is 100% ok to eat until you need to be rolled back home, and no one will say a thing! I love eating so this is a holiday that I really look forward to.  Plus, you get to eat and mingle with great friends and family.

The third and final reason, holiday shopping.  I think everyone can agree once November comes we all start salivating for DEALS…. Not just any deals, deals we are willing to trample and kill people to get…. We start thinking of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Luckily Cyber Monday is a safer way to shop in November but large amounts of people still prefer to stand for hours and days in front of buildings so we can feel good about beating a little old lady to the TV’s just to rub it in her face.  Any other day of the year that would be probably be frowned upon lol.  But Black Friday has a long history of giving people deals of a lifetime both good and bad.

This website gives a list of 20 weird and crazy facts about November, Thanksgiving and Black Friday that could possibly make November even better…. or it might just make you feel in AW on how crazy people get during the month of November hahaha, ENJOY!

https://www.wimp.com/20-weird-thanksgiving-facts/