Holly has an interesting post today regarding “real America”.  In it she talks about being excited about the possibility of going to Wisconsin.  I had to add my two cents about the wonder that is Minnesota.  Unfortunately I think people have distinct ideas about what life here is like.  I’d like to take this opportunity to dispel some of those misconceptions.

What you should know about Minnesota:

We don’t all speak like extras from Fargo.  Sure, everyone has that aunt or elderly relative that will bust out the post title, but for the most part we don’t have a thick Scandinavian accent.  At least we don’t think we do.

It is NOT the frozen tundra.  Our winters are cold.  We get snow.  However, we also have beautiful springs, hot and humid summers and amazing falls.  You get all four seasons here. 

We have more than 10,000 lakes.  I sometimes think that every puddle is counted, but in reality the landscape here is amazing and we care a lot about keeping them clean and usuable – even in the winter.  I still don’t understand what is fun about ice fishing.

Minnesota Nice is not a myth.  You may disagree with me as soon as you hit the roads around here, but in general you will be hard pressed to find a mean Minnesotan.  We just hold in our rage until we get behind the wheel.  Even if we don’t like you we will be nice to your face because it’s just the right thing to do.

We take personal health seriously.  With the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and the University of Minnesota health system we have access to some of the best healthcare available.  Minnesota always stands out as one of the healthiest states in the union.  Opportunities for physical fitness abound and despite what you might hear about cream of mushroom soup being in all of our dishes we also have ample fresh produce, meat, dairy and grain thanks to our many, many farmers.

We don’t just sit around telling Ole and Lena jokes.  I think this one gets me the most.  We are not dumb hicks that live in igloos.  Minneapolis (and St. Paul to some extent) is a very cosmopolitan city.  You’ll find numerous museums, concert halls, theaters, fine dining, basically culture up the wazoo.  Honestly, it’s all much better than you would expect. 

Our team is probably NOT better than your team.  Sadly, I have to admit that our sports teams are not that great (at least as of late) but at least we have all four major franchises.  If you like a sport there is a good chance you’ll see it played here.  We even have pro soccer and la crosse!  The college teams are fun to watch too.  Plus, I don’t think there is a mascot much better than a Gopher.

Need a job?  Target, Best Buy, General Mills, 3-M, Medtronic among many, many others all headquarter here. 

Bob Dylan, Prince, Semisonic.  Minnesota music has something to offer to everyone.  We’re also usually included in all major tours and there are lots of great places to catch a concert.  There isn’t a major Minnesota celebration – the Aquatennial, Winter Carnival, State Fair, etc. – that doesn’t include some kind of music.

There are so many more reasons that I love living here (I’ll have to keep this list handy when it’s 15 below in January) but you really need to come and see it for yourself. 

I have an air mattress and a few sleeping bags if you need a place to stay.