The first time I set foot in Florence, I too felt the weight of giants. As a self-professed history lover, borderline nerd, I love going to cities that have extensive pasts. Whether they be good or bad. I think that history is our best teacher - you can learn so much from the scholars and artists that came centuries before you or I were even a dream in our parents' minds.
Have you ever smelled sap oozing from a balsam fir or white pine in the crisp air of early winter or late fall? It's chilling, revitalizing, enthralling and it makes you feel like you're using your lungs to the fullest capacity with every breath. I can't even begin to describe just how much this exact smell has made me want to ditch city life and move up to a pine grove in Northern Minnesota.
My great-grandmother used to tell many stories about it. Never to me - as she passed a few days before I was born - but these stories are always synonymous with her love of exploration. She loved it there. As do I.
FIKA: is a concept, a state of mind, an attitude and an important part of Swedish culture. Many Swedes consider that it is almost essential to make time for fika every day. It means making time for friends and colleagues to share a cup of coffee (or tea) and a little something to eat.
We Minnesotans know that our state is well-known for our harsh (and long) winters, often full of snow and no short supply of ice. But one of the most beautiful things about northern Minnesota, is being able to see it just as the ice and snow start to melt away, but there's just enough to give the area the moody, eerie, majestic feel that captivates the minds and hearts of many.