The Coolest Small Town in America

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If you would have asked me a few years ago, my only idea of nature inspired beauty and paradise was a beach. While Panama City Beach, FL will always hold the title of my home-away-from-home and one true love, I have come to appreciate and truly treasure a different kind of surrounding. My boyfriend and his family have a cabin in Ely, which is in northern Minnesota, and I visited the quaint little town this time last year and again over the 4th of July.

My eyes were opened to an entirely new landscape and I already can’t wait to go back. Ely was voted The Coolest Small Town in America and for good reason. Its downtown is filled with small bars and restaurants, shopping spots, and lots of fishing/camping outfitters. I never expected to enjoy nature (or canoeing for that matter) as much as I did, but wow! I mean, you can bathe in the lakes there. We sure don’t do that here in Illinois/Missouri. You technically can but cleanliness probably isn’t your goal. So anyway, while I’m daydreaming about what Ely is like this time of year, I thought I’d share some photos from that trip (sorry for the overload).

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View from the deck of the cabin.

008 (2)The sauna!


Kawishiwi Falls on Kawishiai Falls Trail


221Jas and Adam!



The prettiest portage.




Again, sorry for the picture overload, but it was hard to cut it down to even this many! It’s such a beautiful place. Have any of you been to Ely or somewhere near it?

Signature fishfingers


I think I’ll climb a mountain today.

My family and I visit Arizona pretty frequently because my brother, sister-in-law and niece live there. When we were visiting a few weeks ago for our family Christmas celebration, I got to experience a new (not to mention exhausting) opportunity. Arizona State University’s football stadium is nestled between two mountains, one being named “A Mountain.”

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One day my mom, sister-in-law, Neely, and I felt on the adventurous side and decided to climb said mountain. Well let me tell you, that sucker was steep. It had to be at least a 50 degree incline, so my out of shape self was huffing and puffing the whole way up. Once we made it to the top, took a few photos, and I caught my breath, I felt a serious sense of accomplishment and pride. So if you ever have the chance to do something a little out of your comfort zone, I encourage you to grab it by the horns. How many people can say that they have climbed a mountain in their lifetime? Well I have!

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