I love Minnesota because...

... if you drive about an hour south of the cities on 169 you end up here: Jim's Apple Farm, more commonly known as the big yellow barn. As you step into this magical barn, the smell of fresh baked pies fills the air. Pies bake all day long (as long as the light is on) and the cutest old man pulls them out of the oven and sets them on checkered table clothes to cool.
My mom and I headed to the pie counter as soon as we arrived, and loaded our basket with peach and cherry pies. My mom exclaimed, "Daina, they are still warm!" as she frantically packed them into boxes as if we were getting the last pies of the day. We also got a huge apple danish and apple cookies, also both freshly made. We were pumped.
In addition to pies, the barn has more kinds of licorice than any person would ever need, every type of candy imaginable, and hundreds of puzzles lining the walls and ceiling. The refrigerators are full of apple smoked bacon, old fashioned sodas, and a huge assortment of root beer. Oh, and then there are the shelves of pasta, salsa, barbecue sauce, maple syrup, popcorn, and beef jerky. So really, the big yellow barn has everything you would ever want or need.

We had to laugh as the woman at the counter gave us a large box for our purchases. We did not hold back.
One of my favorite items was my box of gummy eggs. They looked so cute, and had a yummy peach flavor (not egg, ha!).
It is not often that you read this sign as you enter and exit a store. I am fairly confident when I say that the yellow barn may be one of the last businesses that takes personal checks over credit cards.
After our adventures in the big yellow barn, we drove further south to Gustavus, my mom's alma mater and Cody and Duncan's current college. The boys are instructors at a tennis camp there all summer, so we went straight to the tennis bubble when we arrived and watched them work for a few minutes with the campers. After they finished, we went out to dinner in town and stopped for milk shakes for dessert. Cody and Duncan go to this market every night for shakes, and were eager to show us the shake machines. It's all about the small things.
It was a great night with my family.


  1. I love that barn! I stopped there one time with my mom on our way down to visit my bro! I wonder if your brothers know my brother! I love Gustavus!

  2. Everything about Minnesota looks amazing! I want to go just to visit all the places mentioned in your post, even just the pies alone!


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