CategoryGirl About Town

Christmas Lights on Winter Walks


The title of this blog post feels dishonest because it doesn’t feel like winter in Minnesota at all. With temperatures in the 50s over the weekend, our snow has melted and the streets are a sloppy mess. Most people seem thrilled by this turn of events, I am not. I love the snow. I love  bundling up in my homemade knitwear, hearing the crunch of snow under my feet, and feeling like I have...

Swedish Christmas Celebrations


Julmarknad at the American Swedish Institute I love the holidays. One of my favorite holiday traditions is a new one, it’s visiting the American Swedish Institute for Julmarknad.  The Best-Good Friend and I buy treasures made by local artisans in the craft market and then take our time exploring the Turnblad Mansion. During the holiday season, the mansion’s rooms are decorated to...

Spinning a Yarn


Back at the Spinning Wheel Rain came to Minnesota this weekend. While I ran errands and thought of Marilyn Monroe’s breathy rendition of “We’re Having a Heatwave,” it seemed like the perfect weather to spend a little quality time with an old friend. My spinning wheel has been sitting neglected for nearly a year. At some point, our old cat Virgil ate the drive band –...

A Closer Look: Wood Lake Nature Center


Wood Lake Nature Center was one of the first nature centers built in the Twin Cities. Dedicated in 1971, it was once a recreational lake surrounded by homes. The lake was drained of most of its water in the 1950s. Friends of Wood Lake (FOWL) was formed in 1991 and thanks to their advocacy and fundraising efforts, Wood Lake thrives in Richfield, Minnesota. Approximately 72,000 visitors enjoy the...

A Wood Lake Walk


Whenever I talk to people about how much I love living in Minneapolis, I tell them about how our fair city was built preserving green space. Because of that, this nature girl doesn’t have to go far to enjoy the outdoors. The beautiful fall weather was perfect for a visit to Wood Lake Nature Center. This nature preserve  isn’t in Minneapolis proper, but neighboring Richfield is as...

Fall in Love with the Arboretum


One of the best things about living in the Midwest is fall. It has been a lovely one this year; the leaves are changing color, the air is getting cooler and animals are getting ready for winter. It is a beautiful time to visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. We walked among the dahlias: I was distracted by the busy bees: And the butterflies: The colors were so vibrant: This flower looked like...

The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America


It’s the time of year when I find myself pondering the question… could I run a marathon? The Twin Cities Marathon is dubbed the Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America and is one of the Top 10 U.S. Marathons. The 26.2 mile course runs through beautiful scenery (right past my house) and finishes at the state capitol. This year, 8,858 runners finished the race with an average time of...

Fall Escapes to the North Woods


Have I mentioned lately how much I love camping? We packed up the car and headed north for some scamping, it was our first visit to Big Bog State Recreation Area. It’s right by Upper Red Lake, Red Lake is the largest freshwater lake located entirely within Minnesota. The air was alive with monarch butterflies. And something far more sinister. We watched this female Northern Harrier hunting...

Calling All Fire Trucks!


I love fire trucks. And I love parades. What could be better than a parade of fire trucks? In the late 1970s, Roger Jackson, a Burnsville resident and fire equipment collector started displaying his collection with the help of his friends. A great source of entertainment for local kids, it included a short parade of equipment down Nicollet Avenue. It was such a hit, the Burnsville Fire Muster...

Where’s the Fire?


Who doesn’t love a fire truck? How about a hundred fire trucks?  It was a lovely day for the Burnsville Fire Muster Parade! The Mother and I have been attending this parade for longer than I can remember, it has always been a highlight of the fall season. This year had new surprises, like the Ames Horses leading the trucks down the route! And my absolutely favorites, the Zurhah Motorcycle...

New Labor Day Traditions


We celebrated the Labor Day weekend with a brand new tradition, The Van Heel Family Fish Fry! The Mother and I headed up to the family farm for an afternoon of fun and merriment. I heard that the fish was fantastic but I was there for the other Van Heel tradition – the sweets. It was a beautiful day to be out on the farm. The Van Heels came from Holland and settled in Minnesota in the...

Heidi Van Heel

Heidi Van Heel

Writer, freelancer, and believer in magic living in Minneapolis. In my free time, I love reading, exploring the great outdoors, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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