Travel

French Teachers Can Make the Best Tour Guides

Mayor Jim Hovland has been at the helm of city government in Edina since 2005. Meanwhile, his wife LaRae Ellingson Hovland has enjoyed a fulfilling career as a French teacher in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school district. She started there in 1981, the same year as fellow French teacher Linda Albertson. Since then, the two have led dozens of trips to France. These educational trips were initially only for their high school French language students. More recently, the two began to co-lead separate adult trips to France for friends and friends of friends.

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Minnesota Globetrotters

Four years ago, then-newlyweds Katie Diederichs and Ben Zweber quit their full-time jobs, loaded up a backpack each and boarded a cheap flight to Colombia. Their plan was to spend three months backpacking throughout South America, but even now, their adventure has yet to really end. Katie and Ben have spent the last several years traveling across the world, and though they realize the nomadic life might not be for everyone, they’re confident that affordable—and, more importantly, sustainable—adventures are possible, even on a tight budget.

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We're Going on an Adventure

The Weigelts

Lindsay Weigelt and her husband, J.C. Weigelt, travel and outdoor enthusiasts, have been taking their kids, Bennett, 7, and Finley, 4, on cool trips since they were infants.

“We try to travel as much now as we did before kids,” Lindsay says. “Sometimes they’re better travelers than we are as adults.”

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Historical Society Executive Director Journeyed through Russia and Scandinavia

Swedish immigrants have had a significant impact on Minnesota. Culturally and economically, the importance of Swedish immigration is almost impossible to overstate. In 1867, the state of Minnesota established an official State Board of Immigration. It’s not a coincidence that the first secretary of the Immigration Board was himself a Swedish immigrant and lawyer, Hans Mattson. Swedish immigration was a major issue for all the states in the region at the time. Between 1820 and 1920, about 1.3 million Swedes immigrated to the U.S., according to the Carver County Historical Society (CCHS).

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Local Travel Agency Specializes in Trips to Africa

Craig Beal likes to say the most dangerous part of an African safari is the drive down Interstate 494 to get to the MSP airport. As the owner of Travel Beyond, a Wayzata-based luxury travel consultancy and agency, Beal is an old hand at safaris. His agency is one of a handful worldwide that specialize in planning non-hunting safaris in southern and eastern Africa.

The agency was recently honored by the influential Travel+Leisure magazine, which named it a top 10 safari outfitter.

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A Tonka Bay Native Launches Her Own Travel Consulting Business Focused on Out-of-the-box Experiences and Family-friendly Adventures

Mollie Krengel’s life is all about balance. She’s a businesswoman and a mom. Full of energy and full of calm. She’s always engaged in the world around her, whether she’s cozying up at her parents’ home on Lake Minnetonka, or traveling around the globe with her own kids. Krengel, who grew up in Plymouth and Tonka Bay, is the creative mind behind Wildfam, a travel consulting biz that’s filling a gap in the travel industry: super up-to-date guides that focus on hidden gems, nitty-gritty details and—best of all—kid-friendly stuff to do in cities all over the world.

Fun in the Sun

Spring Break for Edina Public Schools begins March 27 and that means many students and their families will enjoy some downtime together before finishing out the school year. Grace McGurran, an Edina High School senior, tells us what she’ll be doing during her time off. “I am most excited to have a week in paradise with my best friends. Many of us have been best friends since pre-school and elementary school and I cannot wait to celebrate our last 13 years in school together.” Grace is planning some tropical travel this spring break that will include swimming and snorkeling.

USA Today Travel Names Stillwater One of America’s Most Picturesque Small Towns

While this likely doesn’t come as a shock to Stillwater residents and visitors, the city was named one of the “most picturesque small towns” in the United States by USA Today Travel. The ranking from October was based on research and crowdsourcing, and Stillwater took the top spot for Minnesota’s selection for its scenic riverfront views, bustling historic downtown and year-round seasonal events.

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Hudson on the Small Screen

Offering a glimpse of the year-round destination town of Hudson, the television program Discover Wisconsin—Hudson: Beauty on the St. Croix is airing for a second time on January 9. The 30-minute program first aired in March 2015 and takes viewers on a virtual tour of the riverside Wisconsin town.

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Travel Log: Holiday in the Sun

Thinking about a last-minute getaway to escape the cold? Andrea Wallace of Midwest Travel Service says there’s still time, but you have to act fast. “Be flexible,” Wallace says. “Traveling midweek can sometimes save you hundreds of dollars.”

Wallace says using a travel agent is to your advantage. She says agents save time, they often have contacts with airlines and resorts, they understand fine print and can often offer you a payment plan.

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