My Weekend Up North plus a traveling guide to North Minnesota

There are not many guide books about Minnesota so I hope these will be great guides too. 

coverfornorthvk.jpgI did not go camping, I wouldn’t even glamp. Maybe. We stayed in a local AmericaInn Hotel in Silver Bay, MN. If you follow my instagram and saw my story of my trip you would have seen the “room tour” of “that’s where we sleep, thats the bathroom and that’s the door”. But, it was the perfect stay for being close to everything we want to do and right off the road. Our first day was just to get there, a stop over in Duluth for food and walk the boardwalk. I’ve been to Duluth a lot, my grandmother lived in Duluth. We ate at one place I new of called Grandma’s. I like it, its local, its fun, the staff are lovely and the food is great. Because I’m not eating meat while state side I had a wild rice burger which I liked A LOT. It is actually a popular thing up here. Wild Rice is an important food  for the Native American’s.  While in Duluth we saw this sign that read “I’m reading for an adventure” and we were.Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Saturday

We drove on State highway 61 up to Grand Maria, a small tourist town, an hour south from the Canadian boarder. You enter above with a great view of the town that was below right on the lake. Don’t be mistaken that is a lake. We parked in a lot that’s right next to the lifeguard house. And walked up, our first stop was “World’s Best Doughnuts” we were going to see if they were the ‘best’. It was a 15 minute line, there is a second window but you don’t get to go inside to see the donuts and I wanted to see them. They are under 2 dollars, have a variety of flavours. But are they the world’s best? I went for Chet’s Best which was plane one with chocolate and sprinkles. It was good the only thing me and my friend both said it was very sugary. There was a chunk of frosting on it, they said “like eating cake”.

We headed onto the shore and did some walking on some rocks. It was almost like the Irish shore in Gtown, but I new I wasn’t because  Pine trees.  Grand Maria is a cute little town, I liked if for it wasn’t commercialises, sorry no Starbucks. There is this cute little library next to the doughnut shop.  If you are going to head this way definitely stop in Grand Maria, you’ll see a lot that you really don’t expect to see.

IMG_1503We headed back south out of Grand Maria, we weren’t going to Canada, and began our journey to the state parks. We got a weekend pass at Temperance State Park, our first stop, it cost 14 dollars. The ranger in there was very helpful when we told her were we were heading. She told us the best way to get there (exactly what google said) and what we needed to see. And were to park. At Temperance was a quick little bridge walk above this small little off high way water fall. A walk down and a climb onto rocks we ended up on this small little tiny rock beach ( i wouldn’t call it sand) were we again climbed some rocks then headed back up, across 61 to the other side were we adventure under the bridge to get a little closer and cooler view of the water. DON”T GET CLOSE! We moved on for a half hour drive, most on a dirt road to George Crosby Manitou State Park. Where we walked around the lake, we weren’t close to the lake, but it was a nice cool walk in the woods. Our next and longest stop was at Tettegouche State Park.  We were so glad we ended here first, cause there was a lot more to see, a lot more to walk, and we wanted to spend our time here.

Once we got to the top, we decided to go to the lower falls which was about 10 minutes walk over and 5 minutes down A LOT of stairs. That you will have to walk up eventually. We went over to the rocks and sat in front of the water looking straight at the waterfall. Taking the shoes off and dipping our feet in. We sat for awhile, not wanting  take on those 150 stairs. But when we did, we adventured to the other one, across the shacky bridge, down some more stairs (going to walk back up these) to the shore and this large water fall–its not big but it’s pretty big. I quickly took of my pants-my swim suit was

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underneath and went in. I was so hot. I also always wanted to swim near a waterfall-the water is not deep enough to swim I basically skinned my knees and was ankle deep. We were so happy to end there and headed back to figure out food. Since there was no place around the hotel, we weren’t camping, I had the restrictions and seemed everything closed at 7. But the one place that didn’t was in Two Harbors, a small town, half hour away. Which wasn’t bad and got us onto another evening adventure. To some boat watching, iron rage exploration and more rocks. There is another beach spot to swim in Lake  Superior but how can you beat swimming in a waterfall?

 

I love climbing rocks! 

Sunday

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It was check out day but more adventure a head! Our first stop was the light house, Split Rock. The parks open at 6 am but the lighthouse wasn’t opening until 10. And us not in any hurry ended up there at 9 am! That’s what happens we you don’t set a schedule you really ended up a head of the game. Which really paid of in our favour cause the gates were open, we didn’t have to pay to go to see the lighthouse and ended up walking the 2 mile walk that we took off the path and on the rocks near the shoe, a head of everyone else. Walking the path is free, seeing the light house is going to cost you.

After Split Rock and Pebble beach, which was the end point of the trail, we headed back to the car to head to our final stop; Gooseberry Falls State Park. There was a LOT of people there, which we soon found out was because this was an easy simple spot; also a swimming whole for kids to play on. Me not wanting to be near people, headed to this little top of rock area were you could walk through some stream of water and sit close to the edge. The one thing I had was we were sitting chatting enjoy outselfes, me with my camera and a drown came above us. It’s agents the law to fly them in the state park, but I hated cause its such a public place and there was some stranger videoing me. I’m fine for when your in like the middle of the ocean but not were children are running around. But we continued out, adventuring across the rocks, water, seeing a few more smaller waterfalls, going into the water to get some cool shots–my long hair ends barely touching it. I think this spot is really cool, but there are just too many people everywhere there is no like relaxing, someone is going to get in your shot not the biggest deal but you kind of don’t want a kid in your photograph you know?

After that we headed back south home, stuck in an hour of traffic, which I LOVE (sarcasm) But this weekend was great, I always need a weekend away especially when things get too much. I always would escape to the beach and my secret spot in Gtown. And this was my three hour drive escape. I didn’t really realize I needed this weekend until after, I felt good, I felt like this was the happiness I’ve been needing. And it brought on this new form of confidence and inability to focus come Monday. But Wednesday morning, reality hit again. Don’t you just hate that? But, I know that happiness and confidence is in me!Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

I do recommend if you ever in Minnesota go up North, there is really nothing like it and you really don’t expect it to be in Minnesota because in the city it is truly city life; then you get back of nowhere to farm land, to nothing again. But up north you get this woods, lake, and beautiful scenery. It had to be the lake for me, cause I finally saw the Horizon end, it’s what I’ve been looking for!

If you want to see more photos & I have lots check out the FB page (like it!) and instagram all at A City Girl Story 

 

Bad Dates Part 2

I decided to create a blog series on bad dates and everything in between. And I’ve been on dates and began seeing guys who’ve been nice don’t misunderstand me. The focus here is the “bad”. We are talking about dating for 20 something girls, this isn’t some high school dating shit. This is dating where you might want to find the one, might want that guy you can depend on, the guy you can talk to, go on the adventure with, who’s your best friend. This is Part 2 of Bad Date Series. Read part 1: bad dates and self love.

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In this second part of bad date series, we are going head first into those frustrating “I’m seeing the guy”, fuck boys, and the guy who isn’t really looking for a relationship. And how they are important to have but soon or later you have to cut them off and wave goodbye.

First, let me tell you I’ve been there. I was seeing a guy where we weren’t seeing each other but I saw him. I saw him on Thursday night for a drive, I saw him on a night out. I was seeing a guy who all we did was talk through the messenger, never wanted to meet up unless it was on a night out. I was seeing a guy but the minute I needed someone to talk to or be there he suddenly wasn’t. Was it too much to ask for, obviously it was? A term I learned is breadcrumbing. I was being breadcrumbed by these guys– I wasn’t some queen; instead, I was a regular girl there for their needs and entertainment. But, hey it got me to the girl I am today and I can share those experiences with you. So let me tell you about these bad dates and hope that when you decide to walk away it’ll be the BEST thing you will EVER do!

 

So what happens when you start seeing the guy and suddenly the conversation has stopped, only sees you on a Thursday night? You are questioning if you can even tell him things, or if he cares. All you’re getting from the guy is a few snaps. There is something wrong here. How do you know when the guy you’re seeing is going to stop playing and start to be “something”. Or how do you stop wasting your time on guys who do things that are just between fuck boy and a guy you saw? I’ve had the 4 am phone calls asking me if I was around, I told them they better be dead if they are waking me up from my beauty sleep. I got those pop-up snaps that I knew what they were. These guys weren’t a waste of time, but they wasted a lot of my time. It took a lot of same old shit to get to the point of goodbye.

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Suddenly, dating is not dating to hang out with the girl, go on adventures; it’s all about ‘getting down with it” a phrase that was said to me. But, hey, at least the guy was nice enough to take you out to dinner first.

Here’s the thing. We’ve all been there. It’s all fun until you began to realize it’s not fun anymore. Whatever the situation was, who it was, one way or another we girls have been there. Hanging out with a guy, talking to a guy; and suddenly you’re only seeing him horizontal on your basement coach as he whispers in your ear something like “it would be the best I would ever have-” it happen! The guy you have a crush on becomes exactly what you didn’t want him to be. A tool. So what do you do?

You may think this is as good as its going to get and you deserve to be treated and keep going with the guy; despite it. NO HELL no! See Part 1. You, girl, are powerful and don’t deserve the guy who’s going to only talk to you when he wants something from you or the guy who after hanging out with him walks out on you like your some one night stand; making you feel so gross. The one thing you have to ask yourself do you want to? As long as you feel confident and will not feel like your self-worth just got flushed down the toilet go for it–wear that crown. Girl power! But if it does not then don’t even bother to because those “hanging out” boys will only see you as that.

It might actually be you.

Sometimes its, not even the guy that breadcrumbing it’s you. You are hanging out, it’s going really well, maybe but nothing is really there. OR have you ever just forced it because A. you feel bad B. your bored C. giving too many chances. I had to convince myself to hang out with guys even though I didn’t like them. Only because he was the little ‘excitement’ (because entertainment sounds bad) through out my day but it wasn’t thrilling–no butterflies were flipping in my stomach.The best advice I got that I’m giving you when it comes to hanging out with guys and you’re forcing it; that no matter how much you may want a boyfriend, someone to hang out with or a guy in your life it’s not worth wasting your time. Because when you know, you know.

We are queens worthy of a king. The game can be fun, the attention can be thrilling, especially when you’re young but those calls at 4 in the morning, popping up because they heard you were in town, sending you a snap chat and you know what it is–is going to get old. Leaving those guys behind may make you feel like your alone but I will say you will feel more powerful than ever because of it. Look at you, you’re killin’ it you don’t need a guy who only wants you for a minute!

A City Girl Guide: Favourite walk in MPLS

It seems only write to start writing these city girl guides again about Minnesota since that is where I am living ATM. 

Refer to this map throughout:

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First Stop St. Anthony West: We are starting this walk on the other side of the River in St. Anthony West. I call this “St. Anthony Side” but its St Anthony West, down from University Street area filled with college student housing. It’s a quiet area that is along the Mississippi River. It is pretty easy to get here, even by car. Parking can be a hassle some days but this side is the best side to park on. You want to begin more near Hennepin Island (look at the map) because we will end back over here for some food.

IMG_0423Walk Across the Stone Arch Bridge: This is my favorite spot, maybe cause in college my friend lived nearby and we would walk all the time or maybe cause it was easy to get to or maybe the fact I didn’t have to be in the city but still get those views. It’s a popular bridge with runners, bikers, and families. You get to see the damn, the cityscape.  Once you reach the other side there is a lot you can see like the Guthrie Theater which brings us to the next point of our destination. On the other side of the bridge is where the free parking lot is, head under the bridge to the very end there are only 10 spots, 2-hour parking but it is free!

Mill City Park and Guthrie Theater: Guthrie Theater has a lot of great plays on that I recommend looking and seeing about going to a show, but on this walk head up the escalator to the bridge where you get to see a view of the stone arch bridge. Pass the Guthrie Theater there is the Mill City Park, a great park to walk around, sit, read a book or go to Izzy Ice Cream (if the line isn’t too long). On the other side, heading back to the bridge you pass the Mill City Museum, a fun place where you get a history of the area. I recommend.

Walk the Streets: Head east down away from the Bridge. You’re going to walk in a more quite, neighborhood area but you want to get to the edge of the city center to Penny’s Cafe. A cute little cafe in a business building where you can sit in the window and watch people stuck in traffic.

Cross the Hennepin bridge: You going to head out of the coffee shop and to the more traffic friendly Hennepin bridge back over the water back to the St Anthony side. Here you will get a nice view of the river, it will be more hustle since cars can drive on here too.18422441_10155156166528463_2356481777854599859_o

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Nicollet Island and more of St. Anthony: Nicollet Island is a small park with wedding venue and a hotel on it, walking on you’ll end up in a row of restaurants of St. Anthony. There all pretty great, I’ve eaten at Pracna on Main. This area has no shops only food, but it’s really nice in the summer. There is much, only places to eat, wedding venues, homes, and a segway tour. But it is worth walking through!

This walk can take up to two hours depending how long you spend in each spot, I mean if you don’t stop and walk it takes 15 minutes. This area is more of a walking area and on the way, you can stop for a coffee or a place to eat. But remember these are sit down places that will take up to an hour. I personally, walk either across the bridge then head to the park or walk along the St. Anthony side.

 

If you are going to take this walk, let me know I’d love to know 🙂 Also I am planning on doing a City Girl Guide of Minnesota every weekend starting NEXT weekend!

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Making friends in your 20s

 We are talking about making friends in our 20s. How it’s not easy.

 

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This image is not mine I found it on pinterest & i love it. If i could put friends in a picture this would be it.

Friendship. Something that seems natural but in reality it something you have to work at, can easily lose; and if you weren’t friends since kindergarten then whats the point.  Having friends is important. Friends are people you can talk to, hang out with, laugh with, knows your secrets, sleep overs, sharing clothes, etc. But, when your in your 20s, out of college, your friends are moving on with their lives and so are you, there is this gap in your life. Suddenly, you find yourself looking for friends. And when your in your 20s its awkward and hard cause you should have friends right?Making friends in your 20s.jpg

If you’re anything like me your friends are scattered around the world. It’s great but it can also get hard sometimes because there not their to share moments and go do things with. I’ve always made friends, even before I moved to Ireland. Meeting people was easy for me. I have always been a small group person, I didn’t want to many people around; and growing up my history with friends wasn’t easy one. But that made the ones who were my friends very special and our bond was strong. When I move to Ireland I was very lucky to have had the  family I worked for aunt around my age and then meeting other Au Pairs in the area who were all came around the same time I came. I got on well with a few of the Au Pairs. But, of course, we broke up (friend break ups are a thing and is a topic I like to touch on in another time).  I became part of the Irish girls group which I loved a lot; they showed me how to put on tan-you can’t go back after that!  When I move to the city it was harder; people in my course where older then me. And it was harder cause I lived there for a year but my american accent was clear. I had my roommates who I met people through. But it wasn’t until my friends birthday that I found my sole sisters; we hit it off right away. Eager to have girlfriends, I message them, chatting with them, asking if they were free and the was squad formed. I also was using social media to connect with girls that went to my school through twitter and instagram. And it worked, not only was I using my blog as a way to put myself out there, network but make friends. Side note: I love the little blogger connections I’ve made, it is really nice feeling and thing to have is friends in blogging world; and it isn’t like some network thing. These bloggers could easily be friends with in real life, going to pubs, shopping, having a laugh with. I love making connections and when they *spark* I am happy!

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Now, moved again not in college or joining ‘girls who lived abroad’ group, meeting friends is much harder. And it seemed when you did go out no one was willing to go outside there group of friends to talk to you. The whole you have to know people really was true. So how do you make friends in your 20s?

You think you’ll make friends at work but you are working with a variety of different ages and some will talk about there kids-you don’t have a kid. Or you meet someone and they have their own lives and priorities. Or their bio on bumble is “looking for friends when my boyfriend is busy”.  If you don’t like to drink wine or wear pink then you can’t sit with them. Not saying they tell you not to sit with them, but it can feel like that.

I actually don’t have an answer for you; which kind of makes this post pointless. However, after moving back using social media like I did in grad school and going on  bumble (a dating app) BFF mode which was cool, there might be an answer. First, did it work? Kind of, some girls I connected with, but I got myself off bumble. Being a kid born in the 90s not use to this technology it’s awkward and we don’t know what to do with it. It seems unnatural.  For me I found the hard part was finding the people with the same interest, values and mind set, meaning willing to make friends. I didn’t want to watch the Bachelor or drinking wine, going to brunch wasn’t my thing. And it was clear I was definitely in a different place then a lot of people, while they were picking out wedding dresses or baby clothes I wasn’t and I was fine with it. And with instagram, I found, everyone was using it to basically network for there blog like a business and making friends is no business.

When making friends you need to be willing and most importantly being friendly!IKTL5408.jpg

Sure your in your 20s your growing up, you have a life, you have your friends, but there is no problem mingling with others when out and chatting them up you might get on really well.  Honestly one thing I miss and is lacking in making and meeting people is deep meaningful conversation and making real friend connections. If I decided that I had my friends at my friends birthday party, and just talked to the people I new and didn’t talk to anyone else I would haven’t met my squad girls. So if your anything like me and want to put in an Ad in the paper for friends then put yourself out there, use the technology we have, its odd its weird but try it! Be friendly, talk to them like you would talk to them in person. Be willing to talk to people outside your friend group,

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ask them if they want to do something, invite yourself, say hi and you never know the person you say hi to might be looking to make friends too. Thus, they will be doing the same things and say hi back. If not, well they aren’t going to be your friend. You want friends who are going to be your friend, not just for a minute or cause their boyfriend is busy, that’s not a friend. I keep the same mindset of how to meet friends with connecting with bloggers–I want to surround myself with different, loving, determine, supportive, people. Making friends is hard in your 20s but maybe go back to your 5 year old days and just ask if they want to be your friend.

You can tell I’m all about those friendships and meaningful connections.

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I like writing stuff like these so if you have any ideas of what other friendship topics I should talk about let me know, really! 

 

 

Spilled Ink: How to feel like you have privacy in a public setting

In the times where vlogging and sharing your everyday life how does one stay private?

Sharing everything is how people do things now. We share things for people to know what is happening and to share our excitement. We are sharing so much that our privacy becomes public. Putting yourself out there is like putting a piece of you out there. Even in a private setting your putting yourself out there. But focusing on blogging and the question of privacy….

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Again and again, I have moments where I don’t want to blog. I don’t want to write a city girl story or tell my story despite it is something I love and really enjoy doing because of scam accounts and creepiness. I think that is why I want to find a career to write for other things so I won’t feel so ‘exposed’. But even if I had a career I would keep doing this CAUSE I LOVE It.

Anyways the other day my moment of “I want to go private I want to delete everything” came again when I found an inappropriate account following my blog on bloglovin and there was no block button. The first thing I thought was I didn’t want this associated with my blog, I didn’t want them to see what I write or share EVEN though I control and edit what I say.  Seeing those spam and scam accounts seeing what I’m putting out, strangers is scary thing. Another example is when I was in Dublin I did ask what people suggestions on what to see or if any bloggers that live want to meet up (next time personally message them) BECAUSE I got a request message from a guy who didn’t follow me asking me out, I stocked him naturally he did live in Dublin still CREEPY. I’m very quick at the block button, very quick at figuring out if its creepy at all. I’ve heard worst stories of guys messaging girls and all I can say is, because this can easily be a whole different blog post, is  random ass guys message girls like what gives you this idea to do that. Even if it is a harmless hey–its still some strange ass dude with a private account. It feels violating.

This isn’t my first time experiencing this feeling, I’ve had my experience before social media even exist. And I’ve seen others ask strangers to add them on snapchat. Like how unsafe is that.  And having these things pop up, getting those messages, having them see my stuff–really makes me feel unease. I have some of my social media so far hidden that no one can find me.  When being a blogger or being public with your stuff, there is no hiding. I limit myself, I don’t post selfies, I see who’s following me, who’s seeing my stuff which can be very bad but its also a safety thing for me. I want to do more with blogging, do videos on instagram story but the more expose I get the more scams, creepiness or even harassment–I once had two little lads comment with emojis tagging there mates–I responded then blocked them cause NO! I will not have that, I’m not some side walk.

The important thing is we have to tech how to deal with social media. About being smart, aware, and  know there are things out there you shouldn’t post or even respond–I didn’t respond to any of those messages I get. However, I still feel violated & exposed-wanting to pull back.  when this robot or actual people pop up like this. Either way you have to keep in mind how much you want to share and who will see it. It’s not just about screening calls anymore the world and technology have advanced too much.

And for those private accounts, you have, well there private for reasons. Those should be yours.

Flash Fiction: Loving a wild and complicated woman

If you don’t follow me on Facebook or instagram you might not know I’m working on a project and you should then follow me so then you will get to see all the happens of my so called life and this project that the other day I wanted to delete and never write again. Because of that feeling I’m sharing a flash fiction piece I wrote that will be in the book. I’m really trying to keep creative writing more on social media other then the blog and write more creative thoughtful pieces instead–which this can be both really. 

Loving a wild and complicated woman

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We are wild and complicated women. We are the women who can not be easily defined for we have so many interests and passion in our eyes. We are everywhere but we can’t be seen. We are only recognizes by our walk into a room. Letting you know we are the women of nature who will not only cause chaos but calm the waves of the ocean. You can not reset us.

You’ll love us and it will be difficult. Because our minds are filled with thoughts and imagination. We’re never losing our sense of wonder.  We find home and love in the places and people we cross paths with.  But we lose ourselves in the details of the world; in the sounds of the ocean, on a crispy fall day when the leaves change, watching the snow fall onto the car window and in the moonlight.

We believe we do not belong in cages we have our wings on our backs that need to soar. We thrive and live by chaos and the unconventional ways. We want to feel safe with you but we don’t want you to hold our hands. We want to kiss you when and wherever we want but we don’t want you to hold us back. We want to go dancing on the dance floor and you to watch us from the side, wishing for us to love you back. We want you to want us and you will because we are the wild and complicated women you can not resist.   

Told that women like us are too much of everything, but you love us cause of that. We can’t be handled nor do we want to be. However, if you can handle us then you will have us, for the rest of your life. We want to love and affection, we want to support, we want respect. The world wants to define us but we define ourselves. We are wild and complicated women who have never been so vibrant in a world that badly wants structure and order. We are wild and complicated women who won’t be tamed. And you love us anyways.

 

What to wear this Fourth of July

 Here is what I styled together this 4th of July.

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This will be my first 4th of July back in awhile and celebrating over seas was a lot different then here because if it landed on a Monday we still had to go to work. Also there were no 4th of July sales and I couldn’t find American flag themed anything. Which is expected because they wouldn’t be celebrating the 4th of July. (believe it or not I’ve said that to a few people and they couldn’t believe me). I had to find my own red cups, blue plates, and make my own red jello for my BBQ one year; and it worked out pretty well. And when it came to putting a 4th July outfit together I had only red, white and blue to work with–and this year I kept with that.

I thought about buying a shirt, swim suit, even a jean jacket ALL with the American flag and fourth July vibes on them, but like I said you really would only wear it on the 4th of July.

Knowing I was going to my first festival on the 4th I wanted to get an outfit that was perfect! When I saw this little romper in Zara I knew this was it. Pin stripe red and white perfect for the 4th. And a cut out for keeping cool in the summer heat.

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I love the back of it. The little tie in the back with the cut outs; it really is super sexy and actually keeps you cool.  And they really show off my back tattoo. Honestly am not a stripe fan when it comes to clothes; doesn’t look good on camera and they can change the shape of your body. But this romper doesn’t because of all the cut outs and details.

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The ruffles is something I LOVE because its different for me. Brings out the girly side in me.

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I accessorised the romper with my Steve Madden shoes I wore for my graduation. And I made my own bandana out of white fabric.

 

To add the blue I had my Zara jacket but really you don’t need a jacket in this summer weather.

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I’m spending my 4th of July at Summerfest in WI. My first ever festival, I know its no Coachella, Electric Picnic, or any Irish festival. It’s an urban festival set up in a fair ground made for Summerfest. Also probably not a lot of people will be festive; I know now with Instagram and Youtube more people are putting an effort but here state side people mostly keep it real casual. Wait til the state fair.

More pictures on the FB page. And if I get to 100 likes on Fb I’m going to do a give away with a few bits City Girl things