I spoke this morning for a MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) group in Excelsior. After my talk I walked down by the bay where the water is surrounded by tall pointed posts with painted white tips. It looks like the backdrop to a Nicolas Spark's novel. Up the street are a handful of Bed and Breakfasts that would work themselves well into a romantic story.
The quaint town has an affectionate air about it, inviting and relaxed. My first stop–the candy shop called, "Simply Nuts & Things." It makes me think of my friend, Megan, and how she laughs at the new marketing ploy to label nearly every food item as "simply" or "natural" as a way to convince us these things are really okay to eat. I know that is not aim of this store as they only sell sugar or anything closely related– marketing to people's temptations instead of health. But, I love thinking of my friend as I walk in the store and our shared humor.
I buy some old-fashioned licorice pieces for my dad, his favorite since he was a little boy. And I buy a chick-o-stick (tastes like the inside of a Butterfinger) for my new someone, also a childhood favorite of both his and mine.
Next door is a small, crowded gift shop, "Capers," carrying a little bit of everything and then some. I tell myself not to buy anything and then leave with a book and a tiny cross and a little angel figurine. All of these would make great gifts I negotiate with myself, knowing full well which side of me would win.
Driving out of town, I pass the local movie theater, "Dock Cinema," with only two shows playing. I am won over. I'd love to live in a town with a cinema, who uses that word anymore? I want to stay, but the first show starts at 7 PM (seven hours away) so I decide I better get home to get my kids after school.
Heading home I think of how I'd love to be a travel writer in my "next life" or "when I get big" or "when my kids get big." Then I stop myself. I just spoke to a group of mothers challenging them to live now. One of the biggest barriers I find to living the significance of today is saying, "I don't have time."
I need to swallow my own advice. My time is now. So, today I'm signing up for a travel writer internship (one that I've designed myself…makes it easier to get accepted that way!) And you, reader, are the recipient of my first travel-guide-post with tips, deals and trust-worthy travel reviews.
My time is now. In the next month, I speak, train or visit eight different cities in four different states. I hope you will join me for the tour. It may not be as exciting as Europe. But, as my grandpa always said, "Sometimes there is nothing more exciting than your own back yard." Just ask my son Jordan and he will verify this to be true.
Summary Tip for Excelsior, MN: If you are looking for a good metro day trip this is a town to try–it's a little bit of everything cozily wrapped up onto one street (Water Street). Enjoy some salt-water taffy or butter-toffee peanuts at the candy shop for dessert.
My time is now (and so is yours).