My husband (boyfriend at the time) and I moved to Seattle from Minnesota in 2011, and its a decision I've never regretted. The list of things I love about the Pacific Northwest are endless. To start, there's the mountains, the sound, the easy access to the ocean and all the incredible hiking trails. Then there's the food, the restaurants, wineries, breweries and of course, the coffee. I don't think I could pick a favorite restaurant if I had too. (Although, India Palace, Harissa Mediterranean, and Kwan Tip Thai are a few of my favorites.) I could go on and on and on about the Pacific Northwest, I LOVE it here, but I also love and miss the Midwest.
The Midwest gets a bit of a bad rap. Not that some of it isn't deserved, (When I went back for Christmas last year the wind chill was 40 below zero) but I'd like to clear up a few Minnesota stereotypes. I've never made, nor eaten a hotdish. No one I know has an accent like the movie Fargo. Uff-ta isn't a widely used expression.
Here's 5 things I love about the Midwest.
There's no doubt that Northwest scenery are awesome, but Minnesota is actually really pretty as well, in a completely different way. One of the most beautiful things about the Midwest is the prairie. Everything about the prairie beautiful -the grass that's taller than I am, the wildflowers, the colors - but my favorite part is how it looks against the horizon.
Minnesota lakes are the best, and are nothing like Washington Lakes. In the part of the state I grew up in, many of the lakes are clear, sandy, and no where near as cold most of the Washington lakes. Some of my favorite Minnesota days are lake cabin days.
Summer nights just aren't the same without them.
For the most part, when it comes to food, the Northwest wins. Maybe that makes me snobby, but the Midwest just can't compete with the fresh salmon, oysters, mussels, etc,. The Northwest food culture is hard to beat. However, there are a couple foods that the Northwest just can't replicate. Cheese curds are one. Yes, they are just as awful for you as they sound. Yes, they are delicious. Beechers cheese makes some that come close, but nothing like Wisconsin cheese curds. A few other foods I miss from the Midwest include sweet corn and Tom and Jerry's Batter.
Winter Storms and Ice Skating
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually miss some things about Minnesota winters. Snowdays in Seattle just aren't the same as Minnesota blizzards. And while there are ice rinks in Washington, they are no where near as fun to skate on as an outdoor pond. As a kid I grew up with a pond in the backyard where my friends and I would skate in the winter. Skating is still on of my favorite winter activities (not that I'm any good at it) and I miss it every winter.