In Minnesota, our winters measure some of the most prolonged and severe in the U.S., if not the world. But, we’re tough as nails…right? And, the winter of 2019/2020 seemed like it would go down as mild and manageable. And, then, COVID-19 hit. Just as we started thinking about spotting that first robin and planting our gardens, our lives turned upside down.
But, if we heed the orders of the Governor and listen to our local officials, things will get better. And, as things begin to normalize, we’re going to want to get out on the road. So, pandemic or not, springtime represents the perfect time to get your vehicle ready for those warm weather drives.
Of course, the first thing we think of when driving to work and errands or taking our family on a road trip involves safety. Check out the list below to make sure your car serves as a safe mode of transportation for work and fun:
Engine and transmission checkups may save you time and money in the long run.
Brakes and brake fluid check ups represents a crucial part of ensuring a safe ride.
Tires need checking after the snow tires come off. Don’t get rid of the snow tires too early in Minnesota!
Windshield fluid must be ready for use with the coming of rain showers.
Windshield glass needs to give you a clear line of vision without nicks and cracks.
Seat belts and airbags need to function correctly to ensure safety.
Comfort and style:
Once you know you’re relatively safe, you can start thinking about personal comfort and pride. Here’s a checklist to make sure you’re riding in style and comfort:
Air conditioning needs to be ready for that first day in the eighties.
Clean and freshen your interior and check to make sur any floor mats and seat covers also get spruced up.
Make sure you treat your vehicle to a trip to the carwash, even if that means a trip to your driveway.
And, if you’ve got some dents and dings or you didn’t get that hail damage taken care of last fall, we can help with that. We’ll come to you and fix those imperfections like they were never there. So, if you missed the blog last month, make sure to go back and check it out. I gave a brief shout out to some of my favorite northern suburbs and promised a more detailed review of them in future blogs. Today, we’re taking a look at Anoka!
Spotlight on Anoka:
If you drive through Anoka, you’ll experience the small-town charm of Main Street along with modern suburban living. Anoka represents the best of both worlds for its residents and attracts a lot of visitors with its combination of natural beauty and unique shops and eateries. Located where the Mississippi and Rum rivers meet, its only 17 miles from Minneapolis, but it feels worlds apart.
Before Joseph Belanger built a log cabin and settled in Anoka in 1840, the Dakota and Ojibwa tribes considered the area neutral ground. Once settled, the name Anoka came about as a combination of two native words. The Dakota word for ‘both sides of the river’ and the Ojibwa word for ‘working waters’ combined to form the name Anoka.
Soon many French and Scandinavian settlers made their homes there, and Anoka incorporated as a city in 1878.
Anoka held its first Halloween parade in 1920. So far, it only missed two years of the parade during WWII. Let’s hope the one in 2020 takes place. The Halloween parade and festivals give the city of Anoka the right to wear the label ‘Halloween Capital of the World.’
Today, Anoka claims right around 18,000 residents making it the 65th largest city in Minnesota.
Where to stay:
It’s relatively easy to find a chain hotel like Holiday Inn or Comfort Inn in or around the city of Anoka. But, if you’re looking for an exceptional experience, you need to book a weekend at Ticknor Hill Bed and Breakfast. You may not want to leave once you see your beautiful room, but its location in the heart of Anoka gives you walkable access to quaint shops and terrific restaurants.
Where to eat:
Anoka boasts a lot of great eateries, especially for a city of only about 18,000 people. Below you’ll find a few suggestions of places you might want to check out:
MaGillycuddy’s Irish Pub represents your only choice for an Irish pub in Anoka, but with terrific Irish classics and American favorites, and, of course, Irish libations, you can’t go wrong.
If you’re looking for delectable premium ice cream, you need to head over to Two Scoops.
And speaking of desserts, if you really want to blow your diet, Truffles and Tortes deserves a visit. Oh, they serve nutritious food there too, but let’s face it; you want to see the dessert menu.
If you’re craving Mexican, Casa Rio offers Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites. The menu would satisfy a native Mexican, but also provides options for those who think of Ketchup as spicy.
And for all kinds of food choices and live entertainment, head on over to Serums.
What to do:
Of course, you probably already know, Anoka is the place to go for Halloween family fun, but the city hosts other festivals as well. Scheduled for July 11th of this year, the annual Anoka Riverfest not only delivers just about any kind of craft creation known to humankind but also offers plenty of food and live music.
The 10K Brewery in Anoka started in a garage and now offers quite the fantasy playground for the craft beer connoisseur. And don’t worry, they won’t make you run there. The 10K represents a nod to Minnesota’s 10,000+ lakes.
If you’re more into wine, Anoka’s got you covered there too. You could spend the whole day at Two Rivers Vineyards and Winery. In addition to wine and wine tastings, they also sell fruit and fruit pies.
Of course, while I encourage everyone to visit these places, I do want to point out, right now, they’re all doing the right thing and following the State Mandates to combat COVID-19.. So, in many cases, we’re talking about curbside pickup or delivery. But things will get better, and we’ll need to celebrate!
Don’t forget that if you live in or around Anoka and you experience hail damage or other dents and dings, I will come to you and make you forget about those imperfections. Give me a call today!