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Winterset, Iowa - one time when I came back with my husband, Bob, we drove to Winterset - home of John Wayne.

Welcome to Iowa (my husband & I see this sign many times throughout the years as we cross from MO. into IA.)

Broder's My favorite place to eat when I lived in Mpls.

Split Rock Lighthouse - North Shore Minnesota

Bougainvillea...no way they'd survive at this altitude! But I think they are beautiful.

Des Moines Riverwalk Pedestrian Bridge. I ran over this bridge during the 5k a few years ago. Good times.

Marjorie McNeely Conservatory - St. Paul, Minnesota USA. photo by LizNemmers

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Aurora Borealis

Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival At dusk paper lanterns were lit and floated for Japan's annual Obon Holiday. During Obon, ancestral spirits revisit their families for three days. Many Japanese will return home to pay their respects at grave-sites and often paper lanterns are lit and floated down the river to help guide the spirits. This year took on special significance as everyone remembered those lost in Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami disasters. 平和、ヒース、理解、繁栄

Foshay Museum and Observation Deck, Foshay Tower, the first skyscraper built west of the Mississippi and tallest building in Minneapolis from 1929-1971.