Things To Do Alone That I Recently Did

By now, it’s no secret that most of my travels or mini adventures are done by myself. And you might say, “Oh no, that’s so sad!”. But no need to worry! Contrary to popular belief, I enjoy being by myself and going and doing things alone. I recently went on a spurt of doing all the things solo. The end of August/early September is a busy one in Minnesota, where we all trying to get the last bit of outside freedom before the eternal winter comes back again. There are always a couple of things that I love to do during this time and they are the Minnesota Renaissance Festival and the Minnesota State Fair. I knew I wanted to visit these two attractions before time ran out, but there was one more end-of-summer staple I had to do and that is going floating at Welch. So I decided to hit all three up. Here is how they went!

I’ll start with my time at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival since that is the first of three things I did solo. It’s open on weekends from the end of August to early October. This is my third year coming, but my first time solo. This was a spur-of-the-moment decision to go only hours before I was there, watching a jousting competition. At Ren Fest, there is so much to see and do! You can eat some yummy food like cheese curds, pizza, and of course a turkey drumstick. I had myself a few glasses of wine and cider. There are many shops filled with Renaissance-style clothes, hand-made items such as pottery and jewelry, and so much more! Everyone is in their Renaissance-inspired outfits and living their best lives. There are also shows happening all over the grounds such as live music or fire breathing. They have a mermaid cove and a fairy garden as well! On my solo outing this year, I got to take my time and see and do all the things I have been wanting to do! I did have an awkward moment in the mermaid cove. There was a line to go through the cove and at the end of the line, you could take a picture with a mermaid. The whole time in line, I was debating whether or not to get my picture taken or not. Here I am, a 27-year-old woman by herself who really wants a picture with a mermaid. Since I was a little tipsy from all the wine, I said fuck it and handed my phone to the attendant to take my picture with the mermaid. While I was doing this, a mom ushered her two little girls to go sit by the mermaid and had her phone out, ready for the perfect shot. I quickly took my phone back, apologizing and feeling so embarrassed. As I was in a spiral of self-loathing, I noticed that the mermaid kept looking at me. The attendant came over to me and asked if I did want a picture with the mermaid and I said yes. She said that the mermaid wanted to make sure I got a picture with her if I wanted one. I almost started to cry as I sat down next to the mermaid and kept thanking her for being so kind. The mom of the two littles also apologized, but I told her she was fine. It’s not every day you see a grown-ass woman wanting to act her Disney age. As I was leaving the festival grounds, one of the workers was bidding me farewell and another was begging me not to leave. Turning on my dramatic side, I reached out my hand to his and told him “oh but I must!”. If you ever find yourself in Minnesota during the Renaissance Festival, I highly suggest attending and having yourself entertained for hours on end. 

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people attend The Great Minnesota Get-Together! I did not go in 2021, so I swore that I was going this year. I took the express bus to and from the fair for only $5 round trip. It was about a 30-minute ride, but I did not feel like dealing with the traffic or trying to find a parking spot. Lots of people on the bus were talking about a shooting that had happened there the previous night. They either knew someone who was there or heard of all the people that were running away from something. I tried to put that in the back of my mind as I stepped off the bus and made my way to the front gates. First things first, I had to get some food. I waited all day to eat cause I knew I would pig out here. Making my way through the sea of people, I stumbled upon my first destination: the cheese curd taco stand. This was a newer addition and thought this would be a good way to start: cheese curd: good, taco: good. I had the sampler option and they were pretty dang good! One of my go-to’s for any fair type setting is a lemon shake-up, so that was next on my list. Followed by a pork chop on a stick. After that, I took a little break from the food and got a cider, and looked around the International Bazaar. They have goods from many different countries including China, Mexico, and Australia. Since travel is my life, this is one of my favorite parts of the fair. My sweet tooth was wanting its fix, so I found what it needed. And like any good Midwestern state fair, it was on a stick, cookie dough on a stick. Next, I set my sights on one of the things I have always wanted to do at the state fair: the skyglider. Just like Ren Fest, I had been to the state fair two times before, this being my third and first time solo. Sometimes when you go with others, you just can’t get to all the things you want to. Think of the skyglider as a ski lift, except instead of going up the slope, you get to view the fairgrounds and horde below you. I manifested my way to my favorite color of lift: yellow. I loved every second of it. When I got off, I made my way to the butterfly house. One of the butterflies landed on my shoulder! Then, I decided it was time for my other fair must-have: curly fries. To end any great Minnesota State Fair day, I got my share of Sweet Martha’s cookies with a cold glass of milk. When going to the get-together, expect lots of people and lots of lines. The longest line I waited in was around 30 minutes and it was for the sky glider. For 10 days around Labor Day every year, this is one thing you have to see when you come to Minnesota!

My Labor Day 2022 was spent doing my favorite summertime activity: floating down the river at Welch Mill. Since starting to go here during the warmer months in 2017, I have been numerous times, but never alone. That all changed that day. I knew how I wanted to close out my summer and nothing and no one was going to stop me. I paid for my tube, hopped on the bus, and made the 15-minute bus ride to the start of the float. The bus driver recognized me and thanked me for being a loyal customer. This was also the end of their 50th season! It was around 75 degrees and the water was chilly, but that did not deter me. It took a little over three hours to make my way back to the mill. It was a very relaxing time and I was not ready for it to come to an end! Not only did it mean the end of the float, but it meant the end of summer. Even if you are not planning to visit Minnesota during a specific time, if you are here in the summertime, you must go to Welch Mill. 

I did all three of these things alone within 15 days. After my float trip, I did feel a little lost, wondering why I never had anyone to go do things with or why no one ever wanted to go do things with me. While I love doing things solo, I do sometimes feel lonely. And who wouldn’t? And honestly, I am already craving another solo experience. With fall creeping in, who knows what activities I can turn into a one-person adventure!

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