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About Me

About Me
CrystalPhuong.net is a Personal Style & Travel Blog based in Singapore, written by Crystal Phuong. The blog was nominated FOUR times in Top 10 Best Fashion Blogs in the annual Singapore Blog Award from 2012- 2015, voted as one of the Best Lifestyle Blogs in Singapore in 2013 by Hotelclub.com, and Best Travel Blogs in 2016 by Foodpanda.com. Crystal hopes to connect and inspire young women to lead a healthy and happy life. Be confident, be positive, and be kind.

9 DAYS IN MINNESOTA



Around March 2017, I lost my job, and I published this photo on my Instagram with a caption "New day, a new beginning. But first, let's take a break." Indeed, I took this "retrenchment" opportunity to have the longest break I've ever had by far. It was almost four months of traveling nonstop. First, I went to Yogyakarta, Indonesia then flew to Ho Chi Minh for the Vietnam International Fashion Week. After the fashion week, I went back to Hanoi to spend one week with the family before I headed to the US. I was so lucky that I got to travel that much, even when I was unemployed for four months. During this time, I came across some job opportunities, but nothing materialized after a few rounds of interviews. Not sure why, but I wasn't even worried about looking for a job. I just kept believing that the right job would choose me at the right time. Leaving the stress behind, I took 30- hour flight to Maple Grove, Minneapolis, to visit the boyfriend's house for the first time.  

I didn't know what to expect. Many friends asked me, "What's there in Minneapolis?"- "I don't know. I'm going to find out", I told them. Perhaps, because I did not expect anything before the trip, everything turned out to perfect for me.

The weather was beautiful in August in Minneapolis. I started my morning with a cup of coffee, egg, and toast looking at this beautiful backyard. 


Then, we went for a walk around to explore the Maple Grove neighborhood. The air was crisp; the road was empty, and the scenery was breathtaking. I still remember very well how beautiful the houses there. 


During the days that Ken didn't have to go to work, he would show me around his hometown where he grew up either spending time at this giant lake near his house or driving around to see his friends for lunch. 





I remembered my feeling while sitting on that high chair looking at this lake. I kept telling myself, "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, then it's not the end". My mind was instantly at ease. I was able to enjoy my nine days in Minneapolis without any stress or worry at all. 
One day I went to the largest mall in the US, Mall of America, for shopping and witnessing the largest indoor amusement park, Nickelodeon Universe.







The next day I went river fishing with Ken's nephew. It was my first time fishing in the river, and it felt like I went on an Amazon jungle adventure. It was scary at first and fun later. We also drove up to Duluth, a port city on Lake Superior in Minnesota, and spent a night there. I thought the lake near Ken's house was massive, but it was only a tiny lake compared to the Lake Superior. 



Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes of North America, is also the world's largest freshwater lake by surface area, and the third-largest freshwater lake by volume. Its area is 82,103 km², and I could feel the waves coming towards me. It looked more like an ocean to me than a lake. It didn't feel real. It was also the first time that I saw a span-drive configuration movable lift, aka Aerial Lift Bridge, constructed in 1901-1905. Watching the giants ships passing through the lift each time made me think of the "timing." When the time is right, it will happen.  


Leaving Aerial Lift Bridge, we stopped by at the Split Rock Lighthouse to explore the beauty of the Lake Superior from a different angle. 




Then, we moved to Gooseberry Falls State Park, one of Minnesota's most popular state parks that has many spectacular falls. It didn't disappoint me with this view.   




Few days before I flew home to Singapore, I spent time at the lakehouse with Ken and his family. It was the first time I experienced an evening with a campfire by the lake. A drink on my hand while listening to everyone talk. It was freezing that night for me, but I felt warm from the inside. 


I also tried to learn fishing, but I realized I shouldn't continue; otherwise, people would get hurt. I tried the casting technique, but instead of throwing the bait into the water, my fishing hook landed on Ken's nephew's shirt, who was standing right behind me. He didn't get hurt, and I couldn't stop laughing. 


Time flies when you are having fun. I didn't know when I would revisit Minneapolis then, and I still don't know now. But I know now why they say Minneapolis people are genuine and friendly. If you look at scenery like that every day, how can you stay mad?






Till next time, Minnesota! 
Crystal Phuong
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