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Archives for June 2019

Minnesota Landmarks with Musical Ties

The summer is the perfect time for a Minnesota road trip!  If you enjoy music or are a fan of Prince, Bob Dylan, or Weird Al, here are some fun musical Minnesota landmarks you can visit.

Minnesota Landmarks for Music Lovers

Bob Dylan – Hibbing, Minnesota

Bob Dylan was born in Duluthmusical Minnesota Landmarks and also lived in Minneapolis and Hibbing, Minnesota.  Before he was famous, he was known for hanging out in coffee houses in Dinkytown playing music with friends while he attended the University of Minnesota. Here are some Bob Dylan sites in Minnesota that would be fun to visit in Hibbing, Duluth, and Dinkytown.

Prince – Chanhassen, Minnesota

Many people may not realize that Paisley Park was a song, back in 1985, long before it was a recording studio. The song also eventually led to the name of Prince’s record label, Paisley Park Records. Today, you can take a road trip to the 65,000-square-foot, $10 million recording complex and visit the Paisley Park Museum. Both the Current and Explore Minnesota have also put together a list of self-guided tour stops for Prince fans that include First Avenue, public murals of Prince, the house from Purple Rain, and more. 

Weird Al Yankovic – Darwin, Minnesota

Unlike Prince and Bob Dylan who both grew up in Minnesota, Weird Al just wrote a song about one of its quirky tourist spots. In his song, “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota” Weird Al sings about Darwin’s landmark in a classic Minnesota accent.  Besides the world’s largest ball of twine, there are many other highway highlights in Minnesota worth stopping at.

Ready for your Minnesota road trip? Make sure your car is ready to put some miles on and you have supplies and snacks, then hit the open road! Here is a road trip playlist of Minnesota songs to get you started. 

Clean Your Vehicle Cup Holder

clean your vehicle cup holderHave you spilled one too many times in your vehicle’s cup holder? Maybe a fast food beverage was left only to seep sticky syrup into the crevices of your cup holder, making it a mess. Clean your vehicle cup holder with these tips to make the clean up process a little easier.

Removable Cup Holders

Many trucks and cars have cup holders or cup holder liners made of plastic or rubber that is removable. If you can remove your cup holder, it is much easier to clean. Try running your cup holders through a rinse cycle of your dishwasher (be careful with full cycles that could warp or melt). After the rinse cycle, allow the cup holder to sit for 20 minutes and then attempt to wipe out leftover slime. If necessary, repeat the process.

If you don’t have a dishwasher or are leery of that method, try a bucket of warm, soapy water and drop your cup holders in. They may need some serious soaking time.

Non-Removable Cup Holders

This is much more challenging, but can be done. Have two clean rags ready. Use the first one to squeeze a small amount of warm, soapy water into the cup holder and allow to sit. Use the second, DRY rag to wedge into the cup holder to soak up the water and released residue. You may have to repeat the process until all the sugar dissolves.

For light colored plastic cup holders stained with coffee or other beverages, try a small amount of lemon juice and rub with a clean cloth.

Getting Started with Teen Drivers Education in Minnesota

If you have a Junior High School student in your house, it’s not too early to start thinking about Teen Drivers Education. Most drivers education teachers will recommend classroom training anytime after the age of 14. Behind-the-wheel drivers training can begin at the age of 15. The overall goal is to turn new teen drivers into safe drivers, and this does not come overnight, but with hours of classroom and behind-the-wheel training. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety uses a Graduated Driver licensee system (GDL). There are 3 stages that a new driver needs to complete to become fully licensed to drive.

Minnesota Driver Education – GDL Standard Requirements

  1. Supervised Learning – Instructional Drivers Permit teen drivers education
  2. Intermediate – Provisional License to Drive that limited unsupervised driving in high-risk situations (there are several requirements for this including being 16 years old, having an instructional permit for 6 months, pass a road test, and more)
  3. Full License to Drive (either has had a provisional license for 12 months or be 18 years old)

Start Here – How to Choose a Quality Driving School

  1. Ask other parents and your local high school administrators which driving school they would recommend and why
  2. Make visits to some of the driving schools to see their materials, vehicles, and meet the instructors. If you can’t visit in person call them to ask questions about their process and their references.
  3. Focus on quality over price.  The cheapest or quickest driving schools may not get the best results.

 How to Get your Minnesota Drivers Permit

  1. Driver must pay the Minnesota Drivers Permit Fee
  2. Driver complete an Instruction Permit Application (Proof of identity and parent or guardian signature is required)
  3. Driver must pass a vision test and a written test at their local Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) office

Requirements to Begin Drivers Behind-the-Wheel Training

  1. Driver must be at least 15 years old
  2. Driver must complete 30 hours of classroom instruction and pass a drivers knowledge test

Teen Drivers Education Resources

Minnesota Public & Private School Driver Education Programs in Minnesota (PDF)
FAQ – Answers to Common Teen Driving Questions
Best Driver’s Ed Courses in Minnesota
Top 10 Things Teen Drivers Should Be Taught to Do

Your teen’s driver’s education class will focus on being an attentive driver and following the rules of the road. One thing that teen driving lessons don’t cover as well is car maintenance, such as how to change a flat tire or change the car’s oil.  

Drive Safe!