The Star of the North

Jesse Simon

I’ve always been fascinated by our Minnesota state motto, “L’Étoile du Nord.” It was adopted in 1861 and is the only U.S. state motto in French. L’Étoile du Nord literally means “The Star of the North,” a nod to our geography as the northernmost state in the U.S. Our motto is beautiful, inspiring, and almost poetic, yet hopelessly unpronounceable for a non-French speaker like me.

Recently, I was thinking about what Minnesotans would want, should they have an opportunity to choose a contemporary motto for the state. “Minnesota Nice” would be a logical choice, although it may feel too boastful by our Scandinavian sensibilities. The “Land of 10,000 Lakes” would be popular (except for the fact that there are actually over 11,000), as would “The Gopher State,” which captures our affection for the University of Minnesota. I would suggest using the motto “Winter is Coming,” as featured prominently in the HBO series, Game of Thrones, but unfortunately, it’s trademarked. In Minnesota, winter is either here or just around the corner. That’s why we’re always prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store for us, be it in October or April, and every month in between. The potential for cold and snow keeps us on our toes, and ready for whatever comes our way.

When it comes to winter content, this issue of Live Play AAA has you covered like the Halloween snowstorm of 1991. As is tradition, we have our holiday gift guide packed with travel gear, accessories, and great gifts for giving and getting. If you’re looking for an exciting and different way to see the world, check out Renata Faeth’s feature about railway travel where she features nine epic railway journeys across six continents. Beach lovers will enjoy Sara Hafften’s review on St. Pete Beach, and what makes it a low-key alternative to other popular Florida destinations.

I want to wish you the happiest of everything during the holiday season and hope you can celebrate with your family and loved ones this year. I hope you enjoy this issue of Live Play AAAas much as we enjoyed creating it for you.

Happy Everything!

Jesse Simon
Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications
Managing Editor,
 Live Play AAA

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