Here’s the first of the Dads We Like series of profiles! If you’re a Twin Cities Dad (or mom, uncle, aunt, grandparent, etc.) who does cool stuff and would like to be profiled on the site, please share a profile with us!
Tonu Mikk is a South Minneapolis Dad with two kids, Annika and Oliver. I’ve known him since Oliver went to daycare with the boys. He’s now a Cub Scout Dad, too, and an invaluable resource for outdoor fun.
I am a father of two kids, son Oliver age 8 and daughter Annika age 11. Our family lives in South Minneapolis, Longfellow neighborhood, just west from the Mississippi River. My wife and I both work at the University of Minnesota. I spend my time figuring out the web and my wife organizes interesting events and trips for international visitors to the University.
Tonu’s favorite spot for adventures in the Twin Cities:
Nothing beats going to Fort Snelling State Park and bringing kids swimming in Snelling Lake on hot summer days. It reminds me the kind of swimming we did as kids ourselves. There is something to be said about walking on a gravel path leading up to the beach house and then down to the water. It feels right.
Any essential gear for a successful outing?
Oh boy, there are several. I almost always carry a Leatherman multitool with me. Beyond that, a wallet, cell phone, water bottles, sun screen in the summer, the usual.
Have any of your outings ever resulted in near-catastrophe?
Yes; when Oliver was young he hated sitting in the car seat. On our trip to Estonia one summer, we decided to travel to a resort near Riga, Latvia. Oliver had already had enough sitting in the car and started crying. We were stopped at the border crossing to examine our documents. Turned out the border guards didn’t like our US drivers licences. Apparently they were not “international”. We were stopped there for a long time. And poor Oliver just cried. I think after a while the border guards took pity on us and let us pass.
What’s the key to a successful family adventure?
As long as no-one has really “lost it”, it’s been all well worth it .
What has surprised you most about having kids?
Time seems to just fly by. We are so busy these days with kids. It seems that when I grew up I had more free time to do just about anything I wanted. I got in trouble during those times too, but it was probably all for the better.
Any closing thoughts?
Minneapolis is a wonderful place to raise kids. There is lots to see and do around here. Now that my kids are little older I look forward to biking trips and hikes in the area.