I've raised the prospect of eating lutefisk (dried cod reconstituted with lye) and was promptly shot down. As a compromise, I will be bringing a bottle of Norwegian aquavit as a housewarming gift. I had no idea it needed to cross the Equator twice.
I had been to Minnesota once before, in 2003, when I visited the SPAM museum in Austin (home of Hormel). The whole town smelled like canned meat. Look at these photos, taken with a Canon 3-megapixel camera!
Going to frigid Minnesota also made me try to recall the coldest weather I had ever experienced. Nothing too bad, actually.
The absolute coldest temperature I had ever lived through was 3 degrees F. It was in October 2007 in Fairbanks, coming back from my trip to the Arctic Circle. It wasn't so bad because I was prepared and wearing warm clothing.
It was probably just in the 20s, but my night in a yurt in Karakul Lake in Xinjiang felt the coldest. We were 12,000 feet up, so I was battling altitude sickness as well. We stayed overnight in this poorly insulated, crappy yurt next to the lake. I remember uncomfortably and dizzily walking out at night, into the pitch black, to the outdoor squat pit to piss. I was too disoriented to put on shoes and just walked out in my socks. It was pure misery.