Bench + Bar of Minnesota

Winter’s coming. Tell us about your dream vacation getaway.


Grace Bowman is an assistant public defender in Minnesota’s Ninth Judicial District. She obtained her JD from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in 2022.

I know that in the dead of winter, most Minnesotans want to escape to somewhere warm. Florida, or Aruba, or Fiji, could sound good to a lot of people, and I get it. But I really, really want to get colder. 

I live in northern Minnesota, but Bemidji’s average January low of -5F isn’t enough. I dream about North Ice, Greenland; or Oymyakon, Russia; or the Vostok Research Station in Antarctica. If the weather is warm enough to allow my car to start, I’m not interested. 

I’d rather read in front of a fire on a miserably cold day than overheat on a beach somewhere. I want to knit an incredibly thick sweater while sitting under an insane number of blankets. I want to see a penguin while snowshoeing, and then go inside and drink my weight in hot chocolate. If I have to lose a couple of fingers to frostbite, then so be it.

Essentially, I think Herman Melville was right when he wrote that, “To enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast.” The best way to be warm is to be cold.


William Murray is an attorney at Schatz Law Firm in Rochester, MN.

My dream vacation is a sun-soaked stay on the island of Bali. I’ve always found joy in the ocean and everything it has to offer. Probably because I grew up in a land-locked state. 

My time in Bali would start in some of the world’s best diving locations, such as the Tulamben Coral Gardens, which is home to abundant species of marine life. There, I could see ribbon eels, reef sharks, manta rays, humphead parrotfish, and blue-ringed octopus. I could also explore the USAT Liberty shipwreck. It was a United States Army cargo ship torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942. Now it’s full of coral formations from top to bottom, with its highest point at a depth of about 5 metres (16 ft) and its lowest point at about 30 metres (100 ft). 

After a fair share of diving, I’d explore the island. I’d start by hiking Mount Batur at sunrise, a popular hike that leads to the top of an active volcano. I’d also check out the Ubud Monkey Forest. The forest has three 14th century Hindu temples designed to create harmonization between humans and the environment. I’d wrap up my vacation with a bike tour through the rice fields and a day at the beach.


Cassandra (Cassie) Jacobsen is an associate at Cozen O’Connor, focusing on complex commercial litigation and advising employers on a variety of employment issues.

While I’m always open to a beach getaway, I much prefer vacations that balance cultural immersion, natural beauty, and moments of relaxation. With unlimited time and resources, my ultimate dream vacation would entail a multi-week journey through the enchanting landscapes of Italy and Greece. The adventure would commence at Lake Como in Italy, where we would hike Mount Magnodeno and Monte Generoso while enjoying accommodations in the charming towns of Nesso or Bellagio. Following our Italian escapade, we would hop on a southbound train to explore the picturesque coastal villages of Cinque Terre, concluding our Italian leg of the trip with another train ride to the romantic city of Venice (note: since I am a theater enthusiast, this journey is serenaded by the tune “We Open in Venice” from Kiss Me Kate).

After savoring the natural wonders, delectable cuisine, and fine wines of Italy, we would catch a flight to the mesmerizing island of Santorini in Greece. Here, we would delve into the rich history and captivating vistas of Pyrgos, indulge in the rejuvenating hot springs, and embark on adventures to the volcanic islands that dot the Aegean Sea.

Now excuse me while I go book those tickets… 

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