Where do you go to slow down? I can’t say that we have ever had a regular place, but now that we have visited Dubuque, I think we have found it! Recently, T and I headed over to Dubuque for a quick 24 hour trip to have some time to ourselves and slow down! We stayed at the Hotel Julien and spent many hours just “being” together! While we explored a few fun, but low-key places, this was probably our favorite and where we will return time and time again!
Eagle Point Park
For a whopping $1 per car, you get free reign of Eagle Point Park, which is owned by the City of Dubuque. Take your time driving through the park and enjoy the many different levels of scenery! Stop and explore the old buildings, lodges, and shelters that can be rented for a variety of events! While we were there, we saw a 1st birthday party, a kids birthday party, and a wedding set up! This would be an amazing back-drop for any event! Then, head to the Mississippi overlook! While we enjoyed explore several parts of the park, this was by our favorite!
Supper at The Barrel House and a snack of ice cream set the tone for our outstanding trip to Dubuque, Iowa a few weeks ago! While we were there, we grabbed 2 full meals and a snack! Breakfast in the morning was a Caroline’s Restaurant which is in the Hotel Julien and we highly recommend!
The Barrel House
For supper when we arrived in town, we headed to The Barrel House and what a treat it was! It’s location is super handy when you’re staying at the Hotel Julien as it’s right across the street, which is one of the reasons we selected it!
On a gorgeous day in Dubuque, Iowa one wants to enjoy the river and the weather! We love walking along the Port of Dubuque River Walk! Here you can slow down, enjoy the view, some art, and history all at the same time!
River Walk & Art Sculptures
This walkway is a paved trail that runs along the port/river and is adorned by lots of art sculptures! Enjoy the view of the different art as well as reading about them at each stop!
T and I recently made an overnight trip to Dubuque and stayed the Hotel Julien Dubuque. WOW! The Hotel Julien knows how to make a person feel so special! Not only do they have spectacular accommodations, but the small things add up to make you fee extra special during your stay!
The Hotel Julien Dubuque has been present in historic downtown Dubuque for over 130 years! After a $33 million renovation, they are shining brighter than ever! Between its historic attributes and modern finishes, the Hotel Julien Dubuque is the prime example of a sophisticated hotel! Not many hotels can claim to be modern and historic, luxurious and comfortable, but yet the Hotel Julien does just that!
I’ve lived in Iowa my entire life and have never done anything, but drive through Dubuque, IA. Can you believe that?! Well, thankfully we solved that problem back in July and ended up having a fantastic family day trip!
In mid-June T and I determined that we were taking July 3rd off (it was a Monday) and spending the day with the boys! Since selling our camper last summer (no time to camp), we promised them that we would do more weekend and daytrips and this seemed like the perfect opportunity! So, after much research and debating, we settled on Dubuque area for the day. We are so glad that we did!
National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium was our first stop of the day! The boys love aquariums and so that was the immediate draw for us. We also love learning about the Mississippi, it’s history, etc. so it made complete sense. The first highlight was the stingray exhibit where the boys could touch them! Who doesn’t love hands-on activities?! We found the history portion of the museum very intriguing as we learned about the natives that had inhabited the area. And of course the boys (all three) were drawn to the Riverworks Splash Zone, which is an area with different experiments and interactive activities using water!
Next, we headed outside to enjoy the outside exhibits. We liked walking through the old river ships and barges that explained the history of their purposes and the river! We especially liked the Steamboat William M. Black. Exploring this old steamboat that was used to dredge the river was quite fascinating! Of course, we also liked the Mississippi River Discovery Center & Aquariums because of all the tanks of fish and river otters! Before we left, the boys had to try their hand at the remote control boats too!
This is the first year since T and I have been married that we aren’t camping over Memorial Day weekend! Can you believe it?! This also means that I’m on the hunt for something for us all to do! The boys will be spending the weekend with us, but R will be working, so it’ll be T, M, & I! I decided since I was on the hunt, I’d put together a round-up of family friendly things to do in Iowa over the weekend!
So, let’s get started!
Iowa Veterans Cemetery– The Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter, Iowa is breathtaking. Pack up the family and take a visit to talk about Memorial Day and it’s original purpose! What better place to do this than in the Iowa Veterans Cemetery?! Check out what Jeni of Sincerely Iowa thought when she visited.
Can you believe it?! Gardening season is finally here! Well, according to the weather forecast, it’s gardening season for a day or two then it’ll be cold and wet again! Geesh! But, I couldn’t wait any longer, so it’s officially the first Garden Update post! Last year, I waited until the end of May and well…that is just too long! So, here it is!
So, is there a lot to update you on with the gardens? Have I actually done a lot in the gardens yet? No, not really, but I am so stinking excited this year to share it all with you, that I figured we might as well start from the very beginning, right?!
I basically badgered T this weekend to till our vegetable garden until he gave in! It seemed dry on the top…well, maybe he was right and it was too wet. However, he’s as stubborn as I am, so by the time he had tilled half of it, he told me I was planting it, so planting we did! We put in cucumbers, green onions, radishes, tomatoes, and a row of green beans! I’m hoping the sun and warm temps today will give those little seeds a jump start otherwise, I’ll never live this down! (I think you can see from the picture how wet it actually was..you can see where we packed it down in between rows!) There is still the other half of the garden to till and plant (when and if it ever dries up) along with 2 other sections that are adjoining!
I’m so excited to announce that I am participating in the Live Healthy Iowa, 10-Week Wellness Challenge again this year! I’m also super excited because I’ve partnered with the Iowa Food & Family Project for this endeavour once again! Last year was the first year that I participated and thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie of the team and the challenge to place first within our group! So, of course I was game to participate again this year! This is super exciting for you, my followers too! Iowa Food & Family Project has given me some awesome goodies to giveaway to you, my readers, throughout the journey!
So, what is the 10-Week Wellness Challenge?! An opportunity to focus your life around health and wellness. Well, that is the short of it at least! As a participant you can focus on increasing your activity, weight loss, improving your eating habits…or a little bit of all the above!
If you’ve followed me for any certain amount of time, you know that I’m surrounded by boys and guys. It’s all guys at work and all guys at home. (Ms. Nike doesn’t count, does she?!) So, when I heard about all the fun happening at Enchanted Acres this past weekend, I knew it would be a great day for a Girls Day! I called my friend Erinne and she happily joined me for an afternoon of fun at the pumpkin patch.
Have you been to Gusto Pizza in Des Moines? If you haven’t, you need to! Recently T and I took M to an iCubs game in Des Moines with my mom and step-dad! The games are such good family fun, if you’ve never been. We’ve been to several now and each time we’ve gone, we’ve done a tailgate meal because well…it’s a baseball game! This time, however, we decided to grab supper at a restaurant near the field instead.