Category: Travel Adventures

Family Fun at the Mall of America, Nickelodeon Universe & Moose Mountain

If Disney World is the happiest place on Earth, then the Mall of America is the happiest place in the midwest!  Recently, my three favorite guys and I headed to the Mall of America to take on some shopping along with Nickelodeon Universe & Moose Mountain Adventure Golf!

Christmas Time

For the last two years, T and I have given the boys a shopping spree at the Mall of America for their Christmas present!  Last year, as we roamed the stores shopping for their gifts, we realized that at the ages they are, maybe they would like to shop for their own things, so we suprised them with a trip to the mall, an overnight stay at a hotel, and of course money to spend as their gift!  As it turned out, they loved the gift and actually asked to do it again this past Christmas!  It made our Christmas shopping so much easier and so we were more than happy to oblige!

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The Fieldhouse: Clear Lake, Iowa – Farm to Table

fieldhouse

If you’re looking for the newest and greatest food scene in North Iowa, look no further than Fieldhouse in Clear Lake!  With it’s farm to table menu, cozy setting, along with park & lake views, it can’t be beat!  With an every changing menu and farm fresh supplies, this is a unique dining experience that will blow you away!

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Cooking with Herbs at Enchanted Acres

It’s a well-known fact that I love Enchanted Acres, the pumpkin patch.  I sing their praise each fall over their strawberry jam and caramel apple sundaes! Plus, the owner Shannon is such a great person that it makes it easy to be a cheerleader!  This past weekend, Shannon invited me to come out and participate in one of her workshops, Farm to Table Herbs & Butters.  This awesome workshop was taught by Mary Lovstad of Farm Girl Cook’n and Farm Girl Weddings!

I’ve known Mary for several years as we are both members of the North Iowa Bloggers.  I also know she is an incredibly talented cook, but her knowledge of herbs during this workshop blew me away!  I’m not one to cook with fresh herbs. I don’t grow any, I don’t have access to many, and to be honest they have always scared me! Thankfully, with Mary’s help, I’m feeling more confident than ever!

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Tips for Visiting Branson

To say that we enjoy visiting the Branson, MO area might be an understatement!  We enjoy it so much that we have visited three times in a 1 year time span!  Planning any family vacation or trip can be overwhelming and now that we consider ourselves “pros” at visiting Branson, we thought we would share some tips to help you plan your visit.

Try VRBO

We have camped and stayed in condos while visiting Branson and we definitely recommend staying in a condo!  The main reason for our switching was that we sold our camper, but as we researched different hotels and condos, we were able to get a great space (2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo with full kitchen, living room, and patio) for the same price as some of the hotels.  With two growing teenage boys, it’s important for us to have space to spread out in and our condo that we booked through VRBO definitely did this!

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Eagle Point Park – Dubuque, Iowa

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!

Dam #11 on the Mississippi River

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The Barrel House & Ice Cream – Dubuque, Iowa

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!

T’s selection at the Barrel House!

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Port of Dubuque River Walk

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!

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The Hotel Julien Dubuque: Making You Feel Special

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!

Hotel Julien
The gorgeous lobby at the Hotel Julien Dubuque

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!

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Eating & Drinking in the Twin Cities

T and I were privileged during our recent trip to Roseville, MN to enjoy some great restaurants and a brewstilary!  For me, because I love food as much as I do, the food can make or break a trip for me and thankfully Roseville and St. Paul now have a special place in my heart because of the good good we ate!

Bonfire Wood Fire – 850 Grand Ave, St Paul, Minnesota

If you’re looking for a great place to grab a bite in the St. Paul area, Bonfire Wood Fire won’t disappoint!  It is located in a fun neighborhood and the first thing I noticed when we came upon Bonfire was it’s appearance.  I loved the look of the building from the outside with its fun and brightly lit sign along with the piano and drum set that were being set up for entertainment.  How can you not love music on the street?

Once we entered, their decor automatically got me!  I loved the combination of modern and rustic.  The finishes were top notch and extra special.

With a small, but varied menu, you won’t be disappointed!  Meals like the Spit-Roasted Chicken and the Signature Walleye are sure to please.  The rustic, but modern atmosphere just adds to the delicious meal for an overall great experience!

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