Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Manitou Springs, CO

We decided to drive to Manitou Springs to try the mineral springs that we heard people talking about. Their are 10 natural springs around Manitou that you can try. They are all natural with minerals that the human body needs. Our favorite spring was Twin Falls or the "Fountain of Youth", as referred by the locals. Twin Falls which has potassium and calcium in it.

If you are in the area it's definitely worth coming to see. After you can drive to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, about a 10 minute drive away. Or 7 falls is a really pretty area after you walk up the 224 stairs their are 2 hiking trails you can take. 7 falls also does a nightly lighting ceremony and they light the falls up different colors.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Since it's getting to be that time of year when people are going to start traveling out of state I thought I'd share some of my favorite things about MN and if you get time to them you won't disappointed (at least I hope not!)

  • Mall of America - it's just something about a 3 stories of shopping/movie theatre, half mile each level!  
    • Ground level of Macy's outside by the parking. Their are hands in the concrete of the workers that helped build the MOA and their families. My sister and I are in there up near the top. Our Grandpa did concrete work so he made sure we were one of the first ones to get our hands in!
    • Amusement park- when I grew up and went all the time it was snoopy land but now it's Nickelodeon themed. Regardless the theme it's still a really fun area to take a break from shopping. I love the flume ride!!
    • Underwater Aquarium- I went there one year for my bday and it was so much fun! Plus after you walk through they have the gift shop and an area where you can touch star fish, sea urchins, sting rays, etc. I've never been to an aquarium that lets you touch the sea life.
    • Plus all the shopping! I think theirs a little something for everyone there so you won't have to worry about making sure no one gets bored.

  • Downtown Minneapolis Macy's store- if you have kids. Every year after Thanksgiving they do a free Holiday show. This year will be "A Day in the Life of an Elf".  When I was growing up we went every year so I have so many found memories of our Mom taking us there. After we went to the Nicollete Street Holidazzle parade which is another must see! I love that the parade happens after Thanksgiving and goes up until almost a week before Christmas! In Denver we have ONE night to catch the lights parade :(.

  • IKEA - if you don't have one in your state, Denver doesn't :(.

  • Swedish Institute Minneapolis- I think this is a really neat museum even if your not Swedish.

  • Duluth is really pretty! They have a fun little small town and Lake Superior is a must see. Their are multiple lighthouses around Lake Superior. I remember a few in Duluth. Of course, I love lighthouses so if you don't that might not interest you :). while walking on the rock beaches you can find Superior agates that you can sell or decorate your home with.

  • St Paul winter carnival - I haven't been back for a few years to see this but I remember going with my grandparents. They used to have a huge ice castle. Not sure if that still happens. But I know they do ice sculpting competitions.

  • State Fair- this is a fun event for my family. If your state has a fair I'm sure it's not to different from yours. Denver doesn't have one. We have one in Pueblo but I don't want to drive 3 hours for the fair!

  • A few of more places to visit are (depending on how long you have):
    • Stillwater
    • Grand Marais
    • Boundary Waters
    • Rochester
    • Minnetonka
    • Uptown Minneapolis
    • Minnehaha falls in Minneapolis
If you have any questions just let me know or if you'd like more in site on areas/where to go I'd be happy to answer your questions.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Assateague island, MD

Assateague Island is south of Ocean City, Maryland and is home to 37 miles of gorgeous ocean beaches. The island offers swimming, beach combing, sunbathing, surfing, paddle boarding, crabbing, and ocean kayaking.

It almost sounds mythical wild horses, campsites just steps from the shore, and camp fires on the beach but on Maryland's Assateague Island, this is just what you'll find. It's easy to fall in love with this island. Who wouldn't bask in the joy of meeting Assateague's wild horses for the first time as they silently approach you. These are the moments that live beyond description and that remain in your memory forever

Camp reservations can be hard to come by. The easiest reservations to nail down are at camping spots on the bay side of the island where you park your car and walk to your site with gear in tote. More difficult to come by, but worth putting in the effort, are individual camp spots with drive up parking, which allows for easy access to gear throughout your stay. These spaces also sit just steps from the beach, offer a little more privacy, and are definitely worth holding out for on your first visit to Assateague. I've been trying to book another trip back and always sold out months in advance!

Assateague is open year round; the most popular time to visit is May through October. Also in the area is historic small-town Berlin, where "Runaway Bride" was filmed, and the famous Ocean City boardwalk, both just under 10 miles away.

Local steamed crab, is a must! My dad went into a local shop and all I remember is him coming out with a big brown bag full of crabs and being from Minnesota was like what is this! It was the most delicious, flavor explosion of crab I've ever had.

Camping at Assateague will be a pleasant experience you'll remember forever and create great family memories. Please share your tips or experiences below.

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park CO

    Stanley Hotel

    I'm sure if you've seen the movie The Shining you are aware of the famous Stanley Hotel. The hotel is located in Estes Park, CO which is a beautiful, fun little town to visit. Our tour started with the history of Estes Park and the hotel and then we went through the hotel. We're told of several encounters in a few of the rooms and things that are seen in the hallways. After the tour we captured a few unexplainable pictures so based off what we saw I would saw the Stanley Hotel is haunted but recommend you experience it for yourself.

    This picture theirs something to the left but I can't make out what it is.

    This lady wasn't on our tour so I thought it was a neat she showed up.

    If you've had any experiences please leave your comments I'd love to read them. ;)

    Steamboat Springs tubbing the Yampa River

    Every year the 2nd weekend in July we go to Steamboat Springs for our annual camping trip. After we set camp up and get a good nights rest we go tubing down the Yampa River. It's alot of fun. The river is more lazy with a few rapids along the way to keep it flowing/ interesting. If you're ever in the Steamboat area in the summer it's a must do.
    Yampa River

    Fish Creek Falls

    Denver Botanic Gardens

    Japanese Garden
    If you have never been to Denver's Botanic Garden it would be one of my top places to see. Dozens of gardens that are transforming from spring until fall, and every day is magically different! Every garden has something special to recommend it. I can't pretend that these pictures represent even a fraction of the wonderful plants, flowers, and scultptures. I think Denver is as a very eclectic city and it shows in the art that we have around the city. At the Botanic Garden's the art is constantly changing year to year to show case many artists.


    I never cease to be amazed at how wonderfully the staff and volunteers operate the Gardens! People love to picnic in the greenhouse which is wonderfully almost any time of year!