Category Archives: Travel

When in Seattle…

I recently made my first trip to Seattle thus a number of firsts ensued. In order to avoid being too lengthly, here is my executive summary:

– Perfect weather
– Lovely people
– Delicious food
– Beautiful sights
– Gorgeous wedding

Here is the photo recap! Enjoy!














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Report from “Up North”

Last weekend I headed “up north” for my first trip to Lake Superior and more specifically Cornucopia, Wisconsin. Lucky me!! A friend invited a group of people to come up for the weekend and while it was not warm enough to get in the water (not sure it ever is there…) we certainly had fun ON the water!






For the most part, I dislike pretty much every aspect of cold weather; snow, ice, sock, layers, runny noses, bone chilling cold (you get the point). But I have to admit that the surroundings were gorgeous. The sun was out, the sky was filled with beautiful white puffy clouds and the company kept made me completely forget even the slight chill I felt through my doubled-up mittens and multi-layered long-johns!

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Can’t go wrong with a burger and fries

While in California over the holidays, I felt a little like a “cheater” when I walked through the doors of Five Guys. Being a lover of In-N-Out it was hard to wrap my head around going anywhere else. But Five Guys is my mom’s favorite (I use this term loosely) fast food burger joint. So while the guys were hard at work, Mom and I stopped in to pick up some nourishment for all.

Honestly, all I knew about this place was that Obama liked to eat their while in Washington D.C. during his first campaign season– thus I really had no expectations.

Similar to In-N-Out, Five Guys is brightly lit, donned in red and white and has an open kitchen concept. Other than that, it seems the similarities stop. To start bags of potatos lined the walls ready to be cleaned and made into some fresh cut fries.



And while the options at In-N-Out are on the “Secret Menu”, the options are endlessly listed on the Five Guys menu board– literally endless.



The burger patty was juicy and perfectly cooked. I opted for just about everything on my burger– jalapenos, onions, lettuce, bacon; the works! And it was delicious!


While I am a die hard In-N-Out fan, I must admit this was pretty darn good and there is something to be said that it is accessible here in MN! If you haven’t checked it out, it is definitely worth making a trip to your nearest Five Guys… at least to tide you over until In-N-Out makes their nationwide expanision!

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Get it? Got it? Getty!

I was so blessed over Christmas to be able to travel to California to be with my family. On one of the days we all piled in (like old times) to the car and headed up to The Getty in Los Angeles. If you make it out to LA, this is a can’t miss!

While there are incredible galleries filled with beautiful art, I was captivated not only be the weather but the incredible architecture and beauty of the land. Here is a photo recap. Enjoy!









Ready to plan your trip yet?! Cheers!
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Stack ’em up

A few months back, I blogged about my trip to LA and somehow left out one of my favorite discoveries along the way; I will call it “to go wine”. See my friend and I were at a birthday party in the old LA Zoo but following the party we were heading straight to the Hollywood Forever Cemetary to see The Birds. In need of some food and drink, we headed to the grocery to pick up some goodies.

We had almonds, and veggies but needed some beverages. While scouring the wine aisle for something delish when I spotted an oddly shaped, purple paper wrapped bottle. In true girl form I have to admit I picked this “bottle” based purely on the presentation (great work Mr. Wine Marketer).

These little guys stack on top of one another hence the name Stacked Merlot to make the “bottle” and are each individually sealed in their own plastic glass for easy transport. This was hassle free–just perfect if you were planning a picnic, or in this case going to a movie in the cemetary!

Hitchcock and wine, snuggled up on the cemetary lawn… one of the best nights ever!

Cheers! Check out more Stacked products online:


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got the urge?

Ever feel the urge to get out of town?? This is where I want to be today…

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A slice of Chicago…

Last week I was in Chicago on business. It was the first time I had ever been to Chicago without being escorted by a “native”. We spent many hours like this…

So, my manager and I made sure there to squeeze in as much fun as we could! Here is a recap of the of the pictures over the 5 day stint.

Roof on the Wit:


Lake Michigan from the conference center:

Me and the Colonel after a big Iowa win over the Gophers!!

Oh wait, did I mention the HAWKS WON!?!

Lost in Chinatown:

Anyway, the seminar was a ton of learning and the free time was a blast! There was lots of walking, eating and as much football as we could possibly squeeze in. Additionally, I was THRILLED that I was able to meet up with one of my besties Katie while she was in town on business for the night and my sweet Kaleigh (Iowa transplant) at a killer Italian restaurant. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures. Nonetheless, a great time all around– I think a girls weekend is in order– Chicago is already calling my name!

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Mr. Jones & Me

My first time… making arugula and prosciutto pizza

One of the places I fell in love with while in L.A. was a neighborhood Italian restaurant called Jones in West Hollywood located right on Santa Monica Boulevard. Just down the street from my tour guides place, this cozy place was visited more than once during my weekend getaway.

The ambiance was great dim lighting, large booths, bench and bar seating all the while your senses are tempted by the incredible smell of Italian food. Both nights we went to Jones, the staff was attentive and the delivery time minimal.

On my last night in town we decided to end our night at Jones. We easily found seats at the bar, ordered a couple rounds of Ketel dirty on the rocks (the best), and the “Prosciutto and arugula pizza”. I knew little else of what this pizza would entail as I wasn’t looking at a menu purely going off a trusted recommendation.

I wish I had taken a picture and captured the smells wafting from the pizza as it arrived in front of me. The crust was thin, light and crispy and the toppings were cooked to absolute perfection– not to mention and incredible mix of savory and salty. The texture, mixture of flavor, minimal amount of cheese and lack of sauce made this pizza to die for.




Now it seems I have written a romance novel about a pizza. What can I say I fell in love. I will most certainly head back to Jones next time I am in L.A. but until then I thought it fitting to attempt to recreate the Prosciutto pizza. So here’s the photo recap…












I can honestly say I would only change 2 things— add garlic, slightly toast the crust before topping. Other than that, this was close-ish to the original (for my first try). I will try this again and let you know how it goes! Dig in!













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“She’s a Rich Girl…”

My first time… having a personal tour guide in L.A. 

It may sound odd being a girl from the Midwest but I have always thought myself a California girl at heart (and hope to live there soon… much sooner rather than later). The sun, the pace, the diversity– I could go on and on. Anyway, I have been to California a number of times but I have never had a tour guide like I did on my most recent trip to Los Angeles. One of my nearest and dearest provided sightseeing, food, sun, music, movies, the beach and tons of time to catch up. Here are a just few of the highlights…

Only one thing would have made this weekend better… had my phone not been a constantly dying and had I remembered to pull out my camera and take more pictures of me and my tour guide. Nonetheless, it was a wonderful weekend that I would relive over and over again. Now it’s time to return the favor and provide a tour of Minneapolis!!! “Come on down”–errr over!


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“The UP”

My first time… in the  “The UP” aka Upper Peninsula of Michigan

I was thrilled when I was invited to join friends in “The UP” for the Fourth of July. I had not taken any vacation days since this winter and was so excited to get out of the city and into the woods. So on the 3rd, Luke, my trusty road warrior and I loaded up the car and headed out on our six hour road trip in hopes of bliss.

The trip there was gorgeous; beautiful green trees, rolling hills– this extended into northern Minnesota, through Wisconsin and all the way into Michigan. Unfortunately the sun did not last the whole trip and while we arrived in the middle of the night… I woke up to absolute beauty.


The was sun baking and the water provided incredible refuge from the heat. It was cool and calm; perfect for floating with a drink… which I did all week long.

More to come on all the cool places I tried and adventures we had!