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As we were coming up on our final days at the park I wanted to get in as much as I could. We typically only do about a half day in the park and just buy passes for more days because it’s seriously exhausting trying to run around and do all the things. Seriously when we tap out at about 2pm/3pm we already have a good 20,000 steps on our Fitbit each and our feet are killing us! My favorite part each morning when we get there is walking through the empty park. Sure there are people lined up to get in but during this very slow time of the year you kind of feel like you get the park to yourself. Plus it makes for much better photos when there aren’t a ton of people in the way. 🙂 I don’t normally stop for pictures with characters around the…

Back to Universal Studios we went to check out the other side this time! The “Studios” side is just that, more about the studio things and movies but there is a ton of fun to be had at this side as well although I will say Islands of Adventure if my favorite. Shrek 4-D is an awesome ride to check out really close to when you walk in. There was only about a 5 minute wait so we got in right away. However they have soooo much space for lines in there I can honestly say I never want to be in a line that long, it could seriously be a 6+ hour line with how much zig zagging they have going on. Back to the Harry Potter area we went and straight to Gringotts. The dragon on top the bank does breath fire about every 15 minutes so be…

Finally it was time to hit up Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter aka my home. The whole reason we planned the trip for January is because after checking out some tourism sites they predicted this time to be the LEAST busy time of the entire year and holy crap it was so quiet and for someone who doesn’t love to be around people it was really freakin nice. We got there and Volcano Bay was closed(not that we planned to go) due to “weather”. I use that term loosely because I’ve really never laughed so hard in my entire life. People looked at us just bewildered that we were in shorts and it was 35 degrees out(just for an hour or so and then it was in the 60s/70s). We had literally just come from -70 degree weather in North Dakota, yes you read that right…

The first few full days in Florida we caught up on some sleep from the drive, did some shopping, and some exploring before we started our days at Universal Studios. I always like to find a local donut place to check out because we have NO donut shops where I live. We have grocery stores that make fresh donuts but it just doesn’t give me the same vibe as a place that specializes in donuts and has the ability to get more creative with them. I found Valkyrie Donuts online and they looked amazing. Their square donuts are the size of 2-3 regular donuts so they are HUGE and absolutely phenomenal. They had that perfect mix of density while still being a fluffy donut so it was amazing. I had to go with the cookies and cream one to keep it simple for now, too much stuff on it and…

Seriously I couldn’t wait to get on the road for Florida. We had done this drive just two years earlier in 2016 so we semi knew what to expect except this time it was January instead of March. The initial goal was to get as far south as possible as fast as we could as there was a blizzard in the forecast so we were basically racing it. It was of course still freezing most of the time but once we got out of North Dakota it was nice to be above -30 degrees(yes, -30 degrees fahrenheit). We always make lots of stops so Elsa doesn’t have any accidents in the car and she sometimes likes to be dramatic and make her peoples carry her all the time especially when it is even slightly cold out. Really she was born to live somewhere warmer I think. We did great racing…

As I was scrolling away on Facebook one day(which I do way too often to be honest) I came across a food truck festival in the town about an hour south of where I live. Let’s be real this kind of thing doesn’t happen much in North Dakota so I was beyond excited. I mean the entire purpose of a food truck festival is to EAT so win-win for me. While North Dakota doesn’t offer a large food truck festival there were still a good dozen trucks there to try out. The Texas BBQ truck offered a fun twist on tacos with their Hollywood Street tacos. Smoked pulled pork with a fresh made mango salsa topped with a cilantro cream sauce. These were amazing! Definitely the best tacos we had between the two trucks with tacos we tried. The CzechWagon had a huge variety of different options, one of which…

Back in August we were finally able to spend a weekend at my parent’s cabin in the Bemidji, MN area. It was the weekended of the Dragon Boat Festival which I have always wanted to check out and I of course found a couple great food places to stop at as well. We got into town Friday evening and after some time checking out the water with our furbaby Elsa I figured some good Mexican food was definitely in order. We head to this local place called Mi Rancho which was amazing. I instantly saw on the menu that they had HUGE margaritas so I got a raspberry one bigger than my face, it was amazing. My husband got his typical order from any Mexican restaurant, some sort of XL beef burrito. He opted to not get it smothered in sauce and cheese due to the fact that he was…

It’s time for the fourth and final segment from our Minneapolis trip. I guess when you’re there for 10 nights you have a lot of places to talk about although I will warn you there is a duplicate restaurant in this post again but it’s so damn good I couldn’t stop going! Sober Fish Sober Fish was this cute little sushi place I happened to find near the gym my husband was going to. The menu looked good so we tried it out. Lots of raw sushi options which isn’t usually our thing but we gave it a try and tried some new things. Definitely good but if you don’t LOVE raw fish this probably isn’t the place you want to go. Cantina This place is in the Mall of America and honestly my favorite place to get my Mexican food fix when I’m in Minneapolis(until I find something more…

I feel like my trips are always planned around the places I want to check out to eat. My husband doesn’t quite understand the foodie life but that’s ok, it means I don’t have to cook all the time and he still gets fed. 🙂 For part 3 of the Minneapolis series we stopped at a local cupcake place called Sweet Retreat Cupcake Boutique. We tried to go here on July 3rd but they were closed so we(I) made it a mission to come back when they were open to check it out. Why so determined? Well when they have awesome cakes like these in the windows you know you need to try it Yeah, that’s a 5 tier Harry Potter cake and a 5 tier Beauty and the Beast cake. The lighting was crap but you get the idea of the epic awesome-ness that sits in their shop window.…

This took me so long to get written. I think I just didn’t want to admit that this trip was over so I put it off for awhile. Monday July 3rd We were on a mission to check out a local doggie store with fun treats for our furbaby Elsa. Unfortunately the one we went to first was closed for the holiday the next day so we stumbled upon Bentley’s pet store instead. Elsa loved it and the staff was super helpful. We left with way more things than we needed for her. Great prices at the Edina store off France Ave for those in the area. We scored 60% off most of the bones pictured. One thing I LOVE about Minneapolis is how super dog friendly the town is. Not only are patios dog friendly but most of them even have a stash of dog bowls to fill with…