Ya’ll, it’s been a minute, I know.
I graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and a minor in Business Administration from Ole Miss. I am a college graduate. Wow. Whoa. Can I go back to college now?
I traveled to Minnesota after graduation to visit my Semester at Sea friend, Josie Reshetar. I had never been to Minnesota before. I drove eight hours from St. Louis to Minneapolis.
I was fortunate enough to have stayed with Josie and her sweet family. I spent the 4th of July holiday exploring new territory.
Attached, I have included a photo of a map to help you understand how far I traveled within the Minneapolis area.
As soon as I arrived, Josie had big plans for me. She wanted to make sure she took me to all the places on her list before I left town.
If you like ice cream, you MUST visit Minnesota Nice Cream in downtown Minneapolis. Take a look at my photo below. Of course, I didn’t eat it all, but it was super super good. I had to go all out. I have always wanted to eat a cone like that. I had seen many pictures on social media similar to it. I am so happy Josie had me experience such a memorable place!
To continue the fun, we made our way towards the northeast of Minneapolis to Betty Danger’s Country Club, a restaurant and bar. We rode their vertically revolving patio, The Danger, a Ferris Wheel. It was a perfect site to end the evening. I got great photos and videos of the city.
We then drove 30 minutes to Excelsior, Minnesota. We had lunch at Maynard’s on Lake Minnetonka. Josie’s friend Abby joined us. She, too, gave me a nice tour and history of the lake. We shopped around at the nearby stores and watched children paddle board.
In between adventures, I had the chance to try Caribou Coffee. We don’t have it in St. Louis. If you have it in your city, I’m jealous. I prefer ice coffee so I tried the Iced Crafted Press. It’s a “smooth, slow-crafted, cold-filtered coffee with a hint of cream and real sugar. Served over ice.”
And, to add the cherry on top (literally), we spent one afternoon at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. We relaxed on white lawn chairs in front of the Spoonbridge and Cherry. It was nice to see families, residents and tourists come and go. Before we left, we walked around the Spoonbridge and Cherry to see the other sculptures. I love the color blue of the Hahn/Cock.
That same evening, we made our way to Stone Arch Bridge. We took our time to walk across it and back. We stopped occasionally to take photos, play with dogs and watch the sun set. So many people rode their bikes, skated and roller bladed across the bridge.
At this point, you are probably wondering if I made it to Mall of America. Yes, I did. Josie kindly took me! I didn’t ride any rides, but I watched them go around and around. I did shop great deals because Josie and I went to a concert that night. Spoiler alert, we didn’t event wear what we bought for the concert.
So, after shopping most of the day and running some errands, we went to the Pitbull concert. Josie knows how much I love Pitbull so being the best friend that she is, she arranged for us to go! We told ourselves we were going to get “cute” for the concert, but when the time came, we wore shorts and a t-shirt. Best decision we made (pic is not posted, but ask me for it, and I’ll share it). Yes, we had to document it. We think we got slightly made fun of by the people taking our pic because we had shown up like that. But, we did it for the memories. And, comfort, of course. The concert was on Prior Lake at Mystic Lake Amphitheater.
Can you believe we did all these activities I’ve mentioned so far in three days? On Fourth of July morning, Josie and I drove to Crosslake, Minnesota. Josie’s family has a cabin there. I got to meet more of her family. We spent most of the days on the boats and wearing out the wave runners. We even made our way to Big Trout Lake one afternoon via boat. I loved seeing all the friendly faces. They are right when they say, “Minnesota Nice.”
I am sure I will make my way up to Minnesota soon! I have so much more I want to see and do. I am very thankful for Josie, her family and friends so showing me their city.
Stay tuned for my next adventure (it will probably be with Josie)! We have been planning something exciting. Is it Iceland? New Zealand? California? Reply your guess!
GO! GO! GOOOO!!!!!
I scream this a lot when I am in Louisville, Kentucky. My sweet friends, Carolyn and Kelly Morris have grown up in Louisville. I’ve been to their hometown a few times. Most of the time, it is for the Kentucky Derby.
This year, I spent the first weekend in May at Churchill Downs. It has been two years since I was last at Churchill Downs.
The loving Morris family hosts us for the special occasion. We all attend the Kentucky Oaks, which is always the Friday/the day before the official Kentucky Derby.
The theme for the Kentucky Oaks is pink in honor of breast cancer. Most of the attendees are in some shade of pink. Churchill Downs becomes a lovely sea of pink as the day progresses.
Of course, I bet on the horses. No, I do not know what I am doing. I simply bet based on the horses’ name. I love choosing a horse to root for based on how relatable his or her name is to my life. I am so interested in the creative names. It makes me happy when I see either my first or middle name included in one of the horses’ name. My favorite is from two years ago. The horse’s name is Carina Mia. Look her up!
And, I always bet in the same way. It is my favorite. I pick the horses I wish to win and place my bet with a “show.” According to The Sports Geek,
"a Show bet is a manner of horse racing betting wherein the bettor selects a single horse in the race to finish anywhere in the top three positions. If the horse Shows (finishes in first, second or third), the bet is won. The amount paid is unequivocal, (i.e. the payout is the same no matter whether the horse finishes first or second.)"
For me, this is the easiest. If I do not have enough cash on me, I go to the convenient ATMs placed around Churchill Downs. There is a fee, but it is worth it, in my opinion. At first, I was intimidated by betting. I thought I was going to get made fun of how I wanted to place my bet. But, I was proven wrong. Every time I have gone up to the counter to bet, I am greeted with a warm smile.
Besides betting, the way in which an individual is dressed is important. This spring, I wore a fascinator made by a family friend. Linda owns her own business called This n’ That Embroidery. She matched the fascinator to the Amazing Lace romper. I was more than pleased with my unique fascinator she created! She had never made one before. I was so thankful she took on the challenge. It was defiantly an upgrade from two years ago’s Amazon hat. I liked being able to switch up this year’s look and wear something different. I wore heels by Steve Madden that complemented my purple theme.
Don’t ask me how much money I lost. A LOT is my answer, but it doesn't stop me from attending in 2019. I am slowly preparing by casually looking for inspiration for either a hat or fascinator. If you have suggestions or recommendations, let me know!
Enjoy the photos :)
Even though Iowa is the state above Missouri, I had never been in all the 22 years of my life until April.
I visited my friend Josie who attends Iowa State University. At the time, I was living in Oxford, Mississippi. After class on a Thursday, I decided to pack my bags and head home to St. Louis, Missouri. It is a five hour drive without stops. I usually drive straight through.
I arrived home later that evening. I spent the night at home and left at 10 a.m. on Friday to head to Ames. It it a six hour drive. I arrived at Josie’s apartment around 4 p.m. It was perfect timing since she finished class around 3 p.m.
The drive was extremely easy. It is one of my favorite routes. It has very little highway changes and turns. Most of the commute is on US-61 N toward Canton.
As you can tell, I LOVE spontaneous trips. This was a very very last minute decision to go see Josie. Proof is attached and provided by my senior year of college roommate, Alicia Vellante.
On Friday evening, Josie and I had dinner at The Cafe. I ordered the mac n cheese shown below. DELICIOUS!!
Josie lives in such a great location. Her apartment is off campus, but it is super close, walking distance, to campus. She does not take any form of transportation to and from class. In addition, she is also walking distance to the bars.
We spent Friday night at Paddy’s Irish Pub and Sips. On Saturday morning, we made a home cooked breakfast. We relaxed most of the day. We had a late lunch at Blaze Pizza. It is a chain restaurant all across the US. I had never eaten at Blaze Pizza before. I loved being able to create my own artisanal fast-fired pizza. Take a look at the mouthwatering photo below. On Saturday evening, we went out to Outlaws and Es Tas Bar and Grill.
On Sunday, we hung out at her apartment because it began to snow. It was so so so pretty! We looked out the window as each and every snowflake covered campus. I, of course, had a hot coffee in hand. Below Josie’s apartment complex, there is a Starbucks. I placed a mobile order and walked down to get it. How nice, right?!
On Monday morning, Josie dropped me off before her 8 a.m. class at my car where it had been parked for free overnight since Friday on campus. I scrapped my car off of snow and ice and headed back to St. Louis. The highways were clear. I was so thankful. I was not delayed in any way due to the weather as I made my way back home.
I arrived home just before 2 p.m. I was able to spend the rest of the day and evening with my family. I left for Oxford on Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. to make it to my 1 p.m. class. I did!
I had a wonderful time in Ames. I am hoping to make it back this fall for a football game.
Enjoy the photos :)