the land of 10,000 lakes

Last week, we piled the whole fam into the SUV and made for Minnesota. It sounded like quite the endeavor, but in the end, the roadtrip really wasn’t that big of deal. Willa always surprises me with how well she does in the car (for the most part). At this age, she loves talking to us (repeating the same thing over and over again), especially about things she sees out the window. A train spotting can pass at least 20 minutes. She slept some, and we definitely utilized the iPad a decent amount this trip. Hour by hour, the fields of Nebraska and Iowa zoomed past and after a night in Des Moines, we were delighted to be in Minneapolis.

We spent the week visiting good friends, and had the chance to go up to their cabin for a few days. It wasn’t as hot as we might have hoped for a lakehouse vacation, but we still had a fantastic time. I went swimming several times, we cooked good food, and we encountered tons of wildlife. I slept so well in the dark, quiet, cool cabin. It was delightful. A good night’s sleep when you’re pregnant is THE BEST.

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Back in Minneapolis we were able to go out for an adult dinner at a hip new restaurant, Hola Arepa, and ice cream at Sebastian Joe’s. And if that wasn’t enough to eat, the next day we hit up the Minnesota State Fair. Holy fried food. And big pigs.

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As is the case with any trip, I learned a few things on the road:

At 2.2 years old, Willa’s totally over the travel crib. But put her a “big girl bed” and she’ll sleep like a champ. (Or perhaps she heard what I said about her in my recent post and was trying to prove me wrong with a few sleep hiccups.)

Super 8 went through a phase a few years ago when they were spiffing up all their hotels. I think that phase is over. We might need to upgrade.

Iowa isn’t joking about the corn. We took a detour off the highway for awhile, and wow there were a lot of corn fields. And soybeans. We were listening to an anti-big agriculture podcast at the time. That seemed fitting.

You really can fry anything. Just check out the Minnesota State Fair. It’s also a great place to check out strollers.

Wendy’s frostys are still good. Oh and their fries are better than McDonald’s. And there’s no healthy food options off the interstate in Nebraska.

Des Moines had some of the most fantastic Thai food I’ve had in awhile.

Booking a last-minute hotel from your phone can result in a great deal. Check out the Hotel Tonight app!

Rest stops never appear when you want them to.

Starbucks milkshakes aren’t nearly as good as their frappuccinos.

Arepas are hard to split but probably should still be split because they are super filling.

Vacation is great.

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