Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination
So about two or three years ago, my travel buddy Rosalyn and myself set out to see all 50 states. I look back and I truly don’t know when we decided to go on this journey but I’m thankful we did. While she finished her 50 state journey last December, I still have nine more states to go…whoo hoo! Many tell me one of two things: 1. They plan to start the same journey as me or 2. They don’t care to see a number of states. I totally get it! Years ago, I never would have thought to travel to the midwest or some of these less visited states. I mean, I never had a reason to do so! But once you start the journey, you find a new found appreciation of small towns, less populated states, and just seeing how vastly different one country can be. West coast to east coast…northern USA to southern USA…you’ll learn and see different cultures, way of living, accents, houses, architecture, landmarks, nature, food, and more!
I will say the easiest part of completing this mission is to truly have a travel partner(s) who is going on it as well. That will help when its time to tackle states like N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, etc. Plus, some states I HIGHLY recommend to not visit solo just for safety purposes. Not only some parts are culturally awakening but you don’t want to be left stranded in a rural part of the US if your car breaks down or you lose signal due to the lack of cell towers in the area.
While this was my first post to open up my travel diary to you on my 50 state journey, I will post my recap, pictures, tips, and more on all the states that I have captured thus far during this journey. There are a few states that I’ve been to prior to starting this journey that I may not have pictures for (but hey…they count for me!) I personally don’t count states that I just drove thru so all of my recaps will show my experiences whether its food, random activities, historical landmarks, and more. Please consider visiting all 50 states!
For Memorial Day weekend 2019, I took a more non-traditional trip to visit two more states on my #50StateJourney: Minnesota and Wisconsin! A lot of my friends joked as to why I would want to spend my long weekend in these two states but I don’t regret it one bit, I had a blast!! I think Minnesota was one of my favorite states thus far on this journey.
Most of my Memorial Day weekend was spent in the beautiful state of Minnesota by the way of the beautiful city of Minneapolis aka Twin Cities. The first thing I gathered about Minneapolis was how NEW and clean it is! Every building looked like it was recently built. The air was cool and crisp (It was like 60 degrees most days….brr) with lakes (I mean it is the land of 10,000 lakes) and greenery everywhere!
Day 1: We went to the Twin Cities Outlets in Eagen, MN. It was a beautiful outlet mall that I did some awesome Memorial Day Weekend shopping of some great deals. I snagged two pairs of Nike’s at the Nike outlet for a great price (whoo hoo!).
We stayed at the Home2Suites by Hilton which is across from the outlet mall. Very beautiful and modern hotel with free parking, wifi, continental breakfast, and more.
That night, we did some real low-key moves. Dinner was at Outback and while I typically like to try local spots, Outback hit the SPOT! Lol Afterwards, we went to Ansari’s to smoke hookah. Hookah isn’t really big in Minnesota so hookah spots are far and few. Therefore, the prices were a bit pricey but still a great time!
Day 2: We drove to Hudson, Wisconsin and spent the morning and afternoon at Willow River State Park. It was absolutely beautiful and peaceful. There were dogs EVERYWHERE (which pretty much was my touch of heaven), lots of friendly visitors, and breathtaking views of the water and greenery. If you ever decide to visit Willow River State Park, in order to get to the water, you have to park at a lot one min from the main entrance. It gets full quick so you’ll have to hope to catch someone leaving to snag their parking. Also, there is a MASSIVE incline to get to and from the water so on your way back to the car, be prepare for a tough hike. Thankfully, my Nike Free 5.0’s kept my feet nice and comfy.
After leaving Willow River State Park, we drove into Hudson a little more to get cheese curds from Bass Lake Cheese Factory. The cheese curds were delicious!! We received a bunch of odd stares while eating there…I guess everyone wondered how we stumbled upon their little town.
Once we returned back to Minneapolis, we continue on doing some site seeing. We went to the Stone Arch Bridge, Prince’s birth house (which is also seen in the movie Purple Rain!), the Minnesota Sculpture Park, First Avenue (where Prince used to always perform at), and a few random murals around town. All the pictures of these sites are in the slideshow below. For dinner, we ate at Genghis Grill. Super delicious and soooo filling! Kicks of the day were tan leather High Top Vans.
This was my favorite day of the trip….SHOPPING!!! We went to Mall of America…thee Malls of Malls in North America. It was a rainy and cold day so this was a perfect shopping day for sure. Since my boyfriend is military, we were able to get a free ticket to FlyOver America, this 4D ride that takes you on an adventure across the United States. I received a discounted military ticket for $14.95 (reg. price is $19.95). Overall, Mall of America was overwhelming (but not in a bad way)…literally every store you can think of was in there. It was amazing seeing how they had an aquarium, an amusement park, tons of restaurants, 2507528 stores, and more under one roof. Parking was a breeze and free. They name the levels of the parking garage by states and ironically we parked at on the Georgia level…hehe. Kicks wore during the mall were Air Jordan Retro 12’s “The Masters”.
After a day of shopping, we drove to Paisley Park in which we were immediately greeted by a security guard at the gate who said you can’t even park on the grounds without purchasing tickets. Also, you have to get tickets in advance as they don’t sell them at the door (and tickets are a whopping price of $50…yea um nawl. So we just took pictures outside and kept it moving. After that, like my normal self of finding the most random things, we stumbled upon the World’s Largest Mustache. It was a giant red mustache posted in front of a random business in and random town…but hey! It was cool, lol.
For dinner, we closed out our amazingly random trip at Cajun Boiling, in which they had a Memorial Day weekend special of crab legs and boiled shrimp for $21.99. Our service was absolutely amazing and the hushpuppies that came with our meal as an appetizer were delicious! So I highly recommend them, especially if you look seafood boil bags. After we ate, we ventured to Maxwell’s Cafe and Grill in which we made SOOOO many friends there who were also outside smoking hookah. The question that we got all weekend was “What brought you to Minnesota” and every time they are amazed by my 50 state journey. Speaking to Nakia and Bre had us chatting for like 2 hours like old friends! Then group of ladies came in that nobody knew and joined the convo…we legit were like one big happy family. It was the best time and so refreshing!!
Overall, our trip was amazing! Trip detail summary is below:
Hotel: We spent 4 days, three nights (a Saturday to Tuesday) in which our hotel was free (booked off Hilton Honors Points)
Car: Our car rental was only $115 thru Enterprise
Attractions: Willow River State Park entry fee was $13 (since we had Cali tags. MN or WI tags is $10)
Activities:Hookah will run you $30 PERIODT. We went to two hookah spots and they were both the same price
Welcome! This journey to creating my very own travel blog was not easy In fact, this was a topic of discussion that my friends would constantly tell me to do after every trip and I found every excuse in the book why I should not do one. Many of my friends and those that would talk to be about traveling would tell me I should create a travel blog to document my trips, which would in turn help them with their own trip planning and helpful tips. I kept dragging my feet for YEARS and saying no because I truly felt like everyone already had a travel blog or their own travel Instragram pages and whatnot. But then, one day I told myself…why not showcase MY travel journey? Everyone travels different and you just truly never know who you may inspire or assist with their own travel plans, dreams, or goals. I sit back and watch so many of my friends go after their passions and when people ask me what I’m passionate about, my three major things are: traveling, sneakers, and animals. SOOOO, It’s time for me to go after my passion too! Here it is…Kicking It Around the World!
“Kicking It Around the World” is my journey on all sorts of adventures around the world, WHICH will also document my huge love for sneakers captured along as part of my trips. Since I started traveling heavy back in 2012, the only thing I would use to track my trips were that I would make travel books or just albums on Facebook. This blog will help me unload pictures and my experiences from my trips and better document them. My blog are views from my own personal experience.