Thursday, August 26, 2010

Winding Down

I can’t believe I went back to school as of yesterday! This summer went by faster than any other summer I recall. Now starting my Junior year in college, I realized I’ve made it 2 years, and 2 to go!



The last hurrah at the Healthy Living Summit. We met these two glorious ladies the first night at the cocktail party. Lisa, myself, my mom, and Lindsey!

Coming back from Chicago last Sunday, the 15th, was a long ride. I think just knowing that I had to come home and all the Chicago fun had to end made me sad. But at least my mom and I got to make one last stop at Wisconsin Dells to extend our vacation into Monday.

The trip from Chicago to the Dells is actually quite beautiful. Wisconsin has a lot of beautiful landscapes, and it was definitely worth the extra hours of driving to see it all. I spent the majority of the time digging through my swag bag from the Healthy Living Summit, and of course had to try a few snackaroos.


If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’ll know that I am not a huge chip fan, but give me some Popchips and I can easily down the bag—they are by far the best chips. Light, airy, flavorful, crunchy, and best of all they are baked vs fried which means they’re healthy!


We also got a miniature N’Oatmeal Raisin Cookie made by Mary’s Gone Crackers, which is basically an oatmeal cookie made without the oats. I am still not 100% sure of how I feel about the folks at Mary’s taking the oatmeal out of the typical oatmeal cookie, but they were chewy and still had the “oatmeal cookie taste”. Would I buy em in a store? Probably not.


We made it to the Dells around 5-ish and wanted to find somewhere to eat—I always jump at the chance to try new buffets, so we made are way to the Chula Vista resort and ate at their Market Fresh Buffet, which prides themselves on having 90 feet of buffet to choose from!


Beautiful salad bar

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Flank steak, buffalo shrimp, mahi mahi, salmon with wasabi, mashed potatoes, and peas.

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Then I got to work cracking crab legs—yum!

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We stayed at the Black Hawk Motel downtown Dells, which I highly recommend by the way, and it was conveniently located by all the little shops—and this place that caught my eye right away!

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Good thing I went inside—my head started spinning when I saw this sign!!

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Take a guess what flavor I chose!

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Wow, I wish our town had 24 flavors of soft-serve somewhere..actually I take that back—if we did, I’d be broke!


After get a good nights rest, we headed out bright and early Monday morning, but first relied on Denny’s to fuel our day.


I started with this lovely fruit parfait…


Then I got a glorious all veggie omelet with no cheese, and a side of red-skinned potatoes!


So picture more driving—6 hours to be exact—a few stops to shop and stretch, and finally making it back into Minnesota by five o’clock, which was perfect timing to stop at The Outback Steakhouse. This was my first time eating here, and definitely won’t be my last!



The brown bread was really good and hearty!


I ordered the Outback Special which is a 9 oz sirloin steak seasoned with bold spices, and seared just right. I also got a baked potato on the side to round of a great meal—sometimes I just want a big, juicy steak to call it a day!



So overall, I loved Chicago—the city, the lights, the sights, and the smells. The Healthy Living Summit was definitely worth the drive and I will be attending next year for sure! Spending all that time with my mom and being able to go on a vacation before summer was over will be a memory that lasts far beyond the lazy days of 2010 summer!

However, I am so glad to be home to the slow-paced northern Minnesota lifestyle, family, friends, school, and a HOME COOKED MEAL!!


What was your best memory of summer this year??


brandi said...

I'm glad you had such a good time at the Summit! I'm so sad I missed it this year - I hope I can make the next one so I can meet everyone!

Lindsay @ said...

My best memory of the summer is reconnecting with a family member that I'd had a "falling out" with. I'm so happy now. Good luck at school. I love Popchips too. They're too good to put down.

Kelly said...

Looks like you had a great time. I haven't been to the dells since I was a kid so I would love to go back. I'm just bummed our schedules didn't align ias it would have been great to finally meet you!

As a sidebar, I’m a finalist in another recipe contest! I’d love your support if you have a moment. To vote, see my video here: and then click that you “like it.” (Note that you will have to log into your youtube account to vote and if you don’t have one, you’ll have to create one. I promise it only takes a minute!…) If nothing else you …get to see me look awkward on video. :- And thanks for all the support so far. Much appreciated.

Mary said...

It sounded like a fabulous summer. Good luck in the coming school year. Have a great weekend. Mary

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Krista said...

I'm the same with you and chips. Don't love'em, but Popchips I can eat no problemo!!

Awesome froyo! I'd've picked the cheescake as well...

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