#MNStateFair 2018 Mini Adventure

As per annual tradition, we had to get a quick visit in to the Minnesota State Fair just a week before we go on a full-fledged vacation. As per usual, we had to pause the pre-vacation diet to enjoy the full fledged event that the fair provides.

Unlike last year, I won’t rank or grade all the food, instead I’ll make snarky comments and openly judge what I did or didn’t like about the day. Soooo, just like any other day. 

First of all, we took a vacation day from work to not deal with to much of a crowd, but what also helped thin the crowd was the unavoidable rain we had to endure off and on throughout the day. Not only that, but then it hailed right before we caught the bus from the University of Minnesota park and ride.

Side note: shout out to those people using metro transit when possible. It’s a great alternative and for the fair, it’s a free option in many cases. 

First food up: Fried Pickles

We get these every year for a reason, that reason being that they taste good. The reason we get it first is two-fold; its right by the entrance and I typically haven’t eaten all day before we get there, so I’m super hangry. 

Second food: Papa Pup

For the uninitiated, it’s a giant corn dog on a stick. I was hungry so didn’t really get a picture. If you REALLLLY want to see it, check out last year’s awkward photos

Third up: We enjoyed a beer from the new state fair venue ‘The Hanger’.

The new beer we tried was Cake’d Up Celebration Beer locally brewed by Mankato Brewery. Even Steph enjoyed the flavor, and if you’re into unique flavors, check out this link to see some of the others available this year at the fair.


Fourth/Fifth/Sixth Foods: Pork Egg Rolls, Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, and Fries with ketchup

Does this count as surf and turf?

Seventh/Eight: Grilled Banana Marshmallow Cream and Chocolate Sandwich (Steph’s perennial favorite) with a S’mores Latte

We get the sandwich every year (along with a sugar buzz), but this year we also enjoyed a hot latte. It was a great pairing and Moe Joe’s is a great little place to make a stop. 

We also found some fun items to bring home; a custom etched metal sign for the basement (if it ever gets finished) and some MPR Raccoon socks. 

(If you don’t know the story about the Raccoon, its well worth the time to find out.)

That’s it for this year, but I’d love to hear from others on what foods they enjoyed this or any other year. Have fun out there! 

Time to get weird in the City of Roses – Portland – July 2018

I’ve been so invested in researching and planning our upcoming trip to Italy, that I realized we never blogged about our getaway to Portland.   One of us had some vacation days to use up before losing them, so we decided to take a quick trip to somewhere new.  We narrowed it down to a few destinations to consider and then picked Portland based on finding the best deal.  Being that Portland is known for great food, breweries and beautiful scenery it definitely checked off a few boxes and we were excited to add another new place to our list of adventures.

Here are the highlights:

Donuts Wars!  We had our own taste test challenge by trying both Blue Star Donuts and Voodoo Donuts.  First up, Blue Star.  This place is great!  There flavors are more creative They were also quite filling since they use a brioche base.  All in all, these were some tasty donuts.

Next stop was Voodoo Donuts.  If you’ve never been here before, be prepared for crazy long lines.   Depending on the time of day, you could easily spend over an hour before even getting to experience the delicious pastry treats. We finally made it there at 10:30PM and still waited 30 minutes.   Now these donuts are creative, colorful, fun and delicious. Nothing too unique when it comes to flavors, but overall a good quality donuts.  Our verdict for this challenge was that we preferred Voodoo due to having more variety to choose from.

Other highlights were a trip to Multnomah Falls, Latourell Falls and Forest Park’s iconic Stone House.  Growing up, and still today, one of my favorite movies is The Goonies, so for me, one of the other highlights was taking a trip out to the coast to see the Haystacks.  “Hey you Guuyys!”

I do want to mention one of the more unique places we went.  McMenamin’s is a restored elementary school that was vacant for years before being converted into a hotel with a movie theater and multiple bars and a restaurant.   If you’re ever in Portland, it’s worth stopping in and just walking through the halls.  All of the classrooms have been converted into hotel rooms, and old school memorabilia and murals still hang on the walls.

Finally there were lots of stops to check out some signs and murals. Overall the trip was fun and we ate lot of great food (Salt and Straw ice cream, Pine State Biscuits, & Breakside Brewery). Until next time…Stay Weird.


Where have you been? Where are you going?

We haven’t been on an adventure in 6 months? Six. Damn. Months.

Sorry its been so long, but with being an adult, sometimes life gets in the way. We are about to change that though with this being our 15th year (FIFTEEN!) together we decided to go big another year in a row and visit Italy for 2 weeks in the fall.

And while I don’t have much to share as I am currently pouring over Steph’s vacation activities spreadsheet (jokes about that later),  I am asking for your help.

Yes you.

Have you ever been to Italy? Have you ever looked at Italy on a map, or just looked at the interweb and thought; “I should do some research on the Vatican”? If so, what did you like? Was it the wine, the woman, the canals, the lakes or the European swimming trunks that look damn fine on me? (Mental image provided)

What I am getting at is that we want your advice and ideas. Send them our way and help us out just like we would if you were to visit any of the places we’ve been lucky enough to travel to.venice-2504165_960_720

And if you’ve forgotten where we’ve been to, check out some of our other posts or Vimeo page for our video recaps.


Iceland 2017

A few weeks before we left for Australia & Fiji, we saw a deal for Iceland that we just couldn’t pass up. Around $800 round trip? It felt like stealing.

So, weeks after the tropical Fiji islands, we went to Iceland in the beginning of winter where the normal high was around 35 degrees and the ‘feels like’ was MUCH lower.

Instead of bombarding you with dozens of picture posts, Steph put this video together.

Queensland Visit Recap – 1st Stop!

#travelblog #vincentadventure #Australia #queensland

Hit the link below for more photos.

This being our second time in Australia, we decided to take nearly 3 weeks and cram all the things we didn’t do the first time. So what did we do first? We went back to a place we’ve already been.

If you ever get the chance, visit Queensland.

  • Its tropical and beach-y
  • has friendly people
  • if you get up early on the coast – you get to see the sun rise over the water in such a way that no photo could ever capture fully


Within the rain forest they also have a skyrail that allows you to travel through it from 100-plus meters overhead. My wife somehow talked me into doing it, but at least we didn’t take the gondola with a glass bottom. I might have peed from fear.

There are also stops along the way where you transfer from skyrail gondola to gondola, but can take mini walks through the rain forest. It’s a protected land for miles around that provides views of nearly the entire forest.


This is how you celebrate a good first stop on a vacation. 

We also stopped by a crocodile farm home to nearly 3,000 salties and other varieties. It was also essentially a full zoo with a number of protected birds, snakes and other wildlife. Some of the features included a Crock Attack show and a boat ride where the host fed some hostile salties from the side of the boat.

Oh yeah, we got – and we got to pet Koalas.



Living on Fiji time

Bula! Fiji…what can I say? 

(Hit the link below for many more pictures)

Beautiful sunsets, FRIENDLY people, and amazingly clear turquoise water. This part of our trip has been all about relaxing and enjoying the views and “no schedule”. We purposely didn’t plan a single thing to do while in Fiji and decided to just soak up the sun and let the day decide what we wanted to do.

We are wrapping up our 5th day in Fiji on the island of Tokoriki which is part of the Mamanuca islands, about an hour boat ride from the main island. So far we’ve spent most of our time at the pool and snorkeling. The reef right off the beach was destroyed when the cyclone hit this island in 2016 so in order to get out past the damage you get towed out on the back of a jet ski. The water was so blue and clear And filled with vibrant color fish and coral. I even managed to see an octopus and small reef shark. 
The other activity we decided to do was to tour around the island on a jet ski. This was my first time being on a jet ski so I was a bit nervous. The water was a bit choppy that afternoon but overall really fun and awesome to see views of the entire island and others near by.  

Australia…until we meet again 

#australia #weregoingonanadventure #vincentstravel #Amazingvacation

Australia, I love you! My 2nd trip to your country has been amazing, so much so that I can’t wait to visit again. I thought to myself before arriving that this would probably be the last time I visit, I mean most people don’t get a chance to visit even once let alone twice, but Melbourne and Palm Cove you have won my heart. 

 There is so much to do that we barely scratched the surface. We have made so many memories and eaten some great food over the past 2 weeks.  

The highlights: Alice Springs Kangaroo Sanctuary and holding the baby joeys, Uluru star light tour at sunset, driving the Great Ocean Road, street art in Melbourne and seeing so much wildlife in their natural habitats. 

This portion of our trip will come to an end in a few hours as we make our way to Fiji. So long for now Australia and see you in a few years. 
Jason: Ditto the above. 

The Red Centre Adventure

#Australia #RedCentre #Vacation #Uluru #FieldofLights #KataTjuta 

We just completed/survived our 5 day adventure in the Australia outback. Ok it wasn’t bad at all. The weather was actually pleasant compared to what summer brings.
Highlights: We spent the first 2 days in Yulara to see Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park. The city of Yulara mainly consists of the Ayer’s Rock Resort which has 5 different places to stay with varying accommodations.  
The highlight of this first day in Yulara was the Uluru Field of lights. On this tour you watch sunset over Uluru while enjoying beer, champagne and canapés (I did not enjoy the beetroot and prosciutto canapés). As the sun begins to set the field lights up with 50000 glass spheres. This is an amazing experience and the pictures don’t quite do it justice.  

The second day got us up early to catch the sunrise at Kata Tjuta about 45 minutes away from the resort. From to lookout spot we could see sunrise over Uluru as well as Kata Tjuta. Tip – try to get here at least 30 mins before sunrise to beat the tour. We then went to hike the Valley of the Winds trails to Karu and Karingana lookouts and then hiked the Walpa Gorge. Beautiful scenery at both locations with only a few groups on the trails. The hikes were challenging but views were worth it.  

That afternoon we decided to take a visit to the Uluru Camel farm. If you plan ahead you can take camel rides at sunrise or sunset. This was not something I originally had thought about doing and by the time we got here they were booked. We didn’t let this chance go to waste and instead took a quick ride around the park on Cooper the lead camel.   

The next day was mainly set aside to drive from Ayer’s Rock Resort to Alice Springs traveling the red centre way. Armed with a full tank of gas, water and snacks we set out on the long journey. This is a long drive on 2 roads with little to see and few places to stop. You spend most of the time watching the sides of the road closely to make sure wildlife (kangaroos, camels and cattle) don’t get too close. Apparently that is where the grass and shrubs are the greenest. 
The main reason for traveling to Alice Springs was to visit The Kangaroo Sanctuary (details in previous post), but we had some extra time to get out and see some of the scenery. Big draws to Alice are the Desert Garden and the Telegraph Station. We instead decided to take a short drive to hike some shorter trails on the Larapinta Trail. Highlight of this hike was Simpsons Gap. We had this whole place to ourselves and it was beautiful. You can’t swim at this place and we were told they haven’t had any rain here since Feb. If you hike this around the early morning or later afternoon you may see rock wallabies.  

Kangaroo Dundee and His Sanctuary 

#Australia #KangarooDundee #RedCenter #Vacation 

Have you ever heard of “the most famous kangaroo in the world”? A few years ago on social media he popped up looking muscular and crushing metal buckets and today we got to go to his home. Roger the Kangaroo wasn’t feeling well so we didn’t get to see him, but we got to feed, pet and hold some of his best mates. 

By far the best though was getting to hold a few joeys. They had been recently orphaned as their moms had been hit by vehicles here in the outback. This is sadly a common occurrence. 

If you don’t already, make sure to follow http://instagram.com/thekangaroosanctuary on instagram. They also have a Facebook page. The story of Kangaroo Dundee can also be found on Netflix. It’s a great story about a caring man and his mission to save kangaroos that have been either orphaned or given up and cannot be immediately reintroduced into the wild. 

Below is a photo of the current alpha Monty and Danny and his assistant Zen-Zen who took us on a tour of the sanctuary. 

#Queensland – The Other Sunshine State 

#PalmCove and #Cairns in Queensland, home to the #GreatBarrierReef 

Jason and I were fortunate to visit Australia 6 years ago and spent nearly a week here during our first trip. We loved it so much that we decided to make another stop this time around.  
Based on our previous post, we spent 3.5 days in Cairns and at one of the first Northern beach resorts in Palm Cove.

Trying to adjust to the 15 hour time difference has been quite an adjustment. We found ourselves waking up at 4:30, 2 hours before sunrise and nearly 4 hours before the nearby Rising Sun cafe. We watched the sun rise from the beach outside our resort and then spent the mornings walking the miles and miles of sandy beaches of the Coral Sea. 

Now walking the beaches sounds safe enough but you need to be alert. At certain times of the year/day in the shallow lagoons on the other side of the beach for the “salties” crocodiles that dwell and breed in the area. If that doesn’t sound scary enough, you also need to be cautious of the stingers (jellyfish) in the water.  

The first activity we did was a trip to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure Park. Home to over 3000 crocs on display and for farming. While here we watched the attack show, took a boat ride in the croc lagoon and got to watch them feed. Pretty interesting afternoon and learned a lot of interesting (and scary) things. 

We knew we wanted to get out to the reef again on this trip so we decided to book a day trip to Green Island, about a 50 min boat ride away from Cairns. The sea that day was a bit rough but armed with my dramamine and sea bands we headed out for the afternoon. Once we arrived we made our way to the beach and snorkeled. Not the best snorkeling we’ve done but still managed to enjoy ourselves and see some fish.

We struggled back and forth with what to do for our last day in Queensland. We didn’t have the luxury of committing 10-12 hours for a trip to the Daintree Rainforest so instead opted for a trip the Kuranda village on the cable sky rail. We did this the first time we came here and decided to do it once more this time in reverse. It takes about 1.5 hours to get up to the top with 2 stops to get out and walk through the rainforest to see the waterfall. Once you reach Kuranda village you have time to explore the village and shops before making your way back down via the scenic railway. The train takes 2.5 hours to get down and crosses through tunnels and over bridges as you make your way to the highlight for a stop at Barron Falls.  

Overall we really enjoyed visiting Queensland. IF we ever make it back here (Jason said it would be at least 10 years before coming back) I’d love to visit the Daintree Rainforest, which is believed to be the oldest, and Paronella Park to see the castle ruins and waterfalls.