Thursday, July 28, 2016

Shut Up and Eat in Portland, Oregon

We are actually on vacation right now in Oregon. But I was looking at some blog stuff and noticed that I had a huge spike in hits yesterday. I know I have typically posted on this blog on Wednesday but had not since I did have the capability to really share it very much but obviously there are people still coming even if I don't share it across my social media sites.

Anyways, our first stop when we arrived in Portland was for lunch at this place called Shut Up and Eat. The sandwich and fries are really as good as they look comma perhaps even better. I did order a bloody mary because I really do like Bloody Mary's but I wasn't all that impressed with this one. Maybe I should have had an Italian soda there instead. The sandwiches there tend to be Italian in nature and tasted awesome.

I had put my husband in charge of finding a place to eat lunch when we first arrived there. Since he is in Portland often for work he has eaten at a variety of places but typically he is without a vehicle so he is usually within walking distance or have something delivered to him.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Cedar Lodge and Settlement - Wisconsin Dells

This is the outside of Cedar Lodge and Settlement cabin number 29. Obviously, this is that night. All of the cabins have these lights on them which look pretty neat. Cabin number 28 and 29 are both two bedroom with a loft cabin. Each of the bedrooms has a queen bed and the Loft has two queen beds, plus a sleeper sofa in the living room.

I think what I liked most about the place was its location along the river. The kids could go and play on their place at or dig in the sand beach and we could sit there and enjoy the calmness there after having spent the day in downtown Dells or at Noah's Ark or another water park. This is a picture of the fire pit. They do provide wood and paper and matches to start it. We brought along our own marshmallow sticks and s'mores supplies but they did sell s'mores kits in the office.
My kids and their cousin are young enough to still enjoy a place that so this was an asset to us to have this available for them too get rid of some energy. There were other kids staying in the hotel part that they played with at the place that as well.
Here I am set up at a chair enjoying the coffee my husband picked up for me looking at the river and the Bluffs. You do see some army ducks tours go by and people floating down the river on tubes or in kayaks. Right next door is a place that rents fishing boats, tube, and kayaks. It is quite a lazy river so it will not be and exciting tube time but a relaxing one instead.

The cabin rental did include passes to go to both Noah's Ark and the water parks at Chula Vista Resort for our entire State. We did go to Chula Vista to the indoor waterpark the first night then we went to Noah's Ark the next two days. The inclusion of these wristbands help offset the cost of the cabin which was quite a bit. The cabin next door at the other place seemed to be cheaper but did not include the passes. Had this not been a waterpark intended trip I may have looked at the place next door instead which we may do in the future. It also included passes to go to the Big Cat Rescue but that look to be almost a half-hour away in the opposite direction of where we were going to be heading when we go home.

The place also did have a pool but we never got a chance to use it because we were busy doing other things. We thoroughly enjoyed having the use of a full kitchen and 2 bathrooms. We stayed there with my sister and her family so there were two families in the cabin.

One thing I didn't care for was that we were required to remove our own trash. It's not a big deal but when you pay $400 a night, you expect them to remove the trash. I also found it to be quite Dusty on the lights and light fixtures and underneath the beds. If the kids weren't playing hide-and-seek and came out covered in dust bunnies we probably would not have noticed but I expect it to not have so much dust.

Overall though, it was a nice place to stay and the inclusion of passes was awesome. They only required a two-night stay which is why we chose this place where as a lot of other places in the Dells require a three-night stay in the summer.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Chula Vista Indoor Watermark - Wisconsin Dells

There are a variety of places in the Dells that advertise FREE passes to the Chula Vista watermarks (indoor and outdoor) with your stay. The place we stayed (Cedar Lodge and Settlement - will post about later) was one of those places. With Wisconsin Dells being the waterpark capital of the world it is crucial that hotels, motels, and campgrounds have a water park or offer passes  to one in order to entice customers. We drove by quite a few places that had free Chula Vista passes listed on their Marquis. I knew in advance that we were getting the free passes here from the place we were staying at we decided to stay at a different place other than one of the big water park resorts because we were planning to go to Noah's Ark for the water park.

Having access to an indoor water park was nice. We went to the Chula Vista Indoor Waterpark for 3 hours the evenings we checked in. Anyone traveling with kids should know the magic height is 48 inches and  they can go on everything.

Like most big water parks they have the customary huge bucket that fills and dumps on everyone playing in the climbing area with smaller slides. There is also a roller coaster slide and a couple of body slide a couple of tube slides and a couple of Matt slides as well. There is a hot tub indoors, a basketball playing area comma a smaller kids Splash area, and a lazy river.

Like a lot of lazy Rivers it really is not so lazy. They allow kids to be in it without tubes and they are pretty much running through the Lazy River the entire time. One of my favorite rides there was one that is like a toilet bowl where you circle around until you get flushed down a hole. I thought the roller coaster water slide was quite jerky and was not as fun to go on as some of the body slides and mat slides. I did not think the lifeguards here we were very attentive. They seem to let a lot of stuff go except for in the hot tub I noticed they would make sure anyone under the age of 12 wasn't in there unless they had an adult with them.

It was nice to have an indoor option 4 something to do when it was getting cooler. They do have other outdoor pool and water park areas at this hotel but we did not go to them.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Lake Time Up North in Minnesota

This past 4th of July weekend we spent five full days up north in Minnesota at our cabin. When we are up here we like to go to a variety of different lakes. This time we decided to try out a couple of new lakes to see what they were like. We drove up in the evening and got to our cabin quite late but that made it so we had the five full days to be out and about.

The kids decided to do swimming and snorkeling while we were at this Lake. It was quite clear so snorkeling was actually possibility.

These top two photographs are taken on Bay Lake. Don't let these pictures for you, we managed to find a quiet spot on the lake but the rest of the lake was extremely busy. We had to drive around quite a bit trying to find something that was not filled with boaters pulling tubes and water skis or a place where we would not bother fisherman.

This next picture was taken at East big rabbit Lake. We decided to get out early to go to being before a bunch of other people arrived. We just want to be safe with the kids in that have too many other boaters and other two hours to watch out for. It was a pretty perfect morning and early afternoon to go tubing.

These two fishing pictures are taken on West rabbit Lake. You access both East and West rabbit Lake from the same Public Access area but there is a channel between the two Lakes we had intended to go tubing on the 4th of July but it was cloudy and a little windy and felt a bit chilly. So we decided to go fishing instead. Obviously, both of these fish in the picture we're not Keepers but my son did catch three that were later on.

These last two pictures work taken on-loan Lake. It is a little bit of a drive Kama probably 15 to 20 minutes but is one of the closest beaches that we have to go to. Usually we like to take the kids to be not this week because the water seems a little warmer here and there seems to be a lot of families on the lake. It does not have a very big but it does have a roped-off swimming area and has a Sandy Beach for them to play at. Sometimes they just want to play in the sand.