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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Ice Castles - Lake Geneva


Cue the soundtrack from Frozen... "The cold never bothered me anyway". There is no better way to feel like Elsa than to step into an ice castle. I took a day trip to Lake Geneva to visit the Ice Castles.

Every year, the team at Ice Castles sculpt this icy wonderland using icicles that they grow and harvest on site. The structure of the castle is made of thousands of icicles hand-placed by professional ice artists. It is a unique experience and even more beautiful during the night when they light up the castle in an array of colors. Next year we will plan to experience the nighttime colorful wonderland.

From Chicago it took about an hour and half to drive to the Ice Castles in Lake Geneva, WI and it was a nice day trip. Upon arrival it was difficult to find parking and we had to drive around a few times since everyone was also heading to the Ice Castles. We were one of the first groups to go inside but soon after large amounts of people starting coming in. We entered the castle through a cave of icicles hanging above us and then stepped into a real ice wonderland. Inside there are fountains, slides, tunnels, and archways all made from icicles. It is a very magical experience and amazing to see what can be made of ice. The castle is built right next to the lake so that when it starts to melt in the spring time, it drains right into lake.

Don't be fooled by my dress, I had pants underneath and in between takes I would put my coat back on. I would not recommend wearing a dress but the pictures do look amazing I must say. Plan on wearing lots of layers and winter boots to stay warm. 

Ice Castles in Lake Geneva is one of six locations. They have five locations in the US and one in Canada:
  • Dillion, CO 
  • Excelsior, MN
  • Lake Geneva, WI
  • New Hampshire 
  • Midway, UT
  • Edmonton (Canada)

Tips:

  • Order tickets online Here
  • You will need to preorder tickets and hurry because they sell out fast
  • Check the weather beforehand and check the website to make sure Ice Castles are not closed 
  • Check the website to make sure the
  • Wear winter boots, the ground is snowy 
  • Arrive ahead of time scheduled ticket time 


















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Friday, March 1, 2019

A Weekend Trip to Seattle


For those you that know me, know that I find every opportunity that I can to travel, especially if a long weekend is coming up. As much as I love visiting new places, I also love revisiting places that I have traveled to in the past. Each experience is unique and a brand new adventure, even if its in a place I have been to before. This was my second time in Seattle and this time I went with my friend and fellow travel blogger SuitcaseAbroadThis second time in Seattle I was able to check some things off my Seattle bucket list that I ran out of time for on my last trip.

On this trip we stayed right in the heart of downtown at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. It is in a great location and close to all of the main attractions we wanted to see.

Below are my trip highlights and fun things we did:

Pike Place Maket 

A trip to Seattle is not complete without a walk through Pike Public Market. The market is filled local produce, seafood, crafts, jewelry and many small businesses. Every time I'm in the market, I pick up a bouquet of flowers. During the spring and summer months the market is filled with beautiful flowers. I was happy to see they were still selling flowers in the winter months, but not as many as they do in the summer months. I did end up getting a bouquet of dried flowers, which will last a very long time!













Space Needle
The Space Needle makes the Seattle skyline so iconic. It is newly renovated and a totally new experience since I was there two years ago. It has sky risers-inclined glass benches in the open air observation deck. They transformed their restaurant into a revolving glass floor with Seattle right below your feet. Yes the floor spin, but at a very slow pace.








Chihuly Garden and Glass
The Chihuly Garden and Glass museum is one of those places that I can keep revisiting never get tired of it. Every time I am in Seattle I stop by to gaze at the amazing glass works by Dale Chihuly and his team.










Museum of Pop Culture
The museum is dedicated to contemporary pop culture and has exhibits that cover video games, horror cinema, artists/bands (Jimi Hendrix and Pearl Jam), science fiction, and costumes/props from movies.  The building that houses the museum is a work and was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. My favorite part of the museum was he floor to ceiling guitar sculpture. 





  








Kerry Park
Kerry Park is the best place to see the full city skyline and is located in the Queen Anne neighborhood. My favorite part of the park was a metal sculpture called Changing Form by Doris Totten Chase frames the Seattle skyline from different angles. We went in the evening and it was very crowded and hard to get a picture without someone in the background.





Monorail
The monorail is a great way to get from downtown to the Space Needle and the museums and 
can catch a ride very 10 minutes. It is especially convenient during rush hour when you can just fly past the traffic to get back into the city.







Moore Coffee Shop


Seattle is home to the first Starbucks coffee shop as well as numerous other coffee shops. A cute coffee shop in downtown Seattle is Moore Coffee Shop. They put great care into every drink they make and the drinks are adorable!I loved the Nutella mocha and the barista would created a cute animal in my drink. I went there everyday of my Seattle trip!





Ferris Wheel
Another way to see the city from above is to take a ride on the ferris wheel. I would recommend going during the day so that you can see the water and the mountains in the distance. Went at night so the whole city was dark, but it was cool to see the city all lit up. Next time, I plan on taking a ride during the during the day time.







Gum Wall
The smell of mint and bubble gum fill Post Alley along the gum wall. Alley way in post alley that has the brick walls covered in gum. We each contributed to the wall and left a pice of gum on the wall.
You might end up with gum under your shoes since other people's gum doesn't always stick to the wall and might fall of onto the ground.






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