Category Archive: Midwest

Five Fun Facts for Friday: Mall of America, Minnesota

The Mall of America is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017. About one billion people from around the world have visited the largest shopping and retail entertainment center in Bloomington, Minnesota since it opened. MOA features 520 stores featuring leading designer brands and no sales tax on clothing or shoes, the largest U.S. indoor theme park and many other leading family attractions, 50 restaurants, over 400 free annual events, two luxury on-site hotels and much more. MOA features 520 stores featuring leading designer brands and no sales tax on clothing or shoes, the largest U.S. indoor theme park and many other leading family attractions, 50 restaurants, over 400 free annual events, two luxury on-site hotels, miniature golf, indoor zip line, and much, much more. It’s no wonder MOA is a top tourist and vacation destination. With all of the amazing […]

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Chickasaw Country: 9 Spots Well Off the Beaten Path

Chickasaw Country is steeped in history, culture, beauty and natural wonders. Well off the beaten path in Tishomingo, , are several interesting attractions. Here are 9 essential places and things to see while in Tishomingo: Chickasaw National Capitol The Victorian, gothic-style building served as the Chickasaw Nation Capitol until Oklahoma statehood. The largest exhibit in the 8,000 square foot building focuses on Chickasaw government history from 1856-1907. Accurate replicas of Chickasaw Governor Douglas Johnston’s office and the National Secretary’s vault are key exhibits. The building’s historic significance and unique architecture led to its inclusion in the National Registry of Historic Buildings. Guided tours are available. The Chickasaw Bank The Chickasaw Bank Museum served as the Chickasaw Tribal bank from 1898 until 1902. Thanks to the Johnston County Historical Society, it has been restored into a museum filled with historical memorabilia […]

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Spring Fling: A Theme Park Weekend

Whether you’re contemplating a family weekend getaway, or perhaps just want to have kid-like fun yourself, there’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in theme parks for an introduction to spring travel. I had a chance to check that premise out on a recent extended family theme park getaway to Minneapolis. Minneapolis might not be the first city that comes to mind when you think about theme parks, but it has several offerings that make the city an attractive choice. Let’s take a look. Nickelodeon Universe Located in the Mall of America, the largest shopping mall in the United States, Nickelodeon Universe covers seven acres in the middle of the mall, offering rides and attractions appropriate to all age levels. As you would expect, many of the rides feature top Nickelodeon characters such as SpongeBob Square Pants, Rugrats, and Dora the […]

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Postcard from Nickelodeon Universe

A theme park inside a mall? Yep, that’s just what you’ll get with Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Located near the Minneapolis-St Paul airport, this was the first stop on my theme park getaway weekend.

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History & a View From the Top of the St. Louis Arch

Presiding proudly over the city of St. Louis, the Gateway Arch is the most recognizable building in the city’s skyline.  It’s that iconic symbol, often photographed, that helps identify the city to millions of people who have never, and perhaps will never, visit. The Gateway Arch is located in the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, near the location where the Lewis & Clark expedition started, giving rise to its moniker Gateway to the West.  It was designed by Eero Saarinen, the renowned Finnish architect, and completed in 1965.  It wasn’t opened to the public, however, until June 1967.  At its tallest point, the arch stands 630 feet tall, the same dimension as its base from leg-to-leg.  That’s the equivalent of 63 stories. At the bottom of the arch is a visitor center and a Museum of Westward Expansion.  Visitors are required […]

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Airport Calm: Chicago O’Hare in the Early Morning

I spend an inordinate amount of times in airports.  Some weeks it’s near daily.  I have my favorites (Portland, San Jose, Vancouver BC) and those that I’d just as soon avoid (Atlanta, LAX, San Francisco).  For most travelers, airports are a hot mess of crowds, frustration, and stress.  I see it as an office environment.  Much like the elevator that the office worker must be navigated to get to the cubicle, I see the airport as a means to an end, the route to my office – the airplane. During the day time, and the busy morning and evening bank of flights, the airport is a crazy place.  But other times of day, the afternoon lull, the very early and late hours, and the middle of the night, you may find that you have it all to yourself.  And that’s […]

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