This cross country adventure was on our schedule even before we hit the road. For those of you that don't know a bit of my (Dan) past, I used to work as a golf professional. The course I worked at just so happened to be Hazeltine National Golf Club which was also the site of the 2016 Ryder Cup. I left my job at that club in October of 2013 after working there for 10 years.
Hazeltine was a second home for me. The members and staff were like family. So when the biggest golf tournament in the world is being hosted by said club and members it was a no brainer to make the trip back.
One of the fun things about making a trip half way across the country, we started in Maine, is you will likely come across some friends and family. Our first stop was just south of Sryacuse, New York where we were blessed to spend some time with Dan and Christa Hamon and their 3 boys. Once again we were able turn Instagram friends into real life friends! They have such an amazing family and their boys played so well with Eli. We can't wait for our paths to cross again.
After New York we made it to the Cleveland area where I was able to meet up with a golf pro friend. That was a super short stay, and we were off to Elkhart, Indiana where we returned to the dealership we purchased our RV. We had some routine maintenance done there since we had logged almost 12,000 miles on our RV since purchasing it. Crazy, we've done that much traveling in that short period of time.
We had an interesting adventure at our next stop in the Amana Colonies. We are learning that a lot of RV parks are located on flood plains, I guess its cheap land. This was our first experience where we nearly got flooded out! It was a little scary to wake up to all of the water surrounding us.
We were hoping to spend some time exploring the Amana area but instead decided to just move onto Laura's aunt's house. We parked in front of their house for a few days so that we could spend some time with them and Laura's grandma. It was great to see her and have Eli spend some time with her. He really liked her magnifying glass and her stash of ice cream!
After our time in Iowa, we made our way back to Minneapolis for the Ryder Cup! Seven years after I first learned that Hazeltine would be hosting the biggest golf event in the world, we were there! On top of the amazing golf event it was also a homecoming for me coming back to Hazeltine, a club I spent countless hours at for 10 years and met so many amazing people. Oh and top of that it was a week where I got to spend some quality time with my family! It was pretty special, let's juts say!
The Ryder Cup itself was pretty epic! Europe has pretty much dominated the Ryder Cup winning 5 of the last 6 matches going back to 2002. There was excitement for the US team but also apprehension around whether they could get a win on their home turf.
The venue itself was incredible! The infrastructure that was built to host this event was amazing, over million square feet of platforms were erected to hold everything from merchandise tents, corporate hospitality and concessions. The golf course was pristine! The stage was all set for a great event and it didn't disappoint.
The US team got off to a great start and never really looked back. There was a moment in there Saturday midday, whether or not the lead that the Americans had built was going to disappear. They rallied Saturday afternoon and dominated on Sunday to bring home the cup! If you want all the details you can head over to the full scoring here.
So while I was chasing around a golf course, Laura found some pretty amazing ways to keep Eli entertained! Here are just a few pics from their time at a local apple orchard with his cousins. They also made a trip to the zoo which I think he really missed!
It was a pretty incredible week back in Minnesota! We saw family and friends! I also got to witness an epic golf event at a course I used to call home! Until next time Minnesota!
If you are following our adventures we left off last with our 4th of July adventures around Lake Minnetonka with Laura's family. We ended up spending another 2 weeks in Minnesota. This time included me playing in a golf tournament with some of my family. Doing some minor RV repairs and one major one, a new fridge. We got to meet our newest nephew, Joseph, right before we left town and spend some time with some amazing friends that we've missed while being on the road.
Going home is always pretty special to me, especially when it involves playing golf. I grew up on that golf course. If it wasn't for Minnesota winters it would probably be fair to say I spent more time out there than at our house. So to be able to bring Eli out here is pretty special. He really like riding on the golf cart with Grandma and Grandpa. He also like chasing around our golf balls and even hit a few!
While I was playing golf Laura was able to sneak away to hang out with her sister and her family at an RV park just 20 minutes from my hometown. Pretty random coincidence that they happened to be in the same area on the same weekend as us. Oh and of course being home in Redwood Falls meant we had to stop by Dari King. Eli really liked his first ice cream cone!
Being home in Redwood also meant we had access to my dad and his handyman skills,tools, and generosity. The project that we needed to tackle was installing a residential refrigerator into our RV. Our old Norcold 1200 RV fridge just couldn't stay cold. The freezer worked but the fridge temp was hanging out around 50 degrees. This meant doing some modifications to the cabinet area where the old fridge was in order to make room for the new one.
We were fortunate to find pretty much exactly what we were looking for after a handful of stops. Given the smaller space we needed a counter depth fridge otherwise our hallway would disappear. The height wasn't as important since even the shortest fridges out there would have still required us to do some modifications. The other thing that played into our decision was finding a fridge that we could fit into RV. The fridge we found had about an inch to spare, and that was bringing it in through a window.
The actual install process was pretty easy. Thankfully we had a plugin that runs through our inverter, which means that our batteries could power our fridge as we were driving down the road instead of running on propane like our old model. If you want more details about what we did, I'm happy to share, just send me a note.
We saw Laura's family. We saw my family. We completed some necessary RV remodels. We saw some good friends. It was now time to say goodbye and make our way to Nashville for our Beachbody Summit. On the road again!
1,200 Miles Later - Back in MN
Do you ever try to plan your life out? Yeah we do too. Back in May we felt pretty awesome that we had booked parks all way up to the first week in July....and we wouldn't have to stress about where we would be staying. Our plan was to stay on the east coast, then make our way to Asheville for a few weeks before we would end up in Nashville for our Beachbody Summit the end of July.
Well...in comes a curveball. We found out Laura's entire family was coming to Minnesota for the 4th of July. Hearing this, we laid out the pros and cons of making the trip back or sticking to our original plan. If the title of the blog didn't give it away, we chose to head back to MN. All those plans we had, were now up in smoke :) Instead of heading to Asheville, we went to New Jersey for a couple weeks to explore NYC and that area!!
Our first stop on our way back to Minnesota was Hershey, PA. Since we love chocolate as much as we do, this was a no brainer. Although Hershey doesn't exactly make healthy chocolate, we still wanted to check it out. Eli's favorite part was the singing cows on the ride that we went on. So that made it all worth it. We also indulged in a few chocolate treats.
We left Hershey on a Saturday and since most parks are either full or make you pay a premium for a weekend rate, we opted to stay at a Walmart outside of Cleveland. We don't mind doing this as long as it's a quick stay. On our way through Pennsylvania I made Laura a little nervous since we ended up on a bit of a detour due to construction and weight restrictions on the road we were supposed to go on. The roads were a little narrow, a little curvy, and a little hilly. We took it slow and made it through unscathed, other than upsetting a few locals that got stuck behind me.
After our Walmart stay we got on the road fairly early, which was a blessing and a curse. Our plan was to stay on the east side of Chicago since that would have only been about a 4-5 hour drive from where we were but we didn't factor in the time change and also the difference of driving through Chicago on a Sunday vs Monday. The blessing was we opted to push through the to the North side of Chicago but the curse was that meant spending almost 9 hours traveling that day. Which gets to be A LOT with a toddler.
This made our drive the next day super easy though, only about 2 hours to Wisconsin Dells where we stayed for a couple nights. Of course we chose the two coldest days of the summer to be in the Dells, so that meant no waterparks. We did have a nice pool and splash pad at our campground so Eli was able to spend some time in the water. I was even able to sneak in a round of golf one morning since it was only 55 degrees when we woke up. Great golf weather, poor pool weather.
Before heading out, we made our way to a train museum to indulge Eli's new fascination with choo-choo's. They had a legit coal powered mini-train that we could ride on. Eli loved it, even thought at times it got kind of loud. We also got him his first choo-choo set which he still loves! After that we made our final push to get back to Minnesota.
Our first couple of nights back in Minnesota we spent at Baker Park, just west of Minneapolis. When we make it back to MN from now on, this will definitely be a home base for us. It's a great park, tons of room and nice playgrounds. We even had some visitors one night for dinner. We miss our friends and family and seeing them made our 1,200 mile journey home SO worth it!
After a couple nights at Baker Park we moved to Laura's brother's empty lot which was conveniently located right on Lake Minnetonka. We were pretty spoiled! We parked on his lot for 5 days over the 4th. Definitely one of the best views we've had in our RV adventures so far.
It was also super fun to get to be "RVing" with Laura's sister, Sara and family again. They parked right behind us on the lot. Over the weekend we spent time on the boat, swimming in the lake, eating delicious food, but most importantly spending time with family. It was fabulous!!!
Look for a blog post in the next couple weeks where we can catch you up on the rest of our adventures in Minnesota, along with our travels down to Nashville for our Beachbody Coach Summit.
Brunching in the MSP - Victors on Water
Last weekend my parents were in town for a quick visit so we spent all day on Sunday with them and my brother's family. We went to church, went to brunch and then spent the afternoon hanging out by the lake where their new house will be built next year! Our brunch adventures this week took us to Victors on Water in Excelsior, MN...right off of Lake Minnetonka. This tiny town has so many cute shops, restaurants and coffee shops...I love it!!
Anyway...this was our first time to Victors and everything was just spot on. The food, the service, the atmosphere...we will definitely go back!! The picture above is what Dan had and it was the Polenta Benedict w/ asparagus, king crab, poached eggs and parmesan fondue....and obviously an arugula salad on top. He loved it. I had the Pork and Vegetable Hash with two eggs and toast. It was delicious and I ate every single bite. I also had a bloody mary that was seriously good. One of the best I've had in a while! Great flavor and thick...which I like.
My view at lunch...isn't he cute?? And miraculously, Eli slept in the Ergo the entire time. It was LOVELY!!!
And then we ended the afternoon/evening with some time on the lake, some naps and cuddle time and then some sushi. Sundays are my FAVORITE!
Oh and YES, we would highly recommend Victors on the Water. Go check out the weekend brunch and then walk down by the lake and enjoy the view!
Brunching in the MSP - Lake & Irving
Here is our second installment of "Brunching in the MSP"...even though our brunch spots will be all over the Twin Cities, we'll just say MSP for the sake of ease and the fact that there are no hashtags with that name :)
A few weeks ago it was a GORGEOUS day so we decided to hit up a spot for brunch and then walk around Lake Calhoun. A few of my favorite things to do on the weekends: walk around a body of water, go to a farmers market and go to brunch. Do all 3 and then sit outside and read books and I'm a happy camper!!
We had been to Lake & Irving before when they had first opened and it was pretty delicious then and it did not disappoint this time either.The service was spectacular, the food was tasty and the bloody mary was delicious...although I could have used a few more "additions" to my bloody. I love them loaded with a beef stick, pickle, cube of cheese, bacon...and this was just kinda plain. Oh well, the actual bloody itself was delicious.
My cute date
My other cute date
Dan and I tend to gravitate towards the same things...so we often get two things and then share them, but today we didn't do that. I ordered the open faced kalua pork torta, which had duroc kalua pork, sourdough, guacamole, poached egg, chile japones and a mixed green salad.
And Dan ordered the brisket hash, which had smoked brisket, poached egg, herb potatoes, carmelized onions and roasted red peppers.
They were both a perfect way to start the day! I know you're thinking...aren't these people supposed to eat HEALTHY all the time and be good examples for everyone? Umm no. We are REAL. We're people. We love bloody mary's...heck...that's basically vegetables isn't it? :)
We know eating out can be hard so we really do try to be intentional about where we choose to go eat. We stay away from chain restaurants and try to go local as much as we can. We love farm to table restaurants and places that serve fresh, real ingredients. We do tend to also gravitate towards the healthier things on the menu and stay away from the sugary, sweet, because we know how much better they'll make us feel.
Peace out. Make it a great day!
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.