Monday, September 22, 2014

A Visit from Mom & Dad!

I can't believe it's been almost 7 months since my last blog post.  Major fail!  We've had so many changes in our family recently -- I'm sure I'll be catching up for the next several weeks.  The two biggest changes have been buying our first house and getting a puppy!  I'll do posts about each of these with pictures later, but I thought I'd mention them because they show up in the pictures for THIS post:  a weekend visit from my parents!

We haven't seen my parents (who live in Utah) since the beginning of January, so you can imagine how excited we were to have them come for a visit!  With the way the airline schedule works here, they could only come for a weekend.... but we packed a TON of fun into those few days :-)

Here we are with my mom in front of our house.  We should have snapped one then with my dad too, but we forgot!

The most noteworthy part of the weekend was when we went to the 2014 World Championship Squirrel Cook-Off, located at the town square here in good ol' Bentonville, AR.  This was the third year for the cook-off, and I read that it helps Arkansans embrace their "hillbilly heritage" or something like that.  The competition attracts people from all over the world, and there were approximately 40 teams this year competing for the title "Best of the Best."  Also, apparently it's illegal to sell squirrel as food, but if someone happens to be cooking it (say, by the side of the road) and you try a free sample, then it's legally okay...  So we wandered around the square and tried several different squirrel foods:

Our First Bites of Squirrel (squirrel meatballs)
Dad's First Bite of Squirrel
Steve's favorite.  They're some kind of deep fried squirrel and cheddar ball.
Squirrel Taco
Surprise! Steve found buckshot in one of his meals...haha
Squirrel Ice Cream.  This was my favorite!
Squirrel Meatloaf.  I guess this was the winning item this year.
And here's a picture of one of the funny guys cooking the food!  What a character.
We found some funny t-shirts at the squirrel cook-off, and couldn't resist getting them!  On the back they say "Squirrel: It's what's for supper!"

We also showed my parents the farmer's market, Walmart museum,  Walmart Home Office (where Steve works), Flying Fish Restaurant, and many other places!

Fun art wall by town square

This is at the Flying Fish Restaurant, where we tried catfish.  So many new experiences!
It was so great to see my parents and show them around our corner of the world, and it was especially nice to have them in our new home!  We talked and laughed, played some games (which made us laugh ever harder), and simply enjoyed being together!  Oh, and we couldn't forget to take some Sunday family pictures :-)

My parents and I (plus Oscar the puppy)
Steve, Heidi, & Oscar

Thanks for coming to see us, Mom and Dad. We had a blast and we love you so much!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Wisconsin Dells (Part 2)

As I mentioned in my post last week, Steve and I went to Wisconsin Dells for a weekend in August and had a blast!  I shared some pictures of the waterpark last time, so I thought I'd show pictures of the other places we went on our adventure.

1.  Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty -- this place is famous for it's all-you-can-eat "lumberjack" breakfasts, and we'd give it two thumbs up! It was delicious and the restaurant itself was really fun with it's lumberjack decorations.  They even serve your meal on a tin plate and mug, similar to what you'd use while camping!  I think the donuts were the best I've ever had, which explains why we smuggled some out for later :-)

Of course we had to take a couple goofy pictures

2. Go-karts -- this was a really fun and quick activity! The lines were short, and the go-kart track was pretty tricky.  Steve was so much better and faster than me at this, but we both had fun!

3. Pirate's Cove Miniature Golf -- The place we went for mini golf was enormous! It had multiple courses varying in difficulty and we literally had to hike to the beginning of our course, which was at the top of a hill/mini mountain.  Even though it was really hot outside, we had a blast working our way through the course.  Another fun part of Pirate's Cove is that the winner of each game gets a free ice cream cone, which was added incentive for such a hot day.

"Punishment for taking 5 putts" haha
4. The Dells -- I've already mentioned what a unique city Wisconsin Dells is, but driving around town makes you feel like you're living in a strange dream.  You can see a giant Trojan horse next to an upside down building, and moments later pass a mini Colosseum!  These pictures are some of our favorites of the area.

This is Steve's first reaction when he sees an upside down building!

Where else in the world would you see these things on the side of the main road? 

To wrap up my posts on the Dells, I'd just say that it was such a fun vacation! I would definitely recommend that people go there if they're given the chance.  We were there for 2 days, and it was just the right amount of time for visiting each waterpark at our resort as well as doing some fun things in the city.  We made lots of good memories!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wisconsin Dells Part 1 (Aug 2013)

At the end of this past summer in Milwaukee, Steve and I took a weekend to go to Wisconsin Dells -- "The Waterpark Capital of the World" and I never posted about it.  We got busy with moving and then school, and I completely forgot about it until I found the pictures this week!  So here's a catch-up post from August.
For those of you who don't know about Wisconsin Dells, it's an amazing city to visit because it's so unique.  The entire city is made up of different waterparks, and then there are a few restaurants sprinkled in between.  We decided to stay at the Wilderness Resort Park, and we loved it!  There are 4 indoor and 4 outdoor parks spanning a total of 600 acres, so it's huge.  I didn't have my camera while we were at the parks because I didn't want it to get wet... Luckily, I found a few pictures online of the parks we visited:

One of the most popular rides at the Wilderness Resort is called The Hurricane.  It has a large raft (holds up to 4 people) that goes down a dark tunnel before dropping into a large cavern and sliding back and forth.  Steve and I went on this ride together, and I was nervous before we sat down.  The employee that pushed the raft must have seen my nerves, because she laughingly turned the raft so that I was going down backwards! Let's just say, it was memorable...and terrifying!

The Hurricane --- Outside View
Inside view of the cavern
While we were in Wisconsin Dells, we decided to hit a few other popular places like Pizza Pub, Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty, a mini golf place, go-karts, and an upside down building! I don't want this post to be super long, so I'll share those pictures in my next post, which should be later this week. Also, I'd just like to say that if any of you have the chance to visit Wisconsin Dells, take it! It's so much fun for people of all ages!