Minneapolis fun or what?

I traveled to Minneapolis, MN for the first time for a travel agent work conference. I was excited because I was able to make this a bestie’s trip and mark Mall of America off our bucket list. We booked our flights and hotel and were ready to go. In my normal fashion, when planning for trips, I have scouted the area, made an itinerary, and located food options.
Delayed flight faceThe day arrives and my flight is delayed for weather (SMH). Immediately all my plans went out the window. As I was now arriving a hour and half later than originally plan. There goes my evening of exploring Mall of America. My best friend arrived earlier that afternoon so she guided me through riding the train into downtown. This is where things started to get interesting.

On the train, I sat diagonal from a man who was talking extremely loud and making derogatory statements about everyone on the train. It was very uncomfortable. I could see him staring at me out the corner of my eye so I called my best friend to meet me at my train stop. You always have to be cautious when traveling whether you are with someone or by yourself. Once I got off the train there were swarms of people just standing outside of the train station, but they were not there to catch the train… very weird. The other weird thing is the train stop was in front of the topless bar. Interesting, LOL.

We stayed at the AC Hotel Group in downtown Minneapolis. This hotel was beautiful. We decided to walk downtown to the mall so I could buy a jacket because I forgot mine and it was 48 degrees outside. Downtown Minneapolis is beautiful. There is artwork and sculptures everywhere. There are a lot of restaurants, bars, and clubs downtown. I am a lover of Target and there is a two story Target there too. I was in heaven! Once I finished shopping, we decided to eat dinner at Hell’s Kitchen.

Hell’s Kitchen is located in the bottom of a building that houses multiple restaurants. In my mind, I thought it was like the show “Hell’s Kitchen” on Fox, but when we arrived we noticed that meant hell as in the devil and demons. I prayed and walked in. The restaurant was creepy, but cool. The music was a mixture of R&B, rap, pop, and rock. The food was awesome. And honestly, I did not expect the food to be that good, but it was. My friend went to the bathroom and came back creeped out. She said there were pictures where the eyes moved and it freaked her out. Of course I went to go see it for myself. I walked in the bathroom and there were three pictures, and when you walked by a picture the eyes would change. It was funny and creepy at the same time to me. I tried my best to capture it on video but it didn’t capture it completely. After dinner we took a Lyft back to the hotel and rested for the night.

I woke up early the next morning to get ready for the conference. My friend decided to wake up and have breakfast with me at Eggy’s, a restaurant I found on Yelp. It was a pretty cool restaurant and the food was good. Afterward I headed over to the conference, and like usual there were thousands upon thousands of agents there looking for classes and networking. I enjoyed learning about new tools, resorts, tours, and promotions coming in the next year. I was able to network with other agents in my company as well as agents in other companies. I attended the trade show and network with companies I use regularly and new companies and business development managers. I decided to cut out early so that I could make it to Mall of America.

 

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I met my friend after and we took the train from downtown to Mall of America. The train is very convenient way to travel in Minneapolis. The train stops right inside of the mall. I walked in and was immediately amazed. There was an aquarium and a full theme park inside the mall. There was also a comedy theater, dine-in theater, laser tag, bowling, and many other activities. Let’s just say being in there, I was excited like a kid on Christmas. People were everywhere! There are interactive mall maps that helped you to navigate the mall. Every store that you could think of was in Mall of America, so we walked around and shopped. We stopped at an NYX Makeup store which I did not know existed

and spent nearly an hour trying on makeup. The next store stop was Savage Fenty by Rihanna.

 

Savage Fenty had just opened two days before and there was a live DJ and champagne flowing. I thought I was in a mini club, lol. Afterwards, we continued to walk around and take pictures of the attractions. The third level housed most of the restaurants. So we decided to sit down there to have dinner.

After dinner our feet hurt so bad from all the walking that we caught the train back to the hotel and turned it in for the night. The next morning, we caught a Lyft to the airport to return home. Our driver was very friendly and we were talking about our experiences while traveling through Minneapolis. On the drive back, we passed an area full of tents. Our driver explained that the people in the tents are Native Americans who were forced to leave their land. She explained that they refused housing and would rather live in the tents. She shared that the Native Americans want to stay together, but it hurts her heart to know that kids live out there in the cold. It reminded me of the time I was traveling in France and I seen the refugee camps on the side of the highway and it broke my heart. We take things in life for granted and there are people who live like this every day.

Overall, I had a great time in Minneapolis. I do not know if I would return, but at least I can say I have been there and marked The Mall of America off my bucket list.

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Traveling with Children

As a travel agent I noticed many of my clients stress when it comes to traveling with their children. There are so many questions asked about traveling with children. Where should we go? What should we do? What documents are needed to travel? What budget should I set when traveling with children? What should I take? And, the list goes on. I often travel with my two year old son. Below I have tips for traveling with children that can ease your mind when planning your next family vacation.

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10 tips and 7 errors to avoid to safety traveling *Guest Post*

Writer of blog post: Simone with LovinItaly

The advantages in traveling alone are so many, but it is better not to forget the safety, the precautions to take when you are alone are different from those taken when you travel with a group.

However, traveling alone in safety is possible, even if you don’t speak the language. Both if you go to third world countries or more advanced such as France or Italy.

All it takes is being careful and take some precautions before the departure.

Traveling alone
Traveling alone is an experience to do at least once in the life. There is who doesn’t feel cut out to do it, who fears it, and who follows one of the truest mottos in absolute: true joy consists of sharing the experiences.

Sometimes, however, there is the need to measure yourself with something different, to spend alone some time or with new and casual companions of trip met along the trip.

WHY TRAVEL ALONE?
Traveling alone gives you the possibility to find and experiment your own personal rhythm in the journey and in the things to do. You breathe the silence and you can listen with more attention your own thoughts.

Continue reading “10 tips and 7 errors to avoid to safety traveling *Guest Post*”

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

 

Welcome to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Newer area of Puerto Vallarta (Nuevo Vallarta)

I recently traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for my mother’s 50th birthday. I wanted to take her on a trip where she actually had to use a passport. Mexico came to mind because it was somewhere neither of us had been and it was not hurricane season for that part of the country. Puerto Vallarta came to mind because I have friends and family members who have traveled there before and I have heard how beautiful it is. Not only that, but it is a pretty affordable place to travel. Continue reading “Puerto Vallarta, Mexico”