Posts Tagged With: Minnesota

IHG Waterpark Hotels

Many of us did the IHG mail in points promotion that was offered this winter.  Looking to burn up some of those 50,000+ points I went looking for IHG waterpark hotel options.

In Florida:

Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orlando – Orange Lake Resort   35,000 points per night or $146 a night. Boasts a lazy river in the twelve acre waterpark and nine restaurants.

In Minnesota:

Holiday Inn Express Brainerd/ Baxter has the connecting Three Bear Waterpark. $225 a night with access to the waterpark.

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Tucci Benucch at Mall of America

We wanted to have a nice dinner while at the mall.  Our day had not gone quite as we had planned or hoped but we did learn from the failure.  We could not decide what we were in the mood to eat so we chose the closest sit down food location.  Tucci Benucch was the winner.

We were given a pager and had not quite half an hour wait.  Being in the mall we had many places to look while waiting.  We had an interior table in the dining room, it was a little dark.

Our service was fast and we were given hot crusty bread with rosemary olive oil while we waited.  Daughter ordered Fettuccine Alfredo with crispy chicken and I ordered the baked spaghetti with mozzarella on top.

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Tucci Benucch

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Tucci Benucch

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Daughters dish was very good. The chicken was parmesan coated with bread crumbs.  My baked spaghetti was too dense.  Packed layers of noodles and cheese with marinara over the top.  It really needed some meat to break it up or even sauce between the layers.  I like our local baked spaghetti but this one was too bland and dense.

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Tucci Benucch

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The service was good but the food did not meet the price.  Both of our dishes were $18 each and sodas were $3.  For almost $50 it just was not worth it.

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Oronoco Gold Rush Days – or how to make your calves burn!

For the past ten years I have helped my Mother in Law at the Oronoco Gold Rush days.  It is kind of a working vacation or a leg work out depending on how you look at it.

The Gold Rush Antique show has been happening for 42 years in that little town.  I love to meet up with old friends, shop a little and did I mention the leg workout?


The roads in the town are built up, so the ditches can be a little steep. And the nearest port o potties are also on top of a hill near Mother in Law’s booth.  Its a shopping workout!

But I also see items there that I would love to own if I could afford them and items that are just plain unusual.



Here is how the booth looks after we set it up each morning. This really is a WORKING vacation.


So if you want to visit two large antique shows in mid-August come on over the Gold Rush is in Oronoco and the Rochester Fairgrounds also has around 1,000 dealers.  The shows are generally the third weekend in August. You can spend the whole weekend looking at vintage items.

More Oronoco information can be found here:



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Country Inn and Suites Rochester South, Minnesota

We visited Rochester Minnesota for the Gold Rush days in August. We once again stayed at the Country Inn and Suites on Wood Lake Drive.  The location is a little confusing at first, they are on an easement road along side highway 63.  The first time we did not have a gps with us and it took a little to figure out how to get over to the parking lot.

The hotel is standard Country Inn with the lobby and breakfast area.  We had made some changes to our travel dates and it was cheaper to keep my original reservation for Thur – Sat and add a separate reservation for Wednesday night.  So we stayed in two rooms.

Reservation #1 was for two queens and one night…


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