Blog, Career, Family, Food & Drink, Friendship, Health and Wellness

Family Fun over Labor Day Weekend!

GOSH we had a blast this weekend!

Here is a recap of our Family Fun.

Thursday: Vikings pre-season game with the family!

Friday: Picked up the kids from school, showed Dad their classrooms, and we were off to Valley Fair! I was a perfect Friday evening to go – no lines, and beautiful and 75 degrees. There is such a great variety of thrills to mild-fun for the little ones. We also celebrated Addy’s first test in school, with the A-F grading system  – a spelling test in which she got an A+! #proudmomma

Saturday: Enjoyed a morning of food and fun at the fair. Was way too busy to snap any pics! Came home to a lovely nap, went to church, and then grilled out and had a campfire with friends. Perfection!

Sunday: The Apple Orchard (Aamodt’s!) with a childhood friend of Aaron’s, and his family – followed my lunch at Acapulco’s. We were early in the season but still enjoy Apple donuts and some fun pickin’ of Curtland Apples. The kids then went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in WI for some last-bit-of-summer swimmin’ and a campfire. We got to enjoy a night out to dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday! (Cravings – YUM!)

Monday: Helllooo work day! I love spending Labor Day catching up on fun, R&R, and also some work. Throughout the weekend, I have managed to go through and clean out and purge all of our 4 bathrooms and bedrooms of expired, old, unused items. It was fantastic! Today, Aaron is doing an outdoor fall clean up day, and I am catching up on some work projects along with brunch and a hike with a friend. Maybe we’ll head to see Jason Bourne tonight!

Whatever you are doing this weekend, I hope you take a moment to enjoy the weather, and the people you are with.

Cheers!

Heidi

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More Singapore!!!

Sentosa: This island is a resort world in and of itself! Only a 20-25 minute taxi ride from ou hotel, we landed in Sentosa. Water parks, theme parks, shopping, food, and beyond! We decided to stay at the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort. A beautiful resort on the South China Sea.

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Marina Bay Sands: A gorgeous three towel hotel and shopping center. At the top are some amazing lookout points. However to skip the line and the cost, go to the top and ask for the Club Lounge – you’ll be lucky with the views we got, if they let you in!

Singapore Botanic Gardens: An amazing UNESCO World Heritage site! I spent 2 hour walking the grounds and likely only touched 1/4 of the trails!

Garden by the Bay: What a site – are those Avatar Trees?! Some amazing Gardens is various domes, as well as music and food festivals, and beyond!

 

Overall, Singapore was a wonderful city with wonderful people. Blessed to have been given to visit this whole other world.

Cheers,

Heidi

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Singapore!!!

Aaron heads to Asia every few months for work. He’s seen some pretty neat places – Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, Seoul, and even made it to the Taj Mahal during a free Saturday in New Delhi, India. As irony would have it, he appreciates the travel but doesn’t crave it – where as we all know where I stand on the travel-matter! 🙂

Typically his trips are quick 2-3 days in each location, packed with work. However for his most recent trip, he was going to be in Singpaore for 10 days straight! After checking my schedule, we realized it was the perfect opportunity to seize the moment and join him for part of it. He would have a free weekend, as well as a few available evenings – and I have never minded exploring on my own, as well.

So after he was already hard at work on the other side of the world, I prepared to head on the longest trip I’ve ever been on! Now, I can tell you I did not adequately prepare for the lack of sleep I was about to endure. Unlike Europe where you have one long flight (typically less than 10 hours), plus a shorter one – heading to Singapore is a 24 hour travel day. I checked – it is the same amount of time it takes to fly to Australia! I now know why folks stay in these locations for 2+ weeks 🙂

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After a long flight to Tokyo, a nap in the Delta Sky Club, and another long flight to Singapore – I made it! I highly suggest splurging on Delta Comfort – it is usually only $100-200 more expensive, and the extra 3-6 inches truly do make a difference when you are talking about 19-20 hours on a plane. After a quick 25 minute drive from the airport, I arrived at Park Hotel Clarke Quay. The Park Hotel was excellent – great service, great location right on the river, and fantastic food. They had decent internet service, and a wonderful pool and grill/bar area. They also had an exercise facility, and laundry capabilities. Their rooms were small, but that was fine.

A cab ride to anywhere in the city is fairly easy and very cheap – $5-15 Singapore dollars (which is only about 75% of our dollar). However, that was really the only cheap item on the entire trip. I’m talking about $100 dinner’s for 1, and $25 glasses of wine – as the cheapest glass on the menu! At least the Singapore Sling was a very yummy alternative for only $16 🙂 Singapore has truly made the economy work for them – going from a 3rd class to a 1st class country, in 50 years. It was awe-inspiring to talk to it’s residents. They all absolutely love it there. As you may know, Singapore is a place for rules – but this is something the people seem to relish in – the cleanliness and safety that the country provides.

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Besides sight seeing, we enjoyed a great dinner at Cut with Aaron’s colleague who just moved to Singapore from the US for work, as well as a team member of Aaron’s, Sarah, who was so kind to order us a fabulous authentic Singapore dinner at Boon Tong Kee.

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Stay tuned for Monday’s blog for more fun places to not miss, the next time you are in Singapore!

Cheers,

Heidi

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Kraft Family Vaca – Florida Part 2!

We also thouroughly enjoyed our Disney activities, this trip! Although we didn’t do Disneyworld the way we normally do, we did get our Disney Fix! A few highlights.

  1. TRex Lunch: We had an amazing lunch the day we arrived, at TRex! C and C didn’t fly in until later that day, and we had 3-4 hours to spare before our home rental check-in; this turned out to be a great time filler – fun & good food!

IMG_91522. Pirates and Pals Cruise: We took our family of four on a Pirates and Pals cruise to see the Wishes Nighttime Fireworks show, from Magic Kingdom, over the water! We arrived at the Contemporary Resort, were checked in and given a scavenger hunt, had pictures with Captain Hook and Smee, and enjoyed unlimited snacks, drinks, cake, and more! We then proceeded to our boat where we had a great Pirate entertaining us; we saw the Water Electrical “parade”, and then watched the amazing Fireworks with audio from the performance. I LOVE IT! It ended with all the kiddos getting a free “prize” (FREE? At Disney?! YES!), and pictures with Peter Pan!

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3. C, C, A, and I had an adult night out to Epcot, dinner at La Hacienda (my FAVORITE PLACE EVER!), and drinks at JellyRolls, the great Piano Bar at Disney’s Boardwalk. FANTASTIC!

We also were able to visit the Kennedy Space Center and NASA headquarters! I was on CLOUD NINE! I dreamed of being an astronaut growing up, and went to the Johnson Space Center when I was in middle school – so this was a long time coming.

I was such a joy to see the kids more excited than I thought they would be, esspecially Max. It was a very educational day – and they did great.

We had lunch with an astronaut, Ken Cameron. We also upgraded to the Up Close Launch Control Center tour – which was well worth it. Seeing Atlantis, and the Landing sites, were truly a dream! I can’t wait to go back for a launch someday.

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Cheers,

Heidi

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Kraft Family Vaca! FLORIDA – Part 1

We enjoyed a Magical Vacation to Florida over the past 5 days – I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Our Family of Four, my Mom and Dad, and my Brother and his girlfriend, were all able to join us.

We rented a house on VRBO, from Florida Sun Vacations. It was a great home – clean, had a pool, hot tub, 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, and slept 10 (if you include the pull out couch!) We enjoyed grilling a great dinner one evening, many swims, a few games of cards, and even a nap or two. It was in great proximity to all the major themed activities, as well as to places to eat, mini-golf, and ice cream!

It was HOT in Central Florida – but we just embraced the sweat and had a blast! The kids needed early bed-times and frequent food and water stops, and there was a tad extra whining – but we got through it.

Taking two 1/2 days and spending them at Aquatica and Seaworld were fantastic. Aquatica is one of the best water parks I have been to. So many fun water-rides for the whole family! My favorite was an amazing Lazy River that wasn’t so Lazy – you wore live jackets and it was like you were in a fast-moving stream with rapids – HELLLOOOO Fun! Seaworld was also great – we were able to do a few rides, and see the One Ocean show. We spent about 3-4 hours there, and were happy to go home and enjoy the pool that evening. 🙂

In addition, C,C,A,A and myself all went to Discovery Cove. Boy, was this a great experience! Fantastic ‘natural’ waterpark, where we swam with dolphins, stingrays, and fish – oh my! It is all inclusive – snacks, drinks, and breakfast and lunch were all a part of the deal. It is spendy, but well worth it in value.My parents stayed back with M, as you have to be 6 to do the dolphin swim. However he enjoyed Chick-fil-A and some mini golf! He also learned how to swim without a life jacket!

My dad also turned 61 while there! We celebrated with some Ice Cream 🙂

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Stay tuned for more FUN things reviewed in Part 2!

Cheers,

Heidi

 

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Our 10 year Anniversary Trip

We enjoyed some Sun and Surf this weekend in Huntington Beach. Although the weather was a bit overcast, we didn’t let that slow us down! Te beautiful city of Huntington and the surrounding beach cities are just marvelous. Let’s start at the beginning, though.

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We arrived on Thursday after a great flight, and met a colleague at the Westin LA for happy hour. After that, we enjoyed the 90 min (ha!) drive to Universal City, where we started at the Universal City Hilton. I highly recommend this hotel, and wish we would have had more time to explore. It is a 5 min walk door to door from the hotel to Universal City Walk and Theme Park. We enjoyed a late dinner at Wolfgang Puck, and then hit the hay.

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On Friday, we were up and at ’em – hitting the streets of Hogwarts, the jungle of Jurassic Park, and beyond! I have noticed with my newly found ‘old age’ that I am not able to handle rides as well. The rides at Universal are spectacular – but I even had to send Aaron on one, alone, due to the headache that ensues! We finished up at Universal around 1:30pm, and hit the road for Orange County.

It was a beautiful drive, and we stopped on Main Street of Huntington Beach to take a walk, shop around, and get a juice from Nektar. We proceeded to check in at The Waterfront Beach Resort, which we love! It is the perfect size and location, and has fantastic customer service. The pool and hot tub area is beautiful, they have a full bar and food menu, and they give you smashball, towels, bags, boogie boards, and beyond for beach time – which is a 3-5min walk across the street! Highly recommend, with or without kids.

Of course we had an amazing anniversary dinner at Javier’s.

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On Saturday it was overcast, but we enjoyed sleeping in, a yummy breakfast, shopping, a pedicure, and lunch by the hot tub. Aaron made it out to do a little boogie boarding, as well!

We then enjoyed a wonderful sea-side meal at our friend Bob’s house, along with another great friend, Azita. It was fantastic to catch up with them; they are such gracious hosts!

Sunday, we head home – and although we are excited to see the kiddos, mini-trips like this reaffirm the wonderful outcome of time spent to reconnect, and how blessed we are to have an amazing support system at home.

Cheers!

Heidi

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We Love Family, Friends, and the Kalahari!

We spent the last weekend with family and friends and it was spectacular. First, we enjoyed a wonderful fundraiser and memorial event for my dear friend (and Brother’s Girlfriend), Caitlin’s brother, who died tragically 7 years ago. It was a weekend filled with so much laughter, fun, hard work, remembrance, celebration, and love. Aaron and I were blessed to be a part of it.

Next, we surprised the kiddos with an amazing 2 nights at the Kalahari.(we signed up for their email specials and scored a large Hut room in the Sands building for only $99! It included Tommy Bartlett and Wildlife Zoo tickets, too!) Aside from a ridiculous partial migraine I’ve been battling, we couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate Aaron’s birthday. My soul-sister Nicole and her family joined us – and the three kiddos hit it off together.

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The Kalahari is such a magical place for kids and adults. We enjoyed one heck of a meal at Double Cut on Sunday night to start the countdown to Aaron’s big 31. Followed by some amazing bowling, a goodnights’ sleep, and a day at the water park – I’d say it was a success! We enjoyed the Brew Pub on Monday evening, and then a little rock climbing and arcade playing. M, M, and A followed that up with some Old Maid and Go Fish which the adults sipped our favorite red blend and munched on some late night pizza.

It’s days like today that even when not feeling well, family and friends bring a feeling of pure joy to my heart. And PS – HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my STUD of a hubby!!! MUAH!

Cheers,

Heidi

What to hear more thoughts on the Kalahari?  Check out my blog from January 2016, here.

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