As I mentioned in my post about Fargo, many people have preconceived notions about the Midwest. Since I'm a travel writer who primarily covers the region, my perspective is likely a bit more informed. But I'm not immune to stereotypes. When I was planning my trip to Fargo and Bismarck last fall, I wasn't expecting North Dakota to surprise me.
Mike and I spend most of our weekends running in opposite directions (literally in my case, since I run seven miles on Saturday and three miles on Sunday). We use the weekends to catch up with friends, do chores, and work on hobbies and personal projects. After one too many weekends when the only significant chunk of time we spent together was grocery shopping, we realized that we needed to prioritize time with each other, too.
One of the more vivid food memories of my childhood took place at a wedding. We were eating pieces of sheet cake, the white kind with whipped frosting that gets a little bit crunchy on top. The woman sitting next to me carefully scraped the frosting off her piece, leaving it in a heap on her paper plate. I don't know why—maybe she genuinely didn't like frosting, maybe it was some sort of calorie-saving measure...
When you mention distilleries, Iowa is not the first state that springs to mind as a craft spirits destination. However, the state has a burgeoning craft distilling scene with a local focus. After all, what does Iowa have in abundance? Corn, which can be distilled into a variety of spirits.
This month, I'm collaborating with Barlean's to celebrate their 30th anniversary by highlighting their very product: flax! As someone who follows a mostly-vegetarian diet, I'm a big fan of flax because it's a vegetarian source of Omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats that are also found in fish. You can use flax oil in salad dressings and dips, add it to smoothies, and drizzle it over cooked meats and vegetables.
Phoenix, Arizona has never been on my must-see list. I've always associated it with retirement and blazing hot temperatures, which probably says more about my Minnesota roots than Phoenix itself. But as I've mentioned before, I struggle with seasonal affective disorder, and the trip Mike and I took to Disney World a couple years ago in early February really helped me get through the rest of the winter.