A City Girl Guide: What to do this Summer

A city girl guide to what to do for your Minnesota summer 

I haven’t had a proper Minnesota Summer in a long time. This one is going to be different not only is it my first summer back and I’m trying to find the best places; I’m still experience culture shock and trying to find where I  belong. But also I personally have some big decisions to figure out. So far I’ve done a few different things to make it the best summer it can be. Which I’ve shared on Instagram.

The best time to come to Minnesota is Summer; we spend about 6 months of the year inside that those summer months of being outside we use it up; there are events to movies in the park to concerts in the park to so much more. So if your coming to Minnesota plan to come to Minnesota with an empty suit case cause we have the biggest mall in Northern America–Mall of America and there are no tax on clothes! (selling it!)

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But really there is a lot more to do then shop. This list can be applied anywhere really.

What to do in Minnesota?

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  • Minnesota State Fair: its at the end of the summer but its probably the biggest most anticipate event of the whole summer. With food stands, food on sticks, music, horses, horse shows, pigs, cows, chicken and ducks, concerts, more food, rides, different booths with a lot of free stuff, car shows, tractor shows. Then there is the people watching; its a Minnesota event that you don’t want to miss.
  • Lakes: sure you can go on your boat, go tubbing, jet skying. But I live in the city and really getting thrown off or hit by a wave (from a boat) isn’t really ideal–i’d do it if I was invited; but more like hit those city lakes or rivers. Go sailing, paddle boarding, tube down the river is something I want to do. Minnesota is NOWHERE near a OCEAN we are the land of 10,000 lakes with dirt. But on those hot summer days. Lakes are what you got and time to enjoy before there is ice on them!
  • Parks: there are a lot of state parks around Minnesota to go and spend a nice afternoon; hike, have a picnic. Enjoy the outdoors. And for me a day in the outdoors is just fine.
  • ROAD TRIP: take a road trip to a small town; doesn’t have to be too far, could be a 20 minute drive outside the city (like Stillwater)  take the day, go somewhere small. Walk, sit in a pub, outside, have some food, a beer and some good conversation. Find the most random small town. I want to go to New Ulm cause they say its like Germany I been to Germany, lets check it out!Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
  • Brewers or Roof top bars: Brewers are big here; and really summer is a good time to enjoy yourself. So going to the brewers sitting on their decks; going to a roof top after work is a great way to spend the evening and enjoy the nice weather after being inside all day.
  • Spend a weekend up north: I loved when I went somewhere especially Galway or Killarney for the weekend. Here we have up north (Duluth) near lake superior. Rent an Airbnb and spend a weekend there; your even near a city there is Duluth.
  • Movies in the Park: I would spend a lot of my summers in Minnesota going to the movies in the park. They would have them all over the city parks a movie for the whole summer. Its a bit buggy, but so fun to have an evening out in the park watching a movie. There is also music in the park too.
  • Baseball game: If you every in America there is nothing like going to a baseball game. its something you have to do at least once maybe twice a summer.

And that’s the list. I plan to do more about guides to Minnesota esp. Twin cities of places and things to do. This is a BIG city, not as big as New York but bigger then Cork. Kind of why it can be overwhelming and feel lost at time. But I plan to do it by area so look out for those. My goal is to convince you  to come to Minnesota if your going to come visit the states. cause what I figure out not many tourist attractions or a place people know expect for Fargo but thats in North Dakota.

A City Girl Guide: Wicklow National Park

I went on a road trip through Wicklow National Park.  And here is my guide to the Park.

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Coming from Dublin going towards Bray heading are way towards Glendalough. We were going to go the faster route to Glendalough, but of course, I got mixed up with directions and way to go. The thing about Ireland signage you really need to know what direction you are
heading and what the town’s you want to hit–like for this we could have taken both roads. It’s confusing but it all works out for the best.

Once you’re off the major road and heading in the direction of Glendalough keep going, the road will run right into it.

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Glendalough: ‘the valley of the two lakes’ it has a lot to offer from learning about the history and cultural to a nice walk through the woods or around lakes, and a waterfall. Find out more here: http://www.glendalough.ie/

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We kept driving through Wicklow National park Our point of destination was the Sally Gap then to the Guinness lake.

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Sally Gap: one of two east-to-west passes across the Wicklow Mountains. Basically, it’s a four-way stop sign, with incredible views of the Wicklow Park.

As we drove further down the mountains towards the lake, we pulled over to get different views not only of the lake but the area as well.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetLough Tay: also known as Guinness Lake for the owners are the Guinness family, it’s private property so only way to see it is above, which is the best way to see it.

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Next stop was the Powerscourt Gardens.

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Powerscourt Gardens is a large country estate which is noted for its house and landscaped gardens. The Powerscourt is pretty cool despite that it was winter and there were no flowers. The view and the amount of garden and history you got were worth wild. There is a tea room that is a must try (we didn’t but we were told we should have–next time).

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Then we headed towards Bray.

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Bray: having it be so close to Dublin it is a popular tourist destination and holiday home area. A lot like Kinsale but a lot bigger and diversity I think. We got there pretty late but made it just in time to do the walk seeing the little train between the towns go by and walked the beach and the town. We didn’t stop in anywhere since we wanted to get back before it was even later. But, when looking into Bray I found lots of pubs, cafes, and places to eat however we never went except to the McDs. For more on Bray click here for lovin.com has 45 things! 🙂

 

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City Girl Guide: What’s new in Cork City

If you like a larger City Girl Guide of Cork comment below. OR an even Larger City Girl Guide to Ireland–that is something I love to try but would take a lot of time–comment below letting me know what you would like to see.

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I always say a lot can happen in a day. I also said how Cork needed a doughnut shop well in my 5 months away from Cork not only did a lot happen they got a doughnut shop–TWO! You could prob hear my frustration. There was not much new in Cork, my favorite places were still there and it still rained a lot. It’s Ireland. But no worries I saw that the door changed, I saw the new sign and I noticed the new menu in Silly Goose. Because details and little things are what I pay attention to.

First, lets talk about the doughnuts. There are two: Huckleberry’s Doughnuts & Oh My Donut. I kept hearing about them because I kept telling people about my frustration “the IMG_8720minute I leave they get doughnut shops”. And I have gotten not so happy reviews on them–there over price, the doughnuts are all the same, and one places get their doughnuts made by one of the grocery stores. It’s like walking into the English Market and buying over price fruit they got from Tescos (true). So, I wasn’t too keen on wanting to spend 4 euros for a doughnut that wasn’t even made in the shop. But, after having a doughnut-themed cake in Silly Goose –the ice cream really helped, and need food the next morning; me and my bet friend bit our stubbornness (mine lets be honest) and went into Oh My Donut.  I’m a classy girl who just wants a plain chocolate doughnut–which they didn’t have so I went with a plain doughnut to my surprise had jelly in it–I wasn’t pleased.IMG_8569

Local doughnuts are a trend, even here, there are some popping up–and I wouldn’t call myself a doughnut girl–I usually get doughnuts when I’m starving for food. So, I couldn’t be a doughnut review person–what I will say if it’s going to be a hype thing it better be worth it.

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The next new thing are the shops . The new building around the English market and Patrick’s Street, is getting close-to being finished  No one really knows what’s going to be in there for businesses or shops. Can definitely say Forever 21 is not coming to Cork? Which to be fair, I’m over the cheap, not even well-made, bad ethics shop anyways. I’d stick with Penny’s. I am getting really into ethical fashion and buying lasting pieces. Another shop which is across the way from the new high-rise building (it’s probably 10 floors), is Sostrene Grene (the sisters Grene). Which is a little bit like Tigger but I say a little bit more for the mid-twenties and mothers. This place is like  IKEA without the furniture. Look at the pictures below to see more:

I love shops like these, they make me want to buy a loft and just go nuts!

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Building being built is on the left in reflection

Having all these new things pop up in Cork is always a good thing, so many abandon buildings and Cork is a great city that deserves it. These new building and business coming to Cork hopefully means a vibrant, things to do, variety, kids have places to go and things to do, and maybe outside of homes will look nicer (because if you ever walk around Cork, or really any city in Ireland you see outside of homes are no flower gardens–and that has a lot to do with housing and renting laws they have–I don’t know much but I’ve listened and experienced.)

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetThe one thing that worries me about all these new things is losing what I love about Cork which is how Irish and true Irish it really is. There’s a few tourist shops and pubs that are gear towards tourist but that’s it, I’m also worried about having it become Americanized, no TGIF or Hardrock cafe’s please. This also means its up and coming people will want to live there–meaning rent will go up, which I am experience in Minnesota to be a real pain in the bum of economics. And you know a lot of this is just how life works and how countries evolved. But, don’t forget your roots.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetOverall I was quite excited for all the new things Cork had, the new menu at Silly Goose, to the new art around, and the shops. I will say the big advertising and selling point for things is to make it “Instagram able” and me being 25 years old knowing how far we come, cringed yet gets excited towards that word.

I’m excited about the things Cork had and I wonder what they well have when I come back as long as Monday club is still there, the drinks are still good I’ll be happy and there is no TGIFs.

 

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City Girl Guide: Few hours in Austria

Go to the train station, buy a ticket and we were off to Austria. Public transportation and Europe you can do that so easily. 

We were only in Strasbourg, Austria for a few hours, which for me was fine because I love taking day trips and seeing a place for a day. You have a limited amount of time, so it forces you to see things that you never would see, do things you wouldn’t do because you may never have a chance to do it again.

Austria was one of my favorite places we visited on our daughter daddy adventure. Why? It was a little city, with barely any hustle, with a view that you had to see for yourself.

Dad wanted to go because he wanted to see the Alps and we couldn’t see them while in Munich. It was too foggy and the buildings were too tall so you couldn’t see them. But when we were in Sulsberg, Austria they were right there.It was a nice warm day, everyone was out and about, the locals were biking, sitting on the grass enjoying the nice weather on their lunch break. There were a bunch of tours walking around, we managed to get in one, which was quite funny since I kept saying how we could hold up an umbrella and see if people started to follow us. And we were doing just that. 

After walking around the city streets, and seeing the major areas, Mozart home; we walked around the city, and took a chance to walk up to the castle that sat right on the hill. 

Fun fact: my cap on my camera fell off and I had to chase it down the hill in front of a lot of none English speaking people older than my dad. 

When we finally got to the top of the castle, we payed to go in just to get the view of the alps, and 8 euro was worth the view.  I have never seen moutons like these before, it was like being by the ocean, looking at them realizing that there is more out there. I mean, I won’t go and climb it but to see them is now checked off my bucket list.We ended our time with food. We had Asian food for lunch, both me and dad were sick of the heavy food. The food was very good, I had soup which was dumb for a warm day, if you ask me.  On our way back to the train, we stopped for ice cream, which was a much better idea.  The whole city of Strasbourg was cute like you were in some Disney Princess movie. I loved the buildings, the walk along the river seeing the hills in the distance. It was a warm day sunny day, something you hardly ever get in Ireland. 

 

It was a great day in Austria, and I would go back since there is more to see.

City Girl Guide: Prague

Prague was probable my favourite place expect for the food. 

We started our trip to Prague with a 5 hour train ride in what looked like a Harry Potter train. Our seats were in a private compartment. And there was no wifi so we were force to have a conversation.  I LOVED IT!

After getting there we headed to our hotel, Hotel 16. It was the nicest of the hotels we stayed in during our daddy daughter adventure. We had two beds, with a a fairly large bathroom, and a little sitting room that we would always just end our nights in, tired from all the walking we did. The down side to the hotel was that it was away from a lot of things.  Our last night I realized that we kept taking the most up hill way to and from the hotel from the main area of Prague; I wish had noticed sooner just so we didn’t need to climb so many hills.
The main tourist area was Old Town and the Old Town city center. That’s where all the main historical buildings were, and all the tourist shops. The shops were selling the same sweatshirt, “Prauge drinking buddies”.  I liked Old Town; it was very photogenic. It was a little crowded for me, but you got to see a lot and people watch as well. There was a hockey tournament going on, so we also got to see many hockey fans.

The Charles Bridge was also a busy area in Prague; there were people selling things and playing music. It was almost like walking the piers in Florida. The one thing you should not miss is going up the tower of Charles Bridge; you get amazing 360 degree views of the city, the river, and the bridge. You do have to pay, but I think it’s worth the view.

My and my dad’s favorite place was across the bridge; it was much more quiet than Old Town. The palace was in that area and it was very cool to see. It was another tourist spot, but there were less people around. When we went there, something special was happening because many people were dressed up in old 17th century fighting uniforms; people from America were there, too.  The park that we walked through to get to the palace was very pretty and had some great views. It was quiet which allowed us to just take our time, talk, and enjoy the nice sunny day.

We were in Prague for only one and a half days. We did a lot and walked the whole city, drank some good beer, and finally found some good food. For a place that is the TOP tourist destination, my dad was hoping for more, where I enjoyed it. It is one of my top places to visit.

City Girl Guide: Nuremberg and Munich

My Dad and I went to four cities, including two in Germany.

Nuremberg
Probably the least favorite of the cities, because there really is not much to see in the city. Our first day, we went into the old town and it was PACKED you could hardly move through the streets. There was an outdoor market; it seemed that people were selling things they just found in their houses. But it was a cool city to see, very easy to walk around. And the history was there even though it was a city that had to be rebuilt from ground up. This was a city that we spent only two days in; one really full day. We didn’t get to see much like I didn’t get to see anything really Word War II related which is something I would love to see. Overall, I did find Nuremberg very interesting. And the buildings felt like I was in sleeping beauty or something. 

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We started and ended our trip here. The first place we stayed was near the palace, in a quaint little neighborhoods that we both really liked. There were a few low-key restaurants and a cafe where people just sat outside enjoying the day. It did not feel touristy; it did not feel like a city. It felt relaxed. The Palace was AMAZING with this large garden that locals would walk there dogs in or go for a run. Far away from everything else but close to one of the more famous beer gardens which we went to. AND couldn’t believe the size of pretzels. Now every pretzel is pointless after that one. When we returned to Munich we stayed in the city centor right by the train station. More hustle and bustle, more action, variety of different people and a lot more dirt. But closer to walk to a lot more of Munich. Love the beer gardens in Munich, you really can’t get anything like these anywhere else. I highly recommend it because the food is low key and the beer is large. it is an experience. 

 I wasn’t overly impressed with Munich. Maybe it would be different if we went on a walking tour of the different parts of the city, or went to a few more museums, but we were short on time. We did do touristy things, like waiting for the clock show in Munich square, which was very long and not that impressive. We were standing among all the other tourists staring up with there selfie sticks. I feel like when I go on trips to places my experience is short and thus I hurry through. I don’t take my time like I do in Ireland. Where I’m seeing and experiencing every inch of. 

 

 All in all ….

There are some cities you go to and decide there is nothing too special to see, they are just places. Dad says it well, “I saw it and I do not need to see it again.” If I ever have an opportunity to go back I’ll visit the small towns; I would go down a side street, I would want to see more. I saw it but I need to see more of it.  That’s the difference between me and my dad.  Besides the food the beer was good.