Courageous Travels: Twin Cities Wheeling Trip

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Day 1

Good Evening Courageous Travelers,

The travel group is heading to the Twin Cities. Yes, it’s colder in Minnesota, but fun at the Mall of America and Spam Museum is not letting the cold weather play a factor.

We started off our day in Walcott, IA at the I-8O Truck Stop. Here we picked up Dan, Larry, Richard, and Linda. Linda was super pumped to go shopping at the mall. She mentioned that she goes shopping every Saturday, so she is really looking forward to this trip.

The next stop we made was at the McDonalds in Coralville. We met Shaila and Angela. Both girls are so excited about heading out to this fun destination.

After our stop, we made our way back to Camp. Along the way we picked up Sara in Anamosa and arrived at camp pretty early. Once we arrived, the group of travelers were greeted with a delicious meal. Thank you Kitchen staff! We had two more travelers to pick up at camp. Greg and Christina. Thank you to Sharon in Nursing who helped with greeting our travelers.

We met all of our wonderful volunteers at camp. A BIG Thank you goes out to Betsy, Lauren, Sara, Jen, Rosa, Carolyn, Triva, and Kaite. These volunteers are dynamite and excited about spending the day with their travelers.

We headed out right before 2pm and drove a great distance. We stopped for dinner at the Panda Express, and was only an hour away.

We arrived at the hotel at 8:30pm, unloaded our travelers and made their way to the hotels rooms. They are now resting.

Today was a great day on the road and beautiful weather all the way to the Twin Cities. Tomorrow we head to the Mall of America, so stay tuned to some more fun.

Have a great evening,

Courageous Travels

Day 2

Good Evening Courageous Travelers,

Mall of America!! That is the biggest highlight the travelers were looking forward too. If you mention Twin Cities Trip, they automatically say, “Mall of America trip!” Hmmm, that’s an idea for a trip ;)! This place is so big, that you can probably spend two days here, because their is a TON that this place offers. The mall offers a big theme park, movie theater, water-park, hotel, restaurants, and TONS of shopping!! Oh, did I forget a Lego Store? Ya, they have that too. No wonder they call this mall, the Mall of America.

The travelers had a great start to the morning. They arose pretty early, and made their way to the hotel breakfast, which was pretty taste. While the group was winding down, I got the bus ready and met them at the front of the entrance. We then boarded the bus, one wheeler at a time and strapped them in tightly. We made our way to the Mall of America, where I dropped off the travelers at the North Entrance. The have a great pick-up/drop-off location for buses, so it was pretty simple.

There were 4 groups, all in pairs of 2. They toured the mall in there groups. But first, they made sure to take group pictures in front of the star and where it says Mall of America. The travelers entered the biggest mall in the U.S and made it the gift shops they wanted to visit. Most of the groups really wanted to visit the Minnesota gift shops and strolled around the the floors checking out all the different stores and all the mall had to offer.

Christina really wanted to take a picture at the Lego building, so Lauren made sure to do that. Angela’s bucket list included visiting the Hard Rock Cafe, so she and her counselor Jen made sure they ate lunch and visited the gift shop. Shaila had a special surprise when she got to the mall. Her family, aunt, uncle, and cousin visited her at Barnes and Nobles. Shaila was sure a happy traveler. Rosa also had a friend of hers stopped by Marissas Vossen, one of her friends from her trip to Swaziland. It was a great to have the opportunity for the trivia Greg and Richard really enjoyed shopping at the Minnesota gift stores and visiting the Sea Life Aquarium. Linda enjoyed shopping along side Angela, but Linda was just so trilled to be with Courageous Travels at the Mall of America. She mentioned how she had to miss the last trip, so this was super thrilled about having another chance to go. She also mentioned that she is fulfilling her obligation by shopping ;), she shops every Saturday at home. Larry and Dan really enjoyed exploring the aquarium and finding gifts for themselves. They checked out the Crayola stores and other stores.

Every group had a chance to visit the Sea Life Aquarium. It was pretty busy, but they managed to get through and see all the sea life, the aquarium offered. The Sea Life Aquarium was open all day, so everyone had a chance to go at different times.

Most of the groups had lunch in the food court and others had lunch at different locations. For dinner, we all met up again at the Rain Forest Cafe. The Cafe set up a special table for us, which helped us enjoy the scenery the cafe had to offer. Where we sat, there were Gorillas, tigers, and elephants that made noise and moved around. We even had the chance to experience a lighting storm, it only lasted a minute. But every time they do this, the animals start make loud noises and the storm starts. It’s pretty cool to witness and that is a big draw to this restaurant.

After dinner, it was time to head back to the North Entrance. I retrieved the bus and loaded everyone up. We are all now back at the hotel, getting ready for bed and getting ready for our departure tomorrow morning.

It was such a great day at the Mall of America. The travelers sure had fun making memories with their Courageous volunteers.

Have a great night everyone!


Courageous Travels

Day 3

Good Evening Courageous Travelers,

The travelers have returned back from Minnesota. We sure did have a fun time exploring the Mall of America yesterday, and even though there is so much to still do in this fun city, we needed to make our way back to Iowa.

The morning started off early, so we could get everyone ready, packed up, and head on the road. It was pretty rainy this morning, but it soon cleared up, once we headed south. Before we hit Iowa, we stopped in Austin, MN, home of the SPAM Museum. YUMMY, SPAM!! The travelers were eagerly waiting to try some SPAM, and they had their chance today! But first, we needed to have lunch.

We stopped at Steve’s Pizza where the ingredients are fresh, and it was right across the street from the SPAM museum, so it worked out nice. The pizza was delicious, so I highly recommend this restaurant, if you all ever find your way to Austin, MN.

After lunch we made our way to the SPAM museum. The SPAM museum was actually closed the last time we wanted to visit, because they were building a new place. This was the new place, which I guess has been open for two years now. It was pretty cool to tour the new SPAM museum. We saw many new items and some that they transferred over from the old museum. When we got there, we were greeted by some nice people who told us some history about the museum and the company Hormel, that makes SPAM and many more other brands. After we listened to our tour guide, we had the chance to explore more of the museum and of course check out the gift shop. It was a nice stop before we made our way back on the road to Iowa.

Once we were done, exploring, it was time to head back to Iowa. Austin, MN is not to far from the Iowa border, so we were back in Iowa pretty quick.

We stopped for gas once and then we were back on the road. We made our way to the Coralville Culvers. Once we arrived, we had dinner and the pick-ups had begun. We had three travelers get piked up in Coralville, 3 in Davenport and 1 at camp.

It was a good drive and everyone was piked up. Thank you to all the wonderful travelers and the volunteer counselors that helped them, it was sure a memorable trip.


Courageous Travels