Cookie Hop: Maple Bacon Cookie for the win

Today was Red Roof Inn Corporate’s annual Cookie Hop! Everybody in the office came hungry with a batch of their homemade cookies and boy were they good! Our plates and bellies were full with dozens of different kinds of cookies.IMG_0164

This year our cookie winner was a Maple Bacon Cookie recipe! It is absolutely delicious and is a perfectly creative holiday treat to make for your Christmas dessert. Who doesn’t love bacon!? Here is the winning recipe!:

Maple Bacon Cookies (Iced and plain)

INGREDIENTSiced and un iced maple bacon cookies 1

  • 7 slices of bacon
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/2 cup good quality maple syrup (divided)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon maple extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set wire rack on the lined baking sheet. Lightly spray the wire rack with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange bacon in a single layer on the wire rack. Brush 1 tablespoon of maple syrup evenly over the slices. Cook the bacon for 10 minutes in the oven, then flip the slices, and brush the other side evenly with 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Continue to cook the bacon until crisp and dark in spots (about 10 – 15 minutes more). Let the bacon cool completely, then chop into small bits.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and sea salt in a medium bowl, whisking to combine. Set aside. Add butter and sugar to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (2 – 3 minutes). You can also use a hand mixer here. Add the egg, vanilla extract and maple extract, mixing until incorporated. Add the maple syrup, and mix until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients (flour mixture) to the wet ingredients (butter-egg mixture) in 3 additions, beating at a lower speed until each addition is just incorporated. Fold in the reserved, chopped candied bacon. Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap, and let chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat an oven to 350°F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Scoop 1 tablespoon of cookie dough, and, using your hands, roll into a ball. Place balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until the cookies turn lightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy the cookies and happy holidays!

Katie

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Winter Driving Tips

After having the coldest winter last season in Columbus, Ohio with lots of ice and snow, plus having a very old Lincoln Town Car that always broke down on me or would not start up during the winter, I learned that it is always smart to have some winter traveling tips on hand to help keep you safe when on the road.

Supplies to Keep In the Car

  • Blankets- This is great if your heat won’t work, if your car is old and takes forever to heat up, or if you break down. Last year, when driving home from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan after spending Christmas up there, our car broke down in the middle of nowhere where the nearest tow truck location was an hour and a half away. Thank God for the blankets we kept in the car, otherwise we would have froze because it took 3 hours to be rescued and the degrees were in the negatives! Also, keeping some granola bars in your car is also good if this happens. Make sure to keep your hazard lights on when broken down on the side of the road!
  • Gloves, hat, and scarf- I always keep an extra pair of gloves in the car to drive with so my hands don’t freeze or for when I need to scrape the snow and ice off my car.
  • Ice scraper, shovel and kitty litter! -An ice scraper is an obvious must. Last year, the shovel and kitty litter helped me out a lot. My car last year was very prone to getting stuck, even in small amounts of snow, especially since I had to parallel park on my street and would sometimes get blocked in by all the snow the snow trucks would push to the side. I would have to shovel my way out and put kitty litter around my tires to help with the grip and traction when easing out of snowy and icy situations.

Unlocking/Starting a Frozen Car

  • Many times last year, I was not able to get in my car because the lock was frozen over! When this crisis happened, I would get cups of hot water and ONLY pour it over the key hole and key. I would then wiggle the key back and forth in the key hole until it finally unlocked. Do not pour the hot water on the windows! This could cause them to shatter!
  • Let your engine warm up once the car is started before going. This leads to a safer and more efficient car with less chance of breaking down.
  • If your car won’t start because the battery is dead, then you will need a jump! Either have jumper cables or your AAA card on hand in case this happens.

Driving Tips

  • Make sure to take turns slowly and watch out for black ice! Cars can easily spin out, causing you to lose control if you are not careful! Keep your lights on if it is very snowy and make sure your windshield wipers are working properly! Give yourself lots of space to stop so you don’t spin out or lose control as well.
  • Make sure you have enough fluid in your car to clean off the salt from the roads that clouds up your vision on your windows, otherwise you will have to stop at a gas station a lot on the road to clean off your windows.
  • If your car has a setting for driving in the snow, then use it! (stability control and 4-wheel or all-wheel drive).
  • Once again, have your AAA card and number on hand in case your car breaks down or you get stuck!
  • Most importantly, if the roads are not safe to drive on, then stay off the road and do not go out driving!

If needing a place to stay for the night to wait out a snow storm or if your flight gets delayed, remember that a Red Roof Inn is very budget friendly and a great place to stay for a inexpensive, warm night! Some Red Roof Inns are right off the highway or near the airport so you do not even have to detour from your travels.

Safe travels everyone! Stay safe and warm!

Katie

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Winter Festivities: The Columbus Zoo Wildlights

Now that it is December, I am reminded of all the winter festivities that I look forward to every year! Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, I always plan a weekend trip during the winter to the Columbus Zoo for their spectacular Wildlights, which started on November 16th and goes through January 4th.

Not only do I love the winter season for the beautiful snow, Christmas, trees, decorations, hot chocolate, ice skating and family, but I love it for all the events and lights that are put up every year. My neighborhood where I grew up was always one to go all out during the winter season with amazing lights. I loved just driving around my neighborhood and other neighborhoods during this time to check out everyone’s decorations.

No one can beat the fantastic decorations of the Columbus Zoo Wildlights though. Even though I go every year, I never get sick of seeing them. Although most of the animals are put away for the winter, the indoor exhibits are still open, so you also get to see animals as well as the lights. My favorite part of the Wildlights is walking around with hot chocolate to keep me warm and watching the light show that happens every half hour around the pond at the front of the Zoo. Every year they change up the songs that the lights are synchronized to flash too, but my favorite song that they have synchronized the lights to in the past is the Tran-Siberian Orchestra song, Carol of the Bells. Not only is this song and the band one of my favorites, but add a light show to it and you will get chills from how amazing it is. (I am also going to try and get tickets to the Tran-Siberian Orchestra concert this year that is held in Columbus during December).

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I definitely recommend to everyone to check out the Columbus Zoo Wildlights this year and, like me, you will want to add that to one of your holiday traditions where you either go with your family, friends or significant other every year. In the past, I have gone with my family, friends, my boyfriend, and I even took my grandma one year when she visited and she loved it!

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There are even a few Red Roof Inns that are close to the Columbus Zoo if you want to travel and visit this winter attraction or are traveling to be with family in Columbus.

Safe travels to everyone as the snowy drives begin! I hope everyone has their ice scrapers ready!

Katie

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Top 10 Christmas Movies

Now that it is December and nights are getting cold and snowy, it becomes the perfect time to cuddle up in a blanket with hot chocolate and turn on a great holiday movie! This month also marks the start of 25 days of Christmas on ABC Family! There are many Christmas movies that I like, some of them are traditions in my family to watch every year together. For our family Christmas party, we never fail to all get together and watch Polar Express. My brother started this tradition in 2004 when the movie came out because he loved it so much. When we spend Christmas in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we always watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story together. Because of these family traditions, those 3 movies will always be in my top 10 list. Here is my official list of favorite movies that you should catch this month:

  1. Elf
  2. The Santa Clause
  3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  4. Miracle on 34th street (1994 version)
  5. Polar Express (I love the song ‘When Christmas Comes to Town‘ in this movie!)
  6. A Christmas Story
  7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000 version-I also love the song ‘Where are you Christmas‘ from this movie!)
  8. A Christmas Carol (1984 version)
  9. The classic Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)
  10. The classic Frosty the Snowman (1969)

What is your favorite Christmas movie? At Red Roof PLUS+, we provide the perfect atmosphere for a winter movie night with our NextGen® rooms, which includes warm bedding with Rest Suite beds by Serta® and flat screen TVs. We also now provide HBO, so you can always catch a good movie or show on that channel!

Stay warm during these snowy months!

Katie

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Red Roof Gives Back

Since November is the month to give back, Red Roof Inn had the pleasure of donating to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank $1,500 worth of canned goods! We also held our annual canned sculpture building contest at Mid-Ohio Food Bank with the cans we were donating. We were split into 5 teams to build a sculpture with a movie theme.

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This team received first place and took on The Lion King theme. They sculpted the opening scene where the animals are all surrounding Rafiki holding Simba on top of the cliff. A circle is surrounding the scene representing the Circle of Life.

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This team received second place where they took on the Jaws movie theme. They did the shark fin and a boat off to the side and wrote out ‘Jaws’.

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This team took on the Wizard of Oz movie theme. They made the yellow brick road leading to the green castle where the wizard lives.

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My team took on the Forrest Gump movie theme. We made the bench where Forrest sits telling his stories and put chocolate on it representing his saying “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” We also put in front F <3’s J, meaning Forrest loves Jenny.

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This team did a Red Roof Inn theme where they wrote out Ohio, Wow and PLUS.

Remember, with Thanksgiving coming up next week, we should be thankful for everything we have; our family, friends, job, and the food we are able to eat everyday. Some people are not as lucky as you or me and may not be able to eat every day, including children.

69% of the people Mid-Ohio Food Bank serves has to choose between food and utilities and 55% have to choose between food and paying rent/mortgage.

No one should go hungry. Fight hunger and give back. The Mid-Ohio Food Bank will accept any food or money donation. Just $1 can provide 4 meals to a family.

DSC_0199Thank you Mid-Ohio Food Bank for having us and judging the sculpture contest! Happy early Thanksgiving from Red Roof Inn to you!

Katie

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A Winter Story

Every year during the winter season from middle school to college, it was a tradition in my family to travel to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to celebrate Christmas. I have a lot of good memories in the Upper Peninsula during the holiday season that range from playing outside in the piles of snow to bundling up with blankets and hot chocolate each night around the TV to watch holiday movies. We have two family favorites that we always have to watch together: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story.

Through the many years of traveling to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan during the winter season, I feel like I can relate a lot to the characters Ralphie and Randy in the movie A Christmas Story and to the funny family stories in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Every year during the winter season in the Upper Peninsula, it would be absolutely freezing with multiple feet of snow on the ground and huge icicles hanging from our cabin roof. Our mom would remind us every time before we would go outside to watch out and stay away from the icicles because, if they would fall, they could kill us, just like how everyone would tell Ralphie that the B.B. gun could poke an eye out. One year, my sister Kerrie’s eye was almost poked out, not by an icicle, but by a pick ax we were using to build a snow tunnel. Needless to say, we never use the pick ax anymore to build snow forts.

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We would dress up just like Randy, all bundled up to where we could barely move just to stay warm during the cold. We always would laugh at each other as we put on our huge snow suits and tried to run around in our outfits. We were always happy we bundled up though as soon as we stepped outside. Especially when we were out on the frozen lake ice fishing where there were no trees to block the wind.

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Every year, we would also try to make a ginormous snowman. Each year we would try to make a snowman taller than the last.

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We would also have a sledding contest to see who could go the furthest each year. Our cabin is on top of a huge hill, so we were always able to go fast and far. We sometimes would make it all the way to sledding on top of the frozen lake! This is where I always was reminded of the sledding scene in Christmas Vacation.

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Just like in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, my siblings, my dad and I every year would go hiking all through the woods in the Upper Peninsula in search of the perfect Christmas tree. We would walk for hours trying to find the right one. Last year, we actually got lost in the woods looking for the perfect tree and it took us almost until dark to finally find our way home. Our dad even made the dumb suggestion of all of us splitting up to look for the way out. We all yelled at him saying that is how people die, especially in scary movies.

After a long day of playing outside in the cold, it was always a relief to get inside and relax under a warm blanket with my family and watch our favorite Christmas movies together.

Do you and your family need a place to travel to this holiday season? Create your own family winter story by traveling to the original A Christmas Story house! This year, the Red Roof Inn Cleveland locations are offering a special ‘Ralphie Rate Package‘ which includes:

  • A rate of $99.997253DE47-188B-3B72-2E0F27304D13BA44
  • A choice of room types at one of four Cleveland Red Roof locations
  • 2 Admission tickets to A Christmas Story House and Museum
  • Exclusive 15% discount in the gift shop
  • Free appetizer at Bac Chinese Restaurant
  • And a special keepsake from your visit

For more information, click here!

Safe travels during the winter months!

Katie

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Experience Atlanta

I had the opportunity of experiencing a day in Atlanta, Georgia. Though I was only there for 1 day, I had a blast!

I got to the Columbus airport very early for a 6 am flight to Atlanta. During the flight, I had a great view of all the lights of Columbus and of the rising sun.

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The airport in Atlanta was one of the biggest airports I have ever been in, though I have not been in many. You had to take a train to get to each gate letter and we also had to take a tram to the rental car place.

Once we got our rental car, we decided to explore the city. I got to officially check off one attraction from my bucket list: The Centennial Olympic Park! The park was very beautiful during the day. The weather was perfect and the leaves were all different shades of red, orange, and brown because the fall season was just beginning there, unlike in Columbus, Ohio where the leaves are already all off the trees and it is beginning to snow! The park was also in the process of being decorated for Christmas. There was a huge Christmas tree and some lights were being set up. I bet the park is beautiful at night when all the decorations are complete and lit up!

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The Centennial Olympic Park had beautiful ponds and fountains that were paying tribute to the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta, Georgia. There were statues of the Olympic Torch and there was an Olympic Ring Fountain, which sadly was closed for maintenance when I was there. There was also flags from all over the world circling the park.

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The park is also in the center of a bunch of attractions that I have to visit next time I am in Atlanta, like The World of Coca-Cola Museum, The Georgia Aquarium, and the CNN Center, the world’s headquarters of CNN where you can go on tours of the newsrooms and learn how the teleprompter and weather maps work.

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During the afternoon, I got to attend and help out at the opening ceremony and ribbon cutting ceremony of the newly renovated NextGen® rooms of the Lithonia, GA property! The rooms looked awesome with the new flat screen TVs and the comfy bedding with Rest Suite beds by Serta®. I had a great time meeting everyone who put time and effort into remodeling the hotel.

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After the ceremony, I got to walk around the Lenox Square Mall, which is bigger than any mall I have been to in Columbus! They also had the bakery, Sprinkles Cupcakes, which is the world’s first cupcake bakery, where I had a dark chocolate cupcake. The cupcake was absolutely delicious and I definitely recommend making the bakery a stop when you travel to Atlanta just so you can try their famous cupcakes! I spent the night at the Buckhead Red Roof Inn PLUS+ property and left the next morning to the airport.

There are many Red Roof Inns around Atlanta, so when planning your trip, choose a Red Roof Inn to stay at so you can get more out of your travel experience with our low budget rates, like touring the CNN center, riding the Ferris Wheel, going on a shopping spree at the Lenox Square mall, or, my favorite, going to the aquarium!

Life is short and the world is large, so start planning your adventures now!

Safe travels to you all!

Katie

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Giving Thanks

November is the month of Thanksgiving, so don’t forget to give thanks! There are many things that I am thankful for, like my family, friends, job, cat, apartment and so on. What I am most thankful for though, are my memories growing up and spending time with my family.

Some of the many fond memories that I have growing up have to do with Thanksgiving in Michigan with my whole family. Every year we would travel up to Michigan for two different feasts. One with my mom’s side on the actual day of Thanksgiving, and the other on my dad’s side on our way home. Needless to say, we felt like stuffed turkeys after two delicious feasts!

One Thanksgiving that really sticks out to me was when we were around 6 or 7 years old and our Uncle Joe was hosting Thanksgiving on my mom’s side that year. My siblings and I were really excited because we loved hanging out with our cousins and our Uncle Joe’s house was in a nice neighborhood by a nice trail that we would take a walk on after feasting. I remember we had a whipped cream fight with all the whipped cream that was on top of the pies during dinner and we all got in trouble for it.

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After the meal, we decided to go around the neighborhood and knock on doors to sing Thanksgiving carols. Yes, you heard right, Thanksgiving carols. My mom was a preschool teacher so she taught us a lot of songs that had to do with thanksgiving. At every door we went to, the family inside seemed to enjoy our silly songs. We even made a few bucks from it! I would never do that again, but as little kids, families probably thought we were either really cute or really obnoxious. I will always look back at that memory and smile!

What are you most thankful for? Don’t forget to set some time aside this Thanksgiving to let those who you love know how important they are to you. At Red Roof Inn, we are thankful for all the families and guests that stay with us every year.

Safe travels to everyone who is driving or flying out to their loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving this year! Remember to look for a Red Roof Inn where ever you are traveling to for a great, low budget rate!

Happy early Thanksgiving!

Katie

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Oh The Places I’ll Go

I have many bucket lists. Some in my head, some written down. For those of you who do not know what a bucket list is, it is a list of things to do before you die. Good thing I am young because I have many many things on my lists, but as I live my life, go on adventures, and travel the world, I hope to check them off one by one. Here is a bucket list of my top ten U.S. cities I want to travel to and why:travel quote

  1. Atlanta, Georgia- This city is number one on my bucket list. They have The World of Coca-Cola which features the history of The Coca-Cola Company. You also get to sample 100+ Coca-Cola flavors from around the country! I myself am a Diet Coke and Cherry Coke lover. Another great attraction I look forward to seeing is Centennial Olympic Park which has the world’s largest interactive fountain featuring the Olympic Ring symbol. The site I am most looking forward to seeing though is the Georgia Aquarium! I love aquariums and this just happens to be one of the top aquariums in the world! They have sea otters, beluga whales, dolphins, penguins and whale sharks! HOW EXCITING! Not to mention that the whale shark is the largest fish on earth so that would be an amazing thing to see. They also have dolphin shows and many other cool sites and exhibits. I cannot wait for the day that I get to go visit this awesome aquarium! :)
  2. Orlando, Florida- Not only is this state known as the sunshine state, but it is also the place of Disney! I did go to Disney World when I was very young, so I do not really remember my trip. Orlando has Sea WorldDisney’s Animal KingdomEpcotMagic KingdomDisney’s Hollywood Studios and so much more! Most importantly, they have The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I am a huge Harry Potter Fan. I grew up with the books and the movies. I read the books twice and I have seen the movies a ton of times. In middle school, my friends and I put on a Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone skit for a talent show where I was Harry Potter! I went to the midnight showings for most of the movies as well and even dressed up for one of them. Needless to say it would be a dream come true to walk through Hogwarts, have a butterbeer in Hogsmead, go to Diagon Alley for school supplies or ride on the broomstick roller coasters like I am playing Quidditch.  I also have done all the Harry Potter quizzes on Sporcle. Yes I am a Harry Potter nerd. I definitely cannot wait for this day. Like they say, Disney is the place where dreams come true.

    Disney with my sibs when I was young!

    Disney with my sibs when I was young!

  3. Honolulu, Hawaii- Honolulu is my tropical paradise dream city. I would love to go to Hawaii, drink a daiquiri while lying in the sun on the beach, go snorkeling to see the reefs and the tropical fish, learn to surf, go to a luau to see hula dancers and fire dancers, hike to the Manoa Falls or Nu’uanu Pali which offers panoramic views of the Koolau cliffs and is perched over a thousand feet above the Oahu coastline amid mountain peaks. I would also love to see the Halona Blowhole, which is a molten lava tube that sprays water 30 feet into the air, or the Haiku Stairs, aka the Stair Way to Heaven, which is a steel staircase made up of 4,000 steps that ascends a ridge up from the Valley of Haiku. What a great day it will be when I arrive there!
  4. New York City, New York-I would just love to have a weekend in NYC where I get to walk around and see all the sights, ride a ferry to Staten Island, see the Statue of Liberty, see the Empire State Building and take the elevator up to the Observation Deck to see all of New York, ride a horse and carriage or do a morning run and picnic at Central Park, walk through Time Square, and most importantly, see a Broadway Play that New York is known for! I love Broadway plays. I have seen a few at the Palace Theatre in Columbus, OH but I would love to see one in New York. A play I would absolutely love to see would be Les Miserables! I have the soundtrack so I know most of the songs! Hopefully when I visit New York, it will be one of the plays in the Theater.
  5. New Orleans, Louisiana- New Orleans is a place that I would love to go to, not only for the amazing city, but for all the food it is known for! I am a major foodie and New Orleans just sounds absolutely delish! Some foods I would like to try there are beignets (ben-yays), which are fried dough with tons of powdered sugar on it, gumbo with chicken, sausage, shrimp, rice and whatever else is placed in it and crawfish- I have never tried these before but I want my first time to be in New Orleans! Places I would want to visit here include Bourbon Street for the night life and clubbing, the French Quarter and Jackson Square. And yes, I would like my time in New Orleans to be during Marti Gras!
  6. San Francisco, California- Lucky number seven, San Francisco! Places I would want to see would be the Golden Gate Bridge and the Golden Gate Park where there are gardens, playgrounds, lakes, picnic groves, trails, and monuments. Next, I would go to Fisherman’s Wharf for the sights, culture and fresh sea food. Then Alcatraz Island to see the infamous prison- spooky! I would also like to see North Beach, best known as San Francisco’s Little Italy which is also on my bucket list of places to go to! Lastly, I would visit Alamo Square, where the Full House opening took place :). I would also have to try In-N-Out Burger of course. They do not have it in Ohio and it looks like a delicious guilty pleasure that I need to try sometime in my life.
  7. San Antonio, Texas- Time to get my country on in San Antonio! In this city, the first thing I would do is spend an evening at the River Walk. I would take a ride on the boat, eat by the water’s edge and go stroll down the walk window shopping.  I would ‘remember the Alamo’ by checking out the Alamo Mission, the fortress where the battle took place and I would hike around the beautiful Natural Bridge Caverns and play with dolphins at Dolphin Cove in Sea World, San Antonio.
  8. Juneau, Alaska- Juneau the capital of Alaska? My dad use to say that to us kids, get it? It sounds like ‘do you know’! We did not get it for a while because we actually did not know the capital yet! I would love to go to Alaska to see the magnificent northern lights. I would go on beautiful hikes and finally see glaciers, waterfalls and possibly bears at hiking trails around the area, one being the Perseverance National Recreation Trail. I would also take the Mount Roberts Tramway 1,800 feet into the air going through the rain forest to the Mountain House, which offers expansive views of Juneau and Gastineau Channel. It is also one of the most vertical tramways in the world! So cool!
  9. Portland, Oregon- In Portland, I would have to check out the Lan Su Chinese Garden, which is an authentically built Ming Dynasty style garden that is filled with Covered walkways, bridges, pavilions and beautiful flowers. The garden’s tea-house serves traditional Chinese teas and the garden hosts a two-week Chinese New Year celebration every year and summer concerts! Of course, I would also attend the Oregon Zoo since I am an animal and zoo lover. I would have to try Voodoo Doughnut, an unusual and delicious culinary destination where the doughnuts are topped with innovative ingredients like bacon or Captain Crunch. I would check out Portland’s International Rose Test Garden, known for being the oldest official continuously operated public rose test garden in the U.S. and finally, I would go to Portland’s  Japanese Garden, which is one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan!
  10. Colorado Springs, Colorado- Last but not least, Colorado Springs! I would go here for the beautiful national parks and mountain-scapes like Seven FallsManitou InclineCheyenne Mountain State ParkMount Rosa, and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to feed the giraffes and explore the only mountainside zoo that is at an elevation of 6,800 feet above sea level!

What is your U.S. city bucket list? I hope I gave you some great travel ideas! Remember to look for a Red Roof Inn to stay at in those cities as you are traveling to get the most out of your travel experience and vacation with our low budget rates!

Time to get up and experience the world while you can. Life is short, the world is large so start planning your trips today!

Safe travels to you all!

Katie

 

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Vegas Baby!

This title has 2 different meanings to me: 1, Vegas baby! A fun and exciting way to say YES, I am here in Vegas and I am going to work hard and play hard. 2, I actually am a Vegas baby because it is my first time here.

Not only was it my first time in Vegas, but it was my first time riding a plane since 8th grade, my first business trip and my first time gambling! What an experience to have 4 firsts in one big trip!

I am not going to lie, I had a lot of nerves and worries about going on a plane for the first time in 8 years. I was worried I would miss my flight, not find my gate, get stopped at security or lose a bag. To calm my nerves, I did end up getting to the airport the morning of the flight extra early just so I did not have to worry about any of those things. I got to my gate with no problem and my nerves turned to excitement. I was going to be on a plane going to Las Vegas! HOLY COW! I was very ready to get there. :)

The plane ride was 4 and a half hours long and I got a window seat. I got to see all of Columbus, Ohio lit up in the early morning from high up above. It was beautiful.

Here are some exciting things I got to see and do while in Vegas!:

  • I walked through Caesars Palace (Yes, I was excited to see it because of the Hangover), It was beautiful and huge with a casino and a mall inside. The ceiling was painted to look like clouds and they had amazing statues and fountains inside the hotel.PicMonkey Collage
  • I ate at delicious buffets for breakfast at Planet Hollywood and lunch at MGM. The breakfast had quiches, sausage, peppers, smoothies, fruit, croissants, ham and cheese sandwiches, pancakes and everything you can imagine, while the lunch buffet had food from every country. Good thing I was doing a ton of walking and exploring to walk off all the food I ate. The MGM had the Rain Forest Cafe and the biggest casino where I felt lost while exploring it.IMG_20141028_204135
  • I walked through20141028_133717_resized the Bellagio, which was very nice and high class. The lobby ceiling was made of handmade colorful glass pieces of art by Chihuli and it also had a casino and a mall with more high-end shops inside.
  • I stayed in Planet Hollywood on floor 17 and had a beautiful view of the Nevada desert and mountains.
  • I saw the Mirage, Treasure Island, the Flamingo and the Bellagio fountain show, which was amazing and gave me chills. The fountains are synchronized to different songs that they had playing. When the music went through a powerful chorus, the fountains would shoot up all together, going extremely high in the air. You could hear the cannons that were shooting the water up because it was so powerful! I loved the show and I watched it both during the day and at night.20141028_150328_resized
  • I explored the New York, New York hotel, which had a roller coaster on the outside of it! The inside looked like a little New York City town and it had all the foods you would find there. If you haven’t realized it yet, all the hotels took on a theme and really pulled out the theme very well.20141030_114418_resized
  • I went through the M&M store and Hershey store where there was a ton of delicious chocolate.
  • I did a lot of people watching! The amazing thing about Vegas was how diverse it was. People lined the street dressed up in show girl costumes or marvel super hero characters. Just so many people and so many things to watch and see. You get handed so many fliers and half-off show tickets and a ton of different coupons with things to do. Just people watching is an interesting thing to do in Vegas.
  • During the trip, I also got to go to a Red Roof Inn Franchise conference where I got to learn more about our properties. I got to hear Kevin Scholl, our Director of Digital Marketing, give a great speech about digital marketing and social media as well!20141029_141750_resized
  • Finally, I got to have my first gambling experience in the Planet Hollywood casino. I mostly stuck to the slots since I do not know the rules of Poker. The casinos reminded me of an adult Dave & Busters. So many machines, games, tables, people, drinks, food, dancers- just a ton of fun things to do and see! I moved around and played a bunch of different slots. I was up a few dollars, then down more than a few, but finally I was up again and decided to be done. I did not want to get greedy and lose, especially since it is all chance.Photo_2014-10-30_09-24-22_AM

I left  Vegas a winner. Katie: 1, Vegas: 0. Until next time!

Viva Las Vegas!

And don’t forget, a Red Roof Inn is located conveniently only a mile away from the strip! A great place to stay so you can get more out of your travel experience!

-Katie

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