Magnificent Chicago

Everyone remembers their senior class trip in high school. Mine happened to be in Chicago, Illinois and it was a blast. My classmates and I piled into the greyhound buses our supervisors rented for the weekend and we were off to Chicago for my very first time. It was an amazing city and I cannot wait to visit again.

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Peace Chicago! From BWHS Class of 2010

On the night of our arrival, we got to see the Blue Man Group! I was in the 3rd row so I was right in the splash zone. I was given a poncho to wear during the show. The experience was awesome-paint was flying everywhere. I loved the creativity that was put into every little detail of the show. The music, acting, instruments, paint and atmosphere was electric!

During the trip, I also got to go to the Lincoln Park Zoo. The Lion House made the stop definitely worth the trip. Not to mention that this zoo is free to the public. What a deal!

We got to walk around and explore the Navy Pier and Michigan Ave/ The Magnificent Mile all afternoon where there was fantastic shopping! I definitely recommend checking out HERSHEY’S store to all you chocolate lovers. I also got to try my first real Chicago Deep Dish Pizza! We of course had to stop and take pictures at the Chicago Bean (or Cloud Gate, which is its actual name) like every tourist.

My favorite place that we got to go to was the Shedd Aquarium! They had beluga whales, dolphins, sharks, penguins and more! I love aquariums, but most of all, I love dolphins. I was so excited for the aquarium because I was told they had a dolphin show. I rushed into the aquarium so I could purchase my dolphin show ticket, but when I got to the front of the line, the tickets were all sold out. I was very disappointed and so were my friends. After exploring the aquarium, we went to where the show was taking place so we could peak in through the curtains and watch it. The security guard saw me and a few of my friends trying to watch the show and he actually let us in to see the show for free without a ticket! He, and the dolphins, made my day.

The final attraction that we went to was the Willis Tower Skydeck, the second tallest building in the world, for the ultimate view of Chicago. It was beautiful and a little bit freaky at the same time because we were up so high and all the walls are glass. Here is a fun fact about the Skydeck: At 1,353 feet in the air, the Ledge’s glass boxes extend out 4.3 feet from the Skydeck. To those of you afraid of heights, conquer your fears and go up close to the glass. It is a beautiful view that everyone should experience for themselves, not through a picture.

All in all, I had an amazing time in Chicago. Not because of where we stayed, but because of all the adventures we had by going out and exploring the city.

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My sister and I presenting Chicago to you! Now go explore it!

I only leave you with one request. Be in the center of everything. Immerse yourself into your location. Your hotel is just a place to sleep. You have the whole city to experience and see, why waste any time in a hotel!? Save money so you can do greater and better things like use the money you saved to go to the aquarium, see the dolphin show, ride the Ferris Wheel on the Navy Pier, enjoy all the recommended Chicago foods, spend a little more on shopping or go to the Blue Man Group show. Get out and see the world. Create priceless memories.

The Red Roof Inn located right on the Magnificent Mile is the perfect place to stay with low budget rates so you can get more out of your travel experience. Not to mention, it is in the middle of a great attraction!

Want some more help planning your Chicago vacation? Check out Red Roof Inn’s attraction page which lists things to do and see in Chicago! http://www.redroof.com/local_deals/experience_chicago/

Safe travels and adventures to you all,

Katie

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Pumpkin Patchin’

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Here is an old picture of me having a blast at a pumpkin patch. I am great at posing as you can see.

What a weekend. On Saturday, I finally got to go to a pumpkin patch! The farm we went to was called Lehner’s Pumpkin Farm and it had everything! I definitely recommend it for a family fun outing or a place to go with your friends. They had a corn maze, pumpkin patch, hot chocolate and apple cider, train ridbunnyes and hay rides, a farmers market with fresh fruits and kettle corn, a pumpkin sling shot and a petting zoo!

First, we went to the petting zoo which consisted of bunnies, goats and a donkey. Of course, I hopped right in to the bunny enclosure to hold one of them. I am a huge animal lover so I was in heaven. I also got to feed the goats and the donkey.

Next, we went to the corn maze and boy was it difficult. We went into the maze thinking we could find the exit in 10 min. flat. It ended up taking us a good 40 min. Good luck to everyone else that tries to beat our time.Corn Maze

We then went to the pumpkin patch and I was on a quest to find the roundest, orange-est, cleanest, smoothest pumpkin. I did not want any warts, dents or dirt caked on to it. My perfect pumpkin will help me carve the perfect jack-o-lantern. After scouring the patch, I finally found a pumpkin that was semi up to my standards and we headed back to the farm for some cider and browsing of the market.

When the day was over and our stock of pumpkins and goodies were bought, we packed into the car and headed to a Mexican restaurant for a nice meal to end our fall adventure.pumpkin patch

My siblings and I looking awesome in our matching pooh bear costumes!

My siblings and I looking awesome in our matching pooh bear costumes!

Pumpkins are crossed off the check list for Halloween preparations, now I just need to carve them and find my costume! My boyfriend and I have a couple ideas, either Groot and Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy or Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow from Game of Thrones. :P I can’t wait! Nothing can beat my costume back when I was 3 though when I was Winnie the Pooh with my sibs.

Remember that the Red Roof Inn is the perfect place to stop with low rates that allow you to get more out of your fall travel experiences!

Have fun on your October adventures!

Katie

 

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10 Simple Family Travel Tips To Make Traveling Fun and Easy

To travel is to adventure. It should be fun and exciting, but with the hassle of packing and hours in the car with your family, can turn stressful and sour real fast. With the right tips and preparations though, it can become a fond memory that your family will never forget. Here are some travel tips I have learned through the experience of traveling with my family:

  1. Keep the snacks and movies (if there is a TV in the car) in an easily accessible spot. It is always frustrating when you packed them under suitcases and bags and can’t get to them. Also, if you do not want to stop for meals, pack sandwiches or do a quick stop at a drive thru.
  2. Pack light so you are not squished and have leg room. I use to go on family trips where we all had to sit cross-legged the whole time because we over packed. My legs would fall asleep and get cramped. My mom ended up getting a blood clot from it and was in the hospital for 2 days.
  3. DO NOT drink a lot of liquids unless you plan on frequent stops. Also, when you do stop, go to the bathroom, even if you don’t have to. Otherwise you may have to go an hour later and no one will want to stop for you.
  4. Make sure to make some travel playlists or bring a book on tape. I prefer books on tape during car rides because reading in the car always makes me feel car sick. Some of my favorite travel songs are:
  5. Play some travel games like:
    • Eye Spy.
    • The License Plate game where the person who finds the license plate from farthest away wins.
    • Travel Bingo where you make a bingo board with road signs and land marks and whoever gets bingo first wins.
    • 20 Questions where a family member in the car thinks of an object or person. The rest of the family has to guess what or who it is after asking 20 questions. (Or more. My family and I never put a limit to it.)
    • The Alphabet Game where you have to get through the whole alphabet by finding signs or billboards that start with each letter in order. (i.e. an Aflac billboard, A for Aflac. A Burger King Sign, B for Burger King, a Columbus, Ohio sign, C for Columbus.)
    • Some fun Apps to play with each other during the ride are QuizUp and Words With Friends
    • Download the Red Roof Inn App and they have the rules to some of these games under the page Travel Games! You will also save $5 per night when you download the app this October.
  6. Make sure to bring a pillow and blanket to be comfy. Also, no one is ever the same temperature. You may be freezing while your sibling is burning up. A blanket is perfect to have in this case.
  7. Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off. Then you will not hold up the back seat people who are trying to get out while you are trying to put on and tie your shoes.
  8. If it’s a long drive, make sure to take turns driving.
  9. Sleep most of the ride away if you get car sick easily and you are just a passenger. My sister, Abbie, always does this.
  10. Look up places to stop and attractions to see on the way to make the travel experience more exciting.

Safe travels to you all!

Katie

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My First Ever Football Game: OSU vs. MSU

I will never forget my first football game ever attending. It was a Michigan State vs Ohio State football game at The Shoe and I was around 10 years old. I was really excited about it because 1) I had never been to a football game before and 2) My Aunt, Uncle, and cousins were coming to town and were going with us!

My Aunt, Uncle and 2 cousins are all die-hard MSU fans. My Aunt and Uncle both grew up in Lansing, MI and attended MSU where they met. They passed down their MSU spirit to their 2 children who eventually did grow up to attend college at MSU. My parents, on the other hand, did attend MSU and that is where they met, but then they moved to Columbus, Ohio where they slowly began to cheer for MSU and OSU, especially once my sisters and I started to go to Ohio State for college. Go Bucks! I grew up in a family of rivals, some Michigan fans, some Michigan State fans, and some Ohio State fans.

Well on this particular day, we were all being die-hard MSU fans for the game, all decked out in green and white. We got to the game early so we could walk around campus and experience our first tailgate. I remember sitting on the curb of Lane and Neil, eating Tommy’s pizza just watching all the Ohio State fans cheering, drinking, and yelling O-H, I-O. Of course we also got to hear the famous “We Don’t Give A D- Bout The Whole State Of Michigan” song. The atmosphere was wild, crazy and filled with team spirit. So far, I was quite enjoying my first experience of a game day.

We arrive at the stadium and it begins to blizzard. My enjoyment quickly goes away. Within 5 min of the game, I was an icicle and ready to leave. I spent the rest of the game in a ball with hand warmers huddled next to my siblings and my mom trying to stay warm. Needless to say, I did not become a die-hard football fan that day.

But for those of you who are die-hard sports fans, at the Red Roof Inn we are having a promotion at four of the Cleveland Red Roof Inns (Independence, Westlake, Willoughby and Middleburg Heights). Guests have the opportunity to save 23% off all rooms on game day and stay a second night for $23 by presenting your ticket stub at check in!  Click here for the details and requirements.

BONUS!!

win with 23Sports fans have an opportunity to win tickets to the Browns vs. Bengals game 12/14/14 or Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks 11/15/14Click here to enter.

Good luck!

Katie

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Creating Memories One Stop At a Time

Sometimes the best part of getting to your vacation destination is the travel experience and the memories created from getting to or from your location.

Normally when traveling with my family, my dad is the driver and he just wants to get to the location. He hates stopping, whether for bathroom breaks or meals. When asked to stop for a bathroom break, his response is always, “just hold it for another 10 minutes” or “I promise we will stop at the next exit” even though what he really means is in the next 10 exits.

Growing up as a quadruplet really helped to shape my past travel experiences in my mind as hectic, squished and long. My mom always over packed causing us to complain during the drive, but when we got to our location, we were always thankful she over packed for she always managed to bring extras of things we would forget, like socks, tooth brushes, hair spray etc. Sitting in the back with my siblings, there was a 90 percent chance that a fight would break out during the trip, whether it was because someone was taking up too much room or they had crossed that invisible seat line that was never allowed to be crossed.

Though my past travel experience may not seem all that glamorous, it still is a good family memory in my mind. The time I really got to enjoy my travel experience though was when I was in middle school and my mom drove my siblings and I home from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My family has a cabin in the UP where we would vacation for a week or more back when we were in school and had summer and winter breaks.

This time, instead of rushing to get home, we took our time stopping at many interesting places in the UP. The first place we stopped was just on the side of the road to enjoy beautiful Lake Michigan. We relaxed in the sand and waded in the crystal clear waters of the Great Lake.Great Lake

We then stopped at a little lighthouse where the walls, floor and ceiling were completely covered in signatures, quotes and drawings. My siblings and I of course had to make our mark on the lighthouse as well.

SAK2 stands for Sam, Abbie, Katie and Kerrie- All the sibs!

SAK2 stands for Sam, Abbie, Katie and Kerrie- All the sibs!

We then stopped at The Mystery Spot. Here is a sneak peak of what it is, but you should really check out the mystery yourself! Mystery Spot

Our next stop was the Weird Michigan Wax Museum. It really should have been called the Wax Room for there were only around 10 wax figures. Not worth the $20 we spent to get in, but defiantly worth a good laugh.

The wax figures were very creepy!

The wax figures were very creepy!

Next was Sea Shell City, which just turned out to be a store filled with every kind of shell you can imagine. I ran around the whole store, holding up every large shell I could get my hands on to my ear so I could hear the ocean. Sea Shell City

We then stopped for lunch at a pasty shop. For those of you who don’t know, a pasty is like a calzone filled with meat and potatoes. It is absolutely delicious! Especially when you can dip it in gravy or hot sauce.

The Mackinac Bridge

The Mackinac Bridge

Our final stop was Mackinac City (pronounced mac-in-aw) for some shopping and some famous fudge before we continued on our way home.

My experience and memories remind me that sometimes we should slow down, not rush through the day, and take the time to smell the roses. Create memories not only at the vacation destination, but on the way there. Treat the travel as the vacation and make it a fun experience to never forget. You will eventually get to where you are going, so why not make the best of it? Explore the world around you while you have the chance.

At Red Roof Inn, we really want you to make the most of every travel experience, which is why we offer rooms at competitive, low budget rates.

Safe travels to you all and remember to keep your adventurous spirit alive by exploring every place you can!

-Katie

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Movie Marathon Month

Hey all you movie buffs, now that it is October, one of my favorite movie marathons starts up again: 31 days of Halloween! Not only are scary movies played constantly on SyFy but Disney Channel also has some classics that I have to watch every year.

I was not always a scary movie fan though. It came as I grew older, braver and was no longer afraid of the dark. The first time I ever saw a scary movie was when I was around the age of 9. I will never ever forget that moment, scene or movie: Night of the Living Dead. To this day I can clearly remember the scene where the daughter turns into a zombie and tries to kill her mother with a shovel. That was the only scene I saw- I had to change channels right after that. I also had to sleep with my lights on for about a week!

Now though, I love the adrenaline rush that comes with scary movies and I cannot get enough of them. You can count on me being at the midnight premieres of the scary movies to come out this October, Annabelle being one of them. Midnight is the best time to watch a scary movie anyways.

Here is a list of my top 10 favorite Halloween/scary movies to watch during this season:

  1. All of the Scream movies
  2. Halloween Town
  3. Scary Movie 3
  4. Hocus Pocus
  5. All of the Harry Potters!
  6. All of the Paranormal Activities
  7. 28 days later and 28 weeks later
  8. ParaNorman
  9. The Conjuring
  10. The Mummy

I guess that is more than 10 since I included movie series. What are your favorite scary movies to watch during the month of October?

Sometimes after a long day of travel, it is great to relax and watch a movie. Red Roof PLUS+ properties provide NextGen® flat screen TV’s, Rest Suite beds by Serta® and an in-room microwave providing the perfect atmosphere for popcorn and a movie. -Katie

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October Fun

As September comes to an end, I am starting to get really excited about all the festivities that happen in October. October is my favorite month. The leaves start to change colors, boots and sweaters get pulled out of storage, pumpkin drinks and goodies are everywhere, football season is in play, and more importantly, Halloween preparations start to take place! From spooky decorations, to costumes to plan, free candy during trick-or-treating (though sadly I am too old to trick-or-treat now), tv shows like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story start up again, and there are pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and of course haunted houses to attend- who doesn’t love Halloween?!

This year, I plan on putting on my brave girl boots and actually attending some of the haunted houses my friends always go too. Though a lover of scary movies, I am not a lover of haunted houses. I hate being chased, even when its just being chased by a sibling or friend for fun. I especially hate being chased by a creepy guy in a mask with a chainsaw in his hands. That does not sound like a blast to me, though it may be a great workout. This year though, its time to face my fears and sign up for one of the creepiest, scariest haunted house in Columbus, Ohio: The Haunted Hoochie. Check out their website and you will agree with me that it seems super creepy. Hopefully I won’t chicken out!

What are some of the haunted houses you will be attending this year for Halloween? We would love to hear about the haunted houses you have been to and the experience you had! If you are traveling during October, Red Roof Inn is a great place to stay within budget so you can get more out of your Halloween traveling experiences.

Safe travels and have a spooky October!

-Katie

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Six Months of Travel

During the first 6 months of 2014, I have spent a lot of time traveling and visiting some great Red Roof Inns all around the country. I have been to 13 states this year and visited a ton of cities I have never been to before like San Antonio and Boston. I thought I’d share with you some of the places I have been and maybe it will spark some wanderlust in you for summer travel!
6mon
1.Listened to live music on the San Antonio Riverwalk
2.Biked the National Mall with a sorority sister
3.Walked through gardens of tulips in Boston
4.Played Putt-Putt in Omaha
5.Visited my parents new house in Florida for the first time
6.Got snowed in during my trip to Atlanta
7.Saw the track at Churchill Downs
8.Ate deep dish pizza in Chicago
9.Taught my Grandma to FaceTime in Cleveland
10.Gloated in Pittsburgh, when the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in game three of the NHL Playoffs
11.Went white water rafting in North Carolina

I have had a ton of fun this passed 6 months and will continue my travels by visiting the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, at the end of the month. Check out some of my previous blogs to see more stories about my travels!

Take advantage of Red Roof Inns summer promotion Stay 2 Get 1! Check out some of the places I have been or make your own adventure!

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Instagramming in Boston

I find that I am somewhere between a laidback and a spontaneous person. There are times I am definitely fine just laying low and would much rather stay home then go out. However sometimes I can’t wait to get out and want to try something or see something new. I was in Boston last week visiting a few of our properties there. The first day I was in Boston it was beautiful, 80’s and Sunny. I went to where I thought the train station was and I couldn’t park, so I decided to skip it and take a nap instead. Later that week, as I was driving home from a property, I saw the train station and I thought might as well… So I found myself pulling off on the exit buying tickets and before I knew it I was on a train to downtown Boston. I am happy I have the spontaneity to just go, an iPhone to get me around the streets of downtown Boston, however next time I feel the urge to walk around a city for a few hours I hope I have tennis shoes in my car. Since I left straight from a property visit, I was wearing flats. I got to see most of the city but missed a few things because my feet could not take it anymore
I use a lot of my social networks to show the people back home the new places I am at and what I am doing while I travel. So I might as well show all of you! While in Boston, I visited the Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. I also walked around the Boston Commons and saw all the beautiful flowers in the Public Market. I started walking the Freedom Trail until my feet and blisters could not take it anymore! Later in the week, I also drove to Cambridge to see Harvard, I didn’t realize how hard it would be to park so I didn’t stop and walk around. Something to see next time! Here are a few of the pictures of Boston I shared -

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This was a picture inside the Quincy Market

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A few pictures inside the Boston Public Gardens
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This squirrel jumped on me right after I took this picture
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The only picture I got of the Cambridge/Harvard Area

If you love to travel – Travel Social with us! We have a contest running through May 30, 2014! Post a picture of where you would like to travel this summer on Instagram and use #redroofwow. Find out all the detail here. After seeing all these pictures, Boston might be where you want to go – Check out our Boston area properties.

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Out with the Old and in with the New: Summer Travel

When I was younger, my family took several trips to Orlando, Florida. The first couple years we went we drove the 16 long hours to Florida. Most of our road trips were to Disney World and as a young girl I couldn’t wait to be there and didn’t have much patience for the long ride. We had a 13 inch television with a VHS player in the back of our big blue van. Before every long road trip my parents would hide a new VHS tape in the van for my sister and I to find. We watched the new VHS on repeat till we got to our destination. We traveled down to Florida with my Aunt and Uncle. We had a CB radio (before cell phones were a thing). It was a lot of fun to talk to them throughout the trip. We all had fun code names to talk to each other on the radio. I think I changed my code name every trip according to my favorite fairytale princess!
tbt disney vaca

Technology has made traveling so much easier with smart phones and tablets. You can have play games, watch movies, and figure out where you are going all from one device.

Red Roof Inn is preparing to launch our new mobile app. This will be a one stop shop while you’re traveling this summer! You can look for an inn and make a reservation when you need a break in the road trip and there are tons of travel games to keep the kids or “big kids” entertained. Check out a sneak peak of the images below.
mobileapp

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