Chatting Over Chocolate

Friday, June 9, 2017

Fantastic Adventures on Friday! {Celebratory Getaway Recap}


Happy Friday, friends!  I received multiple sweet "I can't wait to hear about your trip!" messages after sharing a bit of our family fun in my Instagram stories last week.  So, rather than my typical 5 Loves on Friday, I'm using today's post to recap our recent getaway!  

Each summer we take a road trip to Iowa's Great Lakes.  Many years we've camped there and have also stayed in hotels in the area.  Last year we discovered the top resort in the area continues to offer  50% "off season" discount until the second week of June.  Which meant we could go on my husband's birthday, save a pretty penny, and enjoy a great getaway!  After loving our stay at Fillenwarth Beach last summer, we deemed this our newest family tradition!  We were all so excited for our second annual stay at this resort that provides numerous complimentary amenities!  Now I'm looking forward to sharing snapshots of our stay and the memories we made there in today's post!


Okoboji, Iowa

June 1, 2017


We rarely grab fast food breakfast which means McGriddles taste like vacation to me!  One of the things I love about road trips are the interesting things you see along the way, like this GIANT bike for sale at a roadside gas station!  Wait til you see what I captured on our way back at this end of this post!


"We're here!"
We arrived a bit before our room was ready so we headed down for our favorite eats near the beach!




Godfathers's Pizza on the lake is the BEST!  I was raised on Godfather's, but I'm telling you, this location makes the absolute best pizza!  Perhaps the view of the lake helps, but whatever it is - YUM!


Time to check in to our resort, Fillenwarth Beach!



Here's a tour of our room...

The kitchen included a full size fridge, oven, dishwasher, microwave, and the cupboards were full stocked with dishes, cookware, utensils, and more.


The room sleeps six as it has a bed in this main space (and includes a curtain to close off this space if you'd like), has a fold out sofa, as well as a private bedroom.  Each of the rooms have sliding glass doors giving guests lovely lake views and easy access to the beauty outdoors!
















lake view from our bedroom






I love that the toiletries here are all from Bath & Body Works!  It's the little things. :)


One of the best parts of the room is the large private balcony with a gorgeous lookout of the lake, seating for dining, and a grill for prepping a tasty dinner!


Views from our private balcony/deck...












I spy a Mickey! :)








After getting settled in to our room, Little One and I headed out for some shopping.  The resort is in such a great location!  Once we arrive and park there we literally walk everywhere!  There's a lovely path that leads to a boardwalk style shopping area along the lake.  We so enjoy the fun shops here!





Little One collects cute lit'l Ty Beanie plushes from one of the shops here.  She added an adorable fish to her collection this year.  Other finds were her adorable yellow sunglasses.  They were marked down 80%, bringing them to just $2 and some change! Deal!  I got myself the Okoboji hat I'm sporting in the photo above.  Little One spotted a couple things she requested to get for her big sister, a keychain that said "#1 Sister" and a hat like mine, both in Princess' favorite color, blue.  When one of my kiddos is thinking of the other requesting to get them gifts, my heart melts and I can't resist making a beeline for the checkout! ;)






Along our walk back to the resort, we popped into the Central Emporium, putting some quarters to good use and enjoying a sweet stop in a candy shop!



When we arrived back with gifts in tow, Little One asked Princess to close her eyes, put the hat on her head and lead her to the mirror.  As you can see, she loved the thoughtful gift her lit'l sis chose for her!










Time for a complimentary cruise on the resort's Sun Runner! 









Guests aboard this 45 minute cruise are given complimentary unlimited soft drinks, and those 21 and over can also request up to two free adult drinks.  (Their margaritas are delish!)  They also pass around trays of cheese and crackers and baskets of peanuts.  It makes for a really enjoyable trip around the lake!


A view of our resort from the boat






Here's a view of Arnold's Park.






Our room was the first deck there on the second level up from the beach.


My handsome grill master cooked us up some tasty cheeseburgers for dinner.  We followed up the yumminess with a birthday song and slices of the Birthday Boy's favorite, carrot cake!



After a delicious dinner Jason and the girls grabbed their fishing poles and headed down for some sunset fun!  (I lagged behind a bit to snap shots from above. ;))















Little One caught a yellow bass!








My favorite part of fishing is relaxing!












Goodnight from Lake Okoboji!



Friday, June 2, 2017
AKA:  Jason's Birthday!

Jason took Princess out for some one-on-one fishing fun first thing Friday morning.


The girls stayed up late the night before enjoying the free movie rentals the resort offers.  So, Little One slept in a bit while I packed up.  Then I couldn't resist heading out on our deck to snap pics of two of my loves fishing from afar.





It was such a beautiful morning!




Princess caught a largemouth bass!  So glad that Jason captured it in a pic so I could see that fantastic fish and the proud smile of our Princess after catching it!


Each morning at 9am the resort has a free craft time.  This is right up Little One's alley, so we headed down to take advantage of that!  The craft of the day was decorating wooden peg games.

She decorated hers with the logo for her favorite xbox game, Overwatch.


Guests of all ages are in there crafting it up, so I didn't hesitate to add some pretty polka dots and a bow adorned Disney darling to one!  I mean, why not? ;)


As soon as we finished crafting we walked down to the dock to see how fishing was going for Jason and Princess.












I absolutely love how clear the water is here!







Once they finished up fishing it was time for daddy and Little One to enjoy some one on one birthday fun! Fillenwarth offers a wide variety of things to do, all free to guests.  Last year they went out on paddle boats.  This year they decided to do some daddy/daughter canoeing!





























While they were having fun on the lake, Princess and I enjoyed a good time chatting, rocking, and taking in the gorgeous views that surrounded us!




Once the other half of our family returned we all enjoyed rocking out in the sunshine before checkout.





She brought a great vacay read, the newest Kingdom Keepers book!  Fellow Disney fans, it's a fun book series to check out if you haven't yet!























The time had come to bid farewell to our state's most perfect place (in my opinion ;)) and check out.  For lunch, the scrumptiousness of Godfather's on the beach beckoned us back once more.




Along with the shops that line the street across from the pizza parlor, there's also a fun park for the young and young at heart to play in!







On the way home we made a pitstop in Radiator Springs!  Ok, not quite.  In a small town along our drive there just happens to be two familiar faces from Pixar!  So fun!






Hats off to a wonderful weekend celebrating my man's birthday and creating fabulous new memories as a family!


So glad you could pop by my nook of the web today!  Hope the weekend to come is a beautiful one for you and yours!




Join me in the adventures to come!
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13 comments:

  1. Beautiful lake pictures! You all look like you're having so much fun!
    OK lady, if you want to try some REAL pizza you need to come to NY! There's nothing like a New York pizza!

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  2. What a beautiful lake! I love lakes that have their own little beach. It looks like you all had a wonderful time. I enjoyed seeing all of your pictures. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Della
    www.delladevoted.com

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  3. Beautiful pictures! What a wonderful place to visit. And that pizza!! OMG, it looks so good!! Love me some good pizza.

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  4. It looks like you guys had a fantastic trip! I love this birthday tradition that you've started. And the resort sounds wonderful with all of the fun, complimentary activities! Have a great weekend!

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  5. We live in the town you saw that big bike at and go through the town you see those cars in lots :) Small world

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  6. Looks like the perfect getaway with lots of relaxing and time for family.

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  7. I am so jealous! That looks like an amazing trip. Your views were beautiful! And that pizza looks scrumptious! I love seeing the totally random stuff on the way to and from vacay!! Haha. Happy Weekend!

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  8. Nothing and I mean nothing like a sweet summertime family vacation! These smiles and beautiful weather makes me giddy! I just love slowing down life and living it to the fullest! Keep this fun and sweet momentum going right into the weekend beautul lady!!

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  9. What a fun and relaxing trip!! Have a fabulous weekend!!

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  10. I spy a not so hidden Mickey!!!! :) You amaze me with your photo taking skills! Girl--you're the best memory keeper I know! And that pic with all 4 of you!!! Did you use a selfie stick?! That's incredible how you got everyone in one shot! ;) I love that you were all able to share such a wonderful, RELAXING trip together! You ALL deserve it!

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  11. Wow! What an awesome trip! All the fishing, yummy food and family time. I was JUST watching a video about a camp there in Okoboji. Our foster/adopt agency is Boystown and there's one there too! They followed one foster family with teen girls through a bunch of stuff including a trip to that lake! :) How cool!

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  12. What a fun trip!!! I have never been here, I'll have to see how far it is from St. Louis. That pizza looks good, we have a Godfathers Pizza here. I also haven't had a McGriddle in forever! They look SO good!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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  13. What an amazing trip friend! For some crazy reason I find myself craving pizza right about now. The only time we have Godfathers pizza is when we visit Russ' family in STL, they just don't have them down here. I am so glad y'all had an amazing trip.

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