International Vinegar Museum ~ Roslyn, South Dakota

Well….I am long overdue for a new post on our sitesandbites blog! With moving 1500 miles across the country in October of 2022, I’ve taken my sweet time hopping back into this habit, but I have plenty of fun places to share both from last fall (prior to our move), up to the current date! So bear with me as we get caught up!

This first post takes us back to South Dakota to a tiny town called Roslyn just about a half hour north of Groton, which we called home at the time. Roslyn is a very unassuming town, but is home to the International Vinegar Museum and actually holds a big vinegar festival each year. It was opened by a chef from California and is managed by volunteers between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Since we were quickly approaching Labor Day, the time to visit was growing to a close!

This museum is housed in an old gymnasium but there’s a lot of info to cover on the different portable wall displays. They also have shelves and shelves of vinegar from all over the world! I had some fun translating those that were in Spanish!

As we rounded out our time, we were allowed to sample a variety of vinegars (generally of the balsamic variety.) A few were a bit tastier than I would have expected. You also can purchase some fun memorabilia or vinegar to take home with you!

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Lime Kiln Park ~ Grafton, Wisconsin

I accidentally bypassed writing a post about this park from our July trip, so I’m backtracking and getting it done today!

Lime Kiln Park in Grafton will always hold a special place in our hearts as it was the location of our wedding reception. The thing that makes Lime Kiln Park speical is of course, the old lime kilns located in the park that give the park it’s name. We had tons of fun taking photos with the kilns for wedding photos, so after a take out lunch from Hefner’s at the park, we took a few photos ourselves for old times sake.

The park also features an old restored bridge near the kilns, so we also had some fun recreating wedding photos on the bridge as well.

The park has lots of other fun options as well, including a disc golf course, beautiful creek, playground and more! It’s located just off the main drag through town and could be easily missed, but it’s a park definitely worth a visit.

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Storybook Land ~ Aberdeen, South Dakota

I’m a little embarrassed to say it took us as long as it did to actually pay a visit to Storybook Land seeing as how we live so close, but we finally made it happen for my birthday last month. While of course geared towards younger kids, it was a fun place to explore and reminisce about the fairy tales from our childhood.

Storybook Land is filled with various sculptures depicting different fairy tales and nursery rhymes. They also have several simple amusement park type rides that you can purchase tickets for and enjoy. If all you want to do is walk the grounds like we did, it’s 100% free! All these various sculptures are located around the central focal point of the Storybook Land Castle, which sometimes is used for different plays during the summer season.

Storybook Land also contains The Land of Oz, as the author of Wizard of Oz had ties to the Aberdeen area during a portion of his life. You can follow the yellow brick road through the land of Oz and watch the familiar story play out in front of you. I may have been overly excited that they even included those talking trees from creepy forest scene!

Our afternoon at Storybook Land offered us some great photo ops and was a fun, free way to spend an afternoon. Now that we know we are moving out of state, I’m glad to say I went and had the experience.

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Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve ~ Grafton, Wisconsin

As promised, here’s another favorite old haunt we visited while back in the Cedarburg area in July. Lion’s Den Gorge is a beautiful nature preserve located along the bluffs of Lake Michigan. We arrived mid morning on a Sunday thinking it would still be an early time to explore, but boy were we wrong! The parking lot was packed and we actually just had to park along the side of the roadway into the preserve.

There are a few porta-potties located near the parking lot and then a map of the area. We began our hike that day by taking the bluff trail for some nice scenic views as we hiked down into the gorge and toward the lake. You can take this trail all the way down to where wooden steps and bridges have been built that lead all the way down to Lake Michigan. Be prepared for lots of stair steps if you go all the way down!

The beach area is more rocks than sand, but is such a nice place to sit and relax. There’s plenty of space to spread out even on a busier day.

On our way back up the trail we opted to take the gravel path back to the car instead of the bluff path. The gravel path simply takes you along the edge of the woods and has a prairie to the other side, but is more of a straight shot in and out versus the bluff path that weaves along the edge of the lake and the woods.

For a fairly simple and short hike, this is a beautiful area to explore!

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24 Hours of Memories ~ Cedarburg, Wisconsin

As we made our way home from Cuyahoga Valley in July, we had one more stop we had to make along the way. This was to our first home of Cedarburg. We had so many fun places we wanted to revisit during our trip down memory lane. I’ll have a few posts dedicated to some places outside of Cedarburg, but here’s what we visited in town. (And one outside of town.)

The first place was actually outside of Cedarburg as Andrew wanted to stop by and visited Concordia Wisconsin’s campus as an alum. They have a gorgeous path you can walk down along the bluff that leads to a small little beach area on Lake Michigan. The lake was a perfect shade of blue the evening we visited.

After dinner, our next spot to visit was Amy’s Candy Kitchen. They are known for their candied apples, but Andrew loves their chocolate covered pretzel rods, and I’m a sucker for their sea salt chocolate meltaways. We took them over to the picturesque bridge area of the Interurban Trail that runs through town.

We spent the night in a private room AirBnB in town and enjoyed getting to know our host family and their young boys. It was a real treat to share bedtime stories with them. The next morning we grabbed muffins from the Kwik Trip (this used to be a locally owned PDQ station that had the most amazing muffins, but now switched to the more common Kwik Trip chain.) Then it was time for breakfast in Covered Bridge Park. We used to bring picnics here all the time.

We loved the two years we lived in this quaint little town and loved having a chance to revisit some of our favorite places. I’ll share a few more places from the surrounding area over the course of the week!

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Connecticut Bucket List ~ Hartford Region

Today we explore the capitol region of the state!

East Haddam

  • Devil’s Hopyard State Park: Beautiful area to hike with a waterfall.

East Windsor

  • Connecticut Trolley Museum: Explore this history of the trolley in the region.


  • Connecticut State Capitol: Visit the state house.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe Center: Visit the home of the famous abolitionist.


  • Wickham Park: Beautiful park with walking trails and nice views.


  • Wadsworth Falls State Park: Park features a gorgeous waterfall.


  • Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum: Tour three restored 18th century homes.

All attractions found on

Hampton Inn ~ Richfield, Ohio

Hampton Inn tends to be our hotel chain of choice when traveling as their service tends to be a little nicer than some, pre-pandemic they had nice warm breakfast options, and I have a nice points system running with my Hilton Honors membership. It seemed like a no brainer to book at the Hampton in Richfield when traveling to Cuyahoga Valley National Park as it was just a 10-15 minute drive from the park. Sadly this was one of the most disappointing Hampton stays we’ve had in a long time.

Right away we were thrown off by the fact that we followed “masking” signs on the front door and the very cranky lady working the front desk rolled her eyes and told us if we were vaccinated there was no need to wear one despite that signs, that “they just hadn’t bothered to update signage yet.” Ok? Well don’t get mad at us for following what was being displayed!

She booked us into a room on the first floor, which was nice as it was just down the hall from a side entrance and we could have our car parked very close to have it visible from the room. She also informed us that stays that lasted longer than a night (we would be there 3) did not have daily room service and that if we needed more towels during our stay to bring old ones down to trade in for new. (This comes into play later.) We normally don’t do room service at all during our stays, so that was just fine by us.

The hotel was very busy all three days we were there despite it being the middle of the week. The first night we had particularly loud neighbors for much of the evening. (This Beavis and Butthead being your next door neighbors) but I think they drunk laughed themselves to sleep by late evening when we wanted to also sleep. So not too much harm done.

The one downfall to our room was that there was no vent fan in the bathroom. As you can imagine, this meant that our towels never really dried over night or during the day. Given we were out hiking we always showered at the end of the day, as well as morning showers. The room came supplied with 4 bath towels, so we used two the first night/next morning, and two the following night, and then decided we would go trade them in as had been the suggestion so we could have some fresh clean towels for our final night/morning. When Andrew opted to take the dirty down the person working the desk had one on hand to replace and said the rest were in the wash but to come back later. When we did, it was just our luck that cranky lady was back at work. She was on the phone on hold with Lord knows who and already seemed perturbed that we were wanting her assistance. When she finally gave us the time of day, we explained that we had brought 4 towels down earlier but they had only had one to give us, so could we now get the other three. She very snootily replied “what you need 7 towels for 2 people?” Ummm no. We already left our 4 old ones down here. We want the replacements please. She very reluctantly offered us 2 and said that was the best she could do.

This Hampton was offering a bag breakfast that still complied with their “pandemic rules” but did have an open pool (which looked disgusting and like it had stagnant water in it, so we avoided it at all costs.) They also still had their coffee area open at all times a day which meant people still lingered in the breakfast area in the morning. It was frustrating to see how many things they still wanted to use “pandemic restrictions” for where it allowed them to safe money (ie housekeeping or lack there of and bagged breakfasts) but then didn’t care at all about the mask restriction signs, communal coffee area, or an open pool. If you want more restrictions, great, but if you aren’t going to follow through with all of them, just the ones that save you money, don’t blame the pandemic, blame your poor budget.

All this being said, it really turned us off of staying in hotels and has a strongly considering only Airbnb for many future travels. I know hotels had a rough time with the pandemic, but still, try your best to give us decent service when we do choose to stay!

Connecticut Bucket List ~ Mystic Country Region

Today we begin a new state in our Bucket List series: Connecticut. This state, despite its small size, is split into five distinct regions. We begin with Mystic Country.


  • Historic Ship Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum: Learn all about the history of submarines and their use in the Navy.


  • Mashantucket Pequot Museum: Learn all about this Native American tribe that settled in the area.

New London

  • Fort Trumball State Park: Tour this coastal fortress.


  • The Dinosaur Place: This fun park features several nature trails that are filled with dinosaur sculptures.


  • Old Lighthouse Museum: Beautiful stone lighthouse on the coast.


  • Waterford Beach State Park: Great place to visit the ocean in Connecticut.

All attractions found on

Cozumel Mexican Restaurant ~ Richfield, Ohio

On our final night near Cuyahoga Valley National Park, we decided to treat ourselves to “after dinner” drinks since we had used leftovers that night as our dinner. We aren’t ones to normally splurge on drinks when out to eat, but since we hadn’t officially spent money on dinner, this seemed like a fun option. The best part for us was that this place was located right next door to our hotel.

Because we typically eat dinner earlier than most people, we avoided the normal nightly rush this place appeared to get each night. When we went in, we opted to be seated in the bar area since we were just planning on drinks anyways. We were still seated at a high top in that area which gave us a bit more privacy than just sitting at the bar. Of course as is standard in most Mexican places, we were brought over some complimentary chips and salsa.

The salsa has really good flavor and was just the thing to complement our sweet daiquiris. They had several flavors to choose from for both daiquiris and margaritas, but I opted for strawberry and Andrew tried the peach. Both had good flavor.

Grabbing drinks was a nice treat for us, but of course the prices reminded us of why we do this only once or twice a year! We like to keep our travels super budget friendly, so this was a rare splurge for us. They looked to have an extensive food menu as well, so when in they area, be sure to check them out!

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