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Tag: travel

Birthday Trip to Tucson

Birthday Trip to Tucson

Birthday trip to Tucson was a beautiful adventure of food, forest, desert, and culture. It was a far away experience and journey.

Birthday Trip To Mount Lemmon

This birthday journey is in the beautiful ” sky island.” This mountain brings life, water, and history to not just Tuscon but New Mexico and Mexico. You begin your journey in the Sonoran Desert to end in the mixed conifer forest.

This mountain is named after botanist Sara Plummer Lemmon. Her and her husband spent years identifying plants after spending their honeymoon on the mountain.

The 1 hour drive takes you over 7 life zones including Alpine Tundra zone (there is no access to this zone). The hour takes you from Mexico to Canada in life zones. There is a great app you can download that covers each zone from the University of Arizona.

When you get to the top there is a fun town Summerhaven with a restaurant and a general store with fresh fudge and the famous Cookie Cabin. The drive down is just as impressive and beautiful.

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St. Augustine Cathedral

St. Augustine Cathedral

This beautiful cathedral is downtown Tucson. This church started in 1776 long before Arizona became a state. Royal Presidio was the name of the church in this small community. Father Donato Rogieri from Santa Fe, New Mexico in the 1850s to rebuild and establish the church. This church constructed by moving one adobe brick at time from Solano Leon place to get the parish a place of worship. 1928 the brick structure transformed into its present Mexican baroque form.

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Mission San Xavier del Bac

Tucson Mission San Xavier del Bac

This mission is apart of the wonderful history in Tucson. The missions are a big part of the culture and religion in the Southwest. This is the most photographed mission in the state

Mission San Xavier del Bac, a historic Spanish Catholic mission, is 10 miles south of downtown. This mission on the Tohono O’odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation. This location began with Franciscan missionary Fr. Juan Bautista Velderrain beginning in 1783. This mission has been apart of the New Spain, Mexico, and the United States since construction began.

The mission presents shells as a symbol of pilgrimage. The Baroque architecture is traditional with marbling, faux doors, and other details. The mission represents the struggles that have been with the Southwest, living in harsh conditions, the changes in governments, fire, and earthquake.

Casa Grande Ruins

Taking Route 87 off I-10 going 19 miles east on AZ 87 you come across the community built by Salado Indians around 1300-1350 AD. This area settled as early as 300 CE. There is no know purpose for largest prehistoric structures in America.

This community built complex irrigation, farming, and trade for survival. There is no written history left behind. The framing and food included mesquite pods, squash , prickly pear fruit, corn roasted or eaten raw, fish and other animals, saguaro fruits from the tops of the cati, and fowl.

The large building in the center of the community is for religious ceremonies with ceremonial wine. There are gravesites discovered inside the center. There are what appears to be ball courts for Aztec played similar all courts they are located in Wupatki a site near Flagstaff as well.

The community was no longer used after  1450. This community survived looting, huntin, vandalizing, and left for destruction. Therefore 1892, President Benjamin Harrison set aside one square mile of Arizona Territory surrounding the Casa Grande Ruins. This is the first prehistoric and cultural reserve established in the United States.

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Domes of Casa Grande

Casa Grande Domes

This is fun spot to stop and see from your car. It is a no trespassing area that is very unsafe especially for young children. This location was the hopes and dreams of many that never came true. This location was for manufacturing of computers but was never completed. There is an eerie feeling here. You can hear the walls speak as if there was life there but really the life has been one of decay and destruction.

Birthday Food Stops

Fudge Shop

Getting to the top of Mount Lemmon is a great little spot to shop, eat, and get a little sweet treat. This general store has some great snacks, a few souvenirs, and fresh fudge. The tradition of a sweet shop on your adventures that are so fun and memorable. Therefore it is a great birthday treat for the journey back down the mountain.

YardHouse

Birthday dinner was enjoyed at the Yard House in Tucson. This was an exception meal. The Black Orchid cocktail was as delicious as it was beautiful. They have a great happy hour menu with half off appetizers and drink specials. Enjoyed Poke Nachos a great fusion dish and fried calamari. They have a beautiful dessert for birthday celebrations. The one downside to this location is solo diners are moved on the seating list and the waitress was not to attentive. The manager ensured the dining experience was exceptional.

What is your favorite birthday trip location? Share on social media using #4chionstyle.

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Spring Break Staycation ~ Phoenix Arizona

Spring Break Staycation ~ Phoenix Arizona

Spring Break Staycation time. As you manage work, schooling, and a new way of living a staycation can be a wonderful adventure. Arizona is home to great history, beauty, and top resorts in the world.

Taking a staycation with your children can be incorporated with their school work – history, geography, geology, and even math. Here is a great road trip for spring break or any weekend.

Spring Break Hotel

Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort Phoenix, AZ

A glorious resort in Phoenix nestle in the Tapatio Cliffs . This resort has comfort, COVID-19 protocols, and great entertainment. The comforts of home are here. A nice sitting room, and comfortable bedroom. The location is stunning for sunsets and sunrises. The several pools are accommodating for children and an adults only pool with a pool side bar.

Relaxing and enjoyment with spa, salon, and room service available. Take a moment to enjoy a desert and glass of wine on the patio or pool side. Experience the stunning outdoors with golfing, hiking, or the sun deck for evening sunrises. This location is prefect to venture and explore the great location around the state.

Spring Break Food

Staycations really need to have great food stops along the way.

Pappadeaux Phoenix, AZ
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Pappadeaux Dining

Southern food is comfort food. Pappadeaux is a generation to generation restaurant brings fresh seafood and Louisiana-style favorite to the plate. Attention to details and tradition brings the comfort food to your dinner plate. This is a great place to get family style for your picnic or party in your hotel room. Dinner this night is Shrimp Etouffee, green beans, fried crawfish with one of the 2.27 million baguettes they make each year. Curb side pick-up perfection, not one item missed. Dinner was delish.

Andreoli Italian Resturaunt 4Chion Lifestyle
Andreoli Scottsdale, AZ

This is a home take on traditional Italian restaurant is popular with local. They have had many features including Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. This quant location serves as an Italian grocer and restaurant. You can cook your own or enjoy a home cooked meal.

They make everything from scratch including their own prosciutto, desserts, and homemade breads. The food is like walking into a great Italian home on Sunday. The food is a purest approach. If you are looking to mix and match your pasta this is not the location. They portion are fitting for one person not family style.

We enjoyed the Filetto Di Sogliola alla Mugnaia (fresh seafood), Gnocchi alla Corsara, and spaghetti with meat sauce. Dessert a must, the pasta is not over filling or heavy. We enjoyed chocolate mouse, coconut cake, and almond chocolate bark. The food is fresh and organic. The hand crafted pasta and food is by chef Giovanni Scorzo. He states on the web profile, “EAT the BEST FOOD IN THE WORLD and SHUT UP.”

The atmosphere is a true antique decor replicating any Italian grandmother’s living room. The family affair is felt within the staff as well.

Eclectic Cafe Tucson AZ

Eclectic Cafe in Tucson is “Where quiche meets enchilada.” The concept is a fusion of a variety of cuisines. The meal today includes vegan gazpacho (great summer treat chilled with garden fresh vegetables, Sherry’s shrimp salad, and Chicken Quesadilla. Took home a loaf of their zucchini bread, fabulous toasted with eggs for breakfast.

Mammoth Steak House and Saloon Lost Dutchman Gold Mine

This location is inside the The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine has great views of Superstition Mountains, food, and atmosphere. You can sit on the patio, at the bar, or inside. There is always a musician performing and has the real feel of the old town saloon. Enjoy a shot and a beer at the bar or a great meal.

Sweet Country Charm Payson AZ
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Sweet Country Charm Candy Shop

The smell of sweet permeates the parking lot. It is a quant cozy welcoming candy shop in Payson Arizona. This sweet shop is in the Swiss Village Shoppes. They have homemade fudge, gelato, locally roasted coffee, handmade organic chocolate truffles, popcorn bar, nostalgic candies, handmade gifts.

Spring Break Attractions

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Tucson Mission San Xavier del Bac

This mission is apart of the wonderful history in Tucson. The missions are a big part of the culture and religion in the Southwest.

Mission San Xavier del Bac, a historic Spanish Catholic mission, is 10 miles south of downtown. This mission on the Tohono O’odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation. This location began with Franciscan missionary Fr. Juan Bautista Velderrain beginning in 1783. This mission has been apart of the New Spain, Mexico, and the United States since construction began.

The mission presents shells as a symbol of pilgrimage. The Baroque architecture is traditional with marbling, faux doors, and other details. The mission represents the struggles that have been with the Southwest, living in harsh conditions, the changes in governments, fire, and earthquake.

Casa Grande Domes

This is fun spot to stop and see from your car. It is a no trespassing area that is very unsafe especially for young children. This location was the hopes and dreams of many that never came true. This location was for manufacturing of computers but was never completed. There is an eerie feeling here. You can hear the walls speak as if there was life there but really the life has been one of decay and destruction.

Spring Break Payson Arizona

Payson Arizona is about 89 miles from downtown Phoenix to Payson on highway 87. It is a great drive from the Sonoran Desert to the top of the Mongolian Rim. The change in climate, altitude (from 1100 to 5000 ft.), and from big city to small town. This town offers a real homie feel and great location for adventure. A great lake and park for picnics, photos, and more. The beauty is pristine with four seasons of recreational activities.

Spring Break Tonoto National Forest

This is a great day in the old west driving up Apache Trail, an old trade route. There is so much to see and experience here. There is the Elvis Church with some old scenery from old cowboy movies, and a small replica of in the area gold mining. The actual gold mining town The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. This location has great fun, shoot outs, and a train ride to the mine. It is the actual town prior to the mine flooding and the town shut down.

The road winds up to Tortilla Flat a small place with a gift shop and restaurant. This location was established as they built the Roosevelt Damn. The location has great water fun from boating, swimming, and kayaking. It is a breathtaking ride but well worth the journey.

Wonderspace Scottsdale AZ

Great interactive art at Wonderspace in Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. The art here is interactive, bigger than life, and digit. You experience a new reality from the artist creations. The art changes the frame of art to an endless pallet. The children enjoyed the exhibit. My favorite is a tie from Myrkvidr and Shigeto: Hovering.
The art on exhibit at this time is:

RAINBOW ROOMS ~ Pierre le Riche

Stimulates a dialogue about identity, exploring struggles of discrimination, acceptance, and masculinity

FUJI ~ Joanie Lemercier

Focuses on projection or light in space and is influence in our perception.

SEWING MACHINE ORCHESTRA ~ Martin Messier

12 antique sewing machines presents a 3 minute concert

PLUME ~ Ian Brill

This creation is an immersive, interactive dome of synchronized light and sound gestures.

HUMAN STUDY #1, 3RNP ~ Patrick Tresset

This exhibits allows the participant to have a portrait drawn by robots.

THANK YOU BAGS ~ Reed van Brunschot

This is displaced, daily life through transitional moment one in which a a given situation suddenly and unexpectedly changes.

MYRKVIÐR ~ Yasuhiro Chida

This is a circular hoop, not linear, rotates around in the piece to create the effect of immateriality.

KILLING TIME ~ Eric Mesplé

This combines Mesplé use of ferrofluid and metal work

OUR TOP 100 ~ Jody Servon

This is a community-built playlist consisting of songs and memories about songs shared by participants 

AYAHUASCA KOSMIK JOURNEY ~ Atlas V

This is a journey is from a mind-altering visual-aural journey of an ayahuasca ceremony.

MICROMONUMENTAL MAPPING, THE ESSENCE OF CREATION ~ Limelight

Created by a group of artists who specialize in projection mapping and light art. This uses the Greek god Apollo images built into the Lille Opera House.

LIGHT LEAKS ~ Kyle McDonald and Jonas Jongejan

Created after McDonald noticed how environments that filled up his peripheral vision with light created a usually immersive mirrors.

A MIND SANG ~ Vier Nev

Short film on perception, rebirth, and transformation.

SHIGETO: HOVERING ~ Conor Grebel and 79Ancestors virtual reality

The virtual reality film inspired by how water came to earth.

A great place to visit and explore. There is so much more than just a desert in Phoenix, Arizona. What is your favorite location in the state of Arizona? Post your response here.

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Barbecue Time

Barbecue Time

There is nothing like a great barbecue with family, friends, and neighbors. Barbecuing techniques include smoking, roasting or baking, braising and grilling. We traveled across the US looking for the best.

Sugarfire Smokehouse Barbecue

St. Louis is known for its arch and barbecue. Today I enjoy the meal with my sister Cherie. This being a late Sunday afternoon we realize that many locations are not open, but find one near the ball field, SugarFire SmokeHouse BBQ!

This is an award-winning restaurant under Chef Mike Johnson has studied with Myron Mixon, cooked with Emeril Lagasse and Charlie Trotter. It was a great experience of community, exceptional food (sweet potatoes the best) and BBQ pork and salmon.

St. Louis BBQ is grilled then sauced instead of dry rubbing, slow cooking over indirect heat. St. Louis is the top consumer of bar-be-cue sauce. The sauce is tomato-based and sweeter. The coffee BBQ sauce is tangy and sweet. This is the top area for pork steaks.

Mission Barbecue

Williamington NC Vacation 4Chion Lifestyle d
Mission BBQ Wilmington NC

Always looking for good BBQ traveling across the country. Each area has its own special BBQ. Wilmington’s Mission BBQ is American and traditional to the area. This place brings the flavors of the region to dinner. Enjoying collard greens made with tomatoes, mac-n-cheese, and green beans with bacon, brisket and NC Style pulled pork with the vinegar BBQ (this food tradition is from original settlers, African slaves on plantations and modern ones). This is an Eastern-style sauce that is vinegar and pepper, no tomatoes. Barbecue is serious here making it all the way to state Congress to declare the official bar-b-q.

Mission BBQ opened 09/11/11 ten years after 911. There is a tradition in the 52 restaurants stops at noon on Fridays to honor the military members and stars and stripes. The decor follows this continued theme with a patriotic dining room full of tributes to those who make our country great. There is really nothing more American than a barbeque.

The staff is exceptional and gives a lot of insight into food and history.  The food is a delicious find.

Smokey D’s Barbecue

Lunch with my dad is at Smokey D’s BBQ in Des Moines, Iowa. The year of BBQ adventures and the history of each region is fun. My dad enjoys a half rack of ribs; I go for a lighter side with a veggie wrap. The menu includes great home comfort foods. The fries are crispy and seasoned. The ribs fall right off the bone. Next time I want to try the potato casserole. The BBQ meat and sauce are award-winning. The BBQ founded by Darren and Sherry Warth in a trailer in their driveway.

Bobby-Q Barbecue

I enjoy a late evening dinner with my daughter, granddaughter Ellie, son-in-law, niece, and sister-in-law in Phoenix. It is a great location with exceptional decor. The bathroom sink is in the hallway near the restroom. The ceiling is worth looking up.

The menu is extensive and a nice variety of choices. The meat is slow smoked and topped with a sweet-savory bbq sauce. The mac-n-cheese is exceptional (Ellie loved this the best) and fries perfection. It is a great evening out.

The restaurant owned by Bob Sikora, a famous Phoenician restaurateur. He brings a Memphis approach to his bbq. The meat is smoked with almond and mesquite wood and dried rubbed.

Barbecue is a tradition in this country that is thousands of years old. It is a great way to spend with loved ones.

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Memory Road Trip Heading West

Memory Road Trip Heading West

Heading west on a great road trip with my father. This is a dream journey with my father. He took me all over the west on road trips each summer. We begin in Champaign Illinois heading west on Interstate 80.

Molina Illinois

Lagomarino’s Soda and Candy Store The Best Chocolates and Ice Cream

The City of Moline sits on the banks of the Mississippi River. We stop at Lagomarino’s Soda and Candy Store. This candy shop opened in 1908 by Angelo Lagomarino, a Northern Italy immigrant. The store is the fourth generation. They have handcrafted chocolates with the finest ingredients. The store has an old-fashioned soda fountain. The soda menu includes the Green River (A Chicago drink named after the Chicago River that is dyed green for St. Patrick’s day).

Taking my father here was such a treat. He recalls the stories of going to the soda shop his uncle owned as a child. He talked about IronPort soda, a Utah tradition. It is a cross between root beer and Caribbean spices. He went for the hot fudge sundae (a surprise at the bottom was more fudge). I enjoyed a variety of hand-dipped chocolates during our road trip back west. This is a perfect place to stop and enjoy. They are the recipients of a James Beard Award.

Activities and Fun in Molina Illinois

This city is situated near the Iowa state border and sits on the mighty Mississippi River. This town is rich in history with being a part of the Underground Railroad and the home of industrialist John Deere (In 1848, he built his first Moline plow factory). There are many fun things to do here.

  • Washington Square Charles Deere built an upscale three-story five unit Italianate row house in 1890. His brother-in-law, Merton Cady, is the architect. The initial name for the complex was Deere Row and renters were said to be employees of the Deere factories.
  • Downtown murals love the Midwest and the vast varieties of murals. Molina’s downtown murals provide a view of Moline’s waterfront, as it would have looked in the early 1850s.
  • Rock Island played a large part of The Underground Railroad in Molina. This was the first stop for many slaves seeking freedom. The first state near several water sources provided transportation undercover. There is also a set of channels and tunnels underground that provide another escape route.

Leaving the mid-west I recall the experiences and beautiful people I meet. They have made a lasting impression on my life. This area of the United States provides history from slavery to the industrial age. The loss of jobs and industries is present everyday. The areas are gorgeous to visit and see. You feel the hardworking middle class that drove America into the modern world.

Iowa Road Trip

Sitting in a car all day with your father is a wonderful way to collect stories about his life. The first thing I learned is he loves to collect maps. Iowa is a great location for this collection.

Iowas Road Stops

Iowa has the best rest stops in history. You pull up to find a store, information about the area, books, and free maps. The first stop in Iowa my father returns with a collection of Iowa maps. He opens them up as we drive out of the rest stop.

Road Trip Memories

We enjoyed a day of talking about the years as a child I traveled the western US with my two brothers and parents. The summer trips to Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, and Southern Utah. My dad would hitch the camping trailer to a yellow rambler and off we would go. We saw so many natural beauties. The adventures from my childhood are endless. The time my mother lost the car keys in the sand dunes. My father lost his new fishing pole the first time he cast out at Strawberry Reservoir. This results in our fishing trip looking for the fishing pole. This is never seen again.

My father is a military retiree. He spent decades as a medic in the Air Force. He would bring back great dolls, toys, and white lunch boxes they would feed the crew. He tells his stories of going to the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and Europe. The time he spent counting hours on the cargo plane counting the hours to coming home to see the three of us fight over the white lunch box.

Smokey D’s BBQ

Lunch is at Smokey D’s BBQ in Des Moines, Iowa. The year of BBQ adventures and the history of each region is fun. My dad enjoys a half rack of ribs; I go for a lighter side with a veggie wrap. The menu includes great home comfort foods. The fries are crispy and seasoned. The ribs feel right off the bone. The BBQ meat and sauce are award-winning. The BBQ founded by Darren and Sherry Warth in a trailer in their driveway.

Nebraska Adventures

The time in Nebraska is spent traveling through various rest stops and counting up more water towers. This is a tradition my sister and I started on the way out to the Midwest in spring. Many times this is the tallest thing on the horizon. We see a total of 177 water towers on I-80 through the Great Plains.

The Great Plains is seen as little value to many traveling west in the mid-1800s. Soon many ranchers release that the Verdant Platte is of great value. Today the highway runs along this geography changing areas.

Winter Quarters, Nebraska

This location is a gathering location of the member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A stop my father looked forward to seeing. Many members of our family stayed here as they prepared to travel west to a new home.

There is a history of death, birth, and husbands leaving to fight the Mexican American War. They crossed the frozen Mississippi River in 1846. This gave them time to gather much needed supplies to make the journey across the Plains and over the Rocky Mountains.

Some of our relatives made this journey without basic needs including shoes. Some pushed their own carts. A few did find themselves in the middle of a winter storm needing rescuing to survive. This is a free museum.

We ventured across the street to the modern temple. This is a location that is used seal families together in family forever. Off the temple grounds is a cemetery. We were able to find a few of our relatives’ gravesites.

Kearney, Nebraska

We stay for the evening in Kearney, Nebraska. It was fun arriving late in the evening and walking around to stretch the legs and enjoy a few McDonald’s French-fries.

The food for the morning is oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, and yogurt from Aldi’s, a wonderful grocery finds in Champaign Illinois (this is a store located worldwide).

Kearney has a beautiful museum, The Archway, that stretches over the I-80. This museum is a celebration, “For over 200 years, the path along the Platte River through Nebraska, once called the Great Platte River Road, has been a road to adventure.  From the Oregon Trail era through today, the Archway’s family-friendly historical exhibit tells the story of those who followed the Great Platte River Road and helped to build America.”

Cheyenne, Wyoming

The last stop before returning to Orem, Utah is Cheyenne, Wyoming. This western town is full of fun and explorations.

Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant

We find an authentic Mexican restaurant, Guadalajara, locally owned and operated. The ambience of Mexico is felt from the decor to the menu. The food is regional as well as traditional American Mexican.

I enjoy Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo. Rincon de Guayabitos in the estate of Sinaloa. This is a beautiful community that is a beach resort. It is known for fresh red snapper and other seafood including large shrimp.

This was a great dish with large shrimp, mushrooms, and a beautiful garlic sauce. It is served on a bed of iceberg lettuce with a slice of orange. The heat and cold with a touch of sweet tang from the orange inside a warm tortilla is perfect after a long day of driving.

My father enjoys an Enchiladas De Mole with shredded chicken. The mole is flavorful with a nice hint of heat. Mole is a sauce containing up to 20 ingredients. The sauce usually contains fruit, chili pepper, nut, and such spices as black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, and chocolate.

Exploring Cheyenne, Wyoming

The first thing you notice is the town is filled with large cowboy boots. This is a fun scavenger hunt for the family through town. Local artist paints each boot. We enjoy searching for these boots.

The town is the capital of Wyoming. There is a great museum near the capital that had maps for free. We leave with a stack of Wyoming maps.

The best stop here is the National Guard base that has F-84F And C-130 Aircraft (a favorite plane of my father). My father spent 35 years in the Air Force reserves as a medic. He worked a civilian at Hill Air Force base.

This was a fun day exploring Cheyenne and all the history in this town. This town goes from dinosaurs to the frontier days, and 19th century covered wagons. There are great museums including

  • Cheyenne Depot Museum
  • Cheyenne Botanical Garden
  • Wyoming State Museum
  • Cowgirls of the West Museum

This is a wonderful town to really see the migration west and the history of settling the American west.

This was a fun day exploring Cheyenne and all the history in this town. This town goes from dinosaurs, frontier days, and 19th century covered wagons to the railway travel.

This was a great journey with my father. It was great sharing memories from his childhood, my own childhood, and creating new memories. The remander of the journey back to Arizona is my dog Hyde and I.

Kanab, Utah

Kanab is the location of all road trippers on 89. It is the center of many national parks, great river rafting, and tons of fun.

The town has a great old western movie museum, Frontier Movie Town. This is a fun look at old film sets long before green screen and animation. This is a free museum behind the gift shop in the cottonwood trees. There are so many adventures near Kanab they include

  • Hiking
    • Cottonwood Wash Narrows
    • Slot Canyon
    • Paria Canyon
    • Wire Pass
    • Elusive Wave
    • Zion’s National Park
  • Drives
    • Glen Canyon Damn
    • Lake Powel
    • North Rim Grand Canyon
    • Kodachrome Basin State Park
  • Explore
    • Coral Pink Sand Dunes
    • Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
    • Moqui Cave
    • Green River Whitewater Rafting

Lunchtime is at Big Al’s Burgers at the Junction Drive-in (Thank you Cherie for the suggestion). Must have a traditional Utah meal. I worked at a local diner Provo as a teenager. The best meal is milkshake, hamburger, and fries with a Utah tradition of fry sauce (mayo and ketchup dip). This was a lot of fun, good food, and super busy. What a great location for fun.

This is a wonderful time to explore and travel the US. It was great meeting so many wonderful people and tremendous adventures. What is your favorite vacation? Post your response with #4chionstyle on social media.

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Chocolate Scrumptious and Delicious ~ Sweet Shops

Chocolate Scrumptious and Delicious ~ Sweet Shops

Chocolate is a scrumptious addition to any meal, from appetizers, to main dishes, and especially desserts. Road tripping across the US we found some exceptional chocolate treats and so much more. 

Milk Bar NYC

MIlk Bar NYC Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle 1
Milk Bar NYC

Super excited to try crack pie and coffee for breakfast. This is a planned find in NYC. Watching Chef’s Table on Netflix. I knew I needed to try Milk Bar. This is Christine Tosi’s and is part of the Manhattan-based Momofuku restaurant. This is my first stop in the morning. The little shop has great cookies, cakes, pies, and bagel bombs. I order an iced coffee, bagel bomb with spinach, and crack pie. The bagel bomb is warm and filled with spinach and cheese. It is a nice bite for the start of touring NYC.  I save the crack pie for a little later, but it is delicious. The filling is something like a custard, but buttery. The oat crust is light and flaky. This is a must stop and see.

Lagomarcino’s Confectionery Moline Illinois

Lagomarcino’s Confectionery in Moline IL is worth a diversion on any road trip. It is operated by 4th generation of Tom Lagomarcino Sr. They received a James Beard Award in 2006.

This 110-year-old soda shop is a true find in the middle of nowhere. They have the true old-fashioned feel. The have a soda counter, sandwich shop, homemade ice cream, and beautiful chocolates. The originals owners meet at a soda shop and married in 1949. They had six children and they were famous for their fudge sauce. The shop started reselling the fudge sauce with their 100-year anniversary.

Taking my father here was such a treat. He recalled the stories of going to soda shop his uncle owned as a child. He talked about Ironport soda, a Utah tradition. It is a cross between root beer and Caribbean spices. He went for the hot fudge sundae (a surprise at the bottom was more fudge).

I went for their famous chocolate shake. We took salted caramel milk chocolates, dark marble truffle, pumpkin fudge chocolate, coconut dark chocolate, tiramisu dark chocolate truffle, and orange peel for the road. A few went home to mother. 

The decor in the store is old newspaper headliners. Handcrafted mahogany booths to enjoy your sandwich, soda, and dessert. The had beautiful marbled truffles. It was a true sensory experience with the sights, sounds, and smells. They were fabulous. 

Sweet Shoppe Candy Store Flagstaff Arizona

Exploring Route 66 in the infamous town of Flagstaff AZ there is the Sweet Shoppe Candy Store. This fudge shop with a lollipop garden, taffy, homemade fudge, covered apples with a vast variety, and scrumptious chocolates.

This store has many great old-fashion fun with a great modern twist. It is located on 15 E Aspen Ave right off Route 66. They have so much to select from. Foodie Ellie had a big interest in the fudge but went with a sprinkled covered marshmallow.

They have homemade gelato. The chocolate is creamy and sweet. The best was the chocolate covered caramel (homemade there) with sea salt sprinkled on top.   

Kilwins Chocolate Wilmington NC