Family, Fun, Roadtirp, Summer, Summer Roadtrip, Tips, Travel, Vacation

Top 6 Midwest Summer RoadTrips

As summer is slowly winding down, it’s crunch time to get that summer road trip in! Summer goes by so fast, granted, for us in North Dakota, we only get 3-4 months of summer, it least it feels that way! Fortunately, the hubby and I were able to escape the demands of the farm and ranch to get away a couple of times this summer. Once, to the Southwestern part of North Dakota, to Medora and our second road trip will be next week to my brother-in-law’s Minnesota lake cabin.

On the way to the lake, we plan to go through Wahpeton, where I went to college for a pit stop and then North Dakota’s biggest city, Fargo on the way home. We will only be gone three days, but it will be a nice mini-vacation.

Growing up, my dad wasn’t a rancher, so it was a little easier for him to take time off and the three of us would go on roadtrips to Medora, Big Sky, Yellowstone, and The Grand Tetons. It was a fun experience that I’ll never forget. For as young as I am, I am a well seasoned traveler, thanks to mom and dad. Now as an adult, I have that same travel itch they passed down to me.

Today, I am going to share with you some of my favorite roadtrips for Midwest Summer Vacations!

1. Yellowstone National Park


Yellowstone has always been a family favorite of ours! From Old Faithful and the Old Faithful Lodge to spending long, lazy afternoon hours at Yellowstone Lake Lodge to the Upper and Lower Falls, Yellowstone has a variety of beauty for everyone.

Welcome to Yellowstone

Things to Do: Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park, Hiking in the Canyon, White Water Rafting, Horseback Riding, Colorful Hot Springs, Wildlife, Helicopter Tours

Where to Stay: Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone Lake Lodge & Cabins


2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming


The Grand Tetons is another family favorite and it does not disappoint! These are some of the most beatiful mountains in the U.S. Towering to almost 14,000 feet, I can almost guarantee that you’ll be impressed enough to come back! Jackson Hole not only provides sweeping views, but it’s also a great skiing lodge and shopping extravaganza!

Jackson Lake

Things to Do: Teton Village and Ski Tram, Horseback Riding, Shopping in Jackson Hole, Jenny Lake, Jackson Lake, Hiking, Wildlife, Rafting, Town Square, Sled Rides, Skiing Paradise in winter, Grand Teton National Park,

Where to Stay: Jackson Hole Lake Lodge

Teton Village

3. Black Hills, South Dakota

Black Hills

The Black Hills of South Dakota will always hold a special place in my heart. I came here many times growing up with  my grandparents and it’s where Taylor and I honeymooned after our wedding. It’s only 6-7 hours away from our ranch, but it seems much farther because it is stunning and a relaxing escape.

Mount Rushmore

What to Do: Mount Rushmore, Shopping, Custer State Park, Hot Springs, Crazy Horse, Pigtail Road, Sylvan Lake, Keystone, Rapid City Waterpark, Rapid City, Hill City, Salt Water Taffy, Caves, Custer, Hiking, Helicopter Tours, Wildlife, Black Hills National Forest

Where to Stay: Rushmore Express, Sylvan Lake Lodge

Sylvan Lake

4. Minneapolis, Minnesota


Minneapolis is for your inner, big city lover! I don’t get here very often at all, but when I do it is always fun! What girl doesn’t love to spend hours and hours at the Mall of America?! The Minnesota Zoo is always a wonderful way to spend the day. And, Valley Fair!! The best part, the funky,

What to Do: Valley Fair, Mall of America,

Where to Stay: The Foshay, Hilton Garden Inn, Marriot

5. Craters of the Moon, Idaho

Craters of the Moon

Have you ever wanted to visit the moon?! Well, Craters of the Moon will take you there! It’s not far from Yellowstone or the Grand Tetons, and so worth the drive! It is amazing! It literally seems like you are in the middle of the moon (not that I know, since I’ve never been there 🙂 ). The amazing frozen in time lava formations will have you in awe. It is unbelievable until you experience it for yourself!

What to Do:  Hiking, not far from other National Parks, Twin Falls

Where to Stay: Wood River Inn

6. Medora, North Dakota


Year after year, summer after summer, this is probably every North Dakota familys’ summer vacation. It’s fun and a 4 hour drive for us.

Medora Musical


What to Do: Horseback Riding, Taffy, National Park, Hiking, Biking, Shops, Mini-Golf, Historical, Medora Musical, Pitchfork Fondue

Where to Stay: AmericInn, Rough Riders 

Burning Hills Amphitheatre

21 Day Fix, Baked, Baked Fries, BeachBody Coach, Blog, Blogger, Clean, Cook, cooking, Eat, Eating, Fit, Fitness, Fitness Blogger, Foodie, Fries, Healthy Eating, Healthy Recipe, recipe, Summer, Summer Recipe, Sunday Dinner, Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato Fries, The Farmer's Wife, The LIfe of the Dakota Farmer's WIfe

Sunday Dinner: Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

This weekend was short in comparision to last weekend! Two day weekends go so fast and there is so much to do in two days! This weekend consisted of Taylor out working all day on Saturday, we are full into haying season on the ranch. I was meal preping, cleaning, doing laundry, working out, doing some light reading, and playing with my little bunny, Martin! Yes, I FINALLY got a bunny! He is a Netherland Dwarf and four months old! I absolutely love him! He is probably the most spoiled little bun, ever, but he’s a sweetie.

Sundays call for lazy days.

Sunday morning was spent eating our breakfast outside on the patio, doing our morning devotions, reading, and playing with Martin! How how he loves hopping around the front yard! It ws a beautiful morning for being outside yesterday! Perfect, in fact. Our front yard is west facing before the hot sun hits, it is cool and refreshing. Perfect for a few cups of morning coffee and a good book!

This makes me wish every morning could be a Sunday morning!

Yesterday for lunch we made burgers on the grill, the perfect summer lunch! We also had radishes and snow peas from my garden! And everyone knows, that no burger is complete without fries! So I made baked sweet potato fries and I am sharing the recipe with you!

What You’ll Need:

  • 3-4 Large Sweet Poatoes
  • Cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayene Pepper
  • Egg Whites (2) – For wash
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Tin Foil
  • Non-Stick Spray

First, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Then, peel sweet potatoes and cut into fry like rectaular pieces. I cut the potato into fourths lenth-wise, then into halves and went from there. Once all the fries are cut, place the melted coconut oil into a large bowl along with several shakes of cinnamon and garlic powder, and a dash of cayene. Mix fries in and evenly coat. Place tin foil on a baking sheet and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Place the fries somewhat evenly on the sheet. Now, coat with egg white wash. Sprinkle more salt, pepper, and cinnamon to coat. Bake for an hour, turning once, or until done.



My next clean eating and fitness challenge group will be taking place starting on August 17th! Please fill out the form on the left side of my blog for more information, so I can contact you!

Happy Monday! XoXo


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Fashionista Friday: Red, White, and Blue

With about two weeks left before the 4th of July, have you thought about what your are wearing?

We will be going out to the Southwestern part of our beautiful state of North Dakota, to Medora! Medora is were the old west comes alive again! Medora is known for the time Teddy Roosevelt spent there, it’s beautiful painted badlands, and the Medora Musical! I can’t wait! It’s Taylor and I’s first time going there together! Even though it will only be a day trip, I am happy to get away for a mini summer road trip!

The 4th is always special to us because the 5th is our wedding anniversary, and the 6th, my birthday! I have always loved the season of late June and early July, so to have everything crammed into one big, fun weekend is wonderful.

Just this week, I ordered my fourth of July outfit! I got it from the Red Dress Boutique! It’s a red, white, and blue, stars and stripes kind of dress and it is adorable! I absolutely cannot wait to wear it! I will post picture later!

Today, I will be sharing my top picks for cute, summery, and fashionably patriotic outfits for your big summer holiday!

This outfit is perfect for that summer BBQ or a fun 4th of July fest

Top, Shorts, Shoes.


This dress is fun, flirty, and delicate for those summer date nights! Pair it whith a fun pair of wedges or flats and you are good to go!


The fourth of July isn’t complete without boots and stripes! This dress will have you ready for any festivity! Necklace here.


Have a classy event to attend over the fourth?! Here are some pics for you! Top, Pants, Shoes, HatDress.


A white dress is always a perfect option for a summer holiday!

Happy Friday and Happy Shopping!!



Welcome to my life on the Dakota Prairie! I am the proud wifey of a Dakota farmer and rancher. We recently celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary a few months ago. We got married in the heat of haying season and the hottest day of the year! Taylor and I met and have know each other since kindergarten however, we didn’t start dating until after our high school graduation. As for myself, I am the farmer’s daughter and now a farmer’s wife, never did I imagine myself stuck in the prairies of North Dakota for the rest of my life (I had big dreams of moving out of state and working and living the city life), but it’s an awfully beautiful thing, and now, I wouldn’t have it any other way! After graduating from our small town high school, I attended college for two years studying architectural drafting and estimating. I worked in our nearest “big town” (about 100 miles away) for a year and a half before we got hitched. I currently work in a closer-to-home “small-big town”, which is still a 55 mile one way drive from the farm. I currently work for a great engineering company.

Now that it is officially fall (Happy October by the way!), I can reflect on the summer months gone by! Summer, it was a busy season. I had my first garden, a quite large one being it was my first! Although, I enjoyed everything about being outdoors and tending after my flowers and vegetables! And I reaped in a plentiful harvest this year including beets, peas, green beans, and carrots to name a few, which are all sitting in my freezer waiting to be devoured in a soup this fall and winter season. (Which I will blog some recipes about later!) I would have had sweet corn, but the raccoons got it all, and thank goodness for generous neighbors for sharing some of their sweet corn with us! Just recently, I have been busy making jams for winter and helping my mother-in-law peel, slice, and freeze fresh picked apples for winter, which has been addicting for me! For those of you who don’t farm, summer is filled with cooler breakfasts, lunches, and dinners most days, so that leaves a little extra time for me to not have to cook in the evenings, so I would tend to my garden and flowers and go on runs after work. Now, after all the hay and straw has been made and brought home, manure has been hauled and spread, we are just starting to harvest soy beans and start thinking about bring our black angus cows back to the ranch. I really miss the days of summers and not having to worry about snowy roads and the long dark-in-the-morning drives to work. Enough about us, here is what to look forward to on this blog…

I plan to post lots of crafts and recipes, along with my journey as a child of the King and a farmer’s wife. It is a crazy, wonderful life that I love to share and talk about! Please feel free to follow me on Instagram (Alecia_Zenker) and Pinterest ( The main purpose to this, is to be able to look back years from now, and it will tell the stories of our generation on the farm. It’s more of a public diary that you can follow. Welcome to my life! Let’s begin this journey together!

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