On our way back home from Mayo Clinic, Ann and I stopped in Austin, MN at the SPAM museum. There we learned that SPAM stands for “spiced ham” and there have been billions of cans sold.

Believe it or not, the SPAM museum is actually worth a stop. The museum is fun for kids, but also interesting for adults. And, it’s free!

At the SPAM museum, you’ll learn facts like:

  1. Six billion cans of SPAM would reach from Austin, MN to the moon and circle it more than 20 times.
  2. The top five SPAM purchasing US cities (per capita) are:  Honolulu, Hawaii; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; and Charlotte, North Carolina.
  3. It would take 2,051 SPAM cans to reach the top of the Washington Monument.
  4. In 1947 the Hormel Girls, a 60-member performing arts troupe, toured cities across America to generate awareness for SPAM.
  5. SPAM was introduced in 1937 by Hormel Foods.  Ken Daigneau, brother of a Hormel Foods Vice President, won a contest and $100 for naming SPAM.
  6. From 1941-1945, more than 1,000,000 pounds of SPAM was shipped abroad to feed allied troops during WWII.
  7. About 238,000 feet–that’s 45 MILES–of SPAM labels are applied every day.
  8. SPAM is produced in only two US cities:  Austin, Minnesota, and Fremont, Nebraska (where Ann went to kindergarten).
  9. Each day, 203,000 pounds of pork shoulder are used to produce SPAM
  10. SPAM flavors include Original, Bacon, Teriyaki, Chorizo, and many more.

The gift shop is, predictably, quite extensive and full of SPAM. There you can buy flavors of SPAM not available elsewhere. We, for instance, bought a case of SPAM–sadly, we have yet to try it.

 

  • The Pioneer Woman's Boarding House in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is a special hotel. There are eight rooms, each beautifully decorated, and no two rooms are alike. With large bathrooms, a mini-bar, evening reception, room service, valet parking, high-speed internet, and friendly service, a night here is a real treat. Ann snapped this picture of the arrangement of fresh flowers in the Butterfly Room. The bed in the background? That's a Tempurpedic mattress with some of the softest bedding around. We can't think of a better place to spend a cozy night when you @visittheosage and Pawhuska.⁣
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@pwboardinghouse
  • While in Italy, we took a cooking class in the home of a the owner of a small vineyard. During the class, we learned to make several dishes including pasta (which we rolled and cut by hand) as well as Tiramisu. Looking at this picture, we can still taste the freshness of the pasta, the tomatoes picked that morning from vines in the yard for the sauce, and the herbs clipped from a pot on the porch. It was a magical meal, paired with wines they had produced using grapes they'd grown on their own land. Talk about a farm to table meal.
  • The Enchanted Highway near @visit_dickinson, North Dakota, is a 30 mile stretch of road that runs from I-94 to Regent. Along the way you'll find a number of huge metal sculptures that have to be seen to be believed. The size and scale of these creations is such that you'll be filled with a sense of wonder, and a desire to drive on to the next one. This particular creation is called, appropriately enough, "Grasshoppers in the Field." This road is just one more reason for you to hop on up to North Dakota. @NorthDakotaLegendary
  • One of our favorite restaurants whether on land or at sea is @celebritycruises Luminae restaurant. Every morsel of every dish has been thoughtfully considered, prepared, and presented. Take this Chocolate Palet dessert for instance. It's so rich that more than a few bites would be almost overwhelming. But that's okay, as the serving size is perfect. Paired with the scoop of gelato on a bed of chocolate crumbles? Well, it makes a perfect end to a scrumptious meal. A true masterpiece.
  • One of the things we love most about traveling is discovering new things. New destinations, new foods, new cocktails, and new people. What do you like to discover?
  • Our imaginations run wild when we find ourselves in a place so chock-full of history like Deadwood, South Dakota. As we took in the town, we closed our eyes and listened for echoes from the past when Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok lived here. If only the streets could talk. @tripscout @midwestliving⁣
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  • Standing on a hill in present-day Rome, you can look down on the Roman Forum, the center of activity in ancient Rome. We've all heard of Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, Marcus Agrippa, and the Apostle Paul, and we know them as ancient historical figures who almost don't seem real. And then you see this space, the very streets where they walked and the buildings they knew. This is why Rome is the eternal city. You can still walk streets and cross bridges built thousands of years ago. Being there makes it's real, and suddenly history comes alive.
  • Is there anything more relaxing than the thought of a beautiful sandy beach? How about one with pink sand, like at Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda? We made a stop here during our visit to the island nation and loved seeing all the folks there enjoying their time splashing in the warm summer sun. ⁣
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Would you like to visit this beach?

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