My friend Meg and I just returned from a weekend in Minnesota to see the Luke Bryan Farm Tour! Unfortunately, the Farm Tour was canceled due to storms, rain and mud. Very sad! But we still had a really fun trip, so I still wanted to share our adventures.
Bayer + Luke Bryan Farm Tour
Bayer has been a sponsor of the Luke Bryan Farm Tour since 2015, and as a Bayer Partner for 2023, I was flown in to help share the tour’s mission: helping people in rural communities access food and care. medical they need.
Having access to food – especially healthy, affordable foods – is a privilege for those who live near grocery stores and have the means to purchase them. Today, 90% of the counties with the highest rates of food insecurity are rural, where grocery stores are many miles away.
The farm tour is more than a concert: it’s a way to raise awareness about rural care deserts and increase access for those who are hungry. As a dietitian, I wanted to help spread this message on my channels.
Bayer’s goal is to remind rural communities how important it is to “take care of yourself now.” Look at their websiteAnd enter to win VIP tickets to next year’s farm tour so you can participate!
Baer kindly let me bring a friend and I asked Meg, my number one Luke Bryan fan! Here is the story of our trips, adventures and more trips 🙂
Travel to Minnesota
We decided to fly out of Dulles Airport to take a direct flight to Minneapolis and took a 2 hour drive each way. From town to small town is what you have to do!
We left Cville on Friday morning and arrived with an hour to spare to check out the new Capital One Lounge at Dulles Airport. If you live near Dulles Airport or fly through it frequently, you should obtain a Capital One Venture Card! The Venture X offers you and two companions for unlimited times, and the Venture offers you 2 visits per year.
The lounge was AWESOME, with restaurant-quality food, snacks to take on the plane, sparkling water, a coffee shop and a full bar (all free!), plus nice romper-type bathrooms, WiFi, plenty of outlets, and comfortable seating . It was right after TSA PreCheck and very convenient for a visit before flying. We tried almost every tapas-style bite on offer. I really appreciated that everything was a single serving, so it was easy to grab something without having to put food from the buffet on the plate (germs!).
The takeout area, all free!
I also picked up some snacks for the flight: a quinoa salad with roasted peaches, fresh spinach, and homemade dressing, and a s’mores parfait with chocolate ganache. Was oh really impressed!! I shared the extra sandwich I bought with the gentleman sitting next to me. He enjoyed it!
Learn more about travel credit cards and all the benefits of Capital One Venture cards here!
Drive to Rochester, Minnesota.
Upon arrival, we rented a car (boo for an hour-long wait to rent a car) and drove south to Rochester, Minnesota, where we stayed two nights at the Hampton Inn there. Autumn was just beginning to show! The trip was very nice.
Dinner at Thai Pop
You may have seen me mention Rochester on Instagram. It is home to the Mayo Clinic and a small town. Thanks to those dozen followers who sent me restaurant recommendations! Almost everyone mentioned thai pop like the new hot restaurant, so that’s where we made reservations.
Rain please don’t get soaked all weekend!
Thai pop was SO much fun! We loved it! We sat at the bar and had a few drinks before dinner.
And out of fashion for Meg; a Mezcal + Passion Fruit for me
For dinner we decided to stay at the bar because we loved the atmosphere. We shared brussels and noodles in a wonderful sauce and cauliflower popsicles. Everything was delicious, especially the palm sugar caramelized Brussels!
Dessert at Flapdoodles
Our next stop was also recommended by multiple people and was right near our hotel: Flapdoodles ice cream!
We got a flight to share oatmeal cookie, key lime pumpkin ginger pie, and birthday cake. IT EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS! So delicious!!!
In the morning we had planned to go to the farmers market for breakfast and coffee, but it was pouring rain: (So we opted for the hotel’s free breakfast and exercise.
Oatmeal with peanut butter and banana and coffee!!
Best gym workout
The gym had a platoon!! Meg and I are cyclists, so we swap cardio and Jess Sims weight sessions. I actually rode with Thomas for a minute, who was on his bike in Cville! Fun little world. We had a great training.
Farmers Market Stop
And the rain stopped! We showered and went to the market. At that point we were excited that it might not rain all day for the concert.
spy house cafe
Our next stop was Spy House Coffee, where I had a butter cappuccino and Biscoff cookies. AMAZING.
Moments before we received the news that the concert was canceled 🙁
rain is a good thing
We received a text from our Bayer team saying they were so bummed about having to share that the concert was cancelled. Apparently Luke’s team had arrived to step up and it was so muddy from the rain that they couldn’t even set up the stage. Obviously we were very sad, but we understood. If you can’t configure, you can’t configure. Also, if you’re a Luke fan, you know that “rain is a good thing.” Rain produces corn, corn produces whiskey… We sang that song all afternoon.
We went into logistical planning mode and decided to drive back to Minneapolis to get closer to the airport and then catch an earlier flight home the next morning.
Lunch at Forager
But before we left, we went to Collecting Brewery for lunch. This was another place highly recommended by locals.
Peach + avocado salad
Amazing pear and gorgonzola pizza
Back near MSP, we returned our rental car, connected to our new hotel, checked in, and went into planning mode to find some restaurant recommendations in the area. Thanks to a few more blog followers, we had a nice list to check out.
But then more storms came. And there was nothing very close to us: Uber rides would cost about $30 each way. So we made the difficult decision not to venture out in the rain when we couldn’t get a resy and go to the Mall of America. It was right across the street and protected from the weather.
Cedar + Stone
For dinner we landed at Cedar and Stone and had drinks, cottage cheese (!!) and some small plates of brussels, scallops and fries.
Those tangy cheese curds with yogurt sauce were worth the trip alone!
Mall of America
We ventured into the mall and I think we only saw about 1%…
Because we found the amusement park inside! We went on the Fairly Odd roller coaster which was a lot of fun. We both Facetimed our kids to show them.
We got up at 6am the next morning to catch our flight or drive home to Virginia.
Luke Bryan Deja Vu
And although it was very sad not to be able to see the Farm Tour concert, the good news is that Thomas bought tickets to see it for my birthday months ago! So I’m going to my third Luke Bryan show at the end of October. It’s inside, so it can pour down rain!