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Road Trip

crater lake travel guide

Crater Lake & Mount Hood Travel Diary

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So we’re traveling for 4 months… Now what!?

That was the question we asked ourselves once we decided we were going to travel for the summer. The thought of traveling long term has always been a dream of mine but the execution with a 6 year old & an (almost) 3 year old was going to take a lot of planning. I was up for the challenge though & immediately started brainstorming places we wanted to travel to.

One of the first ideas that popped into my head was a road trip through Oregon, Washington & Canada. I had done it once before but Kannon was a toddler & Adam wasn’t able to join us because of a work project so it would be a new adventure for them. One thing led to another & next thing we knew, we had a 3 week trip in an RV planned! Keep reading for the first part of our summer road trip adventure!

crater lake travel guide crater lake pet friendly

Day 1: Salt Lake City, Utah to Winnemucca, Nevada

Our first day consisted of driving from the Salt Lake City, Utah area to a small city named Winnemucca in Nevada. We didn’t want to drive the entire way to Crater Lake in one day so we decided to drive halfway & stop to sleep to break up the trip. I’m not going to lie, we slept in a Walmart parking lot that night & while it might sound very odd, it wasn’t bad at all, it was free & actually convenient because we could run into the store for water or any necessities we needed! Apparently, this is a thing for RV life & some Walmarts allow it but some don’t so if you’re looking to stay in a Walmart parking lot, make sure to check with the manager or they might come knocking on your door & make you leave in the middle of the night 🙂

Day 2: Winnemucca, Nevada to Crater Lake, Oregon

We woke up early (thanks to our sweet boys :)) & decided to get on the road since we still had about a 6-hour drive to Crater Lake. The drive was beautiful & we made plenty of pit stops along the way to let our boys get out, stretch their legs & throw some rocks on the side of the road (which is their favorite activity on road trips). This was our first time to Crater Lake & it was absolutely breathtaking! Photos don’t do it justice because you can’t quite capture the expansiveness of the lake & its surroundings but it truly is a sight to see. If you’re traveling through Oregon, I highly recommend making a stop, even if it’s a quick one, because it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

After exploring for a bit we jumped back in the RV & headed to our campsite. We stayed at Diamond Lake Campground ($24/night) & it was such a beautiful campground! The view of the lake from our RV window was lovely & besides the crazy amounts of mosquitos, it was incredible! We had a couple of major mishaps occur the next day but if you haven’t already, you can watch our vlog from this portion of the trip HERE. Those experiences made for a funny story & a crazy day but honestly, it made the trip that much more memorable & we were just thankful that we were safe.

trillium lake campground review mount hood travel guide

Day 3: Crater Lake, Oregon to Mount Hood, Oregon

What should have been about a 4 1/2 hour drive turned into a full day because of the crazy tire blowout I was talking about above (video of the day is HERE) BUT those moments are what make the adventure a true adventure & it’s a story that we’ll talk about for years to come. To be honest, I felt really proud of us for figuring the situation out considering we had never changed a flat tire on an RV, we didn’t have any cell service & we were blocking half of the lane of traffic. So all in all, I will take the experience as a win!

Once we finally made it to our campground near Mount Hood, we started a campfire, roasted marshmallows & watched the most beautiful sunset overlooking Trillium Lake & Mount Hood. The woman standing next to us said the sky was the most pink she’s ever seen it & she wasn’t lying, the sky was absolutely breathtaking!

Have you been to Crater Lake &/or Mount Hood before? What’s the most beautiful lake you’ve ever seen?

summer vacation idea 2019

Our First Summer Vacation 2019

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If you guys don’t follow along with my YouTube videos, you may have missed our big announcement! I’ll post it here for you guys in case you want to catch up with our big summer plans 🙂

For those of you who did watch it, you know that we have a wild ride ahead for this summer. 4 months of traveling is no joke & the prep that went into getting everything ready & packed up was slightly absurd BUT I would also do it over again because I’m so excited for our adventures ahead. It’s been a dream of mine to travel more long-term for years now & this is our practice run to see how much we (aka the boys) can handle.

summer family trip idea

Jeans | Denim Jacket (medium wash version) | Red Sneakers 

Our first adventure was a 3-week road trip in a motor home & I’m excited to put together a couple of posts for you guys with all of the places we stayed, the route we took, our must-haves for RV life, etc. This trip was one that put me slightly out of my comfort zone but this summer I’m really trying to broaden my horizons & do things that make me feel uncomfortable because I think it’s a great way to grow as an individual. Traveling in an RV might not sound like a big deal to most but I don’t personally love camping & the whole process makes me slightly anxious. I’m happy to say that I survived the trip though & actually really enjoyed the RV life!

I filmed a video with all of our must-have items that made being in an RV comfortable with 2 adults, 2 children & a dog that I’ll be sharing with you all in a few days. I discovered quite a few new products that made that “glamping” life so much easier & I can’t recommend them enough for road trips & traveling with kids. Let me know if you guys are interested in a post or video dedicated to what I brought in my makeup bag &/or the skincare products I can’t travel without!

What are your summer plans!?

 

Road Trip To Monterey

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I absolutely love road trips, and try to go on them as much as my schedule allows. I think it’s such a great way to spend time with the family, and introduce the boys to new places and fun adventures. We were recently lucky enough to be given a Lexus RXL to test out, so we took the opportunity to pack up the family and head up to Monterey.  Besides the famous Pebble Beach, we were excited to see what else this city had in store for us. And man, did we have a blast! Here’s what we did…

Monterey Bay Aquarium

One of the most exciting attractions Monterey has to offer is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Located in Cannery Row, this is an absolute must see, and if you’re at all into the mysterious nature of the deep sea, well, this place will just blow your mind. The Open Sea exhibit is reason enough to go check this place out. Holding 1.2 million gallons of water, this is the aquarium’s largest tank, with one of the biggest viewing windows in the whole world. From sea turtles and jellyfish, to hammerhead sharks, and tuna, this exhibit has it all. It was even the first to house 6 great white sharks over a period of 7 years (crazy, right?)!  Other exhibits include a massive three story kelp forest, and a habitat tank that represents marine life from Monterey Bay. With awesome efforts to inspire and improve conservation of the oceans, this place is a fun-filled and educational adventure that will leave your entire family in awe and wonder.

 

Cannery Row

Back in the day, Cannery Row was a site lined with sardine canning factories. Today,  it is a scenic waterfront street (made famous by John Steinbeck), home to great restaurants, hotels, and historic tourist attractions; some residing in old cannery buildings.  Cannery Row’s offshore area is the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. This is an awesome place to rent a kayak, or go out on a guided tour to see the marine life. You will also find the famous 18 Mile Coastal Recreational Trail. This paved trail can be explored by by foot, bicycle, or even a surrey rental! How adorable is that?! We didn’t get a chance, but rumor has it that if you take this trail up to Point Pinos Lighthouse you will find the most stunning, spectacular, view.

Dennis the Menace Park

If you have kids then you absolutely have to check this place out because your kids will have a blast! Located in El Estero Park, the creator of the Dennis the Menace comic strip helped establish this playground back in 1956. With large slides, a suspension bridge, a hedge maze, a climbing wall, a zip line, climbing nets, and a giant ship, your kids will be able to run around for hours and tire themselves out, while parents find a nice spot to picnic and overlook the lake.

17 Mile Drive

This is one of the most scenic drives in the world. Follow the red-dotted line and it will take you past the most beautiful beaches, gorgeous golf greens, dramatic cliffs, and enchanting forests. Some of the main attractions along this drive are Cypress Point, Bird Rock, Fanshell Beach, Pescadero Point, and Seal Point. Stop at one of the most photographed trees in the world, the Lone Cypress (the official symbol of Pebble Beach), walk along the Spanish Bay Boardwalk, play a round of golf at Pebble Beach, or watch the sunset at Cypress Point Lookout. If you have kids, perhaps stop by Seal Rock or Bird Rock, which is swimming with sea lions and other marine life. Needless to say, there is so much to see and do here. For $10.25 per vehicle, it is an experience not to be missed!

Fisherman’s Wharf

This place is a tourist’s dream! Lined with seafood restaurants overlooking the water, souvenir shops, and candy stores, Fisherman’s Wharf, is a place to walk around and take in the bay breeze. You can go whale watching, or sailing on the bay from here. And don’t forget to check out the historical center of Monterey at the entrance of the wharf.

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little guide to Monterey! If you ever get a chance to visit, it’s an awesome place to see the best of what California has to offer! Be sure to comment below with some of your favorite places to visit in California, and maybe we’ll just have to make a trip!

road trip kids

How We Road Trip With Kids

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how to road trip kids road trip outfit road trip with kids diy patch denim jacketDIY Patch Denim Jacket

Jeans

Sneakers

White Long Sleeve Top

Gold Trio Necklace

Road trips are basically in my blood at this point. Growing up, we took so many road trips as a family that I honestly couldn’t count if I tried. Later on, as a teenager, I continued the tradition & took a lot of road trips with friends. While some people loathe road trips, I personally think they’re some of the best adventures! Taking road trips with 2 kids under 4 (or children in general) might sound daunting, we always have a fun adventure & make so many fun memories. 

We get asked all the time how our boys do on long drives &, to be honest, they do really well! Our secret? We just prep them young haha. From the time they are born, we get them used to their car seats. I mean, why not get them used to things they’ll be sitting in for the next 7-8 years of their lives? It honestly makes life so much easier for those times when you have to be in the car for an extended period of time. When they’re really young, though make sure you don’t have them in their car seats for too long of stretches (it can give them a flat skull) & make sure they’re not napping in them unsupervised (they can stop breathing).

Another thing I highly recommend is to have lots of snacks & “checkpoints”. My mom came up with the “checkpoint system” when we were kids. I’m sure all of you road tripping kids had something similar! & every hour (if we behaved well), we were able to choose a little treat. If you don’t want to give your kids sugar, I highly suggest going to the dollar store or checking out Target’s dollar section & picking out little toys or coloring books that they can play with. The key is to keep them occupied & looking forward to something so they’re not constantly whining or asking, “are we there yet!?”

The last thing I recommend for road trips (& the thing that makes them the best adventures), is to take your time! If the kids are getting cranky, stop & let them stretch their legs. Sure, it takes longer that way but trust me, those times will probably be some of your favorite moments. I have so many memories of Kannon running around & having fun in the most random places on road trips. You would be surprised how much fun you can have in the middle of nowhere if you just stop stressing about getting to the destination & make it an adventure 🙂

Do you have any road trip tips? Let me know in the comments below!

 

20 Small Ways to be Healthier in 2017

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One thing about being a mom, or a working woman in general, is that health can unfortunately fall to the end of the priority list. I try to eat clean for the most part, but I’m also too lenient with myself. Since I want to raise health-conscious boys and feel good for myself, I’m incorporating small things throughout my day that lead to improvement. Every little thing counts when it comes to health, and by starting small, hopefully these turn into bigger habits. Here are 20 things I’m currently working on:

Kings Canyon Family DayThe Gregory Family Kings Canyon Winter _gsl3645 _gsl3739 _gsl3721 _gsl3668 _gsl3680 _gsl3655 _gsl3759 _gsl36381.) Add a large handful of spinach to my morning smoothie or eggs.

2.) Drink a cup of water right when I wake up.

3.) Start with 10 minutes of exercise 4x a week, and increase the time gradually.

4.) Keep healthy backup options in our freezer (brown rice and veggies for stir fry, whole wheat bread and tortillas, ground turkey (or veggie crumbles) for pasta, frozen kale for smoothies, etc.).

5.) Sip on hot lemon water in the morning before eating.

6.) Add vegetables to each meal.

7.) Save sugar for a couple times a week.

8.) Make a big healthy crockpot meal each week, freeze leftovers.

9.) Meal plan.

10.) Stretch with the boys.

11.) Drink sparkling water instead of soda.

12.) Swap a lettuce wrap for a sandwich once a week.

13.) Try a new fitness class once a month. Perfect for a date day or time with girlfriends!

14.) Use Instacart for healthy ingredients if I can’t get to the grocery (instead of takeout).

15.) Set an alarm for every hour to get up, walk around, have some water.

16.) Do morning dance parties with the boys to get moving. Or whenever we need energy.

17.) Take a daily probiotic and vitamin.

18.) Use less salt.

19.) Read motivational blogs or listen to podcasts when I’m feeling lazy.

20.) Prioritize sleep! Set an alarm for an hour before bed to turn off tech, do my nightly routine, and get into bed with a book.

What small things do you incorporate to feel healthy? I’d love to hear in the comments below! 

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Kannon’s JacketKannon’s Striped Hat

Hendrix’s Bear Suit (Zara but not online)

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