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Travel Guide

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!?

 

copenhagen travel guide 2018

Copenhagen Travel Guide

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This post has been a long time coming BUT it’s never too late to write about a city that quickly became one of my all-time favorites. So for all of you interested, let’s dive into my Copenhagen travel diary. Copenhagen completely stole my heart from day one! Seriously though, the second we landed at the airport & got into a taxi, I was obsessed. I have never in my life seen an airport so organized! The men dealing with the taxi line had us all through that line so quickly & efficiently, it was insane! If you’ve been before, you know what I’m talking about & if you haven’t, I strongly suggest adding it to your bucket list. Yes, it’s that lovely!

copenhagen girls trip copenhagen must do copenhagen travel diary

From the people. to the food & onto the architecture & scenery, it is absolutely wonderful. I don’t say things like that lightly either so don’t stop reading because you think I’m just saying this to be nice! Honesty is the best policy & that’s what I’m here to give you ladies & gents! Seriously though, while I was there, I was already mentally planning my next trip back with my husband & kids (for all of you parents, Copenhagen is SO family friendly!) because I know they will be just as obsessed as I am. Now onto the details of our trip!

copenhagen cherry blossoms copenhagen things to do

Where We Stayed

The Square – We loved this hotel! The staff & location was perfect for wandering around the city. I would definitely recommend!

copenhagen nyhavn

Things To See/Do

Stroget – We walked down this shopping street almost daily depending on where we were walking & I loved it every time. So many different shops & is the longest pedestrian shopping area in Europe. We loved to grab a little sweet treat & stroll back to our hotels in the evenings.

Rosenborg Castle – A beautiful renaissance castle that is surrounded by amazing gardens. Definitely worth a stroll around! If you’re there in the spring, the beautiful trees are blossoming!

Kastellet – One of the best-preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe. I didn’t really know what to expect but it was really cool to walk around here. It honestly was like nothing I had ever seen before!

Amelianborg Palace – Home to the royal family & a must see! Make sure to go at 12 so you can see the changing of the guards. I think this will be one of my favorite memories from our trip because it started hailing on us during the changing of the guards & it was so unexpected that we couldn’t help laughing & ran to a church nearby to wait for the hail to stop!

The Round Tower (Rundetaarn) – The oldest functioning observatory in Europe & another must do/see! The spiral walk to the top was easy enough for almost anyone to accomplish & there is a beautiful view from the top.

Nyhavn – My absolute favorite part of Copenhagen! This is my #1 must do/see & I’m sure you can see why. The buildings lining the canal are colorful & beautiful! Plus, it’s the perfect place to sit & have a meal or drink & just relax.

Freetown Christiania – Freetown Christiania is a green and car-free neighborhood in Copenhagen established in 1971 by a group of hippies who occupied some abandoned military barracks on the site and developed their own set of society rules, completely independent of the Danish government. We were so intrigued by this little community that we just had to go check it out. It was definitely interesting & a fun little experience.

Christiansborg Palace – Located on the tiny island of Slotsholmen, contains the Danish Parliament Folketinget, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of State. We stopped off quickly to see this palace after our stroll through Christiana. We didn’t explore inside due to time constraints but it was still fun to see!

Torvehallerne – A market full of everything you could ever want. There were so many different types of food, pastries, wine, cheese & flowers to peruse. I honestly wanted to buy so many things & next time I go to Copenhagen I will definitely be purchasing little bits for a picnic in the park!

Frederiksborg Castle – Located north of Copenhagen in Hillerød & houses The Museum of National History. We took a short train ride & the journey in itself didn’t disappoint! If you have enough time, I highly suggest visiting & exploring the gardens, they are absolutely beautiful!

Church of Our Lady – This was our last stop before we jumped in a taxi back to the airport & I’m SO glad we stopped in. This cathedral houses Bertel Thorvaldsen’s original statue of the Christ & it is absolutely breathtaking! If you’re a member of the LDS church, I think you would love to see the original statue & the original statues of the 12 apostles that are being recreated for the Rome temple! Even if you’re not religious, this cathedral is stunning & you will be amazed by how beautiful the architecture is.

Tivoli Gardens – Our hotel was right around the corner & we spent an afternoon/evening at Tivoli. It’s the second oldest amusement park & it’s definitely something to check out! There were many different food options, live music & a fun water/light show. Make sure to get some churros while you’re there because they were delicious!

copenhagen guide copenhagen Kastellet copenhagen rosenborg castle

What to Eat

Lagkagehuset – The most delicious danish bakery with quite a few locations around the city. We stopped in here multiple times & everything we tried was delicious. The mini pizzas & cinnamon swirls (I don’t know the correct names but you’ll know them when you see them :)) were my favorites!

Cafe Oscar – We stopped in Cafe Oscar before we headed to see the changing of the guards since it was relatively close. They had options for both meat eaters & vegetarians alike which was very nice & I loved the Vegetarian Burger.

Next Door Cafe – You MUST go here! The whole vibe of the place is amazing & the food was tasty as well. You will not be disappointed!

Riz Raz – We ate here after coming back from a day trip to Malmo, Sweden (more on that below!) & we were all pretty hungry. I loved that they had a vegetarian buffet that had a lot of great options. I believe there are two locations in the city as well which makes it a nice option!

Social – A perfect spot for breakfast or lunch along the riverside & it has great food. Everything is gluten-free (still delicious though!) & their portion for the breakfast is large enough to fuel you for most of the day. Loved this spot!

Bæst – I saved THE BEST FOR LAST! Yes, I’m that excited about this restaurant! If you are in Copenhagen, do not leave until you eat here! Honestly, this was the best meal I have ever eaten in my entire life. Not exaggerating! Their pizza is made in a wood fire oven built in Naples. Their burrata is to die for & the roasted cauliflower & ricotta with dried olives were INCREDIBLE. I dream about this meal regularly & am dying to go back again!

Torvehallerne copenhagen stroget

Day Trip

We took a day trip to Malmo, Sweden without doing much research on it beforehand. Since I’m being very honest here, I wouldn’t recommend this trip. Apparently, it’s not a very safe city (found this out after the fact & there was a drive-by shooting 2 days ago (from the day that I’m writing this

0). I don’t like to be negative but it just wasn’t really worth the trip. If you do decide to take the train over though, the thing I loved most was the SlottsträdgĂĄrden! It is a beautiful park with beautiful gardens & a cafe where we stopped, took a break on a bench & just enjoyed the scenery.

copenhagen train station malmo sweden day trip girls trip locations frederiksborg castle

That’s it for my first trip to Copenhagen! If you couldn’t tell, I absolutely adore this city & 100% recommend that you add it to your travel bucket list! If you’ve been before, comment below with your favorites!

kauai travel guide

Kauai Travel Guide

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We’ve been to Kauai a few times now & I fall more in love with this island every time. There is something so magical about Kauai & I feel like everyone should experience it once in their lifetime. It’s that magical! Trust me, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when you get there. Below you’ll find all of our tried & true places. I hope you enjoy our Kauai travel guide!

kauai kids travel guide

Where To Stay:

-Kauai Marriott:

We’ve stayed here twice & I absolutely love this resort! We spent both of our Babymoons here & it will always be one of my favorite places to stay. The service is always on point & by that I mean that every person I’ve come across working at this property has been kind & helpful. Also, they have the best breakfast buffet. Guys, I dream about it. It’s that good! My pregnant self was one happy lady because of the breakfast alone. But in all seriousness, I highly recommend staying here. The food, the service, the pool (& kids pool with slide), the beach, the restaurants on property are all amazing. I have nothing but wonderful things to say!

-Hilton Garden Inn:

This last time we went to Kauai, we stayed here. While I was a little nervous at first because the reviews online are a bit hit or miss, we had a great experience! While it’s a much smaller property than the Marriott, the service was amazing & everyone was always helpful & kind to our boys. The pool is honestly nothing to write home about but the property sits right above Lydgate Beach Park & so we would just walk down to the beach & enjoy the little areas blocked by the rock wall (read more on this beach below!). The rooms were great & while this isn’t as much of a resort feel, we loved our stay & thought it was perfect with our young boys!

things to do Kauai

Where To Eat:

-Verde:

If you don’t know by now, I’m a bit mexican food obsessed. Like I could eat it for every meal & pretty much eat hot sauce/salsa on everything I consume. When I discovered Verde, I was in heaven. The food is just that good!

-Eat Healthy Kauai:

I could eat an açaí bowl from here every morning. I posted about these on my Instagram & I was not exaggerating about how much I love this place! If you’re in the mood for some delicious & healthy meals, don’t miss this place!

-Tropical Taco:

We’ve been going to this place since our first trip to Kauai & it never disappoints. I always get the vegetarian Fat Jack & while it’s not the healthiest, it’s beyond delicious! They also have really good fresh tacos & hot sauce!

-Da Crack:

Can you tell by now that I really love Mexican food? We discovered this little spot (& I do mean little, you order from a tiny window & take your food to-go!) late one evening & the burrito bowls & burritos were SO good!

-Scorpacciata:

If you’re in the mood for some pizza, definitely stop at this food truck! Kannon couldn’t get enough of the pizza while I couldn’t get enough of the Parmesan Fries with Pesti Ailoli.

-Wailua Shave Ice:

This is hands down my favorite shaved ice I’ve ever eaten! I like that they use natural ingredients as opposed to that neon colored syrup. The Love Potion #9 is my latest favorite!

-Ono Ono Shave Ice:

This is my second favorite place for shaved  ice. While Ono Ono does serve the neon colored syrup, it is Adam & the boys favorite spot. I do love the different flavors of ice cream they have for under the shaved ice though! The macadamia nut is a must try!

-Tropical Dreams Hawaiian Gourmet Ice Cream:

Clearly we have major sweet tooth’s over here but if you’re in the mood for some ice cream, this is the place to go!

What To Do:

-Poipu Beach:

While I’ve heard some say that this beach is overrated, I completely disagree. This is one of our favorite beaches on Kauai because it’s perfect for kids, snorkeling & everytime we’ve been there, we’ve seen a turtle &/or seals! This last time we visited, we had a sea turtle swim up on shore & bask in the sun for hours. The best thing we’ve ever experienced at Poipu? Swimming with seals! Okay, technically we didn’t swim with them but the last time we were there, multiple seals were in & out of the water playing & swimming. While it’s a federal law to not get too close to any of the sea creatures, the lifeguards weren’t paying attention & when we looked down & next to us, the seals were right there! I’m not exaggerating either, they were right next to us. Don’t worry, the second we saw them we got out of the water, but it is so fascinating to see these animals in the wild!

-Lydgate Beach Park & Kamalani Playground:

This beach & Park is right by the Hilton Garden Inn that we stayed at this last time. We absolutely love this beach because it has a rock wall that blocks out the waves so you don’t have to stress as much about your little ones playing in the water. Plus, if you’re terrified of sharks, you don’t have to worry about that either! (Yes, those are things that I think about because sharks are terrifying (in my opinion) Although I have swam with them in a cage once & am completely fascinated by them :)) AND the Kamalani Playground is so much fun for the kids! We spent an entire afternoon letting the boys run around this playground, swing & go down the slides. This playground is like nothing I’ve ever seen before & the boys didn’t want to leave!

-Helicopter Tour:

This is by far one of the coolest things I’ve ever done! We did this tour back when I was pregnant with Kannon & it was incredible. The views of the Na Pali Coast can’t be beat & we loved landing at the waterfall where Jurassic Park was filmed. I highly recommend splurging on this activity, you won’t be disappointed!

-Na Pali Coast Hike to Hanakapi’ai Beach:

I’m going to be honest & tell you that I’ve actually never finished this hike. Everytime we’ve gone to Kauai I’ve been pregnant or we’ve had the boys & it’s been raining on & off so the rocks were slippery. I will say that this hike is beautiful though & I can only imagine how beautiful Hanakapi’ai Beach is at the end!

-Ke’e Beach:

We love driving to North Shore & this beach sits right at the end of the road. This is a must see!

-Waimea Canyon:

Kauai is full of places that make you say, “ is this real life!?” Because they’re that stunning. Waimea Canyon is one of those places! It’s referred to as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific” & it’s breathtaking. This is great for all ages because you can drive to the top & then walk up some steps (or a ramp) to see the stunning view.

-Kayak Wailua River or Hanalei River:

If you love to kayak or have never been kayaking, Kauai is the place to go! It’s beautiful & calm & you can even take your little ones! Kannon was 2 when we went & he just sat in between us with a life jacket on. This is the place we used when we kayaked Hanalei River & the people were beyond helpful & kind.

-Na Pali Experience:

This is something that I will do the next time we go back to Kauai! I have heard nothing but incredible things about this experience & I can’t wait to do this one day!