Sunday, January 11, 2015

Western U.S. Road Trip

Having a lengthy measure of vacation time at the same time my husband does is a rare event. When we discovered that we’re both off for several weeks in a row this year, we wasted no time in filling our calendar with a road trip that defines “epic.”

Ever since I started to armchair-travel by way of Pinterest, I’ve filled my wish list with places in the U.S. I’ve only seen photos of: star-gazing among the cinnamon-coloured topography of Zion National Park; the sun-drenched mountain road that was featured in the opening scenes of The Shining; the desert landscape of Joshua Tree National Park; the crashing waves of Big Sur; and, really, the entire state of California.

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Photos: (T) Jeff Krause on Flickr; (L) Andy Castro on Flickr; (R) Markus Spiering on Flickr

Apart from stopovers at LAX and SFO (and stopovers hardly count), can you believe I’ve never really been to California? It almost goes without saying that a day or two at Disneyland is a must on our itinerary once we finally roll into the Los Angeles area. I’m also really looking forward to exploring the Napa Valley after a stop in San Francisco. Being that the greatest film of all time was filmed in the Bay Area, there’s a lot I want to see there!

Art of the Cocktail

J and I have already spent hours poring over a map of the Western United States while flipping through our shiny new copy of the Lonely Planet guide to the area. Our tentative plan is make our way through southern BC, Calgary, and Lethbridge to visit family before heading south.

We’ll start by entering Montana’s Glacier National Park, snake our way down to Yellowstone National Park (where my parents honeymooned many years ago!) in Wyoming and then head south into Utah to stop at Arches National Park, Zion National Park and Utah’s most scenic gateway to Arizona, the Monument Valley. After stops at the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam, I’m certain I’ll be aching for a hot bath and a stiff cocktail at that oasis in the desert otherwise known as Las Vegas. From there we plan to cross southwest into Joshua Tree National Park before hitting Los Angeles to make some postcard-perfect memories in Southern California. Heading north, we’ll hug the California and Oregon coastlines, surfing at every stop we can before making our way “home” to my beloved Clatsop County in northern Oregon.

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Photo: Andy – Major Clanger on Flickr

J has been to a few of these places before – at least in California – but any advice, suggestions of diners to eat at or campgrounds to stay at, along with any other tips, would be hugely welcome! If you’ve been to any of the places we plan on visiting, or all of them, let me know your favourites and must-sees!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Out Of (My) Mind

Though the saying goes “out of sight, out of mind,” it isn’t always true. While I haven’t published a blog post since March, 2014, that fact has not been lost on me. Since last spring, I have been constantly reminded of the fact that I had not been blogging each time I saw the blogger […]

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Our Kukio Beach Hawaiian Elopement

Whether a couple chooses to elope or host a more traditional wedding, a lot of planning is involved. This is especially true for destination weddings with the catch being that most decisions need to be made on instinct. J and I didn’t have the luxury of scoping out our ceremony site in advance, nor did […]

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wedding Night At The Fairmont Orchid On Hawaii Island

When my husband and I travel we prefer doing things our own way. For us that normally means avoiding hotels and resorts and instead opting for a little villa, a cottage or even just a campsite. That said, wedding days are certainly anything but normal. Wanting to ensure that every detail of our day was […]

Monday, January 6, 2014

You Did WHAT? Why I Said “Yes” To Eloping

“Are you pregnant?” Should you ever decide to elope instead of planning a traditional wedding, know now that that reaction – or some less direct variation thereof – will be more common than any other. “Congratulations!” comes in at a close second with “I thought you looked tanned…” in third place. Confession time: When I […]

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Week-Long Test Drive: The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

When Chevrolet contacted me a few weeks ago and invited me to test drive a Cruze for a week, I wasn’t sure what to expect. On our trip to Hawaii last November, J and I rented a Cruze for the week and – being that it was a rental car – it was lacking in […]

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Autumn Visit to Shamrock Farm

One of my family’s absolute favourite annual traditions is a visit (or two) to Shamrock Farm in the autumn. Pumpkins are plentiful, the garlic is harvested and the barn is ready to welcome everyone in time for Halloween. Upon arrival, Sienna almost always makes a bee-line for the spooky seasonal decorations in the barn, including […]

Thursday, October 10, 2013

We’re Gettin’ Hitched!

From what many people tell me, having engagement photos taken is a trend that seems to have sprung out of my generation. While some don’t see the point, I can think of countless great reasons to step in front of the lens with one’s future spouse. Not only does it help ease any camera anxiety […]

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

“Be Skin Happy” At Bare Essentials Skin Bar

With a few very busy work weeks in my rearview mirror, I had been looking for a quick way to de-stress my mind (and my skin). Around that time, an e-mail popped into my inbox from Amy Sahota, the founder of Vancouver’s brand new Bare Essentials Skin Bar. Amy invited me to check out their […]

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Labour Day Long Weekend in Victoria and a Visit to Magnolia Hotel & Spa

It wasn’t so long ago that, here on the coast of British Columbia, we were frolicking in sunshine and warm temperatures. Though it appears that cool and wet autumn weather has arrived, nothing warms me more than awesome memories. Over the recent Labour Day long weekend, J and I made our way to Victoria with […]


Click here to read about my Mount Washington experience.