Life's Sweet Journey: 2017

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Biltmore at Christmas

Happiest of Thursdays before Christmas!! 
With our birthdays only a few days apart, Babe and I have been all kinds of birthday celebrating around these parts! To ring in 34 and 31 we took two very different tours through Asheville; a brew tour for his birthday and a step back in time for mine. I can't think of a better way to have spent my 31st birthday than checking something off my "30 in my 30s Bucket List"

Seeing the Biltmore at Christmas, all decorated in lights and bows, has been on my bucket list since I first went over 15 years ago! I was the literal definition of a kid-at-Christmas kind of happy! Minus, of course, the kid part (unless we are counting at heart)... hello, 31! The Biltmore at Christmas is beyond beautiful. I could gush for hours about the glorious Christmas feel, the hundreds of lights, and dozens of Christmas trees that filled the rooms, but I figure it might just be best to let the pictures speak for me!

Come with me and enjoy a walk through... 

The Biltmore at Christmas

Biltmore Banquet Hall at Christmas

Friday, December 15, 2017

5 Fun Things to Do in Kentucky for Adults

Happy Friday! 
We just left Kentucky and are now in Asheville, North Carolina! We will be calling Asheville "home" through Christmas and are looking forward to finally being in one spot for more than 4 nights. However, we couldn't move on without sharing all the places we explored in Kentucky! There is a ton to do in Kentucky, and while we didn't get to explore Churchill Downs (next time), we did drive through a lot of horse land on our way to explore these 5 fun places... 

5 Fun Things to Do in Kentucky 

5 Fun things to Do in Kentucky

We spent the first few nights in Northern Kentucky and really enjoyed our stay; exploring the different nooks and crannies around our spot in Hebron, Kentucky. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Our Maker's Mark Distillery Tour || Touring Iconic Kentucky Distilleries

Happy Tuesday Adventurers!!
Let's head to Maker's Mark Distillery!
Location: Maker's Mark Distillery, Loretto, Kentucky // It's the 2nd Tuesday of the month, which means it's time for another #TravelTuesday link up! Been adventuring anywhere lately? Explored somewhere new in the place you call home?! Join in at the bottom of this post! This month we are sharing one of our first adventures on the road, as well as our first installment of Road Talk Tuesday over on YouTube! Last week we headed to Maker's Mark Distillery for a tour and it was everything a Kentucky pit stop should be... 

The Maker's Mark Distillery Tour is Totally Worth It

While you can visit the Maker's Mark Distillery without paying, you only get access to explore the outside grounds and visit the gift shop (where you can dip your own bottle!). The tour itself costs $12 and is worth EVERY. SINGLE. PENNY!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for the Adventurer

Happy Wednesday All! 
We are back on the road, after a few more curve balls, and headed towards southern Kentucky! I can't believe there are only 19 days left until Christmas! In the holiday spirit I figured this Currently edition should be Christmas themed; so, here is how we are currently celebrating this December... 

{Lighting} My Mimi’s old ceramic Christmas tree! We are having a throwback Christmas this year, mostly because we only had room for about 4 decorations. Since we had no space for storing many ornaments, we decided that our RV Christmas tree would be one with sentimental value, that didn't take up much space! Once we get set up for at least more than a 2 day stretch in one place, it will go in between the recliners, right in the big back window. 

{Spending} Money on stocking stuffers for each other! We are only doing stockings this year (this new adventure is gift enough). For the most part they will be filled with the essentials; coffee, gloves, cozy socks… but I am going to try to grab him a few fun items for all our upcoming adventurers. Any adventures in your life?! Here are some of my favorite finds: 

Stocking Stuffer Ideas under $20 : for the Adventurer

For Her

Hiking Fanny Pack- I LOVE my fanny pack! It drives Babe crazy (hence, why it's not on his list), but it is so convenient and I much prefer having the weight on my hips than my shoulders! 
WineARoo- We love taking wine on-the-go! Adventure picnics or to the movies, foldable wine pouches are amazing! 
On-the-Go Phone Charger- I need this in my life! My poor little phone is on it's last leg and the charge doesn't last long. We have a bulky, portable charger, but need something smaller. Every adventurer needs a small portable phone charger. 
Adventure Fuel Mug- Because every good adventure starts with a warm cup of coffee! 

For Him 

Wallet Survival Tool- I got him one a few years ago and somewhere in the wallet switches that have happened he lost it! These little things are great for on-the-go adventure needs! 
LifeStraw- We have been wanting one of these for the longest time; we would love to taste water fresh from the mountain streams! 
Sipping Stones- Because Babe likes what I call his "man-beverage" after a long day of hiking! 
FloatPro: GoPro Wrist Strap- We have been using this old lanyard as a GoPro wrist strap and just try to make sure it's super secure before doing any crazy cliff jumps; it would be so nice to have one that we know would float to the surface should it ever slip loose! 

{Choosing} Where we want to spend Christmas! Since we hit the road for full-time RV life right after Thanksgiving, and had originally planned to be working in West Virginia (more on that soon), we knew we wouldn't be making it back to Orlando for Christmas. Since we won't be in West Virginia it leaves so many possibilities for where we should spend Christmas Day. A huge part of me is sad not to be in Orlando, but there is a part of me that's excited for our first Christmas just the two of us and to maybe even have a cold Christmas for once; should I dare say white Christmas?! Here's to hoping!! Best towns for Christmas experiences... and go! 

{Sending} Postcards! We have made promises to send postcards from each state we visit. So we are getting all our postcards ready to go, along with Christmas wishes to friends and family. 

{Singing} As much Christmas music as possible! This will be the first time these Florida natives have ever had a white Christmas (hopefully), so we are taking full advantage of it.  We're feeling super cozy this year and singing along to every winter weathered Christmas song that comes on the radio. With all the crazy changes that have happened in our first week on the road our theme song has become "to face UNAFRAID the plans that we've made, walking in a winter wonderland." 

And that's our December currently! What's going on in your world currently?
Got your own Christmas theme song for this year?!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Leaving for Full-Time RV Life and a Stay at Forest Lake RV Resort

Happy Friday!! 

We are spending our Friday in the truck, with our home hooked up behind us and moving northward. We have officially been on the road for 5 days now! So, I figured I would share a little look at the mix of emotions and destinations that have been part of our first week of full-time RV life…

Goodbyes are Hard! 

Full-Time Rv Life

We kicked off the week with tons of goodbyes and TONS of tears! Saying goobye to friends and family was harder than I thought it would be and the surge of emotions accumulated into a very tearful goodbye.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

5 Cities on Our Road Trip Bucket List

As we get ready to embark on our full-time RVing adventure, Babe and I have been making bucket lists! Most include outdoor adventures; which national parks we want to visit, what thrill-seeking activities we are excited to try. However, there are some cities that we are itching to explore! So, I thought I would take a minute to share the top 5 cities we are most excited to visit... 

The Bean: Things to Do and See in Chicago
Image via Flickr by Roman Boed 


After friends came back raving about all the fun they had when they visited, we knew this needed to be on our list. I began scouring the internet for the best things to do and see in Chicago. At the top of our list?! All the best places to eat!! I have heard that you can find spots to boondock overnight, in parking lots on the outskirts of the city, and then bike in. We'd love to bike through the city, working up an appetite, then stopping at all the delicious restaurants! Once we have filled our bellies, I want to snag a picture in front of The Bean. We definitely can't wait to visit Chicago!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

5 Great Black Friday Deals on Amazon for RVers

Happy Day of Shopping Madness! 
We are so excited to be spending tomorrow eating tons of yummy food and giving thanks for one last holiday to spend with all the people we love, before we hit the road on Monday (eek)! 

You probably don't know this about me, but I HATE shopping! Add the word Black Friday in front of it and I literally break out in hives! The one year my sisters convinced me to go with them- mainly so I could wrangle all their children while they scoped out deals- the one thing I bought was literally stolen from right behind my feet, while I watched the kids play on the little mall playground. However, now that Amazon is in on all the Black Friday fun I am ALL about it! 
Black Friday Deals on Amazon

Here are some of my favorite Black Friday finds this year... 

InstantPot- I have heard so many great things about the InstantPot; not just for RVers, but for anyone who wants to lessen their time in the kitchen. I am so intrigued by it! If it really does cook that quickly it would be perfect for a quick dinner after a long day out adventuring. 

Bike Rack- This is the same bike rack we have on the back of our camper. We have had it for two years and it is still going strong, keeps the bikes super sturdy while we are on the road, and it easy to use. It's over $100 off with the Black Friday deal! 

Hammock- RV life or not, everyone needs a hammock! You will thank yourself! We got ours from some sweet friends, a year into our RV adventures, and we thought, "why did we wait so long?! The hammock life rocks!!" 

Car Mount Phone Holder- Under $10!! We use the heck out of our car mount! It's so much easier to follow the GPS directions when the phone is sitting up on the dash. 

Kindle- So I actually kind of despise myself for putting this on here, but a good deal is a good deal. I still am not sure if I can bring myself to make the jump, but I feel like it's probably imminent. I love a physical book more than anything and have sworn against e-readers since they came out. However, the RV life just isn't suitable for a huge library. Trust me, I have found a nook for as many books as possible, but I am running out of room. Looks like a Kindle may be in this RVers future very soon! 

Those are some of my favorite finds this year, but there are tons of other great deals... head over and snag yourself something fun and skip all those crazy lines and crowds! 

Happy Shopping and may your Thanksgiving be filled with family, friends, and fun! 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

#TravelTuesday 22 // A Goodbye Tribute to our Travel Trailer

Happy Travel Tuesday Folks! 
I'm super excited for this month's link up and to see where in the world you have been! 
Add your link at the bottom of the post and let's adventure together! 

This month I am throwing it back with a tribute to our sweet travel trailer, Florida ReVa, and all the great adventures she brought us during the two years that we had her. It was a bittersweet day when we traded her in for our new home-on-wheels, but we needed something a bit roomier for full-time RV living. Here's a little taste of our life with our very first traveling home...

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Getting Road Trip Ready and Easy At-Home Teeth Whitening

It continues to be a little chaotic around here, so I've been a little MIA from the blog for a week or two, but I wanted to share a little bit about how we are preparing for life on the road! 

Here is how we have been doing on our "Get-Ready-for-Road-Life" mission... 

We're TRYING to Become Minimalists 

Ok, this is only partially true, considering we have been keeping WAY too much to really be able to call ourselves minimalists. However, the desire in my heart to really work on it is strong. We have been purging so much stuff and with every box that we take out the door my heart feels lighter and so much more free! 

Packing for Full Time TV Life

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

#TravelTuesday 21 // Hiking High Falls Trail near Cashiers, North Carolina

Happy Travel Tuesday Adventurers!! 
I can't wait to see where you have been recently! 
Add your link at the bottom of the post so that we can explore together! 

If you can't tell from the last few posts, my heart has been longing for a good hike, some cooler weather, and a beautiful morning in the mountains! Since that is not an option right now I figured why not relive those moments, with a figurative hike to a beautiful North Carolina waterfall! 

Beautiful waterfall hike near Cashiers, North Carolina

This beautiful hike can be found in Glenville, North Carolina (near Cashiers) and it is one of my favorite trails we've ever been on! If you love waterfalls as much as me, the High Falls Trail (also known as Cullowhee Falls Trail) is a must add to your hiking bucket list! Here's why:

Thursday, October 5, 2017

October Currently and a Look at our Chaotic Life!

Can you believe it's already October?! 
Linking up today with Anne in Residence for a little peek into our world right now- welcome to the chaos! 
October Currently, a Giveaway and Bulletproof Coffee

{Styling} I am honestly not much of a stylist, but I am currently trying to plan my wardrobe choices for, oh, just the next full year! Trying to go from two full size closets down to half a closet in an RV is not easy. I may mostly wear tank tops and blue jean shorts, but we are planning to spend the first three months on the road at a ski resort, so I have to plan for all types of weather, but VERY minimally! At least it's finally made me throw away shirts I have been hanging onto since high school! Any body out there a capsule wardrober?! I welcome any and all advice!! 

{Saving} Only the most important items! God Love my sis-in-law! She spent her entire day yesterday (after work nonetheless) helping me organize my house into boxes. I am NOT adept at any kind of cleaning organizing purging grown-up life skills. She helped me prioritize what we will need in the camper, what we should save for sentimental value (thanks mom and dad for being our storage unit for the next who-knows-how-long), and what had to go. Thankfully she's not afraid to say "girl! No way in H'ail you are keeping this?! What do you need this for and when did you last use it?!" She told me I couldn't even bring my $h!z bowl (as she appropriately named it; even if it was made by me and signed by our wedding guests), that I use to hide crap I might want, but really don't need.  

{Searching} For a new home aka home-on-wheels! We finally purchases a new-to-us truck this weekend... meet Rodger the Dodger! Now, all we need to do is find a pretty little rolling home to hitch up behind "him" (though I keep saying she, so Rodger might be a girl) and we will be ready to roll out come the first December.

RV Life Planning Chaos

{Picking} Nothing right now, but on Monday I will be picking a winner for the first giveaway I am hosting in the month of adventure themed giveaways I have planned! For this giveaway I have partnered with Moon Guides, a beautiful travel guidebook company, to offer a choice of any travel guide and an 'Adventure Fuel' coffee mug to one winner. Head over to Instagram to enter! There will be a new giveaway that goes live every Wednesday!

Giveaway | Adventure Fuel Mug and Moon Travel Guides

{Making} Tons and tons of coffee!! Thankfully I just got a shipment of some yummy Aloha vanilla protein powder to try. I add protein powder to my morning coffee- hello Bulletproof coffee!- and have been itching to try it with a vanilla flavor. The chocolate I had was good, but this is even better! Plus, Aloha is a plant-based protein powder with no added ickiness, so I feel good about what I am putting in my body. If you have never tried protein powder in your coffee, you need to!! Here's what I do: 

My Bulletproof Coffee Recipe
Step 1- Make a fresh pot of coffee (I have been LOVING Lavazza Espresso Roast)
Step 2- Pour coffee into a blender (I use my Ninja)
Step 3- Add 1 tbsp protein powder, 1 tbsp Bulletproof oil (can use coconut oil), a small scoop of unsalted grass fed butter, and a little almond milk (ghee can be used instead of butter)
Step 4- Blend to frothy goodness!
Step 5- Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!!

I'm not sure how or why it works (I read the science on it somewhere), but I the butter has to be grass fed or you defeat the purpose of adding healthy fats to your coffee. I think it was something about having your body kickstart itself into burning fats. Anyways, I feel like it keeps me full and focused longer than a regular cup of coffee. Even if it's all in my head, I'm going with it!

And now I'm off to drink more coffee and pack more things... 
What is going on in your world this October?! 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Staying Fueled and Hydrated on a Hike

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #SnackHonestly #CollectiveBias 

It's been one HOT summer here in Florida, but that hasn't stopped us from finding time to hit the trails. We may end them hot and sweaty, but we end them happy! However, making sure you finish a trail with a smile on your face comes with a few essential components; at least for us! So, today I am sharing how we stay fueled for a full day of hiking.

Hiking Snacks #shop #cbias #SnackHonestly

Thursday, September 28, 2017

3 Things Thursday

Life is a mess of clutter and chaos around these parts right now! 

There are literally 3 closets open in our house right now, with all of their contents strewn throughout the hallways and bedrooms. Why 3 you ask?! Because I have the worst ADD and can not, for whatever reason, finish one task before moving onto the next. My brain just seems to work better in that way! But right now it has hit a wall... So, I came here to glean inspiration from others who have downsized and just find a way to refocus for a minute. Writing and scrolling seems to help me steady my mind, so I figured I take a minute to hop on here and share a "3 things for Thursday" post! Because, like we learned above, my brain seems to do better in threes. 

3 Links I am Reading Right Now

* Posts on downsizing, from Our Streamlined Life, including this one about not missing their "stuff": Seriously, I am having the hardest time going through the house and trying to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Packing 7 years in a 4 bedroom house into a home-on-wheels means that we are going to be getting rid of a TON of things; and some might say I have a slight hoarding tendency. Thankfully Babe has the exact opposite tendencies, so it's been a good balance, but there still seems to be so much I don't want to let go of. I think I am finally in the place though where I really just want to scream "just throw it ALL away!" I feel like I am drowning in stuff! 
* All the glorious outdoor posts, from 33 and Free, like these beautiful Arizona hiking finds! The more I read posts like these, and see amazing adventure pictures, the less I even remember I actually have "stuff".  Just give me all the adventures!!
* Basically EVERYTHING from Michelle, but this post about living full-time in an RV is at the top of the list; we already know we are going to do it, but it's a little bit scary to think about right now and reading from people who are making it happen gives me hope! Her posts about how she earns a living on the road inspire me.

3 Throwback Posts

* Meet Babe- This post is waaayyyyy throwback; like only my 5th post ever throwback. So much has changed since then (with the blog, with our lives, with where we are headed), but the fundamentals remain the same. I feel like Babe is often such a "ghost" on this space- a word whispered every now and then, the other component in the word 'we'- but that will be changing soon, once we really get this show on the road, so maybe a "reintroduction" is in order!
* Cruise Fun- In October, we are heading out on the high seas for one last cruise before we become pretty well land-locked once we make the shift to a home-on-wheels! Here is a look at our last adventure on a boat!
* FloRida's First Ride- Though the thought of full-time road life is exciting, there is one big downside... we will be saying goodbye to our sweet Flo! She has been a good little trailer for the last two years, but we need something a bit bigger for full-time living. Throwing it back to that first weekend we got her (and my first awful attempts at video editing; p.s. it hasn't gotten that much better)!

3 Pins I'm Pinning 

We are planning a last minute, impromptu trip to NYC, to take Babe's mom to see the Statue of Liberty. **Don't throw things at me**- but I am not a huge NYC fan; there is just way too much sensory overload for me and the crowds make me claustrophobic. Thankfully she isn't thrilled with crowds either, but she has always wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, so here we go... I am pinning all things NYC and areas to avoid the crowds. Someone just put me in a hammock in Central Park and air-lift me in and out!

~~~ Pin 1 ~~~                 ~~~ Pin 2 ~~~                 ~~~ Pin 3 ~~~

3 Things I am Buying 

I should probably just put them on subscribe-and-save, but Vita Coco Coconut Water and Kind Bars constantly seem to be in my Amazon Cart! I will also be grabbing some new popcorn kits to try. We are stovetop poppers pretty much 100% of the time and  have used Orville Redenbacher's PopKits for years! Welp, Orville has failed us and stopped making them. Come on people/! Stove-top-pop already! I promise it will change your life! Anyways, giving these a try and praying they are just as good better! 

3 Things I'm Planning

* A Month of Giveaways- I'm getting super pumped for next month! Every Wednesday in October, I will be partnering with some awesome brands and accounts for a new giveaway each week over on Instagram
* The above mentioned NYC trip! Any tips for Fall in the city or off-the-beaten-path spots that might not be so crowded?! 
* A Tackle-It To-Do List! To maybe give me an extra oomph to get this house in order! Which I have now set aside for far too long to fill this space with random bits of chaos, so that I could "refocus"! 

I guess it's back at it!! 
Any 3 things info you would like to share?! 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

5 Fun Things to do in Cherokee County, North Carolina

It's felt like way too long since we were enjoying the cooler weather of the North Carolina mountains, so I figured it was high-time I shared some of our favorite spots from our trip this past summer!

Here are our top 5 things to do in Cherokee County, North Carolina...

1.) Vineyard Hop!
It doesn't matter where we go, our wine loving hearts have one priority; find the nearby vineyards or wineries and hit up as many as possible! There are some awesome options in and around Cherokee County. Though it was hard to pick favorites I think I would have to say our favorite visit was to Calaboose Cellars. One, because the wine was great, but two, because it shares a location with Andrew's Brewing Co. He gets beer, I get wine and we are both happy, happy, happy!! It helps too that it shares the same "real" name as Babe! 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

#TravelTuesday 20 // A ROARing Safari in Nairobi National Park

Happy Travel Tuesday All!! 
It's time for another #TravelTuesday Link Up! 
Just add your post link, to the button at the bottom to join in on the fun. 
I can't wait to see where you have been exploring this month. 

We just had quite the adventure over here in Florida. We rode out Hurricane Irma, at home in Orlando, and thankfully didn't have too much damage! There was a lot of wind, blown transformers, no power until this morning and a small leak in the roof, but ultimately we were safe and sound. We spent yesterday clearing yards and spent a lot of time getting to know our neighbors better. It's been really nice seeing people come together to help one another! 

Needless to say though, the lose of power left me without time to get much ready for this month's link up. It's also been a whirlwind the of a week since I got back from Africa last Sunday. So, I figured I would take today to share some of the pictures from our team's safari in Nariobi National Park! The last time I was in Kenya, over a year and a half ago, we went on Safari there too and had a blast, but missed getting to see lions. This time one of the first things we spotted was a pride of 12! It just goes to show that every Safari will be a new and exciting experience. It was an amazing morning! 

Seeing Lions in Nairobi National Park

Here are some of the beautiful animals we saw... 

Friday, September 8, 2017

September Currently and Fall Giveaway Fun!

Happy Friday All! 
Hope life is going well in your neck of the woods! 
We are rushing around like chickens with our heads cut off over here, but why not take a minute to share a little Fun on Friday with a September Currently?! 
I'm typically one for procrastination anyways! 

Here's a peek at 5 things going on in our little slice of life right now...
{Celebrating} A bunch of new changes come our way! We have been working on getting on the road full-time for a while now. If we are being precise- Me for like three years; Babe for about the last 6 months. Don't want to drop any OFFICIAL news yet, because plans can fall through, but stuff is getting real y'all! Real exciting and real nerve-inducing! 

Do you want to be celebrating too?! Head over to Instagram to enter in my Fall 'Adventure Fuel' giveaway! You could win a Sweet Journey Shop mug and a $10 gift card to Starbucks... yay, PSL!! 

{Watching} FRIENDS... again and again and again! We just finished it for about the 15th time and what did I do?! Started over, of course! We are also introducing my niece to the wonders of Harry Potter, so every time she is over we watch the next one. Last night was number 5! Though she might be a little young she keeps asking to watch them and I really don't know how to say no to her (or to watching HP)! 

{Welcoming} Whatever comes our way! 

{Preparing} OH IRMA! We are currently smack-dab in the middle of Irma's path. Being born and raised in Florida we don't typically sweat a hurricane. This one however seems to have everyone on edge. Good thing I had just gotten my Vita Coco shipment from Amazon, because the stores are completely out of water. We will be filling the bathtub tomorrow, stocking the freezer with ice trays and brewing tons of coffee to add to the fridge... because priorities! Don't worry, we already had plenty of vino! 

{Photographing} Really, I am working on uploading photos. I was in Africa for 10 days, for a vision trip. Our team was visiting a wonderful couple, who are missionaries in Kenya. We met with local churches in a community called Ngando, participated in Bible Clubs with sweet kiddos, and fellowshipped with local women who were taking literacy and English classes. It was such a sweet experience! We also got to go on Safari! Needless to say, my memory card is full! 

Cheers to the weekend (even if it does look rainy)!!
What does your September look like currently?! 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A Rainy Day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

When we were in North Carolina, for a wedding in July, we took a day to drive through Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Seeing each of the NPs in the US is super high on my bucket list and this was actually the first one we have had the chance to visit, so I was all kinds of excited! However, the day we were going was actually looking a bit dreary. Halfway through the day it start to drizzle and then it really picked up! We still had an awesome time!! 

Here are options for enjoying Great Smoky Mountain National Park in the rain... 
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

VIPKID: Finding a Remote Job That Allows Me To Work and Travel

Happy Tuesday All! 
Hoping your week is off to a great start! 

Today I am taking a little time to share a new endeavor, that will hopefully help to get us on the road full-time very soon. Hands raised for all those looking to work remotely!! These days who isn't?! 

Maybe you are a mama (or daddy) looking to stay home with your kids, maybe you are looking for an extra side job that can help you save for something big, or maybe you are like us and hoping to create a life that will allow you the freedom to travel more. Either way, I was in that boat too! I had been searching and searching for a legitimate work-from-home anywhere job, but 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

#TravelTuesday 19// 48 Hours in Washington D.C.

Happy #TravelTuesday! 
I am excited for this month's link up and to see where all your adventures have taken you recently! 
Just add your link to the bottom of this post, so that we can all travel together!

D.C. Washington Monument

This month I am sharing our trip to Washington D.C. at the beginning of June. Babe had to be in Bethesda for work for a week and we have tried numerous times for me to tack on, so that was could spend the weekend before or after exploring the city. After trying numerous times to do this on his other work travels, but never making it work timing wise, we finally just said, "the heck with making sure conditions fit perfectly." I knew I was going to have to be back for work by midday on Sunday, so we had a pretty tight window of time to explore. 

So, here is how we spent our 48 hours in D.C...

Monday, July 24, 2017

Vegas for the Outdoor Adventurer

Vegas for the Outdoor Adventurer

This post is a little late in the making, but in January Babe and I hopped a flight to Vegas. We had been to Vegas once before and had done the lights and glitter, so we weren't really keen to do it again. However, we had gotten a stay in a hotel right on The Strip, in exchange for listening to a time share spiel. We have gotten these phone calls many times before and have usually said "thanks, but no thanks"; this time though something made us go for it. We actually thought it was super worth it- so long as you can walk out saying "no"! You can read more about all the ins-and-outs of that experience here.

Anyways, we knew we would be staying in the heart of Vegas, but we really didn't want to do all the glitz and sensory overload for 3 full days. So, we researched as much as we could and planned out our trip so that we were outdoors and away from the crowds as much as we possibly could be and I couldn't have been happier about it! I LOVED our trip! I never would have thought I could like Vegas so much. To be honest, on this trip I got severely stung by the "go West bug"and I did NOT want to leave.

Anyways, here is how we spent our 4 days exploring the "other side of Vegas"...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

#TravelTuesday 18// 5 Ways to Enjoy a Road Trip

Happy #TravelTuesday fellow adventure lovers!! 
It's time for another link up (join at the bottom of the post)!!

I have been all over the road lately, so I figured I would take today to share some of my favorite items for passing the time on a road trip! 

Ways to Have Fun on a Road Trip

This post comes at a perfectly fitting time too, because I have been road trip crazy lately! First, we are trying to plan (and then fully execute) our big getaway, in which life will become one never-ending road trip, but secondly, we have been road tripping from Florida to North Carolina- and then between NC and Tennessee- for the last three weeks. On Sunday we will be loading up again and heading back to Orlando. I would like to think I have this road trip thing down pretty well! Maybe it was because my parents started us out with time on the road from a young age, but I LOVE a good day in the car and have found many ways to make the time more fun! 

Here are some of my favorite ideas for enjoying a road trip to the fullest... 
1.) A Whole Heap of Great Books! 
This is first and foremost my ultimate happiness on the road; give me a good book and endless hours to read and I will be in absolute bliss-mode! Here are my top 10 favorite road trip titles: 

10 Great Book Titles

- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern- My number 1 recommended book, no matter what list it is! Such beautiful imagery and imagination!  
- Unwritten by Charles Martin- Really anything by Charles Martin, but this one- a story all about redemption and finding a way back to yourself- is my favorite of his.
- The Winter People- I actually haven't read this one yet, but I LOVE Jennifer McMahon for when I am in the mood for anything spooky! Bonus: It's currently on sale for less than $6!
- The Nightingale- For if you are in need of a good cry! Kristin Hannah is another favorite author of mine and, while I don't usually like historically based novels, this one was drew me in from minute one. I read it on one of our very first RV road trips and Babe literally had to pull off at the nearest rest area, because I was just sobbing like a baby by the end of the book and he wasn't sure what to do with me! 
- The School for Good and Evil series by Soman Chainani- A fairy tale series for younger readers, these books are filled with so much fun and adventure that even older readers stay hooked! This is a series all about friendship and finding out who you truly are. Also, I thought it was just a three book series, but when looking it up to add here I found out there is now a 4th. I guess I know what I will be reading on my next road trip!!
- The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd- Combining my love for honey and bees with a beautiful story of the things that bring people together, this is a definite must read!
- Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen- Another favorite author, I love the touch of magical realism she throws in her books. They are easy reads, and sweet stories, perfect for finishing in just a day's drive!
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls- While I am not usually a memoir reader, this one was chosen for book club and had me hooked from start to finish. It's also set to be a movie, released in theaters soon, so if you are a "must read the book first" type of person it would be the perfect time to read it.
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood- I haven't read this one yet either (or watched it), but I am super intrigued.
- The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling- I would be remiss if I didn't include my favorite of all time favorites ever! While I know the entire world knows of Harry Potter and has either chosen to read it or not, if you are the latter, I just have to say "please give it a try!" I swore up and down I wasn't jumping on the bandwagon, but now, 10 years after I first did, I have read the series multiple times and am now currently listening to it on audio book!!

**Audio books are another great  road trip go to, especially for when you are driving it solo! While Babe usually listens to music while I read we sometimes like to listen to a book on tape (dating myself haha) together. Right now, anyone who signs up for a free Audible trial for the first time, can get two free books instead of one! 

2.) Fun Road Games!
We play these, especially when we take my nieces and nephews with us (once a year, 10 hours, 4 kids!); our go-tos are...
* The Grocery Store game- one person starts as "it" and they say "I'm going to the grocery store and I am going to buy something that starts with the letter ____". The rest of the car plays against each other to figure out what the person is buying. For example, it could be something easy like carrots, in which case that usually just gets guessed without any clues and the first person to say it gets to be "it". Usually though we try harder things (anchovies is a good one) and then people ask yes or no questions to get clues ("is it a meat?" "Do you find it in the produce section?"). If no one can guess it and everyone gives up the person who was it wins and gets to go again.
* 21 Questions- Someone picks a category (Person, place or thing) and something that falls into that category, without telling anyone what it is, and then the rest of the car works together to figure out what that person is thinking of by asking 21 yes or no questions. If the car figures it out within the 21 questions they win, if they don't the person wins and gets to go again. (A really great option for trying to stump the car- Rubber Cement)
* The Movie Game- Everyone goes around saying titles to movies, but they have to use the last letter of whatever movie was said prior as the first letter of their movie. For example, if the last movie said was Jaws then the next movie has to start with letter S. Movie titles can not be repeated and if someone gets stumped and can't think of a movie (or repeats one) then they are out. This continues until only one person remains and they win! To make it easier, if you have little kids, you can also include books and TV show titles.
* The Question Game- This is perfect for a car trip for two; you basically just go back and forth asking fun questions that you both have to answer. It's a great "get-to-know-you-better" or "what-if-daydreaming" option. Babe and I also play this on long hikes and ask things like:
- Would you rather live on the beach or in the mountains?
- If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
- If all jobs paid the same, what would you most want to do?
Most of our questions somehow circle around to being about travel, but hey, can you blame us?! Each person answers the questions, even their own. If you have a hard time thinking of new things to ask we love Table Topics card sets! They even have a Table Topics: Road Trip edition!

*When we take the kids we also grab some board games that are easily played in the car, to keep them occupied so that we can enjoy some quiet time while he drives and I read (we love TroubleGuess Who, and Connect 4 because of the minimal amount of pieces that could get lost)

3.) Yummy Snacks!
We typically load up a cooler for the car; it saves us stopping more often, as well as spending too much at the gas station when we do stop! I have been loving Amazon lately for stocking up on snack items. It beats grocery store prices and saves me a trip to the store. You can typically find my Amazon guy delivering boxes of Vita Coco coconut water and KIND Bars (less than $1 each?! Yes, please!)!

4.) Pretty Places to Stretch your Legs!!
5 Ways to Enjoy a Road Trip
Some days we are really just having to book it but, when we can make it happen, finding a nice place to stretch your legs, even for just 5 minutes can make a huge difference! Usually before a road trip I will try to research road side attractions that are a quick in-and-out or look for any outside areas that might be nearby. Keep an eye peeled for signs too and then use your phone to see how far off the exit they might be. On this most recent trip we saw a sign for High Falls State Park and lucked out with it being not even a 5 minute drive off the highway!! We were there just long enough to get in a bathroom break and then walk around admiring the falls for a few minutes, but it gave us a chance to get out of the car and get the blood pumping again!

5.) Good Jams!
I am all about a good road trip sing along!! Babe may roll his eyes to most of my singing, but I think he secretly loves it!! I'm usually jamming to country, but sometimes we like to mix it up a little. What is are your go to tunes on the road?!

And those are 5 of the ways we pass our road trip time! 
Any tips from any other road warriors out there? 
Share them or any other fun travel posts in this month's link up! 

Link up below and let's travel together!! 
A Travel Blogger Link Up from Life's Sweet Words
~On the 2nd Tuesday of every month I will be sharing a new travel post and would love to see where you have been exploring!
~Any linked posts will be pinned under Travel Tuesday on my Pinterest account. 
~Please leave a little love on the post directly before yours and then anywhere else you like! That way we can all grow this community together :) 
~Not many other rules, as I am not a huge fan of those sorts of things! Just add any travel related link and I encourage you to peek around and see where everyone else has been. 
~Feel free to grab the image from the sidebar and add it to your post so others know where to link up. 
~I will also be sharing my favorite post from the month before. June's fave was from The Urben Life, because I am all kinds of itching to get to Yosemite NP and Jenna's pictures from her First Timer's Guide to Yosemite just spurred on my desire to get there ASAP!