Time is running out! March 31, 2019 marks the LAST DAY this year that you’ll get 50% off your Branding + Positioning Strategy. You get a targeted audience, research-based marketing proposal and stunning logo. Claim it now!
You had a business idea. You hire someone to craft a logo.
Boom. You’re Done.
Nooooo, not quite. At least not if you want to make an actual impact!
Creating a brand that lasts is about creating a logo that will look great on every platform but also EVERYTHING that goes out into the world. The words you use, the copy on your sales page, the photos and videos you share and even the packaging used for your products.
While there aren’t any hard and fast rules to advertising and marketing there are some basic formatting and style guidelines we follow, recommend and adjust.
Start with words and phrases. What are words do you keep repeating when telling people about your business? If a client were leaving a rave review what would they say? If they were telling a friend what was so great about your service what would they say? Think of descriptors, morals, values, strengths and the pillars of your business. Write an opposing column of what you dislike or want to avoid as well.
Add colors. What colors do you like? What don’t you like? Can you NOT STAND orange? Remember this is about the business and not YOUR personal preferences but we also don’t want to create something you wouldn’t enjoy seeing 24/7. Do you want texture and watercolor or is your business looking for clean and crisp lines? There is a lot of psychology behind what colors (even shades) are being used in your brand.
One of the biggest struggles we business owners have is figuring out what WE know and say vs what others would create or pull from about us. Do they understand the language you’re using? Do they understand the systems and processes? How can we simplify the copy and streamline the process?
Is what you’re putting out there all cohesive? Is your Facebook the same as your Instagram the same as your YouTube? Is that same logo or a resemblance of your branding on your packaging and printed materials or did you do something different everywhere? The idea is that if someone were say Red Car Branding or ‘Oh, I can’t remember the name of the company but it had a red car.’ that it would still be easily identifiable.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what you started with but how you evolve. If you are afraid of evolving, growing, experimenting, playing the game or putting yourself out there then YOU WILL LOSE.
The one thing you can always count on is change.
Think of evolving into the realm of social media. You must adapt, even if you think it’s annoying, to show up where your potential clients are. DO NOT be one of those complainers who drones on about the algorithm changes. It sounds like a cry for help. Stop blaming the algorithm for your crappy content performing poorly! Guess what I don’t do when I see those posts asking me to like and comment? Like and comment. Do better than that!
I’ll end with a few thoughts from Jillian Michael’s audiobook. There is a difference between quitting and surrendering vs. letting go and being open to opportunities. Be open to a chance that you might not even be aware of yet. Be open to changing your tagline, changing your colors, setting up a new social media account or investing in a marketing team.
Show up and refuse to give up.
Time is running out! March 31, 2019 marks the LAST DAY this year that you’ll get 50% off your Branding + Positioning Strategy. You get a targeted audience, research-based marketing proposal and stunning logo. Claim it now!
Need a logo? Rebranding? Want to attract new clients?
Take advantage of our FREE Discovery Session + 50% off your Branding + Positioning Strategy! Claim here.
This offer is only available once a year and expires March 31, 2019.
If you’re lucky enough to live in the beautiful state of Washington, you are (hopefully) taking advantage of all the outdoor explorations it has to offer! Even if you are just visiting we have four trips (day trip, hikes and weekend getaways) you’re sure to love.
I know. When I first heard this trail’s name in November 2015 I thought….this is a joke. But nope, it was extremely real and set me up for years full of expectations that hiking meant ‘death to a hangover’ haha!
It actually isn’t named after the #2 but it references steam whistle sounds from logging days in the 70s. This trail is 7.2 miles, roundtrip, and 2021 feet at the highest point. It was a fairly narrow trail but very busy. We didn’t have a dog yet but it was leashed-dog friendly with some beautiful lookout points as you near the top.
I hope you get a beautifully clear day like we had so you’ll likely see the launching pad used by paragliders which was a great spot to sit down for a quick break. There’s also an expansive view northwest toward Issaquah and Bellevue. To the west are Squak and Cougar Mountains, with a hint of Seattle’s tallest buildings showing beyond.
You’ll cross several small bridges, creeks and I remember it being very steep. Once you put in the hard work of getting up you will experience less elevation gain and get those views. Keep that in mind while working your way up!
Lion King moment with our friend’s dog.
Tiger Mountain Viewpoint
After a few hours on the mountain, head back down and enjoy sitting in the car for 20 minutes to another vastly popular area: Snoqualmie Falls. Both Poo Poo Point and Snoqualmie have free parking and are usually filled with visitors. They are worth at least one visit so don’t let that deter you!
Snoqualmie Falls is the most famous waterfall in WA state. It is 268 feet high with the width ranging from 50 to 150 feet, depending on water levels. It’s beautiful and gives you Pocahontas jumping off the waterfall vibes. Who DOESN’T want that?! I also took my girlfriends here when they came to visit for a weekend in Seattle.
It’s easy to navigate the short nature trails and there are paved trails above if you prefer to stay on level, easily accessible ground. I recommend taking a few minutes to walk to the base for another view that offers a boardwalk and boulder hopping should you want to hop out there….or apparently grab a drink of cold water.
Afterward you can stop in their gift shop for some delicious and famous waffle/pancake mix but we were always able to find it in the grocery stores like Safeway. If you’re hungry (we were STARVING) you can drive into Issaquah (about 20 minutes driving) and fill up with burgers and beers at Rogue Ales Issaquah Brewhouse.
A pinnacle of the Olympic Peninsula, Ruby Beach will not disappoint. Even in December!
We first went to Ruby Beach with my mom and sister on December 18, 2016 (thanks, Facebook) and had a fantastic time. We were able to take our dog on a leash and it was a special trip because it was the first time my husband and dog saw the Pacific Ocean.
The second time we were near this area was my all-time favorite trip ever backpacking and camping around the Olympic Peninsula. If you have time I recommend doing this trip! The beach was cold with the wind coming off the ocean but it amazes families daily and always attracts visitors to stop their car and explore.
The beach is a short walk down from the parking lot and you could do a short stroll or spend a long afternoon here. We probably spent two hours walking the beach, taking photos, exploring small caves, collecting pebbles and navigating the driftwood.
When we decided to come back up we definitely noticed the tide had come in more which left us jumping over larger areas of water and warming up in the car. As you can tell this beach, like many in the PNW, is entirely made of pebbles so wearing tennis shoes or hiking boots is recommended. The last thing you want is a rock stuck in your flip flop or a kid with a twisted ankle! This beach was gorgeous on an overcast day and the pictures of the spring and summer days prove it’s a great day trip year-round.
Tapping vs. Scrolling.
Unless you have been living off-the-grid in the boonies or on a tech strike you have probably experienced the addictive world of smart phones.
Gone are the days where you have to press the key three times to get the letter C. You don’t have to turn around your phone to get a selfie; simply tap the screen. Social media sites like Facebook are now an app on your phone so you don’t have to wait until getting off the bus at 4 p.m. to run to your computer room and log on.
Every one of my clients will tell you I recommend they focus on *two platforms for their audience: Facebook and Instagram. For obvious reasons, right? That’s where everyone is, including their target audience.
How do we know who their target audience is? We research and create a Branding + Positioning Strategy! For the month of March 2019 we’re celebrating our One Year Anniversary by giving you a FREE Discovery Session PLUS 50% off your Branding + Positioning Strategy.
Knowing WHAT you are selling, WHY you are selling it and WHO is buying it is just as important as learning WHERE to connect with them and WHEN.
That’s a lot, right?
Yes. It is. Which is what makes hiring someone to do your marketing so valuable. By taking a strategic approach you are making the most out of your time and efforts as possible in order to reach your desired outcome.
Photo by Ahmed Aqtai on Pexels.com
Now that we have all of that figured out, how do we gain you traction? How do we bring in that attention and attract them to your site?
By optimizing and creating content that will perform the best where you are putting it. Are you creating videos? Current and relevant events? Giving massive value before ever asking anything of your audience?
Because we prefer to tap rather than scrolling. As if having the world at our fingertips at an instant wasn’t enough industries are now recognizing ‘thumb-scrolling fatigue’ by creating more ‘tap-friendly’ material and platforms.
Tap to expand this text.
Tap to change your face filter.
Tap to turn the sound on or off.
Tap to like it.
Tap to go to the next Instagram story.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Knowing this I encourage you to update and test your outreach strategy. Instagram highlights and stories alwaysget more views than your regular posts and way more interaction. Stories have kept more than 400 million daily active users and 39% of Instagram users have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Instagram Stories.
By sharing moments throughout my entire day, I am able to let people in on business and personal updates without worrying about something 100% permanent to leave on my page’s account. They’ve provided me an outlet to share on their app more than just once a day.
Stories also take up the entire screen whereas posts take up a smaller portion. People are on stories while watching Netflix or doing some other activity. Because people love to see the page refresh and a bright pink ring around your profile image it’s important that you are on there every day.
Wondering what to post? Test out anything and everything! People are likely to tap the sound on when you are energetically speaking and adding interactive elements.
Are you posting beneficial information? Sure your cat is cute but if I always know what I’m going to see I will likely stop visiting. Is what you have to share interesting? I’m not encouraging you to be someone different than who you are or spend thousands on trips to ‘stay interesting’ but adding a humorous touch, unique twist, thoughtful prompts or new visual effects like filters can add interest to a ‘basic’ post. Are you incorporating the interactive polls where people have fun choosing and viewing the results instantly? Are you adding music so they can tap the sound on to hear it?
The results show that an Instagram Feed with additional ad text results in the lowest cost per lead due to the highest conversion rate.
Instagram Stories gives the best click-through rate and cost per click.
Last but not least, you’re not too good for locations or hashtags! Take up that 30 hashtag block limit. Make it relevant to what you want to attract or what you are posting. How much competition would there be on #fitness versus something like #WomenWhoLift? Narrow yourself down and find that balance to expand your outreach
I hope a few of these tips, free guide and discounted offers helped you out! Make sure to follow us on Instagram below or any of our other social media to see what we’re testing out. Let me know how this works out for you!
In August 2018 we moved cross-country from Washington to North Carolina. While we miss the PNW we do enjoy being so close to family and all the east coast has to offer including where America was built and history was made.
We went to D.C. over New Year’s Eve and Charleston (coming soon) for our anniversary but we obviously had to check out the big city just an hour and a half north of us. Raleigh is the capitol of North Carolina and is home to several well-known regions/cities including Chapel Hill, Durham and the Triangle. The Triangle is the area of three major universities (Duke University in Durham, The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University in Raleigh.) So the nightlife, food and amount of things to do is jam-packed. Not to mention it’s hours away from Asheville, the beaches on the coast and 20 minutes driving from RDU airport.
As of January 2019 we have been to Raleigh twice and, while I’m not a local-local I can offer some insight on the city or a quick trip.
If you plan on staying the night in Raleigh try this Airbnb and we felt very safe in the apartment. It was just the right amount of space and a few minutes walk from the main strip. There was street parking available as well as covered parking garage which we always prefer.
We stayed there over October 19-21, 2018 to celebrate my husband’s birthday and to spend a day at the Triangle Oktoberfest.
Our first night in was our usual eat and drink around the main strip. There are two to three areas with great bar districts and they’re a 30 minute walk or quick Uber from the Airbnb. We mainly checked out S Wilmington Street. First stop was food at Gallo Pelón Mezcaleria.
Upstairs is their sister restaurant, Centro. If you get a chance try the Cats Out Of The Bag IPA from Ancillary Fermentation; they only make 120 per month. At these types of places I enjoy trying out the cocktails so I tried the Cucumber Caipiroska. We shared their tacos, nachos and spicy chicken sandwich which were all really good but smaller portions than you would get at a chain Mexican restaurant.
You probably sat too long taste testing tequila so get to walkin’ down the street a few blocks to The Raleigh Times. Check out their website! This 100-year-old building displays newspaper clippings from it’s namesake newspaper. They have restored and expanded the establishment several times so there are plenty of booths, table, bar space and an upstairs seating area with a rooftop if the weather’s nice.
This bar is a super cool interior and seat yourself. I had the Peach Milkshake IPA and the Blackberry Ale which were both delicious and drinkable to keep the night going. We didn’t try their nachos but heard this is one of the few places offering a late night menu. The later you go, the fewer options you’ll find.
The London Bridge across the street was closed for a private event and, what looked full of Greeks; otherwise it looked like a fun, younger crowd with loud music and live events!
A popular choice from everyone who visits Raleigh is Trophy Brewing Company. Head to the corner, turn left and walk down a bit before you see their neon sign next to other random streetside stores. We were in the mood for a late-night snack by now and shared their tots and wings. The wings weren’t too good and really spicy but the tots are definitely worth ordering!
Trophy Brewing Wings and Tots
Trophy Wife and Cloudburst were probably the top beers we had from our visit. Other people have also raved about their session IPAs, the Milky Way Stout which ‘tastes like candy’, and the best nano brewery in the Triangle.
Trophy Brewing Company
On Saturday we were planning on going to Oktoberfest but first…BRUNCH. The biggest must-do while here is heading to Beasley’s Chicken + Honey. We were able to take our time getting ready and got there right before their 11 am brunch doors opened. We didn’t want to stand in line too long so we walked around and found the street closed down for a festival where artists were creating chalk art on the pavement.
If you can get there right as they open to wait in line DO IT or else you’ll be waiting for a while. Even on a rainy day Beasley’s was buzzing with guests. We snagged a couple seats at the bar and ordered drinks and brunch from the menus written on the wall. Hope you brought your glasses! I don’t think you could really go wrong ordering anything on the menu but we loved their beer, cocktail Ameila’s Crush, and several more classic cocktails. I cannot remember what we ate but I’m pretty sure mine was The Reunion after looking at several strangers plates. (Ok Creeeeppp). Drew had their recommended Huevos Rancheros.
We caught an Uber for the 30-minute drive to the Triangle’s Oktoberfest. We did NOT expect to spend all day here but we did! Pre-purchase your tickets which I believe were about $30 for all you could drink cup option but they have several to choose from. They open up an outdoor, riverside ampitheatre which is also used for concerts and your proceeds go to benefiting the rotary clubs, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and several other organizations.
They had two large tents, a row of food and drink vendors, competitions, weiner dog races, brat and food stands, live music and performers, games and much more. (Sorry this video is sideways!)
It was a great family-friendly crowd and we ended up shutting the place down with some new friends we met and Uber’d back to Raleigh with.
Reserve your Sunday for RECOVERY. We went to BREW Coffee Bar which was said to be an old train station converted to serve local beer and use coffee from Raleigh Coffee Company. When we got there it was the post-church, college study venue in a strip mall. Next door was Donatos Pizza which made my Ohioan husband go crazy with childhood memories and (to be honest) pizza on the hangover never sounded better!
On our second trip in December 2018 things were a bit more tame. It was a day trip with my dad and sister while in town for Christmas. Luckily it was a sunny (but windy and cold) day to wander around downtown. If you continue down S. Wilmington you’ll come up on the corner of the Capitol building. The North Carolina State Capitol is a 19th-century Greek Revival–style building with a statue of George Washington dressed as a Roman general in its rotunda.
You can walk around the grounds to view the statues and views of the city and you can enter with a brief security scan before exploring the building. There are three levels and when it was decorated for Christmas it was beautiful! They have most rooms open including detailed signs of where the NC Supreme Court, Legislature, General Assembly and the two committee rooms on the opposite wings. There’s also a small library and a geology room.
A block and a half away from Beasley’s is Sir Walter Coffee where they host a board of pay-it-forward drinks, seasonal flavors and friendly service and treats. While we just stopped in for a drink to warm up they also had a beer menu for their late-night guests.
The cobblestone streets are home to some venues, pet stores, restaurants and artsy boutiques. The market opened in 1914 and through the years hosted farmers with a variety of goods. Over the years it was sold and purchased from several owners for numerous purposes but it’s still a small corner of charm in the Raleigh.
If you’ve never been to The Cowfish Sushi Burger Baryou. need. to. go. It was the largest menu selection I have ever seen and they were featured on the show Tanked. Every mash-up we had was insanely delicious, top-grade burgers and sushi. The portions are pretty large and easy to share. We loveddddd it and I can’t wait to go back!
We will of course be back in Raleigh soon and I’ll update you on everything else there is to do as we explore the area. If you have any suggestions or places we need to visit on the east coast let us know and until next time…
One of our favorite things about living on the East coast is how close we are to everything. We are surrounded by historical sites and iconic landmarks; many of which are only a few hours drive away. If you know of anyone thinking of a trip, share this!
While we had both visited D.C. as kids, we knew this would be a different trip ‘on our own’, as adults and more than 10 years later. Drew had been as a kid with his family over Fourth of July (which I’ve heard is an awesome experience by the way.)
I had been on a 4-H trip in high school over June 2010 called Citizenship Washington Focus. CWF is a leadership and citizenship trip where delegates from each state are on a week-long road trip and group tour. We saw so many places on our trip and I loved it!
I am the fourth in from the right. Hi baby Marin! It’s so fun to see how many people I met and am still friends with. These are the delegates from Kansas and Missouri aka KAMO.
We decided our vacation time over New Year’s Eve would be the perfect time to spend a few day’s in our nation’s capitol and a pretty cool place to ring in the new year.
We’ve all seen pictures of D.C., right? Follow me on Instagram to see all the photos and videos of exploring the city!
On Friday, December 28 we headed out for what was supposed to be a 5.5 hour drive but was closer to just over six because of traffic, rain and car accidents. The ultimate trifecta. Once we got into town we headed to our Airbnb in Arlington, VA.
Drive up to D.C.
Parking apps like Parking Panda and Parkopedia help find you a spot.
If you’re looking for a place to stay and want to be close to nightlife and the metro, this is a perfect location and price point. While our apartment was AWFUL (so I wont show you the exact one) we stayed in the a block away from the Metro and surrounded by bars and restaurants nearby.
Our friends got into town and we made the walk to the Metro around 8:30 to head to Downtown Arlington.
A note on the Metro: You can download several apps to help you navigate the locations and stops you need to use. You will also need to load the card before taking the metro. If your card balance is less than what is on your card you will not be able to exit. Several kiosks don’t accept cards, coins and the attendant’s might not give you change.
Near Wilson Blvd in Arlington you can exit the metro and walk the street for nightlife. We ate at Whitlow’s on Wilson which had huge portions and awesome, extremely friendly and speedy service. We shared nachos, fish tacos, burgers, sandwiches and some local beers. They also frequently have live music but we left right before checking them out. We walked around the corner to Heritage Brewpub & Roastery for a flight of beer.
We stopped in one more place called Wilson Hardware Kitchen and Bar for a nightcap. This definitely had more of a club feel and they were blaring fun, loud music if that’s the atmosphere you are looking for.
It was a few minutes walk to the metro (they close at 11 pm-1 am depending on the night so check in before riding).
Saturday, December 29th
The view from our apartment patio
We headed down the street to Bueller’s Bagels for a quick breakfast sandwich before riding the metro to Arlington National Cemetery. This is free admission and one of the most impactful places we’ve ever been. We really enjoy and notice how important it is to pay your respects and nothing bothers us more than the people who can’t turn off their phones or climb all over memorials. If you need, grab a map while in the visitor’s center. Taking the long path up to the right you can stop and see the Kennedy’s gravesite with the eternal flame.
There is a curved cement wall at the base of it that shows off the D.C. skyline. We headed up the stairs on the edge to see the first woman’s gravesite who was buried in Arlington (turns out she was also related to every major historical figure ever including George Washington and Pocahontas) before reaching General Lee’s house at the top of the hill.
While the house was under construction you can still admire the beauty of the marbled columns and the massive importance he played in history with a view of the most powerful city in the world.
The changing of the guard takes place on the hour, every hour. When you’re in this area turn off your phone and PUT IT AWAY!! You can find so many photos and videos online, just enjoy witnessing this ceremony. Do not chew gum, do not speak and remain silent for the time you are there. They will also yell at you if you are leaning or standing past the barrier. It’s simple: just be respectful. Once the hour hits you’ll see the new guard and their ‘boss’ come out to announce that you should stand. The routine and accuracy of the Changing of the Guard is so impressive and seeing the worn path of where thousands of steps have been taken guarding the tomb is impressive.
Changing of the Guard Pre-Ceremony
Behind the tomb, walk up the steps and visit the Arlington Memorial Ampitheatre. There are several statues, monuments, memorials, gravesites and other places to visit on the acres of property including the actual pieces of sunken ships, masts, bells and more. Wonder around or search the map for specific things you’d like to see.
We walked around Arlington for about 2-3 hours. My feet HURT today and we had walked around 8.5 miles total. Wear comfy, supportive shoes!
The area near Arlington is very crowded and I couldn’t imagine driving or even ride sharing over to D.C. The metro is great but you come up on so many things you wouldn’t have noticed by driving or walking around. The weather was nice so we walked over the bridge which takes you into the city behind the Lincoln Memorial.
View of the Washington National Cathedral from the bridge
Bridge entrance and exit scultpures
We walked into the Foggy Bottom district to eat at Tonic. This was a college/craft feel inside and a small menu you cannot make adjustments to. We did enjoy the food and I ordered a flight of beer which actually came in an airplane flight! (Check out the Instagram highlight.)
Leave a book, take a book in Tonic
Outside of Tonic
From there, Drew and I broke off to walk around downtown. It’s a 15 minute walk from Tonic to the White House and on the way we saw the Eisenhower Executive Building which reminded me of the Empress in Victoria, and the Blair House; the 19th century home where foreign dignitaries and presidential guests stay.
Seriously check out the videos and photos on my Instagram highlight! It was surreally (making that a word) beautiful.
Next up is the White House. Where it all happens. I had forgotten about the closed street, the gate, the Secret Service and the buskers and demonstrators in front of the White House.
The White House
The White House
It was crowded especially in the prime picture perfect spots. Next door was the Treasury Building (pic on Instagram.) Take a right here and walk down with views of tall, historic and regal hotels and buildings. Take a right near the gated off area and you will see the back of the White House with a view of the South Lawn.
Can you see the Capitol at the end of the street?!
Since it’s December the National Christmas Tree was still decorated with trees from each state, motorized trains, music and more decorations surrounding it.
The expansive lawn has tons of pathways for you to visit the Washington Monument or you can cross the street for the National Mall, monuments and memorials.
It was a beautiful sunset over it all but the weather and wind was starting to freeze us. We headed to an elevator down to the metro that took us past the giant U.S. Department of Agriculture.
That night we walked over to Punch Bowl Social in Arlington which had just opened up a few weeks before. While the atmosphere, three levels of entertainment and food was great it is a little pricey and the service was not good. It’s as if they were never trained which ended up with several bill adjustments, charges and ‘Did you guys order this?’ at least ten times each visit. It’s an awesome place to visit once or twice and hopefully they will have some more practice under the belt when you go!
We took the metro to downtown Arlington and barhopped around to Don Tito’s which was another multi-level bar with fun bartenders and strong margaritas. Definitely a party atmosphere. Next door is Spider Kelly’s which we weren’t a fan of. It felt more like a local restaurant with pool and games they were charging at least $18/hour just to play shuffleboard.
We had seen lots of people in The G.O.A.T which was a two level packed sports bar and O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub pulled us in because….what’s a trip without an Irish Pub visit? Good thing we did, too, because the band was EXTREMELY talented! They went non-stop with top hit covers to My Chemical Romance to Friends In Low Places and Toto’s Africa. Definitely a great way to end the night!
Looking for someone to help your digital marketing and communication outreach? Need new, creative ideas to reach your audience and business goals? Let’s talk!
Sunday, December 30th
Today’s walking was over 11 miles. I was limping by now which is probably another plantar fasciitis flare up. Lots of stretching, massage and comfy supportive shoes people!
Up and at ’em! Hop on the metro and walk two blocks to the local Starbucks for a quick, easy breakfast.
Today was a big walking day as we wandered around and saw the Lockkeeper’s House, WW2 Memorial, Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial.
From there we headed over to the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and a wide loop around to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
The weather was perfect and there were much fewer people out all day long until we reached the Spy Museum popular downtown area.
Since we visited during the government shutdown we weren’t too affected by the government shutdown except for some closed restrooms near the memorials. It was a long walk back around to the International Spy Museum. We purchased combo tickets for general admission to the museum as well as the Interactive Experience. While it was fun to do one time we wouldn’t recommend paying the extra money for it. The employees were aloof, rude and unorganized. The videos and materials were outdated and since there are large groups you don’t actually do much that’s interactive.
The Spy Museum
The Spy Museum had info on Argo! (Our dog’s namesake since he is from Iran.)
The Spy Museum
I did find the museum interesting because of the Bond Villain exhibit and the blend of fictional spies versus actual spies and materials from them.
If we had more time today I would have visited Lincoln’s house and the Ford Theater for a $3 tour.
By the end of this day and only having ate once we caught a ride about 15 minutes down to the Logan Circle neighborhood to Churchkey. They have a GIGANTIC selection of beer and, even if you think you’re well-versed, you will probably find something new to experience here. We had the tots and buffalo wings which were both pricey (it’s a craft bar in D.C.) and two Kansans were actually help serve us!
Nearby was a whiskey lounge called The Crown and Crow. This is a Victorian Era bar downstairs with a 3×3 wall of televisions playing old school movies. I believe the bartender/owner was Scottish or Irish because of his accent and the confirmation from the bouncer. I tried their local whiskey (one pour was at least a double!) and local beers.
The Crown and Crow
A few blocks down is a three-story building. The top is home to Black Whiskey, the middle is a gay bar called Trade, and the downstairs is a dive bar called Kingfisher. They have free popcorn (kettle style!) and give koozies with their canned beers. We didn’t bother with the metro we just went with Uber. For as much traffic as you’ll see around town we had good luck with ride shares and weren’t ever stuck in traffic.
Monday, December 31st
We grabbed breakfast around the block at Mike’s Cafe. If you’re looking for a deli-style breakfast and sandwich spot with large portions at a great price this is it. Between four of us we had tried their iced coffee, Western Omelet, breakfast burrito and a breakfast plate.
It was a cold, rainy day so we metroed into downtown for the Air and Space Museum. This was a huge, free museum (donations welcome) and we weren’t expecting to take several hours to walk through without thoroughly reading everything. This museum was packed and busy with lots of people but there’s a piece of the moon you can touch, aircraft, shuttles, uniforms and much more.
We again rented scooters outside the museum and, since it was still dumping rain, the sidewalks were cleared up.
If you’re looking to rent scooters download the Bird Scooter app, the Lyft app and even the Skip Scooter app. You’ll need your credit card info and a driver’s license. Prices are usually $1 to get started and $0.15/mile.
Scooters in front of the Capitol!
The U.S. Capitol
We scooted up and around the National Mall area to get views of the Washington Monument, Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, Capitol Building, Library of Congress and the Supreme Court. It was a cold, long ride back on the metro and we spent the evening getting ready for New Year’s Eve.
We settled on Punch Bowl Social since there was no cover, there was supposed to be a 90s party and a midnight balloon drop. Since we got there at 7 p.m. we grabbed a table and by 9 the place was filling up. They had long lines, wouldn’t let people through levels and another night of similar service. We didn’t want to risk standing outside other bars or paying covers/ticket prices past capacity so we stuck it out and closed down the bar.
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Tuesday, January 1st
Luckily there was a Shake Shack near our apartment which was awesome hangover food. Then it was time to head back home. Our friends were a 1.5 drive to West Virginia and we were another 5.5 hour drive back to North Carolina.
I know we will be back but we loved visiting D.C.! It’s a possible option for many of us as a job location move and the people and things that happen there are what impacts the world. We can’t wait to go back and finish our bucket list. We also want to hit up several New England states and cities but where else should we visit while on this side of the USA?! Leave your suggestions in the comments.
Want to increase your social media following this year? Ask me how.
We had just moved in to our new home in North Carolina and would host our first guests the next week. Over Labor Day 2018 two of my friends, Lauren and Tessa, made the drive down from West Virginia!
We were new to the area and had much less to do than the PNW but we still had a blast! The first day we had together was spent driving out to Caswell Beach on Oak Island. We chose the Oak Island stretch because of the liquor laws and the atmosphere. There were lots of young couples and about as many families during the busy weekend. Before you go, research what the rules for alcohol are , because some don’t allow it, then pack a cooler of canned beer and head out.
We made the wise decision of eating lunch before heading out to take beach photos. Much like Oahu. Grab a table at Shagger Jacks for some seafood, burgers and simple drinks. It’s a short drive to the beach and free parking for beachfront access.
We had a great time laying out on the beach since the sand was super soft and surprisingly clean. We were to the left of the Oak Island Pier that’s experienced multiple hurricanes and was built/rebuilt a total of three times from what I’m aware of. We liked playing in the warm Atlantic water even though we couldn’t see much.
After a day in the sun, grilling at home and having friends over for game night was perfect.
On our way home we also stopped in at the hometown star of the show, and well loved by locals, The Mill at Puppy Creek. They frequently announce live music guests and have homestyle food with a few local and domestic beers. The thing that really sells this place, however, is that it is set in the woods down a gravel drive with an old mill feel next to a river. During Hurricane Florence it was amazing to see how many people volunteered times and services at The Mill to help block the rising river from destructing the restaurant again.
There are basically two levels to the restaurant and bar with an outdoor seating patio perfect for twinkling lights and live music. It was not only fun to meet new friends but also get an initial bachelorette party for Lauren! (Hint: The Bud Light hat.)
How we feel after hosting a whirlwind Labor Day Girl’s Weekend.
If you’re familiar with anyone in a military or long-distance position you know how important it is to visit them and make an effort to explore a new place. We have lots of places left on our list but we are excited to get out and see the east coast! Please leave your suggestions below.
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If you’re familiar with Washington, you’re familiar with Mount Rainier. This stunning beauty is iconic whether you’re seeing it from I-5, on the daily dog walk in my neighborhood, at the end of the parade field on Fort Lewis or visiting for the weekend.
Paradise is about 5,400 feet on the south slope of Mount Rainier in Mount Rainier National Park. This area includes Paradise Valley, Paradise Glacier (which is the source of the Paradise River), meadows, wildflowers, wildlife and much more.
I enjoyed the visitor’s center as well as how accessible the area is for all modes of transportation and ages of people. This was one of the most crowded, busiest places we had explored which made it feel very touristy instead of a sweet escape into wilderness but the further up you hiked, the more desolate it was. The only possible frustration here would be parking. There are several lots and roadside options (which we chose to do) so be prepared to drive around a bit and take the first spot you see if you don’t mind a small pre-hike warm up!
Besides a fantastic view one of my favorite things about being on top of a mountain is the wind that silences out any other noise, the feeling of being on top of the world and the change of scenery as you climb from concrete parking lots to grassy meadows to sandy outlooks and rocky peaks.
Paradise is so appropriately named because of this. Our friends were able to see a bear, deer and beautiful fall colors. Check out her Instagram and these photos she took!
On August 20, 2017 we hiked halfway up Mount Rainier yesterday and agreed it was one of the MOST beautiful place we’ve been. To get there you’ll need a National Park Pass (free for military) or $30 per vehicle (includes all passengers, good for seven consecutive days.) You will get a map but follow signs for Paradise Road. The Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center is the busiest visitor center and is open year round. Next door is the Paradise Inn. Enjoy the views on the way in!
This area of Mount Rainier National Park is basically a glacier-covered volcano but it’s also home to the park’s most popular trails. We opted for the longest of the three options known as Skyline Trail: 5.5 miles RT, 1700 feet elevation gain.
While we didn’t see bears or deer we did see enough marmots they could consider renaming the mountain. Despite the endless warnings not to step on the grass there were still visitors climbing over to mess around. Hike Guides would consistently reprimand them and hikers coming down from the summit were passing us on the way down. After climbing the initial two miles you’ll get to Panorama Point which gives you an amazing view and an outhouse style toilet available to visitors (hilarious for jokes.)
As we kept climbing we wove in and out of grooved rock formations, gravel pathways, large rock navigation, snow and a few creative jumps across frozen creeks to maneuver where we wanted. We stopped a few hundred feet from where people were changing for the base camps to summit. In a matter of hours we had started in a sunny, hot August day and ended in a near-freezing winter wonderland. It’s the coolest experience!
The end of Skyline Trail on Mount Rainier
Where was your favorite place to visit in the PNW? Leave it below in the comments and make sure to add Paradise to your next trip.
Okay. I’m done. Mount Si (pronounced sigh) was our last big hike we did before leaving Washington. As any other Sunday we headed out on July 8, 2018 around 11 a.m. to climb a mountain.
From a previous hike at Rattlesnake Ledge, another must do!, we had seen and heard all the rave about Mount Si. Si is in the Snoqualmie Area and is 8 miles round-trip. As far as elevation goes you’ll get a gain of 3,150 ft in under four miles. The highest point is 3,900 ft. From using our WTA app I found out this mountain was very important to the Snoqualmie people.
“In the legends of the Snoqualmie people, Mount Si was the body of the moon, fallen to earth through the trickery of the fox and the blue jay.”
This was a dog-friendly hike so we were taking our German Shepherd/Saluki Mix, Argo, and Drew’s pack. It was the ideal hiking day; maybe even a little too hot: Clear and 72 degrees. As soon as we got near the infamous peak and sheer edges were showing off for us. It’s intimidating to view this driving in but soooo satisfying when you’re driving away. Feeling like a badass=addicting.
It’s important to note that they have a parking lot but you might find it difficult to find a spot. If it’s a great day expect to create a spot like we (and many others) did. They also have a bus option to shuttle in and out if you don’t want to bother driving. They also have bathrooms and a water spout at the trailhead.
On the way up you have an opportunity to learn about the Snag Flat and how the mountain survived logging, mining, fires, and other natural causes. The trail you walk actually was once a 4×4 track.
By the time we started our hike up it was 12:45 p.m. With a few stops to enjoy the view, catch my breath and dog breaks we reached the top at 1510 (or 3:10 p.m.)
From the top we could see beautiful Mount Rainier, Snoqualmie Valley, Seattle, and the Olympics. If you look down and around you you can also see small wildlife.
We took turns holding the dog while the other navigated through jagged rocks to climb even further to the peak. If you’re able, go a little bit further up. The view changes with every few feet and you get closer and closer to a 360 view. The true summit is called Haystack.
In early spring, climbers getting ready for Rainier come here with weighted packs. Conventional wisdom says if they can reach the end of the trail in under two hours, they’re ready to conquer the state’s tallest peak.
The top is mostly rocks so don’t expect shade for your lunch or snack break. I recommend lots of water, a hat and crouching down under the tree or large rocks you’ll find for shade.
We started heading down at 3:45 p.m. and were back in the truck by 5:30 p.m. I remember how much my knees HURT so wearing proper hiking gear, layers and good boots will make a world of difference. No, we never used poles.
Not only was it a steep and slightly challenging hike there were a lot of people on the trail (100,000 per year hike this trail) and I was at the battle of some health issues that would last a few months. But, as with all of our hikes, I was impressed that I was capable of handling something like that in good time and the view is always worth it.
Don’t let this scare you away though! Novice hikers are just as welcome and enjoy it just as much. We had so many friends who denied (and continue to deny) exploring the areas we live in. If you just get out and try you will be in awe. You have no idea what you’re missing until you go see it for yourself.
You’re sitting there, starving for something to eat but you definitely won’t be making it. You click open a new tab and start searching for delivery, clicking anything over four…ok, settle for three stars. You start skimming through reviews to see who actually has the most authentic street tacos and if there’s a photo; even better, you’re going there.
You’re driving down the long winding road you take to get home every day, singing every word to that song you just can’t stand and DA-DUNK you’ve hit a pothole and hear the dreaded rumbling of a flat tire that (of course) had to bend your frame and throw off the alignment.
Time to look for a trusted shop who will accept your insurance, replace the broken pieces without overcharging you and get it all done in a timely manner. Bonuses include filling your tank or washing up. How do you know what to expect?
If there’s anything we’ve learned by living in a mega-connected world it’s that every person has the ability to speak their mind. Some welcome; some not so welcome.
The first place a client is likely to go after being overcharged for their manicure, a shotty job on their plumbing or an expensive wedding earring that broke like a twig on the big day (…….) is to the vendor’s social media page. Here you can leave an in-depth review on your experience: the good, the bad, the ugly.
Why are businesses so eager to ask if your pet had a great time at their vet appointment if they know it could potentially lead to a nasty, exposing comment?
Because word-of-mouth is the number one referral. What you’ve turned out to subconsciously view before taking any considerable purchasing action is to hear from others like you.
People who also had the same combo skin and were looking for a great facewash.
People who also went to that movie theatre and found gum under their seat.
People who are on the same path to a similar fitness goal and worked with that trainer.
There is comfort in numbers and there is comfort in knowing what to expect.
So how do you, as a business owner, provide your customers with an experience they’ll want to rave about?
The more ‘stars’ and/or higher ratings you have will bump your business to the top of a potential customer’s Google search. The higher up you appear, the more click-throughs you receive, the more business you close, the more sales you make. The more attention otherscan draw to your business, the better.
Provide an experience they’ll want to talk about. A meal, a service or a simple exchange is all about the experience. People are craving connection and experiencing something shareable. What stickers, backdrop or colors can you use that are photo-friendly? What fun hash tag can they include on that photo? What is a unique way to bring the check to the table? Can you provide a surprise to the service that you don’t advertise? (A car wash, a gas fill, an air freshener, items to hang the photo, a welcome home sign, a journal with a thank you note, etc.) If you need help brainstorming some creative ideas, let’s talk.
Provide the social proof. Get legit! Every business is out for a certain purpose; usually to help, to entertain or to please in some way. Even if you have ONE review it’s proof that you’re in business and someone actually went there. Instant trust and often a deciding factor. Photos and videos you provide are meant to be aesthetically pleasing but coming from the smartphone of a client is the raw, real image of what to expect. ALWAYS respond and thank someone for leaving a review.
The gift that keeps on giving. When asking someone how their experience was, thank them for coming and ask them to share their experience online. Some people offer a giveaway or another small gift as a way to say thank you. DO NOT BUY the review but incentivize. For example, if someone gives you a kind review, interact with them in public and automate a thank you email with a 10% off coupon for their next visit. They will keep spreading the word about you and you’ll reap the benefits of repeat and new business.
You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Similar to #3, people need to be told what to do. If you don’t ask for referrals, if you don’t ask for a review, if you don’t make it clear what you want then they’re probably indifferent to leaving a review, regardless of the great time they had. Every bit of feedback you receive, positive or negative, is feedback you can use to improve your business. Once you ask is it easy for them to find and use? I’ve started leaving great reviews for companies but they wanted me to keep going and going and copy/paste my review on multiple platforms…it’s too much. Have them review you on Facebook and you can copy/paste it to your website.
Get the employees in on it. Like a bonus structure but without the pushy perfume lady. Make it easy for customers to see your employee’s name and be able to shout them out online. It brings a personal touch to your company, makes the client feel like they can come back to see a friend and praises the employee for a job well done which will add fuel to the fantastic customer service fire. Encourage employees to leave a review online. You can add a light-hearted competition, a day off or another perk for every milestone of reviews.
How, can we as customers, leave a constructive review?
Whether good or bad you might still want to talk about it. Unless there was a glaring issue, I usually avoid leaving a poor review. In many cases that is someone’s job or how they’re paying for their daughter’s dance lessons. There’s no reason for me to ruin their dream because it wasn’t the best food I have ever had.
How can we help these businesses out?
Leave a review. Sounds simple but even just sliding the stars to the right without copy is better than nothing at all!
Be specific. Can you include a name of someone who helped you? Did they have ‘good beer’ or did they have ‘the best IPA I’ve ever had! Try the Piggyback Peach when you visit this brewery.’ These keywords help the business’s SEO by pulling up the most relevant keywords. The more matches of closely related search and content pairs up to provide the best result. If someone is looking for the “Best restaurant for girls night out” and you wrote a review saying “Best spot in town for a girls night out” it’s like the internet angels are singing.
It’s a visual world. Include photos and videos of what makes this place unique or what you most like to look at. If you order drinks based on their cool-factor, post a photo with the type of drink you’re enjoying. A beautifully plated meal. A well-lit back patio with live music. The menu. The ambience or the outside of the building. Help patrons get an idea of what to expect and what to look for.
Is your business taking advantage of this branding opportunity? Do you know what your highest performing SEO keywords are? I can help.
Having said that, if you’re still leaving a ‘negative’ review make sure it’s filled with constructive criticism. Businesses then have a chance to respond, apologize or compensate. Pay attention to how they respond.
Did you talk to the business? Things happen. People have off days. If possible, talk to the business before you go public. The service experience doesn’t end once the transaction goes through. If you’ve given them a fair chance to reply and correct the problem then give credit for their attention to fixing the problem.
Keep to the facts. What happened, not what you interpreted. Did you just not like the shade of white she painted your walls or did she do it ‘because she was lazy’? Is she really bad at haircuts or just botched yours because ‘she thought you wouldn’t tip’?
Keep the emotion out of it. If they were providing a personal service such as a lawyer, doctor, masseuse, wedding planner, etc. and acted in a blatantly unprofessional manner then this is important to report. Say what you need to say while realizing slander and libel are very real things.
They’ve lost my business. So? If they lose the $20 you’d spend on the next visit would they really go in the red? If a stranger is reading your review and has no clue who you are is that helpful to them or is it just dramatic? A simple “I won’t be returning” or “I might go back here in the future but only as a last resort” is more helpful for patron’s to decide how they stack up against competition.
Ah, yes, PCS season. Can you just smell the cardboard box and endless pizza for every meal?
This summer was the first move my husband and I did together and it was a full PCS from the Army. We drove two cars with our belongings and dog from Washington state to North Carolina before settling into home number two.
I wanted to share our cross-country road trip for the hundreds of questions I see about where people should go or what they should do. It will also be fun to look back on our trips and showcase the food, drinks, hikes and sights we experienced along the way.
If you would like to see a separate piece on how to prep for a PCS or move, let me know in the comments!
We spent weeks prepping our house for the move so by the time the packers came to load up our belongings it felt like a relief to get things moving. They took two days to pack our household goods and load them into the truck. We slept on an air mattress for another two to three days before starting our cross-country road trip.
Leaving our first home together was surprisingly emotional for me (maybe not so surprising?) as it marked several big milestones in our relationship. If you’re following me on Instagram you would have seen the tribute.
**We still can’t find the GoPro from the move so enjoy my phone’s photos!**
Friday, July 20: Lacey, WA to Bend, OR
We always had Bend on our bucket list because it was an adventurer’s paradise but we never made the long drive with so many other things to do near us. A cross-country move made perfect sense to stop down and it was more dog friendly than our Coeur d’Alene route. At 11 a.m. we left our WA home for Bend, OR. There were a few stops and traffic but we made it to our hotel at the time Google Maps said (5:30 pm.) The drive gave me more SW desert vibes than I was expecting. Once we got into Portland we had constant views of Mount Bachelor and Mount Hood and others in the range.
We chose to stay at La Quinta’s as often as we could because they were relatively cheap/same price as other hotels once you add on the dog fine. They ‘served breakfast’ and definitely varied in quality but a good option for consistently knowing what to look for and include your dog at no extra cost! We also racked up a ton of points once the trip was over which can be used for free nights.
Once we checked in at La Quinta in Bend we noticed they had nice rooms even for dog rooms, good breakfast, dog treats upon check-in, and an outdoor poop bag and grass area. This was one of the more expensive hotel locations we stayed at as well. (Summer in a major destination and during a state tournament.) We drove a few miles into downtown which we didn’t mind and walked the streets and a loop around Drake Park. This path takes you over a bridge, large grassy areas and serene views for how busy it is right along the Deschutes River.
Bend Brewing Company. www.mylocalcollaborative.com
Drake Park, Deschutes River
Drake Park, Deschutes River www.mylocalcollaborative.com
Stop into the Bend Brewing Company for some food and drinks: DOGS AND KIDS WELCOME! They have a cool indoor and patio area if you’re looking for AC but we went outside in the grassy area where they had some picnic style seating and cornhole with views of the river. They had two outdoor tents for beer and food. Our tacos were definitely not amazing but we had to leave because Argo got a little bad toward the end… Anyone else deal with insane rescue dogs with issues?! Great.
Saturday July 21. Day Two in Bend, OR
Time to walk off those beers! We drove out to Tumalo State Park (Bring $5 to park.) to walk the Deschutes River Trail. There were a few other people out hiking but not much wildlife…except for a little snake that popped out in front of me and scared me. Yeah, Drew isn’t letting me live that one down.
Even though it’s not a difficult hike it is very dusty with some hills and rougher terrain so I suggest hiking boots or tennis shoes. The Bridgwalk gives you clear views of the river on your left and right before coming up on private properties. Keep your dogs on the leash and on the trail is all they ask.
We noticed lots of families hanging out at picnic areas for their weekend celebrations and playing in the shallow, calm parts of the river if you wanted to cool off after hiking. In total we walked about 1.5-2 miles.
If you plan on (and you should) check out the gorgeous Tumalo Falls LISTEN UP! This took up a good chunk of our time and it looked like several other people experienced the same confusion. If you follow your GPS you WILL get lost. If you follow these directions then you’ll be better off. Ask your hotel/Airbnb or local friends for directions beforehand.
You’ll know you’re in the right place when you’re at a long, gravel road. It’s very bumpy with some potholes but not impassable in smaller cars. Arrive at the payment box and grab the $5 day pass to hang in your window. Drive up the road to see if you get lucky for a spot. We did! There are bathrooms, trash cans and billboards at the top for guests and there will be two different paths to choose from. If you’re facing the bathrooms take a left for the outlook. You can go up the outlook trail which is about 1/4 mile; fairly steep. Take this all the way up to the top railings for awesome shots from above.
As you work your way down go on that small dirt unmarked path that will be on your left. It’s a very narrow and tricky trail to get you “behind” aka right next to the waterfall.
It was so loud and powerful you will get the wind and spray from the falls but the rocks and power of it are amazing for an 80 some-foot waterfall. It was about 45 minutes for the entire time we were exploring.
On our way back into town I had my gas pumped for the first time at a Shell. Apparently this is a law in Oregon but I have never experienced that before! We visited Crux Fermentation Project for some beer and food. We weren’t the biggest fan of the beers we tried but we enjoyed the outdoor seating area, yard games and food and drink stands outside. Again, kids and dogs are allowed with their families; at least outside.
We grabbed some brats from the food truck “Dats Brat” which were really good after a long, hot day and no food. Head back to the hotel for showers before driving out to Spork for supper. We placed the order inside and took a quick nighttime walk around that neighborhood while we waited. Their take on Asian/Mexican fusion was DELICIOUS and the interior looked like it would be fun for the night. If you’re looking for recommendations we ordered the chips and salsa, carnitas sando and spicy fried chicken with kimchi.
Sunday, July 22. Day 3 in Bend
We arrived at Tumalo Creek Rentals by noon and decided to rent a canoe for two hours for $70 which was enough time to reach the bridge landmark and come back. Argo did pretty well in the middle of us but he tried a couple times to step out and get the ducks or geese swimming in the river. He also liked drinking the water my oar would push back which was hilarious. If canoeing isn’t your thing here were lots of canoe, kayak and floaters and a very small waterfront dog park.
After turning in the canoe we walked around town where there were plenty of places to eat, drink and shop. We went back to Drake Park to walk around and visit the downtown area again. Argo got his first bath today in the hotel and the water basically ran black. With a wiped out dog, Drew and I went to the Deschutes Public House . If you have ever been to a Deschutes location you’ll understand what is offered here. It is a few minutes drive from the original brewery if you’re wanting to check that out. This location had great service and food and the outside was beautiful. I really LOVED their Earl Grey and Pacific Wonderland beers. We drove back to a beautiful sunset against the mountain silouhette before relaxing in the hotel and booking our next few days.
Monday, July 23. Bend to Twin Falls, ID
This hotel is right next to a Dutch Bros so we made a run before heading out by 10 a.m. heading for Twin Falls, Idaho. This drive was a really long stretch of nothing. Desert and dry grass.
We didn’t have to stop for gas until Vail for gas and I noticed this area was covered with signs that said ‘Onion Country.’ I didn’t realize this but they ship over 1,000,000,000 pounds of onions a year. About an hour later you’ll drive through Boise. We arrived in Twin Falls at 6 p.m. where stayed at a La Quinta. This was probably the nicest room we stayed at on the entire trip.
The room keys offered a free appetizer from the nearby Outback Steakhouse so we placed carry-out and made the short drive over to Centennial Waterfront Park while we waited. This park is the overlook while you see driving over the Perrine Bridge and it reminded me of Fern Gully. It was stunning to look at a lush, green canyon at the base of a desert!
This Snake River Canyon boasts a sophisticated green golf course and area on the inside for a meal with a view. From inside the valley you get a clear, full view from the top of Perrine Bridge where Evil Kennievel’s unsuccessful jump took place.
As you’re driving into the canyon, look to your left for the insanely impressive Perrine Coulee Falls. There are cement blocks you can climb over to admire the views or you can crawl carefully through the mini forest to get a view. It reminded me a lot of Latourell Falls in Oregon.
Tuesday, July 24: Twin Falls, ID to Salt Lake City
Breakfast was best here, too!! We woke up with a little bit of bed head…
15 mins from the hotel was Shoshone Falls. This was absolutely beautiful! A must see, it’s nicknamed the Niagara Falls of the West but they are higher than Niagara Falls.
The falls were formed from glaciers years ago and they now appear as multiple waterfalls stacked on top of each other. It is only $3/vehicle and they have restrooms and a concession stand for visitors. There are several lookout points for adults, kids and pets to enjoy.
A short drive up is Dierkes Lake but they don’t allow dogs.
It was about 3 to 4 hours driving from Twin Falls to Salt Lake City, Utah. There was a weird rain and windstorm that freaked me out a little but once we got back into the city I was okay. At that point it was definitely one of my more stressful days of driving…little did I know (HA!)
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