Two Romantic Weekend Getaways in Washington State

Who doesn’t love a weekend getaway to celebrate an anniversary, Valentine’s Day or the solace of a long weekend off work?

We sure do! And we take advantage of time together whenever possible.

If you’re looking for trips on either coast, Midwest or anywhere else check out the Passport section of my blog for some awesome ideas and detailed itineraries. BOOM I’ve already planned it for you!

These two weekend trips are great for a three to four day weekend so you can drive out and really enjoy the areas. No matter what you like, there’s something for everyone. Check them out!

LAKE CHELAN, WA

Even though Lake Chelan would make the perfect warm weather destination for their lake activities, it was also a great Valentine’s weekend for hiding from the cold and wine tasting.

lake chelan

Driving in there are so many wineries and fruit fields!

We stayed at Campbell’s Resort which will commonly come up on your searches as the main place to stay. The location and restaurant were great and while the rooms were decent, they were not what we saw in the photos. There are several different sections to the hotel and we were fine with the cheapest room block just to have a place to sleep. You’ll be exploring, anyway!

Campbell’s is also a great choice because this area is so spread out. We prefer to walk to the bars, drink and eat our way through town then walk back so we will pay a little bit more to do that. There are a few options in town for you to choose from if you want to walk, otherwise grab a ride to venture out.

We have a habit of visiting a local Italian restaurant whenever we travel and if there were ever a romantically lit room with fantastic food and delicious local wine, Andante‘s is it! This intimate restaurant is packed with style and character and made for a great date night.

andantes.jpg

We enjoyed a few more drinks at some nearby casual bar, Stormy Mountain Brewing and Local Public House. Super friendly staff and laid back vibe!

stormy mt.jpg

“Designated as an official American Viticulture Area (AVA) in 2009, Lake Chelan offers a one-of-a-kind wine tasting experience featuring over 30 wineries hugging the shores of a breathtaking lake.” – Lake Chelan Visitor’s Website

Our plan for the first full day was to go wine tasting in the Manson area. so while we waited for the vendors to open up we explored local shops and grabbed YUMMY (seriously) pizza at Westside Pizza.

westside.jpg

Getting to and from the wineries was my least favorite part of the entire trip. There are several options to get taxis, limos or other forms of shuttles but we opted for a local casino’s shuttle.

Of course they will stop halfway at the Mill Bay Casino where you will have to wait about 30 minutes until the next ride comes along. We decided to grab drinks and play a few games while we waited (it is a free shuttle so this is what they bank on you doing).

 DO NOT load one of their stupid cards, just use your money elsewhere. If you do load the card play, play, play until you use all of your money!

mill bay.jpg

This was a fun thing to do together except I was 24 hours post Lasik surgery so the smoke was not friendly to my new eyes. Getting off the shuttle in the village center puts you right next to the local restaurants, bars, wineries and shops. This is a great little strip! While you could drive and easily find parking, it was also smarter to just use the shuttle.

Walk around, try the wines, pair them with food and chocolate, grab a beer and supper at Lake Chelan Brewing Co. and enjoy the night. We caught the last shuttle back and went out for a few more drinks on the town.

brewery.jpg

We wrapped up the trip with a breakfast in Campbell’s Pub and Veranda. Service will be very busy pretty much all the time so expect to exercise patience.


LEAVENWORTH, WA

Oh, how I wish we had visited Leavenworth more than one time. Everyone has a little German town near them but Leavenworth is popular for wedding and event destinations, beer, wine, great food and a gorgeous, intricate town. It’s especially popular (and insanely booked up + expensive) over Oktoberfest and Christmas time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leavenworth is a Bavarian-styled village in the Cascade Mountains, in central Washington State. Alpine-style buildings with restaurants serving German beer and food line Front Street. The Nutcracker Museum displays thousands of nutcrackers, some dating back centuries. On the Wenatchee River, Waterfront Park is a habitat for ospreys and eagles. The village is a gateway to nearby ski areas and wineries.

-Source Online.

As you drive into this small town, every home and business is decked out in the appropriate Bavarian style architecture. Our hotel, The Evergreen Inn, hosted us in the Jacuzzi/Fireplace Suite ( #51 ) which was an awesome, large space for us! The feel is definitely that of an old family cabin but it was still a space entirely our own and not the typical cramped motel room.

Private entrance to our suite at The Evergreen Inn.

It was walking distance to the main strip and, even though it was cold and still decorated from Christmas in February, we didn’t mind the walk one bit.

We stopped in for drinks at several awesome breweries and distilleries, one of our favorites being Icicle Brewing Company! We also got a tour of a local distillery.

I’m sure if you walk around you will end up in all of the same places as we did but a majority of these places you walk into for a drink will be casual; come and drink as you are. There are basement wineries, rundown pubs, karaoke, classical music, corner bar and cafe’s…something for everyone to enjoy!

If you want a beautiful view with a more upscale feel, the infamous Visconti’s will give you a gorgeous date night. You also need to have an empty stomach for the authentic German food at another popular choice: Andreas Keller. You will want to make a reservation at these two places, or anywhere that you visit.

Another bonus is this town is very family, kid and dog friendly. If you’re a couple or looking for a family vaca, head out to Leavenworth. You will NOT be disappointed!

There are so many stores, shops, shows and things to do in Leavenworth and just outside of town you don’t need to drink the whole time if that’s not your thing. On our way out of town we filled up on a breakfast at Sandy’s Waffle Haus and hiked riverside through knee deep snow at Wenatchee National Park just outside of town.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

No, not the most prepared compared to the snowshoing visitors but it was incredibly fun and we still laugh at memories we made there. We always love playing hard then getting out to work hard.


Hope you had a great time visiting! If you have any places we must visit on the east coast, please let me know.

 

Cheers to another year of traveling and exploring!

Marin

Need a website update? Or maybe you need a website created in the first place? Let’s Talk. 

It’s Not The Leap of Faith That Scared Me. It’s The Landing.

Thanks for reading! I would love if you left a short and honest review on our Facebook page.

And make sure you join our mailing list in the top right of this page! 

We’ve all shared that feeling of being at your lowest of lows. When you can’t seem to do anything right, nothing fits, you’re in a bad mood, you’re secluded and isolated and the deafening combination of noise and silence is all that surrounds you.

Which makes the highest of highs even sweeter.

I’m talking you don’t know what to do next because you are so overwhelmed with joy. you get a phone call, a text, an email…and you just sit back to stare out the window, hands clasped and repeat ‘Thank you, GOD, for this!’

 

So I also know the last thing you want to do when you’re in a low is hear about someone else’s high point. If you want to bookmark this and come back later, no offense taken. But I am such a believer in finding the positive out of the sh**iest day (YOU.ARE.ALIVE! YOU ARE BREATHING!) that I hope you will stick with me and know that my DM’s are always open for you to slide in and talk to me.

 

I look back at the girl I was as a young adult/teen and it amazes me how ‘fearless’ I was. I tried out for everything I could, I interviewed for every job, I applied for every scholarship…you name it I was probably there.

It was never taking that leap of faith into the unkown that scared me.

It was trying to figure out how or where I would land. 

 

I wasn’t worried about having to dance or sing or speak in front of others. No, not at all. In fact I was known for usually impromptu-ing the entire thing.

It was when the results came in that I felt the sense of embarrassment or excitement that usually comes from a performance or interaction.

 

Let’s take dance for instance since I am currently figuring out yet another foot injury. (I promise I am a 25-year-old with 80-year-old bones.) 

I learned the technique, the movement and how to land. I memorized the entire routine and big picture in my mind and all it took was a few bad falls to land sideways and roll my ankle HARD to make me timid of approaching it again. Babying an injury that usually resolves with I.C.E. Then, once you’ve cured the issue, you head back out for your next ‘first time’ and you’re fine doing things full out.

This was quite literally a leap but I understand we all have similar experiences. You ever have those dreams where you’re flying or jumping on a huge trampoline and you just keep going and going like Superman pushing the atmosphere into outer space?

And it’s an amazing, euphoric feeling to FLY!

But then you realize you are a human….and you aren’t built for flying.

Cue your stomach dropping and that sick feeling deep in your gut trying to figure out the next move. How will I keep going? How will I land? Uh oh, going back down better figure this out quickly.

 

In both of these experiences I was most scared about the landing. Getting height on your leap or knowing you can fly are some of the best feelings. Only when you are up as high as you can go do you realize how much you can see around you. You can see the big picture, every person you love, the good, the bad, the ugly, maybe even a glimpse at the future. But you have to take the action and make the jump to see that.

You’ll never know if you never try.

 

I find it ironic that the thing I was most scared about–aka falling on the ground, landing on my face, breaking something— was the one thing holding me up. The foundation I was standing on, the thing that holds up multi-story structures, protects us from elements and storms, literally grows and re-grows living things…and I was concerned it would let me down???

How selfish.

I love this quote.

if you think

Your foundation is your faith. Your discipline. Your family and friends and support network.

You are standing on the ground without literally ever questioning how else you will walk, not afraid of falling in (except city grates those things I avoid at all costs) it’s as natural as breathing and you’re telling me you’re more powerful than that?

 

As we approach the one year mark of starting Local Collaborative, I am reminded of the fearlessness and determination I felt when setting my site to live and publicizing my new venture. The chain of events leading up to the launch were extremely evident and on my mind daily. When the opportunity arose to find another work opportunity or create something I wholeheartedly believed in; I chose to chase after what set my soul on fire.

I know a lot of things I want out of life and I’m intimidated by declaring a ‘purpose’ but I do know had I settled yet again for being taken advantage of, smothering my creativity, following mundane tasks that led nowhere quickly…I would also be headed no where quickly.

 

I had no clue that I would go months without replacing my income and I am still nowhere close! But I’m fine. We’re fine. I feel no stress. I would be doing this for free if I didn’t want to contribute to my family’s income and time is my currency. I love collaborating instead of closed-off delegation and the flexibility this allows me is exactly what our lifestyle requires.

I often think about if I were given the chance to go change something in my past or take a glimpse of my future…I would probably go change something in the past. If nothing else but to guide that fearless but lost and insecure girl. I find so much of the payoff and surprise of the unknown takes you back to your roots, your gut instinct and trusting the foundation you’ve built for yourself thus far.

 

A challenge is inevitable but defeat is optional. Even if you ‘lose’ you will gain a lesson.

Don’t worry about how big that leap of faith is. In fact, I hope you take it and soon! No matter how, the ground will always be there to catch you.

 

Cheers!

Marin

Thanks for reading! I would love if you left a short and honest review on our Facebook page.

And make sure you join our mailing list in the top right of this page! 

 

Hiking the Olympic Mountain Range: Mt. Ellinor (This is a MUST!)

Summited July 30, 2017

One of my favorite hikes to date.

 

Is it ironic to rate a mountain on a five-star system? That’s what the Washington Trail Association Trailblazer app does….and we love it.

For the last two years I created a Goals Sheet (which you can download for free here!) One of those goals was to explore one new place a month. We used the Trailblazer app while living in Washington to find a new hike each weekend and the Olympic Mountain Range never disappoints.

Ellinor is located on the Olympic Peninsula near the Hood Canal; a favorite location of ours for weekend warrior trips with our dog. You can check out more in the Passport section!

Grab your Northwest Forest Pass and drive out, rain or shine (but hoping for shine!)

The pass is FREE for military and good for 12 months from date of purchase. Perfect for a one-time visit or a move to this beautiful state! If you don’t want to purchase one, enter at the lower trailhead on Ellinor.

Mt. Ellinor lets you choose from two different trailheads. If you find old growth peaceful like the set of a movie scene, choose the lower trailhead. If you want to cut off a few miles but go STRAIGHT UP immediately choose the upper trailhead.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m a little scared of saying this was my favorite hike of all time but if the hiking boot fits then, yes, this is a MUST! This made my knees feel like I was 85 years-old, there were a ton of bugs, I started in summer clothes and ended in winter clothes, I trekked vertically up rocks, held back my dog from being an a**hole to other dogs, smelled wildflowers and slid down a snow and ice covered mountain…it was an entire adventure in 6.2 miles roundtrip.

Although it felt long with all the obstacles and it was surprisingly hotter than we thought, the mountain was packed. When it felt like my knees were made of rusted iron I told myself ‘kids, dogs and parents with babies were summiting so you can too’ 😉

There are several switchbacks that were in great condition. They are long and winding at the bottom but once you exit the growth to the rockier terrain it’s a more vertical and staircase type terrain.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Before I forget, are you looking for someone to write

a little somethin’ special for you?

Tell me about it!

We came up on a large field of icy snow (end of July? Snow?) Yup.

We stepped off to the side to add a couple layers, gloves and Yaktrax. I honestly am not sure how much they helped but the traction was nice on the short snow field.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Otherwise, a majority of the hike was dusty and there were several rock areas that took a second to navigate with other hikers. The steps were easily marked and the views were incredible throughout. If you find it easy to look around and enjoy where you are, you’ll be in heaven. This was one of those treks that had me counting my blessings: Strong legs, endurance, working lungs, the ability to climb and hike which is denied to many and the urge to explore with an able body that many deny. Think about that…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s going to feel like you’re far enough and ready to head back down…but DON’T! You have made it this far and trust me when I say the views change and get better the further up you go! Yes, it’ll be steep but you can see every big mountain and city so just do it. K? K.

Another thing to note if you have kids or dogs, paths will be narrower the further up you go so be prepared to step aside especially in busy months. (It was pretty busy when we went). The ‘rule’ is the people coming up keep working and the people coming down step aside. Sometimes it’s nice to use that step aside as a breather though, ammirighttttt.

 

When we finally reached the top there was more snow that Argo immediately layed down for a nap in. It was hilarious because as it slowly melted, he slid down. There are a few rocky areas to sit or climb around on for that IG shot to show you did something cool and you can look down the sheer faces to valleys and water below.

Words and iPhone photos really can’t do this justice. You just need to experience it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You did it. You just gained 3,300 feet in 6.2 miles of crowded hiking paths through almost every terrain you could experience. You reached the highest point at 5,944 ft. with 360-degree views. You earned views of Lake Cushman, We also saw Mt Baker, Mt Adams, Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Rainier. Careful on your way down–as your legs are probably shaking–and grab an ice cream at our favorite Hoodsport Coffee Company. You sure as hell deserve it.

 

Cheers from our post-hike snack to yours!

Marin

If you own a business, let me hear from you. Leave a comment or send me a message. 

Midwesterners: We Like To Work Hard

I’m a Kansas girl who grew up on a farm in a small town that has yet to get stoplights. Let’s start by getting this out of the way.

No, I’m not in Kansas anymore!

Feel better?

 

People who weren’t from my home state usually said how boring it was but they weren’t able to appreciate barn parties and bonfires every weekend.

They would inevitably say how flat it was but, unfortunately, they didn’t stay long enough to watch the most amazing, colorful sunset sink into a clear, wide open view of the stars.

They think it’s funny when I say pop instead of soda.

Guys…I married a man who doesn’t like ranch.

I don't own the rights to this photo

 

Growing up in a town where my teachers taught my parents before me (and taught my siblings and cousins after me) had every challenge you imagine it would. But it also came with generations of built-in close friends and a community I loved calling home.

Like any high schooler, I was ready to leave home and get away to college but I never had dreams of living in a big city. I always appreciated and loved the simplicity of what was around me. It was familiar, it was humbling and it rooted something in me I could instantly recognize in myself and other Midwesterners no matter where I was.

Many stayed behind to start families, careers or take over their parents business. A few moved out to bigger, larger cities. A handful moved to other states or out of the country.

As one of those kids who (continues) to move around, venturing back home maybe once a year I felt the urge to share something with that high school girl who just started her senior year or that almost-college graduate wondering what the *!?#@% to do with his life. You’ve already been built up with one of the most admired work ethics in the country. You need to acknowledge everything you already are. It revolves around some basic things you probably heard in your household. The values and ethics you were raised on are something to hold close, be proud of and live by every day. Here are just a few…

You Get What You Earn, Not What You Want.

Work Hard. Stay Humble. It’ll Pay Off.

Help Someone Out. You Are No Better Than Them.

 


Big 12 Championship

Big 12 Championship Photo by Flickr. B Willard

You Get What You Earn, Not What You Want.

The biggest part of my childhood was 4-H. Every day, week, month and year was filled with leadership positions, livestock I was accountable for, kids I was a role model for, responsibilities and WORK before play.

While some friends spent summers going to the pool or movies, I was walking my sheep, selling corn or delivering eggs. While kids would come to the fair for the carnival, I was showing my animals, caring for them, working concession stands and representing 4-H at appearances.

I was rewarded with ribbons, trophies and sashes (which were fun and all) but the real prize was the money earned that would put me through school.

I was surrounded by others who would pay for their future education through baseball, football, volleyball or another sport/art. Being surrounded by people who were busy working two or more jobs, practicing constantly and choring daily instilled a work ethic that made you aware you got what you earned, not always what you wanted.

You didn’t get to harvest crops by not tilling, planting, watering or caring for them. You have to put in the work.

You didn’t get to win a state championship or competition by showing up never having practiced and wishing for the best. You lift the weights, you repeat your routine, you put your ego aside to work as a team and you go earn the title. You have to put in the work.

You don’t get the job just because you interviewed. You prepare, you might get it and then you prove yourself every day. You have to put in the work.

There’s a reason people in every industry love to recruit from the Midwest…

 


A man's glove should show what he has done not what he hasn't.

A man’s glove should show what he has done not what he hasn’t. (I do not own the rights to this photo)

Work Hard. Stay Humble. It’ll Pay Off.

This is a blessing and a curse I’ve heard about from many professionals. Because Midwesterners are raised to be humble and their work is usually done outside of the public eye, it’s difficult to ‘brag’ on yourself in a job interview when listing your accomplishments feels too showy.

I had turned down job opportunities in Kansas and Nebraska to follow the love of my life, who of course is totally worth it, around the world in pursuit of his demanding career. I felt like I had worked and won and worked and won…but I was faced with the greatest transition to date when I moved.

I need to throw in a very candid note for the military wives I have reading this…This still proves to be the hardest challenge of our marriage. Watching him get promotions while I struggle to find even a decent-paying job, only to move again is something MILSOs experience daily. It can be hard to get accustomed to a new area, make new friends, leave your family, turn down opportunities, lose control of your schedule and even your identity when you ‘always thought you’d live up to be more.’ I am beyond proud of my husband’s accomplishments but I crave to do something/be someone that he is proud of. I get it.

You will sacrifice most every privilege and ownership you’ve known. You will leave every comfort, place your belongings in the hands of strangers multiple times in your life, go months without speaking to your spouse and it might seem no one will understand.

I do. That’s the #1 reason I started Local Collaborative so I could have something I could control and provide a tele-working opportunity for other spouses and market businesses they own. If we’re not personally connected, please reach out here and connect to the socials below. You’re doing so much better than you think you are!

 

My first big-kid job was 100% commission selling insurance. Absolutely not what I ever set out to do but the drive to make a living and do something was making me stubborn. I immediately recognized the work ethic of those around me and what I was drawn to or what set me apart.

That showed with weekly stats, numbers and accounts and you don’t have to say a thing. People are attracted to doing business with someone who was transparent, ethical, honest. Be the first one in and the last one out. Your drive to figure out how to make something work far exceeded my humility from being told no 200 times a day (literally). Once you’ve learned the value of happiness then you don’t put a prize on things.

I’ve admired my friends who have also moved to new locations and picked up jobs they didn’t think they would have. I admire my friends who were brave enough to start their own venture and those who kept doing what they loved and knew to be right even if others didn’t agree. Just like at the dinner table, eat what you’re given and make the most of it. Be aware enough to walk away if a seat at the table is no longer being offered.

 


blue collar and white collar

Help Someone Out. You Are No Better Than Them.

 

“People here are so rude.” False. I believe that if you’re a good person, doing good things then good things will happen to you. Now is the time to use those church manners, bless their heart!

No matter what is said or done around you, you can never go wrong by being polite. Not because that person was a condescending A-Hole but because YOU are not the type of person to react by being a condescending A-Hole.

Throw a smile out there, be kind to an unkind person, hold a door or pull that shopping cart out of the parking spot even.if.you.didn’t.put.it.there.

A while back I heard a comment that ‘people who settled to be a bartender or waiter were just being lazy’ and ironically they also thought people in our area were rude. Being surrounded by family, friends and a REGION of blue collar workers, they’re willing to do a lot more and a lot harder work than most of us. You never, ever know what someone is going through and I would hope you would treat people as though they’re your own.

They could be a single parent, a student or someone who dreamed of owning their own bar someday so they’re loving your business!

They could be working this as a side job or something until they get back on their feet. TIP WELL!

If you don’t want to be around rude people then don’t be a rude person.

And don’t tell me you’re bored. Only boring people are bored.

 


 

In a small town when you win, you win together. When you lose, you lose together.

The compassion that farmers show to other farmers in times of a drought, fire or other disaster is astounding. That is a way of life, a paycheck and what keeps a family going. When we’ve seen one go down, there are ten more willing to help out.

farm to table

Some of my favorite memories are driving down the main street to see every sign that could possibly be covered filled with Good Luck messages. When our boys competed hard at state and just barely fell short of the win, the town still showed up late that night to cheer for them getting off the bus. When we were putting on a spring show that same team came in right after practice to watch and support us. When you lift others up you will also be lifted up. If that’s something you want then go put it out there.

baseball

One of my favorite things about going back home is the community that continues to stand for the same things we always have. Moving around will always provide you with growth and unique opportunities you wouldn’t get back home but there’s that familiarity you can always return to.

Where you likely spent 20 years of your life. Where you drove down main street with your friends, that road you learned to drive on, that field you snuck into, the playground you had your first kiss at or the swingset you had your first heartbreak at.

 

No matter where you end up, how high you climb or whatever title you receive, take your roots with you and remember where you came from.

Bring what you learned back to your town to help out. Thank someone who built you up and let them celebrate your achievements. Then go back out there and work even harder for what’s important to you. That yellow brick road will always lead you back home.

I know I just had to.

 

 

Cheers!
Marin

I do not own the rights to this photo