Our family in Florida drove up to meet us there for a weekend in an adorable VRBO. This house was fantastic for us on a family weekend trip (I can’t remember the address but The Lucky Savannah houses are all very similar layouts and decor.) If it’s important for you not to drive a few minutes to downtown then I would choose a home closer to downtown. The home was fantastic and so beautiful; it was just my style but would love for it to be closer walking distance next time for a weekend of going out. No matter what I was surprised they had parking garages that were very central and free or low cost.
We spent our first night having dinner at the Savannah Taproom. We tried a few new beers like the D9 Brown Chicken Brown Cow beer and split their nachos which were great. I had their much raved about Captain Crunch Chicken Fingers…I will tell you they’re worth it!
If you have to wait for a table and need something to do check out the retro toy store next door!
The BEST thing about Savannah (ok…one of the best? Maybe THE best…) is that it’s open container!
Heads up you’ve got to make sure it’s in plastic and it’s one person per drink to carry it out of the bar. Walk down to the Riverfront Market. On the way we came up on a film set where it was rumored they were shooting a Bette Midler movie.
Savannah is filled with awesome rough cobblestone streets, steep staircases (like in the photo above), hanging moss on ancient trees, beautiful parks every block and tours. We enjoyed walking around and checking out the crowds before a sweet treat night cap that NEEDS to be on your must-visit list. It’s the glory that is Leopold’s.
Don’t be intimidated by the long line…it moves fairly quickly and you will want the time to figure out your order. I ended up choosing the delicious mocha and coffee with chocolate chips. We all had different flavors and liked them.
Saturday was a day focused on walking around to explore the city. We started out with a self-guided walking tour through Bonaventure Cemetery. If you have your own car there I would drive in and park in the small lot up front. There’s also areas to park throughout the roadways in the cemetery. To take yourself through the cemetery you can buy or purchase a mobile app or the paper map.
My favorite place to eat and visit was this next part…Treylor Park Hitch! You have to go. They have a laid back feel with creative and upscale food and drinks. They’re menu is filled with things I wanted to try! I had my favorite Son of a Peach beer which always smells and tastes like a jam-packed peach pie…except here it was on tap. We shared their nachos grande and the PBJ chicken wings. You read that right. Peanut Butter Asian-fused wings with a jelly inspired dipping sauce.
We grabbed drinks while walking around touring parks, the fountains, Forsyth Park, old houses and the beautiful downtown. It was the best time just being able to walk around, visit, read and learn about the area.
We were also able to do a little eavesdropping on a bike tour talking about the bench were Forrest Gump was filmed.
Being a Saturday night the crowds were definitely out and about. Trying to get a space at restaurants for 6 people was a bit difficult so we had to go to the Little Duck Diner. Their food wasn’t outstanding but it got the job done in the nick of time before our scheduled ghost tour. I would have preferred trying out Moon River Brewing Co. if I were you!
Our scheduled ‘adult’ ghost tour meets in a park and took just over an hour to walk around, learn the history of the city and hear stories of the infamous burials or locations. Again, we were able to bring our drinks and had a great time. We noticed that the City Market area was party central.
They’re also known for hosting a great St. Patrick’s Day so a spring break trip would be a blast here!
Even though we had to cut the trip short and leave early the next day we know we will be back and are excited to visit again! If you have tips on where we should go or what we should do drop them in the comments below!
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If you missed Part Oneor Part Twofollow those links to catch up and meet us back here.
Saturday, July 28: Colorado Springs, Manhattan, KS and Spring Hill, KS
We left Colorado Springs at 9 a.m. to head for my home state.
We knew we were in Kansas when we stopped in Wakeeney for gas and then drove through Western Kansas until we pulled into the our Alma Mater: Manhattan, Kansas. The Little Apple holds a special place in our hearts because we attended school and graduated from K-State, we met and dated here, we were engaged here and we had years of great memories. We thought it would be fun to take Argo around our campus and places that were important to our relationship.
After walking down memory lane we pulled into my hometown, Spring Hill, Kansas at 9 p.m. We grabbed some ice cream at Sonic with my dad, sister and her boyfriend. After hanging out at dad’s house we went to my mom’s very late where Argo met cats for the first time and the family dogs….That went about as well as you think. We fell asleep to a thunderstorm which we had missed for several years living in the PNW.
Sunday, July 29
For anyone who grew up in 4-H you’ll know county fair week is a *little* insane. My cousins, Kylie and Claire, came over to bake for the fair and play with the dogs. They were able to babysit Argo while we ran around town visiting family.
It was a super nice day with post-storm humidity and overcast. We realized this was going to be a shocker after living in WA. Here we were thinking we were tough…
We spent the morning with my dad and tried out The Bean which is a new coffee shop on the Main street of our town. It was really weird to go through town and see people you didn’t recognize. My grandma was hosting dinner for us at her house and it was great to catch everyone on their fair-prep break and in one place.
Our one request while in Spring Hill was to eat at the infamous K&M BBQ. We were craving burnt ends (A KC classic and what we’re known for) but after we ALL ordered the same thing…found out they were out. If you can’t make it out you can order sauce and merch online so click their website link above!
Monday, July 30
One of the biggest things my mom taught me was how to bake and cook so we spent the morning making breakfast and cooking with Mom for fair.
We met up with dad for lunch at the Salty Iguana and then we played a round of golf at Top Golf. It was my first time going and I decided I’m better at putt putt. We took Drew to the Johnson County Fair where they were kicking off fair week and he was able to see where we spent YEARS of our life as well as family and friends. We went to my Aunt Lyneda’s to see their baby goats, updates on their house and have a few Boulevard beers.
Tuesday, July 31: Spring Hill, KS to Nashville, TN
And then it was time to go. We left Spring Hill and, for having a few fights, it was really cute to see Argo and Ruger cry and try to play again while we were leaving. We had some rain driving through St. Louis (apparently we left at the absolute worst time to drive across the country.) We had some lights go on in Illinois but it turned out to be a false alarm that corrected itself and we made it smoothly into Nashville, TN. This hotel wasn’t bad except for some creepers outside. We were able to pick-up Panera with a gift card (thanks, family) and spent the night booking hotels and looking at houses.
Wednesday, August 1: Nashville, TN to Asheville, NC
If only we knew how awesome and popular Asheville would be…We made great time on our drive on a rainy, two-lane highway. Asheville didn’t have La Quinta’s so we stayed at a Best Western that turned out to be the nicest place we stayed at! It was a fairly quick drive to Asheville’s downtown area where we walked around past their beautiful buildings filled with stores, places to eat and drink and plenty of people. It was a perfect mix of historical and updated buildings.
We ended up eating at Pack’s Tavern which had the best wings we’ve ever had! (Try the bourbon wings, club grinder and pizza.) You can’t really go wrong here. Pack’s was the site of many blue-collar industries and services in the town including the lumber and auto industry while turning to the “South Bar.” You can learn more about their top-tier hospitality and service on their website.
Thursday, August 2: Asheville, NC to Raeford, NC
We would have loved to visit the Biltmore and explore the area but it wasn’t worth paying the entrance fee with a dog and the rain. We left before noon and it ended up raining so bad most people had their hazards and max windshield wipers on while doing 30 mph on the highway.
We finally got to the Quality Inn in Raeford where we would be spending SEVERAL days. Because of a big Kids U.S. Open event going on nearby, most all hotels were taken so we were stuck in a non-smoking (but definitely smoky) room. We would spend the next few days driving around checking out houses and neighborhoods, touring post, trying out new restaurants every night that we could bring back to the hotel room and FINALLY found our new home and move in 10 days later!
If you missed Part One, catch up here. Picking up where we left off…
Even though Colorado was some of the worst driving we had, we enjoyed this part of the trip the most. Colorado is a beautiful place and the ‘West’ for many in my home state. You don’t need to travel very far to get much of the same experiences.
Tuesday, July 24: Twin Falls, ID to Salt Lake City, UT
We checked into the La Quinta that took second to last place on our trip (UGH) and decided we would only spend one day in Salt Lake instead of two.
Drew and I went to Uinta Brewing Company that night and, even though they allow dogs outside, we didn’t bring Argo. You have to order their pub nachos and barbecue chicken wings. They were REALLY, REALLYYYY good. I loved their Piggyback Peach IPA and we built our own six pack on our way out.
Wednesday, July 25: Salt Lake City to Castle Rock, CO
I had a really hard time sleeping last night because of the noise and lights plus Argo wanted out at 3 a.m. We left the hotel just before 9 a.m. and this would be our longest day of driving; about eight hours plus stops. It was also going to be the worst weather-wise.
Once we were out of the construction zone that is Salt Lake, we didn’t have to stop for gas until Rock Springs, Wyoming. We left Rock Springs at 11:45 a.m. and started driving into Colorado’s weather.
It was filled with bad storms and the radio reported we were going through 15-70 mph wind gusts, quarter inch size hail, torrential downpour causing flash floods and standing water. We had to pull over with several other cars because of zero visibility. If you’ve been through a tornado it was very similar weather with a gray/olive green sky.
We finally got to our La Quinta in Castle Rock at 6:15 p.m. Argo wouldn’t stop barking so Drew stayed behind while I went to see one of my best friends, Shanae, who just moved in nearby. I hit another flash storm on the way to her house that had everyone on the highway pulled over.
She took me to a really good nearby bar and grill called Lodo’s. Their margaritas and burrito bowls were huge servings and yummy. After a long, stressful day I crashed when I got home and then slept in the next day.
Thursday, July 26: Castle Rock to Colorado Springs
This hotel was super crowded and had a very unimpressive breakfast. While there are a few things to do around Castle Rock we chose to fill up and leave for the hour drive to Colorado Springs.
We wanted to check out Colorado Springs not only because it’s full of sights and activities but it’s also a possible location for us to move to in the future. Since we were driving two cars, we usually parked one at the hotel and drove around to do things in the bigger car together. We toured post to see how it compares and if we’d like being stationed there. We were impressed by how nice it was on-post and I would enjoy being there because it’s the adventure we loved in Seattle but close distance in Kansas.
They also had a great dog park and extremely dog-friendly area everywhere you went.
We stopped into their on-post dog park to get some energy out until a storm rolled in and then drove downtown for PubDog. He did great! The canned and draft beer had tons of local selections and we shared their brisket/bbq sandwich. It. Was. Delicious! You can have your dog inside, outside on the patio or in the play area. Some of their dishes were even served in dog food bowls and they even had a mini-menu for the dogs.
The La Quinta Garden of the Gods hotel is THE. WORST. we’ve stayed in-probably EVER. It was motel style outside and very dark, musty and dingy inside. It literally smelled like dirty feet and smoke (the lobby smelled like smoke, too.) Even though we wanted a smoke-free room. It was one of the more expensive ones too because of the location. Most of Manitou is dog friendly but some places aren’t–you should have a pretty safe bet to bring your pup but just check-in individually.
We left him in our room while we went to the Burrowing Owl….which turned out to be a vegan restaurant. I missed that when looking online so I suppose that’s a good thing! We grabbed their BBQ Jackfruit Nachos and a couple local beers. Their canned beers come with free koozies. We were still hungry so we went down the road to the Ivywild School which has several distilleries and the Bristol Brewing Company in it. It’s a stunning, huge school that was converted and boasts the old-school features for adults to have fun at school again. I tried the flight of beers and enjoyed their Laughing Lab Scottish Ale and Red Rocket Pale Ale most. Their burger, fresh fries, handmade chips and Rueben were AMAZING!!! Definitely a must visit.
Friday, July 27: Colorado Springs
We slept in until 9 a.m. and woke up to beautiful weather which was perfect for the big hiking day we had planned. While it was overcast and 60-80s storms were of course creeping in that afternoon. Drew and I tried visiting Broadmoor Seven Falls but were let down by the location change and super long line for the shuttle. If this is something you’re interested in doing, check out the “Plan Your Trip” on their website for updated addresses to offsite parking and using the shuttle.
We decided it wasn’t worth it after so much wasted time and drove out to Pikes Peak instead. We started climbing up at noon and were back down by 1:30. (We didn’t do the entire hike because we were meeting family for another hike.)
It was a great hike, very established, busy and several great outlook points. Compared to Washington this was dusty but there were fewer trees. It was also a lower elevation but very steep. Dogs were allowed but we were basically the only dog on the mountain.
About 30 minutes drive down the road was Garden of the Gods where we met my family and explored for about an hour. This is a free place to visit and you can grab brochures inside their visitor’s center. While it was raining we drove around but once it let up we were able to pull over and climb through some paths and rocks. It was a good, quick visit with gorgeous red-orange formations.
Argo was done for by the time we got back to the hotel so we took advantage and drove out to Manitou Brewing Company for some amazing beer! I had the Wittle Wit Crazy and Drew had their Novella White IPA. We always judge a place on their truffle fries and there’s were served with Siracha mayo. I had the grilled chicken sandwich and Drew had the shredded pork tacos. The minute you walked outside the streets and town were fairly empty but you can find a couple places booming with live music. We heard a very talented musician at The Kinfolks and you could tell it’s where the locals went.
The next day we would head out to Kansas to visit the Alma Mater and home before finishing up the trip. Make sure you’re subscribed to these posts so you never miss a thing in your inbox.
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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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