Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Every April in Washington state there’s a liiitttllllee thing called the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Even if you haven’t heard of it, I am sure you’ve seen the photos. We went April 22, 2018. 

Before going, I was curious about where the festival was, how much it cost, what there was to do and I had a few other questions.

First, you need to know this is an area full of tulip farms near a town where they host the actual ‘Tulip Town festival’. Because of the draw of the attraction there will be a lot of traffic so plan for extra drive time. We parked in the back lot near a bank and walked into the main street of the town for their festival which was more like a street of live music and vendors.

We stopped in for a beer and lunch at a local pub after checking out the tents and tried to decide which tulip farm we wanted to visit. There are several to go to and, from what I was seeing, for free. As you drive out there are loads of signs to turn into different fields but we only visited one. I was extremely pleased with the the one near Swinomish Village.

 

You’ll have to remember it is an actual working farm so it’s very muddy. I know you’ll want to wear a cute outfit but incorporate boots you don’t mind getting muddy into that outfit!

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It’s hard to understand just how gorgeous it is in person vs. photography. The fields are separated by colors, solid vs. mixed pattern flowers and toward the back were daffodils and other types of flowers.

 

For a majority of you, this will be several hours of a drive. Before you go you can check out the weather in the area, the bloom times, and other news updates. It’s worth taking your kids and friends up for a day trip! Note that pets are not allowed and walking in the fields is not allowed. More information begins here. If you’re looking to stay up there for a weekend there are several things to do in the area and the surrounding areas. One of which is Anacortes.

Cheers!
Marin

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You Are Here: Savannah, GA

During our time in North Carolina we take advantage of weekends and long trips by visiting areas nearby. Perks of being on the east coast! On the top of our list was Savannah, Georgia.

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 If you want our real POV check out my IG.

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.

You can check out all of the highlights on my Instagram reel here.

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!

 

Cheers!
Marin

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Your Complete Weekend Guide To Charleston, SC

This trip was November 9-11, 2018 for our third anniversary.

I shared the highlight on my Instagram. 

WOW. Did I love this beautiful southern city.

I cannot wait for my next visit to Charleston and I can’t wait for you to go, too!

Only a few hours away from where we live in North Carolina, Charleston is a port-city founded in 1670 and defined by it’s antebellum charm. Filled with historic cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and pastel rows of multi-story houses, you can walk, eat and drink your way through the districts.

 

Where to stay

The prices definitely reflect the attraction the city has for tourists. We opted for an Airbnb just across the bridge and Ubered back and forth instead of finding a hotel in downtown. Our most expensive trip back was $15 late on a Saturday night so not terrible. We enjoyed the house in a quiet neighborhood and it still cost less in total than getting a hotel.

 

what to do all weekend

We got into town on Friday afternoon and headed straight to the raved about restaurant, Toast! This was a chain restaurant and much more diner-like than I was expecting but still had great food and bottomless mimosas to attract the masses. We tried their TaTa special drink and the SC Hunger Street IPA. I ate the market eggs with biscuit and home fries. Drew got charbroiled chicken on kaiser roll. Both are great if you’re looking for lunch to tide you over before your night out!

We drove to downtown (which is SUPER slammed. I would definitely catch a ride or walk!) and walked the City Market; the first public market in Charleston. This historic market complex was four city blocks long which you can spot by the Market Hall. If you’re downtown you won’t miss it.

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You can easily wander around the streets seeing stunning Spanish moss hanging over the streets, shading the iconic homes and reading endless plaques about the historic landmarks. Since Charleston is home to the College of Charleston I was able to find the ADPi house in their traditional carriage house Greek row.

We Ubered back into the city that night and scored an upstairs table at the Husk bar. I would recommend making a reservation in advance so you can get in! The main restaurant (left in this photo) seemed much more formal but right next door is a restored two-story home built around the rafters, smoke stains and original framing.

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I had their Greenhouse Blonde and Dragon’s Punch which were great but not as fantastic as their fried chicken and burger. They bake bacon into the beef. It was SO good!!

It was a fairly short walk to the Craftsmen Kitchen and Tap House and I loved seeing how different the historic city came to life at night. I also had the LoFi Blueberry Wheat which tasted and smelled just like a blueberry muffin! This Tap House also had one of the largest beer and spirits selections I have ever seen.

Down the road is Papaw’s for a quick beer. They had southern style cuisine in an upscale, modern setting which was absolutely gorgeous if you’re looking for an upscale casual dinner out.

We also walked around and stopped in at Slightly North of Broadway (SNOB) Walked around until Meeting at Market for a River Rat and Low Tide Red. This was more of a hotel-style bar with views of the City Market if you’re looking for a late-night night cap.

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Saturday was our time to focus on the French Quarter and Battery districts.

The Battery promenade and Waterfront Park both overlook Charleston Harbor, while Fort Sumter, a federal stronghold where the first shots of the Civil War rang out, lies across the water.

If you can make breakfast reservations at Hominy Grill, I would! They have a walk-up window for a Beermosa or other drink and we had about a 20 minute wait for two people.

You’ve got to try the Nasty Charleston and She Crab Soup. I had seen them on all the menus and had to give it a try. Hominy is walking distance through the Historical and College Districts. Walk off breakfast looking at stunning houses on your way to Battery Park and Waterfront Park. This is a mandatory walk through while you’re in town!

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Battery Park is marked by the seawall and was used as the defensive coast-wall during the Civil War. It hosts a gorgeous park, lined with huge estates and is packed with the original historical locations.

Luckily there was an open house we chose to walk through as ‘potential buyers’ but I definitely wouldn’t have paid to live there! It was an old finishing school split into four homes so they were very small and dark but adorable.

 

Right next door were the infamous fountains at Waterfront Park.

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If you want to eat lunch like all of the celebrities, visit Poogan’s Porch! Having a reservation might as well be mandatory if it isn’t already and you can read all the signed menus while you wait. Poogan is also the home’s pup that passed away and is buried out front. A little endearing. A little scary. 

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You can probably guess that we were stuffed but we had a catfish sandwich (ehh) and fried chicken sandwich but their homemade biscuit appetizers were incredible. Even if you go here for a drink, you should. It’s a must visit and highly recommended in the area.

 

If you also couldn’t tell this is a great place to walk around for drinks. I went to my first Bubba Gump’s so we could finish watching the game over an icy beer. A few blocks over in the college-y area is another great place called Kudu for beer and coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This place filled up quickly with all sorts of people and reminded us a lot of Seattle. Try their Pallet Island Brewing Cj Coquina Wheat and Drew had their Holy City Brewing Co. Leopold. While we sat inside with the craftsman decor, there is a cute outdoor seating area.


 

Freshen up for a ‘nice’ night out! By that I mean dress up and have some fun!

Parcel 32 had some of the best cocktails we’ve tried and will make even the most dedicated beer drinkers venture out. Order their Colonial Cocktail, Eliza from Antigua, Strange Brew and From the Brink….You can’t really go wrong.

A few doors down is the JonhKing Bar which will make you want a Bud Light with all of the bachelor parties hopping off the buses. It was definitely a cold walking night.

It’s a long walk or a well-worth-it drive to Burwell’s for Moscow Mules with their house-made ginger beer and Double IPAs. Our friends recommended this restaurant because they had their rehearsal dinner here and it WAS incredible!

We split their fries and oysters and Drew ordered their prime rib burger. All were PRISTINE. Our waitress, Cathy S., was also incredible and surprised us with s’mores dessert for our anniversary. This is something we usually would have never ordered but hands down will be the BEST s’mores you’ve ever had.

You can also have a great time at the Carolina Ale House on other side of town. They’ve got a great beer selection as you can probably guess from the name. I tried (and always look for now) Purple Haze and Son of a Peach.  Would not want to drive and or park in downtown especially from seeing all of the traffic and crowds.

save the best for last!

Sunday was Veterans Day and we left our Airbnb a few hours early so we could drive five minutes down the road to Early Bird Diner. Even being there before they opened we stood in a line about 20-30 people back for 10 am Sunday Brunch. Get there early or be ready to wait! It’s not a large place. In fact, you can check it out on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives! You HAVE to get the chicken and waffles!

You’ll have your choice of plantation tours and because of time and pictures we chose the Middleton Plantation. During the plantation visit we saw them spinning hair off of a rabbit!

It was a 20 minute drive out to tour the grounds and the ticket price was worth it.

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The grounds were massive, stunning and full of historic trees that have seen the Native Americans, the Civil War and are protected.

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You felt as though you really were living and working on the plantation. We walked around self-guided and also checked out the ‘living history’ exhibits with actors.

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Traffic going home wasn’t terrible and we ended up being home in 1.5 hours. If you’re from the Fort Bragg area you’re in luck! I know I will be going back because there is so much to do in Charleston and nearby. If you want to plan a trip, send me a message 😉

Cheers!

Marin

 

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Girls Weekend in North Carolina

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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. 

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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. 

The next day we wanted to take our friends on a tour of Fort Bragg (something we usually do with any guests we have in a new area) and on up to the infamous Southern Pines. Southern Pines is just south of Pinehurst which is known for their world class golf courses and hosting several events. Southern Pines is easy to walk around eating, drinking and shopping in this area. Over the multiple trips we usually visit Chapmans, The Bell Tree, Neville’s and The Jefferson Inn. New favorites include the Mockingbird on Broad for unique gifts, Betsy’s Crepes for the infamous treats, Southern Pines Growler Co. and Southern Pines Brewing Company just a few minutes down the road. We have a few places on the still-need-to-visit list including Sweet Basil

If you’re looking for any suggestions, reach out! 

If you’re worried about having fun…don’t be.

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. 

Cheers!

Marin

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