The Land of ” Hella” Northern California

 

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We have been living in Santa Rosa, California for about 5 months now. I love it here. I have met great people, tasted amazing wine and beer, and I’ve eaten tasty food! Santa Rosa is an hour north of San francisco ( Wine Country!) Funny enough, we moved here for BEER! Russian River Brewery is expanding their brewery and the company Jordan works for ( how we travel full time) is in charge of the beer tanks, lines basically anything the beer will flow through. Have you heard of Russian River Brewery? If you like West Coast IPA’s I’m sure you have. Pliny the Elder or Pliny the Younger ring a bell? Their triple and double IPA are pretty famous brews. Not to mention they make awesome sours!

Moving here right after the Sonoma Fires, housing was a struggle. We were not able to stay in our fifth wheel RV on this job. We got an apartment, and in all honesty having a full-size tub has been nice! Living in an apartment with no yard, we still have to get creative to get our nuggets tired. I use to just take them to local dog parks, but Max stopped having fun. He was getting really protective over Louie, and crazy barking at every stranger. Thank god for Dillon Beach!

We go to Dillon Beach at least once a week, if not twice! It’s a private beach that is completely dog friendly. Dogs are allowed to be off leash, as long as they are trained. The boys love this place! they go insane! Running up and down the sand dooms, hopping through the waves, and digging for crabs. I like to go during the weekday morning because there is no one out there. We love having the beach to ourselves! The rolling hills before you arrive on the beach is breath taking. It’s like a warmer version of Ireland. Green hills, and cows just chillin.

I feel like our move to Santa Rosa was good reset button for us. We were able to clean out our camper and do a deep clean and get some repairs done. I have been working at a local tap room, which I love.  I have loved having a normal size tub, but I am missing my house on wheels. Soon enough! I can’t wait to show more of Northern California with you. We tried to do highway 101 into San Francisco last weekend, but I got crazy car sick. I know, lame! We will do it soon though! I also want to take a day trip up to Mendocino soon.  Let me know what your favorite Northern California spots are! We love taking weekend trips!

This place is Hella cool! It should be on everyones Travel Bucket-list!

 

 

Midnight in Paris

 

” But Paris After Midnight is Magic.”

   Walking around Paris at night is a dream. We arrived late afternoon and started walking the city. It was to late to go into any of the attractions, but somehow it worked out in our favor. Seeing Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower all lit up was magic.

We walked along the Seine River and ate at this awesome outdoor pizza place. Everything was handmade and simple, like a lot of places in Paris. Our hotel was located in the Bastille Neighborhood. The Metro was a block from our hotel. We stayed at Ibis Paris Bastille Opera 11th Hotel, it was a 2-3 star hotel. Simple, clean and everything you need to sleep, because that is all the time you will spend there.

The neighborhood we stayed in was perfect. It was off the tourist path and we had shops, bars, Metro and a market right next to our hotel. I love the Parisian Cafe seen. You buy a bottle of wine and hang out side on a little two top table. It didn’t matter if it was a Tuesday, these people were out socializing, having a cigarette and sharing a glass of wine. I think there is something we can all learn from the Parisians, besides the smoking.

Even though I love wine, my husband, Jordan was wined out. We found an Irish pub, with an Australian bar tender that drank as much Guinness as he served. This man, I still can’t remember how to spell his name ( Timenea) grew up a sheep herder in Southern Australia. He didn’t like that life, so he moved to Romania, worked at a hotel and then ended up working at a Irish Pub in Paris. Pretty wild, right?

(Timenea) introduced us to Andy, an English man that was working on a wealthy Sheikh’s horse property outside of Paris. As the night went on, so did the shots of Jameson and pours of Guinness. The Aussie teased the Britt about his love for the queen, or as Andy called it ” His Queenie.”  As the night grew later ( Timenea) invited us to his apartment. He said it was just down the road, so why not. Three miles later we arrived. ( Timenea) was super eccentric and a bit out there, but thats what made you want to know more.

We drank beers and talked about politics, differences between all of our countries, and the similarities. Everyone was really drunk and loud, and it was great. I am sure I could of gotten some great insight, but we were all too many beers past that. I do remeber lots of laughing though.

After a wicked hang over and 2 hours of sleep we barely made our flight home. When I told people we were going to Europe,  ” that will be so fun” was always followed by ” be careful.” Yes, there are things you should be aware off, just like anywhere. Are you a tourist or a traveler? Making local friends and being invited in to his home, was such a highlight on our trip.  The night at an Irish Pub in the middle of Paris was my favorite night of our trip.

Catacombes de Paris

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Paris is a beautiful city. Full of bright colors, flowers architecture and street vendors. It’s easy to forget a cities dark history with modern day beauty all around. Thats why it was so crazy seeing the Catacombs.

Down 120 meters, below the sewer, below the Metro, and below the city water table, lies the Catacombs of Paris. To get into the tomb, you walk down a cement spiral staircase forever. As you step down each step, you can feel the temperature drop. You get an audio guide, and you walk about on your own.

Hearing the history of the Catacombs is truly wild. If you are not a history person, you can skip around at your own pace.

The feeling you get down in the Catacombs is hard to put into words. Before you go down into the tombs, you are just excited to do something creepy and cool. Then you get down there, and you realize all these bones were once living people.

Guinness Brewery, Dublin

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Guinness Brewery is like Willie Wonka Factory for beer loving adults. The beer really does taste different there, it’s the freshest Guinness you will ever taste! The tour they created was really neat. They did a great job explaining the brewing process, where they get their ingredients, how much beer they produce and how they became one the most recognized beers around the world. All this information is super cool, if you are beer nerds like us.

After the 45 minute tour, you go into the tasting room and learn the proper way to drink a Guinness. Just drink it right? Wrong! I learned something new. I usually don’t like the first few sips of my Guinness because all I would get is foam. Well, I was drinking it wrong. No Sipping! You have to drink through the foam and earn a Guinness Mustache! ( Picture above shows my prideful mustache)

After the tour and the tasting you get to go up the gravity room at the top of the brewery and receive your pint of beer. You can have someone pour it for you, or you can learn to pour your own Guinness. The perfect pour! The Guinness Brewery was one of my favorite tours. I highly recommend coming here, if you are planning on coming to Dublin!

Lake Winnemucca& Round Top Lake

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This place is a piece of heaven, right outside Carson City. It only took us a 1 hour to get to the trail head. We spent the day with our pups, our two friends and their pup. We had so much fun. I would be lying if I said this hike did not challenge me!

We did the 5 mile loop that went around Lake Winnemucca and Round Top lake. Next time we go, I will have to suck it up and of the extra 2 1/2 miles to Forth of July Lake, at the tippy top of the mountain. The people coming down that trail looked like mountain goats. The incline was pretty nuts.

The trail head was 8200ft elevation and we gained another 1200ft by the time we got to the lakes. The work to get to these two lakes was so worth it! The scenery and views are epic. Thank you, man at the dog park for suggesting this hike!

Here is a site that has some more info about this location if you are ever in the area!The Out Door Project

Travel Tips for the Best Getaway

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Myrtle Beach
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Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory aka Heaven!
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Savannah Georgia
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Northern California and Redwoods with our niece Haddy Paddy 

Being in a new location every couple of weeks or every few months has made me pretty savvy ” Experience Finder.”  Every town no matter how little has had fun things to do and experiences to be had. Even Price Utah.

There are different ways I go about travel/tourist deals, and I going to share my secrets with you! So the next time you are countries, states or a few hours away for a break from your every day routine, think of these tips. They can save you money, and bring to light things in the area you didn’t know existed.

Favorite Sites

  • Pinterest. I love a good visual from other peoples point of view. Getting feed back about their experience rather than reading a travel brochure gives me better insight.
  • Groupon. I know this site is super popular, and I have had great luck with it. This site is great for deals, and gives you more ideas of things to do in the area. For intense, we were in Virginia and wanted something to do on the weekend. Beer Festival tickets popped up. Perfect! We like beer, we like food, and tickets were %50 off!
  • Trip Advisor. One of my favorites. I have booked many hotels from here. I like how people can take their own pictures of the rooms and grounds of the hotel. Have you ever booked a hotel because it looks sooo pretty online, and then you get there and the pictures haven’t been updated in 20+ years? I have, and its a bummer!

My Travel Tips

  • Travel in the Off Season. Sometimes you can’t get around traveling in the peak of the season, but if you can its the best. We went to Virginia beach with our dog Max. Dogs are allowed on the beach anytime before May 29th. After the 29th, they are allowed before 6am and after 7pm. Good thing we went May 15th! Max was one happy pup playing in the sun! No lines is always a bonus too!
  • Ask the locals.  If you are going to be in a spot for a while, stop by a local cafe and ask what is the best thing todo while you are there? I bet they will have different answers than the internet. I have found my favorite food places, bars, hikes and shopping doing this.
  • Do something new. It has always been a wonder to me why people do the same vacation year after year. I have grown the most trying new and going somewhere new. Its good for the soul. Close your eyes and pick a spot on the map!
  • Do what the locals do. When in Rome Right!? For real though, when you are in Denver CO catch a Broncos game, or a Giants game in San Fransisco. If you are not a Journey fan, San Fransisco will make you one!
  • If you will regret it later, make sure to do it. We landed in Washington DC when everyone was in DC. That’s how it felt anyway. So many lines, and the heat and sweat, and more people. I have always wanted to go to all the museums though, and thats what we were going to do. I had to see the Constitution. We waited in line, it wasn’t that cool, but if  I didn’t do it I would regret it. So I am super happy we got to see the not so cool Constitution.

Sparks Lake, Bend Oregon

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This is our day out at Sparks Lake. It’s about 25miles from Bend, and its magical. We have been in Bend for a little longer than a month, and I love it here. It has been a huge but welcome change after living in Virginia for a year. Don’t get me wrong, Virginia was great, and I met some awesome people, but the West will always have a home feeling for me. This is Max’s first time traveling long distance and going West. We got him while we were in Virginia, but I think he is adapting just fine. He loves going on  trips in the car. He always thinks we are headed to the dog park, and starts grunting at me once we pass the amount of time it takes to get there. He was not disappointed exploring the lake and barking at the ripples in the water. The same ripples he was making .

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Devils Lake, Bend OR

 

 

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The weather is getting cold here in Bend. Living in a fifth wheel, there will always be an uncertainty wintering in a trailer. Luckily, we upgraded our trailer from last year and now have heated water tanks. If you’ve lived in a trailer in the winter, you understand the greatness of heated tanks.
This Fall has been a long one. Mid November and finally seeing freezing temperatures. It’s bitter sweet for me. I love to ride my motorcycle in the summer, but I am not a sun and sand kind of girl. I love the way the cold air feels on my face, and drinking hot coffee is the best. Before the snow hits hard my dog Max and I have been doing some exploring.
Devils lake was beautiful. Only a 30 minute drive from the house, and well worth it. The water was a see-through turquoise and you could see the bottom all the way around the lake. Max loved it. He has become more and more confident the more we explore. He loves being off his leash. Somedays he is better at ” Max Come” than other days, but we are still working on it.
I would love to hear from you guys? What are some of your favorite things to do in the cold months? What are some of your cold weather essentials you can’t go with out?