Category Archives: Travel

Day trip to Fort Collins

For a while the hubby and I have been talking about a day trip up to Fort Collins, see some sights, drinks some beer, and relax in a different part of the state.

Ok, so it’s only an hour away, but it’s just far enough…

As we all know, road side america is a big thing for me, and I love seeing fun and stupid and weird thing all around!

To start our adventure, it was the Swetsville Zoo – i mean, seriously, a zoo of all metal animals, how could we not!

Bonus – it’s right off the highway and outside of town, so you can stop on the way in or the way out of town!

Next stop was one of the Mini Statue Of Liberties! We found these ladies on a previous trip east for christmas. I love these little ladies and it’s now a “thing” for me to see as many as i can in different locations!

This was a park in the middle of fort collins! There some other interesting things to see – like concrete frogs and plastic dinosaurs, we had a nice walk around the lake and enjoyed some fresh air!

We also meandered the city for other random sites! Good thing john is a good sport!

And then finally it was time for beer!

We stopped at a couple breweries downtown between the raindrops and then ended up at Coppersmith! We had been here ages ago and decided to see what we remembered! The food was good, the staff was good, and we also ended our stay with a Rootbeer and Cream Soda Float! Delicious and highly recommended.

The final stop and whole reason for coming up to Fort Collins was a Yelp event at New Belgium

We got a special tour, and then a special couple hours of free beer just for us – hello – i did indeed feel special! My favorite was the beer-rita – who knew it could be so good!

The tour itself was amazing, seeing all the vats and how it all works – and of course the slide at the end

All in all it was fabulous day and so glad we got to spend the day in a place we have been trying to enjoy for a bit!


Morro Bay Adventure

Man have i been remiss on my blog here!

I started a new adventure – – a place where i am trying to help those that kind of like to cook be able to make healthy meals during the week with a couple hours of prep on the weekend. (And of course i throw in some DIY recipes for cleaning and some dog treats!)

But i digress…  This post is about where i spent my weekend!

My client is currently in San Luis Obispo, so i decided to extend my stay through the weekend and have the hubby fly out for a fun weekend!

I was able to skip out “early” on friday when most of the rest of the team flew home.

Hubby and I enjoyed some local brew at a speakeasy – they store their beer behind a cool bookcase/door! And it’s down stairs, as in underground. No sun, no windows, but still cute and fun!

Next up head out to Morro Bay… to our first ever Air B-n-B. I’ve been having trouble trying to reserve one in Germany for our next “big” trip so figured some history might help. Of course by the time we booked this one, i gave up on them completely and decided to just go with a hotel!

As far as how i like Air B-n-B… meh. It’s stressful. So many people “sneak” having one, so we felt like a criminal the whole time. The gps map didn’t work, so we had to follow the specific instructions that were bag on the listing… ugh. Then we weren’t allowed to use the front door since the key only worked on the back… Yikes. Besides all that, the carpet was phenomenal on my toesies and the bed was super comfortable. But no tp… hmmmm…  And no points… All in all, i think this mode of booking a room might just not be for me/us

Our first night – we started downtown Morro Bay at Libertine Brewery – perfect for me – tons of sours. But also some other good taking brews! And fried food. Mmm!

Saturday morning started with Road Side America for our route…

First – The Elfin Forest

Definitely in the better than advertised category! I mean the description was a – we have to stop – type of thing, but then meandering the wooden boardwalk and feeling contained in all the trees, it was a hoot. Sights were great and scenery wonderful!

Second – Dinosaur Caves

This just had such a great tag line – “Defunct tourist attraction site is public park with a playground. Kayaks visit the sea caves below.”

Sadly none of the cool stuff – like the hole that people accidentally fell in  – is gone. But there are dino eggs and one of the random painted cows and beautiful views. So it was a nice stop!

Next quick stop was the stairway to nowhere, but it has sadly been dismantles and now is jus a lonely pole…

And the clamshell animals. They were decorated for the Monarch Butterflies, and i didn’t snag any photos…

Final stop before lunch – Monarch Butterfly at Pismo Start Park! Squee! So cool!

Basically where the butterflies winter, so amazing to see so many just floating around ot gathering in clumps! Official website and info here.  In the middle photo all those little specs of orange and gray are butterflies! Amazing! (It’s really only a 20 min stop max, so don’t go out of your way to go here…)

After that we returned to Morro Bay for some lunch, some Jerky, and a walk out and about at the rock!

Time for a nap, some amazing thai food and some chilaxin with CNN “The 80’s”

Sunday we got up a little later, cruise Cayucos (pretty quick trip) – but the pier was fun to walk down, the surfers were fun to watch get smooshed by the waves and then cheer when they road one! And we stopped at the Brown Butter Cookie Company. OMG – the espresso ones…  i almost ate the whole bag of those we brought home!

We cruised SLO the rest of the day for some beer at Central Coast Brewing – hello chai ale and coconut schwartz, and the Fromage store – best snack on the plane!

Fabulous little adventure weekend with the hubby!

Cruise Advice – again..

Funny thing about this post was, half way thru this cruise we said, we need to write some of this down so we remember next time… which we also did last time, but didn’t read that one before this trip either!


Cool things to bring:

  1. Shoe caddy to hold all your little things and keep the bathroom counter clear!

We used it to hold sun tan lotion, pills, nail clipper, ear phones, aloe, workout ipod, makeup, everything little that gets lost in a bag and takes up space on the counter!

2. Clothes line – there is one in the shower, but this way it can swing in the breeze in the room not the stuffy bathroom and actually dry!


3. Sea sickness bands and ginger. The at sea days can get dicey. Now-a-days they are much fancier!


Cool things to know:

  1. The pre-purchase wine comes out pretty affordable! 8-9 dollars a bottle!
  2. Watch the news letter for which beer and which bar has the specials that day
  3. On a winter cruise, know the temps from departure port down thru all the ports you are visiting
  4. Always take the first departure group to get off the board…  Either walk off – with your luggage in tow, or the first group where they take it the night prior. We’ve made this mistake at least 2 times now, just get the heck off, you are kicked out of your room as fast as they can since the next group is coming on in a couple hours, and the buffets close at 9-ish, and nothing else is available for purchase. Bring a book or a game if you don’t, it’s a long annoying wait.
  5. Never buy anything from the gift shop on the first half of the cruise, there will be a sale before it ends. I promise.
  6. Become a part of the “frequent cruiser” club – it lets you “cut” the line  on embarcation day!
  7. A cool packing list can be found here
  8. Use packing cubes. I swear by them for regular trips, a cruise is no different.
  9. I also found the cruise critic very helpful… this one and this one
  10. Some other interesting tips here
  11. Bring a lanyard! They will clip a hole in your room key to make it easier to carry.


Xmas Vacation – Trip Home

The joy and curse of traveling by car, is you can pretty much do what you want within the limitation of time, distance and stamina!

On our trip to WA we skipped our favorite winery in favor of getting there without an extra day. We decided to hit it on the way home. It ended up adding an extra 2 hours… and since we weren’t trying any other wineries.. probably not necessary, but it did break up the monotony of the drive!

We got 4 of our favorites and then splurged on another one we tasted and really liked!

The rest of that day was just getting to Boise – to sleep in a king size bed! Ahhh! MIL and FIL have a double bed, and with 2 people that spread out and the pups… oy!

So we pulled the block out curtains and enjoyed the night!

The next day was trying to get to Moab so we could visit Arches the next day before heading home!

We got there too late and too pooped to enjoy all that Moab had to offer! Breweries and fun restaurants!

The next morning we did the “if you have 1 and 1/2 hours to spent” trip thru the national park

From there we scooted home as fast as we could!

We were tempted to hit our favorite wineries in Grand Junction again – but decided a side trip was not what we wanted to do, so our next order of business is to find them in the big liquor stores locally!

It was a fun trip – not very many fights, or getting lost!

We are considering doing the same this to my parents this coming year…  we’ll see!

Xmas Vacation – in WA

It was a pretty relaxing week! I got to the gym every morning – except for Christmas day! We walked the pups with their cousin Bounce many of the days and just enjoyed the company of family!

We had a nice day on Christmas! Lots of great presents from Grandma and Grandpa, and SIL and BIL

One day while we were there we took a trip to a local winery – English Estate Winery

It was an adorable little place with interesting “Bag” distribution and adorable bags to hold the bags in!

We enjoyed some tastings with my MIL and took a couple home to enjoy later!

On our last day in town – the day it rained ALL day – we finally decided to take a jaunt down to Portland!

We started with Voodoo Donuts

I went with the maple bar with bacon – yes, i did it! It was great! The hour wait – was not worth the results. It was fun and we were just chatting the whole time, but i think i would visit the second location that is less popular!

Our next stop was the 24 Hour Church of Elvis

I mean really, how could we not take a peak at this one??

We ended the night with dinner with friends!

It was a great trip!

Xmas Vacation

What did you do over your Christmas vacation?

We took a road trip with the pups to see grandma and grandpa in Washington state!

We cruised thru Grand Junction and picked up some of our favorite wines – Carlson Vinyard and Colorado Cellars – also some jalapeno mustard… Super yummy!

That night we decided we weren’t feeling like wine tasting since we were both feeling the affects of our cold – why bother to taste something when there isn’t any taste going on…  So we decided to cruise thru to grandma and grandpa’s with a quick stop at Shoshone Falls!

This place was absolutely amazing! They said it was the Niagara of the west and it was so beautiful!

The mist from the falls left an amazing layer of ice all over the parking lots and sidewalks and it sparkled!

On the way into finding this little midwest treasure we stopped at a little view point to check out the snake river. We were amazed!!

This bridge did not look quite as scary going over as from below!

From there it was drive drive drive to Washington State!

We got there before Grandpa went to bed, and got to catch up with everyone before we hit the hay!


Shoshone Falls

When i was planning our trip out to the in-laws for Christmas i tried to find some place interesting and new!

With time limits and drive times, possible snow routes, puppie travel illness etc…

I found Twin Falls – and the “Niagara of the Midwest” and knew i just HAD to see it!

There was some doubt if we should make the time or if it would be open as we started our trip. Turned out hubby and i caught a cold and we decided to turn our 3 day meander into a 2 day – let’s get the hell there and rest!!

We decided to do the second day of the trip full out- but also take 1 hour to see this place!

Boy am I glad we did! The snake river area is AMAZING!!

The mist from all the falls left a sheer coating of ice on just about everything, and the dogs were a little unsure of this crazy place we had brought them! But it was really cool to see!

On the way there we crossed over a gigantic bridge and stopped at a “historic” view point.

It was a really great side trip!

400 feet up in a balloon!

Every time i would return to Orange County to visit my friend Kim she talked about the Orange Balloon. I was never too excited to, cause i never really understood what it was all about!

Saturday we had a little time before hanging with our friend sunshine and before “the wedding”!

I looked up the Great Park of Orange County. and it looked like something that could be done in an hour or 2.

The balloon is a giant balloon that carries a circular base that can hold up to 30 people, and floats up 400 feet, with a view of the old El Toro air base!

Views were spectacular, but DAMN is it scary to start. I was gripping the sides for deal life, wishing i hadn’t decided to do this, ignoring the hubby when he pointed straight down and said wow, look at that! Eventually I calmed down and enjoyed the view and the fun to be had!

One of the other things there to do was to ride a carousel!

The first thing we did was the time line which was very interesting and weird! It listed from prior to 1930, thru the creation of El Toro, included the bombing of Pearl Harbor and other historical and war related information.

It was a really fun time and i would recommend it to anyone else cruising “the oc”

Mt Rubidoux

We were out in Orange County last week and we decided to go out and experience parts of the area that we used to visit or hadn’t visited before.

Friday we were needing to be out in Corona to see a friend’s new brewery, and being princesses about traffic we headed out waaay early!

I saw a cute little hike out in Riverside – Mt Rubidoux, just a 3 mile loop to a giant cross and a peace tower!

We thought it would be easy and fun – it was, but it was also an 80 degree day out in the inland empire, but we were very surprised that we had not found this before and sad that we had live there and had missed this cute little hike that was right in town!

Up up up we go!

We made it!


Here i am!! At the peace tower!

Beautiful sunlight in the trees!

Riverside from the path


It was a relaxing, fun time with the hubby! (if only we had remembered to bring water… oy, being from Colorado and always carrying water with me was weird i didn’t have any)

Girl trip – part 2

Luckily we both get up early – so we were up an at-um by 6:30!!

Time to head out to Colorado Monument!

We decided to do the whole 23 mile drive and stop at every pull out!

We got in a couple mini hikes and enjoyed the amazing scenery!

After a couple hours exploring nature, it was time to have some grub and head back.

We decided to try Fruita…

It was quite an experience! We enjoyed the offerings of the town and escaped as quickly as we could!

We once again yammered and played mad libs all the way home!

It was an amazingly fun trip and i can’t wait for the next one!