Spring Break in the Pacific Northwest

Hello!

Long time no post right? Life has been a bit crazy this semester with school and working 24 hours a week but I’m excited to get back into blogging regularly this summer!

For spring break this year my family visited the Pacific Northwest. My oldest sister lives in Portland, Oregon so that was where we started and ended. The trip was a blast and I highly recommend exploring that part of the country if you haven’t already.

Friday

We flew in on Friday afternoon and met up at my sister’s house to decide where to eat. We ended up going to a restaurant called Screen Door. It’s a cute little southern style place, I had chicken and waffles and the french toast. The french toast wasn’t that exciting but oh. my. goodness. the chicken and waffles was amazing.

Saturday

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Saturday we drove up to Washington to visit Mount St. Helens. The road to the actual mountain ended up being closed so we decided to explore Ape Cave instead.

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We hiked down into the cave but didn’t make it all the way through because of how dark and wet it was. Hopefully someday I’ll go back with a headlamp and explore some more.

On our way back we visited Multnomah Falls

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The falls were absolutely stunning but make sure to bring a rain jacket especially if you plan on hiking the trail to the top because you will get in the spray.

Sunday

On Sunday we visited Cannon Beach and the town of Astoria, Oregon which were the two filming sites of the movie “The Goonies.” I’d never seen the movie before the trip but my sister talked a lot about it so of course Saturday night we had to watch it. It was actually quite hilarious and made Sunday’s adventure a little more fun knowing the history of the places we visited.

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Haystack rock from the movie
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Cannon Beach

While in Astoria we had lunch at Buoy Beer Company. I recommend eating there just for the experience, the restaurant has a great view of the ocean and is built out over the water a bit and the area underneath it is a popular hangout spot for sea lions. After lunch we spent a little bit of time in the Columbia River Maritime Museum. The Columbia River bar is one of the most hazardous areas of water in the world so naturally the museum had a section on Coast Guard rescue swimmers which, being a lifeguard, I thought was really cool. I might have considered changing career paths.

Monday

Monday we tried to vist OMSI but the line was so long we headed over to Powell’s Books. There are no words to describe how wonderful this place was. I wanted to copy the kids from From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and live there. I was in heaven. I bought at least five books, I know that’s not that many but they had to fit in my suitcase.

After Powell’s we visited one of Portland’s many food truck pods on SE Division St. It was so much fun! I had chicken curry and chicken tika masala from an Indian food truck and a smoothie from Moberi truck. If you ever visit Portland you must eat at least one meal at a food truck pod. After lunch we went to Salt and Straw. They have new flavors every month that are inspired by kids from the local elementary schools near their locations. All the proceeds from those flavors go to the schools that inspired them. I had rose flavored ice cream with white chocolate and waffle cone pieces in it and it was amazing.

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Tuesday

After lunch on Monday we started driving down highway 101 towards California. It was grey all day Monday but on Tuesay, our second day of driving, the sun came out and it was absolutely beautiful.

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The north Pacific coast is so rugged and beautiful it was quite the enjoyable drive.

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While in Crescent City we got to watch some surfers. They were in wetsuits but it still must have been freezing for them. They are way tougher than I am.

Wednesday

Our goal in Cali was to visit the Redwoods and they did not disappoint. The trees really are awe-inspiring.

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While in the Redwoods we managed to lose one of my sisters. She is a runner and while we all went on a leisurely hike she decided to go running. When we didn’t ever meet her on the loop we were all supposed to be on we got a little worried. We regrouped, realized that it was highly unlikely that she’d actually get lost in the forest and my dad set out to hike around and look for her while we stayed at the car. My sister showed up about 20 minutes after that and then the worry was that my dad wouldn’t get back before the sun went down and everything got really cold. He got back just fine and was actually in a great mood from his long hike through a place he’s always wanted to visit. Needless to say Wednesday was a bit more of an adventure than we anticipated.

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Thursday

Thursday we spent a couple of hours in the Redwoods before driving back up to Portland to spend the last night with my sister before heading home on Friday.

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Have you ever been to the PNW? What was your favorite part?

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Colorado Travel Guide: Boreas Pass + Giveaway Winners!

Every season in Colorado is beautiful, but autumn is especially lovely. On a recent trip into the mountains to admire the changing colors my family decided to explore a new to us part of Colorado and drive through Boreas Pass. We ended up driving to the summit and then turning around instead of going the whole length of the pass but it was so pretty that I had to share it with all of you.

But first, I have some giveaway winners to announce! Emily Robberson and Sarah Subramanian I’ve sent you an email to get your prizes to you!

Boreas pass is a dirt road that goes between Fairplay and Breckenridge. My family started in Fairplay and turned towards Como where the road over the pass starts. The road is fairly rough and can be pretty narrow in places so this is not a good road if you don’t have a car that can easily navigate dirt roads or if you have a fear of mountain driving.

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The views are incredible and the aspens lining the road are gorgeous!

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That moment when you delete the wrong picture and you have a truck in the middle of your view.

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The summit of Boreas Pass intersects with the Continental Divide and is at 11,482 feet in elevation.

This is a really beautiful part of Colorado and I highly recommend visiting if you are looking for a place to admire the autumn foliage.

What are your favorite places to admire the autumn scenery? Let me know in the comments!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t use all the time and think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Florida Keys Recap

Hello!

Last week my family went to the Florida Keys. This Colorado girl had a hard time dealing with the bugs and the heat but overall I had an absolute blast!

We flew into Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday and arrived just in time to get some dinner and take a night walk along the atlantic before we crashed. On Monday we drove down the coast to Key Largo we ended up renting a house while we were there and it was so much pleasanter than a hotel.

On Tuesday we went to Everglades National Park. This wasn’t my favorite part of the trip but we do get to see a couple of dolphins playing in the wake of our boat and that was so awesome!

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We got back to Key Largo just in time to watch the sunset. It was so striking and so completely different from Colorado sunsets. The sun reflecting off the water of the Florida Bay was incredible.

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Wednesday we got on a boat and went snorkeling in a coral reef in John Pennekamp State Park. It didn’t occur to me to bring a waterproof way to take pictures until I was already in the water I saw barracuda, parrotfish, and Dory’s cousin. Later that afternoon we planned to go snorkeling again at the park where we watched the sunset. We ran out of time but my parents went on a seafood date that night and watched the sunset again at the park. They came back that night and informed us that a shark had been spotted in the water there. It was probably a nurse shark but no one had been able to identify it yet so we were all pretty glad that we hadn’t snorkeled after all.

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Thursday we went to Lauderdale by the Sea for a beach day because the Keys don’t have very good beaches. The weather was perfect and the water was so warm!

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The beach we went to had the cutest benches shaped like a boat.

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I wore my *Rey Swimwear suit for the first time and I loved it. The pineapples are so cute and the ruching on the sides is really flattering.

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It is the first suit I’ve ever had that doesn’t ride up on my butt. The only downside is that I am just the tiniest bit too short for the suit so the top slipped down sometimes. Rey Swimwear is a super awesome ethical swimwear brand. I have a blog post about them here.

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Friday we drove out to Key West. We visited Ernest Hemingway’s house, ate lunch at a restaurant called the Six Toed Cat, and had chocolate dipped key lime pie on a stick. The pie was delicious but I think I like it better on a plate, without the chocolate.

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At the end of the day we went to another state park on Key West and looked around and watched the ocean for a while before driving home.

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I wore a sundress that day because I’d been wearing a lot of Tshirts and things I could throw over a swim suit so I wanted to look cute. It ended up not being the best choice though because it was pretty short and there was a lot of wind that day.

Saturday my younger sisters and my dad went snorkeling and my older sister and I did some souvenir shopping and in the evening we went to the airport and flew home.

I had such a good trip. It was so much fun to explore and experience a totally different part of the country from what I’m used to. Plus, who doesn’t love the beach.

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t use all the time and think are really great; you know I’m classier than that;). However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

All photos marked with By Quiet Waters Photography were taken by my mom over at By Quiet Waters.

 

Colorado Travel Guide: Estes Park pt. 2

Hello everyone!

Today I have my second post about Estes Park. I will be telling you about the shops that did not involve food.

Macdonald Bookstore

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I can’t resist a good bookstore, and this is the best one I have ever visited. It smells like old books and it has comfy chairs that you can curl up in to read by their wood fire. I always find something different when I visit but they usually have the most beautifully illustrated children’s classics and the last time I went they had leather bound Austens, and beautiful collections of Shakespeare’s and Conan Doyle’s complete works.

Mountain Blown Glass

This shop has really beautiful glass pieces and the artists do free demonstrations throughout the day. The piece that is being made in the pictures is the same color and design as the finished bowls in the pictures.

Weaver’s Attic

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At the Weaver’s Attic is a weaving store, a loom/spinning museum, and a place for a community of weavers to work on projects together. We met one of the weavers while we were there who told us the history of their three looms and some of the projects that were in process.

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This was the first loom, they were just tying on a new project.

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This was the second loom, and the one with the capability for the most variety of patterns. They were weaving a rug out of old saris, or Indian dresses. Isn’t it beautiful?

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This was the last loom. They had several projects on the same weft the one pictured was almost done and they had enough weft for one more rug.

The Weaver’s Attic was in the Old Church Shops. An old church had been repurposed into a mall of sorts. There was a coffee shop that looked really cool but I didn’t have a chance as well as some other shops.

Tregent Park

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The last place I want to share with you is the riverside walk ending with Tregent Park. There is a river that runs behind the shops of one side of the town and then crosses over to Tregent Park on the other side. Its a really beautiful place to walk and because we visited right after Christmas all of the lights were still up and the park was enchanting at night.

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That’s all, I hope you visit Estes Park sometime.

Have a great day!

~Maizy

 

Colorado Travel Guide: Estes Park pt. 1

Hello!

Estes Park, Colorado is a delightful little town in northern Colorado at the entrance to Rock Mountain National Park. It is definitely a must-see if you ever visit Colorado, whether you stay in the town itself or spend a day there while visiting a different area. My family spent a weekend there a couple of weeks ago to relax and have some fun before the spring semester started. We spent a little bit of time in Rocky Mountain National Park, but it was really cold so we spent most of our time in the town and I took pictures at some of my favorite shops and restaurants to share with you all. I have several shops to share with you so I think I will split it up into restaurants and food related shops and non-food related shops.

Donut Haus

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Donut Haus was the most adorable little bakery. I had an amazing chocolate donut. My sister, who likes her donuts totally plain without flavor or icing said that they had the most perfect plain donut she had ever tried. Pick some up for breakfast in the morning, and go early, or you’ll just be buying coffe; when we stopped by in the afternoon, they had sold out.

 

Rocket Fizz

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There is a Rocket Fizz store near my home in Colorado Springs but the one in Estes Park is the best one I’ve visited. They have a huge variety of candies and soda. Just visiting and looking around is a really cool experience.

Estes Park Times and Old Fashioned Candy Store

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This store always has the most amazing window displays using candy and the two times I’ve visited around Christmas they have had elaborately decorated gingerbread houses that look really cool. Inside the store they have lots of different old-fashioned and modern candies in barrels and crates like you’ve stepped into a candy shop a hundred years ago. One of my favorite things about this shop and about Rocket Fizz is that they often have candies that I really like but that are hard to find in the stores I normally shop at.

Estes Park Taffy Company

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Speaking of candy, this taffy shop is the first taffy shop to be opened in Estes Park in 1935. You can watch them pulling the taffy and cutting and wrapping it using the same machinery they’ve been using since the 1940s. If you visit, try the peppermint and butter pecan flavors, they’re my favorite.

 

You Need Pie! and Shakes Alive!

You Need Pie! is a really fun bakery and diner. Go for breakfast or just go for the pie. My favorite is the blueberry. I haven’t had a chance to visit Shakes Alive! because it closes in the winter. If you visit in the summer before I do, tell me how it is.

Have a great day!

~Maizy