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Travel

My Year and A Half Living Full-Time in a Trailer

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We are finishing our time in our trailer and honestly it might be the most bitter-sweet thing I’ve ever experienced. I have loved every moment living in our travel trailer! It has grown my marriage, allowed me to experience so many unique places in the country, while also allowing my husband and I to stay together while working and finishing school. It’s done everything we needed and more and to let it go will be one of the hardest things.

Next week we are heading up to the Midwest to grab our things in storage and move to Pittsburgh to get settled before my husband starts his job at the local hospital. We are excited about the changes and its definitely the next right step for us. But its also so hard to let go of the year and a half of travel and memories that we have had in here. My husband will be the first to tell you that living in a trailer has been amazing. We will absolutely be buying one in the future and may even retire in one we loved it so much!

One of the best perks and the one I will always mention is how much its grown our marriage. Our travel trailer is 32 feet long so there is no room to hide! We have had to learn how to work together better than we did in the past. We were together all the time, had no family or friends around and lived in a confined space. So we had to learn to be more patient, be more understand, let go of anger, and to be extrodinarily kind. And honestly we have fought far less in the last year and a half because of these lessons that we learned. We work together and enjoy quality time together in ways that wouldn’t have been possible without getting out and trying something new.

Travel trailer life pushes you to go outside and adventure, to not sit in front of the TV but to be active. Because the space is limited, we were forced to get out more and honestly we really learned how little we need in terms of possessions and a house. While we are moving to a bigger place, its not near as big as what we used to believe we needed. The goal will be to continue to limit the amount of items that we need and maintain a lifestyle of staying outside and active.

With all that being said, I want to highlight my top five moments from this adventure and hopefully inspire you to get out, try something new and maybe even buy a trailer!

1.) Our First Outdoor Movie – On the Side of the Trailer

My husband and I saved up all our money from Christmas and some of our savings to purchase a new projector. We were able to get the projector in January(a month or so after moving in) and used the side of the trailer to project the movie onto. We had our small electric outdoor fireplace, drinks, blankets and perfect chilly weather. The Greatest Showman played as we sang along and enjoyed just the perfect night together. One of many outdoor movie nights that we have been able to enjoy while roaming the country. It was one of those moments that was so simple but so perfect at the same time and was just a great outcome of our trailer life!

2.) Birthday Adventures – Seattle Addition

Our first big road trip from Seattle was the first time really getting out feet wet traveling with the trailer. The drive up was full of craziness between being extremely cold one nights sleep at the truck stop, singing and chatting the whole drive up. We loved every moment in Seattle and fell in love with the beauty of the area. So when my birthday came along, I was given free reign to choose all our activities without complaint! And I utilized every moment of it. We traveled to two of the major parks in the surrounding areas (3-4 hours away from Seattle each). Meaning that my poor hubby drove about 10 hours round trip that weekend so that I could go exploring and enjoy the views! He was such a sweetheart about it and I couldn’t have imagined a better birthday view.

3.) Drive to Washington DC

Honestly, this was the craziest day of our trip. This was the shortest distance that we needed to travel, only about 5 and a half hours. But it ended up taking us double that amount of time to get there. To start, we had endless issues getting the awning to go back up. Some small mechanism decided to break down the morning we were supposed to leave and it took us hours to get it up and ready for travel. Once we got the awning up and went to check out I noticed a giant hole in the siding of our travel! One that I had never seen before! It turns out the day before while mowing the grass areas, one of the staff hit a rock that went straight through the siding of the camper. So we had to deal with that and get an agreement for them to pay the repairs before we could head out. Then as we were driving we had a cabinet door fall and several other issues on the drive. But the reason it is ranked as one of my top memories is because it was a crazy day but we handled everything with grace, love and support. We didn’t argue, we just dealt with the issues and moved on! To me it was a sign of how much we had grown in our marriage in such a short time.

4.) Cooking In The Trailer

Some of my favorite memories are trying to figure out how to cool in a 20 year old trailer. There were many things that don’t work the same as modern technology. For example, the oven does not heat evenly, everything is centered to the front right so you have to be mindful of that when you are working. I burnt several items trying to cook things evenly and not realizing how burnt the bottom was getting! But it was unique and different and we spent this time together learning and growing. I tried endless new recipes and learned to clean (slightly) better than before by having such a small kitchen. It pushed me to be better about cleaning up quickly and more efficiently.

5.) Christmas Eve 2019

I was having a really hard time this Christmas being by ourselves and being in south Florida. The weather was 85 degrees out, beautiful and sunny but it didn’t feel at all like Christmas. I wasn’t able to skype with family on Christmas Eve and it was just all weighing on me. But my hubby was so kind and stepped up to make me feel better. Sitting with me while I cried, playing board games with me, and getting up early on Christmas to take photos with me at the beach. Sometimes its the small things that we do for others that mean the most.

Scottsdale Coffee Tour

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Calling all coffee shop lovers! I had the best time touring a bunch of the cutest coffee shops in the Scottsdale area! I loved all of these locations so much and would happily go back to all of them!

Press Coffee

This cute little coffee shop is located right in the heart of Scottsdale Quarter. It is a great place to stop while shopping or before you go on your shopping spree. The atmosphere is calm and collected. There are a variety of two person tables within the cafe for you to sit at. I wouldn’t recommend this location for larger groups as this is pretty tight location. Because I wanted to try something a little different, I asked for their recommended item. Which was a Hot Chai Latte with Almondmilk. My drink came out within about 5 minutes even though they were very busy. On to the drink. HOLY CRAP. This drink is amazing. I am writing this after my first sip and it is taking all my willpower not to drink the entire thing right now. Light, flavorful and just the right temperature. I highly recommend this location for those looking for a place to sit and work and relax.

Also, I came on a super rainy day in Scottsdale and this place was full of people. From the moment I came in until the moment I left, there was a constant and steady stream of people coming in. Cost of the drink was about $6.30, so a little pricier than I normally pay at these cafes. But the flavor was so good without being overpowering that I thought it was well worth the cost.

Ruze Cake Shop: Stop and Taste the Roses

The BEST macrons. So so good and so worth the price. The espresso macron was the best hands down. The cutest little shop in Old Town Scottsdale and worth a trip with you and your girlfriends. Gives me some Gwendolyn vibes without being in Indiana. They cater and have macron and Arizona cactus cookies that are a part of that deal. Perfect for any wedding you may have coming up as everything is decorated so well and the attention to detail is immaculate. I’d highly recommend these if you are in the area or need some cute items to add to a grab bag or gift bag. I would personally get a few macarons or Arizona cookies to put into gift bags for a girls bridal or baby shower! Such a cute environment for a girls catch up session!

Website: https://www.ruzecakehouse.com/

C’est la Tea – Teaspressa

Okay, it took me way too long to find this. Let’s start out by saying that if I can’t see a sign from the road it will take me 10 years to find it! So, I passed this place twice before I found it. But once you get here, its totally worth it. A very cute location and very Instagram-able for those who are into that! The location itself is super cute, with white chairs and tables and outdoor seating for when its nice out. The tea itself is great and worth a stop. Also, I just saw a girl in the cutest outfit– a newspaper dress and white leather boots – I’m going to need that outfit asap.

Regardless, Teaspressa is a very cute place for those who are looking for a place to sit down and relax. This location is about 8 minutes from Old Town Scottsdale, so its a drive if you live in North Scottsdale or the surrounding area. The tea itself — I got a London Fog as that’s my favorite tea. Matcha is a little rough for me to handle. I also haven’t had it iced before today and it was really good and very refreshing. This was also my third stop of the day so I am really feeling that caffeine kick. Imma need a nap after this!

Prep & Pastry

Prep & Pastry is the cutest brunch place in Scottsdale! The food, mimosas and atmosphere are all amazing and totally worth a visit. I highly suggest making a reservation or getting on the wait list as soon as possible. Otherwise, I saw that the wait was about an hour when we arrived at 10:30am on Sunday.

The food itself was absolutely phenomenal! Their french toast had a champagne infused whip cream that might have been one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Couple that with the best Monte Cristo I’ve ever tasted and I was already in a food coma. We ended the night with an espresso donut that was just melt in your mouth goodness. I highly recommend coming here and trying these items. The food and service are well worth the wait to get a table!

Also, I just need to shout out the serious fan girl moment I had today. I got to meet Erin from Wink & A Twirl and she was just so sweet and so kind and it was such a blessing to get to chat with her for a moment. Let me just say that I have had so much fun getting to know people on the Instagram platform. There can be negativity there, but there is also so much joy and wonderful people as well!

Have you been to any of these locations? If so, post a picture in the comments below!

2019: A Year in Review

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Without a doubt this has been one of the craziest, busiest, most fun years of my life! We have had the absolute pleasure of getting to travel the country while also finishing medical school and starting my new job as an event planner! Talk about an insane but amazing opportunity! I wanted to take a moment and highlight a few of the amazing moments that have happened over 2019 during our trailer adventures!

Seattle/Oregon

Our first stop was Seattle, Washington! Which was without doubt the most beautiful state I had ever been to. To say I was in love at first sight is an understatement. The Pacific Northwest might host some of the most gorgeous views in the world. I spent every spare moment exploring and trying to enjoy every view imaginable. I’ve pulled together my top places to visit in Seattle for you below!

  • Mount Rainier National Park -If you are going to travel anywhere around Seattle, Mount Rainier is a must. It is a vast park full of beautiful waterfalls, lakes, and mountain views. I would highly recommend going to Mount Rainier in the summer when the snow is mostly gone and you can get to all areas of the park.
  • Snoqualmie Falls – The most gorgeous waterfall with the cutest hotel and restaurant overlooking the falls. Snoqualmie Falls is a completely free attraction and there are several vantage points to view it. This is a great choice for those who want a relaxing sightseeing day.
  • Olympic National Park – The thing I love about this park was that we were able to drive up to the most gorgeous view. So for those who don’t want to hike you can literally drive to see some of my favorite views in the state! Hurricane Ridge at the top of Olympic National Park was the best birthday view I could have asked for. It overlooked a range of mountains covered in snow, couple that with a cup of hot cocoa and you have yourself a perfect day!
  • Downtown Seattle – Below are my top picks for the next time you are in downtown Seattle.
    • The Space Needle is a true work of art in Seattle. 360 degree views of the city and surrounding mountains gives you an outstanding view worth the cost.
    • Pikes Place market is the iconic vendor market. Pikes Place hosts some amazing local cuisine, art and local flowers that you would need. It’s a must for anyone visiting the Seattle area.
    • A Mariners or a Seahawks game is definitely a must, such a fun experience and worth the money to get to see these sporting events.
    • Lastly, take a kayak ride along Lake Union. It is so much fun and gives you a unique perspective of the city.

Sugar Beach, St. Lucia

St. Lucia was a wonderful and gorgeous place to visit. So thankful for every moment that I spent there. Even though this was a work related trip and most of my time was spent working or making sure everyone had a smooth trip, I was still able to spend some time by myself enjoying the area. Below are my tips to visiting St. Lucia.

  • Work through an agency or a destination management company. It’s a small island, but it’s helpful to have someone to guide you along and also help with your safety. The biggest issue to keep in mind when traveling out of the country is to keep yourself safe at all times. Do everything you can do to keep yourself in safe situations and using a reliable destination company is a good way to keep that safety.
  • Choose a hotel with everything you will need. Make sure you choose a hotel that is on the beach, has restaurants and has good reviews. I highly recommend an all inclusive resort if you are on a budget as this is an island that has to import most of their materials. If you don’t choose an all inclusive resort, look up menu prices ahead of time so you can budget appropriately.
  • Plan excursions ahead of time and look up reviews and weather plans before booking. My favorite excursions are whale/dolphin watching, mud baths, and zip-lining. There are a ton of options available to you, just be sure to plan ahead and be ready for a weather change if need be. Be sure to look up the round trip distance from your hotel as well. Our resort, Sugar Beach, was just minutes away from all 3 of our excursions making it incredibly easy to get to and from.

Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville is our core rotation spot for my husbands 4th year of medical school. This means that we spent two months here this year and will be spending three months there in 2020. Jacksonville is a widespread town so planning ahead is key because distance between attractions is further than you think. If you are planning to visit, here are a few spots in Jacksonville that I highly recommend.

  • Jacksonville Beach – I can say with 100% certainty that this beach is one of the best ones in the state. It hosts free parking, expansive beaches and clean family friendly areas to relax. The water and beach is exquisite making it a great place if you are looking for a relaxing beach.
  • St. Augustine – While not in the Jacksonville limits, just south of the city is the gorgeous town of St. Augustine. The Alligator Farm that takes in gators from all over gave my husband the biggest smile I’d ever seen on his face. He absolutely loved seeing all the various gators and getting to hold one. Without doubt so much fun to see him smile like that! For me, St. Augustine is worth the trip to experience the local shops and cuisine. St. George street is eclectic and full of unique shops for you to peruse.
  • Safe Harbor Seafood – If you are going to go anywhere in Jacksonville. This. Is. The. Place. I am not a big fan of seafood, but their shrimp nachos might be the best thing I’ve ever eaten. They are so so good and worth every penny! Be prepared to wait though as this restaurant always has a line out the door of people waiting to order. And for those who are big seafood fans, my husband as loved every item on the menu so far as everything is fresh and cooked to order.

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta was not a place that we went to together in the RV. This was a trip through my work, where we were able to get the unique experience of an on field tour and batting practice at the Atlanta Braves. The Atlanta Braves stadium and restaurant area is a wonder to be seen. They really made this a special area for anyone who is a baseball fan, especially a fan of the Braves. Between the huge screen outside the Omni for fans to view home and away games, a huge baseball hanging in the air, and baseball themed shops and restaurants surrounding the area. The Braves stadium is gorgeous and definitely worth a trip if you are going to Atlanta.

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh was an unexpected gem. I had no idea when we arrived in Pittsburgh just how much we would love it. We loved all the greenery, the nature and the old style feel of the city. Top that off with three major sporting teams, tons of lakes and rivers and a 5 hour drive to Indiana and we were sold. Pittsburgh really stole our hearts for so many reasons. The people that we had the pleasure of meeting we so kind and welcoming to us. Pittsburgh is a city that will welcome you if you come. A couple of my recommendations when you visit are below.

  • Pittsburgh Zoo – The Pittsburgh Zoo was incredible and so much fun to visit. It’s not the biggest zoo we’ve ever been to, but it host all the animals you would want to see and is fun for the whole family!
  • Grandview Avenue/Upper Platform – For the best view of Pittsburgh, head up to the Grandview Avenue and take in some amazing views! This would be a great spot with a cup of coffee in the morning and I highly recommend adding it to your list. There are also some gorgeous churches along the way to stop and look at!
  • Major League Game- Honestly, any of the sporting events would be a blast in Pittsburgh. Between the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins, there is always something to experience in the city. While we were only able to make it to a pirates game, I can attest that the energy during these games is electric. It’s worth every penny and the views from the park are amazing!

Colorado Springs, CO

This was another one of my work events that ended up being such a blast! We were at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and let me just tell you it is worth a trip! It was a phenomenal hotel with gorgeous suites and even better views. I didn’t get to go out and explore a lot of the Colorado Springs area, but the hotel we were at was so inclusive and beautiful you could stay here and never be bored. Between the view of the mountains, the spa, the extensive outdoor activities you can schedule, the bowling alley and the pool; you and your family will always have something to do. If it’s possible, try to get upgraded to one of their suites, they are so gorgeous and will make the trip that much better. *Also, they make all their chocolate in house, so be sure to grab some before you leave!

Washington, DC

Washington might be one of the most surprising areas for us to visit. There is so literally so much to do! Almost all the museums in the DC are free admission and there are a ton of outdoor monuments to view as well. I wrote an entire blog post with all my DC must see attractions. You can see that blog by clicking here. My biggest takeaway from our time in DC is remembering how important it is that we are all kind to one another. We may have our political differences, but we are all human and deserving of love, kindness and respect. When you visit DC just remember to treat everyone with kindness!

Fort Lauderdale & Boynton Beach, FL

South Florida is a totally different experience than Orlando or Jacksonville. The extent of tourists at the beach and the overcrowded neighborhoods and cities are a bit overwhelming. However, it also has amazing beaches, tons of things to do, and some great people as well. One of our favorite experiences was getting to see the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, which opened its new guitar hotel this year. An amazing site for those to see and if you get the opportunity it would be a great place to stay at. On a completely unrelated note: this year also hosted my favorite Halloween costume. Because we are living full time in a trailer, it seemed like the perfect time to dress up as Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation. I’ve never had so much fun with a costume. It just felt right!

Orlando, FL

Orlando was our number one choice when we first started looking at residencies. It just had that perfect fit that we were looking for. The year-long nice weather was perfect for my husband and the parks and insane amount of things to do in Orlando would keep me busy during his long work days. And Orlando definitely lived up to its expectations. While being an incredibly busy city that is always filled with tourists, there are some of the cutest towns around for you to live in or visit. I have endless recommendations and places I want to visit in the future, but for now here are a few of my favorites.

  • Disney World – While Disney is ridiculously busy and expensive, it is still incredible the amount of magic that they bring to the park. The way the staff carry themselves is enough to give you the joy you experienced in your youth. You can check out my blog on Disney here.
  • Universal Studios – Without doubt my favorite place in Orlando. Perfect for anyone who wants to experience magic, adrenaline rushes and more adult oriented fun. The rides are much more of an adrenaline rush than those at Disney and their Harry Potter world is phenomenal. Even my husband who is not a Harry Potter fan was impressed with how realistic and how well they replicated those areas were. When you are there, be sure to grab a cup of butterbeer for me!
  • Winter Garden — Winter Garden is where we stayed in Orlando and it has the cutest little shops, Saturday business markets and restaurants to visit. It’s one of many towns that are incredibly charming and worth the drive.
  • Outside of the main parks, there are a ton of smaller amusement areas, helicopter rides, mini golf areas, and tons of activities to keep you entertained. The next time you go to Orlando, spend one day trying something you haven’t done before. I promise you will find something incredible!

Overall, 2019 was a year that will go down in history for us. I couldn’t be more thankful for all the adventures we got to take this year. And while it has been a hard year, with financial and mechanical issues, we got through it and I am so proud of how far we came. Life is never going to be perfect or go the way you envisioned. So embrace the opportunities given to you and enjoy every moment!

Let me know your favorite moment from 2019 in the comments below!

Inside D.C. – An In Depth Tour of the White House, Capital and VP’s Office

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One of the most amazing experiences of my life happened during our
Washington, D.C. trip. We got an inside look into the White House and our
nations Capital! During these two days we were able to see and experience more than I could have ever dreamed.

Day One:

First thing was a tour of the White House! After passing the background check (I was oddly nervous I would get rejected – ha!) and getting through the endless rounds of secret service agent checks, we made it to the most coveted house in America. More than anything, this tour was a reminder that the people who lead our nation are all human. They live and breathe just like we do, they worry and stress just like we do, and their lives are imperfect just like ours.

The tour shows in depth photos of those who have lived there, portraits of our first ladies and presidents, historic china and you are able to see many of the rooms that were used by our past presidents. The White House tour is honestly pretty rushed. While it is incredible and a once in a lifetime experience, it is also very structured. You can go in the few hallways allocated to you and it is heavily guarded (as you would expect). And while I didn’t expect to have free reign within the White House, I was hoping they would include a little bit more into the tour. Overall, I would highly recommend making this a part of your trip to D.C. it is worth your time and a unique experience. You can access White House Tour information here: White House Tours.

After the White House tour we got to participate in a bible study at the
Vice Presidents office. Seriously… the Vice President of the United States.
Regardless of your political views, this was the coolest experience!!! We were able to sit with leaders from our country and openly discuss the bible and pray for those who had died 18 years ago on September 11th. My seat in the office overlooked the White House and while we were praying I couldn’t help but look over and think about George W. Bush. To think about all the decisions he had to make 18 years ago. The tough life-changing decisions that are needed in a time of crisis. Our time at the Vice Presidents Office was surreal and worth every moment, thankful we took the leap and said yes to the invitation!

Day Two:

The Capital was one of my favorite experiences! We had a personal tour from one of our Senators who led us through the Capital and gave us an inside look into the House of Representatives room. It was the most surreal feeling to sit where major decisions about our country are made. To know that this is where matters that affect our nations are argued and discussed. To stand where some of our countries founders stood and made monumental decisions. After the House of Representatives room we headed to the rotundra and the view from the Speaker of the Houses balcony. Let me just say, they have a phenomenal view! The Capital hosts daily tours and is totally worth your time. You can access tour information here: Capital Tours.

After our time in the capital, we spent the afternoon at the Library of Congress, hearing from our nations Senators and House Representatives on the issues facing our nations and what they are doing to combat them. There aren’t many opportunities where you get to sit and listen to your congressmen discuss the struggles they are facing, while also getting an honest outlook on our future as a nation. It was humbling to listen to the struggles that we as a nation face, especially the struggle to unify as one nation. I will never again take for granted the opportunity to speak to those leading our country, their insight, knowledge and position are vital. And knowing what’s going on will only help you make a more informed vote, especially in next years 2020 election!

There was so much going on those two days that I was only able to highlight the high points. But the most important takeaway from this trip is this. It’s not okay to stand on the sidelines. There is so much going on in our country, and your voice matters! Be involved, be informed, and be thankful you have a place in this country! You have the opportunity to make our counties future great! Be kind to others, have courage to stand up for whats right and continue to pray for those who lead our nation.

-Kayla

 

Washington, DC in One Weekend

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Washington, DC is the one American city you cannot skip! There is so much to explore, so much to learn and so much history to relive. America has a lot to see, but DC is without doubt one of the most unique cities to visit.

Let me just tell you, if you want to see all the major tourist attractions in DC in one weekend, you can! The beauty of Washington, DC is that the majority of the ‘tourist attractions” are in one area making it remarkably easy to get around in one weekend.

I would highly recommend starting at the National Mall and starting EARLY. The earlier the better when it comes to DC, you want to get there with plenty of time to find parking and get yourself situated for the day. Getting there early also allows you to get great pictures of the Lincoln Memorial, Reflection Pond and Washington Monument without the onslaught of tourist buses rolling in. If you are able to park near the Lincoln Memorial, it is significantly easier to plan your day cohesively.

A huge benefit to Washington, DC is that almost all of their museums have free admission! This makes the museums busier, but also saves you a ton of money! Below are my suggestions for a weekend itinerary in DC.

Day One Itinerary – The Major Attractions

  • Lincoln Memorial – Probably one of the most iconic places in DC, this memorial hosts a 19 feet tall statue of Abraham Lincoln overlooking Washington/Washington Memorial.
  • Reflection Pond – A gorgeous lake that sits between the Lincoln and Washington Memorial.
  • Korean War Memorial– A stunning, revered area in memory of all who served in the Korean War.
  • World War II Memorial – A huge memorial between the Lincoln and Washington Monuments. Dedicated to those who fought and served in WWII.
  • Washington Monument– This is by far one of the most symbolic and largest tourist attractions in DC. Tons of greenery surrounds the monument allowing for hosted activities, picnics and gorgeous photos.
  • White House -Arguable the most famous house in America, you can get a gorgeous unobstructed view minutes from the Washington Monument. Remember, this is a heavily guarded area, so there will be trained officer with guns here. If your interested in taking a tour, here are the details: WHITE HOUSE TOUR
  • Smithsonian Natural History Museum – Probably my husband’s favorite location (he’s a huge animal lover). This sprawling museum can take as long as you want. There is so much to see and do and incredibly family friendly. I would recommend at least 2-3 hours to truly experience all that there is to see and do here!

Day Two Itinerary – Your Specific Attractions

  • Arlington Cemetery – Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – Plan for anywhere from 1 hour to 2 and a half hours to go through this. This place is emotional hard to walk through as you feel the impact of those who sacrificed everything for the sake of freedom. This is one thing you cannot miss when you visit DC.
  • Smithsonian Air & Space Museum – Currently in renovations – Plan for at least an hour and a half here. This is so fun to experience, especially if you have kids! The most family friendly museum and so many interesting artifacts.
  • Capital Building – Big spacious area with tons of food trucks, greenery for a picnic and then exploring the Capital. If you’d like to take a tour of the capital, follow this link: CAPITAL TOUR.
  • National Archives – This was #1 on my list of museums to visit in DC. Because of my heritage I was dying to go and see the Declaration of Independence in person. There are so many historical documents and letters to see while you are in the archives. I highly recommend taking the time to go here and see our countries founding documents.

This will tackle a huge list of the attractions most people want to hit in one day. What’s even better is that there are lines of food trucks on the side of the road so you can easily grab lunch or a snack when you get hungry on your travels. The biggest thing to note as you go through your day, is that you can hit as many or as few attractions as you want. It’s up to you and how quickly you go. Since it was just my husband and I we were able to see and experience a lot of things at a quicker pace than those who have kids or other loved ones to take care of.

If you’ve been to Washington, DC what were your favorite attractions? Stay tuned to more updates as continue to explore the area!

Lincoln Memorial
DAR Monument

Confident Travel – Seattle Edition

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The Pacific North West stole my heart in a way that no other place has done before. From the moment we got there, it just felt like where I wanted to be. Everything around us was lush and green and every turn had lakes, rivers and waterfalls. The water was a deep rich blue surrounded by the most vibrant green. Because of the constant rain in Seattle, everywhere you look had the greenest greens surrounded by thick moss and vibrant greenery. There wasn’t a single place in the area that didn’t have a picturesque view. It was like stepping into the fairy tales and movies I had watched for years. Where everything was a magical wonderland just steaming with adventure and excitement. Seattle had the home away from home feeling I was always looking for.

It took less than 24 hours for me to start looking at my husband with giant heart eyes saying just how much I wanted to live out there. Everything about it just screamed adventure, fun and comfort. This wasn’t a place I ever thought we would want to end up, but the fact that my love for the area grew so quickly, I was willing to move that day!

Then one day, I had one of the most confident moments of my life. I was standing in the outskirts of Seattle when I realized that if this was the place that God led us to, that we would be just fine. That whatever obstacles we faced we could overcome them together. That even though Seattle is on the other end of the country and a 4 hour plane ride away, God’s plans are greater than our own. I had no doubt that if we were called to move to Seattle for my husbands three year residency that we would thrive and grow.

Confidence comes in the most unexpected ways, whenever it comes embrace it and use it to grow. Wherever you are, focus on the good around you. Enjoy the moment that you are in. Never in my life did I think I would get to do all this traveling at the same time, to be in Seattle for over a month, and to fall in love with travel even more than I had before.

Travel brings such confidence, it broadens your world view, it challenges you, but most of all it brings excitement and fun into your life! Have confidence that you can travel and watch how much confidence it in turn brings to your life.

Phoenix to Seattle

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This past weekend my husband and I completed the first leg to our 4th year rotations! We drove from Phoenix, Arizona to Seattle, Washington and it was without doubt one of the most beautiful drives we have ever been on! Coming into the Pacific Northwest was like a dream, full of gorgeous mountains, sunrises and sunsets, and tons of scenic views to stop at.

There are times where you can’t believe where you are, where you can’t believe that this is your life. And there are times, good and bad, where I feel this way. However, this trip with my husband was one I will never forget or take for granted. We went through several states on this trip: Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Through this experience I have a few tips for the road if you ever take this drive!

1.) Take your time, there are several gorgeous stops along the way! One of our favorite stops was Shoshone Falls, a gorgeous waterfall in Twin Falls, Idaho. This waterfall is down a back road and a pretty steep mountain, but it has convenient RV parking and is completely FREE! There are multiple viewpoints to view the falls, and these falls are 45 feet higher than Niagara.

2.) Plan to stay at the larger truck stops. We were huge fans of Lowe’s truck stops. They all had great amenities and large parking spots to park our trailer for the night. It also helps staying there is free and gives you the opportunity to get some rest in a safe environment with a lot of people. I would recommend looking ahead and finding a Lowe’s to stay at on your next RV trip.

3.) Spend your first day exploring your new city! We did some of the most tourist driven activities we could. The observation deck on the Space Needle and Pike Place Market were our first stops!

The Space Needle had the most gorgeous views of the Olympic Mountains and the city of Seattle. With two floors to experience the views on, rotating floor views and slanted benches you will love every minute of your time on the Space Needle. If you are planning to see the Space Needle and some of the cities other attractions, I’d highly recommend looking into the city pass which will give you a cumulative discount on your activities. You can access the city pass here: Seattle City Pass.

Pikes Place Market is a bustling market full of fresh flowers, fresh fish, and tons of local vendors. There is something for everyone at this market and it’s open 363 days a year! You could spend hours getting lost in the hustle and bustle of the market, enjoying amazing fresh local foods, and viewing the Pugent Sound while you are at it!

It’s safe to say that the Seattle has stolen our hearts and we are thrilled to experience this amazing city! Culminating all of our travels into a fun Seattle Travel Guide that will come at the end of the month!

The drive between Phoenix and Seattle
Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, Idaho
Space Needle
Observation Deck, Space Needle
Pike’s Place Market
Pike’s Place Market
Fresh Flowers at Pike Place Market
Enjoying that gorgeous Pugent Sound view!

When It Rains In Arizona… It Pours In The Trailer

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It’s one of the few days in Phoenix when its raining, and honestly I was thrilled it was raining! I was in a great mood and was coming home ready to relax and enjoy my evening. Pull into the park and walk into the trailer after work, and all I see is water. Our new floor is covered, the seats are soaked, and I see a consistent drip of water coming from the slide out. It was like stepping into a movie, where the main character has had a million other things go wrong and on top of it all, the rain leaks. Rain leaking into your home is one of the most disheartening things in the world. Especially when you think you fixed it!

Oh the joys of buying used. You just can’t guarantee that everything will be working perfectly the entire time you need it. It’s unfortunate to have these moments, but this is also why we decided to start living in the trailer earlier than we initially planned. These couple months were to work out all the kinks in the system. While that’s all grand and dandy, it’s also a giant pain in the butt! It’s a lot of worry and stress trying to get everything resolved in time. But it’s also, fire-pits in front of the lake overlooking the stars, its cuddling up in the trailer to watch a movie, it’s getting out in nature and enjoying all that life has to offer.

The trailer life is new neighbors every few days. It’s doing puzzles, taking walks outside, and truly enjoying each others company. So for all the stress that a used trailer brings, the fun, love and excitement make it all worth while! This is life I always dreamed of living. If you are on the fence about trying the trailer life, let me encourage you that it will far surpass your expectations!

5 Travel Must Haves

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Traveling in today’s world can mean three checks’ in, a stuffed carry on, and a huge personal backpack. We try and bring everything that we might possibly need. But there are some things that are just absolutely necessary for a fun and functional trip! If there’s one thing that I am constantly working on, its bringing the absolute essentials on a trip and leaving the rest. No reason to over pack my suitcase with things that I don’t really need. So today, I wanted to go through the couple of things that I believe are must haves in your travels this year!

1.) Empty Water Bottle – This is a MUST for anyone who enjoys not wasting money. Water at the airport is ridiculously overpriced. Don’t waste your money on water when you could bring an empty bottle and get water for free. I t think the part that people forget is that you will still need water while you are on your trip. Bringing a good water bottle will save you money and keep you hydrated during your entire trip. My husband and I love Yeti Ramblers they are great for warm or cold drinks and have excellent durability!

2.) External Battery Pack – While airports are slowly adding more charging stations, they are still completely crammed. People are constantly hovering around you, and most of the time the outlets barely work. So instead of having a dead phone on your flights– invest in an external battery pack. This one on Amazon is $32 and has 4.5 stars. When your phone is on 15% and your flights about to take off… you will be thankful for this!

3.) Trash Bag & Dryer Sheets– Lets be honest, I learned this one from my husband. No matter how much you clean your clothes on vacation, smells can linger in your suitcase. Bring dryer sheets to help eliminate some of these smells. They don’t take up much room and will give your nose and clothes a nice smell. Time to get rid of those musty travel smells once and for all! If you don’t have access to do laundry during your trip, the trash bag actually comes in handy during your trip. As you go through your trip, put your dirty clothes in the trash bag and keep the rest outside the trash bag so the smell doesn’t infect your other clothes.

4.) Shower Shoes – Yes, not the most glamorous thing to bring. But, as I live with a podiatrist, I can’t ignore this one. No matter how fancy a hotel is, shower shoes are still a must. Protect yourself from potential infections that come from using the same showers as multiple strangers, and bring a pair of flip flops for the shower. It won’t take up much room, but it will save you from future issues!

5.) SD Card- No matter how much room you think you have. Bring an extra SD card with you. I absolutely love this one from Target, its easy to post camera quality photos from your phone and has a good amount of storage. Convenient, easy to use, and extremely helpful if you are an avid picture taker.

You can always add more, but these 5 things are items that should never be left out of your suitcase! You may find that you need them!

xoxo-Kayla

Destination: St. Lucia

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Hopped on a plane to St. Lucia that was overflowing with honeymooners and couples fawning all over each other. And there over in the corner is little old me… sitting by myself on the flight to one of the most romantic destinations in the Caribbean. Talk about a hilariously awkward moment! This was a true, its only awkward if you let it be awkward, kind of moment. But when you looked past the adorable couples everywhere, there is the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen in the Caribbean! The water is pristine, the food was delicious and there were countless activities to indulge in. Below are some of the highlights from my time in St. Lucia!

I stayed at Sugar Beach Resort, who hosts the most gorgeous views of the Piton Mountains. The beach is white sand and right beside the best snorkeling on the island. This is the best location on the island to see unique fish, stunning views and quiet, relaxing beach time. The food was exquisite and worth every penny, and there were plenty of options for couples and families alike!

The luxury villas at Sugar Beach are the best I’ve ever seen! Equipped with your own private pool overlooking the ocean, these villas are the only way to experience Sugar Beach. These rooms all have their own butler that will assist you with any of your needs, from shuttles to room service, you will not be left wanting anything.

Tet Paul was one of the best ‘easy’ hikes to do on the island. Your guide will take you through the vegetation on the island, show you the villages you overlook on the way up, and give you the history of the island. The Tet Paul hike ends with some of the most amazing views on the island, overlooking not only the island, but the two Piton mountains. This is the perfect hike for families and those wanting to experience a leisurely hike.

They warn you about the smell that volcanoes produce… but oh my… is it intense. The tour of the volcano and learning about its history was amazing and intriguing. But its the mud bath that everyone raves about the most! Extremely warm and slightly gross, these baths are supposed to rejuvenate your skin with minerals you can find no where else. Let me tell you, there was a noticeable difference in my skin after this experience!

Fun Fact: They are opening up another mud bath soon, so you should be able to enjoy even more time in the St. Lucia volcanic mud baths!

Sugar Beach and St. Lucia was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. It was STUNNING, full of adventures but also tranquil and relaxing. I would recommend any couple, family or individual plan their next trip to St. Lucia! I promise it will be one of the best trips of your life!

xoxo-Kayla