Stinson, California is a beach town just north of San Francisco. Andrew and I recently stayed there with friends for a weekend get-a-way. We stayed step away from the beach and really enjoyed ourselves. The town itself is very small and only offers a handful of things to do and places to eat but I think we found all of the best it has to offer!
Matt Davis Loop Trail: Hiking Muir Woods was on the top of my to-do list for our stay in the Stinson Beach area. Muir Woods is the world's most-visited redwood park. The day we planned on hiking it was raining so instead of driving to The Muir Woods Visitor Center we decided to hike a trail right off of the main highway in town. I didn't realize it until I got home and Googled the trail we hiked (Matt Davis Loop) that we were actually in Mt. Tamalpais State Park which is what surrounds Muir Woods. We saw plenty of redwoods, waterfalls, and lush forest. The loop is about seven miles in its entirety. It wasn't the best day for a hike so we walked far enough to get an excellent view and turned around to go back down. We did about a two mile hike. You can access this trail behind the Stinson Beach fire station.
Sand Dollar Cafe: Since 1921, this eatery has been a popular place with locals. The Sand Dollar Cafe is right off of the highway so you can't miss it! We ate there twice: once for a quick appetizer and drinks and the second time we went for dinner. The restaurant is family owned and Stinson beach's oldest establishment. You could tell the staff were a very tight knit group of people and they knew most folks by name as they walked in the door. When we went for appetizer and drinks (around four pm) I asked the bar tender if they had happy hour menu. He looked at me, smiled, and said, "Ma'am when you're the only bar in town, you don't do happy hour."
Parkside Cafe: On the side of the highway, closest to the ocean, is a string of small businesses that assemble The Parkside Cafe. The Snack Bar opened in 1949 and is best known for its burgers, smoothies, ice cream, and fries. I bet this place is hopping in the summer with beach goers! The Parkside Cafe Restaurant serves food all day long with a full menu. They have a quaint outdoor area with a fireplace, patio, and garden. We weren't able to enjoy this space as it was cold and rainy but let me tell you what we did enjoy: food and drinks! The food was amazing and overall, a very healthy menu. Because we did eat well and were happy, we found their motto of "eat well, be happy" to be very appropriate and right on target. We all ordered a morning coffee and enjoyed that very much until we saw the table next to us get orange juice. This wasn't your average looking orange juice, you could tell that it was fresh squeezed! Therefore, we all ordered and enjoyed the orange juice, some of us enjoyed it in a champagne glass (mimosa style), others enjoyed it with vodka, and my pregnant friend enjoyed the OJ just how it was! Parkside Cafe is an integral part of the community and available at all times to satisfy your hunger ad don't forget to order OJ.
Whether you visit Stinson for a day at the beach, go with a group of friends for a weekend stay, or go to explore, you are guaranteed a good time. The people in this quiet beach town were friendly, everyone smiled, and local businesses are thriving.
When most people think of Branson, Missouri I'm going to guess they think: Silver Dollar City, outlet malls, shows and more shows! However, if you are looking for something outside of the normal "Branson Box" start thinking about a visit to Adventure Ziplines of Branson where guests can sour high atop Branson getting a breathtaking view of the Ozark Mountains as well as the town! The attraction is located only three blocks off of the famous Highway 76 strip on 501 N Wildwood Drive.
I recently took a girls' trip to Branson and we were looking for something fun to do that was a little out of the ordinary. Adventure Ziplines "hit the nail on the head." We chose the earliest time possible since we were there in August and it was hot. I'd suggest choosing your tour time based on what time of the year it is. We arrived at the facility ten minutes early to sign a few waivers (standard procedure) and to go through the safety information. After the guides spend some time going over the rules, you load up into an ATV and ride to the first line which is meant for practice because it's very short and close to the ground. I've been ziplining several difference places and none of them had a practice line so I really appreciated this and so did my friend who had never done it before. After you practice, you climb lots of stairs to start your adventure. If you're out of shape, you might want to rethink if this experience is something you want to add to your "been there- done it" list. You will be doing some climbing and a brief bit of walking but for the most part, you're flying through the air. On the first few ziplines we all rode normally and got our bearings but by the end, we were going upside down, doing flips off the tower, and zooming in quick! This was such a fun experience for a girls' trip; I'd also recommend this for business groups, families, or even a date!
Adventure Ziplines of Branson really took care of us, made sure we were safe, and that we had fun! I'd love to visit next time I'm back in Branson!
I made a personal bucket list over two years ago when I started writing this blog. I wanted to re-share that list as well as update it and make some additions. This list includes some top travel destinations, personal wishes, and goals. Any of the items you see in bold, I have already completed.
I've got a lot of work to do! What's on your bucket list?!
I'm constantly trying to visit new places; as many of you know, it's on my bucket list to visit all 50 states by the age of 50. Since the last time I updated this list, I've added two new states: Kansas and South Dakota. What states are on your bucket list or is it all of them?!
I've recently been wander lusting for all that is to come in 2016. I decided to put together a personal travel bucket list for some inspiration. Hopefully I'll be able to check at least one of these off in 2016.
1. All 50 States- I'm determined to check off all 50 states by the age of 50. I've traveled to over half of the states so far and plan to check at least one more off this year. There are a few states that I'd like to visit sooner rather than later: Maine, Oregon, and Hawaii.
2. Ireland- Ireland seems like a dream land with lush vegetation, thick woodlands, and rich history. I've been wanting to visit Ireland for quite some time, I think it would make a lovely romantic get-a-way.
3. French Polynesia- French Polynesia is composed of 118 geographically dispersed islands and is in the South Pacific Ocean. I'm not picky on which island I'd like to visit, you could drop me off at any of them and I'd be happy. If it's not too much to ask, I'd like to stay in a glass floor tiki hut.
4. Greece- Although Greece is currently going through a financial crisis an important percentage of their national income comes from tourism. I would love to sail to all the different Greek Isles and take in the culture.
5. The Holy Land- The Holy Land is roughly located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. It is considered holy because of the religious significance of Jerusalem. I think it would be amazing to see the historic region where Jesus ministered.
All of these places comprise my travel bucket list and I hope to visit them one day! What's on your list?
Bonus: Did you know there are more than 21,000 Starbucks stores in over 65 countries? Chances are high that the places on your bucket list will have a Starbucks. I have teamed up with an awesome group of bloggers to give one lucky winner at $70 gift card to Starbucks! Enter to win by clicking on the photo below.
If you've read my previous post about visiting all the states in the US then this will come as no surprise to you that I'm updating my list. As I've said before, at this time every year I reflect on what I've done and where I've gone since it's about to be my birthday (silently screaming inside). Since my last post on this topic, I've added 2 states to my list: Nebraska and Iowa. I actually now live in a state that I'd never been to before, crazy!!!
I'm thinking out loud here but... I need to go visit my friend in Kansas so I can add that state to the list! It's so close to me but all I've ever done is drive through it and that doesn't count in my book.
I love updating this map; I'm closer to my goal with 22 states more to go!
I'm not sure where you work but I hope and pray you like your job! I truly love what I do! I've also found that if you don't love what you do, you will be miserable (been there, done that). The Lord has blessed Andrew and me beyond belief with our jobs and the company we work for. We are so thankful to work for a company that cares about their employees, feels like a giant family, and knows how to have a good time! It's nice that we work together because that means that sometimes we get to travel together. We just recently returned from Atlanta, GA where we had a Sales Academy. The theme was the 1980's and happiness. I think they pulled both off!
Some people ask "how do you work with your husband?" I simply tell them, "I don't know any better." Andrew and I met my first day at work (he'd already been there a month)... we owe part of our relationship to our company.
One thing that was so special about this event was that I got to mark something off my bucket list... You'll never guess what it was: I got to participate in a flash mob... oh yeah, that's right!!! FLASH MOB!
I can't tell you enough how thankful I am... Can you tell I feel Happy, Happy, Happy about where I work?! Ok, I'll quit rambling...
oh, one thing I can't leave out... my Hubby won Rep of the Quarter .... I wanted to scream I was so proud of him but being the professional that I am... I just smiled... HUGE! (Go Andrew!)
Ohhhhh emmmmm geeeeee!!!
This past weekend, I went to Las Vegas to see Britney Spears! I booked these tickets back in January as my birthday present. It was a long awaited present but totally worth it! Her concert was 100% amazing! She's currently doing a 3 year show in Vegas at the Planet Hollywood. I could have not dreamed of a better concert as she did not disappoint. I've been wanting to see Britney since I was in middle school so I've been waiting almost 15 years! (Can you tell I'm a huge Britney fan???).... don't judge.... or don't read on...
So, she did 5 costume changes and 4 or 5 set changes. She sang all of her popular songs, the oldies and the goodies. The show started at 9PM sharp and she performed non-stop for a full hour and a half. I'm sure she was dead tired after but she put on an amazing performance and I was so happy I finally got to see her. If you're ever in Vegas and like Britney, even just a little bit... YOU'VE GOT TO GO! There wasn't a bad seat in the house and she was phenomenal!
For more on our Vegas adventures check back under the "Random Trips" section. I'll be sure to upload tons of pictures.
....Britney definitely stole a "Piece of Me"
The first week of July always makes me think because in just a short month, it will be my birthday! I'm a Leo baby and was born on August 1st. I always think about what I've done in the last year and what I want to continue to do throughout my life. The good Lord has blessed me beyond measure and allowed me to do something that I'm passionate about which is, travel! I decided to start working on an item on my bucket list which is visiting every state in the US. The key to this is I have to actually visit the state, not drive through it, not land there at an airport but visit! So far, I've done 24 which is obviously almost half although, I'm pretty proud of myself! If I visit one new state each year for the rest of my life that means by age 51 I will have visited every single state (you do the math on my age). In saying that, it's a new goal of mine to at least visit one new state a year, if I could see more that would be great! It would be so cool if I could double up at least one year and then be able to say I've seen all 50 states by the age of 50! I've made myself a map of what states I've seen, check it out.. what do you think?! What state should I go to next and what's your favorite place to go in the US?!
PS- If my Father in Law is reading this, he has promised to take the family to Hawaii one day, I'm holding him to it.
I've been considering writing a post about the recent tornado we had sweep through our state Sunday April 27th simply because this blog is supposed to be dedicated to travel however, I've come to the conclusion that of course I'm going to write it...
Sunday, April 27, 2014 is a day I will never forget. Communities less than 10 miles from my home were destroyed by nature. A Tornado 2 miles wide stayed on the ground for 90 minutes and was an F3. I was sitting in the comfort of my home watching the news and ready to jump in my closet at anytime. Luckily, my home and city were spared but our neighbors weren't as lucky. The death toll is at 16 in Arkansas with many more still missing and injured. Andrew and I both went out with separate groups yesterday to help where we could.
It's hard to look at the ruble and imagine that houses once stood in the place where there is nothing. While I was combing through pieces of people's homes I was overwhelmed with the sense of helplessness. I truly hope that the little amount we were able to do yesterday helped in some way. Our God is a mighty God and I can only pray those that are lost right now seek him in the aftermath of this disaster.
In this photo, I'm standing where a rock house once was. Unfortunately the resident of this home did not make it. This destruction made me pause and say prayers for all the things I'm thankful for. I am blessed to be a part of a community that helps others in a time of need.
May God bless the great state of Arkansas and all those affected.
A southern girl living in the Mid-West. My husband and I love to travel and go on new adventures--We love Jesus and the blessings He provides!