It’s so good it even got its own post!
Oh how I love Murphys. It tis the quaintest little town, full of darling shops, wineries, and delicious restaurants. It’s super cozy, and you’ll fall in love upon arrival!
On President’s Day weekend they do a “Wine Weekend” where you pay $20 for a glass and get to taste in almost all of the store front wineries (there’s a lot!). I’ve been the last two years, and have happened upon beautiful weekends! The drive up from the Bay Area is gorgeous, and only takes 2/5 hours.
My mood for the weekend 🙂 The sun is shining, the wine is flowing, it’s a great day.Make sure to grab a coffee and pastry (their savory scones are to die for!) from Aria Bakery & Espresso Cafe and take a 2 min stroll to the creek!
If you’re hungry for a bigger breakfast, swing by the Murphy’s Hotel. Great portions and good prices. Grab a seat on the patio if you can!
History buff? The town is full of historic buildings, and there’s a cool museum too!
Lavender Heaven! Yes, Lavender Ridge is a winery (wine is ok…) their shop is absolutely darling, and they have everything lavender you could possibly want! As well a cheese pairings. A must go.
Need a sweet treat? Or two? Swing by Lila & Sage’s Cupcake store and drool over the delicious cakes, AND hop on over to the Peppermint Stick for a decadent shake!
For dinner we hit the new Luck Penny Public House, and boy o boy were my fish & chips delicious. They also have live music! Super cute joint.
Each building in Murphys is darling! Such old charm mixed with shabby chic.
I hope you’ll trust me when I say GO TO MURPHYS! You won’t regret it.
God is good friends, God is good.
I’ve always imagined I would end up in a small, mountain type town, with beautiful lakes and snow capped mountains, great restaurants with outdoor seating, and residents really making it feel like a community. Though I have dreamed of this place, I have never actually been to said destination. Then, I went to Bend.
On the cruise up we decided to swing by Crater Lake. WOW! This place is gorgeous! It almost looks fake – this volcano inside a volcano! A must see if cruising through southern Oregon. I would also recommend staying at the Green Springs Inn & Cabins outside of Ashland. It was in the middle of the… forest?… and we loved it! The rooms were amazing – and the restaurant was great! The gift shop even had a box for PCT hikers like I read about in Wild!
Ah yes, Bend. Bend is… well, it’s perfect. It’s technically high desert, but Mt. Bachelor sits just a stones throw away, snow capped even in mid summer. The downtown is absolutely delightful, with the Deschutes Rivers meandering through – full of folks floatin’. You can stroll the darling shops, great restaurants, craft breweries and chat with all the NICE people! We actually saw a sticker saying “Be nice, you’re in Bend“. Ha!
We had the privilege to spend the 4th of the July weekend there – and boy oh boy do they do it big! The parade was massive, and after the parade everyone heads down to the park by the river for a huge festival. Tons of booths, drinks, food, games – you name it.
We rented the cutest studio! Just 2 blocks from downtown and perfect!
Exploration of the Cascade Lakes:
Devil’s Lake – The most clear, turquoise lake I have ever seen! And freeeeezing!
Todd Lake – super peaceful and secluded with beautiful views from the parking lot!
Elk Lake – not a great shot – but a perfect spot to rent a kayak or lounge on the beach.
4th of July Madness! This is where you want to celebrate ‘merica!
Side trip up to Sisters
A must do!
First Fridays! SO happy we stumbled upon this! I would actually encourage you to plan your trip to Bend during a First Friday. All of the shops offer free beer/wine/cocktails and snacks and the whole town comes out! There’s live music on just about every corner, and it really solidifies the sense of community.
We had an incredible time, and can’t wait to return! (I might be actively seeking career opportunities…)
Until next time… I’ll be dreaming of Bend.
God is good friends. God is good.
“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir
My childhood summer vacations were spent exploring around Yosemite Valley, wondering through the Ahwahnee dreaming of what it would be like to stay there, basking in the sun and playing in the freezing cold river, laying in the meadow gazing up El Capitan & Half Dome, and taking deep, deep breaths of rejuvenating mountain air. As a kid we stayed in the cabins, which were flooded and ruined in 1997, so we moved to Yosemite Lodge. My brother and I would be packed up in my dad’s old, yellow Mercedes, and meet all his buddies and their kids. It was the greatest experience a kid could ask for. Yosemite is home for me.
If you’ve never been to Yosemite Valley, it’s hard to describe the feeling you get looking up at the massive granite walls surrounding you. It’s humbling and awe-inspiring; it’s unreal. I try to go at least once a year, either for a day trip or a weekend of camping. To get a weekend campsite is a bit of a challenge – as it fills up right when reservations open. I was fortunate enough to grab the last spot in North Pines Campground for this weekend.
The weather was overcast when we rolled in on Friday afternoon, so we unpacked and rode around (you must bring bikes!) the valley. It was my beau’s first time, so it was fun for me to take him around. We went to shops in the Yosemite Village, Ansel Adam’s store, walked around the Indian site and explored the museum, and wrapped up with some hot coco from the cafeteria at Yosemite Lodge. We came back to our site, lit a fire, made some dinner (steak fajitas!) and tucked in with a good book (the BFG – Roald Dahl) right as the rain rolled in.
On Saturday – we woke up to a b-e-a-utiful day! We woke up leisurley, enjoyed some breakfast and hoped on our bikes to lower Yosemite falls. We walked up the trail and enjoyed the views – and debated doing the much longer hike to the upper falls, and decided a drink at the Ahwahnee sounded a little better! Ha! We got a seat on the patio, ordered coffee, tea and cheesecake (of course) and enjoyed our afternoon. We then went back to the site for a little nap, and got back on our bikes to stroll around Mirror Pond and Curry Village. We wrapped up the evening with chili and cornbread by the fire.
Sunday morning we woke, enjoyed some delicious blueberry pancakes and packed up camp. As we were heading out, we realized we had a dead battery! Luckily, we had a very nice neighbor who jump started us, and we were on our way.
I truly can’t express how amazing Yosemite is. There’s places to stay (and eat) for any budget, tons of hikes, amazing scenery and neat things to do. It’s a must visit for anyone!
Oh ya, we saw this guy too:
God is good friends. God is good.
Do you ever just need to run away, if only for a night? I needed escape from the everyday routine. I know I didn’t want to go too far, but far enough to feel like a mini-vacation. We decided to go to the Santa Cruz region. We picked Santa Cruz because 1) Boo has never been there 2) I have only been to the tourist Boardwalk & downtown 3) I heard it’s lovely. As usual, I like to talk to folks who know the area to get some recommendations on where to eat and what to see. I used the handy dandy interweb to find a good place to stay. Here’s what we did.
Accommodations: Redwood Croft B&B
Room: The West Room with private patio.
Cost: $225 + tax (that was with a military discount. Yikes!)
Rating: This place got rave reviews online. I’ll give it an A for location and scenery, a C+ for breakfast and host. The host seemed a bit… passive aggressive. It was a bit odd. Another couple raved about the breakfast, so I was a bit disappointed when plain pancakes and sausage came out. Overall, we enjoyed out stay, but will likely not return.
As usual, when I travel, I look for the best spots to eat. I got these 2 recommendations from a friend who used to live in the area – and she was on point!
Breakfast (on our arrival morning): Whale City Bakery, Davenport, CA
I heard the pastries were awesome but we went for a meal and split the Huevos Tortillas which was pretty good. The coffee was tasty and the outside patio was awesome – and dog friendly!
Lunch: Pizza My Heart, Downtown Santa Cruz
This place has grown significantly since I visited last. It used to be a hole in the wall, and now it’s a huge restaurant. The za was fine, nothing to rave about anymore.
Dinner: The Cremer House, Felton, CA
If you’re in the Santa Cruz area and don’t want to head downtown for dinner, you HAVE to hit up The Cremer House. This place is awesome! The historic building is charming, with a nice wrap around porch for outdoor seating (with heaters). The inside is super cozy, and you feel like you’re walking into a friends house. After out late pizza lunch, we decided to go light and split the “Bob Salad” which was amazing. We also ordered a flight of beer (3 of 8 were good) and the donuts… which were ah-mazing. The staff is great, and everything else on the menu looked amazing. Great spot.
God is good friends. God is good.