Oregon-California Family Road Trip: 11-Day Itinerary

We recently embarked (and returned all in one piece) on our first {family of four} multi-day road trip.  The journey was eventful to say the least, and to my surprise, a whole lot more enjoyable than I anticipated.  I’ll admit that I expected wild tantrums occurring in the backseat along with piercing baby cries that would be impossible to quiet.

And while there was some of unpleasantness, it certainly wasn’t the norm.  More often, we found ourselves enjoying the scenery, having the luxury of researching possible lunch and rest stops, and actually engaging in grown-up conversation! The one thing that did cut into our travel time (and sometimes sanity) was the amount of bathroom stops required for a 3.5 year old!

We’ll dive into more specifics of each of our destinations (and even pit stops) in the coming weeks and months (we covered a lot of ground!), but first we want you to see the bigger picture, and a few statistics for fun.

Day 1: Salem, Oregon

A good distance away (but not too ambitious) from our home in Seattle for the first leg of our trip, and also the home of my husband Slaed’s aunt, uncle and cousin.  Here we visited with family and took some time to explore the capitol.

Salem, Oregon | WildTalesof.com Continue reading

Advertisements

Last Family of 3 Travel Adventure: Wallace Falls State Park

Before welcoming our newest family member into the world, we had one last travel adventure as a family of three.  It was important to use to spend some quality time together just before our lives turned upside down with new routines, a new normal, and new responsibilities.

Some time away brought a chance to bond and strengthen our unit, which inevitably brought along a lot of refection as well as anticipation.

What will one more member do to our dynamic?

Surely it could only get better.

Last Family of 3 Travel Adventure: Wallace Falls State Park | WildTalesof.com Continue reading

New Year’s Savings: Chinook Book 2015 Giveaway!

Are you a New Year’s resolution person? This year, I created more of a mantra rather than lofty goals as I figure I have enough “new” on my plate adding another little person to our world.

Always in the back of my mind (and that of my husband Slaed’s) though is budgeting and saving money.  Also of great importance and a major focus of our life? Our family’s mission to get out, experience, and explore.  Can you guess one of the ways we accomplish both?

Coupons!

New Years Savings: Chinook Book 2015 Giveaway! WildTalesof.com

We’ve sung the praises of the Chinook Book before, and I’m so happy to be back again this year.   All that we love about “the book” remains, but this year there are several new features that make the product (or “tool” as we like to think of it) even better and even more suitable for active families.  That’s why I’m excited to share that we get to give away SIX Chinook Book mobile apps to 6 lucky readers!

Recap: What is the Chinook Book?

The Chinook Book (print and mobile app versions) is a coupon book containing loads of valuable saving opportunities on dining, entertainment, recreation, groceries, and more.  The print version has coupons that are cut out and simply presented to the merchant at the time of purchase.

The mobile version works as a downloaded app on your phone (or mobile device).  Pull the coupon up on your phone or mobile device and show the merchant your screen.  A couple of clicks & your discount is applied!

New Years Savings: Chinook Book 2015 Giveaway! WildTalesof.com

What’s New?

  • Users have a full access subscription.  Instead of coupons expiring right before a new book/app comes out for the year (in the fall), users have access to coupons 12 months after the app is activated.  Before, all the coupons would just expire at the end of August and disappear, but now they remain for a full year after the subscription is activated.
  • With the app, users have access to ALL of the other cities where Chinook Book exists, so if you happen to be traveling to one of the other cities, you’ll get to load all the coupons & take advantage of big savings.  With family in Denver & the Bay Area, and Portland just a few hours away, this is HUGE for us!   Chinook has coupon packages in the following cities:
    • Denver, CO
    • The Bay Area
    • Minneapolis, MN
    • Portland, OR
    • Seattle, WA
    • And limited (but expanding packages) in…
      • Sacramento, CA
      • Corvallis & Eugene, OR
      • Salt Lake City, UT
      • Connecticut
  • Seattle’s Chinook book has an additional 120 new coupons compared to last year’s book! Here are a few from various categories that I am most excited about…
    • Dining:
      • Araya’s Place–A vegetarian Thai restaurant right in our neighborhood
      • Assembly Hall Juice and Coffee–One of Tom Douglas’ newest establishments
      • Capitol Cider–I’m a huge fan of cider & love that they offer a gluten-free menu
    • Family Activities:
      • Pacific Science Center–Can’t wait to explore the center again now that Bergen is a little older. Just getting to experience the butterfly room is enough to go!
      • Burke Museum–We’ve never been to this museum located in the University District, and I’d love to see the mask that inspired the Seahawks logo before the exhibit ends this summer.
      • Kids Discovery Museum (Bainbridge Island)–With tons of coupons on Bainbridge Island (including ferry discounts), we could create a whole day of savings.  Check out our Father’s Day of Savings on Bainbridge from a few years back.
    • Travel/Recreation:
      • Bloedel Reserve–An amazing public garden on Bainbridge Island…
      • Issaquah Paddle Sports–Would love to do some paddleboarding this summer!
      • Center for Wooden Boats–Would love to rent a canoe or row boat and paddle around Lake Union.
  • There are now “seasonal” offers included in the app.  These coupons come and go every two months, and there is a special tab (under the coupon section) where they can be accessed.  I love how this keeps “the book” fresh, and creates new opportunities for us to check out places around our region AND SAVE!

Our Savings Adventures so far…

We’ve only had the 2015 Chinook Book and app for a few weeks now, but we’ve ready put it to good use saving on coffee, lunch, and a visit to our local drug store.  The most memorable savings event though was a recent trip to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma.  With the free youth or tot admission with the purchase of an adult admission, Bergen was able to visit the zoo and aquarium at no charge.

While we are members of the Woodland Park Zoo in our home city of Seattle, we’d never taken Bergen (or Georgia) to our “sister zoo” to the south.  We loved the opportunity to see a different set of animals with such a large focus on sealife.  The walruses were some of the most memorable animals for our family.  We still can’t get over their massive size! Getting to watch the tiger cubs romp and play was pretty special too!

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium: Tacoma, WA | WildTalesof.com

 To Enter the Giveaway of 6 Chinook Book Mobile Subscriptions:

 Winner Winner…

6 Mobile Subscription Packs will be given away! Contest ends and all entries must be received by Friday, 1/30/15 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.  Winners will be chosen at random and notified on Monday, 2/2/15.  Giveaway open to U.S. residents 18 years or older.  After notification, winners have 3 days to connect.  Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me!

Many thanks to Chinook Book-Seattle & Puget Sound for providing print and mobile packs for giveaway and review.  All opinions about the books and app are my own.  

New Years Savings: Chinook Book 2015 Giveaway! WildTalesof.com

Wild Tales of…2014 Travel and Adventure Highlights

Happy 2015! We hope your new year is off to a great start. Here in Seattle we enjoyed a quiet celebration with all four of us sleeping soundly when the clock officially struck midnight.  Not to worry though: Two of us were up soon after though as someone was in search of another meal.

With a fresh start and a brand-new addition to the family, I’ve found myself reflecting often on the past year because let’s face it: Things will never be the same! Growing from 3 family members to 4 is a big change and babies create a whole new dynamic of family life.  Routines, sleep habits, and the way we go about doing life are all shifting, so I’ve actually found it fascinating to look back at 2014’s adventures.

In order to get a complete look at our year, I decided to take it month by month.  Some months were busier than others making it hard to choose just one highlight, so here you’ll find our most memorable and significant explorations.

January-Cle Elum, Washington

In search of quick cold weather getaway, we traveled just an hour and a half or so to the small central Washington town of Cle Elum.  Instead of mounds of snow, we found sheets of ice creating difficult hiking conditions, but we enjoyed the escape and chance to unplug (no phone service or internet access!) nonetheless.

Central Washington Getaway: Cozy Cabin Retreat in Cle Elum | WildTalesof.com Continue reading

Family Accommodations on Oahu’s North Shore: Haleiwa Getaway

“Where’s our town, Mom?

Where’s our vacation rental?”

Once Bergen (3-years old) started asking us this each time we journeyed “away from home” after just a day or so on Oahu, we knew we’d found the right spot for our recent Hawaiian travels.  Even though we took him on some pretty awesome adventures, from beaches to pineapple trains to historic landmarks and delicious meals, by the end of the afternoon or evening, he was always ready to return to our rental house.

Similar to our Kauai vacation rental set-up, we chose a home that was walking distance to the beach, but also close to town.  At the same time, we also wanted the surrounding area to be quiet enough to be able to relax and recharge.  Finally, let’s not forget that we’re flying all the way to Hawaii and staying for a week.  The price has to be reasonable. Were we happy with our choice of rental? Absolutely.

Family Accommodations on Oahu’s North Shore: Haleiwa Getaway | WildTalesof.com Continue reading