Leavenworth, Washington

After spending my 21 (HA!) years of life in the south, I am mesmerized by the slightest hint of fall. Enter Leavenworth, Washington-a place as picturesque as any Hallmark movie set. Even though this Bavarian town is less than three hours from my home, it feels like another world! Sadly, we were only passing through Leavenworth on our way to Spokane but I plan to come back for the upcoming Christmas festivities. Stay tuned for more travel tips and reviews!

San Francisco

Ol' Blue Eyes crooned, "I left my heart in San Francisco" and I too have felt that magical pull of the city by the bay. My trip to San Francisco began with an unforgettable plane ride involving one sweet but clumsy flight attendant, one jug of Bloody Mary mix and my not-so-perfectly positioned lap...

Oyster Dome, Washington

I'd like to tell people that I've capitalized on my recent move to the Pacific Northwest but the truth is I've been bogged down by work, school and house projects. Now that these beautiful days are rapidly dwindling, I've made a last-ditch effort to explore the surrounding trails. This ticking time clock is the catalyst for a rainy hike on the extremely popular Oyster Dome trail located in Bow, Washington. Inclement weather kept the normal weekend throngs of visitors to a minimum and also stifled the otherwise stunning view of Samish Bay. We braved the rain, wind and cooler temperatures but were rewarded with archetypal PNW sights. This trail is well-traveled so minimal gear was required. I used my Outdoor Research Cirque waterproof pants and my Salomon X Ultra Mid Aero W hiking boots which offer phenomenal support plus comfort. Seriously, these boots did not have a "breaking in" phase!

Maui

Frigid temperatures. Bone-chilling winds. White Christmases. Okay, so that last one isn't so bad but the other two elements had me scrambling for a warmer climate. As I sit here in my seven layers of clothing and type this blog post, I'll admit that experiencing all four seasons is exciting! Coming from Florida, I'm used to two seasons: hot and hotter.