4 Can’t Miss Restaurants in Door County, WI

Is Door County, Wisconsin a magical place or what?! I feel like I’m stepping out of the rest of the state and into a dream every time I’m there visiting. In addition to the fairytale setting this vacation destination exudes, there’s also so many wonderful places to grab a bite to eat at! Here are 4 amazing restaurants I highly recommend the next time you’re in Door County!

The Rusty Tractor: If you’re in search of a good breakfast spot without breaking the bank then The Rusty Tractor needs to be on your list!

The Old Post Office Restaurant: Old fashioned fish boils anyone?! On some nights they have fish boils here with white fish, bread, slaw, and taters and it’s a dream on a plate!

The White Gull Inn: Another amazing breakfast spot in Door County, the White Gull Inn won’t disappoint.

Wild Tomato: Pizza and beer, what’s not to love?? Their pizza and beer at Wild Tomato happen to be amazing, so there’s that. They have a pretty sweet patio to enjoy a beautiful summer day as well here.

I hope you make time for at least one of these awesome restaurants the next time you visit Door County!

My 8 Tips When Booking a Rental hOME

While there are still occasions where staying in a hotel when traveling makes more sense, booking a rental home is almost everyone’s go-to these days. You get so much more bang for your buck and it’s become very simple, safe, and affordable with its increasing popularity. Check out my 8 tips for booking a rental home-some of these may help you on your next vacation!

Tip #1: Read the fine print Seriously, though read that stuff! You never know if there’s something you’ll catch in there that you’re not okay with to book. Or, there could be some unusual rules/policies in there that you wouldn’t have thought of. It could be anything such as no smoking anywhere on the property, to no one allowed to stay in the home under 18, etc. I have seen it all!

Tip #2: Check out the hosts’ profile You can get a lot of information on the host here from anything to all of their listings they have on the site, all of their reviews, to how long they’ve been hosting, and so on. I recommend giving this a gander before booking with them just in case you catch something you’re not vibing with.

Tip #3: Scope out the neighborhood The host may not always provide the exact address until you book with them, or even until you’re trip gets closer. If not, you can message them requesting their neighborhood or area of town they live in. Once you have that, I highly recommend scoping out the neighborhood on Google and Google maps. Look at the crime rate, traffic, population, proximity, or whatever else would deter-or encourage-you with booking the listing.

Tip #4: Check off all your needs before your search You need a hair dryer in your temporary home? Check it on the amenities filter list. Need a parking space? Check that off too. I’d gather all the amenities and requests you have for the space you need, and then start your search. This will narrow your search and make shopping for a space quicker and easier. We used to not check of Wifi because in this day and age everyone has it, but we ran into one that didn’t once and our lesson was definitely learned to now check that amenity when searching!

Tip #5: Be mindful of the company you bring So you are staying with guests at the rental home, but it’s booked under your name. Be mindful of who you bring along with you because if anything goes awry with the space, it’s your name that will get a bad rep and review. Sometimes the host will leave a list of to-dos they require before checking out. Will these other folks help you get this done or will you have to do all the work for everyone that stayed there? Jut pennies for thought!

Tip #6: Follow all the rules The host will most definitely have some kind of rules and/or policies for you to follow while staying in their home. Be sure to abide by each and everyone of these as they will leave you a review based partially on this. You want a great record of reviews as the next house’s host will look at these when deciding to allow you to stay in their home or not.

Tip #7: Book on a Private Computer Be sure to book your stay on a private, trusted computer. If you need to book on a public one then make sure you log out! If not, any one can come in right behind you and book through you and you may not ever catch it until it’s too late! This happened to me once, but luckily I caught it on time! I still had the worst time proving that it wasn’t actually me who booked it and to get my refund from the company…yikes.

Tip #8: Read those Reviews I would start with the most recent reviews on a listing and go back a few months just to make sure no horrible ones are thrown in there anywhere. If you do see one bad one amongst high ratings, and you feel the review isn’t accurate, then proceed. Sometimes though, there is something to say about the one-off bad review so it wouldn’t hurt to check them out. If there are no reviews or big gaps between reviews, that’s a red flag and you should probably abort mission!

I hope these will help you when booking your next rental home! We have certainly learned a lot over the years traveling and staying in different rental homes all around the country and using multiple different sites. Good luck on your next search!

4 Totally Fun Bars on Honky Tonk Row

If you’re making a stop in Nashville, then you MUST hit up Honky Tonk Row-or the collection of bars along Broadway in downtown Nashville. It’s a crazy scene-often referred to as ‘Nashvegas’. Check out the four bars we stopped at on our night on Broadway and had a great time at!

Bar #1: Big Shotz Big Shotz was a really fun bar! It wasn’t as packed as it had a huge floor with lots of different tables, so you could relax while still feeling like you’re at a party. Also-jello shots that are served in a syringe. That is all.

Bar #2: Redneck Riviera This place had a sweet rooftop deck/patio area that you could look down at all the people on Broadway walking to and fro the next bar. Their live music on the deck is awesome, too!

Bar #3: Layla’s Layla’s was the nicest bar we went to-but still had allll the honky tonk vibes. What really sold me here is their massive collection of license plates on the ceiling, it was so cool!

Bar #4: Loser’s Loser’s was very much a honky tonk bar-definitely divey but also very fun with a live music on a small stage near the door!

I wish we had time to hit up more bars that night as there are sooo many to choose from. I hope you’ll make room for some of these bars on your next trip to Nashville as they were all awesome and fun!

4 Amazing Nashville Restaurants

If you’ve ever been to Nashville, you know there is an awesome foodie scene here. We weren’t in town for long, but we managed to stop at some awesome places to eat!

Restaurant #1: Wendell Smith’s A very casual diner serving some old school country breakfast. This place may not seem like much aesthetic-wise, but the food is delish, the servings are filling, and it won’t break your bank for a meal!

Restaurant #2: I Dream of Weenie Food trucks are all the rage these days and Nashville has plenty of them. We had to choose and this one was a great choice! Who doesn’t love a good chili dog?!

Restaurant #3: Mellow Mushroom This is a chain pizza restaurant that is scattered scarcely throughout the country, but this is always a must if there happens to be one where you are! Some of the best pizza I’ve ever had is at Mellow Mushroom.

Restaurant #4: The Stillery We found this spot downtown, and it had live music like many other restaurants and bars in the area. I could see where it could be overlooked in Nashville with so much competition but it did not disappoint! I would highly recommend giving it a try.

I hope these offer a nice guide for you the next time (or first time) you roll through Nashville!

14 Books to Read Before Your Next Summer Vacation

Does anyone else besides me enjoy reading books based on their season setting? For instance, in the summer-or when summer’s approaching- I love to read about books set in the summer time. If you’re the same way, then this list will be right up your alley!

  1. Lightning Bug by Donald Harington: Set in the summer in an Ozark Arkansas town with all the heat and humidity one could ask for, this is a great read about small town folks and the history of one couple in particular.
  2. The Beach by Alex Garland: Oh man, this was one of the best books I’ve ever read. A man traveling finds a beautiful beach in Thailand, where he must incorporate himself into a community of people who have already secretly established themselves there.
  3. A Painted House by John Grisham: Another wonderful novel set in Arkansas about a family on a farm and all the events that go down over one summer.
  4. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: Set in Florida, this amazing novel follows a black woman in the 1930’s making her way in life. This is the best classic American novel I’ve ever read, hands down.
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: Huck and Jim share wild adventures along the Mighty Miss’. That’s all I’m going to put here, because Mark Twain is amazing.
  6. The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier: A man experiments with a drug that takes him back in time to a different place in Cornwall, England, while on vacation with his family.
  7. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin: Set in Mississippi, a man is accused of murder, and his old childhood friend is investigating the case.
  8. Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley: A boy in Arkansas goes missing one summer while his family struggles in his absence to find him.
  9. Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche: Torre sets sail with new boyfriend Ivan, island hopping on the Pacific Ocean while simultaneously overcoming several of her fears.
  10. Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren: After a Las Vegas elopement, Mia follows her new husband to Paris to spend the summer there.
  11. This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger: Three boys escape a hellish school and the trouble they got into there at the beginning of summer, following the Mississippi River down to St. Louis.
  12. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: A young girl grows up and alone on the coast of North Carolina, but without ever becoming part of society.
  13. The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen: A teenaged girl spends the summer with her late mother’s family on a lake resort, and learns more about them and her mother’s past than she thought she would ever come to know.
  14. Beach Read by Emily Henry: Two authors who are lake house neighbors on Lake Michigan try writing in eachother’s very different writing styles for their next novels.

I promise these books will give you alllll the best summer vibes! ❤

12 Cons of Tent Camping

Nate and I are coming up on our 5th-and final-year in a row of tent camping. We’ve had some great times in the tent of ours and while there are definitely some advantages to using a tent when camping, we’re ready to retire the ole tent and upgrade to a pull behind camper later this year. If you’re struggling to decide what kind of campers you are, allow me to break down for you some cons to tent camping!

The Noise: Light sleeper? Then tent camping probably isn’t for you. In a tent, you’ll hear everything from twigs snapping, to fire cracking, to loud toddlers early in the morning. Sure, there are quiet time rules at every campground, but that doesn’t mean people abide by them.

Discomfort While Sleeping: I’ve tried everything including cots, sleeping bags, mattress pads, and extra blankets, but I still wake up with aching hips every single time we go camping while Nate always complains of an aching back. It definitely doesn’t provide a comfortable sleep.

Tent Sites are Limited: Most campgrounds have limited campsites, catering more to RV sites. Other campgrounds may offer tent sites, but primitive only-which blows.

Bad Weather: Run into some rain? Now you have to hole up in your tent to wait it out and pray to the camping gods that it doesn’t get flooded. Have fun with that.

That Clean Feeling: Even after your shower after a day of hiking in the woods, you have to return to the outdoors. In my experience it’s practically impossible to remain clean while tent camping because you’re outside the entire time, not to mention all the dirt and debris you track into your tent.

The Wildlife: Yeaaaa, you’re not exactly safe in a tent from bears and other wildlife. This thought runs across my mind every single time we go camping as I am terrified of bears! I’ve seen one too many horror films, I think.

Cleaning and Organizing: It can be difficult to keep your campsite clean and organized when tent camping. You don’t have access to a regular kitchen where you have a trashcan, drawers, and cabinets at the ready.

Dolling Up: Planning on a night out on the town during your trip? It’s pretty hard to doll yourself up in a tent. There’s the washrooms, but those are sometimes dirty and usually wet.

Pets: While it’s not impossible to tent camp with your pets, I wouldn’t recommend it. Cats can rip up the tent with their claws, and either escape or let mosquitos and rain in. Dogs would probably keep you up all night with all the sounds and scents happening just outside your campsite.

Preparing Meals: Cooking while camping is totally do-able, except that you have to get creative sometimes if you want something besides hot dogs cooked on a stick. You’re also definitely limited to what you can make over the fire.

Privacy: You have none. You’re out in the open with neighbors all around you. Sure, you can go into your tent to be out of sight, but you can still hear everyone, and they can still hear you.

Nighttime Temps: If it’s a hot, steamy night- or a chilly one, you’ll have more trouble sleeping. Try to go when the nighttime weather is just right, or you’ll have the worst time trying to falling asleep.

This post is not meant to dissuade you from camping or even at least trying tent camping out for yourself! These are my personal experiences, and most of these difficulties didn’t start showing themselves until several years of tent camping has passed. I still think tent camping can be right for some folks out there. Check out my other post What to Know Before Your First Camping Trip!

7 Unique Restaurants in Milwaukee

Anyone else an uber foodie like me? I love food. And dining out. Oh, and eating. I love it all, and have eaten my way around Milwaukee. In the process, I have stumbled across some very unique restaurants. Here is my little list:

  1. Elsa’s on the Park: Elsa’s always has an amazingly interesting art installation on one huge wall in their restaurant. Need I say more on the matter of it being unique?
  2. Safehouse: You need a secret password to get into this restaurant. Yup, you read that right. You’ll enter in through their discreet alley side door and upon entering, a couple of their employees will ask for the secret password. If you don’t know it, then it’s some embarrassing act to perform for you!
  3. Kopp’s Frozen Custard: Kopp’s offers jumbo burgers and tasty custard. But that’s not what makes them unique (at least not in Milwaukee). They’ve got a huge waterfall on their patio area at one of their locations, and if that doesn’t do it for ya, there’s a row of life size cows in the parking lot at another location. Moo.
  4. Ian’s Pizza: Not only is Ian’s Pizza extremely tasty, but they also serve gigantic NY style slices with all kinds of toppings offered from macaroni and cheese to cheesy potatoes. Yum!
  5. Odd Duck: Odd Duck is a really cute spot in the Bayview neighborhood serving small plates. This is so you can try a few of their dishes and not just one! What an interesting concept.
  6. Sobelman’s: Bloody Mary’s anyone? Sobelman’s is known not only for their gigantic burgers but also for putting their big burgers, brats, and hell a whole fried chicken in their bloodies. You gotta see it to believe it!
  7. Centraal Grand Cafe & Tappery: How to describe this cafe’s unique ambience? It kinda feels like you stepped into a tropical France, but the decor is oh so subtle. Did I mention they also have a gazillion beers on tap?!

Get out there and be amazed with all this unique awesomeness in Milwaukee!

Seven Myths of Traveling

I’m sure we’ve all heard other people’s opinions on traveling, and why some simply don’t do it. I’m here to break down these common misconceptions about traveling and show that while there may be some truths to these ideas about traveling, they’re for the most part not true!

Myth Number 1: Traveling is Expensive I could go on and on about this topic, and I feel like this is the top reason why many people limit their traveling to once a year or less. So, yes, you do need to save some money for a trip. But, in today’s age, there are so many resources out there to save you money while traveling! From smartphone apps, to coupons, to cheap home rentals, this excuse just doesn’t hold up very much anymore. And, when traveling, stick to a budget like you would with anything else, try to only spend money on things you really want to experience-or can’t experience back home. Your wallet will thank you!

Myth Number 2: A Plane Ride is the Only Way to Travel Try not to limit yourselves to strictly traveling by plane. This is usually more expensive (ahem, number 1) and you miss out on getting to see a lot of awesome sights along the way if you were to say travel by car or train instead.

Myth Number 3: You Have No Time to Travel Another one that I hear people say often. We travel several times through out the year. Some trips are a week long, some are longer weekends, while others are shorter weekend getaways. The point is that, if the wanderlust is there, you will find a way to get away from your day to day duties and go traveling.

Myth Number 4: You Need an SUV to Have Room for Your Belongings This is so not the case. We travel in a Toyota Camry and it allows us to have plenty of space for all that we need. Mind you, there’s only two of us, but we are able to pack plenty of clothes, food, supplies, and all our camping gear. Be creative with the space you have with a sedan and you may surprise yourself.

Myth Number 5: You’ll be Forced to Dine Out Every Meal I’m with you-it’s so nice to have someone else cook your meals and take care of all the clean up so you can have a more relaxing trip. However, this will rack up your food bill for the trip, as well as add to the scale once you get back home. To avoid this, plan out at least a few meals for your trip, and go shopping for all that you’ll need before you leave. Sometimes it’s just as nice to have an intimate meal at your ‘home’ on vacay.

Myth Number 6: Traveling is Dangerous I’m not going to argue and say that this is false. Because, yup, accidents happen to some people while traveling. The best advice I can give you is to use common sense and to not read everything you hear in the news. We visited Detroit a couple years ago, and came back home unscathed. It’s best to use common sense and stick to activities you’re comfortable with while traveling to avoid danger.

Myth Number 7: Foreign Traveling Conquers All This is another myth that makes me wince. Especially if you’re an American-there’s SO much to explore in your own country! Don’t discount all the adventures you can have right outside your door.

I hope you’ll break free of these myths now and travel more. Don’t let what I listed above keep you from traveling as often as possible.

6 Awesome Restaurants in Atlanta

We finally got to visit Atlanta last year and it was awesome! There are tons of activities to do here along with a lot of cool restaurants. I wish we got to try them all, but here are some awesome spots we ate at that I definitely recommend trying:

  1. Lee’s Bakery: We snagged some chicken wings along with a huge bowl of Pho here. Our meal was affordable, filling, and delish.
  2. The Varsity: Another affordable spot serving yummy bites of hamburgers and hot dogs. There are several locations in Atlanta so there’s bound to be one nearby wherever you are in the city.
  3. Vortex: Another awesome spot serving wild and crazy burger dishes! Their burgers come in huge stacks and are super tasty.
  4. The Yard: There are very few locations of this dessert restaurant in the U.S. They have one right in Atlanta so we stopped in to try the ‘Cookie Monster’. What we got was a decadent milkshake, with ice cream, chocolate syrup, & chocolate chip cookies. They’ve got all kinds of different styles of milkshakes here-it’s a must try spot!
  5. Two Urban Licks: We went here for a nice dinner one night and it was such a great choice because this place is amazing! The food and cocktails were superb and the ambience was outta this world-romantic, chic, and modern, and cozy!
  6. Chick-Fil-A Dwarf House: This isn’t just your average Chick-Fil-A. They have special additions to their menu that you can ONLY find at this location, plus they really do have a dwarf door on the front of their building that you can walk in. It’s awesome!

There you have it-my restaurant recs for Atlanta for all you foodies out there. Enjoy the grub!

What to Know Before Your First Camping Trip: 20 Useful Tips

So you want to start going on camping trips, huh? You’re at the right place, my friend. My fiance and I happen to be expert campers. We’ve been going on camping trips since we started dating 4.5 years ago and we get better and better at it every year. There’s a lot we’ve learned along the way, and I’d love to share all the useful tips with you about what to expect, what to avoid, and how to be prepared for your first camping trip-whether it’s a weekend getaway or a longer trip you’re wanting to take. We do strictly tent camping for now so that’s what my advice will cater to primarily, but these are generally great pieces of advice for any kind of campers.

Tip #1: Don’t bother bringing firewood with you This is actually a rule at almost every campground out there. This is because by bringing in firewood from some other location, you may be bringing in invasive species to the woods you’re camping in. It’s a big no no. The good news is that most places will sell you a bundle of firewood for a few dollars.

Tip #2: Some campgrounds don’t allow fires If this seems weird and downright stupid to you, then you’re not alone. This isn’t too common of a rule, but I have come across some campgrounds that don’t allow this. I am assuming it is a safety precaution. My advice with this is to keep shopping for a different place, as this is the major way to cook and of course to enjoy the evenings, amiright?

Tip #3: You’re gonna want to reserve a site with water & electric When reserving a site, you’ll see some sites marked as ‘primitive’. This is essentially for backpackers and you won’t have access to a water pump nor will there be any electric outlets. While I can appreciate roughing it and being one with nature and all, being without these two luxuries will inhibit you from having a successful camping trip-trust me.

Tip #4: Make sure they offer showers You’ll also come along campgrounds that don’t have any showers for their guests. Again, you don’t want to be roughing it to this extreme. You’ll be miserable, stinky, and feel super gross if you skip showering your whole trip.

Tip #5: Wifi isn’t guaranteed and shouldn’t be a necessity If you find a campground that offers wi-fi, then awesome! However, this is rare, and I definitely wouldn’t search high and low for one that offers this. It simply isn’t something you need for camping. Take screenshots on your phone, or print things off for anything you may need for your trip ahead of time.

Tip #6: Make sure you can park on site Some places make you park in a lot and then walk to your campsite…along with ALL of your belongings. You do NOT want to have to haul the cooler, tent, canopy, chairs, etc. to your campsite.

Tip #7: Always keep the tent zipped closed Along with debris getting in your tent, little critters of all sorts will also find their way in your tent when you’re not looking. Keep that sucker closed up at absolutely all times, or else you could wake up covered in a million mosquito bites- or worse.

Tip #8: Be mindful of the weather Book your trip with the weather in mind. If it’s going to be very cold or very hot at night, you’re likely to not get a wink of sleep!

Tip #9: Always wear Bugspray Just because mosquitos aren’t buzzing around you doesn’t mean you won’t get bit-by something. You won’t be able to spot a tick dropping from a tree and making their way over to you. It’s a good habit to always have some spray on you.

Tip #10: Put away food securely This means food, food wrappers, and even food still in their packages. You can throw your trashbag in your car’s trunk at night or go ahead and take it to the campground’s dump. For all other items, you should put them away in your vehicle, or the metal boxes at the campgrounds. This is not only for pests such as raccoons and birds, but especially for wildcats and bears looking for a meal while you’re sleeping or away from your site for a while.

Tip #11: Private vs Public Campgrounds This can be argued for both sides which type of campground is better, but I personally think a public campground is overall the best option when camping. Public ones are state or nationally owned and private are all others- ‘Ashley & Nathan’s Campground’ for example. Private is usually nicer, cleaner, and more updated (although not always) but they also can come with more rules such as earlier quiet time. I would read through the rules to decide which is right for you.

Tip #12: Flush Toilets and Pit Toilets Most campgrounds have flush toilets or a combination of the two. Just beware when choosing your specific site if there’s restrooms close by which kind they are. I’d have to go pretty damn bad to use pit-I’m just sayin’.

Tip #13: Be cautious when picking up wood When picking up firewood (or anything on the ground), look around the pile and give the log you’re eying up a little nudge. There’s sometime spiders or even mice found in the piles or hanging out on the logs and they might bite you. I’ve encountered both spiders and mice but no bites, thankfully. If you want to be extra cautious, wear gloves when grabbing the wood.

Tip #14: You will need to bring all your toiletries: The campground will provide toilet paper, but likely nothing else. You should bring your own shampoo and conditioner, soap, facewash, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc.

Tip #15: The more amenities included, the higher the price You’ll run into a resort style campgrounds with the privtae ones. They’ll offer anything from waterslides, to horshoes and other games. These are nice but makes for a pricier camping trip, so just keep that in mind.

Tip #16: Speed Limit The speed limit at camprgounds is very slow. They literally want you to creep through the property to get to your site. If you break their rules, they can kick you out.

Tip #17: Arrive before dark to set up Be conscientious of how long it takes to get to the camprgound for your first night. You don’t want to set everything up in the dark with nothing but a flashlight.

Tip #18: Set up the tent first Setting up your campsite can be overwhelming so what I’d suggest is setting up your tent first! This will allow you to set everything up that goes in the tent next, and will leave all other supplies (chairs, canopy, cookware) for last.

Tip #19: Shop for supplies before you leave Don’t put off a shoping trip for when you arrive. It’s much better to do all or the majority of your shopping for supplies and food before you leave in your own town. You know where to go, you know where everything is in the stores you usually go to. You’ll be at a disadvantage if you wait til you arrive at the location of your camping trip, plus it’s a time consuming activity when you should be relaxing or doing fun stuff!

Tip #20: 2 night minimum some campgrounds may require you to book at least 2 nights in a row on weekends or on or near a major holiday-just like hotels. If you’re only exploring one area for your trip, then it won’t be a problem. But if you’re like us who hop around on trips to different areas, this could cause an issue. Try to pick the area you want to do the most exploring for a weekend stay so you won’t have that problem.

A lot of these tips come down to really one thing, and that is: read the fine print! Be very conscientious of the rules as every single campground has got ’em- whether they’re public or privately owned. The idea of a camping trip is to travel without many luxuries but not to the point that you’re robbing yourself of basic human needs. Enjoy the outdoors but by all means be prepared to the max. Happy camping!