Pacific Northwest Road Trip: San Juan Islands, Seattle, Portland, and Points in Between

One of the best parts about adulting is when you can make your 5th grader self's dreams come true. This is why Ryan and I took an epic trip out to the Pacific Northwest where he rollerbladed at every skatepark he's been dreaming about since he was a kid, and I saw ORCA WHALES IN REAL LIFE. It was so amazing I have to shout about it. Check out this video recap: (Spoiler: I accidentally deleted the part about our movie location/Astoria stop, so be on the lookout for the addendum video. LOL.)


Where We Stayed (Sign up for AirBnB here if you don't have an account already!) 


Favorite Eats & Drinks

I have ZERO CHILL when it comes to Free Willy. 


Mooneys never say die. 

Things to Do:

Here's the map of all the skate parks on the dream list; we made it to most of the hearts and stars. 


A portrait of a woman who married the rollerblader of her dreams...but never knew how much filming she would have to do for skate "footy." (That's what they call footage. Doesn't your hobby have dorky lingo?) 

Where would your 5th grade self want to take a trip? Tell me I'm not the only one still kind of obsessed with orca whales...

My First Disney Cruise

You guys. Do you want to know if you should go on a Disney Cruise? 

…yes. Absolutely yes. I might be biased. But yes. We finally went on our first Disney cruise, in fact my first cruise ever, and it was everything I hoped it would be and more…to the point of being overwhelming. So here are some tips that worked for us!

Use a Certified Disney travel agent. Hear me out. I know a lot of Disney blogs push them, especially because their services are 100% free, but for the cruise I felt like it was necessary. Deb from Mouse World Travel is a personal family friend, and I was so excited to finally book through her- as I usually plan my own WDW trips. Not only did she take away the stress of all the logistics (Which stateroom to pick, meal seatings and reservations) she gave us a bonus onboard credit- AKA bought us a whole bunch of boat drinks! 

Hey, speaking of drinks! (I like cocktails.)

Have a plan of attack for your alcohol. It’s not included with your dining plan, so if you don’t want to go overboard (ha! cruise puns!) spending money on booze, you gotta know what you’re doing. Each guest is allowed to bring 2 bottles of wine or a 6 pack onboard in their carry on. We personally opted to bring a few bottles of champagne - and intended to take advantage of the drink-of-the-day specials (a different drink every day for $5) and the beer mug (buy the souvenir mug and all your 20oz beers are the price of 16oz) It worked out great…plus we could order room service OJ in the morning to make DIY mimosas! Another way to maximize your drink value is to take a Mixology class. For the price of a couple drinks, we had a fun afternoon learning bartending skills and drinking our own creations. 

You Probably Don’t Need to do Excursions

Do you even know how to excurse, anyways? But seriously- for a first time cruiser, there is SO SO SO much to do on board, that we had some serious FOMO when we decided to do things like get off the boat, or lounge. 

(Like, how cute is my husband for real though.) 

If you do decide to excurse (I’m going to continue to use this as a verb) here’s what we did: 

Used a simple map of Nassau so that we could walk to our destinations. We visited the Queen’s Staircase/Fort Fincastle and then walked to John Watling’s Distillery. We bypassed the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas which honestly looked very cool, and I wish we had more time to check it out. (That FOMO again!) John Watling’s was a lovely property, but if you’ve seen one rum distillery you pretty much get the idea. 

Disney Dream Docked in Nassau Bahamas

Fast. Diet. Make Room. Prepare Yourself. 

The food is All You Care to Eat, not just in the buffet restaurants either. You can order multiple meals at the sit down restaurants, and even if you don’t— your server might do it for you!! We loved our server, hand-picked by our travel agent because of his great reviews. When I’d ask questions comparing dishes... he would just bring both! I think one night he may have brought the entire dessert menu to our table. But seriously y’all…you are going to be SO FULL at all times of day. I went back for THIRDS of my favorite meal, the blackened tilapia at Cookie’s Too on Castaway Cay. 

Pictured here, 3 servings of tilapia (in my belly) and the airplane runway I ran down to burn off the calories.

Things I Would Do Differently Next time: 

WTF…ish Extender. Outside your stateroom is a fish-shaped hook where the crew will leave relevant itinerary information. It has become a habit of cruisers to participate in gift exchanges by hanging containers (they look like shoe organizers) on these hooks…hence, Fish Extender. There are Facebook Groups organized by Cruise ship/sailing date (again, if you use our fabulous Disney Certified Travel Agent Deb, she’ll put you in one) and a lovely volunteer manages the gifting groups via a Google Doc. Since we were last minute cruisers I decided not to participate; but after seeing that you could join an adults-only exchange and trade really awesome looking creative gifts, I kind of want to do it next time.

Disney Cruise Door Decor

Fish hook to the left. I was confused at first when I kept reading "Fish Hook" cause I pictured a hook that you catch fish on. Door decor provided by our wonderful travel agent, Deb at Mouse World Travel!

Relaxing? Spa Day. I read some really positive reviews about getting a day pass to use the saunas, Rainforest Room showers, hot tubs and heated lounge chairs in the Senses Day Spa. I was also excited about doing yoga classes. I would take a HARD PASS on both. It was a little too crowded for my taste (hey there, people conversing loudly in the sauna! What’s up, couple giving each other sensual massages in the hot tub!) and the showers were downright terrifying to me. Press a button, hold your breath, and get ATTACKED by different pressures and temperatures of water…not relaxing IMO. The yoga class unfortunately did not have it’s own dedicated space, and it wasn’t the greatest experience to be downward-dogging amidst the treadmills and stationery bikes. Next time I’ll stick with running on the track that circles the ship, and utilizing the in the locker room shower with spa body products available fo’ free. 

DO ALL THE THINGS! Because I had every intention of laying by the pool getting a tan, and exhausted myself by watching all the Broadway style shows and eating a 7 course meal every night at dinner, I missed out on a lot of fun activities! They had classes on towel folding, trivia, gameshow nights…there were a LOT of options, many of them inclusive, and scheduled right through 11pm. One thing I did do (because I'm RunDisney fan) is the Castaway 5K. Am I crazy for working out on vacation? I mean, I get a free souvenir prize necklace just for doing physical activity? SIGN ME UP!

Pin this image to share with other Disney Cruise newbies, and if you're ready to cruise: send a message to my friend Deb and tell her Shauna sent you!

3 Ways To Plan Your Travel Itinerary

Are you a list person? I have to write a list for everything. Grocery list, to-do list, idea list…if it isn’t written down, I’m gonna forget it. To be fair, I might even forget it if I write it down. Visiting a new place absolutely requires a to-do checklist whether it's en route on a phone or an elaborately designed and printed itinerary (oh yes, I have- with a color scheme, personalized graphics and all.) having a travel plan means you’ll know what to do and what to see.


1.) Review Sites: Usually the first place you'd check for the top restaurants, tourist attractions: Yelp & TripAdvisor. Some people argue that these sites are oversaturated and it’s harder to find unique experiences, but if you just dig a bit you'll find gems. Like, did you ever think about looking for things to do before/after a cruise IN the Port town? If you arrive a day early for your Disney Cruise you could check out a Manatee Sanctuary. Get creative with your search terms. “craft cocktails” and “indie boutique” will find results more specific to your interests than “drinks” or “shopping” (that is, if you’re an artesianal locally-sourced hipster dork like yours truly)

2.) Crowd Source: Isn't that friend from high school living on the west coast now? What was your aunt's alma mater again? Didn’t you just see a neighbor's photos from their beach trip? Social media can be a beautiful thing- don't be afraid to reach out and ask for suggestions from your peeps. One time I was in Las Vegas, and I saw a fellow SCAD alum working (in costume, in character!) in the lobby of the Cirque du Soleil show Ka. I popped on Facebook, gave him a call and left a voicemail, and within 3 hours we planned a brunch the next day at Hash House A Go-Go — which was A.) Frickin’ delicious and B.) So far off the strip I never would have thought to go there.  

3.) Ask the locals: The Lyft driver, barista, and cashier all live, work and play in this destination- somebody's bound to have a good suggestion! When I went to Chicago, I ordered a latte and asked where to shop- which is how I got some rad sunglasses at Una Mae’s indie boutique. And our Lyft driver (he was vegan!) reminded us about Chicago Diner- which, coincidentally I had already reached out to a former Chicagoan about on Facebook. Get chatty, learn stuff! 

Are you planning any trips soon? Tell me where, maybe I have some good suggestions! 

Things to Do & See in Savannah, Georgia

I lived in Savannah, Georgia for a short while (SCAD is my alma mater, which means I am also an expert in student loans) and I visit as often as possible. Here are some of my favorites for eating, drinking, and shopping! 


  • The Paris Market, Broughton Street: imagine the loveliest Parisian cafe merged with a purveyor of flea market antiques and artisans.  
  • Terra Cotta: A clothing and accessory store with a decidedly Euro flare and a great sale rack.  
  • Shop SCAD: Where to buy art, jewelry, and homegoods by alumni.


  • Rocks on the Roof (Bohemian hotel) or Top Deck (Cotton Sail Hotel): both on Bay Street overlooking the river, both Hotel rooftop bars, but Top Deck wins for best views. 
  • 22 Square: unassuming bar in Hotel Andaz: their cocktail program is one of the best in America. They have awards to prove it. 
  • McDonough's: Karaoke EVERY. NIGHT. It's a divey Irish themed bar. Did I say Karaoke every night?
  • Artillery Bar: A return to civility, this cocktail and champagne bar has a dress code and a menu to die for.  


  • Foxy Loxy/ The Coffee Fox: ethically sourced, french press, pour overs, good espresso, the best coffee in Savannah. 
  • The Collins Quarter: Brunchy and lunchy, beautiful restaurant, good food and fun coffee drinks. Plus they have a walk-up coffee window and bar which is really freakin' neat. 
  • SoHo South Cafe: For ladies who lunch. Beautiful decor and live piano music on occasion. If you like champagne with your sandwiches, this is the place.  
  • Pink House: One of the classic Savannah dining destinations (reservations suggested) downstairs bar is a (haunted!) tavern with live music and an awesome wine list.
  • Public Kitchen & Bar: Farm to table eats, casual but stylish. 
  • Vinnie Van Go Go's: Cash only, delicious pizza by the slice. 
  • Back in the Day Bakery: They all but invented the cupcake craze (around the same time as Magnolia NYC) and I hear, from people who like banana pudding, theirs is the besty best.
  • Local 11Ten: Fancy dining. They also have a great rooftop bar if you just want apps and drinks. 
  • Wright Square Cafe: A little hidden lunch place. You want the baked chicken wrap. "Herb baked chicken with fig, caramelized onions, feta cheese, pecans." It's the shit.
  • Tybee Island: Although the pier area is fun for people watching, I like to visit the calmer north side and see the lighthouse. 
  • Aj's dockside: The best she-crab soup EVER, best enjoyed during sunset as they have a great deck on the water.
  • The Crab Shack: My touristy guilty pleasure. You get a platterful of crab, mussels, shrimp and more, the ambiance is more Caribbean than Georgian, and you can feed baby gators. What's not to like?!

Other Tourist Shenanigans: 

  • Ghost Tours: If you do one, I suggest a walking tour, it's a slower and more complete way to see the city- plus their storytelling tends to be more authentic. Blue Orb is my favorite, but Savannah Walks has good ones as well. 
  • River Street: Because I don't dig the Bourbon Street vibes, I spend more time walking from square to square in search of the independent shops and bars. It's good for a view, to watch the fireworks, or catch a boat to brunch at the Westin.
  • Pedi-Cabs: Although I love walking around Savannah, I grab a pedi-cab when I'm feeling lazy. You should be able to hail them at most hotels and they are paid by "suggested tips" - $5 should be reasonable to get you most places. It's a fun way to sight-see!

If we were going to roadtrip to Savannah tomorrow- where would you want to go first? Tell me in the comments or reach out on Instagram