Travel, United States

A Weekend South of San Francisco

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Point Lobos – Bird Island

For as many times as I had traveled to San Francisco for work, I had only left the confines of the city on a few occasions, and that was usually to see friends for a night or visit my company’s former sister office building.  Yet, secretly, on my phone, I was harboring a bucket list of to-do’s that were within minutes, and even a few hours, of my “second home”.

At the beginning of May, a girlfriend of mine suggested we tack on a girls’ trip to our most recent work trip, offering to accompany me to these places, since she used to live there and had seen the best spots.  Thus, our girls’ weekend trip was born.

Below is my itinerary, including where we stayed at what we did.

San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden

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Zen Garden

Ever since my travels to Australia last year, I’ve been a bit obsessed with tea customs in different countries, with the Japanese customs being my favorite.  While a bit touristy, it was amazing to see this peaceful tea garden exist not too far from the city itself.

(It’s $9 per adult to enter – tickets can be found here.)

Below are some of the pictures from the Japanese Tea Garden. It’s definitely worth a visit!

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Winchester Mystery House

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First of all, I’ve been obsessed with the story of this house for decades.  It’s a horrible series of unfortunate events for the Winchester family, which seemed to have been poured into the design of this odd masterpiece.

We purchased the main tour and the extended tour ($54 for both), which was a limited time offer, since some of these rooms were so fragile, they couldn’t take heavy tour volume for more than a few months every few years (click here for tickets).

Throughout the incredibly informative three hours we spent there, we saw almost every room in the house, learned about every minor detail of what went into each room (that they were able to explain), and appreciate the kinds of inventions Sarah had installed to assist her workers in getting tasks done faster. From the indoor/outdoor water recycling system for her plants, to the elevators, the intercom system, the laundry room, and her efficient way of heating her home, it was clear Sarah wanted her workers to feel comfortable and appreciated for the tasks they were doing.  Even their workers’ quarters were well appointed with both cool and warm air apparatuses, along with comfortable beds, and other amenities!

I’ve heard comments from friends on how creepy it must have been to tour it, given that people have seen ghosts of workers there. The truth was, it was incredibly peaceful walking through it (even in the basement and the attic), which told me that those workers who died in the home, weren’t ever in distress – they enjoyed the job security 🙂

Since we were not really allowed to take pictures in the home, I only have a few of the exterior, as well as of the final room, AND the costumes from the movie!

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Our 24 Hours in Carmel-by-the-Sea/Monterey/Pebble Beach

Accommodations

When we arrived to Carmel, it was a bit late in the evening, so we checked into The Wayside Inn and went to bed.  Having stayed at many inns before, I didn’t have high expectations.  When we opened the door to our room, I was blown away.  I felt like I had stepped into a quaint suite in Nantucket, well-appointed with high-end amenities, and  peaceful decor.  The beds were the most comfortable ones we had ever slept in, too!  To top it off, we were also given a free breakfast, delivered right to our door.  It was a fantastic experience from end-to-end, and I highly recommend staying there!

Hiking Point Lobos State Reserve

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Point Lobos offers different length/degree of difficulty of hikes, which given that we wanted to enjoy it, we chose an easy 4-mile, moderate incline here-and-there, hike (click here to view).

For the first 3/4 of the hike, we were walking through thick forest vegetation (on a trail of course), reminding me of my less-than-fond memories of Girl Scout camp and how much I hated potential wildlife surprises.  The difference was, though, the unbelievable reward at the end (which can be seen above).

Once you have made it to the expansive view, you are treated to unbelievable beauty of caves, cliffs, Bird Island (which doesn’t smell pleasant), and seal pups (which were hard to capture).

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Pro Tip: Get to the reserve when the park opens!  If you wait until 10am, there will be only street parking.  If you wait until 11am, the trails will get busy.

Pebble Beach 17-Mile Drive, Monterey

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After leaving the serenity of Point Lobos, we headed to Pebble Beach to do the 17-mile drive ($10.25 in cash, per car, to enter).

It’s another beautiful drive (with jaw-dropping homes along the way).  It’s highly recommended to do this drive, not just because of the multiple places to stop and take amazing pictures, but also to see Seal Island (highly recommended during pupping season in early May).

Hanging Around Downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea

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Anton and Michel

First, I am definitely coming back for a weekend… to shop and relax.  Every single store, restaurant, inn, coffee shop, and wine bar are so charming, so elegant, and so much fun to explore.  Below are my list of recommendations.

Basil

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Grapefruit Spritz

We came here for lunch and drinks, and it certainly didn’t disappoint!  I’d recommend the asparagus puree soup and basil house salad with chicken.   I wouldn’t recommend the cocktails unless you like a strong pour! (Gluten-free rating: 10/10)

Anton and Michel

If there is one restaurant you can get to for dinner, this needs to be it.  From the service, to the food, to the wine, to giving us one of the best tables in the restaurant (see the pool image above), it was a five-star experience the whole way through! I kept it light on dinner (so I could make it to dessert, so if you want the same, I’d recommend the Wild Mushroom Risotto, Wedge salad, and selection of ice creams (they brought me sundae toppings on the side.  I’d also recommend the 2015 Domaine Drouhin Williamette Valley, Oregon Pinot Noir.  (Gluten-free rating: 10/10)

Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company

I love non-commercialized coffee shops!  Their coffee and other caffeinated drinks are absolutely fantastic.  They also offer a small menu of gluten-free treats as well!

Cottage of Sweets

This place is an adult child’s dream!  Not only do they sell rare candies we all had as kids, they also sell an amazing array of house-made chocolates, fudges, and other sugary confections!

Kris Kringle of Carmel

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I am not ashamed to have gone in there and purchase several ornaments… at the beginning of May 🙂  They have some beautiful pieces I’ve never seen before, along with a large collection of unique Nutcrackers!

Diggidy Dog

The toys are a bit pricey but are so worth it. I brought home the one on the right (which was all but destroyed in a week).  They also have a wide variety of homemade treats!

Additional Notes

  • Friar Tuck’s and the Tuck Box only accept cash
  • It’s a bit cold and rainy in early May – I’d suggest late May
  • The drive to/from the airport is about 2 hours – plan accordingly if you leave later!
Date Ideas, Fun, Travel, United States

Date Night: Tulips

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Who doesn’t love free champagne?  A few weeks ago, before we headed to The Improv to see Vir Das, we had dinner at Tulips – a new restaurant, by the well-known D.C. restauranteur, Reese Gardner.

Formerly Irish Whiskey, the space was transformed into a light, airy, yet cozy three floors of great craft cocktails, a drool-worthy menu, and refreshingly chic spaces.

Having spent time in Irish Whiskey, I was surprised to see there was actually a basement level, which is where their restaurant goers are led to.  Given the name of the restaurant, there were tulips in every nook, mini crystal chandeliers above every table, and of course, champagne glasses on every table.

Our waiter was fantastic – he was sensitive to my gluten-allergy, walking me through the menu to make sure I ordered correctly and then poured us complimentary champagne!

We started with cocktails and an appetizer: Cuban Night and Midway (which we highly recommend) and the deviled eggs with caviar (which we also highly recommend). For entrees, my other half ordered the Lobster Roll (which he still raves about) and I ordered the spaghetti squash (which I still crave).  We would have ordered dessert but we were both pretty full.

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There have been comments online about portion size. If you have a large appetite, yes, this place may not be for you.  However, given portion sizes in most of D.C.’s finer restaurants, it’s right on par, if not, a bit more generous.

We highly recommend this place for date night, brunch, dinner, drinks, and events.  We’ll certainly be back!

Gluten-friendly score: 10

Date Ideas, Fun, Travel, United States

Date Night: DBGB

Tarte Tatin Sundae
Tarte Tatin Sundae

A few weeks ago, I took my better half to DBGB for Part 1 of his birthday celebrations, and we left there agreeing we’re going to be repeat customers!

DBGB has been given glowing reviews, since it opened in City Center a few years ago, and we can see why.  From the customer service, to the food and drinks, we were super impressed across the board!  As an added bonus, they are sensitive to dietary needs, which means (for me) they were careful to check that the items I ordered were 100% gluten-free, even making sure to give me my own gluten-free crackers as a starter!

Note: If you don’t eat much, the soup is quite filling on its own.  I’d suggest ordering either the soup or the salad, but not both.  Also, the dessert is to die for!

This is a great place for date night, lunch, dinner, happy hour, and brunch.

Enjoy!

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Date Ideas, Fun, Travel, United States

What It’s Like Cooking At The #1 Hotel Cooking School in the World

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It’s no secret that I love to cook – it’s one of my favorite de-stressers of all time.  There’s something cathartic about chopping vegetables, mixing together the right spices and sauces for new flavors, and seeing a finished product.

A few weeks ago, myself, some of my company, and some of our customers took a cooking class at Cavallo Point Cooking School, in San Francisco, and it was amazing.

Led by Head Chef Tony Adams (who has an impeccable sense of humor), walked us through the multi-course meal we were going to cook, before we were counted off into four teams.

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The menu is set close to the day of, after Tony has gone to the market to see what is fresh for the day.  The result is a custom menu full of fresh ingredients, and it was amazing.

We learned cutting techniques, cooking techniques, how to plate things the way they were intended, and used new totally helpful cooking utensils that I now seemingly can’t live without (my cabinet space is begging to differ on that one).

Our team did a pretty incredible job with dinner, and it was amazingly delicious!  I highly recommend taking a class from here if you are in the area.  After, grab a drink at the bar downstairs and certainly, take in the beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge!

Below are some more pics of the event.  People have been left out of them, since this was a company event 🙂

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Date Ideas, Fun, Travel, United States

Date Night: Harold Black and B Too

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Anyone who knows me, knows I have a HUGE love of speakeasies.  A few weekends ago, we decided to try Harold Black, and we were definitely not disappointed.

Like most speakeasies, you either spend quite a bit of time looking for the entrance, or you look it up (like we did).  Below are the directions on how to find the speakeasy, including a video!

Directions: To the left Acqua al 2’s patio is a nondescript wooden door.  It looks as though it’s locked, but it’s not.  You go up the staircases, open another door, and up another staircase.  At the end of the hallway is a table with instructions.

Once inside, you’re transported into a genuine replica of a 1920s speakeasy.  From the furniture, to the lighting (which makes the atmosphere that much cooler), to the decor, and even the bathrooms, they left no detail out. (Note, bathroom lighting makes great selfie lighting 😛 )

As for the drinks/food – both are amazing.  We spent two hours tasting some of the appetizers, and each choosing two cocktails from the menu.  (The menu changes often enough that it’s hard to recommend anything.)

Out of the three I’ve been to in D.C. thus far, PX, Harold Black, and Captain Gregory’s I’d recommend, in that order.

B Too

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I’ve been to B Too before, but it was so good I had to come back! Bart Vandaele has created a Belgium concept that has become something of a staple in Logan Circle.  If you have ever been to Belgium, you know that there’s primarily two sides to the country: French and Dutch.  Known for mainly mussels, chocolate, and waffles, (and cheese on the dutch side), a lot of authentic Belgium food can seem bland.  Bart has managed to take many common dishes and put a tasteful flair to them.  It’s one of the reasons it’s so popular.  We ended up with a three course meal for each, and out of that, only one dish got a picture (we were so hungry, we sort of forgot).  Below are my recommendations:

Starters:

  • Salade Van Bietjes (Red beet salad) – gluten-free – highly recommended
  • Wafel Van Kreeft (Maine lobster waffle) – highly recommended

Main Dish:

  • Poulet Rôti Père Maurits (Roasted Amish chicken) – gluten-free – highly recommended
  • Belgische Filet Pur Met Friejtes (Center cut filet with fries) – The steak was decent but the fries were amazing!

Dessert:

  • S’mores dish (cannot remember the actual name of the dish) – Isn’t recommended – the waffle dessert is better
  • House made ice cream and sorbet – gluten-free – Isn’t recommended – I wasn’t a fan of the taste of any of the flavors

 

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Date Ideas, Fun, Travel, United States

Steve Martin and Martin Short at Wolftrap

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Two of the funniest men on the planet came to Wolftrap last Friday night, and it made for one of the best variety/comedy shows I’ve ever been to (and one of a start to the weekend).

Steve Martin and Martin Short are on their “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life” tour, and they had two back-to-back Wolftrap performances this past weekend, to sold out crowds.

From SNL, to “Father of the Bride”, to their individual performances in their own films; these two are are considered the epitome of classic sketch comedy that’s both relatable and appreciated at any age.  With their quick wit (cue Three Amigos skit with participating audience members, and Martin’s on-the-fly responses), their love of a good roast (Martin Short can deliver some great jabs), and physical comedic acting (both had their share); they prove that their talent is unique, as well as rare.

But, what made this show even more special, is Steve Martin’s love of Bluegrass.  His band, “Steep Canyon Rangers” delivered an amazing mini concert, some of which featured Steve’s unbelievable banjo playing skills.  All around, I laughed so hard I cried, I tapped my foot so hard it was sore, and I smiled so big my cheeks hurt.

If they come to your area, make sure to grab your tickets before they are sold out!

Check out some of my pictures below (excuse the graininess – we were in box seats high up).  Video was prohibited, so I couldn’t take any.

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Date Ideas, Events/Performances, Fun, Travel, United States

Richard Marx and Rick Springfield at Wolftrap

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“… so after three days of recording the album with N’Sync, they had to sneak out the back door, because there were 800 girls waiting in the front, and I, not being known, went out the front… to my car… in the main parking lot. Out of no where, a smoking hot girl runs up to me and asks, ‘Are you Richard Marx?’ To which I reply, ‘Why yes I am!’  She responds with, ‘My mom LOVES you!’…” (Richard Marx on his age.)

This is just a small snippet of how wonderful the evening was with both Richard Marx and Rick Springfield.  They are (self-deprecating) funny, relaxed, and prove that they are still willing to tour, solely because they love their fans, and they love performing.  While I agreed to accompany my mom to see her longtime heartthrob (Rick Springfield), I found myself truly enjoying the show they put on separately, as well as together.  The entire thing was done acoustically.

Check out some of my videos and pictures below.  More videos can be found here.

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Events/Performances, Fun, Travel, United States

I Love the 90s Tour at Wolftrap

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A few weekends ago, I relived junior high school, high school, and college, all in one night, at Wolftrap.  When I heard a 90s tour with artists, such as Snap!, C+C Music Factory, Kid n’Play, Montell Jordan, Rob Base, TLC, and more were coming, I had to go.

The downside to going to these concerts is a. Realizing how old you are, and b. Realizing how old the artists are now, and how they no longer look exactly like they did in your childhood memories.  (To put it in perspective, Kid n’ Play’s “House Party” is 25 years old, and Kid is 53.)

The upside was that it was fun to hear the old songs again, and hear of what these artists are now up to.

Check out my videos and pictures below (more videos of each can be found here).

Snap!

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C+C Music Factory

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Montell Jordan

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Kid n’ Play

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Each of them were having so much fun… until…

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TLC

My mom and I left the concert after their second song, because it was that bad. T-Boz seemed incredibly unhappy to be there, and while Chili looked amazing, you could tell she was doing her best to carry the now duo.  They were singing along to recorded tracks – the whole thing was just awful.  I feel for them, but I’m unsure I’d recommend staying for their performance, or even going to one of their concerts.

Overall, it was a great night, and I’m so happy I got to relive the best part of that decade!

Travel, United States

Road Trip Day 4-8: Exploring Colorado

My other half and I love adventurous vacations, which have taken us pretty much all over the world.  Several months ago, we decided that we’d stay in our “own backyard”, and explore what the areas of the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore/Keystone, and Colorado had to offer (click here to see all of our posts for our other days).

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Us at Keystone Resort

The ultimate goal of our vacation was to visit his family in Denver, and some of mine in Boulder.  However, we also wanted to explore Colorado as much as we could, while there.  Below are my recommendations, based on what we did.

Things to See

Loveland Pass – If you don’t have a fear of heights, and happen to have something warm to wear (it’s literally 40 degrees with wind, in July), then take the drive up Loveland Pass!  While it’s considered to be one of the most dangerous roads in America, it also happens to have some incredibly scenic views!

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At the top, reward yourself with a photo next to the Continental Divide sign, boasting the 11,990 ft. elevation number.

Keystone Resort – If you think ski resorts are only for snow activities, think again!  Almost all resorts turn into a BMX biker haven, and also have many different summertime activities, making it a great place to spend part of the summer.

We took the Gondola (about $30 per person with a $10 food voucher included), to the summit, which is 11,640 feet up.  The views were breathtaking, literally, as I got altitude sickness from the height (note, I drank four large bottles of water to prevent headaches, and instead, ended up being very light-headed/dizzy).  Still, the views were too amazing to leave!

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We decided to eat at The Summit House, which for those who are gluten-intolerant, will rejoice in the fact that they can serve all sandwiches and burgers on gluten-free buns!

When we finished with lunch, we headed back down to the resort, and walked around.  It happened to be kids’ day, so there were a lot of activities going on.  We played cornhole, went into some shops, and stopped at Mary’s Mountain Cookies, as they had very large, extremely tasty, gluten-free cookies in many different flavors.

Pearl Street in BoulderWalking Pearl Street makes for a great Sunday afternoon.  There are street performers, lots of restaurants, unique shops, and plenty of people watching!  Check out the Dushanbe Teahouse (see in the next section below), not too far from there, when you need an afternoon break!

Garden of the Gods (Colorado Springs) – I visited this as a kid, but really couldn’t appreciate it for what it was (back then, I felt like I was being forced to stare at rocks).  Going back now, put this as one of my top five favorite walks of all time.  It’s free to all, and a great way to spend an afternoon!  (The kid in me loved being able to climb the rocks.)

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Manitou Springs – After we finished at Garden of the Gods, we drove to this little town I had never heard of before, to stop and get ice cream.  I wish I had known about it, prior to our trip, because I would have booked a room in an old inn for a night.  It’s a very old mining town, with some historic inns (some of them are very haunted), amazing/charming restaurants, and a lot of little artisanal shops.  It’s also very close to Pike’s Peak, which means you can take the cog train to the top, from there.  Definitely check it out and stay a night if you can!

Red Rock Amphitheater – Red Rock is known for its natural acoustics, making it a great place to hold concerts.  At night, artists from all over the world make it a point to stop and perform there.  During the day, people use it for insanely hard workouts, hikes, and as a point of interest to take pictures of the Denver skyline.  Definitely make it a point to stop for a few minutes, and take in the view – it’s free to anyone.

Dinosaur Ridge – This place was a last minute addition to our trip, and we are certainly glad we made it a point to stop and take part of the walk.  There is a visitor’s center on one site, and a couple of different hikes from different parking lots.

The museum gives you a good background, as to what to look for in the rock, as well as the types of dinosaurs that were indigent to the area.

We took the main hike, across the road from the museum, which afforded us foot imprints from several different dinosaurs, fossils of prehistoric leaves, an education on the layers of rock and how old they are, as well as great views of Denver.

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Places to Eat/Drink

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The “Paloma” from North County

North County (Denver)– There are days I really miss San Diego, so it was amazing to see that someone opened a restaurant, dedicated to the vibe and fare of one of my favorite places on earth.  The food is Cali-Mex, and the drinks are hand-crafted – a big nod to the growing craft cocktail experience in the SoCal area.  If you happen to go there, sit outside and dine on the fish tacos or the chicken salad.  Also, be sure to try each of their bottled alcoholic beverages – none of them will disappoint.  When you’re done, head over to the biergarten and ice cream stand, located next to Hangar 1 by the Air and Space Museum.  It’s a fun little place in the suburbs of Denver.

Boulder Dushanbe Tea House – This tea house has just about the most amazing story I’ve ever heard, and I am kicking myself for not taking more pictures.  As you can see in the video snippet below, the ornate columns and tile work were not fabricated.  Instead, in 1987, the Mayor of Dushanbe, had all of the materials packed up, and sent to Boulder, along with 40 skilled workers form Tajikistan, to put together this tea house, using no tools.  It took three years to be built, and has been open for almost 30 years.  There is an exact one in Dushanbe, with only two in the world.  Click on the link above to read the full story. (Note: Reservations are a MUST – it books up fast.)

I ordered the Hibiscus Mimosa (it’s a must-have) and the Spicy Indonesian Peanut Noodles (if you don’t like spicy food, you might want to skip it).  Truly, it’s a must-experience at least once in your life!

El Five (Denver) – I cannot say enough good things about this restaurant!  It sits in my top five restaurants I’ve been to in the world, accounting for food/drink quality, ambience, decor, and view.  The dishes are tapas from Gibraltar, with modern spins such as vegetarian paella with quinoa. The drinks are crafted into works of art, such as mine that came with an orchid (name not included, since their bar menu changes frequently).

The decor is reminiscent of old Israeli comic books, coupled with chic dining decor and lighting.  But hands down, what completely sold me on visiting there, was the view.  From the deck (which you can dine on), you have an unobstructed view of downtown.

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T Street Roadhouse (Denver) – Nestled in a town center in the suburbs of Denver, is a place called T Street Roadhouse.  It’s a great happy hour/casual dining place, offering an American menu of fares, including gluten-free flatbread pizzas!  If you’re looking for something casual/relaxed to do, go there, and then head over to the movie theater, or Lucky Strike for bowling!  The Town Center has a lot to do!

Travel, United States

Road Trip Day 3: Driving to Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore, and Keystone, South Dakota

My other half and I love adventurous vacations, which have taken us pretty much all over the world.  Several months ago, we decided that we’d stay in our “own backyard”, and explore what the areas of the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore/Keystone, and Colorado had to offer (click here to see all of our posts for our other days).

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In Ten Sleep, South Dakota

The Drive to Keystone, South Dakota from Cody, Wyoming

From Cody, Wyoming to Keystone, South Dakota, you have about a 5 1/2 hour drive.  It’s definitely one of the most beautiful drives we took, thanks to Google Maps’ “fastest route” filter, which took us on roundabout ways through back roads, and other National Forests and Parks.

Check out the slideshow, as well as a short video, of our road trip to our next destination, below:

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Recommendations:

  • Take a picture of the town sign of Otto – they have a population of 50 – it’s probably the smallest number of inhabitants I’ve ever seen on a town sign, although it is predominately known for its farms.
  • Stop at the Dinosaur Dig in Manderson, Wyoming.  There’s been a hotbed of dinosaur digging going on in that state, and while we didn’t have time to stop, you definitely should!
  • Ten Sleep is a beautiful historic town with a lot to see.  Had I known this town existed, I would have made it a point to stop there for a few hours.  I definitely recommend you take your time to drive through it, as well as explore it (if you can) – even if just for lunch.
  • Big Horn National Forest – if you are taking the drive from Cody to Keystone, you will be driving through it anyway.  Definitely take your time to view the beautiful scenery – there are a lot of picture-worthy spots!

Arriving at Crazy Horse Memorial and Mt. Rushmore

I say this with the utmost respect but if you are trying to save money, skip Crazy Horse.  While he was certainly a very important historical figure, the Memorial isn’t even near completion (they are about 10% of the way there, and have been for close to 30 years).  For $22 (for 2 people), we walked through the Visitor’s Center and Museum, and out to the viewing terrace, to see the progress of the memorial, from a few miles away. The only way to get closer is to take their bus (for an additional fee), which only gets you about a mile further in.

As for Mt. Rushmore

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…it was AMAZING! As a kid, you study these types of monuments in history class, almost as if they were fictional stories.  After 38 years of being on this planet, I finally got to see something that has been on my bucket list!

For $10 per vehicle, there is so much to do!  We took all of the hiking trails around the monument, stopped for ice cream at their large grill/ice cream place, shopped in the gift shop, viewed the small museum, dedicated to the creation of this; and sat on a bench to take in the view, one last time.

Note: The geologists are worried that this monument won’t last much longer, as the rock has become unstable.  Definitely see it before it’s too late!

Heading Into Keystone, South Dakota

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I am a total sucker for old, historic, touristy towns, and this was my “Disney World” of the midwest!

What started as a small mining town in 1880, has been revived as a place to relive history with various restaurants, saloons, shops, lodging, and even a train ride to Old Hill City and back!  Check out my photos, videos, and recommendations, below:

Where to Stay

K Bar S Lodge was absolutely wonderful.  For about $174 a night, it was like being at an upscale summer camp for adults with pristine walking grounds, beautiful log-built buildings, and a wonderful free breakfast in their glass gazebo. Our room was spacious, comfortable, and included a balcony, overlooking the forest.  It was also just 1/2 mile from downtown Keystone.

Where to Dine

For dinner, I wanted something authentic (okay, downright touristy).  Thus, I dragged my other half to Ruby House and Red Garter Saloon for dinner and drinks (I recommend the Red Garter – it’s an alcoholic Shirley Temple, and you get to keep the garter).  The food is pretty decent, and the atmosphere is very cool (see the video below).

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While much of the original memorabilia and other decor were lost in a flood in the 1970s, and a fire in 2003, it was rebuilt again to emulate the early 1900s, still leaving you with a sense of awe, as though you stepped back in time.

For lunch the next day, we swung by Teddy’s Deli, which is on the map for the best Reuben Sandwich in the U.S.  Note that they also have amazing salads and soups, for those of us who are gluten-intolerant.

Things to Do

We literally walked into every shop (which I recommend because there are some fun things to see), and as we were leaving to go back to our hotel, I heard/saw the 1880 Train, whistling as it was leaving the Keystone station.  I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved train rides, and with the wonderment of a five-year-old child in my eyes, my other half suggested that we take the roundtrip ride to Old Hill City, the following morning.

The open air train cars have come from all over the U.S., almost all of them from the early 1900’s, which have been restored.  It’s really cool to think that almost all of the cars were used to carry passengers, over 100 years, to and from mining destinations.

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The trip itself is 2 hours and 15 minutes long, and costs about $34 per adult.  On board, they sell snacks and drinks (cash only), but you may also purchase them at the station.  I will strongly encourage anyone, who happens to be staying in Keystone, to do this!

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