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Monday, June 5, 2023

10 Father's Day Gift Ideas For The Traveling Dad

Do you know a dad who does a lot of traveling? Check out this post for 10 great gift ideas for the traveling dad in your life.

If your dad travels in his RV, this post, 10 Items You Should Have On Your RV Camping List, will give you a few more ideas.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

We have been doing a lot of traveling since we retired and noticed that we need things we never needed before like a number of portable items. Also, we added an RV as one our traveling modes a couple of years ago and then needed even more things like comfortable camping chairs. We can thank our son and daughter-in-law for that gift.

Our kids always keep in mind that they have a traveling dad now when they are considering gifts to buy Soko for Father's Day. So for the benefit of my kids, and all kids and families with a traveling dad, this helpful list gives you 10 great gift ideas!

1. Atomi 150W Car Power Inverter

This power strip has 2 AC 110V Outlets, 2 USB-C Ports and 2 Smart Charge USB Ports so that Dad can power up all his devices as he drives to his destination. This will especially come in handy when Dad is taking the whole family with him to that destination.

2. Trendhim Vincio Black & Tan Reversible Full Grain Leather Belt

Dad will not have to pack both his black belt and his tan belt. With this belt, dad will only have to remember to pack one belt and be ready to match any outfit no matter what color he is wearing.

3. Trendhim Lucleon Canvas Roll Out Wash Bag

The organized dad will love having all his toiletries in this roll out bag. There is plenty of room for all his overnight essentials. He won't have to rummage through his bag anymore to find them though as all his things each have their own pocket with this roll out. And with Trendhim you know you are getting a quality product.

4. Muggo 2.0

This self-heating, temperature control coffee travel mug comes with a leak-proof top and 3 hour battery life. Great for all those dads who enjoy having coffee when they are on the road. Even greater is that they can enjoy their coffee hot until the last drop.

5. Coffee Gift Cards

A gift card to Dad's favorite coffee shop comes in handy for the dad who is traveling on the road or the dad who is at the airport waiting to board a plane and needs a little pick-me-up.

6. Portable WaterPik

This convenient waterpik is small enough to fit in dad's toiletry bag and is perfect for the dad who likes to use one every day. We keep one in our RV and really like how portable it is and how easy it is to use.

7. Portable Phone Charger

A portable phone charger is a great gift for the dad who is on an outdoor adventure and not able to get to a phone charger for hours at a time. This one is fantastic for the ability to attach it right to your phone.

8. Hammer + Axe Insulated Slim Beverage Suitcase

Beach vacationing dads will love carrying his beverages in this light-weight cooler. No more lugging his heavy one as he trudges through the sand. An added bonus is that the case also has cup holders when dad needs to put his drink down and would rather not put it in the sand.

9. Anti-theft Back Pack

This is a great gift for the sight-seeing dad who finds himself in a big crowd and doesn't want to worry about being pick-pocketed while he is enjoying the sights. Soko likes his a lot. It is slash proof and he feels secure knowing there are clasps on the ends of each zipper that makes it very hard, if not impossible, for a thief to get into his bag. 

10. My Property ID Registry security system.

This kit contains everything your dad needs to keep his valuables safe while he's traveling with them.  We especially like having the warning sign on our RV to deter potential thieves from breaking in when we are out sightseeing. You can read more about this great product here.

Hope you found your dad's gift in our list of 10 Father's Day gift ideas for your traveling dad! Wishing all dads a Happy Father's Day and safe travels!

Monday, May 22, 2023

On The Road Again, Kootenai Falls Park, MT, Lunch In Idaho, Spokane, WA

Do you often find yourself on the road again? Well, lucky you and safe travels!

If you are traveling with your RV, take a look at our list of 10 Items You Should Have On Your RV Camping List before you hit the road.

Lucky for us we struck up a conversation with a fellow hiker while waiting for the shuttle bus in Glacier National Park the day before we were leaving for Stop 10 of our cross-country road trip, Spokane, WA. She told us that we would be passing very close by Kootenai Falls Park and it was really worth a visit. We were so glad we followed her suggestion and did stop here.

The trail she mentioned started right behind the information posters which was to the right of the parking lot and just past a restroom and small stand selling snacks and souvenirs.

There were a couple of spots along the trail that were very picturesque so we stopped a few times to take pictures and take in the beauty.

The trail was an easy trail but not easy enough to make it handicap accessible. 

Then we came to the bridge. It was one of the longest and nicest suspension bridges we have ever been on.

The views from the bridge were incredible.

Once we crossed the bridge, we headed to the falls where we were treated to more amazing views.

We were all very glad we stopped here. Now it was time to drive through Idaho where we were stopping for lunch. None of us had ever been to Idaho. Our criteria for being able to officially say we have been to a state is to vacation, stay over or, at the very least, have lunch in the state. We were not vacationing or staying over in Idaho so that left have lunch.

We googled and found a restaurant in Priest River, Idaho but it was closed. We wound up instead at AJ's Cafe and had one of the best meals of our entire cross-country trip! 

Me and JT are still talking about the delicious, huge homemade biscuits that came with our lunch.

After eating our delicious meal, we were back on the road again. We had two more stops to make, Walmart and Costco, before finally getting to our campground. We were really tired after our long day so after setting up, eating dinner and taking showers we were all ready to call it a night.

The following day all we had planned was a walk around Spokane Riverfront Park and checking out the downtown Spokane. We were not in a hurry so we had a leisurely pancake and bacon breakfast and prepped for some of our other upcoming meals.

Then we were off to see the city that our Japanese great-grandparents settled in for a few years many years ago.

We had no idea exactly where they had their alteration shop but we were just happy to be in Spokane after hearing about it all our lives. Without really knowing what we would actually do or see here, we researched and thought that the Riverfront Park sounded like a nice area to check out.

There were lots of things to do and see here. We crossed the pedestrian bridge over the Spokane River and saw the country's largest urban waterfall.

The Looff Carrousel that has a home here in the park was beautifully hand carved back in1909. It was a magnificent work of art.

The clock tower behind me, built in 1902, runs the way it did when it was first built. Someone walks up 5 flights of stairs 99 times a week to crank the clock. I would not want that job.

The Riverfront Rotary Fountain, shown here in back of the riverfront sign, shoots water from 5 stainless steel columns 24 feet high and can be very refreshing to jump into on a hot day.

We ventured out of the park when we came to the opposite end of where we came in. We were now in downtown Spokane. It was a bigger city than we imagined it to be. 

After walking around the city and shopping in a few of the stores, we walked back through the park to get to our car. There was still a lot more to see. One area we missed was the Sister Cities Connection Garden. Here you can learn about Spokane's sister cities. This harp reminds us that Limerick, Ireland is one of them.

And this marble monument represents the bond between Spokane and sister city, Cagli, Italy. I asked JT to pose for me by this monument because of his bond to Italy via his Italian parents.

And when we saw this replica of Imazu Lighthouse from Spokane's oldest sister, Nishinomiya, Japan we knew that our great-grandparents were with us as we explored this special city and we had found the perfect place to find them. 

Thank you, Hi obaasan and Hi ojiichan for welcoming us and for showing us around Spokane. It was a dream come true to visit the city that you settled in when you lived in America. We had a great time!

Find a campground here before you venture out on your next road trip adventure!

State By State Guide To State And National Park Campgrounds

Where do you go when you take a road trip? Do you travel near or far? Let us know where you usually wind up when you find yourself on the road again!

Monday, April 24, 2023

Things To Do In And Around Glacier National Park

Read this post for things to do in and around Glacier National Park before your next trip here.

If you are traveling with your RV, take a look at our list of 10 Items You Should Have On Your RV Camping List before you hit the road.

(1) Glacier National Park in Montana was the ninth stop of our cross-country road trip. Our plan, after checking into Mountain Meadow RV Park, was to get some laundry done. Not every campground has this amenity but thankfully, this one did. We had a ton of wash to do. A couple from the Netherlands had the same idea as us and we struck up a conversation with them. We found out they were in America to visit and hike in several of our national parks. They told us that there was nowhere in Europe that had such a variety of parks to choose from. We told them that we had met a few people in the parks already and had been wondering why so many of the hikers came from different parts of Europe. We felt very fortunate to be living in our beautiful country after talking to them.
(Read more about this campground here.)

After finishing up our laundry, it was time for dinner. Our Japanese mom would have been very impressed with the dinner we were able to whip up in the middle of the woods!

The next morning we headed the short 9 miles to Glacier National Park. When we got there we were turned away because we didn't have a reservation to get in. We knew, before we set out on our road trip that a few of the parks required it but we got in to a few parks before Glacier with no problem and got lazy about checking to see if we needed one or not. We did get our souvenir shopping done, and the guys found a nice shady place to relax for awhile, so it was not a total waste of time.

Good To Know: Go here to find all the information you need for making a reservation to get into the national parks that require one.

(2) Our plan was to spend two days hiking in Glacier National Park so now we had to do some research to find an alternate plan. After looking at a few travel guides we found Hungry Horse Dam. It was the number one place to see on many blog sites.

There were a couple of picturesque spots to take some photos as we walked towards the dam.

We went to the visitor's center first where we found lots of interesting information about the dam.

Then we went to get a close up view of the dam.

(3) After checking out the dam, we got in the car and headed to Flathead National Forest to eat our picnic lunch and then do some hiking.

We hiked the Lion Lake Trail that started where we had lunch at the South Lion Picnic Area and ended at the North Lion Picnic Area.

When we reached the North Lion Picnic Area we were glad that we were out of the woods. It was just a flat trail with not much to see, besides the nice lake and beach, so we didn't want to backtrack on the same trail to get to our car. We turned on Pokemon on Soko's phone and saw that there was another way back. What the Pokemon map couldn't show us was the steep hill (I know it doesn't look too steep from this picture but when you are standing at the top it looks very steep) lined with logs, that we had to walk down. We all got down it safely, but one wrong step could have sent someone rolling down that hill and it would not have been pretty!

Good To Know: We have used the Pokemon app's map on several occasions when we want to get a sense of where we are while kayaking or hiking and google maps can't help us. 

(4) When we were researching for things to do on our free day, we noticed Willow's Huckleberry Land on Trip Advisor's Top Ten List. We thought that a huckleberry item would make a good souvenir so that is where we headed next. This store was fantastic. It had many products made with huckleberry including the delicious dressing that I bought. We also bought Soko a tee shirt and Sandie and JT got a few things too. Then we sat down in their attached restaurant to try an elk burger. It was surprisingly better than we thought it would be.

The owner of of the store, James Willows, is a filmmaker and author. He has a popular You Tube channel and has written an autobiography. After running into this talented fellow at the store and having a conversation with him, JT bought his book and had it signed. 

By the end of the day, we had a few souvenirs and found some nice post cards to send to the kids. We were happy with how the day went even though it did not go as planned.

(5) The following morning, with our reservation made for 7:30 am, we headed to Glacier National Park

We spent 12 hours in the park with 6 of them spent on or waiting for the complimentary shuttle that ran along Going-to-the-Sun Road.

We were happy, though, that the guys could enjoy the incredible views as we rode through the park inside the comfortable shuttle and neither of them had to drive.

We were also happy that the first stop was Logans Pass where we would find the Hidden Lake Overview trail.

The first 1/4 of the trail is called Hanging Gardens and I immediately understood why. I took so many pictures hoping to capture the beauty of the wildflowers that flourished here but none of them did them justice.

This easy 2.7 mile trail is one of the most popular hikes in Glacier so most likely you will be hiking with tons of other hikers. It's easy to see why this trail would be on everyone's must-do list with sights like these.

At the end of the trail we were treated to this stunning view of the majestic Clements Mountain and Hidden Lake. 

We retraced our steps back to where we started. Seeing it from the opposite way, it actually felt like we were on completely different, but still beautiful, trail mostly because we were no longer seeing Clements Mountain ahead of us.

We stopped to have lunch, and enjoy the views one last time, before we left.

This entire trail was filled with absolutely gorgeous sights and we highly recommend hiking here if you get a chance to visit this amazing park.

We had one more trail we wanted to hike before we called it a day so after another long wait, we hopped on the shuttle and headed to St. Mary Lake Trail.

We hiked an easy 1/2 mile trail that took us to St. Mary Falls.

We stayed at these falls for awhile watching some brave hikers jump off ledges and into the water. I asked one of the kids how scared he was to attempt this jump and he told me that the rip current was scarier than the jump. The calm looking water was very deceiving. I am so glad we didn't have to watch someone being carried away by the the river.

We had a fantastic day at Glacier and now it was time to go back to our campsite to relax for a minute before packing up and preparing for taking off in the morning.

The next day, before we left Hungry Horse, we stopped at this cute post office to mail postcards. Then we were on our way to Stop 10, Spokane, WA.

Read about, Yellowstone National Park here, another gorgeous park we visited on our cross-country road trip and one that is probably on your national park bucket list.

Things To Do In And Around Yellowstone National Park, WY

Have your ever been to Glacier National Park? What things did you find to do? Please share your adventures with us in comments!

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