Costco offers the Kirkland Brand and it can save you a lot of money. Many of the Kirkland products are private label from big brands. I have linked several similar or exact private label with brands so you can take a look on your own. Costco has confirmed some of these; some are speculated, and some are close. Hope this helps save you some cash!
In a normal year, my travel is filled with adventures and travel throughout the year. From Dubai to New Zealand to Bora Bora to Patagonia or Safari in Africa; typically at least two or three trips of a lifetime planned each year.
The start of 2020 – thankfully two trips to Disney and a short work trip to Boston…then Covid…my vacation to the Maldives, Antarctica, Glacier Kayaking were all cancelled. Instead of 40 epic trips for my 40th birthday – I am learning about local Take-out like Grubhub and DoorDash.
This has not been the year of travel or the year of fun. So far, since March, two short boating trips to Lake Cumberland and that has been it.
After almost 9 months of no real travel, it was time to take a trip! Todd and I discussed a two night getaway and our plan was to stay safe, stay close to home, and to avoid people because of covid and to stay well limiting as many interactions as possible.
The Mohicans is a popular wedding destination near Mohican State Park – they offer treehouses, cabins, and a barn. It is located in Glenmont, Ohio – about 1.5 hours from Columbus, Ohio. After some discussion, Todd and I opted for the treehouses.
Luxury treehouses at the Mohicans is like staying in a tiny house with all the upscale modern amenities known to man. From the outside, these treehouses can be deceptive – definitely masterful in design and maximization of space.
The Mohicans offers 9 Treehouses; each with a unique design, furnishings, and amenities.
1. Little Red Treehouse: featured on Animal Planet – Treehouse Masters – Pete Nelson designed two places. Sleeps 2.
The treehouses sleep 2-6 people and are ideal for that much needed getaway. Every treehouse has parking, includes fire pit, and outdoor space whether a patio, deck, chairs or daybed.
The View Treehouse: Night 1
In order to book, you click the Book Now – and you can book your stay. Once you fill out the waiver and confirm your stay, you receive a code for your stay. There is a keypad on each front door.
We stayed at The View Treehouse that opened in 2020. We drove from Columbus and followed GPS to the exact location. The main driveway has signs that tell you the direction of each treehouse.
What Is the Treehouse Like?
The View Treehouse has incredible windows, small kitchen, bar eating area overlooking the trees, and a loft bedroom with 2 beds. The bathroom is fully functioning; including toilet, shower, and sink. There is a large deck and patio with a fire pit.
Indoor Full Bathroom, Outdoor Shower (warm weather), Kitchen (plates, silverware, cookware, sink ware, mini fridge, toaster, coffee maker, electric cooktop, hot water, tv/dvd (bring dvds- no cable or satellite), grill, electric heat, linens and towels. Soap, Shampoo and Conditioner is provided. Hair Dryer also available.
There is a small kitchen and you can cook. We took advantage of the amazing new option! In house catering! Just like DoorDash and Grubhub – the in house catering option was absolutely amazing!
Treehouse Provisions provided the most amazing feast for the two night stay. Our order consisted of:
Garlic and Parmesan Wings
Ribeye with roasted potatoes and veggies
Drew’s famous Mac & Cheese
Chef Drew Slane prepared the most amazing meal – his background as a graduate of Arizona Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, well versed in Mexican, Asian, French, Italian, Mediterranean, African, and American cuisine – executed amazing meal based on my dietary restrictions of allergy to peanuts, nuts, fish, and shellfish.
As a world traveler, the meal provided me an opportunity to feel like I was traveling as the food was delicious, was hands down some of the best food I have eaten and really hit the 5 Star Status. Highly recommend choosing to order your food. You will thank me later!
The Silver Bullet: Airstream Treehouse
So, I have always wanted to stay in an airstream and a treehouse. While 2020 was a bit of a bust for travel, I was able to mark these two items off my bucket list by staying at the Silver Bullet and it was incredible.
What was it like to stay in the Airstream Treehouse?
The Silver Bullet has one bedroom, kitchen, steam shower (extra large) and small kitchen. There is a DVD player and tv (no cable or satellite) and the large table made it perfect for cards, food, and movie watching.
It was perfect to start the New Year with snow falling and twinkle lights inside the airstream. The decor was exquisite. The beds were very comfortable- you are not experiencing a “roughing it experience” rather a rejuvenating, beautiful adventure in a treehouse with all modern amenities and stylish decor.
How to Book a Stay at the Mohicans
Go to The Mohicans website – select Treehouse and you can directly book. These treehouses have been featured on Animal Planet and are extremely popular – plan ahead and book early. Prices start around $300 per night.
Would you stay at the Mohicans Again?
We will definitely go back.
It was so nice to unwind and to be unplugged for a little bit. There is cell service but most likely not inside the treehouse. Make sure you book catering for your trip. The meal was warm; tasted amazing, and was exactly on time.
Note: I was a guest of The Mohicans. Would highly recommend this experience and look forward to returning soon!
Sleep plays an important role in our health and these days it is more important than ever to keep our immune systems as healthy as can be. Lack of sleep can affect your immune system and studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick and/or take longer to recover.
In a recent survey of women across the USA conducted by WomenCertified Inc, data shows:
81% of women believe a good night’s sleep contributes to her overall health.
94% of women believe that the right mattress will prevent tossing and turning thereby helping her sleep better
43% of women said that increasing sleep discomfort followed by 21% who said needing to change the size of the mattress was a reason to look for a new mattress
40% of women surveyed believe that you should replace a mattress every 10 years.
78% of women stated cost was a reason for prolonging the decision to change a mattress followed by 36% who felt that their mattress was still in good condition after 10 years
Top sleep challenges prohibiting women from getting a good night sleep were: Back/joint pain, temperature (getting too hot/cold) and a close third place tie of tossing/turning, partner disturbance, and insomnia
Mattresses should be replaced every 8-10 years. While your mattress may look fine on the outside, did you know that an eight-year-old mattress contains more than 10 pounds of dead skin cells and the average bed is home to six billion dust mites. You read that correctly: six billion!
I don’t know about you but that alone makes me want a new mattress today!
Since you spend a ⅓ of your life on a mattress, it is important that the mattress meet your needs. Mattresses are not all the same. Making sure you have a good, clean mattress is key to getting good sleep.
While a mattress is a costly investment, think of it as an investment in your health. A fresh mattress will help you sleep better and in turn keep your immune system healthy.
The Shippable Scott Living Mattress by Restonic Mattress has made a huge difference in my sleep. I am so appreciative of the quality rest and sleep I have gotten lately. I would strongly suggest giving Restonic a try and you will find that the mattress is a balance of firm and soft – middle of the road. The mattress is so comfortable with the right amount of comfort for a full night’s sleep. The pictures shown are of a queen mattress – highly recommended.
The mattress comes in the mail, bubble wrapped, and completely covered and protected. This mattress is rolled and easier to carry up the stairs. I highly recommend carrying up to the location in the box, then opening and removing from the box where it will flatten very quickly.
The Shippable Scott Living Mattress has an individually wrapped coil base and has coil edging to provide extra support under the memory foam/gel top layer.
Restonic has earned the Women’s Choice Award as a highly recommended mattress brand by women across the USA and I can see why!
1. Airfare: will run you a pretty penny. Look for deals. The first part of the trip was booked when I found a flight from NY to Santiago for $490. The flight stopped in Atlanta on the way and flying from Atlanta to Santiago was over $1600 and Delta does not let you miss a leg to get a cheaper fare – they will cancel your flight.
Now we needed to get to New York and from Santiago to Punta Arenas. The NY flight was around $250 (paid with miles) and the flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas was $300 per person. Again, not cheap.
Flights on the way down:
Delta 5893: 8:53 AM – 10:43 AM CMH to LGA
Delta 2210: 5:59 PM – 8:38 PM LGA to ATL
Delta 146: 8:50 PM – 5:38 AM ATL to SCL
Latam 283: 3:23 PM – 6:45 PM SCL to PUQ
Flights on the Way Back:
Latam 12:08 PM – 3:33 PM PUQ to SCL
Delta 147: 8:50 PM – 5:38 AM SCL to ATL
Delta 2933: 7:30 AM to 9:47 AM ATL to LGA
Delta 5888: 1:42 PM to 3:43 PM LGA to CMH
Once you get to Punta Arenas, there are buses that will take you to major cities however there were a lot of little finds I wanted to check out so a rental car was the best option $450 for 6 days. Keep in mind limited rentals available so book early and renting a car for a day might be $200 and has to be returned by 6 pm so plan ahead (Europ Rental Car)
3. Plan ahead know what you want to do.
Day 1: arrival and driving 2.5 hours to outside the Torres del Paine Park. The Hotel CostaAustralis was perfect and absolutely a highlight to the stay. (This hotel is highly recommended)
The bus was perfect for day 2 as we rode and slept a lot on the bus and they stop for scenic things. Restroom and food options. The bus tour was from Chile to Argentina visiting Perito Mereno Glacier and seeing El Calafate
Day 3: from the hotel. We took a boat ride in the Patagonian Icefields and I loved every minute of it. It was a bit cold but beautiful. We were served a Chilean bbq. We were supposed tondo the Balmaceda y Serrento Glacier but there was a fatality so all zodiacs were cancelled but we did the boat ride that was quite lovely.
Day 4: We drove 2.5 hours to Hotel Torres – a beautiful hotel in the midst of Patagonia (Highly Recommended) . This hotel was not cheap but privately owned and absolutely stunning. The hotel had wonderful food and close parking to the trail for Torres del Paine. While here, did a horseback excursion in the afternoon and planned for Hiking Torres del Paine the next morning.
Day 5: we hiked Torres del Paine while mom went to the spa for the day. The hike was good – long- 13 hours of hard hiking. I am not kidding. Returned about 4 pm to the hotel and went for a drive to see the Grey Glacier.
Day 6: We drove around Patagonia inside the park for a few hours then headed out to Punta Arenas – a 6 hour drive from the Park. When arriving in Punta Arenas – one of the last places in South America before Antarctica – we visited a few of the cemetery markers – beautiful largeresting places. The city is quite lovely.
Day 7: Drove to the airport to catch flights home.
The weather can change on a dime so be prepared. April is considered a good- pleasant temperature time to go. 40-50s and at night 20-30 degrees. All I can say is we had the best visit and weather when we went. The winds can be extremely strong – come prepared for rain, wind, and cold – bone chilling weather.
5. So much to do in Patagonia
The list of things to do is plentiful. For starters – hiking and driving will consume a lot of your trip. For those reading this, I am really not a hiker – I don’t particularly enjoy walking in the wilderness while animals can potentially get me. You will not normally find me on a hike when back at home. The hikes in Patagonia are hard – they are for people who exercise (which I do) and have endurance. I found the Torres del Paine hike to be the best part of my trip. I was proud that I did it and so thankful that it was clear when we arrived. It was the hardest thing I have done and the half marathon I completed did not compare.
For those non- hikers, my mom found that the spas were nice and enjoyed reading, relaxing, and no cell phone service a welcomed part of the vacation.
Horseback riding, boating, guided tours of glaciers or tours of the landscape are some other options. Hotel Torres had a collection of options they provide and the list was incredible!
6. Food in Patagonia
The food is terrific. Barbecue is popular and culinary experiences are wonderful. The steak, mushrooms, lamb, seafood are all very popular. Sharing food is very popular in Chile and Argentina. People are family oriented and spending time barbecuing in the yard is popular. Three hours of cooking and tender meat will be upon you.
Many restaurants do not accept credit cards
Service is really slow amd dinner is late starting at 8 pm
If you see a large group- inclination is to keep movong on but instead join in – you don’t want to miss the amazing food
Most people in Chile and Argentina speak Spanish but as a native English speaker, everyone we encountered in Patagonia spoke Emglish without a problem. The hotels had a lot of employees from New Zealand and Australia as well as Europe. Google translate can help
8. Cell Phone Service
Cell service is limited in parts of Chile and Argentina but when you have service – the Verizon cell phone only charges $10 a day for unlimited service but make sure you have this turned on before leaving the US
9. Things You Need to Bring
C. Hiking Boots
D. Hat or Beanie
F. Travel Insurance
9. It is expensive in Patagonia
I am pretty sure nothing was cheap in Patagonia – the food was expensive, clothing – expensive, wool- expensive, accommodations- expensive transportation – expensive
10. Patagonia is Huge!
A. Travel is slow, border crossing is easier said that done (unless your rental has the right paperwork; you cannot go) – you must plan the details because it can range 3 hours to 15 hours throughout Patagonia.
11. Patagonia is Environmentally Conscious
There is no trash on the side of the road or in the wilderness. Everyone is environmentally conscious and makes an effort to keep things need and organized. Wildlife is unique – views are incredible and everything is pristine
12. Come Prepared
You must come prepared with clothes, extra battery charges, food, snacks, water.
13. A recap of what you need to know:
– Patagonia is expensive
– well worth the visit
– The views are incredible
-Pick accommodations wisely
-Rent a car in advance
-Be environmentally conscious
– Weather is crazy
– internet? What is that?
– Bring warm clothing and put items in ziplock
– Sunscreen, sunglasses, hiking boots should be brought
– Patagonia is safe
– If hiking Torres del Paine – consider Hotel Torres when you do the hike
– Travel Insurance
Costs: for 3 people
El calafate: $311.94
Boat Ride: $432.89
Car Rental with Insurance and all Gas: $636.79
Hotel Torres $940 (2 nights)
Food, Horses $225.73
Hotel Costaaustralis: $507.47 (3 nights)
Hotel Cabo Hornes $184.51
Travel Insurance per person: $81
$50 per person per day – maybe less depending.
Flight to NY: $386 per person
Flight to santiago: $579.03 per person
Flight to Punta Arena: $350 per person
**some of the costs were paid with miles**
$2,000 per person would include all food, car, hotel, excursions, and flights
My first visit to Yellowstone was circa 2012 and it was incredible. Having the opportunity to return to Yellowstone is a quick…..ABSOLUTELY! I had some airline miles on Alaska Airlines to use and the flight was completely free!
Left Thursday after work and flew from Columbus, Ohio to Seattle, Washington onward to Bozeman, Montana.
The arrival was scheduled for midnight in Montana, but based on plane troubles arrived around 3 AM. It made for a short night of sleep, but getting to the park is the highest priority. Yellowstone is a large park.
Friday morning around 9 AM left Bozeman, Montana for Yellowstone National Park. There are a couple of ways to enter the park, but drove into West Yellowstone taking the route north to circle the park ending at the Yellowstone Lodge.
As you enter Yellowstone from West Yellowstone, you have a few choices…..the option of going toward Mammoth Springs (North) was the path taken. There are a ton of pull offs to see waterfalls, paint pots, geysirs, and Mammoth Springs is an excellent spot to take a lunch break. During the stop, watched the Elk walk around the city area; these animals are beautiful but you really need to stay back as they are known to be quite aggressive.
Several locations have animals that are close to the vehicles. It is important to know that these are wild animals and you need to keep your distance.
The bison walk next to the cars, but will become aggressive if you get too close. The same with bears, elk, deer, etc.
During this trip, I was amazed at the number of people trying to get the right picture of the animal; willing to risk their lives for a picture.
Since I have been home, there are have been two people attacked by bison and one guy ran across the Grand Prasmatic Pool – use your head and do not ruin these opportunities for everyone. If things like this continue, they will put up fencing and limit access.
Finished driving for the day and ended at the Yellowstone Lodge located on Yellowstone Lake. It is absolutely beautiful. Yellowstone is at a high altitude and even when it is summer….it can still be quite chilly. There is a lake and many people end up the hospital because of hypothermia from the lake…keep this in mind. Visiting the park in June, it can be 70 degrees one day…..and can change the next….
Woke up Saturday to snow on the ground! Based on the elevation and driving conditions several roads were closed so we drove from the Yellowstone Lodge north to the bypass and then visited the southern part of the park. Drove to Old Faithful and had lunch right after the eruption. The park service posts the time and the app (when you have cell service) will also let you know the approximate next time.
On Sunday, we drove down to Jackson, Wyoming meeting some friends and exploring the areas. This is where we saw the first bear on the trip! We drove to our hotel and checked in at the Jackson Lake Lodge. This is between Yellowstone National Park and Jackson, Wyoming.
The Jackson Lake Lodge was located pretty close to Jenny Lake (a hidden gem) and Colter Bay (another hidden gem) that are in the Tetons. The hotel was expensive but was at the base of the Tetons and had fantastic views. On Monday mid-day left the Tetons and drove back through Yellowstone on the way back to Bozeman….a few shots on the way back.
If given the opportunity to visit Yellowstone and/or Jackson, Wyoming – definitely take the opportunity. If the weather is decent, I would highly recommend white water rafting in Jackson Hole. This trip did not have time and the weather was a bit cold, but the last time…it was one of the major highlights!