Yellowstone National Park: A 3 Day Itinerary

First of all, if you haven’t been, you should go.

Yellowstone is basically a big figure 8 so you can take in the entire park over a few days. The park is completely magical, with an incredible amount of variation in the landscape at every turn.

We flew into Bozeman, MT and drove down through West Yellowstone. Below is a map of our route through the park; Day 1 = Red; Day 2 = Purple; Day 3; Orange. We originally planned to skip Canyon to Norris to Mammoth Hot Springs, but due to an accident, we ended up doing some backtracking on Day 3. Turns out the route from Norris to Mammoth is the least popular which worked in our favor since we loved the scenery and seclusion on our stops.

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What to See & Do

Sunrise over Lamar Valley. The amount of wildlife waking up and cruising around at that time was unlike anything. It was silent, pitch black and honestly a little scary driving over there from Roosevelt Lodge, especially since we woke up an extra hour early because the waitress thought the sun rose earlier than it did. Once we finally started to see a little bit of pale blue light rippling across the valley, we were amazed by the enormity and beauty. Not only that, but we heard and partially saw a bear just down by the river. By partially, I mean it was still dark so we saw a big hunched over animal that were assumed was a bison until we heard the sound it made.

Tower Falls. Two words. Truly EPIC.

Wraith Falls. This was a much more secluded waterfall which we liked a lot! It was raining when we walked up the trail and bright and sunny coming down. You never know what you’re gonna get!

Yellowstone River.

Roosevelt to Canyon. This drive was a trip! We went from a hot and sunny hike at Tower Falls to wind & snow at 10,000 ft near Mt. Washburn.

Tons of wildlife. Over the course of our 3 days in the park, we saw turkeys, elk, antelope, wolves (well, Matt saw 2 but I didn’t get a glimpse), a bear, and seriously hundreds of bison.

Where to Eat

Lake Lodge. We came here for dinner but I would definitely recommend going during the day for lake front views. It’s “fancy” for Yellowstone and there was a wait, so make sure to reserve your table or come early.

Old Faithful Lodge. Matt’s dad instructed us to drink a beer at the bar. We got mixed up and went to the other Old Faithful hotel across the way which wasn’t that exciting, so I recommend taking him up on his suggestion.

Roosevelt Lodge. There’s only one place to eat here so you don’t have a choice but I would recommend it if you’re staying there or not. I am now addicted to smoked trout, which I didn’t know was a thing. They also have the best huckleberry pancakes.

Where to Stay

There are lodges and cabins around the park that are very affordable ($75-$100 per night), but you have to book ahead.A lot of people stay in the town just outside of Mammoth Hot Springs and commute in, but we absolutely loved being able to spend each night in the park.

Lake Cabins. We loved waking up in the morning and walking out of our cabin and straight over to Yellowstone Lake. The lodge has a camp style breakfast and amazing views of the lake as well.

Roosevelt Lodge. We may or may not have smoked out our cabin with our wood burning stove but this place was so peaceful to stay at. My favorite part was watching a herd of bison trek their way in a single file line at sunset while we sipped on beer in rocking chairs on the front porch of the main lodge. I mean, what else can you ask for?

Mammoth Hot Springs. By far the most upgraded cabin we stayed in, our cabin was in the semi-large and busy town of Mammoth Hot Springs. There are a few places to eat here as well as hiking trails and of course, the hot springs within walking distance.

Bison cruising around the valleyGrand Prismatic SpringSomewhere along Morris to MammothEn route to Wraith FallsMammoth Hot SpringsAnother view of Yellowstone River

Next time we go back, we plan to check out Grand Teton National Park and leave Yellowstone through Beartooth Highway and back up to Bozeman. We can’t wait to come back!

 

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DIY Pressed Juicery Cleanse

When my friend Kala asked me if I wanted to do a juice cleanse with her, I was skeptical and nervous. I am the queen of snacking and essentially eating all day long. But I’ve always been curious about these multi-day cleanses, so I decided to give it a shot in order to give my body a hard reset before jumping into the final 3.5 months of wedding body-ready health & wellness.

However, instead of spending $129 at Pressed Juicery on a 3-day cleanse*, I told her I would figure out how to DIY it ourselves. Using the Pressed Juicery ingredients as inspiration, I structured the cleanse like a couple others I had read about online…greens, citrus, greens, spicy lemonade, CAR, and almond.

Overall, prepping for the cleanse took 1 hour and 50 minutes start to finish. Two hours if you count showering off all the veggie leftovers on me. It was extremely messy. Especially on juice 5 & 6 when I started getting lazy and letting some of the juice pour out of the bottle and into the sink…and floor. Whoops.

I spent $58.13 on the ingredients at Trader Joes, realizing later that Ralphs would have been much cheaper. Duly noted.

*Kala later told me that Pressed Juicery sometimes has specials on their 3-day cleanses for $69. In that case, I would recommend going with that if it’s available and skipping the whole juicing out of your kitchen “messy” method.

The Cleanse

I wasn’t feeling in tip top shape after a fairly aggressive weekend, so I ended up only doing the cleanse for one day, and freezing the rest of the bottles. This turned out to be a good thing because I don’t think I could ever not eat solid food for 3 days straight.

On my one day cleanse, I have never peed so much in my life. Crazily enough, I was down 3.5 lbs by 5 pm. How ’bout that water weight? Since then, I swear my stomach  shrank so I’ve eating more proportional amounts and much healthier overall. One day was pretty easy and did the trick. I’ll take it!

 

Recipes

Couple tips first.

  1. When juicing, make the CAR juice last so the carrots don’t take over any of your other juices.
  2. Also, dates have pits – at least the ones I got. Take them out before blending. Again…whoops!
  3. Make each juice and divide into 3 bottles + fill to top with filtered water.
  4. You will definitely need a juicer to make this happen.
  5. If you want to do a one day cleanse, just cut the recipes below by 1/3.

Juice 1: Green 1

  • 12 stalks celery
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 3 handfuls kale
  • 3 lemons
  • 3 small handfuls parsley
  • 3 large leaves romaine
  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • Sea salt – a pinch

Juice 2: Citrus

  • 6 large green apples
  • 3 lemon
  • 1 small handful of mint
  • 5 pineapple
  • 5 cucumbers

Juice 3: Green 2

  • 6 large green apples
  • 12 stalks celery
  • 5 cucumbers
  • 3 handfuls kale
  • 3 lemons
  • 3 small handfuls parsley
  • 3 large leaves romaine
  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • 1 small ginger root

Juice 4: Spicy Lemonade

  • 3 lemons
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 3 pinches of cayenne pepper

Juice 5: CAR

  • 6 red apples (fuji or another)
  • 3 Carrot
  • 3 Lemon
  • 1 large ginger root

Juice 6: Chocolate Almond (mix in blender)

  • 7/8 full bottle of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp cacao
  • 9 dates
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 pinches of sea salt

The Rules

Schedule: Drink juices at 9 am | 11 am | 1 pm | 3 pm | 5 pm | 7 pm

  • 3 day pre-cleanse: start drinking 8 glasses of water per day & eliminate unhealthy foods
  • 3 day post-cleanse:
    • Day 1: add in fruits, greens, 8 glasses of water
    • Day 2: add in nuts, gluten-free grains (brown rice), yogurt & eggs
    • Day 3: add in meats, fish, gluten grains
  • Caffeine: Green Tea only
  • If you must eat, eat only organic fruits, veggies, nuts & seeds
  • Limit exercise – walks, yoga, stretching

Start out the day with a glass of water with lemon (cut up slices from last lemon and bring to work)

Shopping List

  • 12 green apples
  • 6 red apples
  • 16 lemons
  • 2 pineapples
  • Ginger
  • 1 bag kale
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 1 bag romaine
  • 7 cucumbers
  • 24 stalks celery
  • 1 bushel of mint
  • 3 large carrots
  • 9 dates
  • Honey
  • Cacao powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Almond milk

Extra snacks & things:

  • Almonds
  • Celery
  • Berries
  • Straws
  • Water bottles

 

Overall, I think the cleanse was a great way to purge the toxins and start me on a solid health spree. I plan to split the last two days of the cleanse later this summer when I’m feeling I need it. If you can stomach to do three days, more power to ya!

 

ClaudettesCorner

 

What’s On Repeat? (Summer Playlist 2017)

In the spirit of the sunny summer days ahead, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite songs right now. Most of these aren’t exactly “new” but nevertheless, I can’t stop listening. Hopefully you’ll find one or two you like and hadn’t heard before!

  1. Come Over (Filous remix) – James Hersey
  2. Here in the Moment – Vinyl Thief
  3. Help Our Souls – NIHILS
  4. Come Back to Me – Urban Cone
  5. Withdrawal (Super Duper Remix) – Max Frost
  6. Gone – JR JR
  7. Sing to You – John Splitoff
  8. Seeing Stars – BORNS
  9. Capsize (Stint Remix) – Frenship
  10. Hear Me Now – Alok
  11. White T-Shirt (Golden Coast Remix) – Ofelia K
  12. All of Us (Ermez Remix) [feat. ANIMA!] – Dirty South
  13. When I’m Down – Whethan

What’s on your repeat list?

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Photo Guide to Puerto Vallarta

Over Easter weekend, Matt and I took a very last minute vacation to Puerto Vallarta. I had never been to Mexico so this was a great first trip across the border.

However, I did end up with Montezuma’s revenge after I got a little carried away with my tolerance and bought a strawberry vodka slushy. But come on…how good does that sound? Unfortunately, I didn’t really get to enjoy much food after that day so my actual food suggestions are minimal and mostly based on Matt’s opinion and the view. Aside from that, we still had a great time and I’m excited to go back and check out Sayulita for a wedding next spring.

Where to Stay

Grand Miramar. Hands down best hotel we’ve ever stayed at. The staff is incredibly friendly and accommodating, the service is incredible (although slow like everywhere else seems to be), the views are insane, as were the grounds.

We chose to stay in Conchas Chinas, otherwise known as the Beverly Hills of Puerto Vallarta, because we wanted to be close enough to downtown while not being right in the middle of it all. We were so happy with this choice because Conchas Chinas was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! We looked forward to the ride up and down to town when we could scope out the cute cobblestone streets littered with bougainvillea leaves. It was absolute heaven.

Grand Miramar offers a free shuttle and free entrance to the El Dorado beach club, which came in handy. We especially loved their pastries, french toast, guacamole, and strawberry margaritas.

Where to Eat

La Palapa. This place was stunning at sunset, with a view of the pier and twinkling lights.

Los Conos on Las Animas, Yelapa. Beach front dining with sand between your toes.

El Set. For a very romantic sunset dinner with less of a crowd, we went to El Set in Conchas Chinas. Matt had the mixed fish bowl and was obsessed with it.

 

What to Do

Visit Boca de Tamatlan. While there’s not much to do here, it is a very pretty stop before heading out to Yelapa by boat. Grab a beer and wait for your water taxi or get some sun on the sand! I heard from multiple people that Ocean Grille is the place to go over on Yelapa but you have to make a reservation.

 

Visit Quimixto by boat. There are cobblestone streets, horses everywhere, a suspended bridge, AND a waterfall. Need I say more?

After some negotiating, we chartered a boat for 1000 pesos from Boca de Tamatlan for 5 hours to Quimixto and then Las Animas for a very late lunch. For $60, this was the best “tour” we could have taken, especially since it was private with no timeline or schedule!

 

Jewelry shop from local vendors. There are vendors everywhere but it’s also fun to visit the flea market next to the Rio Cuale or at Isla Rio Cuale.

 

Explore Downtown Puerto Vallarta. Our favorite part of downtown was seeing the street actors who pretend to be part of the human sculptures along the main street next to the ocean. Sometimes they were hard to spot! There were also a ton of impressive sandcastles.

 

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Best Places to Drink & Dine in Dana Point

After having lived in Capistrano Beach for a year, I can safely say that Matt and I have nailed down our favorite spots in Dana Point. We split our time evenly between these three restaurant/bars so I’m not sure I can rank them since each has it’s own vibe. Next time you’re in the neighborhood, make sure to check them out!

Jimmy’s Famous Tavern

Between the whiskey shrimp, parmesan fries, and any of their 5 juicy burgers, Jimmy’s has super tasty food. Top that off with their kick-ass ambience and we have ourselves a winner! The wait can be long so reserve ahead or plan to grab a couple drinks at the bar.

Waterman’s Harbor

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Hang out at one of their fire pit tables and catch the sunset over Dana Point Harbor while you slurp down oysters. Waterman’s has some great happy hour options and is our go-to spot pre-dinner or post-work.

StillWater Spirit & Sounds

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Want to get your groove on late at night? Go to Stillwater (they have live bands). Want to enjoy a drink outside, even when when it’s chilly? Go to Stillwater (they have fire pit tables). Want to have an awesome Halloween dance party with no cover? Stillwater again.

The perfect spot for practically any 21+ occasion, Stillwater is right in the middle of DTDP (Downtown Dana Point), making it super convenient as well.

Honorable Mention: Blue Dolphin

I haven’t dined here…only drank, but this is a great spot for late night pool!

Do you have other Dana Point favs? Comment below!

 

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