celebrate everyday: day 10


I took this photo at the DMV today:

License Plate Wall

…and I had a shockingly easy, helpful experience. (See?! There’s hope for everything!)

The license plate is always the first thing I look at when I see a car. Still. Since I was little, anytime we drove anywhere, I would look for plates from states I hadn’t seen before, and daydream about where the people inside the cars were going. I would wonder about what these places looked like, and fantasize about going to them someday.

I’ve spent time in all 50 states and 19 countries at this point. Seeing this wall yesterday made me feel that fire inside I love, for adventure and the possibility of everything out there, to see, be, and do. I still believe “travel” is the fastest route to your truth; Putting yourself in any completely foreign/uncomfortable/new environment, staying flexible, and figuring out how to independently navigate is incredibly empowering.

Today I celebrate possibility in the unknown, and all the magic that can happen when you take a step towards life to somewhere new. 

Today is the day. The road awaits. Where are you going?

#StartDriving #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #StepOutside

*Feeling stuck? Overwhelmed? Ready to make a change? Call me! (804.339.6514) I can help.


because today national doughnut day

Because I too believe good things come in pink boxes:

VooDoo Doughnut pink boxes

Because I think having to decide on what DE-LISH to pick at a place like VooDoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon is nearly impossible, but so much fun:

VooDoo Doughnuts Menu Portland, OR

And finally, because the only thing that could possibly rival my Oreo with Nutella obsession- is an Oreo doughnut drizzled with peanut butter. (With a side of a yet another doughnut rolled in Captain Crunch of course.):

VooDoo Doughnuts Captain Crunch and Oreo Peanut Butter

Yeah, that.

I had no trouble eating these both on my visit to VooDoo during the summer of 2010 During my Alaska or Bust adventure. Holy yum-fest. If I were only on the west coast right now…

Happy National Doughnut Day!


inspired by best of the road

After these past few weeks of talking about, reviewing, voting on, and dreaming of America’s most:

*Best for food

…small town spots. Team Blue Lollipop Road was inspired to dive into our photo archives and pull out some of our snap shots that reminded us of each category.


Sitting on a lawn during sunset in Cape Elizabeth, Maine:

Cape Elizabeth Maine sunset

Morning grapevines and hot air balloons after a run in Napa:

Napa morning hot air balloons

Hiking near Hood River, Oregon:

Hiking near Hood River, OR

On a boat ride and fishing trip in Juneau, Alaska

on the water in Juneau, AK


Driving through Poland Springs, Maine

Flag on firetruck in Poland Springs Maine

On the back roads of Sandgate, Vermont:

The BLR-Mobile in Vermont at covered bridge

The town square in Bath, Maine:

Town sidewalk in Bath, ME


With Ferry Manager in Swan Quarter, North Carolina:

Swan Quarter, NC Ferry Manager

The staff at Mainely Custard in Freeport, Maine said- “Come on in!” when I told them I was a big ice cream fan:

Staff at Mainely Custard

The Popcorn Man in St. Helena, California:

The Popcorn Man in St. Helena, CA

3 gents I met at Alaska Brewing Company in Juneau, Alaska:

Friends in Juneau, AK


Our hilarious rafting guide near Hood River, Oregon:

Rafting guide in Hood River, OR

Staff on a Beatles themed  food bus in Virginia:

Staff on the Yellow Submarine Food Bus

Dancing Pedro at a country bar in Illinois:

Diane dancing with Pedro in Illinois

Concert goers dancing the night away with us in Wilmington, NC:

Fun concert friends in Wilmington, NC

*Best for food

Me noshing on a whoopie pie in Maine:

Diane noshing on a Maine whoopie pie

Dessert at Dano’s on Seneca, Hector NY

Dessert at Dano's on seneca Lake

Breakfast crepes in Madison, Wisconsin:

Crepe at the Bradbury in Wisconsin

Fresh veggie quesadillas in Illinois:

Quesadilla in Illinos

Dessert crepes in Charlottesville, Virginia

Diane noshing on Crepe in Charlottesville, VA

(Clearly we are not afraid to dive right in!)

So many amazing people, place and things in America to enjoy. We love that when you travel, all you have to do is be your interested, open, and curious self- and people invite you right in to join anything!

There is always plenty of adventure around every corner…

Here’s to the road!



stinky armpits and smiles

Off for a whitewater rafting treat. I am one lucky gal. If you haven’t been to the Northwest in the summer, run- don’t walk, to your nearest travel agent or calendar to book some time to come out here next summer. What am I saying? What I really mean is if you have never been on a road trip in the United state during summer- you must. There is nothing like it. Nothing.

Another night of car camping last night after walking around a small town Oregon First Fridays Art Walk and talking with locals, waking up at 6am mangled in my front seat, grabbing a coffee and heading out for a gorgeous day outside, I feel like pinching myself once again. I keep thinking- am I really doing all this? I’m smelly, broke, unshowered and uncertain, and I’ve never been happier in my life. I feel like I am LIVING. Like really, really LIVING. This is amazing.

Happy Labor Day Weekend! Hope everyone is getting out in some kind of sunshine.


the magic is in the hole

Last night was another successful night car camping. So it was cold, I woke up at least once an hour shivering and didn’t get the best sleep ever-but it was fine. It always makes me happy to save $ and that’s exactly what I thought about a bunch while tossing and turning (as much as you can in the front seat of a car) last night. I’d so much rather be uncomfortable for a night or few in between my house stays and save $ on accommodations so I can spend that $ I save on things that mean the most to me; Food and time with people.

I came into Portland yesterday on a sunny and average chilly 65 degree summer day for this area. (Brrr…where I’ve been living for years, August is typically 95-100 and lots of humidity.) As usual, no plans, not knowing anyone, but always having a few notes about food and someone who knows someone who might live there. I really don’t even look at the paper maps I have (I don’t have any detailed ones anyway), you all know I don’t have a GPS. I swear every time I enter a city unplanned like I did yesterday, I just follow where the roads lead, where are tall buildings are, or where something looks interesting, and I always end up exactly where I need to be. I rolled into Portland, pulled my car over to park for a minute and look at notes in my book and turned out I was exactly where I’d wanted to go. The rest of the day worked out perfectly. I stood in line for 45 minutes with the usual lines of patient, excited, treat-lovin’ crowds at Voodoo Doughnuts:

Line at Voodoo

I met a funny and sweet mom and daughter from Florida, we all took lots of photos and laughed about all the flavors. A guy walked out right before we got in the door with bacon on top of his doughnuts. Yes, bacon:

Voodoo menu

I got a Captain Crunch and an Old Dirty Bastard. (Chocolate frosted with OREO and peanut butter drizzle.):

Captain Crunch and Old Dirty Dastard doughnuts

With thoughts of having just a few bites or half of each, I then proceeded to hose them both. Sooo yummy. I felt high as a kite and happy for an hour or so, then definitely was moaning later. That was a bit much, even for me. (As I sit here and write this now, I am a glutton for punishment and thinking about going back for more after breakfast today…)

I drove, wandered, toured a bit more after that and through the amazing speed and power of social networking, I found myself having a beer, salad and sharing a huge plate of tater tots with a stranger Katie a couple hours later. (Try to follow this one and be as amazed as we were how it all worked out; I post something on Facebook that I was going to be in Portland. A friend of mine Temple who lives in Virginia, whom I haven’t seen in about 2 years and barely spoken with as life has kept busy for both of us, sends me a message back about Portland, then a message to Katie- who she knew from work in Boston like 10 years ago. Katie just happened to be in Portland for one night, for work training, and only a few blocks from when I was parked on the side of the road in my car no less where I have just sent the message from my laptop to Temple. My phone rings; “Hey Diane! It’s Temples friend Katie. I’m in Portland tonight and we should totally grab a beer!” Me; “Great! I was just about to go check out Rogue, want to meet there? See you in ten? And then there we sat chatting away at the bar having a grand old time for the next 3 hours like we’d been friends for life.) So, so fun. I love those random connections. (Thanks Temple!) Here’s my choice pint of a camomile infused brew. That was one delish beer:

Rogue beer

I’ll trade a bed for some fun company, a couple of yummy doughnuts, and a delish beer any day. I couldn’t have had a better day if I’d planned it all out. I met interesting and fun strangers, toured the city, ended up spending barely any money but had good food, and I fell asleep happy. What a great day in downtown Portland.

I think I’m off for another doughnut…

Voodoo box