Summer road tripping in style

Summer road tripping in style

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shell, in which I was compensated. The opinions and text are all mine.

How is it already September? It still feels as if summer just arrived and now we can already feel fall nipping at our heels. I can’t believe the season of BBQing, slip and slides, and road tripping is nearly over. That being said, I feel as if we’ve taken full advantage of the summer months. Let’s do a little recap.


  • OK, technically not summer, but close enough. In May, we flew to Oahu where we filmed at Aulani, a Disney resort and spa, for an Expedia and Disney promotion. We also celebrated Holden’s first birthday, hid out at The Laylow, did our traditional drive around the island, and ate all the things.

  • Once we returned from Hawaii we had two days for a little R&R at home before hopping on a plane bound for Orlando. There, we experienced the grand opening of Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando’s newest theme park. It was also Chris’ first time to Universal Orlando so we just had to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Guys. We spent nearly one hundred dollars on butterbeer and another hundred on wands. And it was all Chris. He’s typically pretty frugal but he loved everything about Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay.


  • June was another big month. While we didn’t earn any airline miles, we ended up putting in a fair amount of miles on the road. We took a day trip down to Oregon to hike one of the most gorgeous settings ever. Hiking Oneonta falls with our friends, Jackie and Paul, was a highlight of the month.
  • We ended up going back to Oregon a few days later to stay at McMenamins Grand Lodge hotel in Forest Grove. Our little retreat at The Grand Lodge was spent relaxing in the soaking pool, searching for hidden passageways (we found two), and gorging ourselves on the famous tater tots. It was just what we needed.
  • After two road trips to Oregon, we decided it was time to head east. We packed up the kiddo and our sail kayaks for a trip to the family lake house on Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho. Chris’ mom and a few of our close friends met us at the lake for a few days. We spent that time sleeping in (hat tip to my mother-in-law), paddle boarding, sail kayaking, and BBQing.

  • Once we returned from Idaho, we had one night at home before packing up the car and heading back to Oregon. This time is was for Jackie and Paul’s wedding. As Chris was the officiant and I was the photographer, it was an event that couldn’t be missed. The ceremony was actually just outside of Vancouver, Washington and it was such a beautiful day.

If you haven’t noticed, we have been racking *Fuel Rewards® savings to use at participating Shell stations. You can still earn Instant Gold Status if you sign up for the Fuel Rewards program and immediately start saving 5¢ per gallon (up to 20 gallons per visit). I can’t tell you how much we’ve saved by simply keying in our rewards number at the pump. Our Fuel Rewards savings have allowed us to take our summer travels even farther.


  • If you thought things couldn’t get any busier in July, you were wrong. A week and a half after Jackie and Paul’s wedding, Chris, Holden and I hopped on a plane bound for Aberdeen, Scotland. What were we doing in Scotland, you ask? We were crashing Jackie and Paul’s honeymoon, of course. Let this be a lesson to you: don’t offer to have us join you on a trip if you don’t mean it. Because we’ll totally do it. Luckily, Jackie and Paul were more than happy to have the three of us along. After a day in Aberdeen, we met up and drove out to Loch Lomond where we made Macdonald Forest Hills Resort and Spa our home base for a week. From there, we took day trips to the highlands, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the surrounding areas.

  • After nearly two weeks in Scotland, we bid farewell to Jackie and Paul and flew to one of our favorite countries: Croatia. Although we had been to Croatia two times prior, this was our first visit in the summer. We landed in Dubrovnik where we stayed for two nights before hopping yet another flight to the capital city of Zagreb. We met up with Chris’ younger brother, Joel, and spent a week showing him around Croatia on a mini road trip. It was Joel’s first adventure outside the U.S. and we thought the country would be the best introduction to travel.


  • We were still in Europe for the first week of August. We decided to switch things up during our last few days in Croatia and ended up renting another car. Our plan was to drive to Slovenia and visit Lake Bled. We didn’t make it to the Lake Bled on our first trip to Slovenia and couldn’t wait to finally see it. Once we realized how close the Austrian border was to Lake Bled, we decided to hop on over to the Austrian town of Villach for dinner. And we made it just in time for an incredible festival. The town was shut down and everyone was dressed in lederhosen and dirndls. It. Was. Awesome. Although we still have no idea what the festival was for and our internet searches have been inconclusive.

  • After our grand European adventures we had exactly ten days at home before our next trip. It was just enough time to see some friends and family, do laundry, and get caught up on our favorite shows. Then, we were off to The Finger Lakes to work on our first official project with Brave World Media. We don’t want to spoil too much but watch this space for more information on our newest venture.

As you can see, our summer was both hectic and glorious. We’ve had our fair share of adventures both at home and abroad. And if there’s one aspect that has been consistent with each month, it was the sheer amount of miles we’ve invested on the road. We’re still enjoying watching our savings stack up with Shell and the Fuel Rewards program. Our only wish was that there were Shell stations for us to use on our European adventures. Imagine the savings!

Start saving and sign up for the Fuel Rewards program here. It’s free and took me about 60 seconds to complete. You can even link a card to earn more savings on your everyday purchases. Plus, once you’re signed up, you can send your referral link to friends and family so that they can join the Fuel Rewards program. The first time a friend uses the program by earning a reward or using their card at a participating Shell station, you’ll instantly earn 25¢/gallon. Watch your Fuel Rewards savings add up. There’s no limit to how many friends you invite or how many times you earn. And stay tuned to see how far our Fuel Rewards savings take us this fall.

Thanks for coming along on our summer travels. We’re excited to spend some time at home and truly embrace the autumn season. Our house already smells of cinnamon and joy.

*Restrictions apply. To qualify for the Gold/Silver Status offers, you must be a Fuel Rewards® member and swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID when you fuel at a participating Shell station. With Gold Status, you will receive 5¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings on every fill-up. The 5¢/gal reward for Gold Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. If you are an existing Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status from 6/5/2017 through 12/31/17, the “Existing Member Introductory Period”. If you are a new Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status for the initial month you join through the last day of the month, 6 full calendar months later, the “New Member Introductory Period”. The last 3 months of the Existing Member Introductory Period or the New Member Introductory Period (collectively the “Introductory Period”) is the “Qualification Period”. You will retain your Gold Status during the Qualification Period, but you must make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to qualify for Gold Status for the next 3 months, the “Benefit Period”. During the Benefit Period, you must continue to make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to maintain your Gold Status for the next 3-month Benefit Period. A qualifying fuel purchase is any fuel purchase at a participating Shell station in which you swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID and fill up with at least 5-gallons of any grade of fuel. For example, if you are a new Fuel Rewards® member and register on 6/15/2017, you will receive Gold Status through the New Member Introductory Period (i.e., 12/31/2017). You will need to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the Qualification Period (i.e., 10/1/2017 and 12/31/2017) to maintain Gold Status during the Benefit Period (i.e., from 1/1/2018 to 3/31/2018). Thereafter, if you continue to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the successive 3 consecutive month Benefit Periods, you will retain your Gold Status. If you do not maintain your Gold Status, you will receive Silver Status. With Silver Status, you will receive 3¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings. The 3¢/gal reward for Silver Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. Redeem Fuel Rewards® savings with your Fuel Rewards® card or Alt ID at participating Shell stations. Fuel Rewards® savings are limited to 20 gallons of fuel per purchase, per vehicle, or fraud limits placed by Shell and/or limits placed on your financial card by your financial institution, each of which may be lower. Fuel Rewards® savings must be redeemed in a single transaction. Once you begin to dispense fuel using your Fuel Rewards® savings, you must dispense to the 20-gallon limit or you forfeit any remaining discounted gallons of fuel. For example, if you only pump fifteen (15) gallons of fuel, you would abandon the remaining five (5) gallons of discounted fuel. If you have a rewards balance greater than the current per-gallon price of fuel, the price will roll down to the maximum capability of the fuel equipment, and your remaining rewards will be saved for a future fuel purchase. Dispenser may require a price of up to 10.9¢/gal. It may not be possible to combine multiple discounts and/or rewards in a single transaction. For purchases of $75 or more, please go inside to pay. Unbranded diesel and alternative fuels may not be eligible. The Fuel Rewards® program is owned and operated by Excentus Corporation. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Not valid where prohibited by law. Please see fuelrewards.comfollow for complete Fuel Rewards® program details and Terms and Conditions. Other restrictions may apply. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. To learn more, visit or call (888) 603-0473.

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