Olympic Peninsula Road Trip

This post is sponsored by RLH Corporation.

Being born in Washington State, I’m allowed to say the Olympic Peninsula is the most beautiful corner of the entire country. And, being a constant traveler and having seen a lot, I’m confident when I say it. We have mountains, forests, lakes, the ocean, beaches, whales, puffins…basically nature and wildlife on a matchless level. Even though it’s a three-hour drive from my house, there’s always so much going on during the year that when I do make it out for a visit, it’s a very special trip. This year, I had the opportunity to see it through the Hotel RL lens, and it was a truly memorable experience.

Hello Rewards

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Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane

We arrived at sunset. Hotel RL feels almost like a resort in a secluded lot surrounded by trees with a beautiful view of Capitol Lake. Although the pool was closed for the season, we had a great view of the property from our balcony. It was a quick drive into old town for dinner at Waterstreet Café for dinner and drinks, which included an incredible charcuterie board.  

Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane

However, my favorite corner of Hotel RL Olympia is the Victrola Coffee stand in the lobby. As a guest, you get a free 8-ounce espresso drink in the morning, and since my mother doesn’t drink coffee the barista let my mom “donate” her drink to me, so I got to enjoy a 16-ounce soy latte. I always appreciate little touches like this that take customer service to the next level. Plus, there’s the cute VW bus that makes a perfect little vignette for a photo.

Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane

Before we hit the road, we explored a coffee shop and used bookstore where I picked up a couple vintage Nancy Drew books to add to my collection. Next, we got to visit the Capitol building (right across the lake from Hotel RL) which has been on my bucket list since I was a little girl.

The drive to Port Angeles, our next destination, is nothing but beautiful scenery and has a ton of great pull-offs, some of them even official State Parks (bring cash if you plan on parking for awhile). Thanks to all the great views we enjoyed on the drives, we pulled in to Port Angeles right around sunset again and zipped off to dinner at Next Door Gastropub, which offered some of the most memorable macaroni and cheese I’ve had in a long time.

Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane

But the real treat came the next morning. The Port Angeles Red Lion Hotel is located right on the beach, which made for an absolutely incredible view to wake up to. My mom and I spent the morning exploring the beach and local pier before doing some shopping in town (don’t miss the adorable and addicting Odyssey Bookshop) and then heading on to another local port town, Port Townsend, before we had to catch the ferry home. I wanted to visit the Point Wilson lighthouse, because I’m kind of a lighthouse nerd, as well as Manresa Castle which some Nancy Drew computer games (nerd alert again) are based off of! It was such a cool experience.

I wouldn’t have been able to make this trip happen without RLHC, and thanks to the convenience of their locations I can’t wait to do this itinerary again—hopefully with a few additional locations! There’s so much on the Olympic Peninsula to explore. Make sure to check out the Hotel RL rewards program before planning your next trip. It really caters to the everyday American traveler, which, in this case, is me! I spent years road tripping with my family and after signing up with Hello Rewards, I feel like a whole new hotel world has opened up to me and I’m ready to hit the road again. Now, the only decision to make is…where to next?

Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane
Olympic Peninsula Road Trip with Red Lion | truelane



Beaches of Belize

This post is sponsored by Princess Cruises.

In any of my three Caribbean cruises in partnership with Princess, I have never seen water as blue as the waters of Belize. At 6:49 a.m., Caribbean Princess dropped anchor about an hour outside of Belize City, and for whatever depth we were at I could not believe how the shimmering turquoise water glowed. It was easy to see that we were in for a treat of a day as soon as I looked over the railing of our balcony, morning coffee in hand.

Beaches of Belize | truelane

Michele and I had been back and forth deciding on a shore excursion to take, and I can’t recommend the Princess crew members at the excursion desk enough. On any Princess cruise, there are so many shore excursion options available that it can sometimes be overwhelming to pick just one, especially on a Caribbean cruise itinerary (although depending on the times, you could potentially do two in one day). The excursion team knows just about every detail about every excursion, such as how much walking or driving will be involved, which ones are higher- or lower-activity, which ones include lunch and which might be best suited for all the ages in your party. The desk is located right in the piazza, so it’s easy to swing by on your way to or from dinner the night before. However, I do recommend booking as early as possible, because excursions can sell out! But even then, we had a list a mile long of our top choices nailed down, so you’re bound to end up on a remarkable adventure no matter what.

We decided on Snorkeling Wonders of the Barrier Reef, and since I couldn’t tell how near or far we were from Belize City, I wasn’t sure what to expect—but we didn’t go anywhere near the mainland. Instead, we took a ferry boat about an hour out from where Caribbean Princess dropped anchor and arrived at an absolute treat—a tiny private island in the middle of nowhere! We could see land off in the distance but we could also walk the entire circumference of the island in three minutes. It felt like a once-in-a-lifetime day. The sands were white, the water was translucent, and the beach chairs were ready and waiting for us. It absolutely doesn’t get more picturesque.

Belize hosts the second-largest coral reef in the world behind Australia, and because of this, our excursion was quite popular. Thinking ahead, the crew divided us into two groups so the snorkeling wouldn’t get too crowded, which was a smart and thoughtful detail. Michele and I got to relax on Rendezvous Caye for the first half of the day before the second round of snorkelers paddled out to the reef.

Beaches of Belize | truelane
Beaches of Belize | truelane
Beaches of Belize | truelane
Beaches of Belize | truelane
Beaches of Belize | truelane

It’s funny to think of relaxing as any kind of “activity,” but there were truly a lot of options on the island to do so—including in-water hammocks. Swaying along with the waves in that little pocket of fabric remains at the top of my list of memories from the trip. I could have stayed there from sunrise to sundown—but not without sustenance! You can buy drinks and easy meals like hamburgers and hot dogs at the island food stand, but make sure to bring cash.

How to cap off the perfect day? Dinner and a show back onboard your home at sea. We had a thoroughly entertaining experience at the Princess Theater featuring the entertainment crew. They are truly Broadway-quality performers and performed a ton of popular songs with spectacular costumes, lights, and dancing. It’s not to be missed, and if you stop by the Skywalkers Nightclub later in the evening there’s a pretty fair chance you’ll run into them and get to tell them how much you loved it in person. Between dancing to Backstreet Boys and Stevie Wonder, of course.

Beaches of Belize | truelane
Beaches of Belize | truelane


Photography by
Michele Equitz




Yellow Summer Sandals

Yellow Summer Sandals | truelane
Yellow Summer Sandals | truelane
Yellow Summer Sandals | truelane
Yellow Summer Sandals | truelane
Yellow Summer Sandals | truelane
Yellow Summer Sandals | truelane
Yellow Summer Sandals | truelane

Photography by Michele Equitz


Levis tee (
similar) | Grlfrnd denim c/o Revolve | Sandals c/o Vince Camuto (currently on sale) | Thrifted bag


I think I can count on one hand the number of times a brand I’m working with has sent me a product list of pieces to choose from, and I’ve settled on a pair of heels. But listen—I’m getting closer to thirty by the minute, and if you’re going to learn how to walk in heels, it should probably be before that birthday. These were supposed to come before my Caribbean adventure with Princess Cruises, but since they were delayed in the mail, I was forced to take them out for a spin on your average Wednesday coffee run. And guess what? I can see them in my suitcase from where I sit here in New York. They must have passed the summer sandal test.

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