Our West Coast Vacation, Part 1 // Personal

I have held back on writing this post, because I don't want to be too excited and weird and scare all of you off :) But I can't resist now!

This spring (in a little over a month!!!), Nathan and I are going on vacation with some of our great friends. We're flying out to Portland, driving to California, and then making our way over to Seattle. After that, us ladies will fly home while the guys go out to Alaska for a week. I am way excited for this trip, and it can't get here fast enough!

All that to say, this is part 1 of ? because who knows how much I will write about this vacation :) I figured you could get excited with me, though. Part of the vacation process has been finding out how unprepared we are in hiking/winter gear. One of the highlights of our trip is going to be hiking Mt. St. Helens (hopefully!), and we have spent the last couple months trying to spread out our purchases to get ready for such a big hike. Neither of us are hikers (we live by the beach so...that's our defense), and I had no idea how much STUFF there is out there!

That said, here are a few things we bought, why we bought them, and what we think so far! If I feel like I need to, I'll give a full review after we actually use all of these but for now, it is just exciting to get another package in the mail and wonder what it is! And maybe if you're planning a hiking adventure soon and need to stock up on some gear, this will help you decide what to get, or what not to get. Let me know if you have any other hiking suggestions - we are total newbies, if you can't tell!

First up is pretty simple - polarized sunglasses. I may need this if the snow is really reflective that day, and my old pair is a cheap, $5 pair from Charlotte Russe (that I love). I found these on Amazon.

 Polarized sunglasses from Amazon for a Portland/Seattle/California Vacation | Maria Grace Photography | www.mariagracephoto.com

Next are some gloves, and the brand is Mischief. The key here is that they are both waterproof and wind resistant. I found these at Backcountry.com, which has discontinued colors and styles of solid hiking gear and other outdoor supplies for a lot cheaper than you can find anywhere else.

 Waterproof, wind resistant gloves for a Portland/Seattle/California Vacation | Maria Grace Photography | www.mariagracephoto.com

This shirt is just a basic Reebok long-sleeved compression shirt. It's not going to be very cold in May, but this shirt will be a warm, light layer that (hopefully) won't make me sweat. I found it at Dick's Sporting Goods on clearance.

 Light blue compression shirt from Dick's Sporting Goods for a Portland/Seattle/California Vacation | Maria Grace Photography | www.mariagracephoto.com

These pants from Mountain Hardwear are specifically for hiking. They are super durable and you don't have to wear any layers underneath to stay warm. We specifically got the Winter Wander pants, because we hear they're the best! A little disappointed with the color selection, but other than that I'm excited. I found these on Steep & Cheap, which is an online store (and an app!) where they have lightning deals for all things hiking/outdoor related. I HIGHLY recommend it for finding great prices, although you have to keep watching it, because the deals only last 10 minutes. But these pants were about half off - you can't beat that!

 Winter Wander Pants from Mountain Hardwear for a Portland/Seattle/California Vacation | Maria Grace Photography | www.mariagracephoto.com

Last, but definitely not least are my hiking boots. I've worn these a few times to break them in a little, and I LOVE them. It feels like my feet are wearing a pillow when I have them on. Originally, I was looking for Merrells, but I saw these on Steep & Cheap for less than half their original price, and I fell in love. I can't find the model on them, but I believe they are the Verbera Hiker GTX. The soles are Vibram soles, and they are 100% waterproof. I honestly could wear these all the time.

 The North Face hiking boots for a Portland/Seattle/California Vacation | Maria Grace Photography | www.mariagracephoto.com

Thanks for sticking with me through this post! I'm excited to continue in this series as we get closer to our vacation, and then tell you all about it when I get back!

Maria Grace Photography

My name is Maria, and I am a wedding and family photographer based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I am always excited about traveling. I love families who truly enjoy spending time with each other and living life together. I love couples that are looking forward to their wedding day because they are so excited to finally be married to.