Iceland Camping

iceland-camping

One can try to plan for an epic camping adventure around Iceland but the way we spontaneously planned every night of what we wanted to see made this the most memorable camping experience yet! Our favorite camping couple that we travel with already set their Iceland trip in place and we were lucky enough to be invited by them to share this amazing experience!

picturesque-icelandIceland has always been on our bucket list but never in my life did I think we would explore this pristine and beautiful island! Everyone knows Iceland is very picturesque so this blog is more of a spontaneous Iceland camping guide with fewer words and more pictures.

Day One

We landed in the wee hours of the morning to a very cold and windy beginning but we were all too excited to care. Once we received our rental camper van for the week from Go Iceland, we headed straight for a grocery store. First let me explain how awesome this camper van was! It is called a Volkswagen California Beach which is not sold in the US unfortunately. The van sleeps four people where the back seats fold out flat and the roof pops up with a tent top that also sleeps two people. The front seats flip around so four people can converse, play games and eat meals at the movable table-top.

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The California Beach camper van also includes a fridge (which looks like a cooler), a large box filled with cooking utensils and equipment. There were also four sleeping bags, four pillows and four blankets included to keep you warm on some very cold nights. The van is diesel and has a built-in heater which runs off the diesel while van is turned off so this kept us pretty toasty most of the evening. Needless to say this was the ultimate four-wheel drive camper van I have ever seen and we were with a great couple who lived well and loved it as much as we did!first-day-in-iceland

After we got our groceries we just started driving on Ring Road which is Iceland’s full road around the island. Believe it or not, we noticed a brewery sign in the middle of nowhere so, of course, we were going to stop, as all four of us our craft beer lovers!

iceland-breweryThe Brewery was called Steðji and they produced a ton of beers. As we walked down the path towards the large looking warehouse a man greeted us with a smile and we asked to try a flight of them all. We sat on the cut out wooden benches and the man brought over two flights which we all shared as he described them all. The one beer that stood out the most was the stout brewed with whale testicles in sheep dung…yes you read that correctly! At first I thought he was kidding but we tried this crazy ingredient brew and it actually tasted sweet and good….”when in Iceland!”iceland-beer-flight

After some yummy Iceland beers, we headed down Ring Road towards our first campsite which was in a small town called Hvammstangi, Iceland. Very small ghost-like town which seemed like everything closed down very early so we set up camp and cooked our first meal with our camping kitchen equipment.

iceland-camping-spotWe were surrounded by a view of the sea and a mountainous ice wall that looked like we were in the Game of Thrones! They had a communal bathroom and an eating area to stay in the warmth. That night was the first night we saw the amazing Iceland sky which was so dark that every star stood out like shiny diamonds!

Day Two

Next morning after our first breakfast of Skyr (Iceland’s delicious yogurt) skyrwe set back out onto Ring Road. The road leaving this campsite heading north are rough gravel so we said goodbye to smooth tar road for a while. All was worth it though when you witness the sea on your left and the snowy mountains on your right. nordic-horsesThis beautiful country/seaside filled with Nordic horses and sheep were so calming.

hvítserkur

Our first attraction was Hvítserkur which is a tall basalt sea stack in the middle of the sea. For you to walk up as close as possible to it you need to go at very low tide. An adventurous climb down a small waterfall towards the black sand beach we were able to experience this majestic land structure up close and personal. Some say it takes shape like a dragon drinking water but I say it is more of part of the castle that broke off.

Hofsós-icelandThe second attraction on the same day was in Hofsós, Iceland. This small seaside town with more beautiful mountains had an outdoor natural geothermal infinity pool! We got our first shower of the trip and jumped in the warm deep pool. They were closing at dusk so we only had an hour to enjoy the beautiful view and natural warm water. Swimming towards the deep end it looked like you could swim right out to the sea which was very beautifully designed.

After we were all showered and feeling clean we headed to our second campsiteguesthouse-skeið called Guesthouse Skeið. This place was definitely out there but boy was it worth it! Driving through the middle of this mountain valley which is apparently a large ski area filled with farmland. The owner was absolutely wonderful, nice and accommodating. They always take reservations first according to their website but we couldn’t call so even just showing up she took us in.

There is a separate apartment for families and then a communal area with bunk beds,inside-guesthouse-skeið a kitchen, two bathrooms, a laundry facility and living room area where we ate dinner, drank wine and played games! It was a very windy night but we were able to park our van right behind the building and block all the wind. Waking up to a snowy mountain valley was a view that will always stay in my mind.

Day Three

the-beer-spaOur third attraction and my most favorite was The Beer Spa! This amazing place was only thirty minutes away from our campsite. I made reservations back in July on their website for 5 pm but we traveled faster on Ring Road than expected. We took the chance and asked if they could take us in earlier than our reserved time which they did so it was a very convenient and relaxing start to our day!

We started out with a shower, which is a law in Iceland before you get in their publicthe-beer-spa-outside-tub baths than headed straight towards the outside hot tub area. The hot tubs were filled with natural hot spring water and were made to look like those old style wooden tubs. We were able to enjoy a half hour in there with more amazing views of the sea and mountains while our baths were being prepared.

couples-beer-bathSummoned by the nice staff we put on our warm long robes and headed to our private couple baths. The beautiful large bath was filled with natural spring water, hops and yeast. We did not actually sit in a beer because there was no alcohol which is what they call a “young beer” before it is fermented into an alcoholic beverage. The best part was the tap sitting right next to the tub for you to fill up on your own and enjoy a craft beer whilst soaking in the warm curious liquid.

After our half hour couples bath, we were then led upstairs to a dark relaxation roomthe-beer-spa-lunch where we laid down in comfortable beds, wrapped in warm sheets and covered by wool blankets. Listening to calming music and letting our skin soak in the healthy hops that made our skin very soft and smooth. This was a spa experience like no other! Once we showered again and put on new fresh clothes we headed right to their restaurant and order more beer with delicious food!

goðafossWe then headed to our fourth attraction Goðafoss waterfall! I had to say this was the best Monday I have ever had when it included a beer spa and a major waterfall. This majestic waterfall has a great hiking area all around it to see the beauty from multiple views. There is a separate waterfall in the middle of Goðafoss and two small ones going down the river. There is a little shop right near the waterfall with food, bathrooms, and souvenirs.

We headed to our third campsite which was not memorable but it was dark and we needed to park. We had to stay in a parking lot as their campsites were closed down due to construction but they had very warm full bathrooms. Nothing very scenic to show for it and I do not remember the town name but it was close to Goðafoss.

Day Four

The next morning we started out again towards our fifth attraction, Grjótagjá Cavegrjótagjá-cave which is a small lava cave near Lake Mývatn. It is actually the cave in a scene from Game of Thrones and since we are all fans we had to explore it. There are two openings that you can climb down into. The cave was warm and mysterious and dipping your hand into the very blue, clear water felt very surreal. There are paths going towards the top of the lava cave where you can climb up and jump over the amazing crack in the earth.

hverirSetting off to our next scenic and sixth attraction was Hverir Geothermal park, not very far from the cave. This place was like you were walking on another world! There were so many earthly colors that you stopped caring about the sulfur rotten egg smell from the bubbling and steaming pools. Very muddy pathways that you definitely need boots and need to clean off later. Small orangy-red rock masses let out large amounts of steam coming from thehverir-geothermal volcanic mountain towards the top. I have never been so interested in volcanic energy until witnessing this amazing place.

Watch our Drone Video of Hverir Here!

DettifossOur third stop that day but seventh attraction so far was Dettifoss which is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. This massive amount of water had such a powerful sound and presence standing as close to it as possible. dettifoss-trekThe trek down to Dettifoss is fun as well even though there was snow everywhere it was warm and adventurous.

After three major hiking attractions for the day, we headed to our fourth campsite in Djúpivogur, Iceland. We stayed in a parking lot with full bathrooms and kitchen area. They also had small cabins you can rent. djúpivogur-icelandThere are two places to eat within walking distance and in a very scenic harbor town. We ate at this great hotel where we dined on delicious Icelandic fish stew, beer, and pizzas.

Day Five

Waking up the next morning to lovely sunshine we headed off to our eighth attractionjökulsárlón-glacier-lagoon in Hornafjörður, Iceland where there is the amazing Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. This lagoon is right off Ring Road and is a must stop to hike around or take glacier boat trips. The massive glacier is seen in the far corner which leads out to large lagoon full of broken off glaciers over time. glacier-lagoonBeautiful icy blue water than leads right out into an inlet towards the sea. Definitely my second favorite attraction on the trip.

Watch our Drone Video of Glacier Bay Here!

Our next and ninth attraction was Svartifoss waterfall is in Vatnajökull National Park.svartifoss You can hear the powerful waterfall from the parking area but must hike up a very steep vertical path to see it. The tough hike up was very worth it as the waterfall is in a hidden valley followed with a long river to view as you climb. Once you are up close and personal to Svartifoss the rocky lava structure looked like an earthly chandelier.  Words are hard to describe this picturesque waterfall!

Watch our Drone Video of Svartifoss Here!

kirkjubæjarklaustur-icelandAfter a long half day walk around the lagoon and then that vertical hike we headed to our fifth campsite in Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Iceland. My favorite campsite the whole trip with a waterfall view! Nicely mapped out campsites with full bathrooms and warm showers. This campground also has cabins to rent if traveling by car only. There is literally a liquor store, grocery store and restaurant all within walking distance which was super convenient since we had to add to our food and drink supply. The restaurant was alsoarctic-char great and super busy! This is where we had our first Arctic Char which is a famous Icelandic dish. Arctic Char looks like salmon and tastes delicious!

Watch our Drone Video of this awesome campsite with Waterfall View Here!

Day Six

reynisfjara-black-sand-beachWaking up with a view of the tall but thin waterfall we headed to our tenth attraction Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach in Vik. This black sand beach was lined with massive basalt stacks and the sound of roaring Atlantic Ocean waves. The large rock formations cascading outreynisfjara of the ocean not only was an amazing view but an epic backdrop.

Not wanting to leave that beautiful beach we headed to our eleventh attraction Iceland’s Famous Sólheimasandur Plane Crash. I didn’t mention this was the windiest day, I mean hurricane windy where it was hard to even walk. Well by the time we got to this attraction the wind was like this and it was raining but we were there and committed to seeing our attractions. We started walking down the gravel path towards the beach but it was foggy as well and we could not see an end in sight. There were no signs about the attraction except for a gate that said no cars. After maybe a mile walk out which was an hour of hurricane winds, stinging rain and sometimes hail we decided it wasn’t worth it anymore and started to head back to the van. We were all in full waterproof gear we still got soaked. Later to find out the walk to get from parking lot to airplane was 2.5 miles and if we had known or researched a little better we would not have gone in those weather conditions. I am not saying do not do it but maybe go in the summer or on a very nice weathered day.

seljalandsfossAfter having some lunch and drying off as much as possible we headed to our twelfth attraction Seljalandsfoss waterfall which is famous for having a trail that leads under the waterfall! The wind was still blowing but the rain had subsided enough for us to enjoy the epic climb behind the waterfall. To see and hear this amazing cascading effect was truly majestic especially since waterfalls are my favorite earthly formations.

Watch our Drone Video of Walking under a Waterfall Here!

With all the walking, wind and rain we were so beat. Our bodies physically felt like we had been in a boxing ring which is why we decided to head to our thirteenth attraction, the Secret Lagoon. Similar to the Blue Lagoon but smaller, fewerthe-secret-lagoon people and a natural smooth rocky bottom was an experience I had been wanting to have since I learned about natural spring pools. We had a nice hot shower where they have full locker rooms and restrooms than headed out to the lagoon with a nice tall beer to enjoy while soothing our muscles in the natural warm water. Floating around to find little hot spots with an added bonus of the beautiful pink and purple sky as the sun was setting. An absolute must stop to experience Iceland’s natural wonders in the southeast part of the island.

skjòl-campground-pizzaOur sixth campsite, Skjòl Campgrounds, was nearby the Secret Lagoon where we had full bathrooms with a bar and great pizza to end the day! The campground is very open with an amazing starry sky view. The bar was very cozy and warm where the beer was flowing and the pizza was tasty and crispy! A really great campsite that is centered right in the middle of the next two big attractions we had on our list for the next day.

Day Seven

Waking up feeling like the start of getting a cold from all the wind and cold rain fromgullfoss the day before we still had three more major attractions to see before ending our seven-day camping trip around the island. Our fourteenth attraction was Gullfoss waterfall which is a part of the Golden Circle of Iceland. Amazing panoramic views are amongst the surface where they have an area for you to hike and get as close as possible to this iconic waterfall. There is a large shop right on the cliff full of souvenirs and treats.

geysirThe fifteenth attraction Geysir was very close by and a must see! Geysir which is what all geysers are named after. There are multiple boiling mud pits that are active and go off every few minutes which is super suspenseful! One of the geyser’s spouts up to 100 feet high and is roped off enough for you to be close enough for great pictures.

Our last and sixteenth attraction off Ring Road waskerið-volcanic-craterKerið volcanic crater located in Iceland’s southwestern volcanic zone. It’s a 180 feet deep, 560 feet wide and approximately 3000 years old. As we hiked down the pathway there are amazing colors of red, green, earthy brown whilst the crater water is a beautiful deep blue. There is a small fee to get past the gate and see but it is very worth it!

Day Eight to Ten

We then headed back to Reykjavik where we started and where Ring Road connects. For the next 3 nights, we stayed at an Airbnb that we reserved at the beginning of the summer. Our apartment for the weekend was quaint and perfectly located in the center of town near all the restaurants and shopping. We ate like kings at different restaurants! We had Thai food, Icelandic feasts with Reindeer Carpaccio and tapas brewdog-icelandthat consisted of puffin and whale meat which is a must try! The beer and drinks were delicious as well when we spent afternoons at places like BrewDog and Mikkeller & Friends having Belgian liquid treats.

The apartment also included a four-person natural spring water hot tub that you fill up and empty every time you get in so no chemicals are necessary. Every night we sat in there on the private back patio and gazed at the night sky hoping to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights we had been searching for every night. Unfortunately, we left Iceland without being able to experience the majestic Northern Lights but we will just have to go back which is not a problem!

Thank you for reading our small impromptu camping guide around Ring Road and if anyone reading this is planning on going and have any questions please comment below. Or if those reading this have been and want to leave their experiences in the comments please do as we loved learning as much as possible about this country!

Iron Hill Brewery Rehoboth

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There are 16 Iron Hill Brewery locations within the Mid-Atlantic area and one brand new one in South Carolina. They do not distribute and are more of an in house brewpub chain. Their buildings always have an amazing aesthetic to them inside and out.

The food is amazing! We just got a few different appetizers to share and they were the perfect little small plates to satisfy our appetite and wash down with some clean craft brews. They have two flight choices you can order so of course, I got one and JR got the other so we could try all eight.

About Iron Hill Brewery Rehoboth

Iron Hill’s motto is to have beer brewed ten feet from your table so no beer could be as local as them. The freshest craft beer and food made from scratch. They have been brewing for over 20 years now and have won several awards at the Great American Beer Festival.

When I worked for my first local brewing company, 3rd Wave Brewing, our head brewer there started out at Iron Hill in one of their Pennsylvania locations. He stayed with 3rd Wave for five years and then was offered the head brewer position at this new location in Rehoboth. I am sure he feels a little more relaxed in this atmosphere because he does not need to worry about distribution and just brew beer in the house for all the guests who come into eat and have great local brews.

The Atmosphere of Iron Hill Brewery Rehoboth

This particular location is right on the highway before all the popular shopping outlets. They have a beautiful brew room with glass all around it located behind the bar. The seating is situated pretty perfectly so almost every seat you can see them brew. There is a beautiful large patio for outside seating as well!iron-hill-brewhouse

The kitchen is completely open so you can see the chefs preparing meals which is always nice to see and smell. We enjoyed some amazing Nashville Hot chicken sliders and crispy Brussels, my mouth is watering as I type this! If we could have tried more we would of but it was a long day of eating and drinking since it was JR’s birthday! We will just have to try out some of their other locations.

iron-hill-muralThey also had some cool artwork which seemed very vintage and I did not understand the theme. Apparently, they have this one artist that paints all their murals for their brewpubs. I very much like how they try to keep their food, beer, and art very local.

Iron Hill Brewery Rehoboth Signature Brews

Their Iron Hill Light Lager and White Iron Wit are two brews they are known for which I have had in the past. They are very clean tasting and easy to drink with almost any type of food. The two flights they had to try were called “Hop It” flight and “Koastal Crush” flight. JR, of course, got the “Hop It” flight and I the “Koastal Crush” flight. We tried each of them especially since a lot of them seemed to be seasonal or one time brews.

iron-hill-brew-menu

Our Favorites

I am a Kolsch fan myself so I was most excited about the Koastal Crush. JR liked the Juicy IPA and the Hopicana IPA. For those who like a light variety of every style, this brewery is the one to try out if you are in the Pennsylvania or Delaware area!

RAR Brewing

rar-brewing

One of the most popular and fastest growing breweries on the Maryland Eastern Shore is RAR Brewing. They have been brewing in downtown Cambridge, Maryland since 2013 and are continuing to grow. The owners and brewers are all native to Cambridge, Maryland who have boosted the community tourism majorly since they opened. With their multiple monthly releases of new brews they always have a line around their building waiting to try the new and limited releases!

About RAR Brewing

rar-brewing-brew-houseRight on Poplar Street RAR Brewing sits in an 80-year old building now turned into a 10 barrel brewhouse and popular hangout area for locals and out-of-state craft beer lovers! These local guys have created a brewing theme that always keeps craft beer lovers on their toes.

The experimentation of hops and fruits have really made them stand out along with their creative pop art which is all over their brewery and their cans. Take the popular items that Millennials have grown up with then mix it in with new technology 3D art of the 21st century and BAM you totally get RAR Brewing.

When visiting there are multiple niche type restaurants within walking distance of the brewery. Cambridge is definitely a town you can make a day time destination spot with the brewery, local niche restaurants, shopping, wine bars, and water views.

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The Atmosphere of RAR Brewing

Walking in you will see artwork everywhere of all their can logos, colors everywhere! They have a 12 tap system with flights and pints to try. In the center background, they have the brewhouse where you might be able to see the brewers at work earlier in the day during the week.

If you want to try all of their brews or have more than two pints, don’t worry they have a rar-brewing-pubsmall pub menu they make right there on site. We actually had some great panini’s with our pints while hanging out. There is a huge local vibe to the brewery but they receive many out-of-towners. Those who did not bring their growlers and want something to take home, they have a fridge where you can buy six packs and crowlers to go.

RAR’s Signature Brews

Nanticoke Nectar IPA is by the far the top-selling local beer I have seen going steady for years. I know this not only as a consumer and keeping up the local beer trends but also my last four years in the craft brewing business. I have been a craft beer distribution salesperson, a local craft beer supplier salesperson and now run the largest tap house in the county so I know what beers are best-sellers, on and off-premise.

rar-brewsI am not a fan of IPA’s at all but I will continue to try them because every brewery’s mainstream IPA is their taste profile and know what to expect from the rest of their lines. Nanticoke Nectar is not my favorite of course but it is consistent and I can see why IPA drinkers love it because they drink more than 2 at a time which is what every brewery wants.

They are also known for the limited release sours they put out every month such as Out of Order and their Inspired By, producing a new fruited flavor every time. Sours are huge right now but finding the right one is challenging, even for the craft beer lover.

Our Favorites

So I normally do not like IPA’s or real hoppy beers but Pulp is my absolute favorite! Pulp is a pale ale that is super juicy and tastes fresher than I ever expected a pale ale to taste. I also enjoy their 10 layer stouts which are stouts based on different flavors of the local legend Smith Island 16 layer cakes. Smith Island cakes are just as popular as Maryland Blue crabs and is always the dessert to try when coming to the Eastern Shore. This beer got so popular that RAR and Smith Island Cakes were both featured on an episode of “The Booze Traveler” which totally depicted how Eastern Shore of Maryland is portrayed.

JR’s favorite is the Nanticoke Nectar but also enjoys their juicy IPA’s and pale ales likerar-symbol Pulp. Like Dogfish Head JR will try every IPA that RAR puts out due to their creative consistency and their use of hops. We are both not the ones to stand in any lines for any beer no matter how much we show our passion for craft beer but we have been fortunate to know a lot of people in the local craft beer world to give us a sample of very limited release!

Whether you are taking a trip to Ocean City, Maryland or Rehoboth, Delaware RAR Brewing is definitely a good mid-day stop to either or a nice day trip from the many metropolitan cities that surround Cambridge area.

DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Fly More

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Scrolling through your Instagram feed and seeing amazing traveling photos just makes you think, “How do they capture such gorgeous photos that makes you want to travel there?” That’s when the word drone comes to mind and since JR already has experience from his past real estate job flying the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum he has been saving up to buy one for our traveling adventures.

It was his birthday this past week and thought this was the perfect opportunity to treat himself and get the best drone he could find on the market. He was even more motivated to buy one because of our upcoming trip to Iceland this October. Once he researched that drones were allowed in Iceland we knew that be the best first trip to try it out on with the hundreds of waterfalls we are going to see we have to capture them the best way possible.

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About DJI Mavic Pro Platinum

We decided to test out the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum for a week before writing a review on it and it’s been fun! When I first saw it fly it reminded me of the movie ‘Batteries Not Included’ which I used to watch a lot as a child. Our drone does not have a disc space ship look but it has a 60% noise reduction sound that has a similar sound to the tiny space ships in the 1980’s classic.

The DJI Mavic Pro looks like a mini helicopter that can go 10 miles away from you, goes 40 miles per hour and as high as 400 feet in the air! Growing up as a millennial, we have seen technology change a lot but this one takes the cake, and never expected to own one anytime soon.

Having these great cell phones now-a-days give us great cameras so why buy an expensive camera when you have one on you all times. But buying this drone which takes 12 megapixel photos, captures 4k videos and can take those photos and videos that you cannot reach yourself is like having gold at our fingertips!

The maximum flight time of most models has been 27 minutes but the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum extends to 30 minutes flight time. If you have an IPhone or an Android you can easily hook up either one to the remote controller to fly the drone. Install the DJI GO 4 app on your phone and start recording videos or taking pictures all while you can see right through your phone screen!

 

Highlights of the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum

Some highlights and specifications on the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum are:

  • Maximum weight is 1.64 lbs
  • Maximum speed (when in sport mode) is 40mph without wind
  • Maximum Flight time is 30 mintures
  • Maximum Hovering time is 27 minutes
  • Maximum Flight distance is 9.3 miles
  • Operating temperatures are 32-104 degrees Farienheit
  • Has GPS satellite positioning systems
  • 2.4 GHz transmitter power
  • 12.35 Megapixels on camera
  • 28mm lens
  • 8s Electronic shutter speed
  • 4000×3000 Maximum image size
  • Single shot still photography modes
  • 4k video recording mode
  • 16 GB micro SD card
  • 2970 mAh battery
  • Chargers are 13.05 voltage
  • 11.4 Voltage for the Intelligent Flight Battery

 

Save $149 on DJI Refurbished Phantom 3 Professional

 

Fly More Accessories

You can just buy a drone but there are a lot of deals that offer double the accessories within the same price for triple the amount of accessories for the ultimate Fly More experience! One battery allows you the 30 minutes fly time but when you have 3 batteries that’s 90 minutes of more fly time!

  • Remote Controller
  • 3x Intelligent Flight Batteries
  • 16 GB MicroSD Card
  • Charger
  • AC Power Cable for Charger
  • Micro USB Cable
  • RC Cable with Micro USB Connector
  • RC Cable with USB Type-C Connector
  • RC Cable with Lightning Connector
  • 2x Pairs Gold Tip Propellers
  • 2x Pairs Platinum Tip Propellers
  • Gimbal Cover
  • Gimbal Clamp
  • 2x RC Cable Slider (Large)
  • 2x RC Cable Slider (Small)
  • Battery Charging Hub
  • Car Charger
  • Battery to Power Bank Adapter
  • DJI Shoulder Bag

 

Sales, Gifts, and More

 

Adventurous Pictures

What I am most excited about is how we can always have something else take our picture instead of always doing selfies or just having one of us in a picture with a fantastic view. All we have to do is make a picture motion with our hands and the drone will automatically take a picture of us without holding anything and pressing a button. No more tripods, no more asking someone else to take a photo, just pull out the drone and click!

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With the follow me option we can get in the RV and go up to 40mph while the drone follows us capturing 4k video of our off-roading adventures. We could even do a hiking trip and have the drone follow us while we reach the peaks of amazing views!

If you have a DJI Mavic Pro Platinum and want to share your experiences please comment below so we can gather other’s adventures with this valued piece of equipment!

Lyon Distilling Company

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If you like rum then this is your place to try some crafted rum! Lyon Distillery was founded in 2012 and their main goal was to find raw ingredients to use in their rums.

The distillery is located directly behind Eastern Shore Brewing company and St Michael’s Winery which is very convenient for people like us who want to try everything in walking distance! The area the building stands is in the Old Mill District.

 

About Lyon Distilling Company

Lyon Distilling generally makes rums but they teamed up with another local distiller called Grey Wolf Distilling. They teamed up and use the same facility for their distilling and barreling.

Together as a team is great because they both distill different spirits not in competition with each other. They both bring a historical and local experience to their product which is what the distilling and brewing community should be about!

LEARN HOW TO DISTILL HERE

 

The Atmosphere of Lyon Distilling

lyon-distilling-copper-stillLocated in an old Mill building you will automatically receive the historic vibe of Eastern Shore of Maryland. Old brick lines the building with a creative rum barrel theme inside the tasting room part.

They offer free tours as well which include a walk down into their mill house. A very large warehouse style there copper still sits in beauty. Behind the copper still they have their logo and name painted on the wall showing pride.

Barrels of rum line the hallway to the barrel room with multiple tiny to large barrels of rum age to perfection for the next few years of bottling. We stood listening to the distiller speak how they distill fresh grains and sugar cane to make their small barrel batched rums!

 

How to start a Distillery Business with this plan:

 

Lyon Ditilling’s Spirits

lyon-distilling-rum-barrelsBefore you start the tour they offer you free tastings of three out of the five products they had at the time. We are not particularly rum people so we chose two each and the others were Grey Wolf distilling vodka and gin.

Their signature rums are White Rum, Dark Rum and Sailor’s Reserve. They also make a dark rum called Rock & Rum and the other a Coffee rum made with locally roasted coffee.

Grey Wolf Distilling had a Lone Vodka and Timber Gin. Lone Vodka had a sweet tint to it then I am normally used to. The Timber Gin is full botanical’s but the most herbal taste I received was from the sassafras.

 

Home Distillery Equipment Here:

Our Favorites

lyon-distilling-tasting-roomSo we are not rum people meaning we don’t buy it, we don’t usually try it and definitely do not order drinks with rum in it. Rum tends to be too sweet and fake tasting. We actually both enjoyed the coffee infused rums the most! This spirit can literally be drank alone neat or with your coffee!

A great stop not only if you love rum but if you want to see two companies work in harmony with one another. This is why we love the craft community because of the creativity they provide. Tasting the product is not the only thing that should take you somewhere but to actually see their facility and learn their story!

 

 

 

Book your stay in St Michaels Maryland Here:


Eastern Shore Brewing Company

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If you want to experience the historic part of the Eastern Shore of Maryland then St Michael’s is the town! I was in awe a few years ago when I heard there was a brewery, winery, distillery, and cidery all in one town and all in walking distance of each other!

We finally got a full day to experience them all and it was quite busy as they were having their sea glass festival. Multiple little tents were full of great local crafts in between tours of the great local craft. They have wine festivals and big Christmas week festival of lights. St Michael’s is the one-stop town for shopping, eating, touring and drinking!

About Eastern Shore Brewing Company

Due to the festival happening that day they were super busy and had a band playing so we were not able to do our norm and buy flights to share to try all their beers. We have tried some of their mainstays in the past at previous beer festivals so it wasn’t a total loss. We also like to get the full brewery experience by touring their brew house as well but again were too packed for tours.

The vibe we received was basically an old town Eastern shore bar where the locals definitely hang out. We saw the bartenders constantly give high fives and know a person by names even with the out of towners for the Sea Glass festival.

Asked for a flight of all beers but they had a rule of not serving flights during bands playing which is understandable as it takes a lot of time to pour flights. We thought we would hang out and get their vibe and just come back later. They closed early that day and we were an hour from home so we didn’t get to experience their taste profile. They are definitely a laid back brewery while you are in town for the weekend or an after lunch beer.

The Atmosphere Eastern Shore Brewery

Walking in there was a small bar with about 10 taps. The bar area is small and quaint with very few seats but the rest of the bar had a bunch of high tops to enjoy a pint at. There was a small door heading into their brew house but no window to see their actual system like we are used to seeing.

Their brewery used to be the old flour mill called Just Right Flour Mill. They have huge red barn doors walking in up the stairs with an old mill look. There is no food available as they are strictly a brewhouse but they do serve cheese and meat boards to pair with their ales.

The best thing about this brewery is that it’s located right next door to St Michael’s Winery, across the street from the Great Shoals Cidery and in front of Lyon Distillery!  Walking distance from all local craft liquor!

Eastern Shore Brewery’s Signature Brews

eastern-shore-brewing-beersSt Michael s Ale is their flagship brew filled with blended American hops which we have had previously at past local beer fests.

Duck Duck Goose is their signature Porter which reflects a traditional English Style Porter.

Situation Critical IPA is their signature IPA full of West Coast hops dry hopped with over two pounds of hops per barrel.

Our Favorites

We didn’t try there on site but I have enjoyed their St Michaels ale in the past because it is a nice light ale that is not overly hoppy.

JR likes the IPA’s so he has had their Situation Critical IPA in the past.

We were both very curious about their newest seasonals they had available while were there but did not want to commit to a full pint.

I wanted to try their El Pepe which is a light lager that reflects a traditional Mexican lager. JR wanted to try their Strawberry Shakedown which is a New England Style IPA and is all the craze right now!

CraftBeerClub.com-Small-Production, Independent Brews Delivered Every Month! Click here!

Weekend Visit

If you live around the regional area of Maryland, Delaware or Virginia (or traveling these parts) it’s a definite stop to see a pastime town in a historic building. The Eastern Shore of Maryland has more history than I ever expected!

The very small town of St Michaels, the population of a little over a thousand, has done a great job making their town a full experience. Their creative local business’ minds make sure they create festivals and historic learning a priority. They count on travelers and local tourism to make their town what it is today. We always try to give back to small towns that try really hard and leave footprints that capture our happy experiences.

Learn more about the history of Maryland Breweries here!

Rubber Soul Brewing Company

rubber-soul-brewing-company

You know that first place you met your special someone where your eyes locked and all you hoped for was for them to sit next to you or even say hello?  Rubber Soul Brewing Company is that place for JR and I.

We had both been to Rubber Soul Taproom before separately but throughout all these years living in close proximity of each other, within the same circle we had never met.  I was there for my almost 10th time, the taproom manager was a close friend of mine, and after 3 hours of sitting there, I knew it was time to leave but thank goodness I did not!

Enough of the love stuff though and let’s get back to the beer and where it all began!

About Rubber Soul Brewing Company

If you can guess what the niche theme of this brewery is then you must really be into themed breweries like us!  Rubber Soul is based on the love of craft beer and cycling by the Owner and Head Brewer, Jesse Prall.

Jesse got his start at Appalachian Brewing in his hometown in PA and then moved to Dogfish Head Brewing.  After 10 years and many promotions/awards, he created his own niche theme based on his second passion of cycling.  Craft beer drinking and cycling actually do go hand in hand based on making breweries stops for the cyclists to break from the heavy winded exercise.

Rubber Soul has been around for three years now and is the newest brewery to pop up on the eastern shore.  They work on a small barrel system but are moving up quickly to expanding their brewery, keg room and into canning!

CraftBeerClub.com-Flavorful, High-Quality, Independent Brews Delivered Monthly, Quarterly, or Every Other Month! Click here!

The Atmosphere of Rubber Soul Brewing

prost-at-rubber-soul-brewingThe Brewery is in the industrial area of Salisbury where it had a small tap room for one to come in and drink a few pints or tasters to try all of their 8 beers on tap.  The tap room had a rustic feeling with stained pallet walls and a beautiful bar top.  Some extra space was filled with bicycles and a huge “Prost” sign, which is German for “Cheers”.

I know I keep saying words like “had” and that’s because they have recently closed their tap room due to needing more space for production.  When you buy a canning line plus have your brewhouse, storage, and keg room then space becomes very limited.

So for those who really like seeing where the liquid is made unfortunately you cannot with this one.  They worked together with another local Salisbury bar called Roadie Joes where they built a tap room just for Rubber Soul beers.

So if you are traveling to the Eastern Shore to have a brewery day then make Roadie Joe’s a stop to try everything Rubber Soul has to offer.

 

Rubber Soul’s Signature Brews

Rubber Soul is very IPA heavy and for one who does not favor IPA’s very much I was pleasantly surprised with how well I responded to their selection.

The beers they came out with first that I remember are:

  1. Paceline Session IPA
  2. High Wheel IPA
  3. Dropout Double IPA
  4. Urban Style Honey Ale

Paceline Session and Dropout are definitely in 16oz cans which you can find locally and in the state of PA and part of Delaware.

Our Favorites

If you are very hop forward like JR is then you will love this brewery!

Traci’s Favorite:  Urban Style Honey Ale

JR’s Favorite:  High Wheel IPA

This is not our favorite brewery but Rubber Soul Brewing will always hold a special place in our hearts and we will never forget this brewery based on it being the first place we met.

I not only met JR but I have met a lot of people at Rubber Soul based on it being the newest and hottest brewery at the time.  Breweries are not only amazing to travel to and taste new creations but also finding those that share the love of craft beer and understand how interesting every style and region makes it.

If anyone else has a cool brewery memory please share in comments below as it is so fun to hear these stories!

Prost!

UPDATE 2/18/2019:  This brewery has closed at this location and will not be reopening in Maryland.  It’s sad to see the place we met not be around anymore but that is the risk in the craft beer business.

Custom RV Mattress

Fixing up your RV is just like fixing up your home! A slow process of finding what works and what doesn’t to make it your own. We have added small items here and there but it’s now time to dive into the big stuff! JR has upgraded the old box TV that came with the RV to a beautiful new swinging flat screen and tremendous speakers to the point of where you feel like your in a movie theater!

We have added little wall fixings and hanger options for clothes and jackets but now we are ready to find the best RV mattress we can find! We have this very thin and old mattress on there now that came with the RV. We added an egg foam on it for more comfort but if we are going to live in this RV then we need it fully comfortable!

RV Mattress Sizes

All sizes matter, especially RV mattresses because everything is compact and needs to fit just right! Where our mattress sits is very important because our bedroom is a slide out. When we push the button to slide our bedroom in the mattress has to slide underneath our closet door to fit.

The only flaws I have about our RV is the bedroom itself. They should have built the closet doors higher or pick doors that do not sit out as much and more flat or compact. Also the mattress cannot be hanging off the sides of the base of the bed because there is barely enough room to walk around the bed itself to make it.

We are used to a King sized mattress in our house and it’s the most comfortable bed in the world to me! There is so much space and fluff that it’s hard to get out of sometimes. So going from our king-size mattress to a small queen in a compacted space as been my biggest challenge. In search for a good mattress here we come!

Finding the Right Mattress

First we made a list of what we need to find the right mattress:

1. Our new mattress must be this long and this wide and this tall.

2. Our new mattress must be cushy but firm for JR’s back issues.

3. Our new mattress must be compact or be able to roll up to fit when the section is rolled in.

4. We want the mattress to last as long as we have the RV for when we want to sell it or upgrade it.

This checklist to me sounds like we may need a custom mattress. They are super hard to find though. We usually buy almost everything on Amazon due to the convenience and free shipping with our Prime membership but even some of those mattresses do not come custom. Some of them don’t seem like they are going to ship very well for us to even get into the RV.

Here are a few we looked at with the best ratings:

  1.  Live and Sleep Memory Foam Mattress
    live-and-sleep-resort-classic-mattress

  • 2. Zinus Ultima Comfort Memory Foam
  • Conforming memory foam comfort and support for a better night’s sleep
  • Mattress has 3 layers of different grades of foam for maximum comfort
  • Has the Highest Quality of Foam-Foam is CertiPUR – US Certified to be very durable
  • Contains Bio Foam which replaces some of the traditional petroleum with natural plant oil to help keep your mattress fresh
  • Our patented technology allows our mattresses to be efficiently compressed, rolled and shipped in a box conveniently to your door for easy carry and install into your RV

 

3.  Dynasty Cool Breeze Mattress

  • Contains a Sleep Cool Technology Foam!
  • Has a 20 year Limited Warranty.
  • Has a Medium Firm feel with a great support layer.
  • Contains 4 Durable layers! 
  • Contains a fire barrier with zipper washable cover for easy cleaning.  
  • CertiPUR-US® Certified!

 

Tochta Custom RV Mattresses

JR is super great at all the RV research he does and I am so lucky to have a great partner to endlessly search for our comfort and making our lives easier on the road. He found Tochta Custom RV Mattresses where we can send in our exact measurements, cuts, comfort level and more!

So they have three models that you can build yourself:

  1.  Utopia
    1. 4 layer system that provides a level 9 (out of 10) for support firmness.
    2. Has a premium gel visco cover layer for a level 10 (out of 10) for comfort.
    3. The premium and most expensive.
  2. Cortana
    1. 3 layer latex system that provides a level 9 (out of 10) for support firmness.
    2. A superior transitional layer that provides a level 8 (out of 10) for comfort.
    3. Mid range cost level.
  3. Journey
    1. 3 layer gel infused memory foam that provides a level 8 (out of 10) for support firmness.
    2. High density foam blend that provides a level 7 (out of 10) for comfort level.
    3. Most valuable in price.

I think we are going to go for the Utopia Queen size since we are going to live in it full time, we should have the maximum comfort level!

f there are any other RV’ers out there that have gone with this company please feel free to comment below so we can learn from hands out experience!

Safe travels and happy sleeping!

 

 

 

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

dogfish-head-logo

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is on tap literally everywhere you go.  Every bar seems to always carry one of their mainstream beers plus one of their many seasonals or specialties they make!

This is JR’s favorite brewery and we have lots of great friends who work or have worked for the company.  Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is on the top of both our lists to see if you are a true craft beer lover!

About Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

One of the oldest craft breweries in Delaware that makes the eastern shore of Delaware a huge tourism magnet is Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.  It was one of the two breweries to open in 1995 in Delaware but has soared the highest and is the most recognizable names from Delaware.

Dogfish Head’s original brewery location started back in 1995 on Rehoboth Avenue.  Originated as the smallest commercial brewery brewing only two or three 10 gallon batches a day!

original-dogfish-headBy the mid-2000’s they got so big that they built their now 200 barrel brewhouse in Milton, Delaware.  Their original brewpub just had a recent transformation into an amazingly large building where the original one was.

Their original brewery/brewpub was just torn down in 2017.  I was lucky enough to find a painting of the original brewpub before they tore it down as a gift for JR.

The Atmosphere of Dogfish Head

We have drank their beer for a long time now and it is JR’s favorite local brewery ever!  He has visited the brewery many times but I honestly had not so we decided to go one rainy Saturday.

While driving there you feel like you are driving to the middle of nowhere surrounded by farmland.  Dogfish Head brewery turns into its own little village.  Where once you are finished your day there you might think about buying one of those cute little townhomes that are walking distance to the brewery with a craft beer related view every day!

dogfish-head-top-fermenters

When pulling up you will see many large outdoor fermenters as tall as condominiums by the beach.  You will also see the infamous Steampunk Treehouse which you can read about it more here.

steampunk-statue-and-us

Don’t worry about food either because you will see their Lunchbox shaped food truck where the menu changes daily.  They specialize in Dogfish Head craft beer-infused foods and their “Sausage of the Day” which always goes well with beer!

They have tours available every day.  There are multiple tours you can take but you definitely want to try out the free one where you get to try tasters of some of there beers 30 minutes before the tour begins!  They take you through the main brewing area and a nice walk to their very large warehouse where they bottle and can; which is pretty amazing!

dogfish-head-canning

Once you are done the tour you can go back and buy a few pints and enjoy the community sized tasting room or shop at their little store full of Dogfish swag!

Dogfish Head Signature Brews

The beers you can see just about anywhere on the shore are their 60 Minute IPA, 90 Minute Double IPA, Namaste White, and SeaQuench Session Sour.  A lot of these beers are available in cans and in a lot of package stores.  There are so many more beer styles though!

dogfish-head-brewhouse

Dogfish Head Brewery Eats

If you are in the Rehoboth area you can dine at their Chesapeake and Maine or their Brewing & Eats Brewpub.  Both are amazing with different menus and unique atmospheres.  They are located right next to each other on Rehoboth Beach Avenue.

Chesapeake and Maine’s concept was built on the owner, Sam Calaigione, younger years by growing up on the Chesapeake and spending his summers in Maine.  This restaurant is a seafood-inspired restaurant from both shores and Dogfish Head inspired cocktails.  The building itself reminds you of being on a ship and in an open seafood market all at the same time.

chesapeake-and-maine-cocktails

Growing up on the Chesapeake myself I am a huge seafood lover so I often like to partake in their seafood specials.  I hope to one day be okay spending money on their amazing seafood tower filled with cold, crisp fresh shellfish of all kinds!

Brewing & Eats is Dogfish Head’s brewpub is right next door and newly built in 2017.  The building is two stories with a very open floor plan and a big stage for local music acts and entertainment!  Their burgers are fantastic and you can try almost any beer they have at the brewery in Milton.

Their newly made Dogfish Head Distillery is also in the same location as the brewery.  At the time of our visit, they were still building it so we could not tour it.  All their spirits are available in stores and their restaurant locations.  Their Compelling Gin is probably our favorite and has been around a long time.  I foresee a lot more styles coming through!

They also have the Dogfish Inn in Lewes, Delaware.  16 room Inn right in the downtown of the oldest town in Delaware.  Small and cozy but walking distance from many gourmet restaurants and boutique shops.  Just minutes from the Lewes Cape May Ferry for those traveling to or from New Jersey shore.

Each room has a mini fridge with a Dogfish Growler to keep filling up with great local craft beer!  Every room has a coastal beach look with Dogfish artwork and unique pieces of furniture.  There is a little courtyard with a fireplace and an area to play cornhole games!  Oh yeah, and it’s dog-friendly!  There is a small one-time flat fee for having your dogs stay with you but it’s worth it when there are so many places to take them for walks.

Our Favorites

Dogfish always has a lot of new styles and one-off’s that constantly come out.  We are lucky to live close enough to the source and be able to try them often before they hit nationally.

Traci’s Favorite:  Favorite year-round style is Seaquench Session Sour.  Favorite one-off was Beer Thousand which was a beer made to celebrate the spirit of Indie Rock Greats.  Beer Thousand was brewed with 10 grains, 10 hop varieties and was 10% ABV!

dogfish-head-seaquench-ale

JR’s Favorite:  Favorite year round is 60 Minute IPA.  Favorite seasonal or rarity is 75 Minute IPA which is a special cask-conditioned ale that they brew for winter time.  This beer is a blend of 60 Minute and 90 Minute IPA,

Anyone who has been to this amazing brewery please share your experience below!  What has been your favorite Dogfish Head beer?

Limited time only! Save $5 on order! Code: LoveBeer

Evolution Craft Brewing Company

Evolution Craft Brewing Company was the first brewery to ever start in Wicomico County, Maryland is Evolution Craft Brewing company and boy was it exciting!  2008 (WOW ten years ago) was the first year I was mystified by the beginning boom of the craft beer industry.

I had just turned 22 and already had a huge interest in the alcohol industry just based on the creation and amazing process.  I have to say Evolution Craft Brewing Company definitely got a great head start and due to that they soared in popularity, soon everyone followed.

About Evolution Craft Brewing Company

They didn’t start on the eastern shore of Maryland like they wanted to because the city of Salisbury did not allow it, not realizing that breweries bring in tourism money.  EVO (what most of us call the local brewery) opened in Delmar, Delaware in a small warehouse building that used to be a grocery store back in the day.

There is nothing in Delmar, Delaware still to this day besides 3rd Wave Brewing that bought the brewery from EVO back in 2012 when EVO finally moved to Salisbury, Maryland.  Delmar has definitely been put on the map now based on these two breweries alone.

Two brothers started the brewery who also owned a few restaurants in the Salisbury area.  They created a very cultural concept that caught on very quickly and finally gave this town some class!

Once Salisbury realized they were missing out on this popular booming business they let them get a permit to brew in the city.  There they found a large warehouse that used to be an Ice making company.  This building is right across from the local hospital right in the hub of the city.

This move made them boom even more by not only creating a larger area to brew beer but also a side room for their tasting room and a large brewpub with inside and outside seating called “The Public House”.

The Atmosphere of Evolution Craft Brewing Company

EVO is definitely the place to be in this town if you like good craft beer and ever-changing crafty food!  It is your one-stop shop for any couple who loves draft beer to have a full afternoon into the evening date.

You can start with a tour which you can find more info about tour times here.

Then head to the tasting room and try their many beers and different styles for every palate.  After getting the full knowledge of their beers and finding one to your liking head over to the Public House right next door and grab some great eats!  I mostly enjoy their ever-changing cheese boards and pair them with a beer flight, just a suggestion.

Signature Brews of EVO

In my opinion, they are a little IPA heavy for me but IPA is the most popular style and evo-lot-3-ipapeople love the bitterness.  They do have a great array of barrel aged beers if you hit them up at the right time!

Their signature beer is EVO Lot 3 IPA which is literally seen in almost every single bar or restaurant on Delmarva.  I am not sure what the big appeal is but Lot 3 is most people’s go to around here.

The next popular beer I would say that you will also see everywhere is Primal Pale Ale which is a nice light American pale ale that goes well with almost anything.  It is not overly hoppy like some of their others.

Our Favorites

Traci’s Favorite:  Lucky #7 Porter or their Rise Up Coffee Stout

JR’s Favorite:  Lot 3 IPA or Lot 6 Double IPA

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