Win a $110 Gift Card from Chaco!

by Beth Whitman (February 17th, 2015)

chaco logo

We haven’t done a giveaway in a loooong time but we’ve got a number of them lined up already for you throughout 2015.

We’re going to change things up a bit this year and rather than giving only new subscribers the chance to win one of our giveaways, as a current subscriber, you now have at least one chance to be entered into this random drawing! (See below for deets.)


To kick things off, we’ve got $110 in Chaco Cash (technically a promo code) for one lucky winner to make a Chaco shoe purchase.

I likely do not need to tell you about Chaco footwear but in case you’ve been stuck in some weird vortex and aren’t familiar with them, allow me…

Chaco is best known for their sandals. Not just any sandals. Those awesome ones you wear out for a hike, on the river or just out on the town.

They got on my radar a number of years ago when Jon was looking for a pair of anti-microbial sandals and these were the only ones he could find that didn’t, well, make his feet stink. (Sorry for outing you, Jon.)Chaco Sandals

But they’ve become a favorite adventure sandal of mine, too (even though my feet don’t stink! HA HA).

In addition to their sandals, Chaco now has shoes and boots, too.

Suffice it to say that if you win $110 in Chaco Cash, you’ll have lots of options to choose from.

There are a few details you should know about the Chaco Cash:

  • This includes free shipping valid only on standard ground shipping to the contiguous United States.
  • Not valid on prior purchases or on purchases at retail stores.
  • Limit one use of code per order and cannot be combined with any other offer.

Now, wanna win your own?
For the remainder of the month of February, you can enter to win $110 in Chaco Cash. One winner will be chosen on March 1, 2015.

You have 3 CHANCES TO WIN!

1) Sign up for the Wanderlust and Lipstick newsletter. This goes out just once a month and your information is never shared.

2) Sign up for the RSS email feed (see the “subscribe me” box in the upper right) to receive an email each time I post to this blog (usually no more than 3x per week).

3) NEW for 2015! If you’re already a newsletter and RSS email feed subscriber, leave a comment below and let me know where you would use your Chaco shoes. I’ll then include you in the random drawing.

If you’re new to the site or this blog, do all three and you’ll have three chances to win!

Oh, and get some good karma by forwarding this to friends whom you think might like to enter to win that Chaco Cash.

Value: $110

The Deets
This contest closes at 11:59 pm PST on February 28, 2015 and the lucky winner will be randomly chosen on March 1, 2015. A reminder that you must have a mailing address in the contiguous United States in order to use the Chaco Cash.

Once notified, the winner will have three days to respond before another winner is chosen.

Be Bold,


Want to stay up-to-date on all things Wanderlust? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.


Easy Travel Tip ~ 10,000 Steps While You Travel

by Beth Whitman (February 16th, 2015)

Walking FeetLast year I picked up a Fitbit Zip. My intention was to use it during the Snowman Trek. But I made an error and forgot to bring the little USB dongle that goes with the unit and wasn’t able to change the tracker to the local time in Bhutan. This would have meant the Fitbit would have reset back to zero at 2pm each day (midnight in Seattle) and I wasn’t willing to make note of my number of steps at 1:55 p.m. each day.

I had actually considered returning the unit but once I got back to a U.S. timezone after the trek (Hawaii), I started really enjoying tracking my steps.

I found that when I went for at least one walk or run a day (something that I do at home most days), I could easily reach 10,000 steps. If I took a long run in the morning and then a walk in the afternoon, I could easily reach over 20,000 steps.

So I got into a rhythm of taking a run (usually about three or four miles) from our hotel on Poipu Road in the mornings. I’d run until I reached a good turnaround point and then head back to the hotel. By that time Jon was up and at the hotel gym working out.

Then, by late afternoon, Jon and I were ready for a long walk before (or to) dinner. We might park the car at the local shopping area (Kukui’ula) and walk from there to the Spouting Horn and back. Since the Kukui’ula is where my favorite shave ice shop, Uncle’s, is located, our walks usually included a stop there – exercise be damned!

Now this whole step-tracking thing was getting fun.

FitBit ZipSince being back in Seattle, I still wear my Fitbit Zip every day and I love it. I know that on my rest days–days when I’m neither weight-training nor running–that if I don’t take a walk, my steps will be in the 3,000 – 5,000 range just from my daily routine. But slip a three-mile round-trip walk to the store in and that easily tops me over 10,000. That’s a pretty good motivator to get me off the couch and stop me from watching another episode of The Good Wife.

On my long run days (my longest is 12 miles), I’ve hit well over 25,000 steps. How awesome is it to know that?

I have now traveled with my little tracking device to D.C., Chicago, Salt Lake City and Cabo San Lucas. Not that I wouldn’t have exercised if I wasn’t wearing the Fitbit, but there’s something really encouraging about watching those numbers increase. And knowing that by making a decision to take a little walk at the end of the day rather than a dozen other things I could make an excuse to do (turn on the TV, eat junk food, veg at the pool), I can hit my goal every day with relative ease.

It really doesn’t matter whether I’m in Seattle or Bangkok, the way I choose to spend my days all come from the same motivation–to stay in good health. Healthy choices I make at home spill over into my travels – otherwise I’m going to feel like S*%^ at my destination and won’t be as motivated to do things. The Fitbit is just now another good habit I’ve adopted.

Why This Should Matter to You

A really wonderful woman, Kim, was on one of my tours and told me how she had lost 75 pounds by walking more and tracking her steps. Obviously she made more changes than by just adding walking to her routine (big kudos to her!) but her activity tracker was the motivator to get her out every day for a walk. A trip to Bhutan with us was her reward when she lost that weight.

When I met Kim, having an activity tracker hadn’t even crossed my mind. I wasn’t trying to lose weight and I figured between my workouts, runs and near-daily walks, that I was getting enough steps/exercise into my days (and I’m sure I was).

But now that I have one, it’s extra motivation for me to hit at least 10,000 steps. This means I might choose to walk to do some sightseeing rather than take public transportation. Or I might take a walking tour of a city rather than Ride the Duck. Is it helping me lose or maintain weight? I dunno. But I am healthier, for sure. How can I not be when my muscles are moving more, my heart rate is up a bit and I’m burning calories rather than adding them?

Will you lose 75 pounds using an activity tracker? Maybe not. But it’s a great thing for daily use. And I betcha that for travel it’ll keep you moving more than you might have anticipated.

A Note About Accuracy

I have never actually done a count of my steps and compared that with what the Fitbit has tracked. I know it’s going to be a bit inaccurate. You can whine about this as some people have or you can accept the fact that this is going to give you a relatively good idea as to how you’re doing for the day. Once you get into the habit of using an activity tracker, you’ll see what a difference a walk or run every day makes. Whether it’s off by a hundred or more steps won’t be a big deal.


By the way, this is not meant to be a review about this product. It’s simply a post to encourage you to give an activity tracker a shot.

The Fitbit Zip is available on Amazon for about $50 (depending on color). This makes it one of the more affordable activity trackers on the market and the reason why I bought this one myself.

Be Bold,


Want to stay up-to-date on all things Wanderlust? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Photo credit:
Walkers – Chris RubberDragon



Valentine’s Day Romance ~ A Long Cabo Weekend

by Beth Whitman (February 14th, 2015)

Heart BeachI travel A LOT. And until nearly two years ago when Jon was working more than full time as the CTO of a technology company based in California, he was working A LOT. Like 60 hours a week (more when he was with Amazon prior to that CTO gig). Now he consults and mentors on a part time basis, mostly in Seattle. And this means he has more time and flexibility to travel with me(!), of course.

This relatively new flexibility in his schedule means that just in the last two years we’ve been able to travel to:

  • Bali
  • Bangkok
  • Bhutan (for one month)
  • Kauai (twice)
  • Washington, D.C.
  • and, most recently, Cabo San Lucas

All of these trips have been special for me because I got to travel with my best friend. But our trip to Cabo San Lucas was particularly special because we treated this as a pre-Valentine’s Day getaway and made an extra effort to build in some romantic activities into the trip. This included spending less time online.

So, what were some highlights from our trip?

Location Location Location
We stayed at the Casa Dorada. The hotel is located on the Bay of San Lucas very close to downtown Cabo and the marina–with plenty of shops and restaurants nearby. However, it was far enough away that we didn’t feel like we were right on top of everyone and everything.

Because we were looking for a romantic getaway, I was a little concerned there would be a lot of kids running around. NOT that there’s anything wrong with kids, it’s just that we wanted peace and quiet. Despite spying a Kidz’ Casa play area, we saw very few children at the hotel and pool and those we did see were at least 10-years-old.

The hot tub, located in the rather large pool area, was a great place to relax, which we did most every night under a full or nearly-full moon. And while we didn’t always have it completely to ourselves, others in the tub were respectful of it being quiet time. :-)

Our suite was huge and complete with a full kitchen as well as a deck that overlooked the pool and the beach. Two bathrooms gave us plenty of room to spread out and a separate living room meant that I could wake up early and get a little work done on my laptop while Jon slept.

Beach dinner 12 tribes restaurant

Dinner on the Beach
Probably the most romantic dinner I’ve ever had was at 12 Tribes Restaurant, located right on the beach at the hotel. The restaurant itself was romantic enough, the food fantastic and plentiful. But the best part was that we enjoyed our dinner on the beach. Yup. A full white table setup, outdoor lighting and a firepit that we hovered over between courses (more for the romance than for the warmth).

Our waiter, Edson, did an excellent job of attending to every detail of our meal, shuttling back and forth between the restaurant inside (no doubt waiting on others there) and serving us drinks and food outside.

Dinner at Bar Esquina
Maybe not as romantic as our meal on the beach but definitely hipper was dinner at Bar Esquina. This new-ish restaurant in Cabo is currently all the rage and should not be missed. The atmosphere is as chic (if not more so) than any restaurant in Seattle, the service fantastic and food high quality and unique with its blend of Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines.

Located directly across the street from the Casa Dorada, we saw night after night how packed this restaurant was with tourists and locals, both families, groups and couples. It’s a bit spendy but worth every peso.

Beth Jon Whale Watching

Whale Watching
It’s been more than 15 years since I last went whale watching and that was in Alaska. I forgot how much fun this is–and even more so in warm weather!

We went with Cabo Expeditions which offers a variety of whale watching options. We took their zodiac trip that brought us out for a few hours in the morning/early afternoon. Our guides were experts in finding breaching whales so we had plenty of opportunities for great photos. What. A. Thrill. I’d go back out in a heartbeat to experience this again.

Whale Watching Cabo San Lucas

Maybe equally as fun as actually spotting the whales was just sitting behind Jon on the boat as the zodiac quickly skimmed the water. For me it was like riding a motorcycle (except without a helmet). I love that feeling of wind in my face and the freedom of flying along with just a tiny sense of danger.

Staying Fit
Always an important part of my travels, I walked out of our hotel room for my morning run and felt a pang of guilt as Jon sat on the balcony sipping a coffee before he was going to go to the gym. I almost turned back to enjoy a coffee with him but, instead, kept going.

When we were both back in the room I mentioned to Jon my feeling of guilt and he said, “I’m glad you didn’t return. You needed your run.”

He’s right. One thing that has really worked for us over the past couple of years is our new-found discovery of working out. We both weight-train using P90X as the basis for our workouts and we each have our own cardio routine (I run, Jon spins on a stationary bike).

Suffice it to say that part of keeping our relationship healthy is that WE stay healthy. Even if that means we have to spend some time apart to do so. Even though it would have been lovely (and relaxing) to sit and just hang out with Jon in the mornings on that big balcony, I know we both felt better about ourselves and each other because we were keeping fit each day.


It had been maybe 10 years since we were last in Mexico but we felt so welcomed by the people of Cabo (the hotel staff, the waitstaff at all the restaurants, shopkeepers, our guides on our whale watching trip) that before we even left, we talked about making this a regular place to visit. We never got the sense they were just being nice because they worked in the service industry. That’s a hard thing to fake. They genuinely wanted us there and wanted to connect.

Yup. We’ll be back. But hopefully we won’t wait until next Valentine’s Day!

Be Bold,


Want to stay up-to-date on all things Wanderlust? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Photo credit:
Heart on Beach by Nattu

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