The Mandagies Year In Review: Best of 2017

WOW, what a year it has been! 2017 marks the first full year of blogging, and it’s been an incredible journey. From Europe to Asia to our home in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve seen and experienced so much in these 365 days. To wrap up the year, we thought it would be fun to share our favorite memories of each month and highlight the best of 2017.

As I (Emily) was writing this I noticed a pattern – there was an element in each adventure that made them special…the people we shared them with. As we celebrate the start of 2018, we want to continue to invest in the relationships we have and create new friendships along the way. Thank you all for the support you have shown us in growing our business into a reality. We are so thankful for the opportunity to travel and share the world with you all!

The Mandagies Year in Review: Best of 2017


January – Paris, France

Paris marked our first trip to Europe together. Berty was shooting a beautiful elopement and I was fortunate enough to tag along and see the city with him. We spent five crazy full days in the city seeing everything we possibly could. January was bitter cold in Paris but the advantage to this time of year was that there were fewer crowds. Traveling with Berty combined with the lovely couple we traveled with, it was a beautiful intimate trip in the city of love. πŸ™‚

Read More: 10 Best Instagram Spots In Paris

February – Columbia River Gorge

This month, we drove down to Portland to visit our friends. We hadn’t really explored the city, so our friends Colin and Alicia showed us the best food trucks, brunch spots, and walks around the city! We also hiked Wahclella Falls and drove to Rowena Crest for some cold (and snowy!) outdoor adventures. Some of our most favorite memories are car rides with the people we love, and this weekend was definitely one to remember. πŸ™‚

Read More: In Memory Of The Columbia River Gorge

March – Montana/Yellowstone

In March, Berty and I flew to Montana to hang out with my sister in Bozeman. We took a day trip to Yellowstone to drive around and see waterfalls, but we didn’t anticipate all the snow that was still on the ground! Most of the park ended up being closed so we re-routed to the only attraction available to us, Mammoth Hot Springs. This turned out to be a really great day because NOBODY was at the park – we had it all to ourselves! We spent all day taking photos, and even running into a herd of buffalo along the way!

Read More: Visiting Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hot Springs

April – Idaho Gems

In April, our good friend Emily invited us out to Idaho. She told us about the Craters of The Moon National Monument and we knew we had to see it for ourselves. We threw our camping gear in the car and made the 9 hour drive out to pick her up in Boise. We spent the weekend running around southern Idaho seeing Shoshone Falls, Bruneau Sand Dunes, and of course, camping in the giant lava fields! Thanks Emily for sharing your home with us!

Read More: Craters Of The Moon: Idaho’s Best Kept Secret
Read More: 11 Stunning Places To See In The Inland Northwest

May – Rattlesnake Ledge / 1st Anniversary

20 Energizing Hikes In The PNW -

May was a month of hanging around our home in the Pacific Northwest. Spring in Seattle is the best – flowers are blooming and it finally gets warm enough to take walks around the neighborhood without a jacket. We went on weekend hikes (like this one shown above to Rattlesnake Ledge) and celebrated our first anniversary! It was fun looking back at our wedding photos and reliving the day all over again. We are so thankful for the friends and family who shared it with us – what a wonderful day!

Read More: A Spontaneous Hike To Rattlesnake Ledge
Read More: Our Wedding Story


June – Pacific Coast Road Trip

In June, Berty and I took a huge bucket list road trip down the Pacific Coast. We were working with an awesome camper van company called Caravan Outfitter, testing out their new model on the ultimate adventure. We visited three states in 10 days and saw the ocean, mountains, lakes, forests and more. We also made a stop in Yosemite National Park to get our anniversary photos taken by the legendary Philip Tran. What an adventurous month!

Read More: The Ultimate Pacific Coast Road Trip
Read More: 9 Lessons We Learned Living In A Van For 10 Days


July – Indonesia / Idaho

Mount Bromo view from sunrise

July was definitely a month full of adventure. Berty’s brother got married in Indonesia, so we flew over to Asia to attend the wedding (and Berty was the photographer too!). In Indonesia, we also spent some time exploring Bali and East Java having the most epic adventures at Mount Bromo and exploring waterfalls in the jungles of Java. Later in the month, we were invited to Boise to experience all that the summer months had to offer (wine tasting, Shakespeare, whitewater rafting – to name only a few!). It was a fantastic summer month soaking in the sunshine and making new friends!

Read More: 16 Epics Things To Do In Boise, Idaho
Read More: The Ultimate Guide To Mount Bromo, Indonesia
Read More: 10 Adventurous Spots For An Instagram In Bali

August – San Juan Islands

This month, we took a trip over to the San Juan islands to explore Friday Harbor and go whale watching. We had fun exploring the island and learning about the marine life in the Puget Sound. Surprisingly, this was our first time out to these islands and it inspired us to plan another trip out here to see more of the islands in 2018!

Read More: Whale Watching In The San Juan Islands

September – Lake Wenatchee

This morning, we woke up at 3 am, picked up our friends Kate and Matt at 4 am, and headed straight into the Cascade Mountains. After last-minute bailing on our plans to hike Lake Serene, we ended up at Lake Wenatchee for sunrise. Sometimes adventures don’t turn out the way you plan them – and in this case, they turned out better. We shot some of my favorite moments in 2017 that morning, and we also had time for a spectacular brunch at Denny’s too. πŸ˜‰ It was lovely spending time with our friends and this was about a month before they got married!

Read More: Sunrise Hike At Lake Wenatchee

October – Kauai, Hawaii

In October, we worked with Alaska Airlines and Avis exploring new places in Kauai, Hawaii. This trip was 9 FULL days of adventure, from photographing sunrise after sunrise and driving around the island every day. Each day had something different to offer – from perfect beaches to deep jungle hikes to cold beautiful canyons. Kauai was incredibly beautiful and we were fortunate to spend it with some pretty great friends, too!

Read More: 11 Once-In-A-Lifetime Things To Do In Kauai


November – Tye Haus & Hot Springs

Looking for a winter getaway? Look no further that this dense-forest scenic hot springs in the cascade mountains of Washington! Read of to find out how to get here and get relaxing right away!
Looking for a winter getaway? Look no further that this dense-forest scenic hot springs in the cascade mountains of Washington! Read of to find out how to get here and get relaxing right away!

In November, we were invited up to the Cascade Mountains to have a little “staycation” at Tye Haus in Skykomish, Washington. We spent those few days watching movies by the fire and hiking to beautiful hot springs in the mountains. It was nice to start out the holiday season with just the two of us! It was also awesome to see a new part of the Pacific Northwest – there’s so much to explore, even in our corner of the world!

Read More: Getting In The Holiday Spirit at Tye Haus
Read More: Scenic Hot Springs In The Cascade Mountains

December – Euro Trip

What a way to end the year! Berty and I returned to Europe to finish off 2017 with a bang. We saw Christmas lights in London, celebrated the holidays in Prague, and spent time relaxing in the Italian mountains for the end of our trip. We were so blessed by the relationships and friendships made on this trip. The people we met in Europe quickly became good friends! This trip also marked the first one we spent working together on the same big projects. It’s a fantastic challenge working with your spouse, but I wouldn’t choose any other way to live our crazy life!

Read More: 11 Wonderful Things To Do In London During Winter
Read More: Bohemian Switzerland: An Epic Day Trip From Prague

What are some of your favorite memories of 2017? What are some places you are hoping to see in 2018? We’d love to hear in the comments below!


The Essential PNW Bucket List 2017

16 Epic Things To Do In Boise, Idaho

10 Best Instagram Spots In Paris, France

30 Necessary Road Trip Essentials You Need To Be Packing

40 Essentials For Every Winter Travel Packing List

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  1. Wow you guys accomplished a lot this year! You inspire me to get out and explore the NW some more

    1. Hey Allison! I know – looking back on it I was like woah….we did a lot! Stoked to explore the NW this year too – let’s plan to do something together soon!