My Top 10 Local Vancouver Breweries

Its summer 2017 and I am on a roll baby! I’m here to talk about a few of my favourite things – summer, Vancouver and BEER! Yes, crisp, cold and local craft beer. In the last couple of years, Vancouver and the surrounding area has become this beer mecca with craft breweries popping up on every corner. Gone are the days of a basic lager, pale ale or IPA. Now we have milkshake IPAs, chipotle ales and strawberry wits. I work part time in a liquor store and it’s nearly impossible to carry them all.

These are in no particular order and are breweries that I have either visited or beers that I have tried through work. As a bonus, I’m also going to include my favourite breweries from areas surrounding Vancouver. I live in the suburbs about 30km outside of Vancouver and local breweries out my way are starting to make a solid name for themselves as well.

  1. Storm Brewing – 310 Commercial Drive

This is hands down my favourite brewery in the city! The first time I visited the brewery they didn’t have a sign. It was a piece of sheet metal with sharpie on it. It’s located in a questionable and rather industrial part of the city but is well worth the visit. The brew master is quite literally a mad scientist. There is no tasting room to speak of, you walk right into the midst of the brewery and can try up to 6 samples purely by donation. They offer some mainstay options but have a forever changing menu of incredibly unique options that can literally change day-by-day.

My Pick: Vanilla Whiskey Stout

Image via VancouverSun.com

  1. Brassneck Brewery – 2148 Main Street

Located in the bustling Mt. Pleasant area, Brassnecks has a small tasting room, the occasional sausage to serve but a forever changing chalkboard of options. The tasting room itself is very small and have rotating food trucks outside to fulfill your foodie needs.

My Pick: Viognier Changeling

Image via NuvoMagazine.com

  1. Off The Rail Brewing – 1351 Adanac Street

As they say, “bike the trail to Off the Rail”. Situated on the Adanac bike route, Off the Rail Brewing is the new brain child to come from the previous owners of a popular Vancouver bar. The tasting room is small but very open and child friendly. With 15 taps they also have 3 nitro taps that serve beers only available at the tasting room.

My Pick: Olde Winston Smoked Porter

Image via TripAdvisor.ca

  1. Callister Brewing Co. – 1338 Franklin Street

Canada’s first co-working brewery. What does that mean? Brewing on a smaller scale, these independent breweries share the same brewing space allowing for quality product without spending an exorbitant amount of money on rental space. Their tasting room is very warehouse/loft inspired with open spaces and lots of natural light. Local art is often featured on the walls and you can watch the brewing process in this very open concept space. The menu is incredibly unique, forever changing and extensive so come with an open mind.

My Pick: “Hastings Sunrise” Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat Ale

Image via CraftBeerVancouver.ca

5. Parallel 49 Brewing Company – 1950 Triumph Street

Arguably one of the most well-known and widely available brewery in Vancouver, Parallel 49 continue to put out recognizable beers. Their beers have very unique names and eye catching labels. They have also recently renovated their tasting room which is now open for business. Parallel 49 was my first love back when I first started working in the industry and trying local beers.

My Pick: Russian Imperial Stout: Barrel Aged Series

Image via TripAdvisor.ca

BONUS: A few of these breweries also carry food options from East Side Beer Food. They make these AH-MAZING cheese and pastry snacks that are actually to die for! You had me at cheese just take my money already!!!

Image via Twitter

And now, in no particular order – My favourite lower mainland breweries. These are all located outside of the city of Vancouver. It is no surprise that breweries are starting to pop up in the suburbs and in smaller cities away from the city of Vancouver. Housing and commercial property rental prices are through the roof and it’s likely a lot more affordable for these up-and-coming breweries to make a name for themselves without going broke renting in Vancouver.

  1. Fieldhouse Brewing Company – 2281 West Railway Street, Abbotsford

When I think about a warm and inviting space that is focused on the local community, Fieldhouse definitely comes to mind. An up-and-coming brewery based in East Abbotsford, they offer uniquely handcrafted beers which are forever evolving, local artisan menu items and a lovely tasting room equipped with a beautiful green space outside to soak up the summer rays. This summer they are featuring a rotating radler menu, blending their beers with fresh fruit from local farmers markets and fresh pressed juices from The Habitat Project.

My Pick: Dutch Sour Wit

Image via BeerMeBC.com

  1. Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – 11220 Horseshoe Way, Richmond

They truly are “keeping beer weird” as their motto says. Unique beer concoctions with a heavy focus on “Geek Culture” that is directly reflected in their labeling and marketing. Their tasting room offers a tasty food menu, growler fills and merchandise perfectly tailored to embrace your inner geek.

My Pick: Bean Me Up Espresso Milk Stout

Image via Richmond-News.com

  1. Trading Post Brewing – 20120 64 Avenue, Langley

Trading Post is a uniquely local brewery. They do a great deal to be a part of the local Langley community. I live in Langley so this is the brewery that I frequent the most. They offer a two-story tasting room with a loft area overlooking the brewing area. They also have an Eatery in the historic Fort Langley area that offers an incredible local menu, fantastic brunch options and beermosas made from their saison. They also recently spearheaded and hosted the first Fort Langley Beer Festival in the spring of 2017 that celebrated local breweries from other parts of the lower mainland and local artisan foods.

My Pick: Three Bears Breakfast Stout

Image via Straight.com

  1. Four Winds Brewing Company – 7355 72 Street, Delta

Not only do they offer award winning beers, they also have house made tacos! Located in Delta, just outside of Vancouver their tasting room offers a wide variety of uniquely west coast inspired beers.

My Pick: Nectarous Dry Hopped Sour

Image via CraftBeerVancouver.ca

  1. Twin Sails Brewing – 2821 Murray Street, Port Moody

An up-and-coming brewery and a new addition to “Brewers Row” in Port Moody. Twin Sails creates modern style beers with a heavy focus on IPAs and other hop-heavy beers. They offer a kid friendly tasting room with a few snack options, or you can bring your own. Make a day of it and sample all 4 breweries in the up-and-coming community.

My Pick: Frooty Call Milkshake IPA

Image via 30DayAdventures.ca

And don’t forget…

Follow Me on Social Media:

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Email: suitcasesandstilettoheels@gmail.com

XO Loraul

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Top 10 Disney Eats From A Disney Addict

Holla! It’s been a hot minute! A lot has changed for me in the last year. I was laid off at my job, my roommate and bestie moved away, my grandparents moved in…and did I mention I hate change??? When life and responsibilities start to take over, I can very quickly forget to do the things that make me happy like going to the gym, dancing and working on my blog etc.

But, despite all of that there is one place in the world that will always make me happy even amongst life’s daily chaos and that is Disneyland. I’m not actively traveling at the moment and I don’t have a Disneyland trip coming up like I normally would. But as I sit here at work doing my Disney Travel Agent training I started feeling nostalgic of the happiest place on Earth and decided what better way to celebrate my happy place then with a series of My Disney Favorites.

To kick this series off I’m going to talk about the real reason I go to Disneyland…FOOD! Because we all know the rides are just something you do to kill time in between snacks! #RoundFoodsThatMakeYouRound #AintNoShame

These are in no particular order and I’d like to say I don’t eat these every single time I go to Disneyland…but that would be a lie and I Must Not Tell Lies! *insert Harry Potter reference for my own nerd pleasure*

Cheshire Cat

When the Cheshire Cat is your spirit animal!

  1. Corn Dog

I had to put this first because this is my favorite Disney treat! I dream of these when I am not there and it’s the first treat I get when I’m there – its tradition! These golden hand dipped delicious babies can be found at the Corn Dog Cart in Main Street USA and at the Corn Dog Castle at Paradise Pier in California Adventures. Don’t want until you’re hangry because the lineup is always long but well worth the wait!

Corn Dog Cart

Image via DisneyFoodBlog.com

  1. Dole Whip

I don’t know why but it took me well into my 20’s to finally have a Dole Whip! You can get these just outside of the Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland but the lineup is usually pretty long. I recommend actually taking in the Tiki Room show and getting your Dole Whip from the stand inside the Tiki Room to avoid the lineup outside. Take a break, cool off, watch a neat little show and sip on some delicious pineapple goodness.

Dole Whip

Image via BiggerBolderBaking.com

  1. Churro 

#DidYouKnow if the amount of churros consumed at the Disneyland Resort were laid end-to-end, they would stretch approximately 1828 kms.

These cinnamon-y sweet treats are so soft and delicious and a must have at Disneyland. They can be found at various snack carts throughout the parks along with drinks and popcorn.

Churro

Image via TheMacAndCheeseChronicles.com

  1. Matterhorn Macaroon 

Not to be confused with the French style macaron, the Matterhorn Macaroon is a sweet, dense and very chewy coconut treated dipped in white chocolate and frosty sprinkles. It can be found at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Café and Disney just made this even better by creating a Matterhorn Macaroon Donut which has been a HUGE hit!

How do you spend your #MatterhornMonday?

Matterhorn Macaroon

Image via GetAwayToday.com

  1. Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Sandwich 

It’s a chocolate covered peanut butter sandwich…enough said! It’s basically graham crackers stuffed with peanut butter and dipped in chocolate. It was temporarily discontinued but has apparently been brought back temporarily and are now made onsite instead of brought in from a supplier. Venture on down to Pooh’s Corner and see if you’re lucky enough to find this indulgent treat.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich

Image via Picky-Palate.com

  1. Pomme Frites 

When I say I go to Disneyland for the food, I mean it! I will wait for a table at Café Orleans just for these fries! These shoe-string cut fries are coated in Cajun seasoning, garlic and parmesan cheese and served with a Cajun remoulade for dipping. It’s both sweet and savory and no – Loraul doesn’t share food…

Pomme Frites

Image via DisneyFoodBlog.com

  1. Clam Chowder 

New England style Clam Chowder has been one of my favorite Disney staples since I was a kid. You can get it at the Royal Street Veranda in New Orleans Square or at the Pacific Wharf Café in California Adventures. It comes in a fresh sourdough bread bowl and is the perfect comfort food when you’re not feeling the usual burger and fries. At Pacific Wharf they also offer seasonal selections like beer and cheddar soup served in the same sourdough bread bowl and I look forward to it every fall.

Clam Chowder

Image via DisneyFoodAndBeyond.com

  1. Fried Pickles & Baked Potato Soup 

Somehow over the 20 odd years I’ve been going to Disneyland and I had never eaten at the Carnation Café. I feel sort of cheated in a way. I finally got the chance to dine there on my last trip and for someone who despises pickles, I had an incredible craving for their deep fried pickles and thankfully they didn’t disappoint. I paired with their famous creamy and delicious baked potato soup and it was an incredible lunch.

Baked Potato Soup

Image via DisneyFoodBlog.com

Deep Fried Pickles

Image via DisneyPhotoblography.com

  1. Chili Cheese Fries 

Formerly known as the Taste Pilot’s Grill, the Smokejumpers Grill in California Adventure serves up and satisfies all your burger and fry needs. I like to order the chili cheese fries on their own and then take advantage of the condiments bar to doctor them up to my liking. The menu itself is fairly basic but the cantina style restaurant is ideal for a quick break from the heat.

Chili Cheese Fries

Image via DisneyExaminer.com

  1. Quattro Formaggio Pizza 

Who doesn’t love a good pizza? It’s basically its own food group as far as I’m concerned. When you need a break from the quick service style pizza and are craving something a little more elevated, I highly recommend Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria in Downtown Disney for their wood fired pizza. They have everything from calamari to pasta and everything in between but their cheesy and gooey Quattro Formaggio Pizza is where it’s at!

Quattro Formaggi Pizza

Image via DisneyFoodBlog.com

 

And don’t forget…

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XO Loraul

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The Not-So Secret Underground Bar in London

I have a confession to make…like many others, I am addicted to Pinterest. But not just a regular check it a few times a day kind of addiction; I am known to spend an entire 8 hour day at school scrolling through looking for daily recipes, DIY’s, bucket list travel destinations etc…I am also a lover of all things vintage. I am very nostalgic of past eras like the Roaring 20’s. So While I was scrolling through Pinterest looking for things to do in London, I came across a Buzzfeed UK article about a secret underground 1940’s era bar in London called Cahoots. Well needless to say my jaw nearly dropped to the floor and I had to find out if this was true or not.

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My very quaint table for one

After doing what I do best which is research I had booked myself a table, planned my route on the tube from my hostel, poured over their drink menu, and read a ton of reviews on TripAdvisor…maybe I was a little too excited.

I call it the “Not-So Secret Underground Bar”, when in reality it was somewhat hard to find. After much turn around while walking through Piccadilly Circus I finally found the entrance hidden off of an open air market.

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Interesting bathroom signage…

It is quite like stepping back in time. Old gramophones playing classic tunes, vintage detailed furniture, and elaborate cocktails. All of the staff members are dressed in period clothing and quite a few enthusiastic patrons are decked-out as well. I really wanted to wear my classic wiggle dress but just couldn’t justify packing it for one occasion. Needless to say I still enjoyed myself at my little table for one, sipping on rather expensive cocktails, and people watching. Even the live entertainment was a great mix of old and new. Not many people can say they have seen a dapper chap playing a “banjulele” and singing The Beastie Boys “You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party” to a 40’s doo-wop beat! Magical I tell you. I can honestly say I was quite taken with this quirky little establishment. The drinks are elaborate and delicious, the food or “ration” menu comes in little tin cans or vintage style lunch boxes and the atmosphere is very charming.

Cahoots1

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience there and would definitely go back the next time I find myself roaming the streets of London…but maybe next time I’ll pack my fancy dress!

Cahoots2

Check out Cahoots for yourself!

And don’t forget…

Follow Me on Social Media:

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XO Loraul

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The Day I Went To Hogwarts!

Well guys, it finally happened! After years and years of patiently waiting; I finally received my Hogwarts letter…just kidding! But, I did get as close to Hogwarts as a muggle can get while in England.

Back story: I went on a family vacation through Europe in the spring of 2011. It was my first visit to London and I was instantly in LOVE! The city felt like home to me, it was easy to navigate and so full of rich history. I was ready to move there and never go back to Canada. But alas, vacations always end and upon returning to Vancouver was when it was announced that Leavesden Studios, where the Harry Potter films were made, would be turned into an interactive museum. I very quickly told myself that if I ever had the chance to go back to London I would go to the studio tour in a heartbeat…and basically, GO TO HOGWARTS!

HarryPotterBus

My decked out tour bus!

Fast forward now to the summer of 2015 and I find out I’ll be in Europe for work in September and I’ve planned a 3 day detour in London for myself. There was no doubt in my mind; I had to take the studio tour. There are lots of routes you can take to book yourself a time slot at the studio (as you cannot just walk in). You can book directly off of the Warner Bros. Studio website (keep in mind the price will be in GBP), or you can book through a consolidator like Viator (which will price in your home currency), or through a tour company like Golden Tours. I chose to book through Viator which as a result, partners with Golden Tours to provide your transportation. I had previously looked on google maps and transportation websites to see if I could take a form of public transportation instead of a tour bus. But it was proving difficult and the cost worked out to be less by booking it as a package through a consolidator. FYI, these tours WILL sell out so buy well in advance if you can. I chose to book a 9am departure so that I would still have most of the afternoon and evening to enjoy London after my tour was done.

Finally, the day arrives. I flew into London the day before, I should probably feel jetlagged but I’m so excited that I can hardly contain myself, I was up at 5:30am which is entirely too early when you’re sharing a hostel dorm with 11 other girls (sorry, not sorry). After a quick breakfast, I was blissfully on my way to the Golden Tours office to catch my train…erm, bus…to Hogwarts. After I arrived and checked in with a large group of other excited muggles (of ALL ages), out of nowhere this huge double decker bus pulls up that is decorated head-to-toe in Harry Potter movie posters. The driver hands you a “Platform 9 3/4” ticket which is essentially your entry into the studios, and soon you’re off and on your way. They even show the first movie on the bus as it’s about an hour drive.

Europe Trip 2015 002

Main entrance to the studio

Aside from the Warner Bros. sign on the outside of the building, it doesn’t look like much. But as soon as you walk in it is filled with smiling employees in Hogwarts robes, a very long queue and token memorabilia on the walls. You do have to queue for a while before entering but there is usually an employee doing trivia and the queue area is also where they keep the original “cupboard under the stairs” set so you can take pictures of it. From there you watch a short film and then the real magic happens: The film screen comes up revealing the ACTUAL Great Hall doors from the set. If you’re lucky enough you may be selected to open them, and from there you enter the Great Hall as it was set for a dinner scene and then you’re off on your own to explore the sets.

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The Hufflepuff Table

As I was alone, I opted to purchase the audio guide which actually was a great resource and offered a lot more information than you would get from just reading the signs. Everything is incredibly detailed down to the thousands of potions bottles that were labelled BY HAND! I could’ve roamed around there all day. Sadly, my camera battery died half way through and my remaining pictures were from my phone.

Europe Trip 2015 049

The Gryiffindor Common Room

After you go through the first part, you basically turn a corner and suddenly you enter a massive room where the Hogwarts Express train is kept, and yes, you can walk through it. From there you go to a café where Butterbeer can be purchased. Yes, you should try it and yes, it is delicious! There is an outside section where the Privet Drive façade and Knight Bus are kept. After that you go into a room where all of the “creatures” are kept. After that you enter a huge Diagon Alley set and then the piece de resistance…the HUGE scale model of the Hogwarts castle. 3hrs later and you’re done. Of course there is a gift shop at the end and yes, I bought a souvenir for myself but how could I not? I did go to Hogwarts after all.

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The Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 3/4!

Leaving was bittersweet. I could have easily spent all day there! One day I’ll go back I’m sure. If you have the opportunity to London, I highly recommend visiting the Warner Bros. studio. Even if you are not a Harry Potter fan and regardless of age, there really is something there for everyone to appreciate.

DiagonAlley1

Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore

HogwartsJumper

My fabulous Hogwarts jumper!

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XO Loraul

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Self Reflection: What I learned traveling solo

MeBackpack

My mum sending me off at the airport *sniffle* *sniffle*

Solo travel is definitely an exciting and growing trend. More and more people are taking the plunge and venturing out on their own and exploring all of the wondrous things this great planet offers. It seems that in the last few years, solo female travel is on the rise as well. A U.S study showed that 72% of women are enthusiastic about solo travel and have traveled on their own for a vacation or work purposes. I don’t think every single solo female traveler got the idea from “Eat, Pray, Love” – but it is an enticing fantasy…quit your job, travel, find yourself, and fall in love…it definitely gets the dreamer in me going.

Recently I was given a really good opportunity to travel to The Netherlands for a “self-discovery” type workshop. It is something that is offered every year to all new employees within our global company. Naturally, I jumped at the chance and quickly accepted the invitation. Then I quickly realized that this was the first time I would be traveling completely alone. Of course, my 3 day work portion would be with other coworkers from around the world (all of whom I have never met) but the remaining 8 days would just be me, myself and I.

I very quickly started day dreaming about all of the attractions I wanted to visit, restaurants I wanted to eat at, souvenirs I wanted to buy…slow down Loraul, let’s dial it back and be more realistic. In reality I only had 3 days in London, 3 days with my coworkers (which was already planned), and 3 days in Amsterdam. I am very much a planner (probably why I’m a travel agent) and so for this experience I really wanted to only plan what was necessary, like hostels and transportation, and let the remainder be where the wind took me. All of my previous “traveling” was family trips to Disneyland and Hawaii, friend trips to Disney World and high school trips to Egypt and China. I felt as if I had something to prove – mostly to myself; that I was capable of doing it alone.

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The only picture of me from my adventure! Merci random couple for offering to take it.

I can say now that I am home and back to my “normal life” that I definitely let the experience guide me and my whirlwind 10 day romance with Europe gave me a lifetime time of memories. As composed as I am on my outer shell, I definitely had some internal meltdowns that a normal person would have while traveling alone: What if I miss my flight? What if my luggage gets lost? What if I run out of money? All of these are logistic things that can be solved one way or another. I was more concerned that I would feel lonely or homesick. I tried not to be too glued to my phone and on social media while I was out. But truthfully, it was nice to text my mum and check-in with her when I felt the need.

I decided to compile a list of the thoughts and realizations that occurred to me while I was away…perhaps they are things other solo travelers have thought as well:

  • Eating alone at a restaurant is weird (the first time)
  • Eating alone at a restaurant is great after the first time
  • I would never go to bar alone at home…but I had no problem doing it while I was away
  • I still refuse to use a selfie stick
  • I love to people watch…if you catch my eye I will watch you and make up a scenario in my head about what you’re doing
  • I’m free to wander as I please
  • I have no agenda, and it’s awesome!
  • I forced myself to talk to locals and strangers alike and as a result I made a few friends
  • It is very liberating to be in a city where nobody knows who I am
  • I have a greater appreciate for “me time” or “alone time”
  • I feel completely at peace with myself

That last point really resonates with me. I have always been a strong-headed and independent person so I was happy to realize that the entire time I was away I was comfortable. I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be at that moment in time. Apparently traveling alone works for me. It is probably not for everyone but there is definitely something to be said for self-discovery, and what better way to do that than to just take the plunge and jump in with both feet.

MePassport

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XO Loraul

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Hello world!

Hello World!

LoraulVolk2

Photo Credit: Dylaina Gollub Photography

Allow me to formally introduce myself. My name is Loraul and I am the creator of Suitcases and Stiletto Heels. I am a Canadian and local Vancouverite with a great passion for dance, anything vintage and of course, travel! So far, I have traveled to over 10 countries (hey, it’s a start). But I have crossed a lot of experiences off my bucket list. Please read below while I go into further detail about Moi.

I originally went to school and studied Travel and Tourism Business Management at Canadian Tourism College and since graduating, I currently work full time for a Humanitarian Travel Agency based out of The Netherlands and with offices around the world! It has certainly broadened my spectrum of where people are going in this great big world and how everyone travels differently.

Did you know that I am also a very passionate dancer? Currently when I am not working 2 jobs, I am strutting my stuff with the seriously fierce, sassy and fabulous ladies of the Army of Sass; a Nuvo-Burlesque and Urban Heels training intensive. About 2 years ago I found myself in serious need of a confidence boost so I joined a gym, got a personal trainer and started weight lifting and wow – big difference both physically and mentally. But I was not exercising my creative side as much as I did when I was a teenager. So I bit the bullet, joined the Army of Sass with a good friend and the rest is history. Who doesn’t want to put on some red lipstick, fishnet stockings and a pair of stilettos on a Saturday morning and dance with your best friends? For all of my ladies out there seeking a good-vibes outlet, this is your answer!

I am grateful for all of the “leap of faiths” I have taken in the last few years. It’s why I’m sitting here attempting to throw together my first blog post. Currently, I have no idea what I am doing but I have a copy of “Blogging for Dummies” next to me with a highlighter all ready to go.

I hope to inspire other dreamers like myself to always embrace what you are most passionate about and live like to the absolute fullest!

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Email: suitcasesandstilettoheels@gmail.com

XO Loraul

LoraulVolk6

Photo Credit: Dylaina Gollub Photography

 

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