San Luis Obispo Mom Adventure Blogs

SLO Craft Beer Fest 2020

February 23, 2020
Two days ago, SanLuisObispoMom.com went to the SLO Craft Beer Fest at the Alex Madonna Expo Center at the famous Madonna Inn property in San Luis Obispo, California. We decided to go with the Friday (Feb 21, 2020) ticket versus the Saturday ticket because it was significantly cheaper and we're hoping it would be less crowded. It was a steady crowd but not overwhelming and we enjoyed ourselves with unlimited tastings and food samples too. We didn't have to bring any extra cash for food and drinks because our ticket included all of that. We only spent extra on t-shirt merchandise. They had over 50 breweries participating for this unlimited tasting event and about 5 - 10 food vendors. There was no way that I could try all 50 breweries. I had to pace myself and limit myself to breweries I've never tried before and limited releases.

(SLO Craft Beer Fest Cup)

(Photo booth was free)

As someone who often is the one taking pictures of everything and everyone else but myself, their free photo booth there was a nice treat for me. I got to keep a photo keepsake of my husband and me attending the event. You get 3 shots and they had fun props you could use to take pictures of yourself or with your group. 

These are pictures of the breweries I've tried. Sometimes my hand would get busy so I couldn't take them all but these breweries were coming from all over California.



Radio Station 100.9 was playing music at the beginning and then a live reggae band started playing towards the latter part of the evening. 



You know you're part of a different era when most of the young people just stand around and watch the live band and afraid to move or bop their head. Those who dance were a rarity and a treat to watch.

My husband and I did not go hungry that night. We had pizza, tacos, bbq sandwiches, chili and there were other options that we didn't even had enough room in our tummies to try!



There were a few other business that sold t-shirts and coasters. 


There were restrooms inside the expo center but the event was also very well prepared with over a dozen porto - potties outside. There was usually a line for the indoor restrooms and never a line for the outdoor porto - potties so go outside instead and ditch the line. 

In all, I totally recommend beer enthusiasts going to this annual SLO Craft Beer Fest event, especially if you haven't tried many of the local beers yet. We've only lived in SLO county for a year so this was such a great opportunity for us to explore many breweries we've heard about but hadn't had a chance to try until we came to this event. There were also a lot of limited releases from breweries there. I can't see why anyone wouldn't be able to enjoy themselves here! It was so fun and the tastings were unlimited, as well as the food! 

This is a 21+ event so adults only and no kids allowed. We found a babysitter to watch our kids for this special event. We also took an Uber to travel there and back, which was pricey but worth it. They were fast and efficient when we were ready for a ride. Some of the local hotels partnered up with this event and offered free shuttles so look into that for a future SLO Craft Beer Fest event.

All photos were taken by SanLuisObispoMom.com, anonymously. Look out for my next blog entry.
 

Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa

February 16, 2020
As a Valentine's Day celebration, my husband and I used the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa gift card he gifted me last November for our 7th anniversary yesterday. We're still having trouble finding a steady babysitter out here and since my parents were planning on visiting us for a few days, we took this chance to have our very first couple's massage together. After our spa time, we also decided to have brunch at Gardens of Avila Restaurant, also inside of Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort. We're still newbies in this area so we're a bit clueless on how things work around here and hopefully, reading about our experience will help you navigate around here better. Scroll down to see more pictures and details from our experience.
(each private mineral spring has green wooden walls like this that you see as you come up the path)

I had called a couple of weeks ahead to book our spa reservation. Our couple's massage comes with a 30 minute soak in the mineral spring. It's a private setting so my husband and I will get to enjoy the soak with just each other. The reservationist also said that we get to go in the 'hot tub' for another 30 minutes after the massage too. I was a bit confused about that so I asked her to confirm if I was hearing this right: 30 minutes in the mineral spring before the couple's massage, 50 minutes of couple's massage and then 30 minutes in the 'hot tub' after the massage. She said yes, I heard right. Well, we didn't get to do the 30 minutes of the "hot tub after" as I expected, which I'll get into detail. 


Coming here, it may be a bit strange but you have to go through the gift shop (different building from the hotel lobby) in order to get to the glass doors of the spa. You give the gift shop personnel your names and then they check the reservation list. After they've verified our names, we were then instructed to go through the back door and through a little cute path, we found our glass door entrance to the spa on the right. Upon entering, the front desk spa personnel asked us to fill out a double-sided form and then we waited to get further instructions for our locker room numbers. 

While waiting for our locker room designation, I sat on the bench and stared at this wonderful lay out of water and teas. It was really relaxing just sitting here and I had an inkling that I was going to really enjoy this experience with my husband. 

When the personnel came out to tell us our locker room numbers, she held out a lock in front of us to instruct us what to do. I proceeded to ask if I had to hit the "#" button at any point because it's there and many other key locks have prompted me to do that in the past and she said "no". Do not hit the "#" key at any point while you are locking and unlocking with the 4 digit code of your choice when using this. Then, my husband and I split into our restrooms. He went to the men's and I went to the women's. We went through different doors to get to our different restrooms from the waiting area and after we're done changing into our robes and locking our clothes and belongings away, we met back in the waiting area again. After a few minutes, the spa personnel said we may enter outside and we'll see flights of stairs directly across from the glass entrance. Our mineral spring area was the one labeled "Gemini". We climbed the stairs and passed by a few other private springs until we've found ours. Be careful when you're climbing the steps and if you have trouble climbing stairs, I really don't see any other way to get to the mineral springs because there are no elevators that I saw as an alternative route and it's all uphill outside. 
(Gemini was ours for 30 minutes)

After we've found our mineral spring and went behind the entrance wall, we've discovered that it's not completely covered with walls around our mineral spring. There's no wall facing the woods so we immediately thought, "wow, hopefully no one can see us and there's no hidden camera" because under our robes, my husband and I were naked. We'd brought our bathing suits but we had left it in the lockers after we've been told that it's a private spa. I guess it is private in the sense that no one would be able to see you if they're coming up the path. This was an interesting and thrilling experience at the same time. 
(you can see the woods while sitting in the mineral spring of "Gemini")

The spa was hot with jets and perfect for a chilly February morning.

When it got close to our appointment time, a staff member knocked on our wall and alerted us that we have 10 minutes to get back to the waiting area for our 11AM couple's massage. My husband and I were ready so we put our robes back on and walked down the path to return to the glass spa entrance. The front desk personnel said we can go back to our locker rooms if we needed to change towels, etc. and we would come back to the waiting room when we're done. So my husband and I split again to go to our gender assigned restrooms, women and men, and returned back to meet in the waiting room. The splitting and meeting again was exciting to me because I felt like each time we did this, it's like another date. Is that weird?

After reuniting again in the waiting room to wait for our masseuses to come get us, a masseuse called out my name and then said we're going to be in room #1. She asked me if we've done this before while my husband's masseuse asked him the same question as we walked towards our assigned massage room. As we entered our private room, there were 2 massage beds side-by-side and we were instructed to lie down, face down in between the sheets. The masseuses left the room for 5 minutes while my husband and I disrobed and slipped into our respective beds. When they came back, they started our massages. My masseuse started massaging my arms, shoulders and back first, then my legs and feet and lastly, my head. It was a wonderful 50 minutes experience. My body was all relaxed with essential oils. The masseuses stepped outside for a few minutes so that we could put our robes back on after it was all done. As we're saying our 'thank you's", my husband asked where the hot tub is and the masseuses were confused. He said we thought we're supposed to get the 'hot tub' for 30 minutes after the massage. Then, they asked if we've already went into the mineral spa and we said "yes" and that, that was it. I was so totally confused but also, really relaxed already and I was okay with not going into the 'hot tub'. My husband was really hungry at this point so he was okay with not going into a 'hot tub' after our massage as well. So, we split again for the third (also last) time during our spa session and went to our respective restrooms to put our clothes back on.

After we were both ready, we met in the waiting room and checked out at the front desk at the spa. I don't know why but I didn't think about asking about the 'hot tub' post-massage session for clarification but both my husband and I were so relaxed and hungry. We were just anxious to eat at the Gardens of Avila on the property so maybe that was why it just didn't cross our minds.

My husband and I were clueless on how much we're supposed to tip a masseuse so we went with standard the 15 - 20% and tipped each our masseuse $25. Our total came out to $330 with tip. I don't think we'll be doing these Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa visits very often! It was a very special spa experience, however, the post-massage 'hot tub' question somehow lingers in the background. More on that actually comes up unexpectedly again while we're brunching at the restaurant!

As we stepped out of the beautiful glass spa doors, exited the gift shop, made our way up the path towards the resort lobby and into the Gardens of Avila Restaurant, we've discovered that the quaint and unique lay out of this restaurant was definitely a perfect ending to the 3 hours we've allotted to this Valentine's Day date before we'd return to our precious little boys and relieve my parents of their babysitting duties.

We didn't make a reservation for our brunch at Gardens at Avila Restaurant but there was no wait so we were seated at the two-top by the window immediately. It's always easier when you're just dining as two, isn't it? They had pink napkins laid out. I don't know if the napkins here are always pink or if it's because of Valentine's Day weekend but they really brightened up the room.
(Inside of Gardens of Avila inside of Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort)

I loved the ambiance right away. The bar is especially interesting because the bar counter was not high like other typical bars. However, the staff behind the bar looked little because they had to step down when they entered the back space. That was very memorable and I like that uniqueness. I would like to sit at the bar in the future someday. For our Valentine's Day celebration, I was happy to sit at a table by the window with my husband to enjoy a rare brunch with just the two of us.

The food menu is small but appropriate. The drink menu has local craft beers, wines and specialty cocktails. I ordered the SLO Manhattan but they were out of the 1776 whiskey, so I ended up enjoying just a "Manhattan". It came with two cherries and was a powerful drink. One was plentiful.
(Manhattan cocktail at Gardens of Avila Restaurant)

For food, I ordered the blue crab & avocado benedict and my husband ordered the chicken & waffles. They were both very delicious. I'm a fan!


Service was attentive but not overbearing which is perfect for us. As we were finishing our meals, I overheard a lady patron at the bar saying that they're about to do a couple's massage and how she was excited about it because they will get to do a 30 minute pre-soak before the massage and then a 30 minute "soak" after the massage. So, there it was, even she got that same information as well, somewhere.

I think what happened was our masseuses were probably not regular staff members here during Valentine's Day weekend and I will ask the front desk spa personnel when we come back next time, whenever we can afford that again. Learn from our lesson and make sure you get any clarifications needed with the front of the house staff, in this case front desk spa personnel.

So, after 2 blissful hours with my husband that included a private mineral spring sit-in, 50 minutes of couple's massage, a wonderful brunch on the same property, I thought I couldn't be any more impressed until I went to the lobby restroom across the way to wash up. Upon washing my hands, I've discovered that the facet ring would light up every time I turned the facet on. This fascination led me to stay in the restroom longer than expected, but my husband didn't mind. See video below of my facet intrigue.


Address of Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa: 1215 Avila Beach Drive, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(steps to the mineral spas)

All photos were taken by SanLuisObispoMom.com. Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa did not know I was coming and writing a personal experience. I was treated like everyone else; guests coming in to celebrate Valentine's Day.
 

Tropical Hawaiian BBQ Arroyo Grande Review

February 15, 2020
Yesterday, on Valentine's Day, we decided to try out the new Hawaiian restaurant in Arroyo Grande called Tropical Hawaiian BBQ. It's located in the same shopping center as another Hawaiian place that serves coffee and food called Red Dirt Coffee House. They are not the same owners, however.

I'm happy to say that Tropical Hawaiian BBQ is exactly what I think a Hawaiian restaurant would be like. The menu includes katsu chicken, loco moco, kalbi ribs and other Hawaiian entrees. I ordered the Daily Special B which include katsu chicken, one scoop of white rice and one scoop of macaroni salad and I did not finish my meal. The portions were huge! 

The katsu chicken reminded me of the ones I would get from L & L's and that's saying a lot! We don't have an L & L's around here in SLO but this is a great alternative!

My husband ordered the Loco Moco (regular size) and that usually comes with 2 scoops of rice and a scoop of macaroni salad but since he doesn't like macaroni salad, he omitted it. This size seriously is enough to feed two regular eaters.

They slap a lot of gravy on top so if you don't want it, tell them to skip the gravy or put it in a different container.



I also liked the newness of Tropical Hawaiian BBQ. The gray countertops were sleek and the staff was eager to serve. They had balloons out in front of the restaurant when we came. 

All in all, I'm happy that we have a new Hawaiian restaurant here. I can't wait to come back and try their shrimp!
Tropical Hawaiian BBQ Address: 1436 E Grand Ave, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

 
This review, like many others, were not sponsored and the staff did not know I was coming in and writing a review.
 

Pacific Flips Gymnastics Birthday Party

February 9, 2020
We planned a birthday party for our 6 year old at Pacific Flips Gymnastics at the Grover Beach location and it was fantastic! Our son and his guests had an amazing time. 

You can pick from 2 packages: 90 minutes or 2 hours and we went with the 2 hours for $205. This $205 package we picked included 90 minutes of playtime led by a party host (we had two) who guided them through games and instructions and then another 30 minutes were spent finishing the party with pizza and cupcakes that we brought. This package covered 10 participating kids and the birthday child is free. For any additional kids, it's only $10 more. I thought that was a good deal considering it covered the space, games and instructions, bathrooms, seating area and a lot of fun.
(tables and chairs set up already by them upon my arrival)

I brought my table cloths, plates, napkins, utensils, pizza, cakes, drinks, party favors, balloons, etc to decorate the tables. My son has been really into Minecraft so we did a bit of a Minecraft theme. We got square-shaped balloons from the Dollar Tree store, bought Minecraft napkins from Party City in Santa Maria, baked our Minecraft-themed cakes, made a Creeper center piece using cardboard and a green tablecloth and also TNT-themed party favors for our guests to take home.
(how table looks after decorating)

I had forgotten to take a picture of my tray of TNT party favors at the party but thankfully I had taken a picture right after I had finished making them a couple of weeks before the party. What's inside of this pretend TNT (dynamite) are two chalk sticks. I just wrapped red wrapping paper around them and created a personal message on white paper to thank the guests for coming. See image below.
(TNT party favor I created as part of our Minecraft birthday theme)

There were two rooms where the kids got to play in. 
(This was one of the rooms.)

They gave me 30 minutes to set up ahead of time and meet the party hosts to go over the plan of our 2 hour slot. Both of the party hosts were very welcoming and easy to talk to. The kids listened to them well and followed their game instructions. After the kids seemed tired and it was getting close to our last 30 minutes, the party hosts led all the kids to the bathrooms and instructed them to wash their hands before eating pizza and enjoying some cake. This was very helpful. As they all sat down, they all got so quiet. The obstacles, games and jumping got them really tired and they devoured their pizza while they sat and rested. That's very telling for a dozen kindergarteners and we chose a peaceful moment to light up the candles and sang happy birthday to the birthday boy. As a mommy, I was very satisfied with this party event space. The timing and activities were appropriate for this age group. Even though it was only two hours and I didn't do any jumping like the kids did, I was also very tired. The birthday boy fell sleep early that night after the party. It was 6:30pm when he decided that it was time to go to sleep, on his very own. The jumping and playing for those 90 minutes were high energy and fun and our kindergartener had spent all his energy for the day. It was a very happy birthday.

Address of the Pacific Flips Gymnastics at the Grover Beach location: 1554 W Grand Ave, Grover Beach, CA 93433. To see other places to have kids' birthdays in San Luis Obispo county, go to: http://www.sanluisobispomom.com/family-friendly-events.php#birthdayparty.



 Minecraft Decoration ideas:
  
 

Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach

January 30, 2020
One of the more popular things to do in San Luis Obispo County is visit the Monarch butterflies at Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach. It's free to visit and free to park. It also leads to a walking trail that is parallel to the ocean. You could go towards the Grover Beach side and see amazing views of Grover Beach and Pismo Beach by going on the Meadow Trail or go North and walk near the RV's and continue along that route until it leads you to the boardwalk and Pismo Beach Pier. Either direction will lead you to the beach. 

If you only want to stick to the Monarch Butterfly Grove main area only, you can also enjoy a picnic there because there are many picnic tables and benches. 

There's usually a porto potty there for visitors to use. During the busier seasons, there are usually quite a few.

The Monarch butterflies usually come here during the fall and then leave when winter ends. However, you are welcome to visit the Monarch Butterfly Grove year-round! It's always open as it's a public state park. Parking can be really hard during the busy tourist season. You park in the dirt in front of the grove or you can parallel park on the other side of the road. Many can just walk here if they don't mind walking from their hotel if it's within a reasonable distance.

Here are the pictures of the Meadow Trail that connects from the Monarch Butterfly Grove to Grover Beach. The views going this direction are phenomenal. 

I've taken my son on the Meadow Trail using a jogger stroller. I would not recommend bringing a side-by-side double stroller as it can be narrow and people do come from both directions.

This is the view of Grover Beach walking on the Meadow Trail. Grover Beach is a smaller beach in comparison to Pismo Beach but Grover Beach is the beach that connects you to the famous dunes. It's the starting point from this end. 

This is the entrance sign you can find as you enter the Meadow Trail from the Grover Beach side instead of the Monarch Butterfly Grove side. You can also park in Grover Beach for free right by the Fin's Restaurant on Grand Ave.

If you were to turn around and head back to the Monarch Butterfly Grove on the Meadow Trail, this is the Pismo Beach view you would see. It's breathtaking and I enjoy this walk every time I come here. 

In the middle of the Meadow Trail is an uphill path to go to the shady trees. Past these trees is the ocean and it's a great picture taking spot and a good stopping point to rest your knees too. The Meadow Trail is free and open year round.

All photos were taken by SanLuisObispoMom.com.
See other beach pictures in San Luis Obispo County taken by SanLuisObispoMom.com.
 

Talley Vineyards Review

January 30, 2020
We visited Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande today. Arroyo Grande (AG) is part of San Luis Obispo county on the Central Coast of California. Talley Vineyards is one of the more popular vineyards in AG. It's located in the middle of a lot of farms and wineries so you won't find a lot of restaurants or other types of businesses nearby. 

This vineyard hosts a lot of events throughout the year with some that are family-friendly. Their wine member lounge is not, however. Although their wine member lounge is adults only, their tasting room is kid-friendly so there are toys in the back corner for them to play to keep them occupied while you do a taste. Inside of the tasting room, a lot of the decor is brown wood so there is a rustic feel to this, compared to the other wineries in Edna Valley that are only 5 minutes away. Do visit Edna Valley if you are in Arroyo Grande because it is very close by and has dozens of wineries for you to try! See other wineries that SanLuisObispoMom.com visited. 


Their patio area is very inviting and although they can't have wedding receptions at this winery, baby showers and bridal showers have taken place here. You would need to arrange a special party date with Talley Vineyards ahead of time to figure out the right set-up. 

The cost of the tasting that my husband and I shared was $20 and it included 5 tastings. Here is the list we were presented with when we came in (see image below). If you check in on Yelp, you can get a 10% off deal for a wine bottle purchase. I'm not sure how long this promotion on Yelp will be active for so always check and see!

Address of Talley Vineyards: 3031 Lopez Dr, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
To see other wineries that SanLuisObispoMom.com has visited, go to our Wineries blog list.
 

Meadow Park in San Luis Obispo has a playground

January 23, 2020
Located not too far from the famous Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo is a very family-friendly, pet-friendly and picnic-friendly park called Meadow Park.

With a lot of green grass and playground, you'll find a lot of activities happening here. With trails all around the park, you can take an easy stroll or exercise. 

It's also dog-friendly and many come here to walk their dogs. Parking may be difficult when there is a large party happening. Address of Meadow Park: 2333 Meadow St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401


Too see other parks with playgrounds in San Luis Obispo County, go to the Family-Friendly Activities page.
 

Flagship Review in Pismo Beach

January 7, 2020
Over the weekend, my family and I went to Flagship for the very first time! We've lived in San Luis Obispo County for exactly a year now and it's just recently that we came here! 

Flagship is a seafood restaurant located in Pismo Beach, California (part of San Luis Obispo County). It has phenomenal views of the Pismo Beach Pier and the Shell Beach side as well. Check out these views from our seats.
(view of Pismo Beach pier from inside of Flagship Seafood Restaurant)

(view of Shell Beach from our very same seats)

If you get to sit right by the window, this place could be so memorable for a special lunch or dinner. They had a kid's menu that came with many options. They also have a boat in the middle where guests can sit in but our stroller wasn't going to fit up there so we sat at a booth by the window! It was chosen for us because of our big double side-by-side stroller and our kids were going to continue to sit in it during our lunch.

My husband chose the ahi tuna while I went big and went for the Dungeness crab pot boil!
(Ahi Tuna dish had a good portion)
(my crab boil was 1 lb of Dungeness crab with potatoes and corn in Cajun sauce)

The food was fresh and fantastic! I had four choices for sauce for the crab boil and I picked the original Cajun. It was delicious and I had no regrets!


Flagship has a unique atmosphere and service too. Their operations are efficient and the servers are prompt and friendly. When you are ready to order your food, you put this pirate flag up! That idea entertained the kids.

They also have a bar area and serve specialty cocktails, beer and wine. There were also local options too.

Flagship address: 1601 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

(Note: This restaurant review and many others are anonymous reviews by SanLuisObispoMom.com. They did not know I was coming and planning on writing a review. I was just a patron coming in to enjoy a nice lunch with my family.)
 

Grover Beach T-Shirts

December 27, 2019
I was recently on a hunt for Grover Beach t-shirts and went to 5 different stores and called a couple of places before we found a local store that sold Grover Beach t-shirts. At the CVS in Grover Beach/Arroyo Grande borderline is a t-shirt section and they sold plenty of Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande and California t-shirts but none for Grover Beach! The same went for the 2 Rite Aids located on Grand Avenue. I went to a couple of t-shirt shops near the Pismo Pier and they had hundreds of Pismo Beach and Oceano Dunes t-shirts but none for Grover Beach as well. Grover Beach is located geographical between Pismo Beach and Oceano Dunes so it didn't seem fair to me that they didn't offer a single Grover Beach t-shirt! We finally found a few Grover Beach t-shirts locally at K J B Sportwear at 244 W Grand Ave. They seem to also do customized work if you have a business you need t-shirts for too.

If you want to be efficient and have a larger variety to pick from, your best bet is online. Amazon and Ebay have Grover Beach T-shirts. They have many vintage styles.


There are also more simpler designs too. Most of them are black or white.


There are also 805 area code t-shirts. This area code encompasses Grover Beach, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and pretty much most, if not all, of the Central Coast of California. There's also a local beer company that produces a beer called 805 so you'll see a lot of t-shirts made by them with that area code too. 


See all other Grover Beach T-shirts.
 

Comparing 3 Day Blinds and Lowe's Blinds

December 19, 2019
Blinds are so surprisingly expensive to buy. We learned this from moving into a home that did not have a single blind and had to go shopping for them. I have 13 windows and 2 sliding doors to find blinds/shades for!

Upon doing my research on blinds, I started getting ads from 3 Day Blinds on my facebook newsfeed (spies!). They were promoting their buy 1, get the second one 50% off. They also offered free consultation so I filled out the online form to request a date to schedule a consultation. Now, I had already gone to Lowe's and scheduled someone to come to my house and get my blinds measured for quoting too. Lowe's charges a $50 something fee to have someone come to the house and measure the blinds so that is an immediate cost if you want to get someone to come in and do a quote through Lowe's. 3 Day Blinds' quoting estimation consultation is free. However, besides for the initial quoting and measuring, everything else from Lowe's is much more inexpensive!

Scheduling
Before I show you my quotes, I wanted to touch upon the ease of scheduling for both companies. Lowe's called me the following day after I had paid my $50 something dollars at the Lowe's Store in Santa Maria to have a consultation and measuring. They were thorough with asking questions so that they can figure out if they needed to bring a ladder or not. I have two windows that are very high up so I told them they would definitely need one. We scheduled for them to come the next day on a Tuesday. So, so far the timeline is, I came on a Sunday at Lowe's, their blinds person called me the following day on a Monday and we scheduled for the measuring on Tuesday (day after the call). 

3 Day Blinds called me a day after I submitted the form. I submitted the form on a Monday and they actually allowed you to select a time and date. They called me on a Tuesday to confirm and that they're coming on Wednesday, as I had requested on the form. Therefore, the quote date from 3 Day Blinds is just a day after Lowe's in-house measurement session. 

Measuring & Consultation
When Lowe's came in and measured, I could tell the gentleman was a busy pro. He had a truck with a ladder ready to work and works for many companies and Lowe's is one of them. He used a traditional measuring tape and did it very efficiently and gave me pointers on my abnormally horizontally long window and we went with a fabric shade instead of faux wood horizontal blinds for that one. He also was the one who gave me an immense pointer that I could use 4 shades for 1 remote control if I wanted to have motorized blinds for 4 of the blinds. That way, I didn't have to order 4 different remote controls and save money. However, I realized quickly that motorized blinds are super expensive and only went with 2 motorized blinds because those are the only ones that I cannot reach.

When 3 Day Blinds came to the door, she didn't come in a truck. I noticed that right away because I was expecting her to come with a ladder but if she doesn't have a truck then she can't carry a ladder with her. I don't remember if she drove here in a small SUV or a small car of some sort, but it definitely wasn't a truck. Instantly I wondered how she was going to measure 2 of my really tall windows. When she came in, she introduced herself to me and we talked for a few minutes. At this point, I was really confused. I read online that 3 Day Blinds would bring in the samples for me to see during the consultation. She didn't have them in her hands. She was asking me what I was looking for in blinds and I told her that I don't have any blinds in the home and need new ones for all of them. I also mentioned that I am also comparing 3 Day Blinds with Lowe's. Then, she asked me if I was looking for the best price. I told her, not necessarily. I'm looking for the right blinds for my home. The truth is, of course I want the best deal but of course for the type of blinds I want to get and since I found their buy 1, get the second 1 50% off promotion, I figured that would help me somewhat. After chit chatting for a few minutes, she said she needed to go back to her car and get her binders and then come back. So, I'm thinking she wanted to feel me out before committing to a full session with me and walking through my house to see all the blinds. That was really strange and unprofessional. I felt like I was being judged and had to meet certain parameters or something. If she was worried about wasting time, she should have gotten a conversation with me over the phone first before coming here. Maybe 3 Day Blinds could do this a bit better.

After she came back, we started with the 4 windows on the first floor. Then as we walked upstairs, she saw my high windows and told me she doesn't have a ladder so she can't measures all of them but can give me an estimate. Lowe's did a thorough measurement session while 3 Day Blinds could only 'guess' for 2 of them. However, she did measure the ones she could with the battery-operated electronic measuring tool she had in her hand. After walking through the second floor of my home, she opened up the blinds' binders with all the samples and let me see which ones I was interested in. I felt like the selection was less than what I saw in the Lowe's binders at the Santa Maria location but she said that 3 Day Blinds builds and creates their own blinds so if I order with them, I could get my blinds in and installed within 2 - 3 weeks. Lowe's said they probably couldn't get the blinds ready and installed until a month after so 3 Day Blinds does offer a shorter timeline. After narrowing down my shade color, faux wood blinds and vertical blinds, she printed my quote out from her portable printer. Even with the buy 1, get 1 50% off offer (and do mention it to them in case they forget to apply it), my total was still over $6,000. Wow, I had no idea how blinds could be so expensive! Then I noticed that they also charge for shipping and handling, which is something Lowe's does not charge! The installation fee is also significantly more expensive.

The sub-total was $5,975.00, package & handling was $353.76, installation fee was $944.33. The discount I got for the buy 1, get 1 50% for 3 Day Blinds was -$1,180.00 and sales tax was $399.03. The quote total came out to $6,492.12! I was starting to feel really dizzy when I saw all of this. Then she said if I ordered today, I would get them completed within 2 - 3 weeks, before Christmas. I told her Lowe's has not called me with their quote yet so I am waiting on that before I can move forward. I thanked her for her time and never heard from her again. 

Lowe's Great Customer Service
After the measurements have been submitted to the Lowe's Santa Maria, a lady from Lowe's at the Santa Maria location called me a couple of days after to let me know I could come in and finalize my blinds selection in person. I told her that I had looked at some patterns already and if I gave her the model number, if she could do the estimate over the phone, that would really help me out. She said "yes" and took all the model numbers from me and promised to call me back the next day. She did and the estimate came out to be just a bit over $3,000. I asked her if that included any shipping or handling fees. She said there are no shipping & handling fees when I'm ordering blinds from them. Score! Then I asked about the installation fee. She quoted that it's only $200 something. 3 Day Blinds' installation quote was over $900! It's such a huge difference. After she gave me the quote, she said I can come in and finalize the paper work because she would need me to sign a lot of papers and get my signature. I asked her if I needed to ask for her. She said anyone under the blinds department could help me. I love that flexibility because I couldn't come to Lowe's that very day. 

Lowe's Blind Selection
Even though I had thought I knew what I wanted, after seeing the blinds' folder again in person, I realized I needed to change some things again. I'm so glad they asked me to come in again to fill out the actual paperwork so that I can make sure I made the right selections. I ordered 3 types of blinds: 9 horizontal faux wood blinds (pretty standard), 2 vertical blinds and 4 shades. Because my vertical blinds were already stock blinds, I saved so much money! It just so happens that the design I liked the best for my sliding doors were stock blinds they had! Thank God! I found out that what will be delaying my installation is the shades. The shades take them longer to make because they're made out of state. Anyway, for the price, I was willing to wait a week longer and went with Lowe's instead of 3 Day Blinds. Here's the receipt of my Lowe's blinds order: 

I took advantage of their 20% off sale on certain brands for a limited time so that also contributed to the price as well. Subtotal for blinds: $2,542.77 (Combine Invoice 76761 and 76762; Invoice 23352 on the receipt was for a Gatorade my husband bought so don't count that). Tax is $219.45, no shipping and handling fee, and the installation fee (Invoice 76760) is 212.99. I want to note that since my husband is a veteran, there was also a 10% off discount added too. The total for our blinds, including all blinds and shades, taxes, installation fee came out to $2,975.21. If our family were not a veteran's family, it would have been roughly about $3,300, still significantly cheaper than 3 Day Blinds!

So there you have it:
3 Day Blinds: $6,492.12 vs. Lowe's: $2,975.21. 

It was a no brainer for me. I was willing to wait a week or 2 longer to get my blinds if that meant I was saving over 50%. In the mean time, I installed temporary paper blinds in our bedrooms so that my family have a bit of privacy until then.


I bought my temporary paper blinds from Bed Bath & Beyond but you can find them at Home Depot or Lowe's too. If you want to see them online, you can find these temporary paper blinds on Amazon online. I personally bought then for less than $10 each but prices may be different for you. Best of all, you don't need any tools to install them! It's basically just a long sticker on the top. They stay intact pretty well in the bedrooms and when you're ready to remove them, they don't seem to strip the paint off. I got the gray ones but they also offered them in white.
 

About Me


SanLuisObispoMom.com Originally from San Diego, California, the publisher of SanLuisObispoMom.com is a San Diego State University alumna, veteran's wife and mom of two kids who were born two years apart. After living on the East Coast for 6 years, they now reside in San Luis Obispo County and here the exploration continues.

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