Posts Tagged With: Birthday

Honeymoon Road trip – part 2!

Our honeymoon happened to overlap with Matts birthday so I wanted our next pitstop to be extra special. Utah or Nevada, hmmm. I searched for hidden jems and popular attractions and didn’t have to look any farther once landing on this beauty….

The Mystic Hot Springs of Monroe Utah!

👉🏽 CLICK HERE to see the video of our adventure at the Springs!

It’s a quaint little community many miles away from well, anything! Although the main attraction was the natural hot springs that bubble up on the property, the selling point for me was the accommodations. You had your choice between a van, covered wagon or old fashion school bus, all which had been converted into lovable spaces. We chose the bus!

The outside had a small patio which was the perfect space for Matt to cook us up some dinner on our camping stove while we sat and took in the ambiance. Inside there was a small dining area, full bed, couch and sink that took up most of the space with a bright tapestry separating the door from the room. The door, mind you, was the original swinging model with no lock or safe way of securing it completely closed. The bright side was being surrounded by people who generally gave off the hippie “one love” vibe with no concern of taking from you. A lot of bare feet, beards, braids and smiles greeted us as we walked the property.

The highlight of our stay was by far the music! We happen to hit the weekend when a female bluegrass brand was passing through. The Sweet Lilies had a magnetic way of drawing you in to their soulful sound and unique style. We were sitting front row and enjoyed every minute! To make it even more memorable, one of the girls had spoke with Matt prior and found out he was a musician as well. This led to them inviting him on stage to jam out for a few songs, what a rare opportunity!

If you’re ever driving through the dessert of Monroe Utah and need some entertainment or place to crash, I highly suggest you take a dip in the springs and walk the grounds barefoot!

The rest of our trip was through the dry desert of Nevada finally landing us in Northern California. Here’s a few more random photos to wrap up the road trip!

Categories: Accommodations, Art, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Handstanding to donate!

It’s that time of year again! I did a handstand with the intention of having you to take a shot for how long I held it. The person with the closest guess will then choose where herhappytrails donates this years $50 cash! 

Last year was 33 seconds and a split win! A special thanks to my buddy Cruz Gaskins who donated right back to herhappytrails (sneaky gift that was) and to Jessica Rendon for choosing the Rainforest Affiliation! 

Click here to watch the handstand from 2015

The year prior was 41 seconds and the charity that Mark Philipps decided on was Make a Wish Foundation!

Click here to watch the handstand from 2014

After 5 years and hundreds of handstands I still love to be upspide down, preferably in a place that I don’t speak the language and where several locals question my mental stability. Until that next brilliant opportunity, here’s a few examples of the toe points seen in the Handstanding around the world page.

Not that it will help your guess in any way, shape or form…. but below is a cute little collage of the first two years with the current handstand on the right. Good luck!

Now you ask, “But Erika, how do we ever join in this glorious fun?!” 

Easy as 1,2,3:

1. Make a guess.

2. Apply it in the comments below, email it to herhappytrails@yahoo.com or on Facebook.

3. Wait for the reveal! (On Dec 31st)

Much gratitude for taking the energy to read, contribute and continue spreading the joy of giving!
Many cheers and one love,
Erika Mae Young
RESULTS 18 seconds!  This year I had a little fun with the shot and went with a shorter time and more entertainment! Thanks for all the votes and major vote and the winner is sweet Erin Sanders! Her charity of choice will be announced soon. ​

Categories: Fitness, Polls, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Love in the shape of music, art and traveling sand

Ok, catch up time! I’m currently sitting on the floor of the Fort Lauderdale airport. Why the floor? Ever have the time and space for stretching, flexing or relaxing? Use it! Check out my favorite airport session in the post Workout and rest up in Asian airports

Ok, why am I in route and where am I going… I’ll get back to that after I do a quick round up of the last few weeks. Here’s a few events that I probably should of done entirely separate posts for, but I didn’t, so here we go.

Music, art and beach time!

I’ll give you one guess on the talent that mom and I chose to spend time with? After the  several posts I’ve published on here, you’d have every right to assume it was the band Heritage. How lucky we were that my talented friends Dannica and her brother Ben were starting it off! Schatzti and the String Boffin opened in this backwoods feeling venue with grass as the dance floor, fire pits for warmth and a wooden built stage. Look familiar? This was the original venue in which I was first introduced to their happy and healing tunes. Welcome back to the Backyard Boogie



Art comes into play with a birthday! Matt celebrated his back on October 26th by hosting his first art reveal! From creative paint to photography and light painting, there was a variety of eye and mind stimulation. Go ahead, take a look around! 

Like what you see? Check out the real deal on his website by clicking Here!

We created a little bit of food art to compliment the drinks for the guests attending.

What goes well with food, drinks and art? Music of course! He brought in a few of his instruments for a proper set up and led with an open invite for whom ever wanted to participate.

What a stunning sunset to close out a successful birthday event!

The beach visit of this post has a warm undertone as there was great purpose for mom and I to wander to the shore with an empty container and camera. My sweet Grams back in Oklahoma has never seen the white sand of Florida and often questions the texture and shells that lay within. With this knowledge, mom had a brilliant idea of collecting some and bringing it back to her home in middle America. Good call mom!

Side note, I really did bring it back to her and it’s now the hot topic of her visitors (who are all used to the red dirt and rocks of Oklahoma).
So that wraps up a few pages to the last chapter, and yes, there’s a new one about to begin!  Thanks for supporting and being such a grand part of this incredible journey. I now invite you to love yourself and those around you with the pure kindness. Cheers to all of you beautiful souls! 

I’m being asked to stand as they just announced, “Now boarding, flight 385 direct to Bridgetown, Barbados.”

Next stop… Sandy toes and sun kissed salty hair!

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Guess, win, give… Birthday round 2 winners!

Last year, I found much joy in donating my birthday funds to a charity of a friends choice.  How’d this happen? I held a handstand and gave everyone the chance to guess the length of time in which I allowed the blood to rush to my figer tips. If you havn’t seen that 41 seconds of random upside down entertainment, feel free to see the post and video at Guess, win, give… I love birthdays! 

The closest guess made by a local buddy Mark got to donate to any chariy in care of Her Happy Trails. See his choice in the post Make a wish donation.  Oh the beauty of paying it forward!

Well there’s nothing new or fancy this year, just the intention of giving a little with some upside-down fun being the foundation! Take a wild guess on how long this years birthday handstand was held. The closest estimation will choose the charity in which herhappytrails.com will donate $100. Guess it to the very second and you’ll recieve $50 US dollars to your bank account. (Perfect timing for the holidays if I don’t say so myself!)

 If you havn’t seen the page called Handstanding around the world, I highly suggest it. Nothing to read or ponder, just some images that I’m honored to of been a part of.  For all who have asked, “Did you have someone take those… a stranger, a friend?” or “Is that a self timer?”.  Yes, yes and yes!  Most of them I’ve done alone consuming many afternoons of the giggles while attempting to time it just right.  Nobody walking through the picture, with me in proper form and most importantly, without the camera tipping over mid shot. Sometimes I’ll recieve help from a random stranger (enter new friend here) who has watched my struggle of camera, timer, sprint, handstand and hold. Other times, I’ll have a fellow travel partner aside me that is always willing and extremely patient to partake in the chaos of that hadstanding backpacker.  Thanks friends! 

Below is just a glimpse of what now has reached to over 200 handstands around the world! 

  

 

UPDATE: Naturally my goal was to beat last years time, however after a few attempts it was clear that the time would be the very age I turned this year… 33 seconds (in a slight breeze) takes the birthday cake! Congratulations to Cruz Gaskins and Jessica Rendon for guessing it exactly!  

Click here to watch the handstand video!

Sweet little Cruz made the decision to recylce his winnings and donate back to herhappytrails.com (enter heart felt sigh here). I send much gratitude and all my love to him and his family as their generosity was felt immediently. Check out his adorable contribution to the list of estimations. He should win an award just for that smile!   
Jessica chose to send her portion to the Rainforest Alliance . This foundation was established in 1987 and is described as an international nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods. My favorite vision they share is to create a world where people and planet prosper together.  

 

 

 

 

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I traded my flip flops in for walking boots

I gave my hugs to the wonderful hosts in Trinidad as they dropped me to the airport. This was would be the last of my island days (for now) as it’s time to meet up with more friends for a journey north!  
Imagine going from months of this…  

  To the sight of this! 

 Why on earth would I do such a thing? Today I’ll give you three reasons.

1. To visit my girl Bree! You’ve got to remember this angel from years past. We met on the unforgettable flight from Malaysia, found each other in Cambodia, ate our way through Thailand, reunited for Kadooment in Barbados and now, for the first time… we connect state side!  

2. To meet up with my go-to travel buddy!
 Hayden is coming from California to meet me on the east coast! For those of you that have not heard of him (welcome to my blog), here’s a recap on our moments around the globe! 

  
 3. This is the main hub for most transfers heading over seas.  After our brief stay in New York, Hayden and I are off to the land of Irish porridge and green pastures (or in our case, Guinness and castles).

Pretend I say the next portion of this post all in one breath because that’s what it felt like! Inhale, pause… and begin!

Since Bree is getting ready to move, our accommodations were wherever we could squeeze in thanks to her generous friends and their floor space. The first place was an adorable apartment with plenty(ish) of kitchen room for a blow up mattress. Care for a midnight snack? Sorry. Living quarters number two was a bit larger with a few creative space-making techniques. Check out there utensil rack! 

  
Pillow number three was a treat after admiring the floors above. Since Hayden, Bree and I pitched in for an Air B&B, it was like our own little flat for the last day of the trip. (I forgot to take a photo, oops!) This is also where we celebrated Bree’s birthday with scissors to her lovely locks.  Check out this transformation! Happy birthday my friend, glad I could be a part of it!  

   
 Here are all the photos I took from our 72 hours together in the Big Apple, yep… a whirlind.

 Leaving friends is always a bitter-sweet feeling not really knowing the next time we’ll meet, however excited for the next chapter. Our outbound flight was a direct red-eye straight into Dublin, the capital of Ireland. Impressive that we look more vibrant after the flight? Here’s a before and after… 

 

Next up, Dublin!

With just a day to scoot around, we wandered the popular neighborhood of Temple Bar and outer edges. These are the streets that confirm that Dublin still holds the record for youngest by population in all of Europe. Nealry 50% of those who abide here are under 25 years old!

   

    
   
   
   
    
   
Thought of the day: For one year, would you rather live…

A. On the top story with a roof terrace in New York 

B. A studio bungalow on a beach in the Caribbean

C. Above a historical pub in Ireland

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32 candles on 32 peddles

For my birthday this year, my only request was laughter. Comedy, friends, music… Anything was acceptable as long as smiles were included! Solution? A 15 person bicycle!

Sac Brew Bike is a company located in Sacramento that provides a man powered bike that seats 15 plus a driver. The faster you peddle, the quicker you go. A professional driver (not me) takes your group to designated locations for each pit stop. Saddle up, buckle in and peddle away!

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Side note: The mustaches seen on most of us were grown within seconds using adhesive and slight pressure. More about that later.

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Leave it to me to underestimate the amount of super-friends that would show up rain or shine. With a bike that seats 15 and 18 amazing friends, I was fortunate that three of them had brought their own bikes to meet up with us. Thus, we now have a crew following the beast. I’m secretly thankful this happened as we took turns on the single bike which was just as much fun!

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Back to the staches… We were debating on superhero capes or party hats when my dear friend Liz simply helped the decision and suggested mustaches. Brilliant! You really can’t take yourself serious when rockin the fur below your nose.

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Here are some random photos taken at a few of the pubs. No captions needed…

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Dear birthday-cycle crew, you absolutely made this event most memorable and entertaining… Couldn’t have done it without you (literally, the bike wouldn’t of moved). The laughter and jokes with open minded, mustache wearing friends was exactly what I wished for. Thank you so much for trekking out in the rain and bringing your positive energy in addition. I love you all!

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Guess, win, give… I love Birthdays!

Last year for my birthday, I opened a donation page with the intentions of distributing funds in small doses throughout the world. Primarily within personal contact, small foundations and local families. Since that glorious event, Herhappytrails has been able to gift in so many ways! Clean water in Africa, local chefs in Thailand, rescue sex trafficking in Cambodia and Sacramento, local schools and yes, this includes the ice bucket challenge as well.

If you’re new to this little journey of mine, I’ve been handstanding around the world for almost three years now. This year I’m feeling a little quirky, so here’s the deal:

I recorded myself doing a handstand for the fun of… Well, for fun! I’m giving you until December 1, 2014 to estimate how long I had the sky at my feet! The person who guesses to the nearest time will get to choose from 5 foundations in which Herhappytrails will donate the next $100.

BONUS: If you guess the exact amount of time, we will give $50 to any person or charity of your choice! An incredible teacher, thoughtful nurse, amazing neighbor, a school, local business, a student in need of educational funds… It’s your call!

Easy as 1,2,3:
1. Make a guess.
2. Apply it in the comments below, email it to herhappytrails@yahoo.com or on Facebook.
3. Wait for the reveal!

Much gratitude for taking the energy to read, contribute and continue spreading the joy of giving!

Many cheers and one love,
Erika Mae Young

Fun fact about this photo: I was house sitting alone, so I set my camera to self timer and had no idea their little pup got in the shot. Adorable!

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Hint: I only attempted twice and took the longer of the two handstands. It was more than 4 seconds, less than 4 minutes… Ready, set and guess!

RESULTS: It was 41 seconds! Mark Phillips is the winner at 33 seconds. I’ll be posting the charity of his choice soon!

Click here to see the actual video!

Let me start by admitting that I was very flattered that most of you think I’m some sort of superhuman, especially with the 11 minute guess from Facebook (love you Jim)!
So really evaluate this… Find a second-hand clock and just put your arms in the air and hold it. If that’s a little to easy, go ahead and pick up a hundred pounds… And stand on one foot.
Fun fact: Elite gymnasts are required to do a 60 second hold during most tryouts. Just sayin.

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The Raiders just keep on giving…

Since the Raiders lost during my “birthday” game (seen in “A day in silver and black”) it was felt to attend one more in high hopes for them to redeem themselves. Before I even try to drag this post out, let me just lay it out there. We got demolished. I mean, they generously sacrificed yet another win to allow the visiting team to feel welcome. I just can’t get over how unselfish the Oakland Raiders truly are!

Let’s make this post quick, fun and painless.

Instead of driving, Hayden and I decided to take the route that required no wheels. The first transfer required light rail, a regional transit system, from our home town of Folsom to the main Sacramento train station. Once arriving there, we hopped over to Amtrak that would take all the way to the Oakland colesium!

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Finally arriving to Oakland, we exited the tracks to cross a bridge before entering the sea of black and silver. Tailgaters are already in motion on this side of the gates! Can you spot the flag being carried under us?

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Trucks, food, friends and reunions. Yes please!

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Here are two sets of “last game/this game” photos.

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Football time! Today the Raiders are playing/donating a win to the Denver Broncos.

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Well look here… A foreign color sitting right next to me. Clearly he didn’t get the silver and black memo. Ooh, game on buddy!

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Lucky for Tom, his mustache and fun conversation made up for his choice of team.

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Here’s the last photo I took of the charitable event before we decided to beat the crowds back home.

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So when I say “beat the crowds”, what I meant was join the herd of like-minded fans.

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Waiting for the train… Game over.

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DONATIONS… With our powers combined!

Back in 1982, Thanksgiving fell on November 25th and at some point during that blissful day instead of eating turkey, my dear mother was giving birth to one. Ok, enough about me.

I’m writing you with confidence that with our powers combined, we can create a unique gift to give to others whom would otherwise be out of reach. By “our powers” I’m implying your pocket book, my traveling toes and our desire to spread love.

Instead of beating around the bush or fluffing your skirt, whatever that means, I’m going to lay it out simple and straight.
From November 25th through December 31st, 2013 I’ll be gratefully accepting donations to be used in the ways described below.

I will personally match 50% of what’s received and put it directly towards the program of my next adventure. I haven’t decided where or what this will be, but I do know it’s time I temporarily put down the backpack and tune into something stirring deeper within me.

The other 50% will go into the growth and development of herhappytrails. Whatever do I mean?! A book, a documentary, another chapter in the blog, a trip to The Ellen Degeneres Show (wishfully creating that one). Truthfully, I’m not entirely sure what the next step is…
Do we ever really know? I suppose that’s the beauty of life or at least mine anyway.

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So in the next 30 days, maybe you choose to save $0.75 and skip the extra shot of espresso in your holiday-spiced-fluff coffee (that we all love) or possibly pass on the $8 car wash, you know it’s going to rain anyway. How about sending the kids on a coin hunt throughout the house. Ready, set, go!

I know what your thinking, “…but Erika, how ever do we get this gift to you?” No need to worry, there are several options!

1. Tech savvy? Click here to directly transfer funds through a secured Paypal account.
When it asks for my email, please use: universalaughter@yahoo.com

2. Have a blank check? Feel free to drop it off at any of the following locations:

Jamie at Elliot’s health food store @ 641 E Bidwell St, Folsom – Phone 916.983.9225
Kira at Tricks Gymnastics @ 370 Auto Plaza Dr, Folsom – Phone 916.351.0024
Tiffany at SugarMama’s Skin Studio @ 722 Sutter Street, Folsom – Phone 916.672.2144

3. If you live in the Sacramento area, I’ll be in Folsom from November 29th-Dec 4th. I’d be honored to meet you anywhere within running distance.

4. If you reside in Oklahoma, you know where I’ll be. I’m sure my family will lend me their vehicle to connect with you.

5. If none of the options above are a good fit, please contact me through herhappytrails.com, Facebook or email.

Other types of support are equally welcomed and will also be delivered worldwide; hugs, high-fives, positive comments, smiles… Whatever your heart feels necessary!

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My dear compassionate friends, family, clients, fellow backpackers, hosts and new members of herhappytrails.com, I now complete this message with gratitude and much love for all of your generosity.

Still on a journey led by a smile,
Erika Mae Young

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Holidays in Florida

Last time I was here in Panama City Beach Florida, it was bathing suit weather, a swimming pool and ocean fun with the dolphins. You can see those posts in the mid July archive (to the right of the page). This round it’s gloves, scarves and Holiday festivities!

Almost to her home from the airport she had me put on a blind fold. What? I listened carefully as we parked in what seemed to be a wind tunnel (it was a parking garage that sat sea side). She then took me by the hand and led me on a short walk to an elevator. To prevent me from hearing the “ding” of how many stories we were going up, she had me plug my ears and sing “Jingle Bells” as loudly as I could. I then shuffled behind her as we ended in a silent room. I took off the blind fold and here I stood looking at a cozy condo decorated with love. Partly for a belated birthday (to my memory, this was the first birthday celebration that we were apart…ever) and Christmas.

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Candles in cups of frozen yogurt? When I was a child, I would leave my cake and go for seconds of the ice cream. That being said, my observant mother starting decorating rice crispy treat cakes, ice cream sandwiches and frozen yogurt. Now that’s love!

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The following morning we woke up to a Christmas Eve with more surprises. The blind fold and 20 story elevator ride had led me to her friends condo that she had reserved as a gift for us. Welcome to our new view for the next week. Check out the cool storm rolling in!

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Since all of our things are packed away in storage, she had prepared our day with new blank stockings to design with random art supplies. We added some snacks and adult beverages to enhance our holiday creativity.

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Perfect timing to finish up and embrace the open water and a peaceful sunset.

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After the sun went down we decided (in a fit of giggles) to get bundled up and go for a walk. Here are the only three pictures captured: The start of the walk, some beach holiday decorations at a local diner followed by the handstand photo.

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Time for bed now in hopes of a white Christmas morning… In Florida? It happened! We thoroughly enjoyed it with a morning toast on the balcony.

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Santa decided to put mustaches in my stocking which were then distributed throughout the house. Simple entertainment!

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As the day progressed with reggae music as our theme music, we played with our food and put together a puzzle.

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My Grams told me if you lick the piece… It’ll fit anywhere. Experience is knowledge!

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All games put away, holidays cleaned up and now a sunset to be thankful for as I sit with the woman who continues to be my biggest fan. We reminisced of the years together and I’m thankful to be able to look at her (in person) and give gratitude for her unconditional support. I love you Mom!

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