Posts Tagged With: road trip

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

Honeymoon Road trip – part 1!

Saying goodbye was a bittersweet this time leaving my new found island home. As Matt and I packed up the last of our things, there was a sense of sadness realizing I didn’t have a return flight, yet at the same time excitement filled the air. A new adventure, an unknown journey, something I had never experienced before was just ahead of me! Airport drop off, next chapter… Married and moving to California!

Although the final destination is California, we flew into Florida to kick off our priceless road trip across the states for our honeymoon! This journey alone could of been a dozen posts with videos, hilarious stories and countless photos, but let’s keep in mind the goal is still to catch up to present date. So bare with me as we fly through what was a 3 week expedition from the east coast to the west!

Before we begin, let me just prep you with the underlying vibe this entire trip started out with. I had just asked Matt if I could close my eyes for a bit and of course his angelic new husband answer was something along the lines of, “Of course my dearest love, rest those gorgeous eyes of yours while I drive, I’ll have lunch waiting when you wake up”…. Or maybe he said, “Sure babe”.

Matt truly didn’t know I was filming until half way through the video. Brat:)

We started in West Palm Beach with his (and now my!) brother and family. We stayed long enough to purchase a 4Runner and hit the road towards our new home.

Matts Aunt Jerri and Uncle Wayde happen to be right along the way as we departed Florida. Brunch in Baton Rouge Louisiana started us off properly!

Last time I saw this guy was in Japan! My cousin Brandon and I have managed to stay in touch most of our entire adult lives while never living in the same state or country for the matter! I was so excited for him to meet my new husband and what a wonderful stopping point to eat, laugh and rest up!

Arkansas and Oklahoma consumed us with dozens of my family members eager to greet the newlyweds. It was the perfect half way point to take a week and reconnect with all of them.

My cousins (thank you Lacie and Lana!)  surprised us with a wedding reception full of food, games, dancing and gifts. We got to celebrate all over again!

One of our pit stops was Raton New Mexico. This adorable little church house used to be where my dad and his family lived. How lucky were we that they still owned it and got a key for another over night rejuvenation. The sunset photo is at the top of an overlook just outside of town.

👉🏽VIDEO TIME! Click here to see a video of this leg of the trip!

After hitting beautiful New Mexico, we headed north to one of my favorite states… Colorado! Mountains, rivers, lakes, mesas, valleys and fresh air, what’s not to love? I was even more excited finding out that one of Matts long time school friends lived in Vale which meant another purposeful pit stop. A rejuvenating walk, sit down dinner and quality catch up time was the perfect way to start the tale end of our journey.

I made the mistake of not recording where each picture was taken, but I still wanted to throw in a few random photos we snapped along the way!

Next stop, Monroe Utah!

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

Biggest little island of Tobago

I’m excited to announce a mini trip as Ryan and I took a ferry to Tobago (the smaller island of the two that make up the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago). He’s never been there either, so that alone is thrilling. Although I love to be shown the ropes by a local or even be the tour guide myself, it’s always refreshing to explore new ground with fresh eyes!

Ferry time! We were warned of the journey as it’s been nicknamed “The vomit comit” due to the rocking of the boat and the guests who get sea-sick. Assuming this was an exaggeration, we booked our tickets and joined the ride. Instead of telling you about the puke filled sinks in the washroom or the sound of the poor woman next me reaching into her guts and aggressively dry-heaving for 2 hours, I’ll stick to a few photos and the mention of a new friend, Eric. His kind eyes caught mine as I was on my tipy-toes scouting out the cafe in hunt for a snack. A big smile and quick chat lead to an exchange of information and the possibility to connect again. We’ll see!

  

Snack? Ryan went with an order of a ham sandwich and got a pile of pork next to a bun.  Whatever works. I snagged an apple and paired it with my hidden bag of seeds. 

 

Arrival! First things first, get a set of wheels. Thankfully Ryan was keen on the idea of driving since:

A. They drive on the left side of the road.

B. Driving in Trinidad and Tobago is an adventure in itself! For those of you who’ve been to Mexico, T&T drivers make south of the border look like a merry-go-round!

C. Our rental car was straight from Japan. As if all of the above wasn’t tricky enough… what are “carwings” and should I be nervous?

 Since we had a car and a minute to pass, we thought we’d check off one thing from the “must do list” for Tobago. We dove right into a popular spot which is known for it’s curried crab and dumplings. Store Bay is a popular beach due to it’s white sand, umbrella covered chairs and the many options of food, drinks and sweet treats. I can understand why tourist and locals alike come to take in the afternoon sun!

       
Unfortunately when we arrived, most of the food stalls were closed or hadn’t received their products yet. Still with plenty of options, Ryan went with Conch and dumpling and I got excited over shark, callaloo and salad. Little did I know that it was deep fried shark, a few pieces of lettuce with a brick of macaroni pie. Oh well, learning as I go! 

   
With no specific order, here’s a photo tour from the passengers seat as we made our way through various parts of the island!

    
   

   
    
   

     
   

I’ll leave you with this amazing shot taken by Ryan. 

  
Next on the list….

 

Categories: Edibles!, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arkie to Okie….Crossing state lines

Leaving California usually provides mixed emotions. Saying goodbye to my hometown and childhood friends weighs heavy on the comfort seeking part of my spirit, yet knowing a new environment is in my near future brings a unique excitement that is irreplaceable. I’m not sure if it’s a hindering or useful quality of mine, but being in my “comfort zone” is generally short and sweet before I crave a different surrounding to stimulate my senses. I suppose there’s no need to label it “good” or “bad”… It just is.

To my memory, I haven’t posted these fun photos of the inside of the Sacramento airport. It’s so familiar to me that I forget my international friends have never experienced it. Check out the creative artwork at the baggage claim. I think it’s brilliant!

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Next stop is the land of fried okra, snappin turtles (nobody pronounces the “g” in “snapping”) and red dirt. Before we land, lets pause for a short story.

Southwest Airlines doesn’t assign seats, rather gives you a general boarding order that allows you to pick any open seat. This means, for travelers like me that don’t take concern in an early check in, get stuck loading a plane like a ten year old on a bus for the first day of school. All the cool kids with their window views, the runners up in the aisle chairs and the rest of us debating on the middle seat between the mom with toddlers or the business man who clearly uses the flight to recreate his work desk and take over the entire space with every tech gadget that they allow on board. My pick today was to squeeze front and center with an older man built like the traditional Santa Claus and a younger fit guy with legs the size of my waist.

Great news to me, Mr. Bulging-biceps was a friendly talker who was extremely intelligent and eager to trade stories. I could make this entire post about the conversation between the two of us, but instead I’ll just give you a photo with confidence that this gentleman crossed my path for a purpose. Thank you for the new workouts, encouraging words and a few well needed giggles.

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I landed in Arkansas to visit my cousin Lana for a week before heading to Oklahoma. Road trip! Her and the family loaded up as we set off for our 5 hour journey.

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*To my international friends: North Americans pay gas per gallon, not liter.

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I wonder what their fuel was before? Also, notice the sign to the right… Classic southern offer!

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This little pit stop has a flavored sugar disposing machine. Yes, you imagine correctly. It’s a huge colorful attraction in which you pick your choice of dyed sugar to weigh in and eat up. I rarely post strong negative opinions, but really folks… Can we at least pretend to care about the nutritional needs of our children?

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The famous Route 66 guides us in to the final stretch before finally arriving to the small town (by small town, I mean a street the has some houses surrounding the gas station-grocery store-post office that sits across the hwy from the only school k-12th. All shown in detail here).

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Agra, Oklahoma will be home while I visit my family including but not limited too: The precious Grams, 2 hilarious Aunts, 2 adorable Great Aunts, my Dad and his wife, 5 siblings, and 23 cousins still counting…

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“A man becomes what he thinks about…”

“Got to visualize a better day, to materialize a better way…” Sound familiar? It should! These lyrics only begin to expose the energy brought by one of my new favorite bands, Heritage.

Quick recap of how I met these guys. Simply put, I attended a local gig, connected after the show and then kept in touch. Here they were last winter (click here) to see the full post.

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This time around they played in Destin in which mom and I drove out to support their good vibe!

Her view…

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My view…

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Best view…

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After reconnecting with guys, I ventured over to the home base to help load up for the road as they depart to perform on the Vans Warped Tour! Printing and folding shirts, labeling merchandise and packing up. This is where the invite happened in which begins the next portion of this post.

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I’m going to continue this post by stopping you from reading. What? Yeh, it’s time for a short break to listen…and feel. Selfishly, it’ll make my post even better and secondly, you deserve to hear the good vibrations that spill from their music! One of my favorites is “Simplify”. Check it out at the Heritage Band website and gift yourself a moment with a song.

I’ll wait.

Now since you’ve experienced the sound, let’s take a journey with these fellas during just a small portion of their most recent tour.

These guys have been on the road for a bit and now there’s a group of us heading out to meet up with them. Before the sunrise, we prepped the 4 wheels with 5 girls (Me, Brittany, Gina, Jodi, and Jessica whom will all be described later) and the one and only princess of the crew, Alan.

First hour included the load up and a sunrise as we start the 7 hour road trip to our first show in St.Petersburg Florida.

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The next 6 hours included musical seats while searching for lost items, nap time and a final gas up with lunch.

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Finally arrived and ready to play!

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Once in the park, first and most important stop is the Heritage Booth. This is the place where all of those shirts we folded and goodies we packed are now on full display to sell to the public.

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We took a walk around to check out the other stages and scenery.

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The view behind the controlled chaos is extended water with a setting that allows for a deep breath… and a handstand of course!

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What time is it? 6:00… Show time! One thing I noticed with some of the other bands, is they would often start with a large crowd that would slowly dissipate. Heritage however, started with a few of us loyal bee’s upfront that turned into an amped up crowd. They’re magnetic!

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Some fun shots with a little effects thrown on the camera.

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After wrapping up an energetic set, they please some fans with a few photos before loading up and hitting the road again. To be continued in West Palm Beach!

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This days brings more smiles, another show and the Florida rain. As we pulled into the venue, it was clear that mud would be a definite part of the days entertainment.

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Time to officially meet the lovely ladies that I’ve been traveling with!

This is Jodi, there’s no question why she’s a great friend to the boys. The relaxed vibe and constant smile she carries, makes her comfortable to talk to and easy to be around.

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Looking at the photo, on the right is the guitarist wife, Brittnay. In my opinion, she’s best described as driven with determination, all clearly shown through in her vibrant confidence. In the middle is the managers girlfriend, Gina. She’s an Independent and hard working girl that also ended up being my “almost partner in crime”… that story will not make the blog. (Enter relieved giggle sound here). On the left is good friend to Brittany and the band, Jessica. A chill girl that’s happy to be around, I would say she’s sweet with a little spice.

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So, the storm finally lightened up enough to get us to the booth where fans hadn’t let the weather impact their event.

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The rain left us with a hug of humidity and a clear stage for the guys to dominate on. Again with my observation, as it starts with just a few of us…

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…and through hypnotizing energy and magnetic music, they pull a crowd that didn’t want to quit!

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The fun pics of this show…

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You guessed it… pack up, load out and after a cat nap we hit the road again. Next stop Orlando!

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This day brings a bitter sweet feeling for me as I say ciao for now to the group and head away for my next adventure. A special thanks to Tony Verrecchia – Lead Vocals, Damien Kealoha – Ukulele, Matt Moore – Bass, Hunter Dawson – Guitar, RJ Hernandez – Drums and Jamah Terry on Keys & Sax.

I fully appreciate the flexibility in my life to do such spontaneous things that bring wonderful people, exciting events and memories that last a lifetime. Thank you mom for allowing me to share our time and experience new moments, this means a lot to me.

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Next chapter brings a ride to the airport for my departure to the stunning island of Barbados!

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Cheers to new friends, the open road and one love.

Categories: Art, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wait, you really want me to climb that thing?

Are you ready for this? Follow along as I take you on a quick journey that guides you to my next entertaining reunion.

Meet Hayden, a childhood friend that I grew up with in Folsom, California. He recently extended his travel wings and met me in abroad in Central and South America. Here we are on a jumper flight in Costa Rica!

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Remember Ann and Colin? This is the sweet couple that enhanced my volunteering in Ecuador with their fun loving, open hearted energy.

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Peru is the place in which I got to introduce these three amazing people to each other as we bonded our way to Machu Picchu!

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During these fun days together, we talked about reuniting in the states and how someday they could teach us how to rock climb. Two months later Hayden and I found ourselves heading to reconnect with our pals in the famous national park of Yosemite!

Road trip!

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Fun fact #1 – Over 4 million people visit this National park a year.

The camping bags are packed and the climbing gear is ready as we hit the path towards Yosemite!

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A reunion complimented with the classic handstand shot!

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Fun Fact #2 – Yosemite is home of North Americas largest waterfall which ranks 3rd in the world!

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Today’s play time will be ascending up an angled rock while flexing, stretching, and “hand jamming” our way to the top! I felt pretty cool walking with all the gear.

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Fun fact #3 – El Capitan is the largest granite block in the world!

We let the professionals find the right rock to set up and give us a quick but detailed lesson on the sport they love so much.

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I’m chalked up and all safety is cleared. Ready, set…Climb!

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What goes up… has to walk backwards down? All righty, here I go!

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Hayden’s turn!

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Now we get shown how it’s done!

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For all of the avid climbers out there… This photo’s for you!

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What an exhilarating start for my first visit to Yosemite! Tomorrow will bring a gorgeous hike and some water fun!

Categories: Fitness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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