Posts Tagged With: road trip

Wintering in Wanaka

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“The mountains are calling and I must go” said John Muir. I always feel this pull, a curiosity and desire, to explore the mountains which is a huge reason I find myself in New Zealand right now. There’s something about the the wildness of forests and mountains that makes me feel more free and full of life. So I knew I had to venture to the South Island in winter to witness the majestic Southern Alps coated in snow.

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To Taupo We Go!

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My first New Zealand road trip is in the books! Our group drove the four hours north to the resort town of Taupo, an adventurers paradise located on the shore of Lake Taupo. We spent Saturday and Sunday exploring the lake, waterfalls, geothermal fields and hot springs! Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s largest lake and feeds the Waikato River which flows over Huka Falls. We were also treated views of the active volcanoes of Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe (aka Mount Doom from the Lord of the Rings films) from the lake and we had beautiful Autumn weather all weekend. The most popular thing to do in the area is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, but I’m still working up to be in shape for that all day hike!

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Southwest Road Trip, Part 3: A Day at the Races

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This day was spent at the racetrack! Albeit the slowest race on Earth, but it was a day at the races nonetheless! Alright, I’ll stop speaking in vague terms lol. The sailing, or moving, stones at the Racetrack in Death Valley National Park have long been a mystery for both scientists and interested parties since their discovery nearly a century ago. I myself have been intrigued since I saw a program on the History Channel when I was a kid and finally got to check this sight off my bucket list! This is actually my second time at Death Valley National Park in the past year. And there is still so much to see and do I can’t wait to go back a third time. When I was in Death Valley a year ago I was not able to visit the Racetrack. But this trip I properly planned for the grueling drive to the Racetrack and it’s truly a one in a lifetime trip that was a childhood dream come true for me!

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Categories: California | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Classic California

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If you google (that is an official dictionary word now, sorry Yahoo and Bing) “best road trips”, you will be hard pressed to find a list that does not include the California Coast. The Pacific Coast Highway (aka Highway 1, aka the PCH) is a must for everyone’s bucket list and a once-in-a-lifetime trip! Literally it is probably a once-in-a-lifetime trip because the scenery might be some of the most breathtaking and gorgeous landscapes I will ever see, but the winding PCH is a slow, car-sick inducing, sometimes scary drive. But let’s not focus on the ONE negative here otherwise I would be doing a crappy job of convincing you all to take this amazing road trip. I mean you can’t get to the incredible Machu Picchu without traveling on rough roads or hiking strenuous trails to reach that far off the beaten path site!

I have actually driven the PCH twice in my life now, so it’s been more than once-in-a-lifetime for me! [I’m an over-achiever like that.] The first time was on my drive to San Francisco in 2011. The California Coast is truly an exhilarating drive that offers constant breathtaking views. Make sure your camera has lots of memory space for all the gorgeous vistas! My friend Hillary (and co-host of my other travel blog) and I wanted to explore central coastal California, specifically Big Sur, and we set out for a four day adventure we titled our “Classic California Road Trip”!

Highway 1

California’s Highway 1

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From mountains to desert!

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Snowboarding + a ghost town + Vegas in one vacation…why not! I am a mulit-tasker and overachiever, so when I find myself mere hours away from various adventures I want to explore them all!

Hillary flew in from Texas to join in on this hodge-podge trip, and we accomplished it all in a four day time frame. Life is short and unexpected so I want to seize every opportunity when I can! At least that is my motto for now. 🙂

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Heading West, Part 3: California

Just me and a crater in the hottest place on Earth!

California, baby! We made it on Tuesday night, Day 6 of our road trip, to Death Valley National Park in California. I’m not sure how many people choose to enter California via Death Valley but that’s how I like to roll: off the grid and a little different. And who knew that Death Valley was such a cool (eh eh, lol) place to visit! There was one place in Death Valley called The Racetrack that I’ve wanted to see since I saw a program on the History Channel years ago, but I never realized there was so much more to do in Death Valley. My enjoyment of Death Valley was also helped by the fact that we were NOT visiting in the summer and the high was only 99 degrees in late September. Really, that’s not bad all all since there was a decent breeze too. We also woke up early to get a head start on the day and we left Death Valley by early afternoon before the hottest part of the day.

[This is the final installment to my grand road trip, so if you haven’t read the first two posts, click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2. Hope you enjoy my ramblings!]

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Categories: California | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Heading West, Part 2: Utah & Arizona

Monday through Thursday of our road trip was all about the National Parks! (Thank the stars we visited these parks the week before the government shutdown.) I think I visited more national parks this year than in my entire life haha. And now I’m a super excited advocate for visiting these parks! National and State Parks are perfect activities for road trips, and vacations in general. Each day of our road trip, my dad and I had a destination in mind and, aside from the entry fees, these are very inexpensive adventures. I am now more eager than ever to visit as many National and State Parks as possible, because I learned just how many amazing natural sites our country has to offer.

Arches NP

[If you are hopping aboard this Part 2 post and have not read Part 1, click here!]

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Categories: Arizona, Utah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Heading West, Part 1: Colorado

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7 nights, 8 days, 7 states, over 3,000 miles, degree range: 37 to 100, elevation range: sea level to over 7,000 feet.

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Categories: Colorado | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Livin’ the farm life and the coastal life

Bodie Lighthouse

I embarked on a “Griswold family vacation” this summer with my parents and brother across the beautiful states of Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. Lots and lots of hours in the car, plus several fun stops and views of beautiful countryside, made for a successful road trip. It’s been a long while since my family has spent this much time together, and perhaps it helps that my brother and I have moved past the arguing, bickering and fighting stages of our sibling relationship, but we all got along pretty swell! My Family = 1 / Disastrous Road Trip = 0. Winning!

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Categories: Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Q: What does avocado beer taste like? A: Deliciousness.

Hola, Avocado Festival!

This past weekend my gal pals and I took a mini road trip up the Californian coast to Carpenteria. Carpenteria is a charming beachside town located just south of Santa Barbara, and is home to California’s annual Avocado Festival. This year is the Avofest’s 26th year, and it’s the largest free street festival in California occurring every first full weekend in October.

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