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!
Categories: New Zealand
Tags: Craters of the Moon, falls, geothermal, geothermal field, hike, hiking, hot spring, Huka, Huka Falls, Huka Falls Spa Park Walk, lake, Lake Taupo, Maori, Maori Rock Carvings, New Zealand, North Island, river, road trip, rock carvings, spa park, steam, swimming, Taupo, thermal spring, Waikato River, waterfall
Technically this is my second weekend in Wellington but I’m not counting the first weekend since I flew in, battled jet lag and got all settled into my new home. Not much of interest happened those couple days haha. Unless napping is of great interest; which come to think of it napping is probably my favorite hobby! lol
On Saturday I braved my first solo outing in New Zealand! The first trip is always the hardest right? And not that I’ve conquered that I’m looking forward to more adventures even if they are solo ones. I can’t ever remember using public transportation on my own before, I’ve always been grateful to have my own car or relied on my friends to figure out the public transportation when traveling haha. But finally at the age of 27 I used all those past experiences learning from friends to conquer the buses and trains all by myself! And it helps that Wellington has a pretty easy public transportation system too. 🙂
Categories: New Zealand, Wellington
Tags: Belmont, Belmont Regional Park, dam, exhibit, Gallipoli, hiking, Korokoro, Korokoro Dam, museum, park, Te Papa, waterfall, WWI
It wouldn’t be a Kayla trip without cramming in as many activities as possible in a short time frame. I’ll sleep when I’m dead! Seize the day! You only live once! These cliched phrases are my mottoes when I travel. I never know when I’ll be back to a certain place so I want to see as much of it as possible while I’m there. And my recent trip to San Francisco was no exception to my rule.
Tags: Alamo Square, AT&T Park, baseball, bay, brewery, bridge, cable car, California, Cook's Meadow, Crooked Street, El Capitan, Fisherman's Wharf, forest, Ghirardelli, Golden Gate, Golden Gate Bridge, granite, Half Dome, hike, hiking, ice cream, Lombard, Lombard Street, Merced River, Mist Trail, Muir Woods, Muir Woods National Monument, national park, NoCal, NorCal, Painted Ladies, Pier 39, Presidio, redwood, river, rock, San Fran, San Francisco, seafood, Sentinel Rock, SF, stadium, street car, trees, trolley, Union Square, Vernal Fall, waterfall, Yosemite, Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park
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”!
California’s Highway 1
Tags: 17 Mile Drive, 17-Mile, beach, Big Sur, Bixby, Bixby Bridge, Carmel, coast, Disney, Disneyland, Highway 1, hike, keyhole, light station, lighthouse, Monterey, ocean, Pacific, Pacific Coast Highway, paddle boarding, paddleboarding, parasailing, Partington Cove, PCH, Pfeiffer, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Pfeiffer Falls, Pfeiffer State Beach, Pismo, Pismo Beach, Point Sur, redwoods, road trip, Route 1, stand up paddleboarding, stand-up, waterfall
If you had asked me six years ago if I enjoyed hiking I probably would’ve given you a “are you serious?” look. Honestly I’m not even sure I went on a legitimate hike until my first true camping vacation in the great outdoors in the summer of 2008. I spent six days rafting down the Green River and Colorado River in Cataract Canyon and experienced my first challenging 1200 foot hike up to the Dollhouse. That hike was an incredible experience, full of rookie mistakes such as awful blisters and not bringing enough water, but I think it was a subtle turning point in my life where I connected more with nature. From then on I visited several Missouri State Parks and walked/hiked to some great sites, and my interest in hiking has only risen since my move to the beautiful state of California.
Tags: hike, hiking, Knapp, Knapp's Castle, Los Padres, Los Padres National Forest, Nojoqui, Nojoqui Falls, Nojoqui Falls Park, ruins, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, Solvang, waterfall
Welcome to the Pacific Northwest!
After mom and I left Ecola State Park, we drove the 22 miles north up the coast to Astoria, Oregon. Astoria has that shabby chic kind of charm to it; which makes sense as it is the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies. The landscape is dominated by hundreds of Victorian homes clinging to steep wooded hillsides, and remnants of Astoria’s fishing industry past are still present near its wharf at the mouth of the Columbia River.