Peaches

August Inspiration: Peach

Since I’m going back to pastry (patisserie) school in three weeks, I’ve decided to put together a post on things that I found to be inspirational throughout each month. August was a month dominated by all things peaches so ‘Peach’ seemed like the perfect theme to kick off the new series. August Peach Inspirations 1. The PEACH [...]

Peach smash

Southern Peach Whiskey Smash

When I decided that the theme of August would be all about peach, I asked my friend Spencer if he would create the perfect peach cocktail. He not only created a delicious Peach Whiskey Smash, but he also included my favorite jelly in the whole world as an ingredient. Mayhaws are a fruit that are only [...]

Peach Blueberry Tart

Peach Blueberry Tart

Peaches are one of my favorite summertime fruits. Peach season is the best, both for eating and baking. I love it. After all, I did grow up in the Peach State. This summer I spent about five weeks back in the South (mostly Atlanta): visiting with family and friends, getting my visa application and pastry [...]

Daytime Duck & Waffle View

London Favo(u)rites

After having spent a collective nine months living in London over last year and this, I decided the best way to kickstart the blog again was to put together a list of a few of my London favourites. Favorites, who am I kidding?! My spelling (and misspelling) is pretty much ingrained in me after three decades. [...]

Red Macarons

Macaron Making

One of the greatest things about being home for the holidays (aside from seeing my family and friends, of course) is being at home in the kitchen with a KitchenAid mixer. Baking is my happy place. Ever since taking a technical macaron course in Paris, I’ve wanted to make some more macarons and knew this [...]

Mixing Macarons

Amateur Macaron Extraordinaire

The trip to Paris originated because I noticed that one of my favorite bands would be closing out their European tour in Paris on November 20. And because, it’s Paris and since arriving in London, I’ve wanted to take the train down for a visit. The Local Natives show was (as always!) amazing and surprisingly [...]

macarons

Paris Bound

Tomorrow I’m going to Paris! I’m so unbelievably, incredibly (insert one million adjectives here) excited! I haven’t been to Paris in 10 years; since I was on study abroad. Once I arrive, I’m going to begin a three day Parisian diet of breads, cheeses, desserts and wine, which will likely have to be combined with [...]

Primrose Hill London Skyline Sunset

Gratitude

Yesterday was day one. I’ve decided to try a new project. One that I’m very excited to see where it takes me. I’m going on a Grateful Diet. A bit of context. The wheels were put in motion a while ago when a good friend recommended I read James Altucher’s book, Choose Yourself. My mom [...]

London from Sushi Samba

London: Two Months

I’ve been living in London just over two months now. It’s insane how fast the time has flown. This is the longest I’ve been in one city since we left in July 2012. Honestly, it feels really nice. Finding my own room to rent has been wonderful. Both mentally and physically. I was in need of [...]

Home!

A Place to Call Home

I’m so excited to move into a room all my own! After nearly 13.5 months of continuously traveling around from place to place, I finally have a little spot to call ‘home.’ Originally, while I was in London, I was planning to bounce around and stay with various friends, combined with a few hostels and [...]

Biking Selfies

Day of 10 Types of Transport

I set out sightseeing with my friend Jean who was also in London visiting. Jean and I originally met while Danielle and I were in Cape Town and I was delighted to find out that his trip to London would align with my first week. Our original plan for the day was to head over [...]

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London!!

I’m so excited to be back in London after nearly a decade!!! I was last here nine years ago visiting my good friend Rachel for her 21st birthday, who was studying abroad at Oxford (along with a bunch of other Tech friends). The year before (a decade ago almost to the day…which makes me feel [...]

Downtown

Los Angeles: By Bus

When I arrived back in Los Angeles, I was picked up at the airport by my friends Amanda and Lindsay, so one of the first things on my to-do list was picking up my car in order to get around town. My stuff and car have been in storage at a friends warehouse and being [...]

Leaving Bogota

Homeward Bound

Sitting on the plane in route back to Los Angeles, I started looking through all the country albums I had created in iPhoto and the rush of feelings I got was surreal. It’s beyond incredible to think about the trip we just took. This past year was the most amazing year of my entire life. [...]

Desert Meets Ocean.

A Journey to the Northern Tip of South America

I had read about Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas and how they are among those few remaining places that are still a bit of an untouched paradise. I was instantly hooked. Plus, Punta Gallinas is the northern-most point of the South American continent and I love collecting those kinds of stats. I mean, [...]

In the Mud

The Mud Volcano

One of the popular tourist attractions while visiting Cartagena is a trip to El Totumo Mud Volcano. The mud in the volcano is said to have healing powers. We decided we were definitely going to check this one out and went with a tour group from our hostel. I’m not sure what I expected, but [...]

Jonny Cay

San Andres & Providencia

I had heard from fellow travelers that I needed to check out San Andres while I was in Colombia. Especially since flights are dirt cheap from Medellin. Danielle had heard the same and the timing worked out perfectly once we met back up to take one last island trip, ala Maldives (sans amazing Ocean Front [...]

Looking Up

A Walk through Medellin

We took a free walking tour with the newly formed Real City Tours, run by the extremely knowledgable Pablo. Pablo was born and raised in Medellin and grew up during the particularly violent and tumultuous period during the eighties and nineties (side note: I’m currently reading Killing Pablo and it’s insane and fascinating what took [...]

Cat

Botero

Fernando Botero is a Medellin-born, Colombian artist that is famous for painting and sculpting people and objects that are exaggeratedly enormous. I had visited the Botero Museum in Bogota, but being that Medellin is his home town, it’s almost a given that you need to stop by and check out Plaza Botero and the Museo [...]

Colombian Coffee

Zona Cafetera

Zona Cafetera or the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and truly represents the tradition of Colombian coffee grown in the mountain foothills. Colombia is the third largest coffee exporter in the world and the only big producer that exclusively grows arabica beans. A popular stop to explore the Zona Cafetera [...]

Bogota from Above

Bogota: Exploring the Colombian Capital

Following Cali, Mark and I headed up to explore the Colombian capital city of Bogota. We stayed in La Candelaria, the historic colonial neighborhood of Bogota. It’s a great location and easy to walk to some of the more noteworthy attractions including: Plaza de Bolivia, La Catedral Primada, the Museo del Oro, Monserrate and Museo Botero. [...]

Iglesia del la Merced

Cali: The Salsa Capital of the World

Our first stop in Colombia was Cali. This seemed to confuse people when I told them I was currently in Cali, as I used to live in Cali – California. This Cali is in Colombia and is about a ten hour bus from the border of Ecuador. Due to its rich Afro-Colombian influence, Cali is [...]

Made it to Colombia

Bienvenidos a Colombia

Bienvenidos a Colombia! Country #18 on this RTW adventure. I’m so excited about exploring Colombia, as it’s one country that I hear nothing but good things from friends and fellow travelers who have visited. Mark and I took the bus from Quito to Tulcan, a border city in Ecuador. We arrived late in Tulcan and [...]

Reunited Bathrobe Time

Reunion in Quito

In Quito, I met up with Mark and Matt for a reunion. I decided to use some Starwood points so we could stay at the Sheraton Quito. It was great to be back at that wonderful hotel again (even though I didn’t get upgraded to a suite this time ;)). We decide to take full [...]

Beaches of Same

Ecuador: Venturing Up the Northern Coast

It’s quite the mission to explore the Northern coast of Ecuador. Buses don’t exist for advance purchase and planning purposes. You stand on the side of the road and flag a bus down heading the direction you’re going. Sometimes you get on and there aren’t any seats and you stand in the aisle with 20 [...]

Montanita Cocktail Alley

An unexpected walk to Ecuador

After a few nights in Lima post-Huaraz retreat, I was heading back up to Ecuador. I took an Excluciva Super Cama bus (the ONLY way to travel long distances in Peru!) to Tumbes and then planned to take a CIFA bus to Montanita. However, upon arriving in Tumbes I was greeted by a very eager [...]

Beth & Jer Lake 2

Visit from a good friend. And a trip back to Peru.

My dear, very good friend Jeremie Skype’d me with the AWESOME news that he was coming to meet me in South America. He decided to cash in on some miles and make a last minute jaunt to Peru to join me for a week of trekking and relaxation in the Andes. The week was spent at [...]

Streets of Cuenca

Colonial Cuenca

Cuenca is a beautiful historic colonial city in Ecuador and the third largest city, behind Guayaquil and Quito. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and known as the city of gardens. The city, which is located in Southern Ecuador, is set in a valley surrounded by the Andes. The architecture of Cuenca dates back [...]

Banos 2

Spas & Waterfalls in Baños

Baños is a central Ecuadorian town in the Tungurahua Providence which is nestled in the foothills of Volcan Tungurahua. Baños is considered a gateway to the Amazon and is best known for waterfalls and thermal baths. A perfect spot to visit for a little R&R after climbing Chimborazo. Which is exactly what I did. I arrived [...]

5,800m #1

Charging Chimborazo: A Non-Mountain Climber’s Tale

This story begins on a train. Sitting on the train on the way back from Machu Picchu, I got to chatting with the guy next to me about Ecuador tips. He said he & his girlfriend climbed Cotopaxi and it was the most miserable thing ever. Then, on one of the Travel Talk on Twitter [...]

Quito Old & New

Quito

I flew from the Galapagos to Quito where I planned to spend a few days before making the trek to Chimborazo. Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is the second highest capital city in the world at 2,800m above sea level (La Paz, Bolivia being the highest at 3,650m). Quito is the actually the highest capital [...]

Circling Sharks Behind Me

Swimming with Sharks: Diving in the Galapagos

One of the main reasons I wanted to go to the Galapagos was for the diving. Initially, I had planned to do a liveaboard boat, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good last minute deal and the ones I did find were slightly out of my price range. I ended up settling on two day [...]

Isabela Blue Footed Boobies

An 8 day mission to the Galapagos

Just call me Chuck. I spent eight fantastic days exploring the land and sea of the Galapagos islands. I had absolutely no idea just how much I would love that fabulous place but it is incredible. I don’t recall learning that much about the Galapagos in school, and most of what I knew previously was [...]

Buffet Breakfast

I’m off to the Galapagos!

I booked a trip to the Galapagos! YAY! The Galapagos is one of those places that I know a bit about, most of my knowledge learned from Alex Trebec and the Jeopardy team when they have a dedicated Galapagos category, but a place that, despite not knowing a ton, I always wanted to visit and [...]

Dan Beth Josh Mancora View

Mancora: Part 2

I ended up spending a total of 18 glorious days in Mancora. More or less, 18 days at the Loki Mancora, because the hours logged there faaarrrr outnumbered the hours spent in the town. I did sign up for Spanish lessons and, although my speaking (and remembering of vocab) still needs work, my teachers were [...]

Baby Guinness Train Prep Guy & Graham

St Patrick’s Day: Loki Style

When I arrived at Loki in Mancora on March 6, they were already getting prepared for St. Patrick’s Day. So, I figured it would be a pretty rad event. The events featured their own bar crawl (all held within the Loki compound), a Baby Guinness Train, face paint, the wheelbarrow, leapfrog, an absurd about of [...]

Iguazu Falls

Argentina: In a Nutshell

We came back and forth into Argentina three times (flying from South Africa, our trip to Uruguay and after our time in Chile) and all total spent about three weeks in the country. Argentina is massive and unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to get down south to Patagonia, but we did explore some magnificent [...]

Loki Mancora

Mancora

I made it to Mancora for the big 31st birthday. The good news is that everyone at the hostel doesn’t believe it when I tell them I’m 31. That gives me free reign to continue acting a good five (on some days ten) years younger than I actually am, right?! I’m working hard by the [...]

The Westin Lima

Luxurious Lima

Since my Instagram photo was used for the 2012 Toast to You Starwood Preferred Guest yearly recap, I’ve been chatting off and on with the folks at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. They graciously put me in touch with The Westin Lima who offered to host me for a night. After three weeks at an average [...]

Libertador Exterior

A Castle in Cusco

I received an invitation to check out the newly renovated Libertador Palacio del Inka in Cusco for my last night in town. When you’re trading a 14-person dorm room to a room by yourself, it’s already Über-luxurious (this was my first time having a room to myself since my honeymoon for one at the W [...]

View of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu

Machu Picchu: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and the “Lost City of the Incas.” Machu Picchu seems to be one of those places that is on most folks bucket lists, however it was not something that was originally in the plan for our trip. Danielle & [...]

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SPG Love

I’m a very brand loyal person and there are a few I always (well, try to mostly) stick to more than others…Coke (NEVER Pepsi), Delta (when we booked this trip, I must have asked my travel agent, Justin, after every segment…it’s that part of the Skyteam? Ha!) and Starwood Hotels. We’ve been lucky enough to [...]

Take 4

Isla del Sol & Lago Titicaca

Copacabana is the main stop for the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca, the highest lake in the world (3,812m) and is a nice, quite relaxing lake town. I met a fellow Southerner, Dave, who was on the same path up to Cusco as I was, so we decided to stop in Copacabana together.  While we [...]

Yolosa Valley view from Death Road

The World’s Most Dangerous Road

One of the main attractions that backpackers talk about when referencing La Paz is biking down ‘Death Road.’ Death Road or Yungas Road, as it’s officially known, is the most dangerous road in the world. Annually the death toll was around 200-300 travelers. The road runs alongside the Yungas Valley, which is a large producer [...]

Solo Female Travelers

Bus Mishaps & a Solo Mission

Well, that was interesting. My first bus solo and I found myself sprinting after the bus, banging on the back and side of the bus yelling for it to stop. Normally, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal to miss a bus (although, I never have…knock on wood), except this bus takes your luggage [...]

Dressed in our gear

Potosi

After finishing our Salar trip in Uyuni, we set off to Potosi. Potosi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as one of the highest cities in the world sitting at 4,090 meters (13,420ft). Potosi was founded in 1545 as a mining town and became extremely wealthy since it lay beneath the Cerro de [...]

The Salar (covered in water)

Four Days in Bolivia: Our trip to the Salar

One of the main sights to see in Bolivia (perhaps all of South America for that matter) is the Salar de Uyuni. Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi) and is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of South America. As part of the Andes, [...]

Border Crossing

A Walk from Argentina to Bolivia

Today we walked from Argentina to Bolivia. It sounds like a massive mission, but in reality, we just had to take the bus from Jujuy (where we stayed for one night post working on an organic farm) to La Quiaca, walk about 750 meters to the border, go through immigration and end up in Villazon, [...]

Pouring Batter Over Peaches

Baking without Butter

I love to bake. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Actually, one of my goals in life is to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I’ve come somewhat close, but it’s still a work in progress. With most baking, you tend to use quite a bit of butter. Back when I had an [...]

Gardening

Working on an Organic Farm (our WWOOF experience)

One of our goals while in South America was to volunteer working on an organic farm, or WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It’s a way to volunteer and learn about sustainable living and organic farming. When you are a Wwoofer, you are working on the farm anywhere from 6-8 hours per day [...]

Valle de La Luna Sunset

We’ve Landed on the Moon

San Pedro de Atacama is a town in northern Chile in the Antofagasta Region and is located close to the borders of Bolivia and Argentina. The town sits at just over 2,400 meters above sealevel, so it’s no wonder Danielle & I had our first run-in with some mild altitude sickness. One of the main [...]

kindness twain

Random Acts of Kindness

We’ve experienced three random acts of kindness in the past few days. Well, one was solely (and very thankfully) mine. Our first occurred when we were on the bus from Pichilemu to Santiago (in route to Vina del Mar). We were both extremely tired from lack of sleep the night before (ahem, snorers) so when [...]

Night Out on the Town

Pichilemu Part Deux

As all good things typically do, our time to Pichilemu came to an end as we left and headed to Northern Chile. But not without a night on the town with Matt & Mark, who we’d been traveling with for about two weeks. And also not without a stop to get one of the MOST [...]

Carnival

Pichilemu

There’s not a whole lot to report on as of late. We met up with some more of Allan’s South African friends, Matt & Mark, who were traveling through South America as well. We met them in Santiago and then all headed to the coast of Chile to a little surf town called Pichilemu. Since [...]

Bus Ride into Chile2

RTW Country #14: Chile (and a Taco throwback)

We left Mendoza and headed for Santiago, Chile by bus. A seven hour bus ride that felt like a drop in the bucket after 22, 21 and 13 hour bus rides scattered throughout the past week. Driving through the Andes Mountain range made the scenery on the ride pretty spectacular!   We made it to [...]

Laughing

Six Month Travelversary

I can hardly believe that we’ve been on the road for six months! It seems like just yesterday that we left the States and arrived in New Zealand, yet at the same time, New Zealand seems like a lifetime ago. I’m not sure that words can describe how truly lucky and blessed I feel that [...]

Football Game

Goooooooaalllll

I went with a group from our hostel to my first ever football (soccer) game while we were in Mendoza. We went to the Under 20’s Argentina v. Paraguay game. Since it was Under 20’s and Messi wasn’t playing, it wasn’t all that crowded. The unfortunate part was that they didn’t sell beer in the [...]

Beth & Danielle Mendoza Horses

Wine Country

After spending 56 hours on buses in a five-day period, we were quite excited to finally get to Mendoza. And even more excited to indulge in lots (and lots) of delicious Malbec! On our first full day in Mendoza, we decided to go on the sunset horseback riding tour, which ended with an asado bbq, [...]

Upper Circuit with a Rainbow

Waterfalls & Rainbows: two days at Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls are the waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of Argentina and Brazil. It was high on my list of places I wanted to visit in Argentina, however, getting to and from the falls was a bit of a mission. To get there from Buenos Aires, you have to either fly, which [...]

Punta del Este Beach

A New Year, A New Country

Happy New Year from Uruguay! We decided to boat over and celebrate New Years in Punta del Este, Uruguay on the beach. Despite the rain changing our plans, we had a fabulous time ringing in 2013! 2012 was such an amazing year in which we got to embark on this incredible journey. It’s been the [...]

Finish Line

A Day at the Races – #GetHot

For Momma and Bill’s last day in Argentina, we decided to head to the track and engage in one of Bill and my favorite activities…betting on the ponies. I first came to enjoy the track during the glory days of Hollywood Park’s Friday Night Racing with $1 beer and hotdogs. I’ll admit, initially I was [...]

Group Dinner

Exploring Buenos Aires

While my mom and Bill were in town, we explored a vast majority of Buenos Aires. They rented a VRBO apartment for us as our home base in the Palermo area of BA. Words can’t describe how nice it was to have an apartment as our home base for the week, where we could bake [...]

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Buenos Aires Street Art

From the moment we arrived in Buenos Aires, you can’t help but noticed the massive amounts of graffiti on buildings, walls and subway trains all over the city. Buenos Aires has a huge street art scene and we thought it’d be really fun to take one of the tours offered to learn more about it. [...]

A Christmas Story Dinenr

Feliz Navidad

My mom and stepdad, Bill, came to join us in Buenos Aires for Christmas for a week! It was very exciting to have them come and join us on our Round the World trip and even nicer to spend the holidays with some family. Christmas Eve was their first full day in the city and [...]

Trey Danielle Beth Bench

A South America Reunion

On our first day exploring Buenos Aires, we met up with an old co-worker of mine, Brent, who also happened to be visiting Argentina with his brother Bryan. Happily our paths crossed during the beginning of both our trips to Buenos Aires. We mainly walked, subway’d and biked around the city for two days. On [...]

View from the back

South Africa: In a Nutshell

Love South Africa. We had such a great time in the country, in large part thanks to spending lots of time hanging out with locals. Always more fun and kinda makes it seem like you live there, as opposed to just quickly passing through. Our time was broken up between Cape Town, Hluhluwe (Photo Safari) [...]

Our safari group

African Safari Take 2

Back in May, Danielle & I purchased a six day, six night South African photo safari during a fundraiser for the California Labrador, Retrievers & More Rescue organization. The safari was at Zulu Nyala Game Lodge located just outside Hluhluwe, South Africa (the pronunciation of this took me a good two weeks) which is located [...]

We made it to the top

Mother City Love: 8 days in Cape Town

There aren’t many places that you can say, “We got robbed four times in eight days and I had a helluva week! And I can’t wait to go back!” But that’s exactly how I feel about Cape Town, South Africa. I love, love, LOVED it! We got extremely lucky with intros from friends Jeremie Brilliant [...]

B&D Vineyards

Wine Tasting

We spent Thursday exploring the Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek wine regions of Cape Town. We visited four wineries and tasted lots of delicious wines. Our first stop was to the Villiera Winery.    Our second stop (and perhaps the best stop of the day) was to Fairview Wine and Cheese where we sampled more wine [...]

View up the coast

Cape Point

Yesterday we rented a car and drove down to Cape Point (where some people say the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Except they’re wrong and the two actually meet a little further east at Cape Agulhas, the Southern most tip of the African continent) and the Cape of Good Hope (the South Western most point [...]

View of Cape Town

Table Mountain

We had plans all along to climb Table Mountain, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, on Tuesday morning, bright and early. The day after the Lady Gaga concert. We figured a beer or two at the show and we’d be back at the hostel by midnight, at the latest. Well, things went [...]

Lady Gaga Danielle Joe Beth

Sticky Fingers

Jon, our new Cape Town friends hooked us and our hostel friend, Joe, up with tickets to the Lady Gaga concert down at Cape Town Stadium (one of the 2010 World Cup venues). It was a really fun concert, as well as being our first mainstream concert to attend since being on the road!   [...]

Zanzibar Sunset with boat

Tanzania: In a Nutshell

Tanzania is rad! The people are friendly, the food is excellent and the scenery is magnificent! We spent the first part of our time in the Serengeti and the second half chilling on the beach and enjoying the beautiful white sand and blue waters of Zanzibar.   Things of note: If you are an American [...]

Zanzibar from the Ocean

Zanzibar

I’m becoming spoiled in regards to visiting beautiful beaches. Zanzibar is heavenly. Beautiful white beaches, turquoise waters and relatively few people made for an extremely relaxing seven days. We essentially ended up taking a ‘vacation’ from our ‘vacation’. We were pretty much beach bums for a week and it was glorious.  Seven nights is actually [...]

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Malaria Meds

When we were in the RTW planning phase, we did a bunch of research on vaccines needed for the countries we were visiting. Since Malaria presented some risk in a few of the countries we were visiting, we began researching options of what to take. What I found was, there are zero good medicines for [...]

Sunrise over the Serengeti

Africa & the Serengeti

We made it to AFRICA!!! As we were driving out to Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater for our safari, I was in awe looking out the window at the surreal and awesome African landscape. I couldn’t help laughing and thinking to myself, HOLY SH*T, I’m in Africa!! We booked a three day, two night [...]

Taj Reflection

India: In a Nutshell

India is interesting. I’m not sure if I’d say that this is my type of country, but I am extremely glad I spent time exploring India. Our friend Luke, who we met on our Ha Long Bay trip came to join and travel with us around India for the month. We were a bit scattered when [...]

Palolem Beach Goa

Goa

Goa is extremely different than the rest of India. You can wear a bathing suit and shorts without getting overly stared at. You can order a beef burger, which I did once and should’ve known that in a place where cows are regarded as holy that it wouldn’t be the best burger I’ve ever had, [...]

Night Train Beth

Another Night, Another Train

After returning from the Maldives, we hopped on an overnight train up to Palolem Beach in Goa to meet up with some friends. Another successful night train for the books! One that even included dinner and breakfast.     We’ve now discovered that the pre-paid taxi’s seem to be more expensive than hiring one of the [...]

Good morning Maldives! (other side of our island)

Maldives Part 2: Luxury Living

For the second part of our Maldives trip, we stayed three luxurious nights at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa thanks to some generous family donations (THANK YOU THANK YOU Grandpa, Grandma Linda, Momma & Bill for buying us a night each) and using some of my horded Starwood points (I’ve been saving [...]

View from Cokes

Maldives Part 1: Budget Surf Spot

WE’VE ARRIVED IN THE MALDIVES!! And it’s just as amazing and wonderful as I expected.     In an effort to do the Maldives on a budget, we found an inexpensive hotel in the North Male Atoll on an island called Thulusdhoo. This spot in known for it’s two famous surf breaks – Cokes and Chickens. [...]

W Maldives

My Dream Destination

The Maldives. My dream destination. The place I’ve wanted to go for years and years and years (and years and years). The spot I’ve always said I’m going to on my honeymoon (whenever that eventually rolls around…). It never really occurred to me that the Maldives are a quick 45 minute flight south of Southern [...]

Varkala

A cliff on the beach

We made it to the southern part of Kerala to Varkala (after a stay in Ft Kochi and two nights in a Kerala backwaters home stay…which was amazing and relaxing). Varkala is on a cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea lined with guest houses and restaurants. It’s adorable.

Sunrise on the Ganges

Varanasi

Varanasi is probably the most intense place I’ve traveled thus far. It’s safe to say that Varanasi (and really India at that point) and I didn’t get along very well. Varanasi is extremely dirty, crowded and the constant horn honking can drive a sane person completely mental. With that being said, I would say that [...]

Koh Phi Phi

Thailand: In a Nutshell

Just writing this post makes me miss Thailand. Thailand may now be my favorite country. Ever. I love the food, the people, the diving, the culture and they have, hands down, some of the prettiest beaches in the world! We spent around a month in Thailand and it wasn’t nearly enough time. I can’t wait [...]

After Scorpion

Khaosan Road & a Scorpion

One night out on Khaosan Road in Bangkok, we decided to cross eating insects off our bucket list! Danielle started with a cricket, mini fried frog and I tried a grasshopper. We both sampled the scorpion. Tastes like chicken…except not at all. Insect Selection… Our Scorpions (look at that wing span)    Danielle pondering if she enjoys [...]

Handstands on The Beach

Camping on The Beach

One of the most famous places to see in Koh Phi Phi is Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Lay, where Leo filmed his 2000 hit The Beach. A few friends I’ve met along the way suggested that the best way to see Maya Bay was to do the overnight camping trip, which allows you [...]

Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi

We arrived in Koh Phi Phi and it might now rank as one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Or perhaps will go…still to be determined, but I imagine it’ll always hold a place in the top five. I decided to go on my first fun dive as an Advanced Adventurer with Phi [...]

New Advanced Divers with Dive Master Jen

SSI Advanced Adventurer

We came to Koh Tao after Koh Phangan (with a one night layover in Koh Samui to get out of Haad Rin and the temptation of more buckets and late night beach dancing) to see the island and also so I could get my advanced scuba certification. A friend from the Full Moon Party recommended [...]

Buckets of fun at the Full Moon Party

Buckets of Full Moon Fun

The infamous Full Moon Party on Haad Rin beach… it’s hard to put into words a week that was filled with neon, body paint, vodka/whiskey buckets, debauchery and a 40-person dorm room. Probably the best way to describe it is RIDICULOUSLY AMAAAAZING!!! And something I could do again. Maybe next year. Ha! Despite being in [...]

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Tiger Kingdom

We flew from Luang Prabang, Laos to Chiang Mai, Thailand for the sole reason of nuzzling up to these guys! (we would have spent longer in North Thailand but we were up against getting to Koh Phangan by September 28 for the beginning of the Full Moon festivities) All of the tigers were less than [...]

Sunset over the Mekong

Laos: In a Nutshell

Laos is such a beautiful country with warm, friendly people all around. And cheap! I think my diet in Laos consisted of three things: baguette sandwiches, chocolate/peanut butter/banana pancakes and Beer Lao. Healthy, right?! We were only able to spend seven nights in Laos, so our time was limited to Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. [...]

Sitting with the Meal

Cooking In Laos

I got back on the cooking train and took a cooking class on Lao food. It was extremely fun and, not to toot my own horn, but insanely delicious! There were two of us in the class and it began with Chef Somroj taking us on a trip to the local morning market in Luang [...]

Girls in the Kids Pool

Splashing Around

On Sunday, we decided to rent bikes and explore Luang Prabang. We explored temples, rode across the old communist-era bridge and got one of our FAV baguette sandwiches for lunch. After lunch, we were tired and hot and decided to hit up the pool. Now there are two pools in Luang Prabang – the local [...]

Bucket on the Nam Song

Vang Vieng Tubing: Prohibition Style

Vang Vieng is a town in Laos about half way between Vientiane and Luang Prabang. It was built up during the Vietnam War by the US Air Force when they used the area to develop a base and airstrip, known then as ‘Lima Site 6.’ In more recent years, Vang Vieng is known as a [...]

Hanoi

Vietnam: In a Nutshell

As we sit on the plane flying to Vientiane, Laos (country #6!!), I am reflecting back on our time in Vietnam (I find planes the best place to reflect, perhaps because there are no distractions and I’m forced to be with my own thoughts for the flight duration). I had an amazing time in Vietnam, [...]

Children Riding Water Buff

A trek through Sapa

After our return from Ha Long Bay, Danielle and I boarded the night train to Sapa. Our first night train experience was less than memorable, to say the least. Sapa is beautiful! We spent the day trekking to three different villages, aiding by our local guides. We were joined for the trek by a lovely Australian couple [...]

Kerouac

I’m in Love

I’ve fallen head over heels in love. With traveling, this trip and all of the wonderful places, people and experiences we encounter on a daily basis. I don’t think it really hit me until we got to Vietnam and got back into the hostel lifestyle that we’re actually taking a trip around the world. Despite [...]

4 Million Dong

Country #5: Vietnam

We made it to country #5 – Vietnam! Shockingly, the first thing I thought when we got in the cab bound for our hostel is this guy is driving on the wrong side of the road. In Vietnam, they actually drive on the American side of the road, which leads me to think I’m going [...]

Satay Club Cooking

Singapore: By Photo

On the way to Vietnam, we stopped over in Singapore for two and a half days. As it turned out, a friend of mine from college lives there with her fiancé. They were gracious enough to let us stay with them while we were in town and even more so to take us out and [...]

Tanah Lot

Bali: In a Nutshell

Bali was beautiful. Not in your stereotypical bright, white sandy beaches kind of way, but beautiful in a rice fields, temples, my first time in Southeast Asia kind of way. I preferred Ubud and the Gili Islands over the Seminyak/Kuta beaches, mainly because the latter are sooo congested and the others are truly places you [...]

Room Service

Honeymoon for One

On my last night in Bali, I decided to splurge and use SPG points to stay at the W. Sure, I may have been on a honeymoon by myself, but it was the BEST.DECISION.EVER!! I had an ocean facing view, welcome snacks, a magnificent king sized bed, a fluffy bathrobe and the best tub and [...]

Nasi Goreng

Cooking in Bali…or Not

One of my main goals for this trip was to take a cooking class in every country. I thought I’d fail in New Zealand and it turned out so well. I thought I’d fail in Australia and it ended up working out at the end. And then, the country where they advertise cooking classes ALL [...]

Gili T Sunrise 3

Gili T part deux

I woke up early on Tuesday and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to go watch the sunrise.     For the last night on Gili T, I went with friends, Lauren (who I used to work with and randomly ran into in Ubud…smallllll world!!) and Bart (who I met on my dive boat) [...]

Backwards Roll Entry

Back to School

On my second day of scuba school, we did a few hours in the classroom learning more theory and then after lunch we went out for our second dive. Our second dive was at Shark Point where we saw SOOO many turtles. Probably 15-20. And they were HUGE. I tried to make an X shape [...]

Gili Trawangan

Gili T

On Sunday morning, Danielle and I took our first solo side trips and I head towards the Gili Islands, while she stayed in Ubud before venturing south to Balangan Beach. I got picked up from the Delicious Onion around 7am then we headed to Padang Bai, the departure point for all boats heading to the [...]

Healer

Healing Powers

Today, the owner of our Ubud hotel, Mark, took us to see his healer (shaman/medicine man). Danielle and I were both curious about visiting a healer and thought it would fit in nicely with our (Eat, Pray) Love experiences here in Ubud. Our healer, Cokorda Rai is from Lohtunduh, just south of Ubud. He is [...]

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

Cheeky Monkeys

One of the things to do in Ubud is visit the Sacred Monkey Forest. We decided to head over (removing all jewelry and sunglasses prior so the monkeys didn’t snatch them up) and see these cheeky little monkeys up close. Note to those planning to visit – make sure to purchase a bunch of bananas [...]

Yoga Studio

Eat, Pray, Love

Our first full day in Ubud, we decided to really get into the spirit of the place and zen out. We booked a yoga class, followed by an hour and a half long massage. We heard about this spa and yoga retreat, Taksu, online and decided to try it out. It was amazing! We basically [...]

Naughty Nuris Post Meal

Naughty Nuri’s

On Sunday morning we hopped in a cab and headed inland to Ubud. Ubud is regarded as the cultural center of Bali, surrounded by rice paddies and a much slower paced atmosphere than that of Seminyak or Kuta. Ubud is also where Elizabeth Gilbert spent her time in Bali during Eat, Pray, Love. Due to [...]

Tanah Lot before Sunset

Indian Ocean Surfing & a Balinese Sunset by a Temple

Friday we went with Martin and Sonya to a local café for breakfast, possibly my new favorite in Bali. Café Bali had the cutest French colonial décor, played an assortment of jazz from the 40s-50s and had delicious food, at extremely cheap prices. My scrambled eggs, tomato, toast and butter was $1.50. That would have [...]

Day 2 Babi Guling

Suckling Pig

For our second lunch in Bali, Sonya took us to local Seminyak spot, Pak Malen to have Babi Guling or suckling pig, which is a famed Balinese dish. Our meal contained a soup, pork skin, loin, shoulder, stomach, and I’m not even sure what else on top of rice. It was prettyyyy freaking delicious, however [...]

Day 1 Sunset Ku De Ta

Country #3: Indo

We left Australia out of Cairns and flew to Darwin, where we had a six hour layover and were trapped in a “holding pen” with crap food selections (#awful). The only redeeming quality of our layover was free wifi. After a quick two and a half hour flight, we made it to the third country [...]

australia

Australia: In a Nutshell

Australia is awesome!!! We spent a month traveling up the East Coast from Melbourne to Cairns. Australia is also EXPENSIVE. We knew this going in and it’s part of the reason we went to Australia (and New Zealand) first. It’s also the reason (some of) our habits changed, quickly. I mean, sometimes you want a [...]

Croc & Kangaroo

Throw Another Shrimp on the Barbie!

Or something like that… Finding a cooking class in Australia was wayyyy tougher than I expected. All of the classes I found were for Italian, or Japanese or Thai. None for what I considered to be authentic Australian food. I did find one in Brisbane, but we didn’t end up going to Brisbane. So I [...]

Beth Maori Wrasse

Swimming with Nemo

On Monday, I decided to splurge and go on another scuba diving trip, this time out of Port Douglas on the Silversonic Diving and Snorkling Adventures to the outer ribbon of the Great Barrier Reef at Agincourt Reef. We went to three diving sites and I went diving at the first and third. My goals [...]

End of our Greyhound Journey

Greyhound…it’s been real

Our last Greyhound journey in Australia took us from Mission Beach to Cairns (probably the shortest one yet, just under two hours which felt like nothing). The Greyhound adventures have been an interesting experience and fun, in a way. The best part is that it’s REALLLY nice not to have to pack in a way [...]

Skydiving Shot

Skydiving…check!

After Magnetic Island, we stopped in Mission Beach on the way up to Cairns so I could go skydiving in one of Australia’s best skydiving locations where you jump from 14,000 feet and land on the beach! This was also our first location since we started the trip where we just got off the Greyhound [...]

Baby Joey Wallaby

Cuddly Creatures

Along with skydiving, we also got to visit an animal rescue center in Mission Beach and hold a baby joey wallaby named Dylan. Me and the wallaby joey, Dylan Me & Dylan with the blue tongue lizard Hope, the rescue wallaby who was attacked by a dog

Noah and Beth

Koala Love

The only reason for our night on Magnetic Island…champagne breakfast with a koala. (me & Danielle at breakfast) (Noah in a tree) (my new best friend, Noah)   (holding a baby salty…salt water crocodile)   (feeding Shadow) (a mom and her baby)

Overlook Whitehaven

I’m on a boat! (sailing the Whitsundays)

We left Saturday morning to head down to the marina and meet our boat, the Wings II Diving Adventures. Our crew consisted of Captain Cookie (not to be confused with Cap’t Cook), Skipper Woody and our cooks Harriett and Veronica. Our catamaran held about 25 guests and our group was a mix of a younger, [...]

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach

After a 15.5 hour overnight Greyhound bus trip, we made it to Airlie Beach! We stayed at the Nomads in the newly renovated 8-bed dorm rooms, which had TWO showers. By far, one of the nicest and cleanest hostels we’ve stayed it thus far. After hitting the beach for a few hours, we went ahead [...]

Sunset Cars FI Beach v2

If attacked by a dingo, defend yourself. Aggressively!

On Sunday we arrived in Rainbow Beach, which is basically one of three spots you go to in order to get to Fraser Island. We got oriented, had a burger and beer, hired (rented) our sleeping bags, watched the Olympics (our tiiiinny hostel had all the Foxtel Olympic channels, who knew!?) and went to bed. [...]

Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise

We decided to stop for a few nights in Surfers Paradise, which we assumed (based on the name) that it was a chill, laid-back, surf town where we’d relax before heading to Fraser Island. What we got was a mini Australia version of Miami. It even looks like Miami when you’re driving in over the [...]

Lighthouse Sunrise

First to see the sunrise!

On our last morning in Byron Bay, we woke up extremely early and set out to the Cape Bryon Lighthouse to watch the sunrise. If you have been paying attention in previous blog posts, you’ll know that this is the most eastern point of Australia. Thus, making us first to see the sunrise. I also [...]

Night In

Olympics

The word that best describes the coverage of the Olympics in Australia is CRAP. There is one local channel that shows event and mostly they’ve been showing the worthless events no one cares about (with the exception of swimming). Unfortunately (for me), those are the ones Australia has the best chance to medal. Oh yeah, [...]

Byron Bay Brewery

Byron Bay

After a 14 hour Greyhound bus ride, we arrived in Byron Bay, a chill, hippy, surf town. Cape Byron is the eastern most point of mainly Australia. During our first morning in Byron Bay, we walked around town, walked down to the beach, stocked up at the grocery store and went back to hang out [...]

Harbour Bridge

Sydney

In Sydney, our hostel was right across the street from the central train station, so it was conveniently located (extremely convenient because I’m already dyyyyinnng from carrying my crap. I know. I know. Oh & Myles, you were so right & I should’ve brought a rolling pack of sorts. We’ve seen sooo many in our [...]

12 Apostles

Country #2: Australia; Melbourne & the Great Ocean Road

We made it to the second country of our RTW trip and landed in Melbourne, Australia on Monday. After checking into our hostel, we were taken out to dinner at a tasty steak restaurant by my old boss Adrian. It was awesome! Probably the best meal we’ve had thus far. Oh yeah, and I tried [...]

QT Above

New Zealand: In a Nutshell

New Zealand is stunning and a must visit. I loooove it so much!! Here are my thoughts on the country, in a nutshell. Phrases: Sweet As (awesome), Kia Ora (hello; Maori origin), If everything turns to custard (our Milford Sound bus driver kept saying this and I loved this!) Fun Facts: New Zealand sources of [...]

Blue Ice

Franz Josef Glacier

Saturday morning we hiked up the Franz Josef Glacier. Annndddd my first ever ride in a helicopter!!! We got situated with our gear and everyone was shuffled over to the helipad to board our “Squirrel” and be taken to about mid-way up the glacier. We had a group of around 10 people led by our [...]

Road Trippin’: South Island Style

We left Queenstown Friday morning and drove up through the South Island through Lake Wanaka all the way up to Franz Josef. Road tripping through the South Island of New Zealand is like driving through a painting. Breathtakingly beautiful scenery!! It’s shocking how easy it is to drive in New Zealand…head out of town towards [...]

Dinner

New Zealand Cuisine

On Thursday, I met up with my Kiwi chef friend, Dave, again, this time for my New Zealand cooking lesson. He had already gone to the market so we unloaded all of the groceries and got started in the kitchen. He was teaching a demo course the next day, so first off I helped him [...]

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

On Wednesday, we took a trip on the Jucy Bus Tour to Milford Sound. The bus ride to and from probably takes around four hours, even though it’s only 50 km as the crow flies. Our driver, Ian MacIntosh, provided a wealth of knowledge as we were driving through the New Zealand countryside. A lot [...]

about to jump

Perfecting My Swan Dive

Truth be told, I’ve never wanted to bungy jump. This may make me sound like an old stooge, but I always thought bungy jumping would hurt my back. However, once I arrived in Queenstown, the Adventure Capital of the World, the craving to participate in all kinds of extreme sports took over and I knew [...]

NZ Spices

Food for Thought

This morning was AWESOME!!! My new friend, famous private Kiwi chef Dave Miller, took me to the Mediterranean Market in Queenstown this morning and gave me an overview of New Zealand style cooking. He gave me a run down of the various stocks, glazes, oils and seasonings he likes to use in all of his [...]

Queenstown

Adventure Capital of the World

We made it to Queenstown! We decided to fly down and flew Air New Zealand to Queenstown with a quick layover in Christchurch. I feel like I could write a whole post on airlines/service (we flew JetStar to Wellington), but that’ll be for another day. I will say that even on two short one hour [...]

IMG_1791

The Capital

Wellington is the capital city on the southwest tip of the North Island of New Zealand. (Fun Fact – Wellington is the southernmost capital city in the world) On our first night, we were still adjusting to the time change so we decided to do a movie night at the local theatre to see Ted. [...]

Sky Jump Falling

Leaps of Faith

Day two started out a bit rough (attempts to connect at coffee shops to wifi only to get metered service and get kicked off after a few minutes, waking up insanely cold from the lack of heat in our hostel, etc) but it turned around the moment we walked into Remedy Coffee, my new favorite [...]

landed

18 Hours & the International Date Line

We made it! After a LONG 11 hour redeye to Fiji, followed by a four hour layover and another two and a half hour flight to Auckland, we arrived in New Zealand. We flew Air Pacific on what must have been a 10+ year old plane with seriously outdated movie screens and subpar service. I [...]

Moving…

Is a son of a b*tch!! I forgot just how bad it sucks and after living in my last apartment for close to 4 years, I’ve amassed a lot of crap. A good friend is letting me store all of my stuff (and car) in their warehouse, which is a LIFESAVER!! All of my worldly [...]

AMERICA!

Getting pumped up to celebrate America in my final few days in the good ol’ US of A. Throwback to last year, in what perhaps was one of the greatest 4th of July’s to date. [pb_vidembed title="Brilliant Images - Ironman Weekend" caption="July 4th 2011" url="http://vimeo.com/26994470" type="vem" w="480" h="385"] Check out more rad videos by Brilliant [...]

I Quit My Job Today

Despite the advice of friends and family to only give a two week notice, I gave a three month notice. My boss couldn’t have been cooler and more supportive about it. I can’t wait until the end of May to be unemployed!!!

Making a Decision

Holy sh*t. It’s February. January flew by incredibly fast. When most people think of February they think of the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, Awards Season – Oscars, Spirit Awards and Grammy’s. That’s what I associate with February most years, however this year, February is the month I will be making one of the [...]

Crossroads

I’ve reached a crossroad in life where I’ve realized that I am rapidly approaching my thirties and I’m not really sure where my life is going. It’s actually scary as crap. Having grown up in the South where a growing majority of friends have embarked on the next phase in their lives…marriage, owning a home, [...]