DIAMOND BEACH & GLACIER LAGOON PHOTO DIARY

Roadtripping IcelandOn the day that we planned to visit the glacier lagoon we woke up to the first snowfall. We knew it was going to be a cold and wet day but when in Iceland you just have to tough it out! There are 2 spots you need to check out that are right by each other, Diamond Beach and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Bellow you will find my collection of photos taken at this spectacular sight.

Diamond Beach

There are 2 sides of Diamond Beach and I would recommend going to both if you have time. You will walk along black sand and small glaciers that have made it to the shore, it’s unlike any beach you have ever seen! Once the sun comes out they will brighten up and look like diamonds hence the name. Even though it was snowing we still spent about 30 minutes just walking along the beach and discovering seals entering the lagoon. I would bring some binoculars to get a closer look! IMG_2741IMG_2800IMG_2823Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

We booked a tour with one of the companies and we went on a smaller boat on to the water. We got pretty close to the massive glaciers chunks that were glowing turquouis or with black streaks. The snow that was falling on this unbelievable sight made it feel like I was in snow globe. After the boat tour you can walk around a couple paths and take more pictures from different angels. You can see the glaciers move towards the ocean and shift and crackle to get out of the lagoon.IMG_2884IMG_2885IMG_2892If you are visiting Iceland it is essential that you visit this location not only because it’s home to Europe’s largest glacier but because it’s an experience of a lifetime. Nothing compares to it.

Photo Tip: If it is snowing or raining make sure you bring something to dry off your lens with. IMG_2700.jpeg

MUST SEE WATERFALLS IN ICELAND

Roadtripping Iceland.pngOne of the top reasons I wanted to travel to Iceland was because of how many waterfalls there are. You’ll be driving down the road and see one then another and then another! It really is a waterfall chasers dream. Iceland has over 10,000 waterfalls that it’s hard to decide which ones to see because if you’re like me you want to see them all! Here are some of my favorites to help you narrow down your list.

Skógafoss

I would recommend taking the stairs and climbing to the top of the waterfall and then following the path for a scenic hike. Then go back down and get close and personal with the waterfall. You will get mist sprayed on you but it will make you feel so alive and have the sense of pure joy. IMG_3147Seljalandsfoss

This is one of the must see waterfalls in southern Iceland it will literally blow you away. The wind was so powerful that you saw the waterfall falling towards one side more. You can follow the path and it will take you behind the waterfall but be aware you will get wet from the mist! IMG_3262Gljúfurárfoss

I had no previous knowledge about this waterfall so it was such a great surprise to encounter it! It’s located secretly to the path on the left of Seljalandsfoss. It’s just a couple minutes along the path and the crowds are close to nonexistent. Follow the shallow stream through the cracks of the earth and then just look up…it’s waiting for you. IMG_3219.jpegSvartifoss

This is one of the most iconic waterfalls in Iceland and now we know why, it’s breathtaking. Svartifoss is located in Vatnajökull National Park and the hike takes about 45 minutes. We went in the fall so we had beautiful bright colors all around the trail. IMG_2960.jpegGullfoss

This is a popular stop within the Golden Circle and you won’t be able to avoid the crowds but it’s still worth it to experience it yourself. There are two different view points (lower and upper level) that you can snap your photos from different angels. We were lucky and captured a rainbow! Can you see it in the photo bellow?IMG_3318.jpegÖxarárfoss

You might recognize this waterfall from the popular TV show Game of Thrones. It is located in Thingvellir National Park and is part of the Golden Circle. You can hike down from different parking lots so make sure you grab a map from the visitors center. IMG_3409The waterfall bellow is unknown to me we just saw it from the side of the road and decided to go chase it! Best decision ever. That’s the thing about Iceland you’ll see so many waterfalls and you’ll just have to decide if you want to chase it! Have you been to Iceland? What are your favorite waterfalls? IMG_2923.jpeg

 

PHOTO DIARY OF THE NA PALI COAST

5 favorite waterfalls in Kauai.pngThe Na Pali Coast is a wonder you must see at least once in your lifetime or 3 times. Because there are 3 ways to go about on seeing this remarkable coast and I’m sure I’ll go back to do the other 2!

  1. Backpack the Na Pali Coast via the Kalalau Trail
  2. Take a Helicopter ride to overlook the coast
  3. Sail around the coast (that’s what we did)

I wish I would have had enough time to do all the 3 options but there just wasn’t enough time. It’s okay because it’s a good excuse to come back! Sailing around the coast was truly breathtaking with sights of natural beauty all around. We spent half of a day along the coast where we got to go snorkeling and see spinner dolphins at the end of  our trip!

Have a look of this photo diary that tries to capture the beauty we were surrounded with.

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Have you been to the Na Pali Coast? If so, did you do it by foot, air or sea? Let us know!

HIKING KANARRAVILLE FALLS

IMG_1264.jpegLocated in the small town of Kanarraville, UT there is hidden treasure of a hike. The mini slot canyon will take you to 2 waterfalls with unbelievable sights. This is a great hike to add to your road trip when traveling through Utah.

PERMITS & FEES: 8 dollars per person, more info can be found here.

LENGTH: 3.8 Miles Round Trip

*Make sure to check weather conditions before your hike for any flash flood warnings.

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IMG_1249.jpegThere is a fun natural water slide where kids and even adults slide down. It doesn’t look much like a slide but I promise you it is. When we were there kids were lining up to have their turn for a splash.

IMG_1208.jpegWe added this adventure on our way from Salt Lake City to St. George. We needed a little stretch from our long journey and decided to add this to our schedule. It was perfect because we did it during a weekday so there was no crowds! Warning I’ve heard multiple comments that weekends are awful just because of the crowds.

You will be hiking through water for at least half of the hike so I would highly recommend taking water shoes, such as Chacos. At the beginning of the trail there is no shade and is extremely hot remember to pack enough water and wear sunscreen.IMG_1230.jpegIf you get the chance to visit Southern Utah, I hope you take a moment to take this adventure. Have you been to Kanarraville in the past or are planning a trip there soon? Tell me in the comments bellow!

10 PHOTOS TO INSPIRE YOU TO VISIT QUEEN’S BATH, HI

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After doing some research I was positive that I wanted to visit this place, no matter what. Every picture that I saw made me fall in love with this location, it just looked so unreal. I will admit that I am not the best swimmer, so naturally, I was terrified especially with all the warnings about it. I decided to be brave and cross this off my bucket list!

Before you go make sure the conditions are just right and that the tide is not high! The trail is located in Princeville and parking is very limited that you might  have to wait a couple minutes to grab a spot (we waited 20 minutes). The trail is very muddy and slippery so make sure you have the proper footwear. No flip flops! It’s a short and steep hike that takes about 25 minutes. Before reaching the bottom you will pass a stream and a waterfall to freshen up in. When you finally arrive the view will be breathtaking! You can jump into the pool and swim for a couple minutes, at times there will be a few waves that come along just an FYI.

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CHASING WATERFALLS IN NORTHERN UTAH

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Let’s talk about northern Utah because it is breathtaking! I recently went on a couple of waterfall hikes in northern Utah including Donut Falls, Adam Falls, Stuart Falls, and all the falls…but really. Chasing waterfalls is my favorite type of hikes!

DONUT FALLS, BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON

Located about 9 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon you will find the home to the popular Donut Falls. You have to be careful in looking for this hike because there is not a trail sign to guide you in. I had to ask a park ranger for directions because I thought I went too far up. I went on a Saturday morning and this hike was very busy, so I recommend doing it on a weekday where it isn’t too crowded. The hike is a 2 mile round trip and kid friendly! Just make sure to be careful climbing the rocks because they are slippery. The waterfall, which travels through a hole in the rocks makes it look like a donut. Oh, I almost forgot you have to bring donuts to Donut Falls!

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ADAM FALLS, ADAM’S CANYON

This dog friendly hike is a 3.5 mile round trip up Adams Canyon. At the beginning of the hike it is sandy and uphill (like the sand dunes), then you will get to the forest with several switchbacks. When on the trial you will encounter a couple of forks on the trail I recommend to just follow the water. There are a few spots on the trail with some steep climbs or where you are on rock walls, so use some discretion before taking very small children/dogs. This hike is full of smaller waterfalls along the way, but Adams Fall is the one at the end of the trail with the 40 foot waterfall.

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STEWART FALLS, PROVO CANYON 

There are a couple of entry ways for this hike, I entered at Aspen Grove which is the recommended route. This trail is super easy to find and leads you directly to Stewart Falls which is a 200 feet tall. Stewart Falls is a 4 mile round trip that gives you a scenic view of the Wasatch Mountains. This hike was one of the easier ones that I have done, there only a few rough spots. Along the way I encountered many families with their kids and dogs!

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GROTTO FALLS, PAYSON CANYON

You drive up about 7 miles up Payson Canyon to start the Grotto Falls Trail. The hike begins from the parking area just off the Mount Nebo Loop Road. This was the easiest and shortest waterfall hike I’ve done. It’s only .6 miles round trip and can be done in about 45 minutes. You can see in my picture that I even wore jeans and flats! My family randomly decided to do this hike and it was so much fun! Highly recommend it for a short hot summer day adventure with the family/friends.

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Horse Tail Falls, Alpine

Wow this waterfall was huge! You can see it from a view point on the trail but keep going so you can see it up close. This hike is 4 miles round trip and pretty steep so make sure you have good shoes to make the climb! We did this last spring and there was still snow in some parts of the trail.

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I love Northern Utah because of its beautiful mountains with amazing waterfalls to explore! What are some of your favorite waterfall hikes in Utah? I’d love to hear your adventure!

WHAT NOT TO MISS IN SAN FRANCISCO

IMG_2062I’ve been to San Francisco a couple times and always discover something new and exciting. This city has so many attractions, yummy eats, and historic sites to escape to! If you have a couple days here or even just a layover, I’ve compiled a list for you of some of my favorite things that I have done to help you plan your SFO adventure!

THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE 

The classic Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco was built in 1933 and is 3 miles long. You will find many tourists at this popular attraction riding bikes, jogging, walking, and taking photographs. The view is breathtaking in every direction that you look at. It is very windy here so make sure you bring a sweater/light jacket for your adventure.IMG_4600

PAINTED LADIES

I’m a 90’s kid so I’m a huge fan of Full House and who can blame me! Of course, I had to go to this iconic location, not only because it was shown in Full House, but because of the beautiful architecture of these Victorian houses. The Painted Ladies are located on Steiner Street. You can have a picnic at the park across the street or just enjoy the view of the colorful homes.IMG_4601

MOSIAC STEPS

This is one of my favorite locations in San Francisco because of the hidden art gem that is known as the Mosaic Steps. Located on 16th Avenue and Morgan with a total of 163 decorative steps you will find a variety of art within each step. From moons, fish, flowers, and a sun you will have a great picture from all angles of the staircase.IMG_4602

FISHERMAN’S WHARF 

Oh my, these seals are so fun to watch they would lie around and nap, fight and swim with each other. Believe me, it is way better than people watching. I enjoyed a nice seafood dinner at one of the local restaurants that had an amazing view of the sunset. This place is fun to walk around and hang out at with other tourists. Fisherman’s Wharf is worth seeing at least once when visiting San Francisco.unnamed-6

BAKER BEACH 

Want a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge, well this is it! This beach is perfect to walk around, throw a Frisbee and if you are daring to go for a swim (water is freezing)! Attachment-1Have you ever been to San Francisco? If not, what are you waiting for? This is a must on your bucket list!

WHAT TO DO IN SAN DIEGO

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Okay, so we were sick and over the snow in Utah that we decided to take a weekend away and headed to San Diego with 75-degree weather! We booked our cute beach Airbnb and soaked up the sun. We had 3 days to enjoy what San Diego had to offer and it was perfect to do all that we wanted to do.

BEST BEACHES 

Being from Utah where there is no beach (and no the Great Salt Lake does not count), I love and appreciate my beach time! San Diego has a couple nice beaches to check out and to get your tan on, salt in your hair and relax to the sound of the waves. Some of my favorite beaches from the San Diego area include:

  • Mission Beach
  • Pacific Beach
  • La Jolla Cove
  • Coronado Beach

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The photo below I took in the best location to capture the San Diego skyline. Most locals are the only ones that know of this location, but I will share it with you! It is Bayview Park you can find the directions here. But, shhh I didn’t tell you!

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SAN DIEGO ZOO

The San Diego Zoo is one of the most popular ones in the states and it did not disappoint. We spent a whole day at the zoo because it is huge and you have so many things to see! We were lucky enough to have most of the animals be awake and active. You can easily purchase tickets that same day at their box office or online.

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BELMONT PARK

This little amusement park is located by Mission Beach and has free admissions! You can walk around and grab a Dole Whip (that’s what we did), or ride couple rides and play in their arcade. It’s a great place to take your family after a day at the beach!

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SAN DIEGO EATS

Great food is always on the list when traveling and San Diego’s foodie scene is delicious, so here is a couple of my favorite places:

  • Olive Cafe
  • Breakfast Republic
  • Dirty Birds
  • Common Theory Public House
  • Sicilia Bella
  • Baked Bear (ice cream sandwiches)

Best Transportation Method 

Bird is a recent company that provides easy and fast transportation with dockless bikes and scooters. I am not a bike person so this scooter saved me from many dreadful bike rides! This is a great transportation method for the boardwalk or close by destinations you don’t necessarily want to get an Uber or walk to. I LOVED my scooter and definitely recommend it!

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San Diego was the perfect destination and we will be coming back in the future! What are your favorite things to do? Any ice cream location I must check out? Tell me more!

MINI TRAVEL GUIDE TO PUERTO RICO

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Puerto Rico is a great getaway for a tropical destination with amazing views, delicious food and welcoming people. We went in January and the temperature was perfect! Puerto Rico is on the smaller size so you can explore the whole island easily by renting a car. I’ve put together a mini guide to help you on your travels to this island.

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What to know before visiting Puerto Rico 

  • The US Dollar is the local currency
  • Most locals speak English
  • Passport is not required if you’re a US Citizen
  • Uber is available

What to see & do

  • Explore Old San Juan by foot
  • Visit El Morro & Castillo San Cristobal
  • Shopping on Cristo Street
  • Visit El Yunque National Park
  • Cue Ventana (Window Cave)
  • Bioluminescent Bays (can’t be seen during a full moon)

Where to eat & drink

  • Raices
  • Mofongos
  • Antojitos del Callejon
  • Vaca Brava

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As many of you know last September Puerto Rico was hit with a category 4 hurricane, destroying most of the island. This was the worst storm that has ever hit Puerto Rico. As of now, Puerto Rico is doing much better and tourism is at its best! By going on vacation to Puerto Rico you are helping the island by supporting local businesses and helping them recover through tourism dollars. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and go on vacation for a good cause!

WHAT TO SEE & DO IN HOI AN

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After researching Hoi An through a variety of sources we made the decision to add it to one of our stops in Vietnam. I’m so glad we did! It’s a smaller city to spend a couple of days in. Here is a list of just a few things we think you should definitely check out!

Shop at the Night Market

The bright colored lanterns that fill the streets during the night market is what attracted me to this city.  There are a variety of handcrafted shops with the perfect souvenirs to take back home or street-cart-food that is worth a try (banana pancakes are a must).

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Day trip to My Son

We booked with Onetrip for a day excursion out of Hoi An it was by far the most personal experience in a “tour”. It was just Brian and I and two tour guides, it almost felt like we were just hanging around with new friends. This is whole day experience that will take you on an adventure through the outskirts of Hoi An and to My Son.

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Get a tailor-made suit or dress

Have you ever wanted a tailored suit but can’t afford it? Well, this is the place to get anything you want tailored for a very affordable price and great quality.  All throughout Hoi An, you will find shops to choose from and if you like something from the window they will make adjustments to fit you perfectly. In fact, I liked something from Pinterest and they made it for me and I picked it up the next day. I wish shopping was this easy back home!

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Try the local street food

Don’t be afraid to try the local street food because they are some of the best places to eat and usually cost you less than 5 dollars! Now that a great deal! You can definitely notice that this is where the locals eat when eating out.

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Ahhh writing this just makes want to go back to Hoi An! Have you been? What are some of your favorite things you did?