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[Channels Islands National Park – Anacapa Island, March 29, 2018]  The five islands that make up Channel Islands national park sit just off the coast of Ventura, CA. They had been on my list for a long time, but their proximity meant that I prioritized other national parks before them. With a four-day weekend for Easter looming with no solid travel plans, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to explore my… Read More

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[Miami, FL, Fri, Dec 29, 2017] For my Christmas present, B cooked up a major surprise. He had me completely confused – he said to not wear any jewelry, wear something comfortable and bring my big camera. I was trying to figure out where he could be taking me given those requirements, but it wasn’t until we were at the gate of the Zoological Wildlife Foundation in Miami that he told me… Read More

[Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI, Oct 17, 2016] This was our last day on the Big Island – well, for the majority of us! Most of us were leaving with a red-eye in the evening, while a few lucky ones were staying one more night here before continuing on to the island of Kauai. We got an early start to the day so that we can drive a couple of hours to… Read More

[Kona, HI, Oct 16, 2016] Sunday was our day to celebrate! Our organizer extraordinaire Arev had arranged for a lunch for all 36 of us at the Kona Brewery – same one we visited on our first day here. It was great to see everyone and hear the other teams’ stories! Everyone had some good ones to share! We took lots of photos, of course! One set of photos was the corresponding… Read More

[Grand Teton National Park, WY] For our final day in Grand Teton (and on this trip), we had booked a 2-hour floating trip on the Snake River. We met in the hotel lobby at 8:20 am and got on a bus, which took us to Pacific Creek landing. There, our group of about 40 people boarded two WWII pontoon rafts. These were used in WWI in Europe, when all the bridges were… Read More

[Yellowstone National Park] Today was our last day in Yellowstone, and Mother Nature finally smiled upon us with our first fully sunny day since we got here on Monday. And it was not too soon, as we were waiting for the weather to clear in order to hike Mt. Washburn, the park’s most popular trail. The hike was not too strenuous – 1400 ft elevation in just over 3 miles. What made… Read More

[Yellowstone National Park] Today’s plan was to sleep in, then go for a horseback ride at 1 pm. We’d been getting up early all throughout this trip, so it was about time we didn’t wake up to an alarm – we are on vacation, after all! We had a late breakfast at our hotel, where I had the best pancakes ever – huckleberry pancakes. They were crispy on the outside, nice and… Read More

[Yellowstone National Park, WY] Yellowstone can be roughly divided into three areas – North Yellowstone (where we were yesterday), the hydrothermal area around Old Faithful, and the canyon of the Yellowstone river. Having seen the North, we decided to tackle Old Faithful and the three hydrothermal basins around it today. The Old Faithful Visitor Education center posts the next eruption time for Old Faithful, +- 10 minutes. When we arrived around 9:20… Read More

[Great Falls, MT / Gardiner, MT / Yellowstone National Park, WY] Never ever have I been so happy to spend the night in a hotel room! We were all happy when we woke up on Monday morning and could make coffee, catch up on social media and just chill in our hotel room! The rest of the girls got ready for their flights, while Laura and I researched brunch. This turned out… Read More

[Kailua-Kona, HI] Humuhumunukunukuapua’a is the name of the Hawaii State Fish. To say this, break it up into syllables and note the repetitions – Humu – Humu – Nuku – Nuku – Apua’a. And, if you’ve seen the movie “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”, you may recall a scene where a desk clerk at a resort on Oahu proudly boasts being able to name over 200 Hawaiian fish, including Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. You can see the… Read More

Springdale, UT Angel’s landing is probably neck-in-neck with the Narrows for being the most popular hike in Zion. It’s not a long hike (5.5 miles roundtrip) or steep (about 1000 ft/300 m ascent)… but what makes it a thrill is the final push along a narrow rock. And when I say narrow, I mean 3-ft (1-m) wide narrow, with steep drop-offs on both sides. Chains had been bolted in through this final… Read More

[Pisac, Peru] It was another early morning for us today. We were hoping to make our way through the Sacred Valley with stops at Pisac and Ollantaytambo before finally reaching Aguas Callientes, the village closest to Machu Picchu. We had arranged the day before for a driver and a car, as we wanted to sight-see at our own pace. Our driver and tour guide arrived bright and early at 7:30 am and… Read More