New Zealand ( Nov 2019 )

It has been 2 years since we last did a campervan road trip with our little family. We chose New Zealand for our second one. New Zealand consists the of North and South islands. North island is smaller than the South; we chose south island because of its vastness.

We flew in from Los Angeles and took a non stop flight to Auckland. Air New Zealand had a sale; if you purchase a ticket to Auckland, you can get a city in Australia for free. So we decided to split our 3 weeks between New Zealand and Australia’s Goldcoast.

Day 1: Auckland

We rented a car for 1 day and drove to Rotorua. It took us about 2.5 hrs with some stops due to Maisey and her little bladder. Rotorua is where you can spot some Redwoods. These Redwoods came from California. They were planted in New Zealand in 1902 for the purpose of building. But only a few hectares remain today.

Our next stop was MataMata, where the famous Hobbiton movie set is located. I am a huge LOTR fan and this was the main reason we visited the North Island. We took the last tour of the day. It played out well for us because it wasn’t packed and we were able to hang at the back of the group to take photos. The farm is beautiful, and if you’re a fan of the series (books or movies) then definitely visit the Alexander Farm. If you are lucky enough to get the dinner banquet, please book that. They set up the Dragon Inn with amazing food and you get to do a night tour of the set. Unfortunately, the tour was booked months ahead so by the time I got our tickets it was too late.

** Maisey is the perfect size for the hobbit homes.

** They included tiny details of The Shire. All that were needed were the real life hobbits.

** Dragon Inn provides beer or cider. Maisey had hot cocoa. This Inn is where the dinner banquet would have been held that night. For the real super fans, they do allow weddings there but there is 2 year waiting list.

Hobbiton price: NZ$89/adult, free kids under 3. NZ$199/adult for dinner banquet/night tour.

Accommodations: Above the River @ Karapiro

Price: $115

The view from our room at Above the River. The hosts were really nice and even provided us boots/overalls and some pellets to feed their sheep.

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Day2: Christchurch

We flew to Christchurch. There are two main planes ( mainly JetStar and Air New Zealand ) that fly to Auckland and Christchurch every hour. The flight took one hour. We picked up our Campervan and bought some groceries for the week.

We drove towards Arthur’s Pass and stayed at a camp site for the night.

Accommodations: Kowai Pass Domain

Price: $15

Day3: Castle Hill/Blue Gorge Pass

We drove west on Arthur’s Pass highway. Some of the amazing views we encountered on Arthur’s Pass Highway. This highway cuts through the island and takes you to the west side.

Our first stop was Castle Hill.

This was used in LOTR and Narnia ( The Witch, the lion and the Wardrobe ) .

We arrived at 6:30am to make sure we were the only ones there. When we got to the location there were at least 3 people with us. We hiked all the way to the top and the view from up there was extremely beautiful. This is actually privately owned, but they allow tourists to see it for free as long as you keep your rubbish with you.

** B and Maisey walking away from the site. This is the path to take you to Castle Hill. We suggest you walk all the way to the top. Amazing boulders and view.

We continued west towards Hokitika: We arrived a little after lunch. This is a small beach town on the west coast of NZ. The town that has the Blue Gorge Pass. You won’t miss it since they have signage all over the town on how to get there. Once you arrive, there’s a nice big parking lot and restrooms before the path/trail. Its hard to miss. Once you reach the swing bridge, you’ve arrived and you will know cause that water is so blue. Walk pass the bridge and continue the path to go further down the river. There’s a place where you can actually swim if you can handle the cold water.

** What you do not see are the other 20-25 people around us. You have to take your time to take a good picture because this is a very busy tourist spot. The water is super cold but we saw bunch of teens jumping in.

Accommodation: Linksview Holiday Park

Price: $40

Day 4: Lake Matheson/Fox Glacier/Fran’s Josef

We woke up early to fix breakfast and start our day by 6:30am. We drove towards Fox Glacier/Franz Josef. It took us about 3-4hrs. This ride was a little wet. It rained most the day. Our main destination was Lake Matheson. On the way, we stopped at Franz Josef Glacier. This was a 30-40 min hike. This was actually really sad to see. The glacier retreated and we couldn’t even see it unless we continued further down the valley. And to think 10-15 years ago you could see the glacier wall right where the path ended.

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( FOX GLACIER: As you can see no Glacier to be found. It retreated years back and now to see it you have to walk down this valley and go further up. )

Our hike to Lake Matheson in the rain.

** the hike was about 2 hours and we were in full rain gear because it was on and off rain.

** What I liked about the hike is the forest itself. It so green and moss is everywhere.

(Maisey was 3y.o and was about 28Lbs so I had to get a backpack carrier for this trip. I bought the BITTY BEAN ULTRACOMPACT Baby Carrier because this packs into a tiny size.)

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We arrived at Lake Matheson after lunch. The path starts at Lake Matheson Cafe. We did the hike first which took us about 2 hours since it rained and we had a toddler. I had Maisey in my backpack carrier so it was easier and faster to hike. This was disappointing as the weather did not cooperate with us. We couldn’t see the mountain / view from the mirror lake. It was was still spring (rainy season) in NZ. We talked to some locals at the cafe and they told us it’s hit or miss on whether or not you get to see the view from the lake. Its hard to predict the weather on this side of the island. At least we have a good reason to come back.

** All the food was delicious. The ingredients were all locally sourced.

Accommodation: Fox Glacier Village

Price: $40

Day 5: Wanaka / Queenstown

Another early day for us since our destination was towards the infamous Wanaka Tree on Lake Wanaka. (#ThatWanakaTree) It took us about 3-4 hrs from Fox Glacier to Wanaka. The ride was beautiful. It rained on and off all day. The worst part of this side of the island are the SandFlies. Those lil’ shits bite and there were hundreds of them. But that’s the time of the year they visit south island.

We stopped at Roaring Billy Flats which is located right on the main highway (6) after the Haast Pass. Its of course another hike through the rainforest which also means you’ll be hiking with SandFlies. It rained off and on while we were there but the flies still appeared no matter what the weather was. The trail is about 1km or 25mins walk. At the end, you see this pretty cool waterfall across the river. When we went there, the river was so high but I think in the middle of summer you can actually walk closer to the falls.

We arrived at Lake Wanaka a little after 2pm. This lake is humongous. The tree is actually located in the middle of the town. There’s a parking lot closer to the tree. Its not a big lot so I’m pretty sure it gets packed during summer. To be honest, this tree was not as impressive as I thought it would be. Maybe because I see it all over Instagram and when you see it in real life, it’s just a tree in the water. A tiny tree. But nevertheless I’m glad we saw it in person.

We drove down towards Queenstown after Wanaka. If I could or want to move to New Zealand, this would be the town I choose. Its next to this amazing lake and the view is so gorgeous. We only spent the night here since it wasn’t really part of my itinerary. This was the gateway to Fiordland National Park/Milford Sound.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel

Price: $135 ( Lakeview with a balcony)

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Day 6: Fiordland National Park

This is a huge huge park. It took us maybe 5-6 hrs or so from Queenstown to Milford Sound. We stopped a few times to take photos. This place is magnificent. It’s like driving through a landscape dream. We passed through a long tunnel that is cut through a mountain. That alone was worth it to see. Milford Sound is the end of the road and that is one of the reasons I wanted to visit New Zealand’s South Island.

We took a morning cruise on the fjord. It was really cold so Maisey and I stayed inside. The boat had huge windows so you won’t miss much. B stayed outside on the roof deck to take videos/photos. The trip ends right before you get to the Tasman Sea where it will take you straight to Australia.

** The cruise also have buffet style lunch if you are hungry. The tour included free coffee/tea but it was only an hour trip. We just waited and ate at the cafe by the pier and enjoyed more of the view.

Accommodation: Milford Lodge(campervan site). They have few really pretty rooms you can stay at and it has the coolest view but for me was too much for a night. Check out their website.

** Milford Lodge, one of the few lodges that has rooms for you to stay inside the park. Majority of the places are campgrounds.

** This was our campervan site for the night. The sites are usually $25-40 a night but this one was $75. Almost double due to its prime location.

Restaurant: PioPio ( @ Milford Lodge)

PS: We made a pit stop at GUNNERS CAMP inside Fiordland National PArk. They had a huge flood in this area about 2 months ago and this site was under water. I hope they are able to fix it up. They had cozy little rooms you can rent right by a river.

Day 7: Te Anau

We didn’t get to explore much of Te Anau due to rain. We were supposed to stay 2 nights and do a bike tour and a Glow Worm, tour but we canceled because of the rain. We stayed one night and left the next day.

Accommodation’ Te Anau Lakeview Campground.

Day 8: Kaka Beach/Point Lighthouse and Moeraki Boulders.

The thing with this country is that you really can’t have a set and strict itinerary because of the weather. We were supposed to be going to see a Sea Cave, but the water was too high and rough so it was closed. We ended up side tracking and checking different places that were on my plan B list.

1st stop: Point Light House: The hike was about 20 minutes on a very narrow cliff. It was scary but I had B carry Maisey.

2nd stop: Kaka beach

The only place that wasn’t as impressive as I thought was Moeraki Boulders. The public parking for it has you walking about 30mins to reach the boulders. You have to make sure it’s not high tide or the water will be up to your knees. They have a parking lot right in front, but it’s Privately owned and a paid lot. There’s also a cafe, but we were there so early we could not even get in. This was really just rocks on the beach. I think if we went on a later time ( sunset ) and lower tide I could see how it would be pretty, but then you’d have 100s of people with you. And we are not a fan of crowds.

Day 9: Lake Pukaki/Lake Tekapo/MtCook

Another itinerary ruined due to heavy rain. We drove towards Mt Cook. For the last 9 days this was our only second chance to actually see this mountain. But he was hiding behind the rain clouds and we had no luck at all. We were supposed to stay at Mt Cook village and do some hiking but the entire place was closed due to rain/flooding. So we then decided to just go straight to Lake Tekapo. On the way we saw the most bluest lake and we had a chance to sit outside while eating fresh salmon that was raised from that lake. The best sashimi I have ever had. Even in the rain I will never forget that moment. It was the first time I have ever seen a blue lake.

Accommodation: Lake Tekapo Holiday Park

Day 10/11: Christchurch

The next day it was still raining and very windy/cold at Lake Tekapo. We were supposed to stay 2 nights there but the forecast was rain for the next 5 days. So instead we just went back to Christchurch. It was sunny the last 2 days we were there. We just checked out a local animal sanctuary and watched Frozen 2. The city was very clean and small.

Day 12: Auckland flew out to Goldcoast Australia.

TIPS on traveling NZ during a shoulder season (April/May and Sept-Nov). Winter and Summer is high peak season.

1. Accommodations are not as expensive and you don’t need to book ahead of time.

2. Less People

3. Tours aren’t fully booked

4. Bring insect repellent especially if visiting towards summer time because of sandflies. I actually use Skin So Soft by Avon. It’s not insect repellent but it works really good and it smells good.

5. Always wear sunscreen. Sun is hotter down under.

6. Maisey was potty trained so I bought a travel potty with us. Since we were on the road we wanted to be prepared for her. And it did come in handy. We got the Oxo 2-in-1 travel potty. Worth every penny.

7. Always make sure you dress appropriately. Layers is key. New Zealand is known for Merino wool. Usually they are pretty pricey but you can find some good deals there. I wish we bought some but we like to pack light and not buy much stuff.

8. Biltong = Beef jerky and it’s so good. You gotta try it. They also have chicken flavored chips that were bomb.

9. Try Hokey Pokey ice cream. It’s honeycomb and vanilla.

10. They drive on the right side. And everything is opposite including the turn signal and windshield wipers. We have mistaken the windshield wipers for turning so many times.

11. New Zealand roads are different. It make look short mileage wise but it will take longer than normal. Plus you will definitely stop more times than you plan.

Lastly when traveling with a child. Try to have a flexible schedule and never ever feel FOMO. You have to go on your kids pace and enjoy every moment. If you miss anything you can always return.

Land of Fire and ICE. Traveling Iceland with a 1 year old. ( 2017 )

” Iceland is not a destination. It is an adventure.”

Iceland,

Iceland is a scarcely populated country, located near the top of the globe that is on everyone’s bucket list. I planned to drive the Ring Road with Hubby for summer ( 2016 ) but we had a baby so the trip was postponed for 2017. I wanted to share our itinerary with you and some tips on traveling Iceland with a 1 year old.Iceland is divided into 5 major regions: The Southwest, Southeast, East, North and West Iceland. We had 7 full days and that was definitely not enough. I would recommend at least 2 weeks (maybe longer). The best would be to spend at least 3-4 days in each region to take your time and enjoy the scenery. We landed in Keflavik International Airport 35 minutes away from Reykjavik. We decided to drive counter clockwise and start The Golden Circle and go up towards East Iceland where majority of the highlights of the country are located.

CLICK TRAVEL FILM below.

DAY 1:

We rented a Van/Camper for the week. The company provides free shuttle pick up/drop off from/to airport. For the week the camper costs us about $2000 since we added extra Gravel and Sand/Ash insurance and Wifi. You cannot park overnight at any public/private area unless you are in a campsite. Some Campsites take the camping card, sold for $150-180 at grocery stores/gas stations and sometimes at car rental places. Campsites charge $15-20/per person during peak season (June-Aug). We hit up Kronan Grocery Store on the way after picking up our camper. We bought simple items for the week; things like bread, PB&J, pasta and sauce, Ramen, Coffee, baby food, Fruits, and oatmeal. It cost us close to $100-110 usd. They DO have a Costco, but we found that out after we got all our food. That definitely would have been a better spend.

The Golden Circle and the Southwest

From Reykjavik on Route 1 ( Ring Road ) turn east on Rt 36 towards the Golden Circle and its highlights: We hit up the top 3 attractions of The Golden Circle.

1. Pingvellir National Park. This is one of the 1st stops on the Golden Circle. The Vikings established the world’s first democratic parliament, The Alpingi, in 930AD here at this national park. The Visitor Center is located right on Rt 36. After the Visitors Center we drove about 1/2 a mile and you can find a gravel parking lot on the right and a sign for Oxararfoss Waterfall. The hike is about 10 mins and the first part of the path is rugged and rocky but doable with a baby on a carrier. Then half way to the Falls they made a wooden platform so its much easier.

2. Geysir. One of Iceland’s most famous tourist attractions. Geysir is the original hot water spout and every other ones out there are named after it. It is active but has not erupted since 1916. The one next to it is called Strokkur is as faithful as Old Faithful from Yellowstone ( USA ) and erupts every 10 minutes.

3. Gullfoss.This is Iceland’s most famous ( and used in Movies/Shows ) waterfall. There’s a path on the left side that can take you up close to it but its pretty misty. I recommend to bring a poncho or a good raincoat/jacket. I had Maison on a carrier but you can also use a stroller since the path is paved. There’s a parking lot right up close to the falls.

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CAMP: We stayed at a town called Hella. It was right on Rt 1/Ring Road. The campground was $15/per person and they had hot showers in the site. They also had a gas station nearby and few restaurants.

DAY 2: Seljalandfoss/Skogafoss/Plane crash site

We continued on Rt 1 and our first stop for day 2 was Seljalandfoss (waterfall). From Rt 1 continue south east and make a left on Porsmork Road 249. You can actually see Seljalandfoss by the road. There’s a gravel parking lot facing the waterfall. You can walk behind it ( path on your right past the wooden staircase ). It gets really wet so best to wear rain gear. I was able to walk behind the falls with Maison on a carrier and I was wearing a poncho. It was very slippery but I had my husband help a bit. The way up to the exit was a little rocky and slippery as well.

Skogafoss Waterfall ( next stop) Go back to Rt 1 towards southeast and you will see the sign for Skogafoss on your left, a few miles after Seljalandfoss. Any word with the FOSS in it pertains to a waterfall. This is one of the most instagrammed waterfall in Iceland. You can actually walk right up to it. There’s a wooden staircase on the right that allows you to walk up and see the top of Skogafoss. Theres also a campground right by it and you can set up a tent or park your camper and enjoy the view.

** see the rainbow?

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US Navy DC-3 plane crash in 1973 ( 3rd stop) It is located on Solheimansandur Beach. It is a private land and the owner actually gated up the entrance so you cannot drive up to the plane crash any longer, but you can hike to it. It is about 4 km ( one way ) hike. It was a very easy hike but I would not recommend using a stroller unless you have the one with the big big wheels. The path is rocky and sandy so you might get stuck with a regular small/medium sized wheels ( stroller ). This site used to not be so popular with the tourists, but the past few years, a lot more people are coming here. (because of the Justin Bieber music video and bloggers/instagram). So the owner actually gated up the entrance so that people can’t drive onto the beach. Now, you must hike it. It took us about 1 hour with a baby. If you really want this place all to yourself and not have too many people around the site, then I would recommend to come really early in the morning. (before 8:00am or late late afternoon maybe after 6-7:00pm in the summer)**directions to the crash: from rt 1 continue east towards Vik. After you cross a bridge with yellow blinking lights and a road on your left towards SOLHEIMAJOKULL you will see a gravel parking lot/road access and a wooden gate. Follow that path after you park and it will lead you to the plane ( stay on the left path).

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CAMP: We stayed at VIK campground for the night. The fee was $16/per person. This was one of the best site we stayed at. The view was amazing. Theres a gas station right in front of the campground so you can fill up before heading East and maybe grab an N1 Hotdog. Free WiFi and hot showers available in this site.

DAY 3: SouthEast Icelanddetour: Black Sand Beach VIK: Reynisfjall / Reynisfjara beach.

The day before we were supposed to end our day at the beach but when we got there it was packed. We would not be able to take any good photos if we stayed so we woke up really early the next morning ( 4am ) and went to the beach. It was empty just how we wanted it. The perks of renting your own vehicle and driving to the site yourself rather than taking a bus tour. Don’t forget to check out the cave behind the basalt rocks. It so amazing. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones it looks like it’s made of dragonstones. ** this beach was used in the movie Star Wars Rogue One and GOT ( East watch of the Wall )

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Vik to Hofn is about 240-260km and this drive is out of this world. Vatnajokull Ice Cap dominates this part of the country. This was my favorite part of the island. Its so vast and isolated that you hardly past any towns. I would recommend to fill up your tank either at Vik or at Kirjubaejarklaustur because its a long way to Hofn ( major town ). Svinafellsjokull The path on my left ( picture ) it can take you right next to the glacier but please do not climb onto it! (you could actually fall and die) This island is so rugged and raw that they did not have any ropes whatsoever that separate you from the landscape. Always be aware, use common sense and respect nature. If you want to walk on a Glacier, then you can take one of the many tours available in downtown Reykjavik. The sign to come here is right on Rt 1 and the road will take you all the way to the Glacier Lagoon. The road is Gravel and our camper was able to make it.

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Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon

This is right on the Ring Road/Rt 1. Coming from the south the parking lot should be on your left so keep and eye out. This is BEFORE Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Theres a cafe located at the bottom of this glacier. I wish the view was the lagoon but if you get hungry, at least you can be warm and enjoy really good soup/bread here. This place was really windy and cold. I did not stay out too long. It is also quite a hike down to the lagoon from the restaurant. I did not want to hike with Maison because the path was steep towards the lagoon and very Rocky. Safety first always with a baby. But you can actually go all the way down and right up to the water and see the Glacier.

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Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

One of the most popular lagoons of Iceland. You can actually see chunks of ice on the side of the road and under the bridge. You can even walk on Diamond Beach and see the Ice up close. This was easier to hike with a baby. You can also go on a boat tour and they will take you closer to the ‘bergs.

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Camp: Hofn Campground

Price: $25 per camper

Amenities: hot showers & Laundry

Day 4: Hofn / Viking village in Stokknes / Seydisfjordur town

We woke up later than planned because we were so tired from the day before. But, we were able to add a stop before driving up to Seydisfjordur. We went to Stokknes and it’s a privately owned farm/land which was the set for the TV series: “Vikings.” They have a small cafe when we were there in 2017 and served sandwiches and pies. The fee to see the Viking village was 100 kronos and they have campground nearby, closer to the beach for 2000 kronos.

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Seydisfjordur Town: location used for movie ” Walter Mitty ” ( Where Ben Stiller skateboarded down. )

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Continue driving on RT 1 to RT 96 to RT 92 then RT 93

Camp: Seydisfjordur main town Cost: $20-25 per camper

Day 5: Myvatn nature bath / Dettifoss / Hverir

We woke early again to drive up towards Myvatn. The first stop was Dettifoss waterfall. This was the falls used in the introduction of the movie Prometheus. You can walk up super close to the edge and there are no rails; just a tiny rope to separate you from falling to your death.

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We then visited Hverir which is smaller version of Yellowstone National Park in the US. We’ve been to Yellowstone, so anything smaller it doesn’t impress me much but it did for sure smell like hard boiled eggs.

Myvatn Nature Bath

I actually liked this more cuz it felt more natural. Also there’s a great view of the surrounding areas while you swim. Plus they allowed babies under age of 2 in the water unlike Blue Lagoon. The only downside since I’m not comfortable taking showers nude with everyone all open. They have less own private stalls in this one. But for sure cheaper and very family friendly.

Fee: $37 per person and Maisey was free.

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Camp: Hlio Campground

Day 6: Akureyri

The biggest town in the north. We just passed through after we grabbed groceries and spent the night. It kind of looks like Reykjavik but smaller and they have tiny heart shaped traffic lights. Its a cute little town. I wish we had time to stay longer to explore.

Camp: Hmrar

Day 7: Snaefellsnes Peninsula

I under-planned this drive of the trip. We literally need 2 full days to see this place. The road is mostly gravel and you can’t drive very fast. We only had time to see the Moss Fields. Although you can see some Moss closer to Reykjavik but this one is secluded and you hardly see anyone for miles. This place is so magical.

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We also were able to see KIRKJUFELL. We saw it before the episode came out on Game Of Thrones, when the Hound and the night watch where trying to capture a Wight aka zombie to show Cersei.

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DAY 8: Reykjavik

We decided to spend our last night here since we were flying out early the next day for Denmark. We just added a week of stopover in Iceland and I wished we stayed 2-3 even 4 weeks here. Our last day was spent doing laundry at Laundromat Cafe. They have maybe 6-8 small machines in the basement with a kid’s playroom and a full service restaurant upstairs. No strollers allowed inside this cafe. You can leave it outside. But this place gets too packed. The entire country is so secluded, then you come here and every tourist is here. Also we did stop by at THE BLUE LAGOON. I did not enjoy this part of our trip.

BLUE LAGOON: PROs & Cons

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PRO:

  1. Very Posh
  2. Amazing lay out
  3. minimal design
  4. clean

CON:

1. Staff not that friendly

2. Not that kid friendly

3. Its feels like a community pool with a swim up bar but prettier. It was packed and we went early in the morning closer to 8am.

4. EXPENSIVE $55 for the cheapest package PER person

5. Felt like Disneyworld. Too Touristy for me.

ROK Restaurant

This was recommended by our hotel concierge. All the food is locally sourced. They did not have a high chair but Maisey was fine sitting in the booth area. The best part about this restaurant is that your right across from the famous church Hallgrimskirkja. We were sitting by the window and we could see the church as we were eating.

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TIPS SUMMER visit to ICELAND:

  • Groceries: BONUS/COSTCO/KRONAN
  • Renting a CAR/CAMPER will give you more flexibility
  • Wear the correct layers. We only bought a good raincoat/water proof jacket and a Patagonia Fleece and we were warm and cozy. The weather in the summer was 39-40 deg at night and 60-64deg daytime.
  • Camp Grounds take cash or credit.
  • DO NOT BUY BOTTLED WATER. You can literally drink straight out the tap. They have the best tasting water ever…
  • SAFETY first. Most of the places we saw had no protection gates/rails
  • Using a baby carrier was easier and we only used our stroller maybe few times. Also a raincoat/poncho would be helpful so you can hike under waterfalls with your baby and not get wet.
  • Make sure you bring enough batteries for your gadgets.
  • EAT N1 HOTDOGS: Its the best hotdog I have ever tasted.

Goonies never say die!!!!!!!! ( Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park Oregon )

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Cannon Beach

If you grew up in the 80’s I know you’ve seen the movie ” Goonies “.  That was one of my favorite movies of all time. I was 8 yrs old when I saw it and I wanted to be one of the Goonies.  Adventure, romance, action and cute Sean Astin.  I loved that movie.  The reason we came to Cannon Beach was because of that movie.  This beach was in the intro scene and ever since then I have always wanted to visit this place.  We had a week off last march and we did a road trip from LA to Oregon. Our last stop of our Pacific Coast road trip was this gorgeous beach.

Continue reading “Goonies never say die!!!!!!!! ( Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park Oregon )”

Where the Sky meets the Earth… Monument Valley!!!!

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Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park UTAH

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Welcome to the 8th wonder of the world. Monument Valley (Navajo: Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii, meaning valley of the rocks) is located on the Arizona and Utah state line. It is characterized by its unique sandstone formations, mesas and buttes. The valley lies within the range of the Navajo Nation which is one of the largest native american reservations in the US. The monuments in the park have descriptive names of which were assigned by the early settlers of the valley. The top picture shows the East and West Mittens and the smaller one is called the Merrick butte.

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Continue reading “Where the Sky meets the Earth… Monument Valley!!!!”

Avenue of the Giants…….REDWOODS!!!!

redwood forest

( click to enlarge )

Avenue of the Giants

I had a pleasure to visit the Redwoods in Northern California. I have always wanted to see these gentle giants. They are the oldest and tallest trees in the entire world. They stand from 200-350 ft with diameters of 10 to 15 feet but the widest measured with the circumference of 52 feet. The Coastal Redwoods can live up to 2000 years old. They got the name from the color of their bark and heartwood.

Redwood Forest redwoods red jacket with the redwoods

( click images to enlarge )

Continue reading “Avenue of the Giants…….REDWOODS!!!!”