All posts by zaagitravel@gmail.com

A-Z Challenge: Ice Ice Baby

Antarctic chill as seen from the view in Howick, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

I arrived in New Zealand just in time for an Antarctic chill to sweep across this beautiful (double or kind of triple) island nation.

Throughout the last week we’ve had unusually cold temperatures, particularly at night and in the morning.

Rain has been on and off. Sometimes during the day the temperature has warmed up to be rather hot. But for the most part, the wintry weather has been a shock to the system for this born-and-raised California girl.Antarctic chill as seen from the view in Howick, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Antarctic chill as seen from the view in Howick, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

It started last week, shortly after James and Brett completed their Guinness World Record.

I really can’t complain, considering we live in the north part of the North Island – the region furthest from the Antarctic than the rest of New Zealand.

The cold snap – which brought snow to the South Island and stormy weather to Auckland – meant 8/9 degrees Celsius or 46/48 Fahrenheit for us up this side.

Antarctic chill as seen from the view in Howick, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Down south in Christchurch the temperatures plummeted to 1/2 degrees Celsius or 33/35 Fahrenheit.

I survived with the help of newly bought slippers and the use of layers and sweaters (jumpers in Kiwi talk).

It looks like I’ll probably need to purchase some Merino wool under layers to help get me through this new-to-me phenomenon known as winter.Antarctic chill as seen from the view in Howick, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.comAntarctic chill as seen from the view in Howick, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

James making a fire during the Antarctic chill in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Fortunately, James is a skilled fire-maker and has been building beautiful fires at night. As well as right now, at noon on Saturday morning as we both work side-by-side in the lounge.

Wish me luck as I try and keep warm, an entirely foreign concept for me… no pun intended.

A-Z Challenge: Guinness World Record Holders… after 36 hours

Well, they did it.

My boyfriend James and his dad Brett are the new Guinness World Record holders for the longest squash match!

On Sunday evening at 5p.m. they set the new bar, playing 36 hours and 2 minutes in front of a massive cheering crowd. It was incredible.

If you want to know more about the event, check out my previous blog post, A-Z Challenge: For Michael Clarke & the Child Cancer Foundation!

Hours 35 of James and Brett Meyers' Guinness World Record attempt via ZaagiTravel.com

There is so so much I could say about this experience but I’ll do my best to keep it simple.

It truly was an honor to watch these amazing athletes do what they do best, in the name of such an incredible charity that works to help young cancer sufferers and their families.

It was an even bigger honor to be apart of the support team that helped pull off such a feat!

James and Brett Meyers beating the Guinness World Record in squash via ZaagiTravel.com

My weekend consisted of baking banana muffins and cooking up pikelets and making smoothies and mixing up Gatorade + coconut water drinks.

I changed James’ plasters (Band-Aids for you Americans!) on his blistered hands and feet.

I massaged his sore, exhausted muscles and offered up pep talks and was on-call for eye drops and lip balm and pain meds.

I dressed up with friends and wore a dragon onesie outfit – which won the adult onesie contest!

I played squash (terribly) with Tessa and our friends in the next court over.

I danced for hours and hours. In part to entertain the guys during their toughest hours – between 2AM and 6AM – and in part to pass the time and help myself stay awake.

The crowd at the 36-hour squash Guinness World Record on April 12, 2015 via ZaagiTravel.comThe support crew at the 36-hour squash Guinness World Record on April 12, 2015 via ZaagiTravel.com

Because I didn’t sleep. For more than 40-something hours. And people, sleep deprivation isn’t a joke! haha

But every dash to the kitchen, every delirious dance move, every lost bit of sleep… it was all beyond worth it.

James finishing the 36-hour squash Guinness World Record on April 12, 2015 via ZaagiTravel.comThe crowd at the 36-hour squash Guinness World Record on April 12, 2015 via ZaagiTravel.comThe crowd at the 36-hour squash Guinness World Record on April 12, 2015 via ZaagiTravel.com

Please consider donating whatever you can afford to the Child Cancer Foundation!

Click HERE to help support the Meyers’ world record!

The Meyer clan after the 36-hour squash Guinness World Record on April 12, 2015 via ZaagiTravel.comThe Meyer clan after the 36-hour squash Guinness World Record on April 12, 2015 via ZaagiTravel.com

Before I sign off, I’ve added a few pictures from our trip to the TV ONE studios on Monday morning!

The troopers woke themselves up at 6am in order to make their live interview on the Breakfast program, and they did an incredible job in front of the cameras!

It was such a blast standing behind-the-scenes watching them discuss the weekend in front of a national audience!

Once again, congratulations James & Brett!!!

James, Alexa and Brett in the green room at TV One NZ via ZaagiTravel.comJames and Brett Meyer on TV One NZ set via ZaagiTravel.com

Check out the guys’ interview on TV ONE Breakfast at… http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/kiwis-smash-world-record-36-hour-squash-game-video-6282672!!

A-Z Challenge: For Michael Clarke & the Child Cancer Foundation

James and Brett Meyer's Guinness World Record attempt in the Howick and Pakuranga Times newspaper via ZaagiTravel.comAs I write this I am sitting in the Howick Squash Club.

It is 6:45 in the morning on Saturday, April 11.

We are less than 2 hours into James’ 36-hour-long squash marathon.

He is playing with his dad Brett in hopes of setting a new Guinness World Record!

The first five minutes of James and Brett Meyer's Guinness World Record attempt via ZaagiTravel.com

In 2008 the athletic Meyer men set the same record, playing 25 hours and 55 minutes.

However, the record has been broken numerous times since… and it currently sits at 33 hours. So they’ve set out to smash it again!

Today, like 7 years ago, their grueling challenge is in the name of raising funds for the Child Cancer Foundation.

James prepping for the beginning of the 36-hour-long squash world record marathon at the Howick Squash Club in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Tessa, James’ sister, pointed out to me that the squash record-breaking community is supportive of each other.

“The vision from the beginning has been to do this for a good cause and every successive record breaker has also raised money for their chosen charity. The greater effect of the challenge transcends their singular effort”, she explained as we sat courtside Saturday morning.

James and Brett Meyer wearing their Child Cancer Foundation T-Shirts as they gear up for the Guinness World Record attempt via ZaagiTravel.comThe Meyer family gearing up for the Guinness World Record attempt via ZaagiTravel.com

The goal James and Brett have set is $36,000. As of right now, they have reached $16,602.

Like last time, they are pushing their bodies and spirits to the limit, in honor of their very dear friend Michael Clarke.

Three days before the 2008 record, 13-year-old Michael passed away after a 16-month-long battle with bone and then ultimately lung cancer.

His bravery, courage and strength was and is immensely inspirational.

His memory motivates James and Brett today as they fight for children that show such brilliant strength as they fight cancer.

The Meyer family gearing up for the Guinness World Record attempt via ZaagiTravel.comMaterials ready for the Meyers' Guinness World Record attempt via ZaagiTravel.com

You can donate to the Meyers’ world record at their official Everyday Hero account HERE. 

 

LIVE UPDATES

Hour three – We’re one hour away from the guys’ first break. They earn 5 minutes of break time for every hour they play. They’ve elected to play their first four hours without a break. For their first break they will only take 5 minutes, saving the other 15 minutes for later on when they really need it.

Hour five – TV ONE NZ came to interview the guys. They were able to answer some questions during their short five-minute break, while also scarfing down pikelets with jam and banana loaf.

James and Brett Meyer being interviewed by TV ONE NZ during first break of their Guinness World Record attempt via ZaagiTravel.com

Hour six – Some blisters and back pain but overall their energy and spirits are high. Your support is crucial so come on down to the Howick Squash Club and get loud for these amazing athletes!

 

MEDIA

TVNZ OneNews: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/father-and-son-attempt-world-record-squash-marathon-6279808

Howick & Pakuranga Times: http://www.times.co.nz/sports-news/smashing-rubber-to-regain-record.html

A-Z Challenge: Exploring the Coromandel & Cathedral Cove, New Zealand

Hahei Beach in Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Speaking of my favorite places in New Zealand… I fell absolutely head over heels for the Coromandel.

This gorgeous place on the eastern coast of the North Island is truly not to be missed!

James and I took a road trip and stopped in the Coromandel for a few days, staying in Hahei – a good central location to explore the region.

Hahei Beach in Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.comIMG_8272

Every corner of the Coromandel offers up a breathtaking view.

There are so many things to see and do as well – from hiking to snorkeling to eating ridiculously good fresh seafood.

While on the beach in Hahei, James and I came across a rope swing, which offered a good hour of free entertainment.

In fact I pretty much had to pry James off of it. In this post I’ve included a couple pictures from his joyous discovery.

Hahei Beach in Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.comTree swing at Hahei Beach in Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

The beaches truly are some of the best I’ve ever seen. The volcanic New Zealand coast offers up exotic rock formations in the form of islands, which can be seen while lounging on soft sand, staring out at brilliant turquoise waters and bright blue skies.

As a girl from California, it struck me how serene the area was, considering how stunning!

I’m so used to crowded beaches – I feel so spoiled to enjoy such awesome nearly entirely private destinations.

Tree swing at Hahei Beach in Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.comIMG_8354

Like most visitors, one of the highlights of our time in the Coromandel was our hike to Cathedral Cove.

The one-hour walk (each way) offered a massive pay off with one of the most mind-bogglingly beautiful views. It was hard to even believe my eyes.

 

Hike to Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.comHike to Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

The cove’s marine reserves covers 9 square kilometers and can be enjoyed by kayak – something we tried to do but had to omit from our itinerary due to rain.

We did rent some snorkeling gear from the local snorkel hire shop… and then spent a rather chilly 15 minutes trying to navigate the murky water, which was caused by the former day’s poor weather.

Heads up! Parking at the entrance to the hike is quite congested, so many people have to park at the bottom of the hill and take a shuttle up to the top. We were able to squeeze in to a spot with the help of parking attendant who charged us extra.

Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

I would love to HIGHLY recommend the place where we stayed – The Church Accommodation.

According to their website, “The Church building was originally the Methodist Church from Taumaranui in the Central North Island,  built in 1916”.

We stayed in a beautiful studio unit with abundant natural light, but they also offer separate cottages as well.

Unfortunately, I don’t have great pictures of the adorable cottage we stayed in because I was so distracted by the beauty surrounding us!

The Church Accommodation in Hahei, Coromandel, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

But even if you don’t stay at The Church, you absolutely HAVE TO go for dinner at their restaurant!!!

I usually find most hotel restaurants less than impressive – however that is absolutely NOT the case here. It is so so so good!! One of the best meals I’ve had in a LONG time.

We had the Patatas Bravas tapas, the Lamb Kifta meatballs, and the evening’s special – a delicious serving of mussels in a butter white wine broth.

The restaurant’s atmosphere is great, the food is amazing… just go. Seriously!

The Church restaurant in Hahei, Coromandel, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

A-Z Challenge: Duder Regional Park & Maraetai Coast, New Zealand

Alexa Rae on the Maraetai Coast in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Serious slacking on my A-Z blogging challenge so trying to catch up as much as possible tonight!

I knew I’d be busy the first week of the challenge, with moving across the world and all… but wow! It’s been hectic.

But no excuses, back to blogging!

Alexa Rae on the Maraetai Coast in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.comThe Maraetai Coast in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.comJames on the Maraetai Coast in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

In January this year James and I visited Duder Regional Park – one of my favorite places (so far) in New Zealand!

It is only a 20-minute STUNNING drive away, along the Maraetai Coast Rd., from where we live and is an absolutely gorgeous place!

A flying seagull bird on the Maraetai Coast in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Pohutukawa tree and children playing on a Maraetai Coast beach in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

A summer day on the Maraetai Coast in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

The regional park – located in East Auckland – was created in 1995, after it was sold by the Duder Family, who had owned the land for 130 years.

It is a working farm with many adorable herds of sheep, which we saw being herded by a shepherd dog as we trekked our way through the fields and trails.

Views of the Hauraki Gulf are truly breathtaking as you hike (or tramp) the Farm Loop Trail, which is about 4 km in length or approximately 1.5 hours long.

Entrance to Duder Regional Park in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Duder Regional Park in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

James and sheep at Duder Regional Park in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

We went at a leisurely pace, bringing along a little picnic to enjoy amongst the turquoise ocean views.

For the day James and I packed little sandwiches that we had stuffed with ham, lettuce, tomato  and spread.

Sheep at Duder Regional Park in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.comSheep at Duder Regional Park in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.comJames helping out a lone sheep at Duder Regional Park in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com"Sweet As" sign at Duder Regional Park in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

And then, a hike on a hot day is not complete without an ice cream, right?!

James and I finished up our memorable first day of 2015 by stopping for some hokey pokey deliciousness – a very Kiwi treat – at a dairy on the way home.

Alexa Rae at Duder Regional Park in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

James at Duder Regional Park in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.comView from top of Duder Regional Park in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Hokey Pokey is now my new favorite! It is basically vanilla with bits of honeycomb toffee throughout. They taste like crunchy, chewy little pralines and they are to die for!

To visitors (and locals too!) I very highly recommend a morning or afternoon at Duder Regional Park, taking in the unbeatable scenery New Zealand is known for.

Because what’s better than vibrant sea views, ridiculously cute little lambs and some mouthwatering ice cream to top it all off?

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream on the Maraetai Coast in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

A-Z Challenge: Customs (Global Entry & NZ Holiday Working Visa)

View from Air New Zealand flight over Manakau Peninsula in Auckland via ZaagiTravel.com

On Thursday evening I flew to New Zealand.

I arrived on Saturday morning due to time changes + the amount of time in the air (almost 13 hours).

For this blog post I thought I would tell you about my experience with Customs & Immigration — including my new Global Entry membership as well as which visa I am on here in NZ!

Flight Map via ZaagiTravel.com

GLOBAL ENTRY

I applied for the Global Entry program back in February.

The program, run by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection agency “allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States”, according to it’s website.

Applicants “undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment”.

The benefits of using Global Entry include…

  • shorter waiting times at both major American airports as well as many International airports as well
  • TSA PreCheck eligibility (cutting the line at security!)

Passport and Boarding Pass via ZaagiTravel.com

Basically, you’ll spend approximately 30 minutes and $100 on the application, and if you travel often it is something you should consider looking into.

The membership will last me five years, and being that I’ll be traveling internationally often, I personally feel that it is very worth it!

In order to be fully approved, first, I had to await the acceptance of my online application. I was then told I had to schedule an interview at my nearest enrollment center, which happened to be at the LAX airport.

The interview was very simple and to the point. I met with a U.S. Customs Border Patrol agent who asked me questions about my traveling habits, if I had a criminal record, etc.

After only 15 or so minutes I was told I had been approved and could immediately begin using my Global Entry membership!

Alexa and James via ZaagiTravel.com

NEW ZEALAND WORKING HOLIDAY VISA

Now, on to another immigration matter!

In order to live and work in New Zealand I am using a special visa, which is referred to as the Working Holiday scheme.

The rules of the visa vary, depending on where you are from.

But for Americans, you can apply for this visa if you are between the ages of 18 and 30. It will last me 12 months and allows me to do any work that I would like, as long as I abide by universal New Zealand employment laws.

The application ended up being absolutely FREE! And I was approved in less than a week!

It went in to effect the day I arrived and will last for 365 days.

When I arrived at the airport in New Zealand I only had to show my passport to the NZ Customs officer. I had copies of my work visa & proof of the amount of money I have (in order to show that I can support myself until I find a job and can afford a return ticket at the end of my visa’s covered amount of time).

The entire process (of getting and using a visa) was incredibly simple and straight forward. Moving internationally – not so much. But I can get into that in another upcoming post.

I’m a tiny bit behind on my daily blogging challenge, which defeats the purpose, I know!

But I have been so so busy the last few days. Trying to catch up now!

Cheers from NZ,

Alexa & James

A-Z Challenge: Boyfriend

James and Alexa Auckland Skyline via ZaagiTravel.com

How did a girl from Los Angeles, California fall in love with a boy from Auckland, New Zealand?

Where in the world do I begin?

I met my boyfriend James in February 2014.

James and Alexa in Huntington Beach via ZaagiTravel.com

But before that… in the summer of 2012 I met his sister Tessa. You can spot the gorgeous blonde gal in this post.

Tessa became one of my closest friends when we met while traveling with Contiki around Europe for 4 weeks.

Nearly two years later I spotted a Facebook/Instagram post of hers. A picture of her with a really attractive dude.

It read: “Adios brother! Enjoy the great continent! #USAbound #adventures #luckybugger #hugelyjealous

Said photo…

James and Tessa Facebook Post

Now, to make a long story short enough to read…

I offered to show him around my neck of the woods. And on February 23 of last year I took him around to Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. And life was never the same.

Mirror Selfies

Months after we met our friendship evolved. It didn’t take me long to realize that James is the most incredible person I’ve ever met.

He’s the definition of genuine, kind, thoughtful, honest, hilarious, intelligent, adventurous, strong, brave, hard-working. He is so happy, he brings so much positivity to every single situation and makes even the simplest of moments gleam and mean something.

There was just no comparison. He was the macaroni to my cheese. And how cheesy is that?

Airport Selfies via ZaagiTravel.com

Road tripping via ZaagiTravel.com

I sincerely didn’t know relationships could be this amazing. I couldn’t be more proud that this is mine.

We didn’t have the most typical/average beginning. What we have is better.

Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

It’s been 65 days since the photo below was taken.

It was taken at the Down Under Bar & Cafe in the Auckland Airport terminal minutes before I left to return to Los Angeles.

It was taken in the same spot as Tessa’s original Facebook photo, the first time I ever laid eyes on the person who would give my world a new glow.

The countdown to seeing this face again is nearly over. Now we’re just days away from the next chapter of this insanely amazing adventure.
Airport selfies via ZaagiTravel.com

A-Z Challenge: America to nZ

Alexa Rae on Waiheke Island in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com
Well, if you’re reading this there’s a good chance you already know I’m moving to New Zealand.

If you didn’t know… now you know!

And I’m moving… this week.

I’ll keep this post relatively brief because there will be some lengthy ones to come.

In the month of April I will be blogging EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Ok wait. That’s not true.

I’ll be blogging every single day of the month aside from Fridays or Thursdays if you’re in North America. Technically the rules of the challenge I’m completing (more on that below) include breaks from blogging on Sundays. However, I’m a rebel so I’m choosing Fridays.

Keep Calm And Move To New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Basically… while researching blogs about Americans that have moved to New Zealand I came across Albom Adventures, a blog written by a female American expat living in Auckland.

She has completed the A-Z Blogging Challenge for the past four years. I was inspired. And being that this will be one of the biggest months of my entire life thus far, I want to document it the very best I can.

My blogging lately has been pitiful, and that’s being kind. But I feel extremely motivated to complete this challenge.

Some of my upcoming posts will include information pertaining to travel, including my experience with Global Entry as well as the special visa I’ll be on.

But most importantly, it will follow the shenanigans I get up to with the best sidekick in the world, my boyfriend James.

Upcoming topics include…

  • On April 11-12 James and his dad Brett will be attempting their second Guinness World Record, for the longest game of squash, playing 36+ consecutive hours to raise $36,000+ for the Child Cancer Foundation.
  • I’ll also be discussing Kiwi food, Kiwi slang, and some of my favorite places I’ve already traveled to around New Zealand.
  • Some of the most fun you could ever imagine!

Flag Of  New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

And! As it turns out… Rhonda from Albom Adventures has themed her A-Z posts ‘AmaZing Auckland’! I look forward to discovering more about my new backyard through her blog as well!

Please feel free to follow this journey I’m about to partake on.

And buckle up. It’s gonna be a crazy beautiful ride (on the left side of the road… Oh goodness!)

À La Minute Handcrafted Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream in Claremont, California

I love my best friend Rhea and I love ice cream.

And tonight I got to combine those two loves when I met up with my bestie and her fiancé Manako at the new local ice cream shop, À La Minute, in Claremont, California.

The latest addition to the downtown Claremont scene has thrown a new spin on everyone’s favorite frozen treat.Chocolate chip ice cream from A La Minute Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream in Claremont Packing House via ZaagiTravel.comA La Minute Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream in Claremont Packing House via ZaagiTravel.com

They handcraft your individual serving of creamy goodness with the use of liquid nitrogen! Because science.

If, like me, you hear the words liquid nitrogen and have no clue what that actually means…

Here is a description from À La Minute about their special ingredient:

“Liquid nitrogen is simply nitrogen (which makes up 78% of our atmosphere) in a liquid state.  It is -321 degrees [fahrenheit] and is obviously very cold.  Using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream minimizes the size of ice crystals and results in a much creamier ice cream.”A La Minute Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream in Claremont Packing House via ZaagiTravel.com

On top of that, À La Minute also uses a 100% organic ice cream base and places a high priority on using local & seasonal ingredients.

Your order is literally as fresh as it gets. And on top of that, we also watched our waffle cones being made right in front of us!

The shop – which shares a space with Augie’s Coffee House – is located inside the Packing House (the largest historic building in The Village)!A La Minute Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream in Claremont Packing House via ZaagiTravel.comA La Minute Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream in Claremont Packing House via ZaagiTravel.com

If you’re looking to spend an entire evening in the Claremont Village, a scoop from ALM would make an extra special post-dinner treat after a drink/meal at Eureka Burger or The Back Abbey.

Back to our experience…

Staring at the board of flavors and making a decision took us quite awhile.

Finally we made our choices…

I ordered the Espresso Chip with added caramel sauce on top! Needless to say I was more than happy with my pick, and highly recommend it!

A La Minute Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream in Claremont Packing House via ZaagiTravel.com

Rhea opted for the most unique flavor — Butternut Squash and Black Garlic with Burnt Sugar Syrup! She and I both liked it but Manako wasn’t a big fan of the frozen vegetable and garlic concept.A La Minute Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream in Claremont Packing House via ZaagiTravel.com

Manako (A.K.A Beast Mode) chose the classic Chocolate Chip! Let’s just say it was pretty much gone in a manner of seconds. A La Minute Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream in Claremont Packing House via ZaagiTravel.com

We all LOVED our super delicious indulgences. As we were leaving Manako exclaimed, “I’m going to be coming back here!”

I have to say that I completely agree.

If you’re curious about this liquid nitrogen ice cream you can grab a scoop (or two! or three!) from À La Minute at one of their three locations in Southern California: Claremont, Redlands and the city of Orange!

A La Minute Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream in Claremont Packing House via ZaagiTravel.com

532 W. 1st Street Claremont, CA 91711

19 East Citrus Avenue #105 Redlands, CA  92373

117 N. Glassell Street Orange, CA  92866

If you still want to know more check out this video to learn how they use liquid nitrogen to form their extra delicious desserts!

 

Sailing at Sunset in Long Beach, California

My very first GoPro-documented adventure!

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out!

This is what sailing in Long Beach, California at sunset is all about, y’all!

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunset

Soooo…….. awhile back…….. I enjoyed a Groupon excursion with Pacific Sailing.

This is our captain. I wish I could tell you his name.

But I can’t, because I have been the worst slacker EVER……….. this sunset sail occurred seven (gasp) months ago. Horrendous, I know. I’m sorry. I promise the next few months will be better!!!

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunset We bought a deal for a 90-minute sunset sail with a bottle of wine for only $99!!

After buying the Groupon we just contacted the company to set up a date and time. The company was a little difficult to get ahold of at first, took a couple tries on the phone.

But once we had the details down we were all good to go!

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunset

On the day we drove to Long Beach’s Shoreline Village — a collection of shops, restaurants, and fun activities (including a carousel, arcade and bike path)!

This is where we parked, just a few steps away from the meeting place down on the marina, where we checked in and waited to set sail.

A couple from Burbank were the only other passengers to join us.

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunset

The passengers were allowed to sit back and enjoy the ride while the captain took care of nearly everything. We were only asked to change sides of the boat once to help with positioning the vessel to better turn around.

During the trip around the stunning California coast we learned tips and tricks about sailing, history of the area, etc., all while sipping on a bottle of wine and enjoying the last of the sun’s warmth.

The view of Long Beach was stunning as we exited the harbor.

We could see the famous Queen Mary ship, which always reminds me of Titanic. Yes, I just brought up Titanic in a post about sailing. Get over it.

The Queen Mary from a sailboat in Long Beach, California just before sunset

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunset

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunsetTIPS

I do have some random general advice for sailing if you don’t have a lot of experience. Some of this may seem obvious, some might not, bare with me.

Out on the ocean, the wind can pick up a bit….. after all, wind IS required to sail.

1) Naturally, I would recommend bringing a coat or light jacket. Even on beautiful days during spring and summer.

Being freezing might ruin the ambiance a little. Be prepared. If you get cold easily, bring a blanket, a scarf, whatever it takes to keep you comfortable.

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunsetSailing in Long Beach, California at sunset

2) Take your hat off and be careful with your sunglasses. That wind/mildly bumpy ride could cause you to lose loose items fairly easily. And good luck getting them back if they fly off.

3) Ladies… don’t bother styling your hair. If you leave it down it’s going to become a crazy tangled mess. Just bite the bullet and throw it back into a ponytail. You’ll be able to SEE and you’ll save yourself from some nasty split ends. So come prepared with something to tie it back with!

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunset

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunset

4) Use the restroom before you board the sailboat. 90 minutes is a long time to be wishing you had.

5) Take some pictures!

6) But don’t just be experiencing the view from behind a screen or lens. That’s why I loved bringing my GoPro. Taking pictures with it was discrete and it meant that I was looking at the view with my own two eyes!

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunset

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunset7) Enjoy yourself! Because who doesn’t love the ocean?? If you don’t, we can’t be friends. It’s that simple. I’m kidding. Kind of. Not really. Yeah, I’m not kidding.

But seriously… Sailing is incredible way to get back to nature. Relax and leave your troubles on the dock. And when you get back kick those troubles into the water and watch them drift away. Unless your troubles are a person. Then please don’t kick them.

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunset

I’ll end this post with ONE OF MY VERY FAVORITE QUOTES EVER by Mark Twain.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunset

Also, before I sign off, you should know that Pacific Sailing also offers sailing lessons — something I’ve been dying to do!

I highly recommend checking the company out — especially if you can get a deal on Groupon — whether it’s for a romantic date night (or anniversary, birthday, graduation celebration and so on), or just to get out and do something new.

Sailing in Long Beach, California at sunset

*** I did not receive compensation of any kind to write this post. This is my honest opinion and was written purely for your interest/entertainment/knowledge. :)