Tag Archives: Travel

All around Oahu: Hiking Diamond Head

I’m taking a little break from my A-Z Challenge.

I still have R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y and Z to do… And I have some cool ideas for those posts!

But I’m far too excited about our recent trip to Hawaii so that’s what I’m going to cover first.

Views from parking lot at Diamond Head in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii via ZaagiTravel.com

Earlier this week James and I wrapped up a 10-day trip to the island of Oahu.

One thing we did during our vacation was hike Diamond Head, the volcano that makes up the iconic background setting of Waikiki Beach.

We first took a city bus to the base of the hike, which is really more of an incline walk.

Diamond Head in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii via ZaagiTravel.com

The walk itself was nice. Lots of families with young children were able to do it so it’s not impossible with little ones.

The bus dropped us off just around the corner from the driveway entrance, which took about 15 minutes to walk through to finally get to the park entrance.

James’ Kiwi-ness paid off in helping us gain entrance because we were without cash — it costs $1 per person or $5 for a car.

James mid-hike at Diamond Head in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii via ZaagiTravel.com

The kindness of the people working at the park was incredible. A woman working the food/drink truck gave us two free bottles of water because it was too dangerous to be walking up without hydration.

It was so hot out! Well over 30 degrees celsius (close to 90 degrees fahrenheit).

Lesson learned: Bring CASH to Diamond Head!

Views from Diamond Head in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii via ZaagiTravel.com

As for views, you won’t see many until you reach the top but MAN is it worth it!!

After climbing some rather intense stairs, you ascend to the summit where you’ll find a stunning lookout over Waikiki Beach and the Diamond Head lighthouse.

The color of the water is breathtaking. See for yourself…

Views from Diamond Head in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii via ZaagiTravel.com

Overall: It’s a great thing to do if you’re wanting to stay active and if you’ve got a couple hours to see Honolulu from a beautiful birds-eye perspective.

It took us about an hour and a half round-trip. We took some time relaxing and appreciating the scenery once we reached the top.

We both highly recommend Diamond Head!

Views from Diamond Head in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii via ZaagiTravel.com

Alexa Rae & James at Diamond Head in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii via ZaagiTravel.com

A-Z Challenge: QUESTIONS (& answers) about my life here in New Zealand

James and Alexa Rae at the top of the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.comMy boyfriend James is a big fan of Reddit, a site known for their AMA “Ask Me Anything” interviews.

I thought that a Q&A would be a fun way to post about the letter Q in my seemingly never-ending alphabet blogging challenge.

So… on Facebook I asked my friends and family to send me their quandaries. Scroll down to see my responses.


How many hours difference are you from San Diego?

Well, it depends on the time of year actually. Right now, we in New Zealand are nineteen hours ahead of San Diego (or I like to think of it as five hours behind but a day ahead haha).

That will change when each of us (NZ & California) goes through Daylight Savings. It will change to 20 hours ahead and then 21 hours ahead.


How does working there compare to here?

Let’s see…

Here in New Zealand there is a 90-day trial for every employee. Before you hit 90 days at your place of employment you can basically be let go without reason.

Our salaries are a bit higher (but our dollar is weaker and cost of living fairly expensive) so it ends up being somewhat similar.


What are the benefits like?

In New Zealand we get many more days of paid annual leave (the minimum for everyone is four weeks but some businesses offer even more).

We also have PAID parental (yes, BOTH parents) leave (which will move from 16 weeks to 18 weeks next year), as opposed to the US – which federally speaking has zero paid leave and only 12 weeks unpaid leave… California does now offer six weeks at 55% of your salary.

And if you’re wondering why I know so much about parental leave? I wrote an article on it a few weeks ago.


When’s the wedding and am I invited?

Ha! Not anytime SOON – we are not even engaged!


What are your work colleagues like, and are their accents the coolest ever?

Yes, Heath. Your accent is awesome. haha And you, along with all of my co-workers, are pretty darn great! I feel very fortunate to work with such a dynamic group of people. There’s a fantastic energy in our office.


View on the kiwi foodie scene?

The amount of health food restaurants and stores is incredibly impressive for its size!

One of the things that stands out most about the food here is how fresh it is. It just tastes more real and fresh off the vine if that makes sense.


And what would you recommend to those travelling to NZ?

In terms of food? If you’re in Auckland I really love Mexico, ironically. I didn’t even like Mexican food when I lived minutes from the Mexican border. But Mexico is a really fantastic restaurant with a few different locations around AKL.

In terms of just regular travel? In summer I absolutely LOVED spending a few days on the island of Waiheke just off the coast of Auckland.

I would also definitely recommend the Coromandel Peninsula and Cathedral Cove as well as the Glow Worm caves down in Waitomo and hiking Duder Regional Park in Maraetai.

But honestly… this country is the most beautiful and diverse place I’ve ever been to. Everywhere you turn it is absolutely stunning. There truly are endless opportunities for adventure here.


Are you an All Blacks fan?

Sure am! I even have an All Blacks jersey! But I’m still figuring out how rugby works…


Do you say mate yet?

I don’t say mate and I don’t think I ever will. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it just doesn’t come naturally like some other kiwi words do.


Other than missing family & friends, what’s been the most difficult thing to adjust to and how do you deal with it?

Driving and the weather.

I have managed to conquer driving on the left – with the steering wheel on the right. Well, for the most part.

The weather? Still a daily struggle for me. It’s not the arctic or anything but WOW. It really FEELS like it.

I’ve had to go out and buy new clothes – including merino wool tops, wool socks, more tights/leggings, more thick sweaters, more boots, etc.

I also have had to purchase an electric blanket which has made a massive difference in the evenings!

I now use a room heater in the bathroom for when I get out of the shower and I wear a robe, and slippers or house socks pretty much constantly when I’m home.


What is the main differences in food compared to the U.S.? In terms of what people eat, the taste, fruits, etc.

Food in New Zealand is generally a bit healthier — less processed, smaller portions and so on. Supermarkets don’t look that different really but people appear to eat somewaht less fast food and more homecooked meals, and you can tell the differences in sizes at the movies for example.

There’s a lot of pumpkin/kumara served here which makes me a very happy camper! And definitely a British influence in the food – the commonality of things like savoury pies, fish and chips, etc.


How different are the road rules other than driving on the other side of the road?

I’m still getting a hang of that.

The first thing that comes to mind… ROUNDABOUTS! And I actually LOVE them. They scared me for the first couple months but now I can’t imagine life without them. They’re so much more functional than sitting at red lights for forever.

In more rural New Zealand there are one-way bridges where one side yields until there are no more cars coming, which I’ve never seen in the US.

The speed limits in the US are a bit higher and I think I still drive at US speeds – oops! But I haven’t been caught yet. Only by James.


How did your perception of kiwis change after you moved here (if it changed at all)?

Hmm… I think I just learn every day how friendly kiwis are. I personally find them very welcoming and warm, more so than the average Los Angeles resident.

They have a wee bit (see what I did there?) of that formality that Americans associate with the UK. Sort of a sophistication. Well. Some kiwis. 😛


What do you wish the US had that NZ does and what do you wish NZ had that the US does?

I wish NZ had Target! And quark. And less-expensive shopping. And warmer weather. And currency as strong as the USD. And my family. I really miss them.

Hmm… I wish the US had the lifestyle that NZ has. And the amazing level of healthcare that NZ has. And the far lower crime rates. Children walk home from school here without the fear that they’ll be kidnapped. Police in NZ don’t carry guns or even tazers. It’s very safe and you can feel that.


What’s the main differences in lifestyle from the U.S. To NZ?

New Zealanders have a healthier work-life balance. Americans live to work, where in NZ it’s more about working to live. The focus here is on enjoying life – BBQs with friends on the weekend, an emphasis on O.E. (Overseas Experience) for young adults, etc.

People here just seem more ALIVE, instead of simply going through the motions. I never noticed that the US is like that until I spent more time here and realized how much people


If you have any other questions for me ask them in a comment below and I will add them to the post!

A-Z Challenge: Kiwi Birthday

Blowing out the candles on my 24th birthday via ZaagiTravel.com

I turned 24 on Sunday.

And days in which we celebrate our arrival into the world should always be special. This year was no different, so I feel it deserves a post.

After all, it was my first birthday spent in New Zealand – heck my first birthday spent in another country!

Blowing out the candles on my 24th birthday via ZaagiTravel.com

In the morning, before I even had a chance to have breakfast, I woke to beautiful roses from my ridiculously romantic boyfriend James.

The spoiling didn’t stop there. Many of my Kiwi friends came over before noon for tea and cupcakes.

James’ mom Sami baked delicious frosting-covered mini cakes, which displayed 24 (WOW time flies) long metallic candles.

FlashtyPants made sure to offer his assistance in blowing out the glimmering sparklers, climbing up on a chair beside me with a cheeky grin, a similar one that graced his face hours before when he opened up my birthday pressies.The roses James gave me for my 24th birthday via ZaagiTravel.com

The rest of the day involved watching the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed with the result of THAT. But it was still fun to cheer Pac Man on!

In the evening we migrated back to the couch to watch Full Metal Jacket and in between I day-dreamed of what I could create with my new Nutri Ninja 2-in-1 blender/food processor!

One thing is for sure… 24 is already one for the books. And I’m just getting started!

A-Z Challenge: Jaunt to Cockle Bay Beach

Cockle Bay Beach in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Cockle Bay is a community near the Auckland suburb of Howick.

It is the place I currently call home.

And one of the things I love most about it is it’s beautiful beach – appropriately named Cockle Bay Beach.Cockle Bay Beach in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

With a population of less than 5,000 people, Cockle Bay is never a crowded place.

This beautiful East Auckland neighborhood was once the home base for a native Maori people known as Ngai Tai.

The village, previously known as Tuwakamana, also has a historical connection to World War II.

Numerous bunkers – used to defend against Japanese forces – still hide in the shadows of massive pohutukawa trees that line the shore.Cockle seashells on Cockle Bay Beach in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Locals and visitors can visit the beach via a hiking trail, known as the Awaroa Walkway.

The walk is relaxing and beautiful, as it extends in either direction towards Howick Beach or the Shelly Park Sandpit.

As you walk along Cockle Bay Beach you won’t be able miss the millions of cockle shells that heavily cover the ground.

There’s no confusion behind the name of this stunning locale. There are simply cockle shells everywhere you look!
Cockle Bay Beach in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

The beach is a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Auckland, taking in a romantic or solo stroll.

It is also very family-friendly with a large children’s playground and plenty of climbable trees.

Bring a picnic to enjoy on the grassy lawn that overlooks the local ducks – but just don’t feed them!

James’ mom Sami is a bit of a bird expert, having worked at the Wild Bird Care Charitable Trust, and she has explained to me why it’s important to not throw pieces of food (usually bread) at the precious animals.

Cockle Bay Beach in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Visitors, while being well-intentioned in feeding the creatures, likely don’t realize that doing so can cause damage to the environment.

Birds can become reliant on human food sources and young birds can grow not learning the important skills used to forage their own food.

It can also cause them to become unafraid of people, and sadly can become vulnerable to abuse.

Not to mention the spreading of disease, bird-to-bird to bird-to-human, some of which are highly contagious and even lethal.

The boys at Cockle Bay Beach in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

Bread, specifically, has poor nutritional value. Calcium deficiency, a common occurrence in pond birds, can cause badly deformed legs and wings as well as the softening of egg shells.

Also, bread that settles in the bottom of the waterways can rot and bacteria can easily contaminate the water.

Feeding also attracts larger species, deterring smaller species, and maintaining that natural balance is incredibly important.

Ducks at Cockle Bay Beach in New Zealand via ZaagiTravel.com

So let this serve as a friendly reminder. :)

It’s highly important to respect the environment you’re in, whether it’s you’re own hometown or someone else’s. And this includes the ducks.

I hope you’re able to come visit Cockle Bay Beach sometime, and that you enjoy it as much as I do!

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: 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. :)

Land of the Long White Cloud

If you haven’t already heard or read somewhere………..

I’ve booked flights to my 40th and 41st countries (which happen to be apart of my SIXTH continent!)

CAUTION: Major milestones ahead!



So are you wondering where exactly I’ll be traveling to next?

Drum roll, please!!!






In 90 days I will be traveling to New Zealand and Australia for this first time!

Auckland, New Zealand from the summit of Mt. Eden by Harrison Gulliver
Photo by Harrison Gulliver


New Zealand is less commonly referred to as Aotearoa, which in its native Maori language, means ‘land of the long white cloud’, hence the title of this post!

In New Zealand I will be spending time in Auckland, Omaha Beach, the Coromandel Peninsula, Waiheke Island, Rotorua, Taupo, and more!

You will get to meet my James ❤ and get a first hand look at what is considered one of the most beautiful countries on our planet.

I can’t wait to share our upcoming adventures with you!

This is just the beginning……..