New York City Vlog

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We’re trying something new!

I’ve really taken a liking to YouTube lately, and decided to try travel vlogging. We recently took a trip to the East Coast and spent a day and a half in Manhattan. While there I documented it with my video camera to bring you a New York City vlog!

New York City travel video

Let me know what you think. Happy travels!

Hobbit Beach Trail

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I have been dying to talk to the world about Hobbit Beach and its gorgeous trail. This is a little bit of a secret. I had to do some digging to get proper directions for this place. And! It’s easy to miss.

But so worth the effort.

Hobbit Beach Train in Oregon

12 miles north of Florence, Oregon is where you can find the trailhead. It’s easy to pass right on by without noticing. With a very little parking lot that’s across the highway from the actual trail. About half a mile from the Heceta Head Lighthouse Scenic Viewpoint. Be looking for that parking area. TINY.

Once you’ve parked, carefully cross the highway. Once you trot across the scary street, you’ll be plunged into a rainforest like place that Tolkien himself couldn’t have better imagined.

Trek down a bit and you’ll see this:

Hobbit Beach Trailhead sign Oregon Coast

Yay! You’re in the right place!

Now, we didn’t venture along the Lighthouse trail, but I’ve heard lovely things about it. Take the turn for Hobbit Beach and you’re on your way!

I’m going to level with you here and now. We loved this hike and beach so very much, we returned the next day. We adventured this place twice. It wasn’t crowded and the beach is incredible. Ah! I’m getting ahead of myself.

Hobbit Beach Trail Central Oregon Coast

Pardon the blur… I was too excited and enthralled to sit still. But this it the kind of trail you get. AWESOME.

I know. I know. Blurry photo. I almost didn’t include it. But! It shows the scenery of the trail so well. This is what you get on the Hobbit Beach Trail. Mysticism. Whimsy. The feeling your an elf on a mighty quest to save the world. IT’S JUST SUPER COOL, OKAY?

The trail is only about half a mile. But! It’s all down hill. Hooray! Except… the hike back is just that. A HIKE. It’s quite the incline. Since it’s so short, I’d still rate it easy/moderate. But know that when you go down… you gotta go up. I’m lazy and a whiner. Meaning Husband had many giggles at my struggle up the mountain. Still though… SO TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY WORTH IT. Every drop of sweat on the way back to the car was appreciated because: what I felt inside that forest, and on that beach, was unforgettable. And, like I said, we went back the next day. So it wasn’t strenuous enough to deter me from returning.

Toward the end of the trail you come to this…

Hobbit Beach Trail Tunnel on the Oregon Coast

Is that… Is that a tunnel…?

Indeed it is a tunnel! Only the coolest tunnel you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Talk about a fantasy world!

Hobbit Beach Trail Tunnel on the Oregon Coast

LOOK AT IT.

This is just the coolest place. I almost sat down mid tunnel to write the next great high fantasy book series. I may go back next year and do just that.

Hobbit Beach Trail Cool Tunnel on the Oregon Coast

Cannot get enough of this freaking awesome trail

If you can calm yourself and get over the phenomenal scene in which you are actually standing, proceed through the tunnel. Trust me. The Hobbit Beach Trail is a “there and back” trail, so you HAVE to return through the super awesome tunnel. Keep trekking…

Because once you exit the tunnel, you see this!

 

The gorgeous nature view of Hobbit Beach in Central Oregon

Hobbit Beach! We made it! Look at that gorgeous view!

It’s like… another different world. From highways, and speeding cars, to a secret mythical forest, to perfect serene beach.

Let me illustrate why this beach is so  perfect…

  1. It’s super NOT crowded. The beach is so huge, and tricky to get to, there aren’t a lot of people on it. Yes!
  2. TIDEPOOLS! I’m a tidepool freak. This is a great place to see some anemone, barnacles, maybe even an urchin or two. Little crabbies. Cool shells. So much to explore around here. Remember though, be kind to the nature. It’s lovely and wonderful and needs to stay that way. Don’t make me lecture you.
  3. Sandollars. We found many whole, unbroken, ones. Very neat.

Seriously, the list could go on and on and on and on… we just fell in love with this place. Please, if you’re along the central Oregon coast pop over here. Explore for a few hours. Enjoy the true magic that is Hobbit Beach. We’ve been to a lot of places, each one incredible. Hobbit Beach and its trail are one of my favorites, if not my most favorite. This place is… special.

The beautiful Hobbit Beach Trail on the central Oregon coast

4 Reasons You Should Visit Washington D.C.

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It’s no secret that I’m sort of a political nerd. So, visiting the capitol has been a dream of mine since I dressed up as a Congress Woman for career day in 3rd grade. Complete with briefcase, blazer, and ball point pens. We didn’t get to spend NEARLY enough time there. I didn’t see Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or the Library of Congress. But what I did see, blew my pea-brain into oblivion.

Thinking of visiting D.C. but not sure it’s worth it. THINK AGAIN.

4 reasons you should visit Washington D.C. and the Lincoln Memorial

1. IT HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

For history buffs, artsy fartsy types, science geeks, and political nerds, the National Mall is the place to be. If you’re a human being, you’ll find more than one thing to like about D.C. Art museums, monuments, memorials, nature, you name it. Something there will entertain you. And for a good chunk of the day.

Hello? Smithsonian anyone?!

Smithsonian Castle Washington D.C.

They even have a castle.

2. IT CAN BE SUPER DUPER CHEAP

Cheapskates can have a good time too. The National Mall is technically a National Park minus the entrance fee. So it’s basically all free. Not kidding. The museums, the archives, the zoo, and the monuments have free admissions. I’m being serious. Fun + free admission = a splendid time for all.

Husband is a money worrier. Everyone has that person who constantly says “how much is that going to cost?!” He’s mine. I love him for it, because it keeps us on track, and responsible, blah blah blah. But when we’re on vacation… he’ll get the angry eyes from me more than once on the issue. In D.C. however… he tried to find somewhere to complain about this and couldn’t. Ha! Point for Wife!

Washington Monument at the National Mall in Washington D.C.

Washington Monument from the ground up. Coolest way to see it.

The White House Washington D.C.

You can even wave to the President for free.

3. IT HAS ART

The Smithsonian has a plethora of art museums to choose from. From classic to modern. Paintings to sculpture. Master works, guys. Amazing stuff. This also ties into reason #2. THEY’RE ALL FREE. Stare at the art all day. Do it. I did.

Renoir Painting at the American Art Museum in Washington D.C.

Dude… I’m talking MASTERPIECES.

4. IT CAN TEACH YOU STUFF

Science, history, government, technology… The list is infinite. I can’t wait to go back and learn more of the stuff! I’m a nerd, though. Knowledge is attractive to me. I was seriously in intellectual heaven in D.C. They’ve got things for kids and grown ups to absorb. I’m a space geek, so we went to the Air and Space Museum. I’m also fascinated by history and politics, so I dragged Husband to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence. He had to drag me out hours later because they were closing. There is just SO MUCH to see and take in. Gah! So much!

space-shuttle-discovery

SPAAAAAAACE!!*

 

See? You HAVE to visit D.C. It’s just one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been to. And, not to brag, but I’ve been to a whole slew of places. This one, though. Top o’ the list. Obviously, there are more than 4 reasons to acquaint yourself with America’s capitol city. But I’d be here all night spewing fact after fact, about every monument and why it’s awesome. Just go there, so you and I can talk about why we love it, okay?

Also, quick note about the Lincoln Memorial up at the top of the post… We visited the memorial at the end of our day. Before then we visited the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (home of the Space Shuttle Discovery) and the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives, so we were borderline exhausted. The walk from the Archives to the Lincoln Memorial seemed NEVER-ENDING. But! As I said before, I insisted we make the trek. IT WAS SO WORTH IT. Even Husband said so, and he’s not even American. He really thought it was a cool sight see.

Anyway. I cannot recommend Washington D.C. enough. And if you do go, make sure you visit Abe. There’s a feeling of hope and peace there, that isn’t matched. It’s nice to look out over the Reflecting Pool with Lincoln at your back being his wise and serene self. To sum up, it’s just… nice.

*The Space Shuttle Discovery is actually at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (which is basically the hangars for the Air and Space Museum. It’s where they keep the BIG stuff.) It’s 30-40 minutes west of D.C. Still free admission, but parking is $15. WORTH IT.

 

9 Must-Have Camping Accessories You Don’t Already Own

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Husband and I recently purchased our first camper trailer. It only made sense. We’ve been galavanting around from hotel room to hotel room, why not bring our room with us?

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So we bought this Fun Finder trailer! More photos to come soon, but for now you can peruse its brochure, if you’re curious. It’s tiny, and cozy, and wonderful. We’re very excited for her “maiden voyage” so to speak. Just a couple more weeks…

In the mean time, I got a nice little promotional email from our friends at Ebay. 9 Must-Have Camping Accessories You Don’t Already Own. Naturally, I had to check that out! There were a few interesting items, a few head scratchers, and one or two possible must haves, at least for us.

I was a big fan of the portable propane coffeemaker. But then, I’m always drawn to anything coffee. Any who! Check it out and let me know of any other camping “must-haves” you know of!

Churchill Downs

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Okay. I’m only a mild horse racing enthusiast. But! I’m incredibly happy with our decision to make a pit-stop there, while passing through Louisville.

For our Honeymoon, Husband and I drove from little ol’ Utah, across the country, as far as New England. I picked out a few places for us to explore, and Churchill Downs was one of them. So grateful I did!

As I said, I’m not HUGE into horse racing. I make sure to catch the Triple Crown races, and that’s about it. Once, when I was in my youth, my mom took me to Evanston Wyoming to watch the races for a day. And it was a really fun experience. Sunburn and all. I had a blast.

So, I definitely wanted to visit the home of the Kentucky Derby, if only to dream of wearing a fancy hat. (They had some to buy there, but I decided I didn’t want to try to cart that thing all the way back across the country without bending it.)

Technically speaking we visited the Kentucky Derby Museum, which included a walking tour of Churchill Downs, a 360 degree movie, and you get to meet the resident thoroughbred.  The movie presentation made me cry a little. Husband, not being an American, didn’t understand my emotional state watching those racers win the Derby, but I didn’t care. It was cool to watch American Pharaoh win the Triple Crown on my TV live, and cool to see again with the sweeping music in the place it began. Anyway! I highly recommend visiting the museum for the walking tour alone, and it wasn’t too outrageous of a price. $15 for adults. Not the worst we’ve paid for an attraction. But, not the cheapest either. Worth every penny though, for someone like me. So I wasn’t upset about it.

They have other specialty tours available. I can’t say anything on those, since we didn’t go beyond general admission, but I bet, for fans at least, they’re super awesome.

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See? The hats! Including one worn by Queen Elizabeth II. That’s a royal hat! They were all so gorgeous to see, and such a fun tradition to relish in.

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This is how close you get to the actual track. Yes. I’m not using zoom.

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Okay. Okay. I did zoom in for a better photo of the Finish Post. But, you could clearly tell what it was in person. An awesome thing to see.

To sum up, if you’re in or passing through Louisville Kentucky. Give this place a looksee. I absolutely loved it, and was all tingly with excitement over the dreams made there. Very cool.

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As an added bonus for reading the entire post, here’s a picture of horse poop, because I thought it was funny.

Walt Disney World: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

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Walt Disney World: Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

Alright. As I mentioned earlier, Walt Disney World is a friend of mine. Now, I realize people don’t usually visit the happiest place on earth for an adrenaline rush. But! There are a few exciting rides that never failed to get my blood pumping. Today I’m going to tell you all about my favorite thrill ride (and 2nd favorite ride at the parks EVER) Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

This coaster LITERALLY took my breath away. It’s amazing. It’s fantastic.

The entire ride is indoors, and completely dark. Except for the black lit craziness!! As if that wasn’t enough awesome for you, the entire coaster has a soundtrack… BY AEROSMITH.

From a coaster stand point, I really like it. The take off is the best part. I’m not one for spoilers so I’ll leave it at that. THE BEST. Don’t forget that. The ride cruises on through all the greatest parts a good coaster should have. But, what I really love, is the layout. The track is set in such a way that you don’t get overwhelmed. Some rides kind of give you that “black out” feeling. This one is incredibly fun, but you keep your senses. Brilliant.

If you’re taking a Disney World trip, make your way over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE.

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Orlando Florida

Walt Disney World

Worth it? EXTREMELY