I fell in love with Copenhagen in under 24 hours!

Oh, Copenhagen, I had no idea how much I would love you. An eight-hour layover was not nearly enough time to see all the sights or drink all the beer, but you can rest assured I will be back to do more exploring.

To get from the airport to the central station is so easy… easy enough that even I could figure it out and have someone ask me for help!

My first stop was the Paiperon, a warehouse space filled with local street food vendors. To get there I took the train from the airport to central station and then walked to the Paiperon. The walk was beautiful. I was enamored more and more with each step.

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The coolest built-in trampolines! I jumped for a bit and it was so fun and exhilarating. copenhagenIMG_5149copenhagenIMG_5148copenhagenIMG_5140copenhagenIMG_5152copenhagenIMG_5154copenhagenIMG_5155

My next goal was to make it to Warpigs…so again I laced up my walking shoes and headed back past the Central Station. copenhagenIMG_5158copenhagenIMG_5161copenhagenIMG_5159

At points, I felt that I must be lost… but I eventually made it to beer heaven.

I tried the Ligonberry sour = A++

The Black IPA with Cherry = Also delicious

and finally the Imperial Coffee Stout = truly one of the best coffee stouts I have ever had!copenhagenIMG_5171copenhagenIMG_5168copenhagenIMG_5173

I didn’t try the BBQ cause I was too full but it looked amazing! Also seems that people come here for the BBQ alone regardless of the beer.copenhagenIMG_5174

If you have a long layover in Copenhagen, you should definitely make the effort to leave the airport! I found it to be super easy and well worth the time!

Other Resources:

http://www.thetravelmentor.com/2015/10/how-to-get-from-copenhagen-airport-to-city-center-of-copenhagen/

http://www.layoverguide.com/2014/02/copenhagen-layover.html

 

 

Links I love to get you into the Weekend

In need of more trip ideas? Check out this list of most iconic places and when you are headed there make sure to pack some of these essentials for surviving abroad.

I would like to think that I could have a home on wheels and I love how simplistic and affordably this guy converted his truck.

When I am not dreaming about being a vagabond I like to find ways to make my home more homey. A perfect way to do this, in my opinion would be to grow your own hops!

Always love a good wellness article and this one in particular is in relation to foods that give you glowing skin.   Now who doesn’t want that??

Winter fun at Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Looking for a quick weekend get away from the Bay Area? Look no further than Calaveras Big Trees State Park area.

At only 2.5 hours from Oakland.. its as easy to get to as Santa Cruz and definelty worth the drive!

The higher you climb the more snow you see! For a coastal gal like me snow is really exciting and my inner child gets really excited… even if it is a light coating on the side of the road.

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We lucked out last minute and were able to reserve a cabin for week of… always great to check and see if there have been any late cancelations!calaverasbigtreesstateparkunadjustednonraw_thumb_8b62

Enjoying a milk stout after unloading the car… very tiring. hacalaverasbigtreesstateparkunadjustednonraw_thumb_8b65calaverasbigtreesstateparkunadjustednonraw_thumb_8b6b

Quick hike before sundown! Really beautiful to see the sun go down through the trees.calaverasbigtreesstateparkunadjustednonraw_thumb_8b6d

Wood stove fire place… perfect place for S’MORES! Don’t think I have ever stuffed my face with more s’mores. calaverasbigtreesstateparkunadjustednonraw_thumb_8b79Here are a few trail options that you will probably want to check out before heading out! As always with State Parks and National Parks I love asking the rangers for their personal tips and tricks!

Trails Overview

South Grove Trail

Best Trails

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After a day of snow-hiking a brewski is much needed! AND everyone thinks so… Snowshoe was packed! Staff is friendly but be prepared to wait with a big group or for dinner! You can get beer to go in a growler or bottles. Not the best beer I have ever had.. but I am a beer snob. I will say that it def helped hit the spot after a day of ‘hard work’.calaverasbigtreesstateparkunadjustednonraw_thumb_8bb1

Our little cabin had a full kitchen so we were able to make dinner and breakfast which was awesome!

On our last morning, my Friends made probably the most amazing French Toast I have ever had with their homemade sourdough bread. How can food bring such joy and then sadness when you realize you can’t have it everyday!

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I also was able to do a lot of weaving over the weekend which was really nice! It was great to sit by the fire and all have our individual tasks going. calaverasbigtreesstateparkunadjustednonraw_thumb_8bb2calaverasbigtreesstateparkunadjustednonraw_thumb_8bb4

One more hike before the short but windy road home! calaverasbigtreesstateparkunadjustednonraw_thumb_8bbacalaverasbigtreesstateparkunadjustednonraw_thumb_8bb9calaverasbigtreesstateparkunadjustednonraw_thumb_8bb8calaverasbigtreesstateparkunadjustednonraw_thumb_8bb7

Such a cool weekend! Really glad we were able to take a last minute trip into the Mountains for some snow play and R&R. Winter is steadily becoming one of my FAV seasons.calaverasbigtreesstateparkunadjustednonraw_thumb_8bbb

A little more information about visiting Calaveras in the snow.

The Warming Hut – Open weekends and holidays from Thanksgiving through late March  12 pm—4 pm. Get your hot chocolate or warm up by the fire. Pretty crowded but cute idea. 

Snowshoe Tours – Offered on Saturdays and some holidays at 1 pm.  Bring your own showshoes or borrow a pair of ours. Meet at Warming Hut.

On Your Own – Snow play is allowed in the North Grove area.  Build a snow person, ride a sled, or simply marvel at the beauty.  Bring your own cross-country skis or snowshoes and travel the North Grove trail or the 3.5 mile loop out the park road and back through the campground.

On Saturdays at 1:00pm we offer a guided hike through the North Grove area of the park.  Come enjoy the beauty and grandeur of the park while learning about why this place is so special.  The hike is approximately 1.5 hours long and is open to all family members (except dogs).  

In the event we have enough snow in the park the hike will be a snowshoe hike.  Some snowshoes are available for use on a first come, first served basis.  Snowshoes are available for rent in the town of Arnold located three miles west on Highway 4.

The cost of the hike is free with paid admission to the park; meet at the Visitor Center and wear appropriate footwear.  For more information, please call the Visitor Center at (209) 795-3840 or (209) 795-7980.

Libation: Snowshoe Brewing Company in Arnold

Sample Itinerary: Vegas to VOF, Zion, Bryce and Beyond

I created this itinerary for our trip that I have outlined over the last couple of weeks here on TB. We ended up adding the Grand Canyon so things shifted a bit but figured this might be helpful to someone else. Listed a couple blogs that I found helpful towards the end.

Happy trip planning!

Day 1 Arrive in VEGAS

Points of Interest :

Bellagio Fountains water show

Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Sky Lobby at the Mandarin Oriental

Outdoor Activities around Vegas – Hot Spring Anyone? ( 5.6 miles RT hike)

Day 2 Head to Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

From Vegas to VOF: 52.1 miles / 53 minutes

*Dog Friendly Park (on leash)

Mainly Short to Moderate Hikes at this park

Scenic Drive : White Domes Road

Hike Options : All Trails,  Fire Wave, Elephant Rock, Natural Arches ( 5 miles RT), The Fire Wave ( not to be confused with ‘The Wave’), Prospect Trail 11 miles RT), The Pinnacles ( (4 miles RT) or loop (7 miles RT loop). )

Camping Options : Arch Rock and Atatl Campground ( first come, first serve)

Exit Park and head NB on I15 toward St. George, Utah

Day 3 Zion National Park, Utah

2 to 3 days?

From VOF to Zion : 133 miles / 2 hr 30 min

On the Way: In Springdale, on the southern tip of Zion, stop at Springdale Fruit Market for gourmet snacks and fresh fruit grown in orchards beside the banks of the Virgin River. Also in Springdale, Zion Canyon Theatre shows Zion Canyon Treasure of the Gods on a giant movie screen.

Drive the Zion – Mount Carmel Highway … easy hikes off road

Hikes :

Angel’s Landing ( 5.4 miles RT) Steneous

Observation Point ( 8 miles RT) Mod to Strenuous

Riverside Walk / The Narrows ( 2.2 miles ) Easy ( walk through water ?)

Permits are not needed for most day hikes within Zion Canyon. Permits are only needed for overnight wilderness camping, the top-down Narrows hike, or a day hike in the Subway.

Weeping Rock Trail — This half-hour hike (round trip) takes you beneath Weeping Rock, a huge sandstone rock formation from which water drips like a gentle rain.

Canyon Overlook Trail — This is an excellent hour-long hike. You’ll get stunning canyon views and pass jagged rock formations. If you’re lucky, you’ll see some goats.

Upper and Lower Emerald Pool trails — The lower trail, which passes beneath a waterfall, is quite nice. Compared with the park’s other hikes, the upper trail is nothing special.

Side Drive: Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive in the far northwest part of the park—a 10-mile round-trip—looks over the edge of the Colorado Plateau into a wilderness landscape laced with deep box canyons.

Oddity: Crawford Arch, also known as Bridge Mountain Arch, is a long, thin, freestanding sandstone arch (156 feet long and 3 feet wide) high on Bridge Mountain. The hike up is long and technical, but you can see the arch from the patio of the Human History Museum, a thousand feet below.

Local Amenities :

  • Groceries, firewood, and ice can be purchased at The Canyon Market or at Sol Foods. The Canyon Market also has some camp kitchen supplies if you forget any cooking necessities.
  • Liquor, beer, and wine can be purchased at the Switchback Liquor Store. It’s a state run liquor store, so it’s closed on Sundays, but the plus side is that they sell full strength (>3.2%) beer.
  • Cafe Soleil is an awesome, funky cafe with local art for sale. They have free wifi, friendly staff, and delicious coffee. The food also looked amazing. I highly recommend the dirty soy chai latte (chai with a shot of espresso)

 Day 6 From Zion to Bryce 73 miles 1hr 20 min

Sunset Point – Best place for sunset

Paria View awesome for afternoon.

Sunrise Point — The Point affords great views of Bryce Amphitheater. On clear days, you can see for miles. Formations visible from here include Boat Mesa and Sinking Ship. .9 mile rim trail

Sunset Point — Aside from taking in the sunset, this point is a great spot for birdwatching. Check out Thor’s Hammer when you’re here.

Natural Bridge — This isn’t really a bridge but a humongous arch carved by erosion.

Queens Garden — This scenic 1.8mile trail takes you into Bryce Amphitheater and passes through numerous rock formations, including one shaped like Britain’s Queen Victoria near the terminus of the trail.

Navajo Trail — The trail, a 1.3-mile loop, is short but steep and descends into Bryce Amphitheater. In the winter, the last part of the loop is closed, so be prepared to backtrack your way out or extend your hike to another trail.

Connect parts of two trails, Queens Garden and Navajo, on a 3.1-mile round-trip that descends into the weirdest of Bryce’s hoodoo geology. The hike back up the Navajo Trail passes through Wall Street, a canyon surrounded by skyscraper spires, from which you can see the park’s iconic formation, top-heavy Thor’s Hammer.

https://www.theoutbound.com/utah/hiking/hike-wall-street-in-bryce-canyon

More details about what to expect and bring for winter camping in Bryce: https://www.theoutbound.com/utah/camping/winter-camping-in-bryce-canyon-national-park

**Shovel/tarp not a bad idea**

Winter Notes :

Canyon trails are open to snowshoers or hikers who use traction devices (available at the park store) on their boots. The park provides snowshoes for ranger-led snowshoe hikes and full-moon hikes throughout the winter.

 Day 8 Bryce to Grand Staircase Escalante : 77.6 / 1 hr 28 min

Hiking :

Lower Calf Creek Falls ( 6 miles RT) easy

Neon Canyon /Golden Cathedral ( 9 miles RT) moderate

Devils Garden

Hole In The Rock

Spooky Gulch Visit in midday for the best sunlight

Coyote Gulch

Antelope Canyon : 6.5 miles heavy traffic out and back. Have to get Navajo guide as it is on a reservation. Better for photography not hiking.

Horseshoe Bend : Easy walk from Parking lot , Sunset is nice

Lower Calf Creek Falls Trailhead

If you are looking for something a little more off-the-beaten-path, one of the really great things about Escalante is that it is managed but Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and there are numerous free campsites scattered throughout the monument. All of these are primitive sites with no facilities or restrooms. You must pack out your trash and the BLM asks that you only camp in already disturbed areas.

 Day 9/10 From Grand Staircase Escalante to Antelope Canyon/Horseshoe Bend /Coyote Buttes ( Page, AZ) 26.4 miles / 35 mins

Extra!

Resources : Girl on a Hike, Bearfoot Theory, My Life is a Movie,

Guide Books : Hiking from here to wow

Gear : Walking Poles? Crampons?, warm clothes, gloves, long underwear and hats, Gaiters, – mentioned above and now just saw this:) but shovel if camping in snow and tarp, def bringing poles and snowshoes, and water “proof”ish hiking boots

Entertainment : Cards, jambox

Brews :

Zion Canyon Brew Pub – at the park entrance

A trip to close out 2016 and welcome 2017!

I love a good adventure so when two of my friends asked if I was interested in a road trip to Zion/Bryce for New Years I gave a whole hearted yes.  This is our second year doing a road/camping trip for NYE. Last year we went to Joshua Tree and it was amazing but this year we decided to do something a little more exploratory!

Check out our map below and feel free to add and use as you please! 

We began our trip on Christmas Day, December 25  and made it home January 2.

I can’t quite fathom the beauty that we were able to experience but I am excited to share with you what we did so that it might encourage and spur you on to take your own trip. These places are magical in the winter, still fairly crowded, but if you go far enough on a trail you will find that it is much more desolate than the rim or valley.

Here are a few pics to wet your appetite and get you ready for the posts to come. I plan on breaking down each day so you can get an idea of our road trip itinerary and how we made our trip awesome.

A little planning and lot of ‘be here now’ moments made for a trip that has impacted my life and also has encouraged me to live life outside more this year. My mind, body and soul crave the outdoors and I feel so fueled and ready to kick start my 2017.

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Trip Planning over beers at Historic Brewing in Williams, Az
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A view of the Canyon while hiking the Bright Angel Trail.
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Photo of Navajo Nation Flag by Chelsea Thomas
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Parking Lot Party
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Horseshoe Bend… more magical than all the insta posts!
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Off road slot canyon adventure
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Sunset at Bryce Canyon
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Zion National Park

Pretty special, right?!

A Wedding Weekend in New Awlins

A few weeks ago I had the immense pleasure of going to New Orleans to be a part of my best friends wedding!

This was my first trip to New Orleans and it won’t be my last…might be last time in August…the humidity is real.

We stayed at the Hotel Provincial which had a great location for heading out to the French Quarter. Friendly staff, quaint courtyard and one of the most haunted places. I fortunately did not encounter any ghosts while we were there. The bar on site was really fun and had one of the best Bloody Mary’s I have ever had.

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One of my favorite things about New Orleans is the beautiful buildings and plants.img_9407img_9408

My friends wedding took place at Muriel’s, right here on the Balcony outside. The day of the wedding was perfect. By far my favorite part of the day was the Second Line Parade. I loved the experience of celebrating their commitment with a parade around Jackson Square and down Bourbon Street. img_9409

No trip to NOLA would be a trip without hitting Cafe Du Monde. We came here daily and I miss their strong chicory coffee and sweet sweet beignets.img_9410img_9411img_9414img_9416img_9417img_9418

Jax Brewhouse is a fun place to stop and grab some go cups for the road. img_9420img_9422img_9423img_9426

Bourbon Street was pretty quite at this time of day/year and I can’t imagine being here on Mardi Gras or Halloween! img_9427

A must visit is the Carousel Bar & Lounge – fun experience and great cocktails.img_9428img_9436img_9438img_9439img_9440

We went to Domenica for their Rehearsal Lunch and the food was really amazing – fresh local flavors were paired with delicious wines.img_9442img_9444img_9445img_9446img_9449img_9451img_9454img_9457img_9459img_9460

Not photographed was our time spent on Frenchmen Street, I had so much fun dancing on the street to amazing musicians. It was such a cool experience to hear such great music at every corner. The Frenchmen Art Market is a must hit – unique, one of a kinda art, photos and craft.

I absolutely loved New Orleans and would love to go back and explore more.

 

TRI-rrific weekend in Malibu

I am currently coming down from the high of an amazing weekend!

Two of my best friends were competing in the Nautica Malibu Tri  and being the good friend that I am I decided I would join them to cheer em’ on! Didn’t hurt that it was taking place in a beautiful spot.

We had the fortune of staying in my friends parents airstream at Malibu Beach RV Park. They had the spot booked for months but it seemed that there were many open spots.

The park was very clean ( probably the nicest camp bathroom I have ever seen )  and we met really friendly people!

They have nice hiking trails near the park that we used to hike down to Malibu Seafood as well as the beach and up to a peak for sunset views.

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Here was the Tiny Tin set up! Amazing people and a great view set the backdrop for the best weekend. img_9931

I have been on the side lines of a few Tris before by chance but have never watched any friends compete. It was such a fun experience to walk around to the different areas to wait for your friends to race by! We lucked out and were able to see them compete in every leg of the race.

Here is their section getting ready for the swim! The ocean was super bleak at 8 am.

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Bikes, on bikes on bikes.

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Really awesome sand sculpture.img_0009

We caught them before the race!img_0011

Here they are ready to go! img_0013

Laura got the top box for her age group! It was PRICELESS to witness my best friend do so well. img_9977

What is a race without post race grub?!! Loved Malibu Seafood! It is so fresh and our fav… BYOB!

Fear not the 76 station .5 miles away will have beer if you ran out!img_9988

A WELL deserved post race BREWSKI!img_9993img_9996img_0001img_0004

Also noteworthy but not photographed was Sunlife Organics  – amazing backstory, great products and delicious fresh juices and foods!