Roaming Southwest—Taos High Road & Santa Fe Sky

It was nice to wake up in a real hotel room and not one that was one gust of wind from extinction. The air outside was brisk but it was also bright and inviting. I inhaled a full plate of hotel breakfast buffet food and several cups of coffee to prep for the day. Buzzing … Continue reading Roaming Southwest—Taos High Road & Santa Fe Sky

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Roaming Southwest—Turquoise Trail to Santa Fe

Amidst howling wind and the intermittent shutoff of our motel’s ancient heater, I managed to get a bit of sleep. I moved the winter coat pressed against the motel door to block the draft and it was caked in fresh snow. So basically, it snowed inside our room. My heart ached for the check-out counter. … Continue reading Roaming Southwest—Turquoise Trail to Santa Fe

Roaming Southwest – Two Guns Ghost Town & Roadside Meteors

Rain drizzled onto our SUV as we drove towards the Airport Mesa Vortex, hoping to feel “energized”. The sky was ready to unleash onto our backs as we climbed to the top, less than 5 minutes from the parking lot. The walk was brief and ended on a small plateau surrounded by views. A vortex … Continue reading Roaming Southwest – Two Guns Ghost Town & Roadside Meteors

Roaming Southwest – Arizona Ghosts and Vortexes

I craved that bit of land full of desert plains, dusty roads, and mountain views. Despite my endless love of the Southwest, I don’t make it out there very often. My mom and brother set off for a month to tackle the region, a trend that has become more common each year. The need to … Continue reading Roaming Southwest – Arizona Ghosts and Vortexes

Traveling New Zealand: Stopover in Sydney

Before heading back to the states, we made a 3-day stopover in Sydney, Australia. After nearly 2 weeks bopping between New Zealand hostels we chose to end our travels at a real hotel—one of those place with private bathrooms and something to decorate the walls other than coat hooks and “house rules” stickers. It was … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: Stopover in Sydney

Traveling New Zealand: Lake Matheson and Queenstown

Lake Matheson was the destination for our morning stroll before driving on to Queenstown. Katie was anxious to get there as early as possible, citing the need to avoid those tourist-mobbed bus tours that kept following us throughout our travels. A loop trail leads to the lake, which rewards you with a glass-like reflective scene … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: Lake Matheson and Queenstown

Traveling New Zealand: TranzAlpine Train Journey

Christchurch is one of two locations where you can catch the TranzAlpine train for the entire journey, with Greymouth on the other end of the line. Much like the Northern Explorer, the train makes trips between these two stops on opposing days. We booked this part of the trip long before any motels or car … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: TranzAlpine Train Journey

Traveling New Zealand: Quake City

The next day we made the journey from north to south—a 40 minute plane ride separated us from the southern island. Wellington’s airport was so small that security didn’t open until an hour before our flight took off. I made the mistake of waiting to get breakfast until we arrived, but after losing a battle … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: Quake City

Traveling New Zealand: Windy Wellington

We planned for 2 nights in Wellington at the advice of a few people who had traveled there previously. It’s a foodie city that’s fun to meander through and not to be rushed. Also, I needed a night off re-packing our 3 suitcases. Mount Victoria (Mt. “Vik” per locals) is a 360-degree overlook atop a … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: Windy Wellington

Traveling New Zealand: Northern Explorer Train to Wellington

It wasn’t the plan all along to take the train to Wellington. We had been messing around with travel routes and possible stopovers for a few weeks. The original idea was to drive the whole distance, but we heard that it could take upwards of 10 hours (more if you are still a timid left-side … Continue reading Traveling New Zealand: Northern Explorer Train to Wellington