Posts tagged: travel

Going to Argentina on Friday!

By , November 16, 2010

We have a big trip planned!! We’re leaving for Argentina on Friday and will be there for a little over 2 weeks. We’ve been talking about this trip for a long time, but only last week did we actually bite the bullet and buy our tickets. And then only last night did we really begin hammering out an itinerary. We’re still working on that part! Guess that leaves the plane ride to brush up on my extremely minimal Spanish. F used to speak fluent Spanish but not anymore. Though I’m sure we’ll get by OK!

At first we were planning to wing it completely with the itinerary, but realized that not having a plan would waste a lot of precious time (and probably money) because we want to see many different places with only 2 weeks to do it! I think having a rough plan will cut down on stress, too.

We’re going down there primarily to scope it out as a possible place to live. We’d like to be in the countryside (with several acres), but within reasonable distance from a good-sized city. We like smaller towns, but with a progressive mindset. And preferably near a beach! So we’ll be looking around in the area south of Buenos Aires and north of Bahia Blanca. Any recommendations? Have you been there? Know of a good spot to visit? Leave a comment and let us know!

The rest of the trip, then, will be sightseeing and getting a feel for the rest of the country. We’ll see some penguins in the south, the Lakes District in the west, and possibly Iguazu Falls in the northern jungle. If you have any recommendations regarding these places, too, please leave a comment!!

It’ll be a whirlwind trip! I think we’ll both be glad when we’re finally on the plane. We’ve been in trip-plan mode pretty heavily these past couple days, and as F and I both keep remembering more and more things we need to do, it’s getting overwhelming! Trip planning stresses me out, and traveling often stresses me out, too. I love travel, but I’m also a homebody and get easily overwhelmed. But gosh, I do love being out in the world seeing new places!

Preparing for this trip has been a little easier than previous trips, though. I’ve done the solo backpacking thing through New Zealand and some of Australia, so I know what to pack…already have everything I need…and have done it before and know the drill. SO helpful!

Anyway, our itinerary will still be fairly open, so if you have any pointers about places to see, or travel tips for Argentina, leave a comment!

An Autumn Road Trip!

By , October 17, 2010

Last weekend (Oct 8-11) we went on the most wonderful little road trip through our beautiful state of Colorado! It was a spur-of-the-moment decision; we didn’t have a plan, or even a map! We just got up and went.

Thursday night Hubby came home talking about a trip to the mountains to see the fall colors, and by Friday afternoon we had rented a car and were on the road. Although we had originally planned to camp, we decided not to when we got up to Breckenridge and there were snowflakes in the air! The aspen leaves are done, and winter has arrived up there; it was awfully cold! We needed to go south if we were going to see any fall colors. And so Saturday was a beautiful drive down through the Arkansas river valley past Buena Vista and onto Gunnison where we stayed the night. We were up early Sunday morning and on the road by 8am, stopping for breakfast and tea at a little coffee shop in town, which is something we never do normally, so it really felt like vacation. And being on vacation always makes me re-appreciate hot tea! I normally drink multiple cups of tea throughout the day whenever I want — but on vacation, hot tea becomes a commodity because it’s not readily available. It’s nice when you gain a whole new appreciation for something in your everyday life, isn’t it!

Anyway, Sunday we drove to Ouray in the southwestern area of the state – stopping many times along the way to take pictures and absorb the beauty and the fall colors. There’s such a variety of landforms in that area; I had no idea! The huge and jagged San Juan mountains were an incredible sight. And Ouray! What a place! It’s a sweet little historic town from the late 1800s, dwarfed by steep canyon walls all around. It’s aptly called the Switzerland of America, and even has a Matterhorn look-alike peak. If you find yourself in Colorado sometime, go to Ouray! Even if you live in Colorado, it’s a great destination. I had no idea how beautiful that part of our state is!

While looking for a place to stay the night in Ouray, we stumbled upon the Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa and asked to see a few of their rooms. They were a little out of the price range we wanted to spend, but upon seeing the little cabin on the hill with screen door and wood burning stove, we had to have it. At $200 a night, it was somewhat overpriced we thought — a definite splurge — but the experience was great. I dream of one day living in a place like that, and it was so fun to “play house” in it, even for just one night. Staying in that little cabin in nature, my heart got a taste of what it loves…and it was very hard to leave and drive back home. Very hard; tears were shed!

One’s heart does not lie; when you’re doing something against your heart’s will, it hurts. F. and I long to quit our rat-race jobs, buy property, and live closer to the earth. It’s been getting pretty difficult lately to get up and go to work each morning since it’s really not what my heart loves (he’s in the same situation with his job too)…but earning and saving money for a homestead is our priority right now. We yearn for a piece of land where we can have chickens, goats, gardens, fruit trees, and a creek for fishing; a slower pace, closer to nature. The desire is screaming louder and louder. It’s hard when you know you’re moving toward something you want, but you’re not close enough yet to see how it’s all going to work out.

Anyway, that’s a topic for another day. Here are some pictures from our much-needed getaway!

Breckenridge from our balcony

Highway 285 south of Fairplay

Lunch on the road: Garden tomato, Comte cheese, avocado, sourdough bread, salt & pepper.

Highway art! An artificial Christmas tree branch, flattened and spontaneously shaped into a sculpture by car tires.

Poncha Springs area

Summit of Monarch Pass

Dillon Pinnacles

Near Ridgway, CO

Ouray, CO

Wiesbaden Hot Springs Hill House

Inside the Hill House cabin

Rustic candlelight dinner in the cabin: grilled sausage, boiled potatoes with butter, sauteed onions. Tea lights in a sierra cup. A bouquet of autumn leaves. Our kind of romance! 🙂

Baby deer with Mom and another female, right next to our cabin!

This deer came within a foot of my outstretched hand!

Camping Trip Supply List

By , September 2, 2010

Well gosh, it’s a little late in the season to be posting a camping supply list, but if anyone is going camping over the Labor Day weekend, it might help. I came up with the list (in no particular order!) based on what we took on our recent camping trip, so this will pretty much cover all your bases.

tent

tarp (optional, but nice to have something to put the tent on so you don’t track dirt inside and all over your sleeping bags)

water — roughly a gallon per person per day or more, for drinking/cooking/washing

sleeping bags or bed rolls

inflatable pads to go under your sleeping bag

pillows

toilet paper

trowel/small shovel (if there aren’t outhouses, bring a trowel to dig a 6” deep hole for when nature really calls)

unscented baby wipes for “dry showers”

bath towels

kitchen hand towel

coleman stove

extra gas or propane if needed

coleman lantern (optional if you have flashlights)

fire extinguisher

matches

pots and pans as needed

potholder if needed (or use kitchen towel as a pot holder)

tupperware or ziploc bags for leftovers

cooler

food

measuring cup/measuring spoons if needed

metal spatula

ladle

steak knife or slicing knife

silverware

napkins

dish soap (we like Dr. Bronners because it’s gentle on the environment, and can be used for dishes, hands, bodies, hair, toothpaste, etc)

sponge

trash bags

2 flash lights

cups or mugs

plates and/or bowls

rope for clothesline if needed

collapsible chairs if your site doesn’t have a picnic table

bug spray

salt & pepper

oil for cooking

[UPDATE: rain ponchos are handy, too!]

What are your camping essentials?

August Photo Update

By , August 29, 2010

How have you been these past two weeks? Hopefully you’re out enjoying summer while it’s still around! The mornings are already getting cooler around here, and the autumn birds are beginning to sing. The garden is really at its peak, and we’ve been blessed with heaps of organic cucumbers, zucchini, kale, parsley, basil, cabbage, onions, potatoes, mini pumpkins, and tomatoes. I love the bounty! It’s the freshest, most organic, delicious, wholesome, high-vibration, grown-with-love food, and ingesting it just feels good! We are certainly eating like kings right now! I am so grateful for our garden.

August has been busy around here in a good way; my sister was in town for a week (so fun!), and Hubby and I went camping last weekend at my parents’ land which was completely wonderful. In the rush of work-a-day living, I forget how peaceful and healing it is to just hang out in nature. Sitting in the sun, looking out at the view, I kept thinking “This is life.” The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, and we just hung out and read, cooked at the coleman stove, drank tea, ate, laughed, watched chipmunks, ate wild currants, hiked around a little, and enjoyed the fresh mountain mornings, the twilight hour, a few shooting stars at night, and the nearly-full moon shining into our tent.

And since we had a rental car, I took all of our giveaway stuff to the thrift store drop-off after we got back; that stuff had been lingering in our entryway for far too long, and it felt great to clear it out. Doing that inspired me to clean up the rest of our house, too. It has been in shambles because we’re both too busy and too tired to devote energy to it. I find that in terms of the house, my outer realm both reflects and affects my inner realm. So when the house is out of control, it’s an accurate snapshot of my life at that moment in time. But if I take the time to really get it back under control (9 1/2 hours on Friday!), then I feel as if I have my whole life back under control. Whether your house is clean or dirty really affects your psyche more than I’ve ever realized.

Anyway, here are some photos from the past month:

The Garden in August

Cute sign

HAD to take a picture of these lovelies!

Camping

Each wild currant bush has its own taste.

Aspen grove on the Land

Look at that -- our campsite is as messy as our house!

Back From Vacation

By , February 15, 2010

Kerrygold (grassfed) Irish Butter

Raw goat’s milk (frozen)

We arrived home this evening from a lovely little weekend in New Mexico! Other than relaxing, taking photos, looking at shops and galleries, and walking through quaint neighborhoods, we took the opportunity to go to Trader Joe’s (we don’t have TJ’s where we live, so we TOTALLY stocked up!). As you can see by the photo above, we took full advantage of their Kerrygold butter at a mere $2.69. (Where we live, you can’t get it for less than $4.99.) We love Kerrygold butter because it’s grassfed and very delicious!

I also bought 3 quarts of raw goat’s milk at the farmer’s market! Since it’s illegal to sell raw milk in Colorado, I was very excited to go to New Mexico (where it can be sold legally). However, I didn’t have much luck, and the only raw milk I was able to get was raw, frozen goat’s milk directly from the farmer at the market for $5/quart. But I was thrilled that I was even able to get that (especially considering it’s the off-season for goat milk)…and happily, the milk made it all the way home without thawing out. I can’t wait to try it!! (By the way, visit the realmilk.com website for good information about raw milk, and this Mother Earth News snippet about the raw milk debate. I wish wish wish WISH that I had access to raw milk here!) UPDATE: The milk was delicious!! I like — but don’t love — the animal-y taste of goat products, but the milk was really yummy. Since it has been frozen for a while, the fat had separated a bit, but that had no effect on the taste! Yum.

Anyway, I already miss being on our trip; it’s always bittersweet to be home again. And it’s back to work for both of us tomorrow (yuk!), and I’ll be extra busy this week getting ready for my second bunion surgery (bunionectomy with osteotomy, with a plate and 4 screws inserted) which is on the 23rd. There’s a lot I want to accomplish between now and then — yikes!!!

Did you have a relaxing weekend?

Michelle Obama’s Vegetable Garden

By , September 7, 2009
Michelle Obama's Vegetable Garden

Michelle Obama's Vegetable Garden (click for larger picture)

What’s a trip to Washington, D. C. without a stop at the Presidential Victory Garden And Beehive!?

While the garden itself was just a little anti-climactic because it was so far away from the fence, it was still pretty cool to see it in person. (Click below to continue reading…)

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Back from Vacation, and Rejuvenated!

By , September 3, 2009

Beach visit East Coast 2009

We got back from our wonderful summer vacation to the East Coast…not really rested, but very rejuvenated! It was just the break we needed! We had a great time, and are sad to be back to our full-time jobs. One of my favorite things about our trip was how much time I got to spend with my hubby. All day, every day, we were together…exploring our surroundings, taking pictures, laughing together. A far cry from our daily lives which seem to be eaten almost entirely by our jobs. In the few evening hours between job and bedtime, we squeeze in together-time, cooking, reading, computer time, pursuing hobbies, housecleaning, laundry, dishes, visiting family, gardening, etc! Time together — with those you love most — is so precious. Being on vacation reminded me how precious it is, and how much I miss having more of that quality time as part of our daily life. Something to work on, indeed!!

Continue reading 'Back from Vacation, and Rejuvenated!'»

Taking a Summer Vacation!

By , August 25, 2009

Coreopsis

I’ll be away from my blog for a little while, while I (! try to !) unplug from technology and take a much-needed, old-fashioned summer vacation! Have a really wonderful week! 🙂

Christmas-in-July Eggnog Ice Cream

By , July 29, 2009

Christmas-in-July Eggnog Ice Cream

While visiting the Blue Mountains in Australia a few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of Christmas in July. This “holiday” is more of just a marketing ploy (“Book your holiday brunch NOW!”), but it’s kind of neat because southern hemisphere dwellers can experience a northern-style Christmas with decorations, carols, snow, roaring fires, and eggnog.  While I love all these things during the winter — and winter sounds pretty good during the oppressive scorch of mid-summer — I can’t seem get into the Christmas spirit in July. However, I have been able to choke down this eggnog ice cream — ya know, in honor of the season (*smirk*).

Click “Continue Reading” for the recipe…

Continue reading 'Christmas-in-July Eggnog Ice Cream'»

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