• Adventures

    Death Valley Birthday

    Ever since our first trip to Death Valley in 2014, I had wanted to go back. Of nearly all the National Parks we have visited, it has definitely been my fave. There is something otherworldly about this place that has stuck in my mind so I was happy that we were able to return just in time to celebrate my birthday. We both took off on Friday, which really allowed us to do and see a lot while we were there. We camped at the Furnace Creek Campsite which was quite crowded this time around. On Saturday morning, we got up and went on the Desolation Canyon hike which promised glimpses of…

  • Travel

    New Zealand Adventure – Rotoroa, Hobbiton and Auckland

    After leaving Tongariro, we headed to Rotoroa where we were looking forward to the geothermic pools and baths to repair what damage the hike had done. After a long day, we grabbed dinner at Burgerfuel in Rotoroa and headed to our hotel for some much-needed rest. The next morning, we checked out Hell’s Gate which offered both a geothermal reserve walk as well as a spa to enjoy. We did both and it was just the right kind of relaxation needed towards the end of the trip. We then made our way to Hamilton, making a stop a Dough Bros and happening on the birthplace of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. We…

  • Adventures,  Travel

    New Zealand Adventure – Tongariro

    For most of our trip I had talked Scott’s ear off about how I wanted to try to hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing but the idea of a 12-mile hike made me very nervous. When we finally arrived in Tongariro National Park, I had made up my mind. We camped at Whakapapa Village which conveniently had a shuttle to take you to and from the hike. On the day we arrived, we explored some of the surrounding areas and enjoyed the heated kitchen area to heat up our Pranah Cafe leftovers. We reviewed all the items needed for the hike and prepped our packs for the next day’s journey. We opted…

  • Travel

    New Zealand Adventure – Wellington

    After leaving Abel Tasman behind, we drove through the night to a hotel in Nelson so we would be closer to Picton for our ferry the next day. Scott was a real trooper for getting us safely to the hotel despite being exhausted. This was a first time driving on the rather remote southern island at night. Nearly everything was closed and we were very nervous about finding an open hotel. Luckily we did and we got some much-needed rest. The next morning we made a stop at Ritual in Blenheim for some food (I had my first caramel slice here and fell in love) and randomly ran into one…

  • Adventures,  Travel

    New Zealand Adventure – Wanaka, the West Coast and Abel Tasman

    Wanaka was low key as we spent the day wandering around the town and doing some grocery shopping. We grabbed our first meal since Queenstown at an Indian Restaurant in town and went back to our condo to do some much-needed relaxing and laundry. We left Wanaka the next morning to make our way to Punakaiki which was one of our longest drives of the trip. We made a few stops along the way to see Lake Hāwea, Fantail Falls, a Franz Joseph Glacier outlook and stopped at a beachside/roadside coffee cart for some much-needed caffeine. We arrived at the Punakaiki Beach Camp just before sunset and were able to get…

  • Food,  Kitchen

    Chocolate Cookie Butter King Cake

    Yesterday was the official start of the Mardi Gras season in New Orleans and we decided to make a king cake. While gathering supplies at the store, we decided to experiment and fill the king cake with Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie and Cocoa Swirl spread. The results were pretty delicious and as a result, I’ve updated my Vegan King Cake recipe (here, here) yet again so you can make one of these bad boys yourself! Notes: – I didn’t do exact measurements on how much spread I used so I tried to estimate, I think we didn’t use quite enough so err on the side of more. – We think…

  • Adventures,  Travel

    New Zealand Adventure – Queenstown and Fiordland

    Scott and I spent 11 days in New Zealand last month. It was amazing. Neither of us had done much internationally traveling so this was a big deal trip for us. We wanted to see as much of the country as possible during our short stay and opted to drive ourselves across the country and camped as much as possible. We arrived in Queenstown which ended up being the perfect spot as we spent our first three nights in the nearby areas of Fiordland National Park, Mount Aspiring National Park, and Wanaka. For our first night, we were lucky enough to have a campground entirely to ourselves. We stayed at the…

  • Adventures,  Travel

    Twin Peaks Birthday

    For my birthday we took a trip that had been on my list for ages. We went up to the PNW to visit the town of Twin Peaks. Now of course Twin Peaks is a fictional town made up for TV but the real town exists in Snoqualmie Valley, Washington right outside of Seattle. We took the chance to visit our pal Kittee in PDX and rented a car so we could drive up to Snoqualmie on my birthday. Right before the trip, I finally got Scott to watch the entire show and FIRE WALK WITH ME so I was super amped for the trip. We spent our first night…

  • Adventures,  Food

    Weekend Getaway in Sequoia National Forest

    This past weekend we went camping with friends at the Princess Campground in Sequoia National Forest for our friend Kyle’s birthday. Our pal Shawn snagged 2 great campsites with ample space for 8 of us which allowed us to spread out a bit. We were able to see a few sites in both Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks including the Grant Tree, Roaring River Falls, Hume Lake, and Zumwalt Meadow, where we saw a mother bear and cub from a fairly close distance. We also attended a Birds of Prey presentation at our campsite which included a Red Tailed Hawk, Great Horned Owl and Screech Owl. I was super excited to…

  • Adventures,  Food

    Channel Islands Trip

    We have done less adventuring than I would have liked this year but I figured it was about time I posted about our trip to Santa Cruz Island over Memorial Day weekend. We had been talking about taking a trip to Channel Islands National Park since maybe our first backpacking trip last spring and we finally made it happen. This trip required more preparation as we had to take a boat out to the island and we needed to carry all of our water with us, since there was no potable water at our campsite*. We left early on Sunday morning to catch our boat at 9AM in Ventura. The boat ride was…