Arco del Cabo San Lucas

Photo Apr 26, 8 18 09 PM

Cabo San Lucas is the Southernmost point on the Baja Peninsula. It’s essentially a desert, the only green you see around you are the cacti. It’s a short drive from the airport to the beach however, and once you get there you’re surrounded by the ocean on one side and the rocky cliffs on the other.

If you go past the resorts in Cabo and keep driving to the tip of the Baja Peninsula you find the famous Arc of Cabo. You actually can’t drive to it, but you can get there by boat or by hiking a steep, rocky cliff. The arc was naturally formed by weathering and erosion of the rock mass and is now a popular tourist spot and a perfect spot for pictures.

Just to the right of the large mass in the picture above is a small beach, Lover’s Beach. It’s very secluded and the only way to get there, I assume, is by boat. There was recently a Cosmopolitan article about this beach because it’s also one of the top spots in Cabo to see celebrities.

Swinging Above the City

#SaturdayMorningFunFacts

 

The first place I ever went in Europe was Amsterdam. When I left for my trip there were so many things I wanted to see, to do, and to try. And when I got there, there was so much more than I even realized.

I was only in Amsterdam for three and a half days – it was enough for a first trip to one city in the Netherlands. Even though I knew from previous experiences on previous trips that I would meet people along the way who would help double my itinerary – you don’t really know until it happens.

It was a bartender from Ireland in a small pub behind our hotel who told us about the A’DAM tower. She told us which tram to get on and how to take the free ferry across the canal to the building. She did not tell us how cold it was going to be once we got to the top though and my shorts were not good enough to keep me warm.

The whole building is an experience, so even if you’re afraid of heights it’s worth checking out. The ground floor is a gift shop and photo center, this is where we took the fun photo above – in front of a green screen obviously.

The elevator ride up is another highlight of this building. The elevator has a glass ceiling, and the top of the building and the elevator shaft is lined with lights. It’s some kind of light show that I couldn’t even begin to explain and you have to see for yourself.

You get off on the top floor of the building where the bar is located. It’s a bar/observation deck with 360 degree views. The views are also interactive, there are screens located in front of the window at various intervals and you can kind of ‘click’ on the spot you’re checking out to get more information on it.

Up the stairs to the roof, you’re now 100 meters above Amsterdam. It’s a wind tunnel and you’re freezing, but the views are amazing. It’s actually the second tallest building in Amsterdam, so you’re not at the tallest point but compared to the average height you can see over pretty much every building around. Also, being across one of the bigger canals on the outskirts of the city you can actually see the entire city spread out in front of you.

It’s not a basic swing that you’re on, it’s a carnival ride. The employee straps you in and the ride lifts you up even higher before you start swinging over the edge of the building. I even felt that distinct belly drop I remember as a kid when I went on rides at fiesta.

It’s not the tallest point in the world, or Europe, or even Amsterdam. But it’s the highest swing you’ll find in Europe and that’s pretty cool if you’re not afraid of heights. I wouldn’t say I am but the ride wasn’t short and I did get a little worried that the ride might fall apart and send me into the freezing canal below me.

Always Moving Forward

If I stay in one place for too long, things get repetitive. I fall in a routine and nothing is new anymore. If nothing is new, I yearn for those experience I haven’t gotten yet.

I fear that I am missing out on something new. Some new experience, some new place, some new people.

It’s like FOMO of the unknown if that makes any sense at all.

If I’m not moving I get anxious and I’m not pleased unless I have something new to look forward to.

A week ago I could have ripped my hair out of my head out of boredom of being in one place for almost two months. I had no plans for the near future and it was driving me crazy.

This week I have a Nashville trip planned for Labor Day Weekend and it’s actually comforting to know I have something to look forward to. Something to plan for.

novaturient

 

~I actually wrote this a couple weeks ago – it’s a #latergram for blog posts because I just found this image on Pinterest and it kind of summarizes everything I was trying to say~

How Do You Even Pronounce Vallarta?

As I was getting ready to write this post, I realized I’ve never actually written anything about Puerto Vallarta – on my blog or elsewhere – so here it is.

Right after I got back from my Europe trip in June I changed suitcases and went straight back to the airport to fly down to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with my company.

This trip was part business and part pleasure; learning about the destinations I sell is part of the job but experiencing the nightclubs and excursions is part of it as well.

 

We spent five days trying every flavor margarita at the margarita bar at our resort, ziplining through the jungle, sailing the bay at sunset, strolling through town and eating at a mountainside restaurant with amazing views of the bay and the Iglesia De Guadalupe En Puerto Vallarta.

PV-12

This cathedral is an iconic part of Puerto Vallarta’s skyline. It’s iron crown towers over most of the other buildings in town and draws in tourists. The rumor I heard while I was in Puerto Vallarta was that the crown was designed after the crown worn by Empress Carlota of Mexico.

I looked this up to confirm the facts once I was back in the States and found this rumor to actually not be true. Empress Carlota of Mexico, based on her hierarchy within the nobility, would have worn a tiara, not a crown. The crown that tops the Iglesia De Guadalupe En Puerto Vallarta is actually just designed by priest Rafael Parra Castillo, the same person who designed the tower.

 

Isostatic Rebound and Other Science-y Stuff

image

Obviously because I started doing these Saturday morning posts on Instagram two weeks before I started sharing them on my blog, I’m a little behind but that’s okay.

This picture was taking at the start of Nahku Bay, located in between Skagway, Alaska and the former gold rush town of Dyea. Other than being full of history, it also contains my favorite view of the Lynn Canal and the glacial mountains surrounding it.

I spent three months during the Summer of 2016 in Skagway working, exploring, and learning about the history of the area. Our housing was actually located in Skagway, but our worksite was in Dyea.

Every morning we made the drive to Dyea, past this amazing view, heading to the Musher’s camp and zipline. The unpaved road twisted around the bay on the side of the mountains surrounding it – looking back, it was actually a scary cliffside ride in an area where rockslides were common.

What does all of this have to do with Isostatic Rebound? And what is isostatic rebound, anyway?

I’ll let Wikipedia define it for me :

“Post-glacial rebound (also called either isostatic rebound or crustal rebound) is the rise of land masses that were depressed by the huge weight of ice sheets during the last glacial period, through a process known as isostatic depression.”

Basically, the area of Nahku Bay was completely filled in with glacial ice hundreds of years ago causing the entire area to compress downwards. The movement and melting of the glacier is what carved out the bay and once it was gone, the land underneath was free from the pressure and able to decompress, or move upwards again.

The land here is still moving upwards. The constant but inconsistent change of landscape is why Dyea Road cannot be paved and also attributes to some of the rockslides in the area.

Based on the amount of time I spent here, and the vast amounts of history in this small town, I know I will be posting more fun facts about it soon.

Icelandic Horses

Two weeks ago I decided to share weekly photos on Instagram of places I’ve visited along with an interesting fact about the place. Fast forward to today, I figure this also makes for some fun, short, weekly blog posts.

So, let’s jump right into my fun fact from week number one.

This past June, I visited Iceland. It was a quick stopover on our way home from Amsterdam and the visit was rushed. We travelled along Ring Road as quickly as possible, hitting all the top tourist spots, sleeping in our rental car, and hiking a glacier before heading back to the States.

We also ran into this perfect roadside pasture and met a couple of the locals. These beautiful Icelandic horses were so friendly and let us walk right up and take a couple pictures with them. No, we didn’t feed them, don’t worry.

Icelandic horses are short, stubby, and fluffy, they almost resemble ponies. But every horse you see here looks similar, there really is no variation in the typical Icelandic horse characterization. This got us wondering, why?

Simple, it’s illegal to bring any type of horse into Iceland. You can bring an Icelandic horse out of the country, but once it’s removed it cannot come back in. This prevents any foreign diseases from entering the ecosystem.

I’m not an expert on horses, or genes, or most science-related information but, the conclusion I got from this was that without the introduction of other species the gene pool has stayed the same, limiting the variance of the Icelandic horse.

What you see is what you get and these horses are cute enough that I don’t think anyone would have it any other way.

Part 4 – I’m the Queen of the Castle and He’s the Dirty Rascal

Finally an early morning in Amsterdam. For me at least – I had to drag John out of bed, but I didn’t care because the one thing on top of my Amsterdam Bucket List was to go see a real life fairytale…. sorta.

I wanted to visit a castle and Kasteel de Haar was my dream come true; surrounded by a moat, flower gardens, and even a maze, it had everything.

It took us two trains and a bus to get there just to find out the castle was closed for a private event. Fortunately, the grounds were open and it still took us over an hour to see about two-thirds of it.

It was vast and amazing, with green everywhere you looked dotted with pink and purple flowers. There were swans roaming around the different bodies of waters and if we had had more time we could have wandered down to their deer pasture.

As predicted, I fell in love with the place and for the first time on this trip, took hundreds of pictures. If I had actually been let into the castle I’m not sure if I would have ever left.

Before heading back into Amsterdam we spent a couple of hours in Utrecht. The first hour was spent searching for the “perfect” pizza place – only one owned and operated by Italians would satisfy John’s taste buds at this moment.

After pizza and gelato we explored the St. Martin’s Cathedral – originally built and designed by Catholics and destroyed during the Reformation in 1580. Catholic symbols were literally chiseled off the walls, making this an interesting place to visit.

The other thing that makes this place so interesting is that the entire central hall collapsed in 1674 and was never rebuilt. There is now an open air courtyard between the tower and the main building – you can visit both sections separately.

I guess we saved the best for last because this was my favorite day spent in Holland and after arriving back in Amsterdam we only had time to grab our luggage from the hotel before heading to the airport to catch our flight to Iceland!

European Adventure – Part 1

I’m sure if I tried hard enough I could summarize our trip enough to write only one post about our time in Amsterdam, but instead of one huge, long anecdote I’m going to split it up a little bit.

Day 1 started off with our overnight flight from Boston to Reykjavik to Amsterdam.

I’m not sure if it was the stress of the overnight flight, or the stress of the chaos surrounding me on WOW Airlines that got to me, but the only thing I wanted to do when we landed in Amsterdam was nap.

Until this point I have never been on a flight where people were allowed to line up outside the bathrooms or shuffle through the overhead bins mid-flight.

I was slightly annoyed upon boarding, really annoyed after sitting at the gate for over an hour, and extremely annoyed at the people constantly hovering over me while waiting in line for the bathroom.

Thanks to the hour delay in Boston, our hour layover in Reykjavik quickly diminished into a five minute layover consisting of a bus ride between terminals and a nice sprint to our gate – thankfully, we made it.

Even through all our planning we somehow missed the part of our trip that consisted of getting from the airport in Schiphol to our hotel in Amsterdam Centre. Trying to read a bus map in Dutch with all of our luggage after a 10-hour night of traveling was not the highlight of my trip.

Sometimes I am thankful for John, and this was one of the times. He got us on the right tram, found the right stop, and carried all of our luggage while navigating the streets of Amsterdam until we found out hotel. All while dealing with me complaining the whole time 🙂

I would have gone right to sleep if I could have- but it was lunch time, and we were in Europe, and our room wasn’t ready yet.

Once I was cleaned up and luggage free I could actually enjoy myself. Maybe John’s positivity rubbed off on me a little and I woke up enough to wander the streets. We didn’t know where we were going and we had no plan, but that was just fine with us.

I wish I could remember what exactly we saw on that first day but I can’t. I was lost in the history and the architecture, as well as just physically lost in the city. I took my eyes off the scenery so little that I think I have less than 10 photos on my phone from that first day. I honestly don’t think photos would do the place justice anyway.

Our wanderings took us into the night – with a brief nap before dinner, I admit- with dinner across the way from a sex shop, some space cakes, and a stroll through the Red Light District. Whilst in Amsterdam, right?

Adventure Time

This morning I woke up feeling like a 2-year-old on Christmas morning, I haven’t been this excited to travel in a long time. As you prepare for your long four day Memorial Day Weekend, I’m preparing for my 14 day vacation and my first time traveling overseas.

I’m getting ready to spend four days in Amsterdam, two days in Iceland, and then five days in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!

I think it might be my first time traveling in almost two years on a totally non-business related trip, the first leg of the trip at least. Going back to Mexico means going back to work for me, although I’ll still be in Mexico so I can’t complain too much.

Going to Europe for the first time and being able to see the beauty of both Amsterdam and Iceland is what has me really excited. New countries = new discoveries and that means new adventures! I feel like an adrenaline junkie for seeing new places and learning about new cultures.

Anyway, for the next seven days I’ll be exploring the world with one of my best friends so what can get better than that?

Get ready for lots of stories and pictures! 🤗

 

April Travels bring May Flowers?

There’s no better way to finish off a month at home than with a week of traveling. Going from Cabo to New York, I traded mountains for skyscrapers. 

I fell in love with Cabo because it was a mashup of all of my favorite things. You land in the middle of a desert and drive through the mountains before arriving on the beach. There are sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and marinas full of yachts.

The weather was 85 and perfectly sunny each of the fours days we were there. And you can’t swim in the ocean, so there are a surplus of pools to make up for it.

I spent my three days in Cabo driving from hotel to hotel and attending meeting after meeting so you know I’ll be going back to explore more some day. I want to hike up one of the many trails, and I want to visit one of the many oases.

On top of the amazing sites, every single person I met in Cabo was the nicest person I’ve ever met. As soon as I thought, ‘I’ve never met someone so nice’ I met someone else and thought the same exact thing. They were hospitable and happy and that is just not something you find very often on the East Coast.

Quite the contrast from the people honking and yelling from the cars stuck in traffic around New York City or the man who called my friend a “miserable cunt” for not sharing a cigarette.

I have been to NYC multiple times in the past but there is always something I miss out on or just don’t have time to see. This time I went with two girls from South Africa, whom I met while working in Cancun, and thankfully their plan for the day involved a lot of things I had missed out on previously. I can finally say I’ve seen the Statue of Liberty and have been to Ground Zero.

These girls have been traveling the world for the past year and I swear they are experts at finding their way around unfamiliar places and figuring out the cheapest way to explore. They were leading me through the subways, getting us into free tours, and found the best rooftop bar with no cover charge and an amazing view of the Empire State Building.

While it’s fun to visit the city for a day or two, I am not a city girl and was not sad to leave. On the other hand, I left part of my heart in Cabo and my desire to move out West just keeps growing.