Vancouver

Where We Stayed

Hilton Vancouver Metrotown which costs $189 CAD/night or $146 USD per night. It was a really central location. We rented a car one day from Enterprise.

Things To Do

  1. Suspension Bridge- the famous bridge cost $46 per person. Buy tickets online to by-pass the line! Be sure to take advantage of the free shuttle that runs from a few major hotels. We took it from the Hyatt Regency downtown and was about a 25 minute shuttle to and from the hotel.
  2. Rent a car and drive north to the mountains! We rented from this Enterprise which was only less than a 30 minute walk from our hotel for $45 CAD for a day rental
  3. Stanley Park-you can rent bikes or walk around the huge park filled with flowers.
  4. Olympic Park
  5. Whistler-we walked around the village and took the gondola between the peaks. It cost about $45 a person, but the views were worth it! There are even restaurants at the top of the mountains. The had free tub rentals and trails to hike. I couldn’t believe how much snow there was still in May!

Eat

Check out the Gas town and Yale town for dinner. Yale town seemed like the trendy place to be. We went to The Banter Room for dinner. They had a fun ambiance and deals on alcohol. Overall, Vancouver and Whistler were so easy to get around. We went for a total of 3 days and took the Translink almost everywhere for $10 CAD a day for unlimited rides. It was super clean and easy to use.

Seattle

Seattle blew my expectations away. The weather was PERFECT! I kept waiting for rain and it never came. Which means….more time for exploring.

Place to Eat & Drink

  1. Elliot’s Oyster House- this place was packed! I highly recommend a reservation. It was right on the water with a beautiful view. Try to get an outside table if you can.img_1201
  2. Momiji- awesome Japanese food with a Twilight vibe in Capitol Hill. There is a super cute patio in the middle of the restaurant.
  3. Rachel’s Ginger Beer- just drinks!

Places to See

  1. Future of Flight Tour– we did a 90 minute tour in Everett, WA. About 1 hour outside of downtown Seattle.
  2. Space Needle
  3. Chihuly Garden and Glass- we bought tickets for this and the Space Needle package $38 each.
  4. Original Starbucks & Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room
  5. Pike’s Place Market
  6. Wallace Falls State Park– 4.6 mile trail to a beautiful waterfall just one hour outside Seattle

    How We Got There

    We flew American there and Alaskan back for about $250 per person.

Where We Stayed

  1. The Renaissance in downtown Seattle for $183 (AAA rate) per night + tax. Not bad for downtown! It was cheaper in area like Bellevue, but I figured we could walk to a lot of places from here like Capitol Hill
  2. Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Seattle. We walked to the Space Needle from here! Overall the location was very central. I used 10k points so it was free!

Overall, I would definitely go back to Seattle and explore. There are so many hikes, parks and restaurants with great views.

Zion National Park

What You Need to Know

Getting into the park: $15 each. We paid a total of $30, but it was good to re-enter for 7 days. We parked on then street in Springdale and took the free shuttle to the park entrance. 

There are plenty of restaurants and camp grounds before you enter the park and at the visitor center. 


We hiked Angel’s Landing which is one of the more popular trails in Zion. We took the free shuttle from the visitor’s center to stop 6 (which is labeled with trails, museums, etc. on the bus). It was a pretty hard hike about 5 miles total in and out. Make sure you use the bathroom before and bring sunscreen and hats! The beginning of the trail was the hardest part for us and completely in the sun going uphill! 

At the end of the hike you use chains to scale the mountain. On both sides there is a couple thousands feet drop which is pretty scary. I wouldn’t recommend this hike if you are afraid of heights.


One thing we didn’t check out was the narrows. If we had more time we would have, but you can rent shoes to hike through the water! One suggestion from a girl we met while hiking was to do this hike after Angel’s Landing if you are trying to fit it in the whole day. 

View from the top of Angel’s Landing

7 Day Ring Road Route in Iceland

 

Route

This blog post includes a day 7 itinerary of the ring road including the golden circle in Iceland.

Day 1: The Blue Lagoon! It’s only minutes away from KEF airport. Buy tickets online ahead of time because they sell out. We choice the comfort package because it included entrance to Blue Lagoon, Silica Mud Mask, use of towel, 1st Drink of your choice and algae. 

We spent about 2 hours here. Let me tell you it was SO relaxing!

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Day 2: The Golden Circle which which includes: ÞingÞingvellir National Park, Strokkur Geyser , Gullfoss Waterfall, Crater Lake, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall and Gljúfrabúi. Have fun pronouncing those.

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Day 3: Vik which included the DC-3 plane wreckage. This was a four km walk from the parking lot so be prepared. You won’t see the plane until you pretty much walk the whole distance.

Next stop: the glacier lagoon. They offer tours here, but be prepared with layers for this stop. It got pretty chilly.

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Day 4: Myvatn Lake, Godafoss, Horseback riding at Galsi horse rental, Grjotagja Cave and Rhino rock

Day 5: Kirkjufell, volcanic crater, Snaefellsbaer, and the seal stop.

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Day 6: We explored Reykavik. I highly recommend the Icelandic hotdogs. They have many food trucks and it’s only $4 which is cheap for Iceland. The Phallic museum which was interesting…only $15.

Day 7: Reykavik again. We visited the big church aka Hallfrimskirkja, Hapra and explored all the street art.

How We Got There

Check out my blog post on Wow Airlines.

                 Where We Stayed

Check out my blog post here.

Questions? Email me at jetesetbrunette247@gmail.com

 

Maui

This is my fourth time being in Hawaii. I can’t say I remember them all though. This time we stayed on the island of Maui.

How I Got There

I actually paid this time not using points, but I recommend booking as far in advance as possible. I paid ~$500 on American from PHX to OGG. My siblings booked the same flight a few weeks later and paid over $600.

What We Did

1. The Road to Hana

The road consists of over a 64 mile drive of beautiful waterfalls and nature. Before you go consider brining: a fully charged camera, water shoes, sunscreen and bug repellant. Also, check the weather because since it is a rainforest there can be road closings.

Within the Road to Hana we hiked in the bamboo forest

It took about 1.5 hours from the spot my Dad dropped us off. The beginning of the trail looked like this… 

Then you’ll cross this wooden plank…

Then you’ll see a 3 waterfalls and have to climb up this ladder. Don’t worry there is rope! But I wouldn’t do this hike with my parents…

At the end of the Road to Hana you’ll arrive at the black sand beach.

2. Spa Day at the Sheraton Black Rock Spa.

3. Snorkel

My dad rented snorkel rentals for $10 a day which was way cheaper than getting them from our resort at The Snorkel Store.

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4. Haleakala National Park

Haleakala is known as the volcano that formed most of Maui. We drove up this over 10,000  feet above sea level. Apparently, the thing to do is watch the sunrise here which we didn’t do. I saw you had to make reservations. If you are an early riser, I would do this because I saw awesome pictures on Yelp. Overall, it took about a half day.

5. Massages at the Spa at Black Rock

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Westin in Ka’anapali. I would highly recommend. It’s very family friendly with a few kid pools. In addition, theres a lot of amenities on site. We went to breakfast and dinner to two of the restaurants. The rooms even have a kitchen. The only thing we wished it had was an oven. In the end, this hotel has everything you need including the beach.

Where We Ate

 Breakfast: go to the Gazebo. We got there right at 7:30am. There was already a line. We probably waited about a hour, but it was worth it for the beach view. They are known for the fried rice.

Lunch: Paia Fish Market in Lahaina

Cool Cat Cafe

Dinner: Seafood try Merrimans

Mexican: Fridas

Italian: Pulehu (in our resort)

Taverna

Hiking in Arizona

Since I’ve lived in Arizona one of the best things to do is find new trails and explore the beautiful sunny state. Let me first state I am NO professional. Hiking is something I have recently done a lot more since I’ve moved here.

Northern Arizona:

  1. Antelope CanyonPage, AZ. Okay this wasn’t really a hike… Just a couple set it stairs, but still super cool to see.     
  2. Grand Canyon-An american must do. I haven’t done this since I was about 10 years old.
  3. Horseshoe Bend- Page, AZ.      

Central Arizona

4. Fossil CreekPine, AZ. I have to admit my friends and I went here with intentions to find a natural waterfall…we hiked over 10 miles and never found it. If you decide to go here please email me, because as soon as we walked to the car we heard people jumping into the waterfall.
  
5. Sedona-Sedona, AZ. Sedona is an easy two hour drive from Phoenix. I’ve been a few times since living in Arizona and it’s absolutely one of my favorites. They are known for their pink jeep tours. We did a winery jeep tour at a Day in the West.

We went in the summer and it was perfect to do the natural water slides at Slide Rock Park in Sedona.


  
  

Phoenix Area:

4. Camelback MountainPhoenix, AZ. This is probably one of the most well known in the Phoenix area.


  
5. Pinnacle PeakScottsdale, AZ. 

6. Piestewa PeakPhoenix, AZ

Never been on a hike before? No Problem.

Here’s what you need…

  1. Hiking Shoes
  2. Water bottleS (you can never pack too much water I’ve learned)
  3. Backpack (to hold your keys, water, phone, etc.)
  4. Towel (on a really hot Arizona day you’ll want this to cool off)
  5. Protein bars (I love me some cliff bars)