Category Archives: Travel

Camping at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Earlier this week we went camping at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. It was my second time going camping ever. The first time was seven years ago at  a park in North Carolina. That trip we slept in a tent and didn’t have an RV. This time around we took the RV and slept in there. I still consider it camping. We had a campfire and everything!

I highly recommend Big Basin for camping and hiking purposes. It was absolutely beautiful. We went on a Tuesday and stayed that night and Wednesday night. It was not very busy at all which was great. I felt like we got plenty of privacy and many times we were hiking and didn’t see anyone at all.

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My favorite parts about the trip is the absolute silence at night and the lack of light. It is SO dark. I couldn’t see a thing outside. It was scary and also kind of amazing. I don’t experience that kind of darkness on a daily basis. I loved it.

I didn’t take many pictures because I was mostly filming for a youtube video which I will link to now:

It was so cold on our first night. The following day I went on my scheduled run with the dog. I wasn’t going to let the cold keep me from my half marathon training.

Anyway, I enjoyed it so much I’m thinking about booking another trip for the spring. I want to try out some other camp sites too. If you have any suggestions for good camping on the west coast please leave a comment. Thanks and thanks for reading!

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T Minus Seven Days

Next Friday we move into our tiny RV full time. Are we ready? Of course not. Although, we got A LOT done today.

We spent the day filling a 10 foot Uhaul truck with the belongings we decided not to get rid of. This includes our beloved couch, our queen sized bed (which isn’t particularly dear to us), plastic bins of clothes, quilts, and some towels, a few boxes filled with sentimental objects, instruments, and other miscellaneous items.

This is a photo of ALMOST all of our possessions:

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We still have some clothes that we need to put in some plastic bins, some empty suitcases, craft supplies, and other odds and ends.

So we weren’t one of those couples who sold absolutely everything to live in an RV. I think the hardest things to give up were items that belonged to my husband’s late father. We also have an antique sewing machine that belonged to his late grandmother. I can’t see ourselves ever getting rid of those and we don’t live near enough to any of our family to leave it at their places temporarily.

I was thinking about it today though, and wondering if we will end up loving this lifestyle. If we do, I don’t think it would make sense to keep this storage unit, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it. I think one HUGE downside to living in the RV is having to pretty much dogsit my dog all day because we aren’t going to be getting doggy day care. It kinda limits what I can do during the day. Granted, most of the things I do are online or things I can do inside of the RV but I would like to be able to go out sometimes! Maybe sit in a cafe and do my work there or go to the library. My husband will be able to take the dog to work with him from time to time but I don’t know if it’s going to be enough.

In any case, we’re going to give it a shot. If this works out, we’ll be saving A LOT of money on rent. I hope it’s worth it.

 

Our Dwindling Possessions

I put up some more of our belongings on craigslist. I’m finding it difficult to get rid of the most random things. I have a paper towel holder that I put up on the letgo app and when I got a message from someone asking about it, I actually got sad. For a paper towel holder. You can get those at Goodwill all the time. But I can remember buying mine. I remember picking it up at Target. And then a few days later realizing I could have gotten it for cheaper when I saw one just like it at Goodwill.

The other day we sold our office chair. This was an office chair we got at Goodwill for around 20 bucks. The handle that moves the chair up and down had been chewed on by a dog, and it was a very obviously old chair. I spent many days sitting on it in front of my desk only to get back pain at the end of the day. It wasn’t the most ergonomic of chairs. I used to complain about it a lot. And yet, when the buyer hoisted it up into the back of his pickup truck, I felt a small tug at my heart. That was OUR chair. Now it’s gone.

I feel this way about almost everything that we are selling. It hurts. Especially if it was an item that was a steal or a rare find.

Today as I was working out in my apartment complex’s gym, I looked out the windows which point out to the street. There was an absolutely ENORMOUS moving truck parked outside and movers were unloading box after box. I have never seen such a huge truck for one family. It was kind of fascinating.

I’ve read accounts of people selling everything and embarking on different journeys, adventures, and ways of life. Stuff weighs you down, they say. I hope to feel lighter once most of our things are gone. I hope to feel a little bit more free.

Update and a Promise

Life Changes

I haven’t posted in over a month. In that time my husband and I left Florida to move to San Jose, California for my husband’s new job.

We are currently in temporary housing provided by my husband’s job for two more months. We’ve been looking around for another place to live but everything is crazy expensive. We were living in Austin before coming here where rent prices were pretty good compared to here. Honestly, I shouldn’t have been complaining back then. So far, we haven’t really made a real decision on where to move to after our time in this apartment is up. Good thing we still have some time!

We used PODS to move our stuff here from Texas, and we’ve unloaded everything into our already furnished apartment. It’s kind of a mess in here.

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We’ve been selling some of our stuff on craigslist and the letgo app (which works really well! Especially on the weekends). We are attempting to downsize because we will likely end up in a very small apartment after this.

I miss Austin a lot. I miss my friends and the city, and the ease of getting around. We lived really close to downtown Austin. Right now we are living in a suburb in North San Jose. I want to make the best of this. This job is a really amazing opportunity for my husband. I had a really tough time our first week here but I think I’m beginning to adjust. I’m at least a little bit busier now that we have all of our stuff and I need to go through and sell everything we don’t need.

Fitness Updates

Since being here I’ve started working out regularly again. After we left Austin in March I did not work out at all. The only activity I did was a lot of walking when we went travelling in Thailand and that was about it. This apartment complex includes a very nice gym with cardio machines, free weights, strength training machines, TRX bands, kettlebells, and a yoga/cycling room. I’ll take photos of it next time I workout. I’ve been working out 4 times a week. Three days of strength training and one day of cardio, although really, I do a little bit of cardio before I lift weights too. My first week I was really sore and I felt extremely out of shape. I’ve been slowly getting better. I weighed myself yesterday and I’m at around 128 lbs. My goal is 115-120 lbs and I want to reach it by the time we move out of this apartment. I will be updating on that regularly!

Project Updates

So, my husband and I bought an RV! We bought a 21 foot 1988 Toyota Sunrader. We looked for RVs on craiglist and also visited a few dealerships in the area but we absolutely fell in love with the look of sunraders when we went and saw one for the first time. We didn’t buy the first one we saw, but ended up buying a nice one from an older couple. It has automatic transmission which I am happy about because I didn’t want to have to learn to get comfortable driving an RV AND learn stick shift at the same time. I’m not opposed to learning stick shift and would love to learn it some day, but maybe not on our first ever RV.

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The interior needs some TLC. We’re excited to clean up and redo some of the interior and that’s going to be a fun project for the both of us for the next few months. We need to reseal everything, paint, make cushion cases (maybe replace some of the cushions), replace all the carpet, get solar panels, and many other small repairs and additions. I’m pretty excited and I can’t wait to go camping!

As for other projects, I’m also going to start knitting something for my niece tonight. I’ll be posting about that later too.

Finally, my promise is to update this blog regularly, maybe once or twice a week. Now I’m off to read some other blogs!

xoxo

Walt Disney World and Harry Potter World

I just got back from my short trip to Orlando and I want to go back already! I’ve been to Disney many times before but this was my first time to Harry Potter World. I freaking loved it. We got a park to park pass and took the Hogwarts Express between the two Harry Potter sections. Diagon Alley is amazing. They put so much detail into everything.

The first ride we did was The Forbidden Journey. Oh man, it is nauseating! But while you are in line you are walking through the Hogwarts castle. It is so cool! Paintings moving and talking. I know they are just screens but they did a really good job making them look like actual paintings. We walked by Dumbledore’s office too. Ron made it snow on us just before we got to the carts.

I got really dizzy on that ride though. Maybe I shouldn’t have had breakfast that day. If it got to be too much I just shut my eyes and that helped. After that we did flight of the hippogriff, then we took the train to Diagon Alley. I actually really liked the train ride. That really made me feel immersed in the Harry Potter world. I felt like I was actually in the Harry Potter universe. Then we rode the Gringott’s ride twice. That one is really fun. We walked around diagon alley, discovered knockturn alley, tried butter beer (horrible), and looked inside a few shops.

We did go to the rest of Universal Studios to go on a couple of rides but now in retrospect I wish we had spent the entire day only doing Harry Potter things. I have a game plan now for next time.

I was mostly vegan on the trip. I did taste butter beer, which isn’t vegan. And I also tasted a cauldron cake and a chocolate frog that my sister bought. I also did not verify with the theme park staff if my veggie burgers were vegan. I didn’t eat any meat though.

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Mickey Pretzel. This is actually vegan.

Growing up I LOVED Carousel of Progress. I was also the only one in my family who did. I wanted to experience it for what could be the last time. I know it’s Walt Disney’s personal project but I have a feeling it won’t pass the test of time.

I also LOVED the Swiss Family Robinson film growing up. I spent one summer rewatching that VHS tape a million times. I was fascinated with the idea of living on a stranded island. I was a weird kid.

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Ahh… so picturesque.

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That’s inside Honeydukes! I didn’t really see many vegan options. I didn’t buy anything though because it’s so expensive!

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Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes! Such a kooky shop! I loved it.

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We entered Hogsmeade first. Snow covered shops.. kind of a weird thing to see in Florida.

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Just some of the treats inside Honeydukes!

I need to go back ASAP. I don’t know when I’ll be able to go back.

I need to reread the books too. 🙂

Beach Day and What I Ate Today (Vegan) 04/20/2016

That’s Jasmine green tea in the middle.

And I forgot to take a picture of my dinner but I can tell you what it was! It was just like lunch, except a larger portion and especially more chips and my husband shared it with me.

So yeah. My MIL cooked but her food won’t be done til like 8:00 PM. I normally don’t eat that late. I might feel obligated to have some though. I don’t want to be rude or anything. I’ll update this post if that happens. Luckily, she is making a vegetable soup and a salad. She typically cooks really healthy food so that’s good.

Also, we are out of Sour Patch. So no more of that temptation! I know I eat pretty much the same thing every day. 🙂 This weekend I’m going to Orlando though and hitting up some theme parks so my meals will be different.

EDIT: Yup, I had some vegetable soup.

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Kinda feel like I ate too much today. But it’s nothing compared to binges I’ve had in the past so I’m not worried. I’ll make sure to do some exercise tomorrow. Also, we are out of bread and candy so tomorrow will be a good diet day.

We went to the beach today and I just wanted to share a few photos of it.

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It wasn’t a particularly warm day. We didn’t stay very long because we were cold. I still love going to the beach though.

 

 

 

Day trip to Miami

I lived in Miami for four years while I was getting my undergraduate degree at the University of Miami. They were some of the best years of my life. I haven’t visited the campus since I graduated 7 years ago.

We have been in a small town near Sarasota, FL for a couple of weeks now and we met up with one of my husband’s friends who said he was going to drive down to Miami for the weekend and offered to give us a ride. I jumped at the chance. My little sister lives there so it was a great opportunity to come down and see her.

Yesterday we spent all day going around to the places in Miami we wanted to see. We started off by going to Wynwood. When I was still living in Miami, Wynwood was not the up and coming artsy neighborhood it is now. It was actually a pretty rundown neighborhood that I never visited.

Now there is a lot of nice street art to see.

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After we met up with one of my husband’s old college professors, we went to check out a vegan bakery that I had found online.

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This place is SO GOOD. I got the flavors carrot, red velvet, key lime, and guava. My husband got the flavors key lime, passion fruit, vanilla on vanilla, and vanilla chocolate. We shared them among ourselves. They were ALL really good. My favorites include key lime and passion fruit. The chocolate frosting was also really good. I wonder what their secret is.

Next stop the University of Miami! We walked along US-1 a little bit and found a fancy dog park where we let our dog meet a few other dogs. Then we went on to the metro to head to the university.

So many memories rushed back when we got there. Things I hadn’t remembered until we were back there again. Even the smell as you walk on the breezeway. I don’t know how to describe it.

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This is the dorm my husband and I lived in senior year.

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This is us and our dog in front of our dorm :).

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The beautiful lake. So many memories of walking past this to go to class.

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This area did not look like this when we used to go to school here. I took this photo from the new university center. I was not a big fan of the new UC.

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My sister and I at this instagram spot :).

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I lived in the dorm on the right my freshman year. Also that bridge didn’t used to be there. There used to be a lot more lake on this campus. There was an alligator in the lake when I went to school here. He climbed out of the lake one time and was in the parking lot.

After that we visited the little shopping area near campus for some food and then we went home because we were really tired!

I had a lovely time. I actually kind of miss living here. That’s the thing about moving around so much. So many places can be thought of as home.