06 December 2010

La Isla del Encanto


Puerto Rico is truly the "Island of Enchantment." The scenery was beautiful, the people friendly, and, most importantly, the beaches were gorgeous! Nate and I stayed in Luquillo, about a half hour east of San Juan, in a wonderful beachfront condo. We were able to spend a lot of time on the beach relaxing, but we also enjoyed some more active pursuits, including hiking in the rain forest a night kayaking trip through a bioluminescent lagoon.

The kayaking trip was one of the most incredible things I have ever done. We set out from a small bay and headed through a narrow channel surrounded by mangrove trees. Once we were in the channel, it was almost pitch black. At first we were focused solely on trying to avoid running into the trees or other kayakers, but suddenly I noticed that our paddles were glowing when we dipped them in the water. I stuck my hand in and was amazed to see sparkling, shimmering lights on my hand when I brought it out of the water. It looked similar to lightning bugs, but much smaller. It was so cool! At that point I started tossing water onto my legs so I could watch my legs sparkle and shimmer. Poor Nate ended up doing more than his fair share of paddling because I was so fascinated with the sparkles.

The glowing is caused by bioluminescent micro-organisms that give off light when they are disturbed. There are only a few bioluminscent bays in the world (including some where you are allowed to swim) and I highly recommend a visit if you ever have the chance. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

View from the balcony on the condo. There is nothing like enjoying
breakfast outside with the fresh breeze blowing, the sound of the
waves crashing, and the smell of ocean in the air.


Enjoying the balcony.


In the rain forest.


My flight home left several hours after Nate's, so after we dropped off the rental car, I found a place to store my luggage and took a taxi to Old San Juan to do a little sight seeing. Old San Juan is a really neat place with several Spanish forts and beautiful old homes. Below are a few pictures from my last afternoon in Puerto Rico.

Colorful buildings in Old San Juan.


View down a narrow cobblestone street to the bay.


Guerite at Castillo de San Cristobal.


Castillo de San Cristobal.


American, Puerto Rican, and Spanish military flags flying at San Cristobal.


View from Castillo de San Cristobal looking towards Fort San Felipe del Morro.

Me in old San Juan. I am not quite as talented as AL
at the self-portraits :o)

06 November 2010

My new favorite song

I have been totally obsessed with this song lately. What do you think of it?

Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise by the Avett Brothers

10 October 2010

Random Road Trip

It was another beautiful fall weekend here in Minnesota and I decided to take a little road trip to enjoy the changing colors in the southern part of the state where the colors haven't peaked yet. I forgot to grab my map before I left so I drove a bit aimlessly and ended up on the Great River Road on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi. The drive was gorgeous and I eventually I ended up in Pepin, Wisconsin. A sign for the Laura Ingalls Wilder birthplace caught my eye and I decided to take a little detour. They had a re-creation of the home she was built in and a small display about her life. Made me want to re-read the books. Below are a few pictures from the trip.

Birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder.


Historic marker.

Photo of Carrie, Mary, and Laura Ingalls.


Pretty country church in Wisconsin.

An old schoolhouse that had been converted into a home.

03 October 2010

Don't you love the fall?!

Today was a gorgeous fall day and I decided to take a walk around Lake Harriet. I think half of Minneapolis had the same idea, but it was still a very pleasant way to spend a sunday afternoon.





19 September 2010

31 August 2010

Camping on Madeline Island


I thought I would share a few pictures from my camping trip with Mom this weekend. We drove up to Bayfield, Wisconsin and took a ferry to Madeline Island. It was a beautiful drive (once we got out of the traffic on I-35) and the ferry ride was fun.

Although we had a few snags along the way (dead air pump, wet wood) we still had a great time :o) Nothing beats sitting outside on a beautiful night and gazing at the stars!

My first star trails picture. I was very happy with how it turned out. I will definitely be trying more of these in the future.


Mom and me on the ferry to Madeline Island.



Big Bay beach on Madeline Island.


Sunlight on the water.


Mom and me on the beach.


Pretty orange flowers.


Pretty yellow flowers (descriptive, I know).


A lovely tattoo I got from carrying a bag of bagels under my arm.

29 July 2010

China



Here are a few videos (and pictures) from my trip to China . . .

video

This one is of me and mom floating down the Yulong river in Yangshuo, China on a bamboo raft.


They had stations set up in the middle of the river to take pictures of the tourists which they printed and laminated for you right there. I couldn't resist buying this one . . . Mom's expression is priceless! She insists she wasn't worried at all :o)


Don't you feel bad for the poor guy who had to push us down the river?! Talk about hard work.


video

This one is a video of an amazing performance we saw in Yangshuo. It was directed by the same person who did the opening ceremonies for the Beijing olympics. The performance was all on a lake surrounded on three sides by the stunning karst mountains.

This is a picture of what it looked like when they lit up the mountains during the show.




Where do you think I should go on my next big trip?


P.S. You can see more pictures of the trip here.