Page 2 of Jessb6484 Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » New Zealand January 4th 2017

Hello from New Zealand! Backtracking a few days, the Blue Mountains were very beautiful, and we even saw a young kookaburra! We did the hop-on hop-off bus and our highlights included the iconic Echo Point and the Three Sisters, the Leura Cascades, Gordon Falls Lookout, and lunch at the only all vegan café in town, Rubyfruit. Again, I was wiped out at the end of the day, but the two hour train ride back was a nice respite. After our dinner of Indian food was delivered, we all crashed early since we had an early 8:45am flight the next morning. I'd requested an... read more
Crimson Rosella
Pied Currawong
The Three Sisters

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Glebe January 1st 2017

After the last travel fiasco coming home from Iceland, we purposely built in a 7 hour layover for this trip to Sydney. Rushing through the airport was a wonderful thing and the 15 hour flight was mostly uneventful, though sleeping in a middle seat is just not that easy. Fun fact: they have Uber here, so when we finally landed in Sydney, we used the familiar app to grab a ride to Dave's apartment in Glebe. We were smart enough not to nap when we got here, and after showering and changing, the three of us headed out together. First stop, lunch at the adorable all vegetarian Badde Manors café, then we headed over to the shopping center to pick up a hair dryer and some hard ciders for the New Year's festivities. The walk to ... read more
Sydney Harbor Bridge
Sydney Opera House

Europe » Iceland August 11th 2016

Two weeks ago, Jason and I left for Iceland. After we got off the red eye from Minneapolis, we were greeted by our car rental agent, who then drove us a short 5 minutes to pick up our junky little Subaru. I was compact and rusty, the brakes made noises when we left the parking lot, and with the only luxury being automatic windows, it was still perfect. Luckily, our agent encouraged us to get the GPS (which was a lifesaver) and only asked that I pay $20 USD upon return. Since we had about 4 hours to kill before we could check in to our apartment/hotel, we went to downtown Reykjavík, wandered around in a daze for a little while, and after we’d thoroughly gawked at the Hallgrímskirkja church, we grabbed lunch at Glo. I ... read more
The View from our Room
Icelandic Beer
Gullfoss Waterfall

North America » United States » California » San Diego April 2nd 2016

After my four hour nighttime nap in Denver, I jumped on a plane to sunny San Diego to visit one of my oldest friends. We met during my senior year in high school, were on the yearbook staff together (nerds!), and even went to prom together. We’ve kept in touch through his going away to college, my moves to Florida and back and in polar opposite temperatures, his heading to Ukraine for the Peace Corps then later moving away “for good” to the west coast, but we still meet up every time he comes home. I figured it was my turn to visit him. (Plus, I had some use-it-or-lose-it vacation saved up!) I chugged my soy vanilla latte as we cruised down the freeway to his City Heights apartment. Apparently San Diego is a very expensive ... read more
Fresh margaritas
Cantina Manolo
Sea Lions in La Jolla

North America » United States » Colorado » Denver March 29th 2016

This week, I'm on a stateside adventure to Denver, San Diego, Portland and Depoe Bay. Each flight to my next destination begins after a night of only about 4 hours of sleep, but hey, I'm trying to make the most of each day. The 24 hours in Denver were only a taste of what the town could offer. Luckily, I had a car to get around, since the two people I was visiting were on opposite ends of town. I chose a central location for my hotel and stayed in the Ramada Inn Downtown. Affordable, good location, and the bed was exactly what I needed for another 4 hours of sleep before my next flight. Since I couldn't actually check in after I landed and picked up my car at 9:00am, I went to breakfast at ... read more
At the Botanic Gardens
Botanic Gardens

Europe » Netherlands February 15th 2016

I'm working at our European Operations Center this week, which is based in Heerlen. After taking the red eye Sunday evening, which was delayed an hour due to de-icing, we (me and my two colleagues) expected a straight-forward train ride in the morning from Amsterdam to Maastricht, and also expected one train change and a total of about 3 hours. Unfortunately, that's not how it went. None of us speak Dutch, and when the announcer on the train stated that everyone had to depart at Eindhoven because of a crossing issue, the three of us sat there like idiots while the train literally emptied of people. We knew we had one more stop before we should change, so we stayed put. For a few minutes, at least. Then we started to get nervous, so we scrambled ... read more
No Connection
Dinner at Cucina 50

North America » United States » Florida » Keys January 11th 2016

Our big first day: Today was one of the best days I've had in recent memory. After yesterday's hellishly long day of travel including a delayed flight, Miami rush hour traffic, an almost four hour drive from Ft Lauderdale to Big Pine Key, a ten pm dinner, which was technically our first meal of the day, and a couple of ice cold beers, we so looked forward to spending a relaxing day on "island time." We came here only nine months ago, but timing was terrible and I spent most of our short trip working, while Jason spent a fair amount of time on schoolwork. We both vowed to unplug from work and school, and so far it has paid off well. Another reason we chose to come back so soon was because the owners of ... read more
Free Range Chicken
The Heir

Our day "off" Thursday was quite welcome. Julianne and two of her roommates stopped over for some pool time, but the water was super cold so I didn't get in. She was heading back to Minnesota the next day, so that was our last visit with her while we were here. Friday we decided to be a little ambitious, knowing things would likely get pretty hectic on the Fourth. We started off at the Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle); not much to it, but it was a super cool building. From there, we headed over to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. That place had some very neat exhibits - there are two floors, an Imax theater and a planetarium! We saw tons of planes, several space suits, space exploration vehicles and satellites, huge missiles, ... read more
Plane at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Lunar Module #2
Apollo Lunar Suit

Let me start by saying that 4:00am starts to the day are not my thing. We ended up at the airport with plenty of time to spare, and went through security in what seemed like ten seconds (best experience ever). Julianne met us at the Ronald Reagan airport and helped us navigate to the Metro and into the city, but we had about 4 hours to kill before we could check into our Ho-Partment (we rented an apartment/hotel which they call an Apartel, but we decided we like HoPartment better), so we decided to get lunch and see the White House. Sweet Green was on our list of vegan friendly restaurants in the city, and this salad place was excellent (mine even had wild rice in it!). Usually when I'm on vacation, I don't like to ... read more
The Capitol Building
Supreme Court
The Great Hall

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London November 17th 2014

*Computer issues delayed posting on Monday. This morning we took the subway up two stops to King's Cross train station; home of Harry Potter's Hogwart's Express. I got to take a stereotypical tourist photo at the added Platform 9 3/4, and we ventured into the little gift shop. We didn't buy anything, but it was still neat, and ignited my inner Potter fan once again. From King's Cross, we took the subway over to Westminster. So many sights today! We saw Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Parliament, Westminster Abbey, went up in the London Eye, and walked through both Trafalgar and Leicester Squares. We'd just missed the Changing of the Guard at ... read more
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace Guard
Big Ben

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