Page 3 of jewel89 Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Iceland » North » Akureyri December 31st 2018

Short and sweet one today: I can't stop laughing every time I look outside - we got a dumping of snow... like... this morning roads were essentially closed and you couldn't get in or out of town level of dumping of snow. I love it. This morning (while it was still coming down, HARD) I got dressed and went on a winter wonderland exploration walk... which was basically me shuffling through ~20-25cm of snow at that point, none of which was cleared. I'm still laughing about it. All in all apparently we got around ~35cm. It was pretty gusty most of the day though, so you'd be walking and sometimes you'd have like 2cm to get through and other times it was up over my boots. It was fun to do some exploring but I only ... read more
Christmas tree looking good covered in snow
No more mountains in this visibility
Bush covered in snow

Europe » Iceland » North » Mývatn December 30th 2018

(Last night: went for the Northern Lights tour - we did see them, they're as enchanting as ever. My tripod wasn't cooperating and I didn't get good pictures, but that's ok - I was just happy to see them again. And happy that we got free hot chocolate while waiting because it was bloody cold standing in the middle of nowhere) Adventure day! We drove to the Lake Myvatn area, east of Akureyri. Yes everything was amazing, but it was also fun trying to remember where I'd been before and what was familiar/had changed. First things first, they've built a tunnel (7km..!) since last time, so we didn't have to do the mountain pass which was good (especially for the drive home!). It was funny hearing about the tunnel - it was reminiscent of LRT tunnel ... read more
Myvatn pseudocraters

Europe » Iceland » North » Akureyri December 29th 2018

Doesn't matter where I go, people always ask me directions lol. The domestic airport in Reykjavik is super tiny - it's like less than 10 flights a day, and I had 2 different people ask me where the gates are and how to know when to board. I told them were the gate area is, but that generally people wait in this other area because there are more seats. One girl asked: "But how do I know which gate? I don't want to get on the wrong flight!" - There is literally only one flight haha. You good. When they board (10min before departure) you literally walk out onto the tarmac. I love tiny airports, so much less stress and drama. Flight was short - 40min hop over the highlands. Too bad it was dark, I ... read more
Looking down towards the airport
Santa chilling on some steps
Christmas tree

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík December 28th 2018

And off I go again! (As per usual, sampling of photos here... there are way too many to ever post) Originally I planned to return to Norway so that I could see it in all its wintery glory, but after pricing everything I decided I might as well hit up Iceland once more and return to Akureyri. It's also a nice bookend to the year and my decade of travels - Akureyri was my first real trip, all by myself, that started me on this crazy adventure that has brought me to 40+ countries, 20+ trips and more hostels than I can count lol. I thought it was fitting to close Vol. 1 of my travels where it began. Flight landed at 3:40am (oof) so I decided I'd learn from last year... Last year I just ... read more
Tombstone at Strandakirkja

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland August 6th 2018

It's pretty toasty in Portland and air quality isn't fab, so I needed something with guaranteed shade today - The Grotto ended up being the perfect fit! It's billed as the place "for solitude, peace and prayer" and it didn't disappoint. The lower garden area is free and has a few statues (Jesus with the cross, some other statues off near the cliffside), a grotto with a statue of Mary and a kajillion candles around it, and a small(ish) church you can visit. Thankfully they have an elevator that brings you up the cliff to the upper garden. First place I went to upstairs was the Meditation building - it's on the edge of the cliff and gives you a lovely view off towards the mountains. You could see the haze from here, but it was ... read more

North America » United States August 5th 2018

Alright, I should be back to doing a daily entry while I'm in Portland... it's somewhat hard to do when I go to Jays games because I'm so tired afterwards lol. Day 7b - Seattle for the win! Chihuly Garden and Glass is exquisite - I don't know why I didn't come here last time, it's truly a gem. The way they have it set up and staged is perfect: outdoors in the garden you have the sun helping all the colours in the glass pop and inside all the backgrounds/walls/pedestals are jet black with perfect lighting that creates not only the ideal backdrop for photos, but also provides the most brilliant reflections of the artwork. It's really just amazing that everything is made of this glass. My favourite was probably the boat full of marbles/balls ... read more

North America » United States » Washington August 3rd 2018

Day 5b: Seattle here I come! I flew to Seattle today - that was a bit of an ordeal. We boarded on time, left the game on time, and then after taxiing for a bit we parked in the middle of the tarmac somewhere and were told there's too much traffic near Seattle, so we're just going to chill here for 30min rather than circle above Seattle and waste fuel. Ok. 30min later the pilot comes back to say we're going to have to wait another 1h30...!!! That there's some air show and so there's way too much traffic and it's all backed up, but that they're trying to negotiate an earlier landing time. Needless to say we were just glad the plane was still on, so we had our AC lol. Thankfully it ended up ... read more
Welcome to Safeco
Overlooking the water and the cranes
View from my seats

North America » United States » California August 2nd 2018

(Short and sweet today!) Well, here we go again... I told you, I'll be happy with a 1-5 road trip, but I'm growing doubtful of even that. (Never mind that we don't even have a starter listed for tomorrow, ahem) Anyway, today was pretty much just baseball and relaxing. (Hence only baseball photos) Spent the morning chatting with one of my roomies - she's a teacher from Australia, so we chatted about the similarities and differences. It's her first full year gig this upcoming term, so she's really excited/has like nothing ready so good luck to her. She's tagging along with me to the airport tomorrow (she's flying to LA for a few days before going home). It was a day game today, which was welcome in terms of weather... it was a positively toasty 20 ... read more
Smoak heading off to indoor BP..?
Stro getting in the zone
Stro getting in the zone

The nice thing about coming back to cities I've already been to is that I feel zero pressure to actively do everything - I've been here two other times, so I was decidedly lazy today in my approach lol. I spent most of my day people and sea lion watching along Embarcadero (all the piers). I started off at the Ferry Building - for some reason I had remembered it as more of a proper market... but there were fruit/veggie stands out front and then proper stores/stalls inside. I then just took my time wandering along the Embarcadero/coast for a good chunk of the day. I also realized I will not be using their water fountains any time soon because literally every single one I saw had pigeons sitting them. Ew. Pier 39 is like the ... read more
Vaillancourt Fountain

North America » United States » California » Oakland July 31st 2018

Another crazy day... but the travel went a lot better this time at least. I was so tired from the ordeal getting out of LAX to my hostel yesterday that I fell asleep around 8:30pm. That worked in my favour for my early bus out to San Fran lol. So I head off to North Hollywood to catch... sigh... a Greyhound. I know last time I was like NEVER AGAIN, but I guess the caveat is if a bus starts at the given location (like the route started in LA, not some weird line that went like Miami-LA-Seattle or whatever), then I'm ok to take it. The bus ride itself was totally fine and surprisingly uneventful. We drove through a huge chunk of the state that was crazy hazy with the various fires burning - that ... read more
Batting practice
... ok
Estrada warming up

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