Travel

Local San Diego Review: Laguna Campground

Laguna Campground is located in the Cleveland National Forest just under 60 miles from the city of San Diego. Close enough to spend more time camping and less time driving, yet far enough away to relax, unwind, and explore. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised and had an incredible experience camping here.

To get the to Cleveland National Forest you can either take the 78 through Ramona and Julian to Sunrise Highway or you can take the 8 East toward the desert to Sunrise Highway, depending on which part of the county you live in.

In my opinion, Laguna campground is probably one of the best campgrounds you could chose in the Cleveland National Forest area. The campground is pleasant, beautiful, peaceful, and so close to miles upon miles of great hiking trails. I could imagine that a weekend would be busier, but we were camping from Sunday-Tuesday, so crowds were nonexistent. In fact, there were only a handful of people staying on the entire campground. If you can avoid the weekend, I would highly recommend it.

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Seven Day Road Trip up the East Coast of Australia: Sydney to Airlie Beach

One of the best ways to explore the East Coast of Australia is by car (or camper van if that’s your style). You could basically spend as much time as you wanted driving the east coast of Australia, as there are a ton of great stops along the way. Plus, you never know what you might see!

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I would recommend allowing two weeks if you want to make more stops, spend more time at each stop, or to camp and explore some of the natural attractions in the region.

We only had a week to make it up to Airlie Beach for our Whitsundays adventure (more on that later…stay tuned!), so we researched the most intriguing stops and made the most of our time exploring the region.

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Exploring Sydney Australia in One Day

If you’re only spending a day in a city, you will likely have to make some tough choices about what to see. Thus, planning ahead is incredibly important. It will allow you to maximize your time and streamline your day. My advice is to make a list of everything that you want to see and then break it down into a must-see site list and a secondary site list (ones you wouldn’t regret not having seen if you miss it). Once you’ve broken down your list, plot out how to fit everything in the time that you have. Mapping out the sites and bringing it along will help you stay organized and be of use to guide you for the day. Don’t forget to plan in meal stops and have some must-eat spots on your list, as that is usually one of the best ways to experience a city…at least in my opinion!

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Our original plan was to be in Sydney for 2 full days and spend 1 day visiting the Blue Mountains. Then food poisoning struck…both of us, whomp, whomp. This certainly cut down our time to explore Sydney, as we spent the first day holed up in the room of our hostel. This also meant missing out on the Blue Mountains, which I was very bummed about.

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, right? We rallied for our last day in Sydney, and tried to cover the majority of what we wanted to see in the city in a day. One caveat about what we saw is that we were not our usual self, and were certainly not able to see as much as we normally would in a day.

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So, if you’re planning on visiting Sydney and are short on time, here are some ideas to make the most of your visit to the city!

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10 Satisfying Paleo Travel Snacks

It can be pretty difficult to stay healthy on the road, especially when trying to make good choices when there are a limited number of available healthy options (in the airport or on the airplane).

Over the years, I have learned that once I get to a certain level of hunger, I tend to make poor food choices or get hangry.

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Story of my life….

The solution to this problem for the sake of myself (and my husband) is to bring along a variety of healthy snacks and foods I enjoy in order to stave off hunger and to be able to eat well on the road.

Hopefully, this list below will help you find healthy snacks to bring along on your travels to stay well fed around the globe.

Paleo Travel Snacks

1. Fresh Fruit – My favorite types to bring along are ones that travel well and are easy to eat on the go with little to no fuss: apples, grapes, tangerines/oranges, cherries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, pears, and bananas. Bananas need to be eaten relatively soon unless you like mushy brown ones, but they are great to eat while waiting for your flight, especially in the morning. Apples and bananas are usually pretty easy to find and purchase at the airport for a snack too!

2. Fresh Cut Vegetables – This one does take a little prep beforehand (unless you get a bag of baby carrots), but I like having a few low calorie nutritious snacks around. My favorites are carrots, snap peas, sliced cucumbers, sliced zucchinis, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers.

One note: if you’re traveling overseas and you have to eat any fruit or vegetables you bring on board the plane before you land.

3. Nuts & Seeds – Easy, quick calorie dense snacks that have a substantial amount of fat and some protein. My favorites are macadamias, almonds, brazil nuts, pistachios, pepitas, and sunflower seeds. You can always create your own trail mix with some dried fruit, shredded coconut, and dark chocolate chips (like Enjoy Life Mini Chips) mixed in too!

4. Gone Nuts! (Cacao) – Of course my favorite packs are the cacao ones, but they have other varieties as well.

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5. Jerky –  Sugar-free jerky is a great source of easy protein on the go (turkey, beef, bison, etc). I like the Tanka varieties, they are really tasty.

6. Epic Bars – An easy alternative to jerky and good source of protein too (bison is my favorite, but love the lamb and turkey too!). (Side note: my interaction with the customs officers when we arrived in New Zealand and they saw these in my bag was pretty hilarious…they had never seen them before and were incredibly curious/intrigued! They didn’t have a problem with them though and they saved our lives on many a hike throughout the trip 🙂 )

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7. Dang Toasted Coconut Chips – They comes in a few varieties (including without sugar) but the regular and chocolate covered ones are my personal favorites. SO good!

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8. Dark Chocolate – (notice the chocolate trend here?!?!) – Great for a little treat on the road when you feel like something sweet. It’s a healthy alternative to the candy bars in the airport because it actually has antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support your health! Alter Ego, Primal Chocolate, and Theo are a few of my favorite brands.

9. That’s It Bars – These are great – just made up of dried fruit. They come in a variety of flavors and are my husband’s favorite snack. Pear/apple, mango/apple, and apricot/apple are T’s favorites. I really like the apple/cherry ones too!

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10. Larabars – Some varieties are healthier than others, but I find the blueberry muffin, apple pie, cashew cookie, and coconut varieties to be paleo friendly.

 

What are your favorite healthy snacks to travel with? Share in the comments below!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Forces of Nature: Sun & Sea

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge encouraged me to share a local example of a force of nature. I chose incredible force of nature of the sun setting over the sea.

Sunsets are my absolute favorite part of the day. They happen every day, and are easy to take for granted. However, they are inspiring, calming, relaxing, and rejuvenating. Nothing gets better than sitting on a beach, boat, or cliff overlooking the ocean and watching the sun disappear into the water.

I am lucky to live in San Diego, California, where I can witness this amazing force of nature every day.

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Forces of Nature

5 Tips to Help you Afford to Travel This Year

When I start talking about the various trips we have taken, I often get looks of wonderment coupled with questions about how we can afford to travel so much. A lot of our friends look at us and say “I wish we could travel as much as you do” (in my head, I am thinking…”man, I wish we could travel more!”).

Traveling is my utmost passion and truly makes my life feel fulfilled. We try to take as many trips as we can afford within the confines of available funds and vacation time. We have regular jobs and a limited income, just like most of you. We have figured out a way to fund our travels and still do the majority of things we want to do on a daily basis. I have compiled the following tips based on our personal experience and what has worked really well for us.

I hope the tips below will help you feel inspired to find the means to afford to start checking off the items on that bucket list!

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“Hot Tubbing” in Mammoth Lakes, California

You may be asking yourself why I am writing a blog post on the small hot pool of water in your yard. Don’t worry, I was a little confused when I first heard the term “hot tubbing,” too. However, I am not referring to the man-made hot tub next to your swimming pool or on your patio. I am referring to stone “tubs” fed by natural hot springs like those you can find in the Eastern Sierras near Mammoth Lakes, California.

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