Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts


Why Everyone Should Visit Finland

So awhile back I wrote a post about why you should visit Oregon and you guys really loved it so I thought I would do one about my home! In this post I will go over all the reasons I believe everyone should visit Finland! ( I will try my dandiest to be unbiased!)

So Why Should You?

1.  Finland is beautiful year round- You really get the whole four seasons in Finland and each one is unique in it's own way. Summers are breathtaking and winters are phenomenal. Although I have seen all seasons multiple times throughout my life, I still find myself surprised every time the time comes around. It is amazing.

2. Although quiet, the Finnish people are very friendly- At first glance one would think that Finnish people were mute. The problem is we don't do small talk, we talk when we have something to say, no more, no less. It took myself almost 3 years to get the art of mindless chatter down, even to this day I still find it difficult to socialize as Americans do and I have lived here half my life.

3. Finnish food- Now our traditional dishes might sound odd to you, but if you ever have the chance to try some Finnish home cooking do not miss out. We have some of the best pastries, soups and casseroles one could even imagine. We also have many weird dishes but trust me, even they are tasty!

4. Diversity- You want to see the sea? Alright. You want to go skiing in the mountains? no problemo! Since it only takes about 15 hours I think to get from one end of Finland to the other, nothing is ever THAT far away. I guess I did just drive cross country recently so that trip seems like a hop, skip, and a jump for me! 

5. No one has really heard of it- So far 90% of people I meet have no idea where or what Finland is. The typical answer is a confused smile and a "huh... Finland" I would like to consider this a blessing of sorts, since we are not a major tourist spot, you get to experience Finland as it is and not as a tourist area would allow you to see, if that makes any sense. You will experience authentic Finland, with authentic food, and authentic people, and it will be an experience like no other.

6. Last but not least, Sauna- Finnish people get through their day knowing there is a sauna night waiting to happen once they get back home. There is nothing better than walking in the door, grabbing a cold beer and going to sweat your butt off. Bonus points if you have a window facing a forest for added authenticity. Extra bonus points if you brave the cold in the winter and run out into the snow naked out of the sauna and roll around in snow.

(Photo: found here)

I guess this list could go on and on about why you should go to Finland, but do I really have to?


Road Trip Comes To A Close

So guys... I failed at the whole post once a day everyday for my road trip! Truth is, I was so exhausted by the time we had lugged all of our stuff upstairs to our hotel rooms and walked the dogs we were shot. So sorry guys but stuff happens and I am here to tell you all about it now as I am comfortably in bed at our destination in Florida!

So where we left on in my last post (See it here!) I had just gotten to Saint George, Utah. 

Day 3

That third morning is when the exhaustion really set it. My whole body was aching and any amount of sleep I got was never enough to feel rested the next day. At this point the idea of another day on the road seemed daunting to me, but hey, what else can you do other than get to where you are needing to go. We decided that our next stop would be Albuquerque, New Mexico. I always found that driving through New Mexico can be a little boring and after the sights we had seen on the first two days it was kind of a let down. What I took away from New Mexico is cops. There were police literally everywhere!

(Colorado River)

Day 4 & Day 5

We were off to Dallas, Texas! K has never been a big fan of Texas but I have always had a soft spot for the area. I wish there was more to say about these days but there really wasn't much to it other than driving and sleeping! Same goes for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama!  

Today was our first day back and I had been invited to a yearly tea party that K's family plans out for all the women in the family! I'll post more about that tomorrow! I hope you guys have had a great weekend and are as excited for Christmas as I!!! 


Road Trip!

So if you have visited my blog in the past, you may know that I was set to take off on a cross country journey starting Monday! I am currently on route from Oregon to Florida and it has been quite the trip so far. I told you guy's I would be updating every day but I couldn't live up to that promise because last night I was so pooped and it was so late by the time we got to the hotel. Today I will be going over day 1 and day 2 of my trip so far and boy has it been rough.

So day 1...

We set off on the wrong note. K and I had been bickering back and forth all morning probably because we were tired and stressed out and we also had a late start... The plan was to leave by 10 but we didn't get onto the highway until about 12.30! We always have a tendency to leave later than we have originally planned.
So Anyway!

We were determined to get to our first destination which was Twin Falls, Idaho and had expected a relatively smooth trip. I had anticipated a few flurries and was told I should be fine with my all-season tires. So here is what ended up happening. After getting out of Oregon, we ran into a horrible death trap of a highway and it was snowing like crazy! We were slipping and sliding with our all-season tires that were supposedly meant for this (Never take anyone's word on this! Get some snow tires or tire chains!) So we had to slow down to 25mph and it added about an hour to our overall trip. There were cars in ditches, semi trucks flipped over and everyone generally being very cautious. We finally did make it to the hotel. After further investigation we saw that Wyoming (our next stop) is going to have a huge snowstorm over the next few days, we decided to reroute our whole trip. Doing this at 2am at the hotel was not ideal and heads were going to be lost at any moment.

(Eastern Oregon)
(eastern Oregon)
(We had chik fil a for the first time in 8 months, it was a picture worthy moment. Note to the wise there is none in Oregon! Looking worn and tired at this point!)
Day 2

Last night we figured if we go straight down Nevada, into Utah, to Arizona and so on and so forth, that we would only be adding a few hours we would probably lose anyway if we took our chances through a blizzard. So we found a nice Laquinta in Saint George, Utah and decided to post up!

I had no idea

How beautiful Nevada was! I had seen a lot of beautiful sights on the way to Oregon but Nevada definitely rivaled anything I had seen so far. The vast nothingness and mountains was breathtaking! I highly suggest everyone to drive through sometime. Now Utah... Where do I start. I feel like people have been getting ruder and ruder every state we get further away from Oregon. Drivers have no concern for other people and it was just a big mess of people cutting each other off! Utah also has very bumpy roads for the first 50-75 miles when you enter through Nevada. 


So all in all, so far so good. We will definitely be a day wiser every time we head out on a new morning. Life is a learning process. Yay for making memories (:


Why Everyone Should Visit Oregon

I figured since my time here in Oregon is coming to a close I would round up a list off all the awesome reasons you should visit Oregon at some point in your life. Oregon has to offer beautiful scenery, a wide variety of foods and shops, and I am quite convinced you will never feel like you have breathed fresher air (unless you have been to Finland, but I may be slightly biased!)

1. The Goonies- I don't know about you guys, but when I first saw the movie Goonies when I was just a youngin, I watched all through the credits just to see where it was filmed. The beach in the Goonies is actually Cannon Beach, about an hour and a half from Portland. Granted when I went there it was by no means "swimsuit" weather but it was absolutely gorgeous, I was in shock and in awe of how beautiful this place was. If you ever come to Oregon this would be one of the things you must see, they also have some cute little restaurants by the shore that you should definitely give a try!
(Cannon Beach)
2. The hiking- Literally there are hiking trails everywhere! Oregonians love to hike and I must say I have never been more physically fit. Anywhere you go there are trails as far as the eye can see, look out for the hidden gems as well! The trail that became our go-to ended up being something we just happened to drive by and spot!
3. Summer- Summers in Oregon are amazing! There is so many outdoor things to do. With Oregon's abundance of rivers, one of the most loved summer activity is tubing in the river. K and I bought two tubes from walmart and I think we only ended up paying 20 something dollars and had a whole summer of fun. Our particular ride was about 4 hours and with snacks prepared and drinks ready, we comfortably floated down the river catching some rays.

4. Camping- So many camping spots to chose from, we ended up camping at Crater Lake which is just about the most amazing thing I have seen here other than The Gorge. They had great campgrounds with great trails nearby, also they accept you bringing your dog. Just make sure to look at the weather before you go, since it is in the mountains, even if you have a 80 degree day, you may end up sleeping in 30 degree weather!

(Crater Lake)

(Columbia River Gorge)

5. Downtown Portland- Known for their food carts and overall melting pot of people, downtown Portland does not disappoint. They hold festivals and events all the time as well so you can bet that you will never not have something to do while you are there. Some of my personal favorite spots are Powell's books, Sizzle pizza, and the abundant coffee shops!
So these are just my top 5 but you best believe this does not even begin to cover the half of it!
I hope you guys are starting to get into the Christmas spirit as much as I am!


Top Tips For Preparing For Your Road Trip

As some of you may know, I found out recently that I would be moving back to Florida in the next few weeks (I will post my journey throughout the course! Be on the lookout!), my Oregon winter will be cut short and I am already just as stressed out as I was the first time around. I will be driving over 3,000 miles with a car full of my belongings and two dogs who cannot stand each other, all stuck into one small Camry.
Knowing this will be the second time I make this trip, I consider myself to be quite the pro this time around. My life has consisted of many road trips, through trial and error I have found the best and worst things you can do while planning and learned how to execute such a trip without losing my sanity.

Here is a list of my must-do's for planning a successful road trip! 

1. Plan your hotels ahead- You need to plan where you are stopping, make sure to have the rooms booked, make sure they accommodate pets if you have any, and anything else you may look for in a hotel. Personally I prefer a Laquinta all the way, I have found that they have the most lenient pet policy and don't charge extra for you bringing your furry little family with you. I also made the mistake while driving here to Oregon to not start looking for a Laquinta until we were a few hours away from being ready to call it a night. Not only was this very counterproductive for finding a cheap rate but I also found myself one night in the parking lot of a McDonald's at 2am cursing my stupidity after I realized that the nearest Laquinta would not be for another two hours... 

2. Pack your car ahead of time to make sure everything fits- You might just be overestimating your cars space, once you have all your stuff packed, take a moment and play some Tetris inside your car to make sure that stuff fits. There is nothing more annoying than on the day of you depart, realizing that you cannot fit all of it in your car. Do yourself a favor and check it out well ahead of time.

3. Make a shopping list for everything you may need throughout your trip- Personally for me that included: vacuum sealed bags for clothes, a netting to separate the pups in the backseat, getting one of those phone mounts that connect to your car so you can have your GPS right in front of you without having to look down at your phone. So take about a week and start thinking of things you will need. There is no such thing as overdoing it.

4.  Set a budget for your trip- Include food cost, gas, hotels, and snacks. All of this will add up quickly. You don't want to find yourself halfway through your road trip with only 2 dollars left in your pocket because you did not envision spending this much money. Expect the unexpected, take note of Murphy's law "What can go wrong, will go wrong." and prepare.

5. Bring a cooler in your car- You can pack your own drinks and snacks and not only save money, but have everything you need within an arms reach. You can decrease the amount of times you would be stopping and never will you have to settle for a warm drink again. The ice will usually last all day and the next morning you can refill it with ice from an icebox that most hotels have for free!

6.  Have an entertainment bag packed and ready- Whether you are traveling with kids, friends, or your partner, you are bound to have some mindbogglingly boring moments. The last thing you want to do is be stuck digging through your stuff for something to eat up your time. Make a bag of electronics, music, drawing stuff, cards, etc. to help you get through these tough times!

I hope that some of these tips help you plan for your next road trip, and remember it is all trial and error and no matter how much you plan, you cannot always plan for everything. Just remember to keep an open mind and a happy mindset and you will be fine


10 Ways To Save On Your Flight

With the holidays close approaching its time to start planning your holiday trips, whether you are planning a trip for thanksgiving, Christmas or anytime in between. I've traveled for the majority of my life both internationally and domestically and throughout the years I'd like to think I know a thing or two. So without a further ado here are my top tips for a cheap flight this holiday season

1.Check flights on a Tuesday-  On Tuesdays airlines post their sales for the next few months. Check either mid to late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning to try and score those sweet deals. 

2.Clear your browser history- Some websites increase their prices every time you make a new search so go into your history and delete that data.

3.Be flexible with your airport- Flying to some airports can be considerably more expensive than flying to one that might be a little farther away but still manageable. If you have that flexibility, search to see what airports are within a reasonable distance from your destination.

4.Be flexible with your dates- Flying on a Wednesday for example is cheaper than flying on a Monday. Also leaving early in the morning is the best time to fly and less of a chance for a delay!

5.Use both search engines like kayak and individual airline sites alike- with travel websites sure you can look up multiple different airlines at once and compare which is awesome, but certain airlines have special sales on their websites specifically for people who go through them instead.

6.Airline miles- If you have been racking these bad boys up then dear lord use em, if not there is no better time than the present to set that up for yourself as your booking a flight.

7.Look up cheap airlines- Some airlines, like Spirit, will have the best deals but only for domestic flights and only for certain destinations, it is definitely worth a try. Airlines like spirit are so cheap because they have no hidden fees, so you may have to pay for your drinks, food and baggage separately but the price for this is not bad at all. Also great because instead of you having to pay for something your not going to use your in charge how much you spend.
8.One way tickets- Sometimes booking two one way flights ends up saving you more money than booking a round trip flight.

9.Non-direct flights- Layovers may not seem ideal and you may just want to get it done and over with but this can also effect the price of your ticket. So don't be afraid of that layover or two, it is not so bad.

10.Don't stop looking after you book- Most airlines let you cancel your flight within 24 hours of booking it without a fee or penalty, so if you stumble across a cheaper flight don't miss the chance and take it!