Enjoy a day with the dinosaurs at the ND Heritage Museum. Do you ever imagine a day with the dinosaurs during the dinosaur age millions of years ago? I think about it every so often, and I get chills as I envision these massive beasts roaming around the earth. I visualize the lush landscape, and the warm and tropical climate that existed as well. I’ve always been curious about the history of that time and have an interest in dinosaurs and all the other creatures and insects living exactly where we all live.
The time period is known as the Jurassic Era, or the Mesozoic Era; which is about 208-146 million years ago. This era in time is so fascinating to me, which is why I set out to learn more and decide to visit the local museum in my home state of North Dakota. My trip to the museum was both amazing and delightful. Enjoying quality time with my mother and her friend and a full day of enlightenment and Dakota history.
The North Dakota Heritage Center is a beautifully built structure that is home to plentiful galleries and exhibits. It is located on North Dakota State Capitol grounds in Bismarck. The museum building boasts of green and environmentally friendly materials together with creating an extraordinary experience with the visitor in mind.
Passage of Time
This place is full of history and is organized with an easy layout in a chronological manner including the dinosaur age! The museum has three main permanent galleries that include the Adaptation Gallery, Innovation Gallery, and Inspiration Gallery. Additionally, you will also find a small quaint café called the James River Café within the museum as well.
Not only did my enjoyable day consist of roaming around the historic dinosaur exhibits, I also enjoyed wandering into other museum galleries. I began my journey with the historical piano, tractors, and an old wagon car. Next I ended up back into millions of years ago starring up at the Tyrannosaurus rex. Here is a brief glance at the galleries below:
Adaptation Gallery: Geologic Time
The gallery is amazing as you enter the underwater room you will hear the sounds and tones as if you are under the sea. Take a walk on the sea floor and you then encounter amazing fossil exhibits that are from 80 million years ago; when North Dakota was covered by inland seawater. You will learn about the skeleton fossils and parts of the creatures during this time. Take a look at a few of the fossils of dinosaurs in ND displayed in here.
Plioplatecarpus– a large marine lizard like predator
Xiphactinus– 16 foot long tarpon like fish
Archelon– giant sea turtle
Hesperornis– diving seabird
One of the most significant display exhibits that stands out to me is the mummified Duck Billed Hadrosaur. This fossil still contains the skin preserved.
Innovation Gallery: Early Peoples
Take a journey with the early peoples, Palioindians from 13,000 years ago and the collections from that era. Here you will learn about the invention of the bow and arrow, clay pottery, and hallmarks and milestones of these big game hunters and their survival techniques.
Inspiration Gallery: Yesterday and Today
This particular gallery section is one of my favorites. During my childhood, my folks shared their stories about rough times growing up having to walk miles in the winter snow to get to school. The museum clearly illustrates how tough life was back then. But it also demonstrates how folks entertained themselves as well. I really enjoy this old-time section that simulates an old-time soda shop.
In addition to the soda shop, you will also enjoy exploring all the static and rotating exhibits and displays throughout the year. The museum has various events occurring during each month as well, you can see all the events happening on the calendar:
The Horse in North Dakota
This particular gallery is brought to you by the Historical Society Staff, and is open until 2020. You will learn about the vast history of horse domestication and culture, artifacts once belonging to Sitting Bull and Madam de Mores (Medora) and much more.
Our world today has so many luxuries and conveniences, I always take time to appreciate my own blessings. I find myself thinking what life must have been like millions of years ago. It is amazing to think about those massive creatures roaming the earth.
The North Dakota Heritage Museum allows you to see history as it was and get a small peek into a day with dinosaurs in ND from hundreds to millions of years ago. According to Wikipedia.com, the museum in 2008 was named the Smithsonian of the Plains. I highly recommend on your next trip to North Dakota, that you add this museum to your itinerary!
By Guest Blogger The Planking Traveler
What better way to enjoy exploring the world around you than by working in a little enjoyable movement and planking in new places? I’m always on the lookout for unique landmarks and areas where I can squeeze in a little fitness break, whether traveling in the US or overseas. The curious looks from bystanders who sometimes end up joining in on the planks are fun too. I hope you enjoy learning a little about why these have been my 10 favorite locations to plank and take an active break.
1. Movable Lions – Stockholm, Sweden
Located in the historic Gamla Stan (old town) area of Stockholm, there were so many of these lions just asking for someone to pose with them! This was such a colorful area to explore, enjoy a drink and see historic sites like the Royal Palace nearby. Be sure to also check out the incredible artwork in the subway stations here.
2. Museum of Glass – Tacoma, Washington
A must see for art lovers, this is right by the stunning Chihuly Bridge of Glass and there are a wide variety of outdoor sculptures to enjoy.
3. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach – Vik, Iceland
A dangerously beautiful area on Iceland’s Southern coast. Beware of the sneaker waves that can take you down quickly here. A gorgeous spot and the only black sand beach I’ve seen other than in Hawaii.
4. Gaylord The Camel – Buies Creek, NC (Campbell University)
Campbell University has a nice campus located in a small town not far from Raleigh, so definitely worth a stop to hang out with Gaylord the Camel if you’re in the area.
5. Jet Engine – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Schiphol is one of my favorite airports because of how clean and modern it is, while still having so much to see and do. They have a green napping and relaxation area, things like this jet model to play around in, massage spas, and so much more!
6. Amsterdam Letters – Various Locations, Amsterdam
These letters are moved to various locations around the city and always draw crowds of tourists wanting to grab a selfie. It was a little tough to get to the top of this “m”, but so worth it! The day I was there, they were located outside the Rijksmuseum you see in the background. There is a nice garden and large grassy field in this same area where you can enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.
7. Haystack Rock – Cannon Beach, Oregon
The Oregon coast has a way of drawing you in with its cool, foggy ways. It always feels a little mysterious to me, but I love visiting beaches like this where I don’t have to worry about getting a sunburn and might even spot a puffin!
8. Kastrup Sea Bath (The Snail) – Copenhagen, Denmark
This outdoor sea bath is shaped like a snail and is a popular place to take a polar plunge into the Baltic Sea. My husband gave it a shot here and jumped from the platform you see above my head. He could barely move once he jumped into the icy cold water, but it was definitely refreshing! Lovely place to enjoy the sea, but be aware that nude bathing is the norm for locals here!
9. The Beached Whale – Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos
If you’re on a cruise to Grand Turk, make sure you take a short walk down the beach to come to see this Humpback Whale. There’s a small bar behind him where you can relax and kick back for a few hours.
10. Sun Voyager Sculpture – Reykjavik, Iceland
Located near the historic downtown of Reykjavik, this sculpture offers breathtaking views of Mount Esja in the background when the days aren’t too cloudy. Dress warmly and be prepared for crazy weather, but enjoy the fact that Reykjavik is an extremely walkable city!
What is your favorite way to stay active when you travel? If you post any planking photos, tag me with #theplankingtraveler so I can follow along! Here’s to healthy travels and building a strong core!
Thanks for reading! -Emily
Emily is a holistic health coach who loves planking and is passionate about nutrition, fitness, and affordable travel. Through sharing her adventures in healthy travel and non-toxic living, she hopes to inspire you to embrace health and wellness, whether at home or on the go!
You can follow along with Emily and her adventures at the following social pages:
Oregon is one of the most beautiful states in the country. It’s one of the reasons we planned to do some road trippin through Oregon along with our epic coastal road trip last year. The beauty and scenic landscapes far exceeded my expectations of this 364 mile extraordinary journey of nature carved coasts, historic lighthouses, and bountiful meadows.
The Visitor Center is a wealth of information as we began our expedition into Oregon driving in from California.
We didn’t realize that we have embarked into an area where one the oldest towns in the West is home to, the world’s largest sea cave, and all the gorgeous stopping points at nearly every mile post along the coast.
This road trip is not your typical long boring drive in your car kind of trip. Nope, this will be one extraordinary road trip. It begins at Crissey Field State Park where the Oregon Welcome Center and US Forest Service is located. The Oregon Coast Trail ends in this area as well.
The large parking lot has easy access to the beach and Winchuck River estuary and is a great stop to use the restrooms. You can also pick up brochures and maps to plan for the endless stops you will be making.
Oregon has many cool stops along this coastal route. Our plan is stop at as many points of interest as we can. These are most of the stops for informational purposes below. I include more details on the stops we explored further.
Mile Post Points of Interest and Stops (South going Northward)
Southern Oregon Coast
Mile Post Number
363: Crissey Field State Park Visitor and Welcome Center
362.8: Winshuck Ponds/Reavine Road
Ludlum Campground; Redwood Natural Trail; this is a rough
roadway on Winshuck River Road.
360.7: Chetco Valley Museum
The world’s largest Monterey cypress tree planted in the 1850s, calls
this place home.
357: Brookings – the largest town in Curry County.
-Brookings is the center for one of the largest flower growing
industries; the Azalea festival event occurs every Memorial Day
weekend. Here you will find shopping and art galleries, hiking, ocean
and river fishing.
-River Trail and Redwood Trail at the North Bank Chetco River Road
-Enjoy fresh seafood and clams at the different docks.
356: Harris Beach State Park- Camping sites, trails, large tide pools, and
offshore island with puffins.
353: Samuel Boardman Scenic Corridor includes the following:
- Lone Ranch; beachcombing, tide pooling, clamming and hiking options.
- Cape Ferrelo Loop; this is a 1 mile loop trail that climbs a grassy slope that takes you past gorgeous wildflowers and up to breathtaking views of the magnificent coastline.
- House Rock (immediately past Cape)- This is a longer hiking trail that takes you to beautiful viewpoints.
- Whaleshead Trail(Beach): A steep trail that leads you to the Whaleshead viewpoint pullout.
- Indian Sands Trail: Historical Indian camps
- Thomas Creek Bridge: A 345 foot bridge which is the tallest in Oregon.
- Secret Beach: Trail that leads you from the parking lot to the beach.
Easy walking trail, restrooms, and rest areas to enjoy the gorgeous viewpoints.
339: Pistol River Scenic Area – Ocean views
-Surfing and kiteboarding, clamming, beach, horseback riding.
334: Cape Sebastian State Park, second highest point along the Oregon
328: Gold Beach; Gold was found in this area around the mid 1800s. A
great place for year round fishing, shopping, beachcombing, and
other outdoor activities.
305: Humbug Mountain State Park; hiking and Camping.
301: Port Orford – Oldest town on the Oregon Coast
-Battle Rock Wayside – whales, fishing village,
-Port Orford Heads State Park; museum, recreation areas, birding
296: Cape Blanco Lighthouse – oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon
278: Beach Loop Drive – along the ocean.
Bandon Rocks, Face Rock State Park Scenic viewpoints, restaurants
Bandon – Old town and port, shops and art studios,
Old Coast Guard station, Facerock Creamery – cheese tasting.
Bandon Dunes Golf Club
Exit Rudolph Rd Bandon Dunes Golf Club
My husband is an avid golfer and enthusiast so this stop was an extra special treat for us! Bandon Dunes Golf Course is comparable to the links in Scotland, and one might even throw in the weather as well. Most of our epic road trip was full of beautiful sunny weather but we had a chilly and sunny day on our visit to Bandon Dunes.
259: Coquille River Lighthouse
237: Coos Bay/North Bend – largest city on the Oregon Coast and dining options are plentiful! You can find some the most delicious fish and fries!
-Bay front boardwalk
-Mill Casino and hotel
-Museums and historical railroad museum
-Sunset Bay Sate Park-Camping
-Shore Acres Sate Park-botanical gardens
-Cape Arago Lighthouse
-Simpsons Reef- sea lions
-McCullough Memorial Bridge – built in 1936
Central Oregon Coast
233: Oregon Dunes – scenic area
215: Umpqua Lighthouse – 1894
211: Reedsport – western city of Douglas County
200: Oregon Dunes Overlook
-Viewpoints of ocean (Recreation pass required)
-Largest coast sand dunes in North America
-Camping and hiking
190: Florence – Old town; dining with views of Siuslaw River
185: Darlingtonia Botanical Gardens
-Hiking and Picnics
179: Sea Lion Caves
-Cavern view points
Heceta Head Lighthouse
178: Heceta Head Lighthouse
Historic lighthouse; 1893; tours available from May-Sep
Assistant lighthouse keepers house now is a B&B, and this area is
great for whale watching. The picturesque scene is so beautiful that
it is worthy of being a post card theme.
169: Strawberry Hill – Sea lions
168: Cook’s Chasm
Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint
168.5: Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint – A great location to watch for
whales, and enjoy tidepools; restrooms and picnic tables.
167: Cape Perpetua- Highest point on the Oregon Coast
-Hiking; off the Cape Cove trail leads to Thor’s Well (a giant sinkhole)
166: Devils Churn- Narrow channel in basalt rock forming a sort of water
164.4: City of Yachats – known as the ‘Gem of the Oregon Coast’ – Visitor
160: Alsea Bay Bridge Interpretive Center
151: Seal Rock State Park
-Birding area and tidepools
-Picnic areas and restrooms
143: South Beach State Park
142: Newport; Oregon Coast Aquarium
140: Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
134: Devil’s Punchbowl – state natural area
126: Boiler Bay scenic view point
Northern Oregon Coast
113: Lincoln City
104: Three Rocks Road; Whiskey Creek Fish Hatchery
68: Tillamook Air Museum
Tillamook is a quiet, charming, up and coming small town full of retail shops and theater, pubs, and dining. The infamous cheese factory is a wonderful stopping point to tour the facility, and try cheese tasting and ice cream.
More attractions include the Tillamook Farmers Market, Cape Meares Lighthouse, Tillamook Bay, Pioneer Museum, the Naval Air Station Museum. You can also enjoy lots of fishing and hiking.
50: Rockaway Beach
30: Cannon Beach
A beautiful quaint small beach town named for a cannon that washed upon the beach in 1846.
In order to maintain the character, look, and feel of this town, the structures such as the small shops and restaurants use a particular shingle siding in their build outs.
Cannon Beach has been a hot spot for Hollywood films to capture scenes for movies. Films such as The Goonies, Point Break, and the Twilight film saga series have shot scenes in and around the areas. While on our visit here, we also learned that the town residents work very hard to retain as much of its natural beauty as possible.
20: Seaside; Shops, arcades, museums, and aquarium.
-Astoria Twilight Creek Eagle Sanctuary
Learn more about these stopping points and many others, take a look at the Oregon Coast Magazine. Click Here:
Cannon Beach is our last stop in this coastal area of Oregon before we made our way back onto Highway 101. From here we proceed to pick up highway 26 heading toward Portland.
The Detour Road Trip
Our spectacular road trippin through Oregon has not ended yet as it became even more interesting. We were forced to take a detour on the return route because of wildfires.
Our detour ended up being one of the best things that could have happened. This detour route allowed us to see more landscapes, unique landmarks, and the quiet town of Eugene. As a result of this unexpected rerouting, one of the stops included Diamond Peak!
Diamond Peak is a volcano that is part of the Cascade Range with its elevation of 8,748 feet it is quite impressive. It is the centerpiece of Diamond Peak Wilderness and is the base backdrop to several lakes. As well, several miles of the Pacific Coast Trail is also incorporated through this area.
We spent the last night of our amazing road trip in Eugene. Oh what a fabulous evening it was. The perfect final stop in Oregon as we proceed South back into California heading towards home. This is the spectacular sunset we captured! Wow!
Road trippin through Oregon also offers an incredible place of natural beauty and landscapes. One can enjoy all of its bountiful meadows, creeks, trees, and stunning coastlines.
With all this spectacular beauty and nature, we are not the only ones who enjoy these settings. The Oregon coastal areas are the perfect habitat for all sorts of wildlife as well. These include cougars, black bears, elk, coyote, bobcats, squirrels, snakes, and more. https://oregonforests.org/content/wildlife-variety
Several creatures call Oregon home including the cougar; aka mountain lion, and black bears. Some interesting facts about cougars and black bears may help you survive a negative encounter if you are remain alert and make note of these guidelines.
Cougars or Mountain Lions (Recreational)
Have situational awareness and always be aware of your surroundings.
- Keep your children close to you.
- Maintain clean campsites.
- Never feed wildlife.
- Store food in animal proof containers.
- Do not approach any wildlife.
- Be alert when you are resting or sitting quietly.
- Be aware especially at the times of dawn and dusk- when the cats are most active.
- Get familiar with animal calls and animal kills – they can attract a cougar.
- When encountering a cougar, DO NOT RUN! Stay calm, and back away slowly, maintain direct eye contact.
- Report sightings.
NOTE: Cougar tracks versus dog tracks:
Cougar tracks do not usually include claw marks – (cougar claws are retractable.)
The heal pad has three lobes at the base and indented at top.
Dog tracks usually do have claw marks.
The heal pads are more rounded.
Black Bears (Camping & Hiking)
- Contain food and trash.
- Store food in airtight containers in the trunk of your car, bear boxes or on platforms.
- Hang bagged food at least 10 feet high, and far enough away from tree trunks (6-10 feet away)
- Do not leave food items or pet food outdoors or in tents.
- Dispose of trash in bear proof cans.
- Do not bury garbage – bears can dig it up.
- Avoid trails with bear tracks or bear signs.
- Make noise when hiking, talking or music.
- When or if you see a bear, leave the area.
- Keep away from bear cubs.
- Keep your dogs on a leash.
- Don’t go hiking after dark.
- Carry bear pepper spray.
- Carry a whistle.
Find the entire checklist for campers and hikers at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; Learn more here: www.odfw.com
Visiting the state of Oregon definitely did not disappoint. It has been on my bucket list for quite some time. When you encounter the unexpected, it can sometimes enhance your overall experience. Our plan is to return someday and journey further into this gorgeous state! Hint: Look for more hiking adventures!
⭐️⭐️Have you been to Oregon? What did you enjoy most? Did you explore any hiking trails? Please comment and let me know if you have more ideas of other areas we can explore throughout Oregon.
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The singing birds, beautiful bright poppies, and the sparkles reflecting off the pure granite mountain at Pinnacle Peak Park are just a few things that keep luring me back to this hiking trail. Hiking Pinnacle Peak In Scottsdale is the highlight of this weekend road trip.
We love to come to Arizona on weekend road trips and especially enjoy hiking here. We are hiking this trail for a second time (since our previous visit last year).
This amazing desert landscape scene is bursting in color, plants, and amazing wildlife just in time for the Spring season to encroach upon us.
The Hiking Trail
Hiking Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale is one of the more popular places to explore in the area. With its elevation ranges of approximately 2,889 feet, and 3.5-mile round trip hike on a clean and groomed trail; Pinnacle had me yearning even for more outdoor adventure.
Arizona is a beautiful place to do all kinds of outdoor exploration and today was no different as my family and I planned to go out on a morning hike on Pinnacle Peak Mountain.
Located within the peaceful and serene sonoran desert, the majestic Pinnacle Peak is comprised of granite stone and is surrounded by beautiful wildflowers and desert flora.
This hiking trail is considered as a moderate trail and is highly trafficked. At first this concerned me on our weekend visit because our parents are with us and they are both 80 years old now. They had accompanied us on a previous long road trip to Utah from Texas back in 2017 and we had the most wonderful time making new memories together!
We all enjoyed hiking this trail because it made for a perfect experience for us to share together. My in-laws are troopers and they did the hike with no problems. As you might expect, they did make a few stops to rest because they are not spring chickens anymore. However, as a result of their active lifestyle now, they were able to catch up and continue hiking behind us.
This beautiful trail offers a diverse path that includes inclines and declines, switchbacks and steps, and resting areas that are great for photos and viewpoint stops.
There is also an access area for rock climbers only. The ‘South Crack’ is for climbers where you will find there are three pitches of trad climbing, for the summit climb. Read more:
The trail also has its share of wildlife, saguaro and cholla cactus! The Arizona desert is so diverse with its plantlife as well as its wildlife. For instance, you may encounter wild animals such as woodrats, mountain lions, coyotes, grey foxes, mule deer, squirrels, desert cottontail, and many others.
There are plenty of the gila monster, chuckwalla, lizards, and snakes. We happen to catch a chuckwalla sneaking a peek at us as we were taking time for a few scenic photos.
This amazing hike made the highlight of our weekend road trip. Although some of our other plans didn’t work out, it was still a spectacular weekend road trip. If you are looking for an outdoor activity that offers beautiful views, a gorgeous landscape, and a little bit of adventure; then Pinnacle Peak is right up your alley! As you enjoy your hike on Pinnacle Peak, take notice of the story along the trail.
More info on Pinnacle Peak Park.
Maui is one of the most spectacular islands in the Hawaiian islands chain. Its pristine beauty, abundant nature, and stunning hiking trails are all a dream for an adventure seeker. If you are looking to create lasting memories, then you might consider these adventurous things to do in Maui.
We had no problem waking up around 3:30 a.m. to prepare for an early flight to Maui, Hawaii. The early wake up call is because of an early departure time of 7:50 a.m. on Hawaiian Airlines out of San Diego. The plan is to park our car in the economy lot near the airport, conveniently located next to the large car rental facility. We thought we had everything planned.
As we proceed with our trip plan of action, we are thinking we have plenty of time at this point. Flying can bring a lot of additional stress if you are not prepared. All is going well so far. Suddenly, we hit a bump in the road. We arrived at the parking lot and noticed a sign that stated “Employees Only.” The parking lot is closed. After a moment of shock, we take a deep breath, and regroup.
We decide to head closer to the airport. Parking is expensive in San Diego, because long-term parking located close to any airport is expensive. Now we are paying $20 a day versus $13 which was the price at the economy lot. Heads up, there is no longer an economy parking lot in San Diego. TIP: (There are still various choices for long term parking off site, and prices are not much lower than the airport long-term parking lot).
We finally find a parking spot and catch the shuttle bus to the airport. We make it to the security line and then the gate seating areas, we’re able to sit and relax until its time to board. However, as we made our way to the gate, we notice the flight to Maui has changed and is delayed.
We already reserved tickets to go on a whale-watching catamaran. If the flight arrived on time, we would of had 2 hours after landing to make it to the marina on time.
So much for wishful thinking, our flight ended up being a little over an hour late, then it took 10-15 minutes to disembark the airplane. Regroup time! The new plan is that I will continue on and attempt to make it to the whale watching excursion on my own. This is just the beginning of our adventurous things to do in Maui!
Day 1: WHALES
Anyway, I was able to enjoy an amazing whale watching experience on the catamaran by the Pacific Whale Foundation! I made it on time, and joined others in the group to walk out to the dock and board the catamaran.
Did you know? The official whale season in Maui runs from December 15-May 15.
Did you know? The kinds of whales typically migrating to this area during this time are the North Pacific humpback whales. They travel from the bitter cold waters of Alaska of which is the time for feeding, onto the warmer waters in the Hawaiian islands as well as to the Southern areas near Mexico. They migrate for the reasons to breed, give birth, and raise their young calves.
I wasn’t able to get all the best photography shots that I wanted because my husband usually captures several photos for me. I usually film video and take photographs with my other cameras. By the end of my whale watching excursion, my husband successfully reserved the car. He was able to pick up a few groceries, and came back for me and we settled into our condo to enjoy a lovely evening. I have to say, seeing the whales was the highlight of my 5 amazing days in Maui adventure!
Day 2: ROAD TO HANA
Today, our plan is driving the infamous Road To Hana! Recently, we’ve heard stories about this drive taking 7 hours for the day! (Possibly referring to there and back) as there are several stops and points of interest to see. These awesome stopping points include waterfalls and overlooks.
We set out early this morning because we wanted to avoid possible heavy traffic. The Hana Highway 36 had a little bit of heavy traffic for a few miles, but then traffic was great the remainder of the day.
We made a restroom stop at Kaumahina State Wayside because it was a great time to take a break. Then we continue on with our 52 mile Hana journey along the coast encountering all the 600 curves, twists and turns, 54 bridges, and numerous waterfalls.
We are so happy to add another visit to a national park to our checklist; Haleakala National Park. We made a goal to revisit the Seven Sacred Pools of which we haven’t seen since 2002, which made my amazing 5 day Maui adventure extra special. This area has since been included within the national park.
The day of our visit to the pools, several people are milling around the pools and jumping off the side cliffs into the water. We took photos, lingered around for a while, and found a new hike to explore.
This area has been cleaned up nice because on our previous visit it was primarily wild, no defined hiking paths, lots of tree and shrub growth. Now there is a visitor center, sidewalks, manicured grass areas, and drinking water fountain.
We enjoyed this easy, short hike and then returned to the car and headed back to the condo.
Day 3: LAHAINA
Our day today includes a quiet, easy, relaxing one that includes sleeping in. Which means waking at 7 a.m. versus 5:30 a.m. We make our oatmeal and enjoy breakfast on the lanai. Shortly thereafter, we hit the road for the small quaint historical whaling town of Lahaina.
Lahaina is an interesting small whaling town that has become the trendy place to be in Maui. It’s a great place to shop at the boutiques, enjoy lunch on the peer, and browse through art galleries.
As we walk towards the end of the peer and sit in this little park like setting, we look around and try to imagine what life was like in this area so many years ago. We came upon this bit of info about this particular set of rocks in the water here. The Hauola Stone: This flat rock years ago, was a birthing place for ancient Hawaiian Royalty to give birth during the 14th and 15th centuries. A very interesting piece of history.
We then walk back through town and enjoy the world’s largest banyan tree, and also browse through a museum.
The Mick Fleetwood bar and restaurant (owned by Fleetwood Mac band co-founder) is neat to see. As we walk through the lower photo museum here, I feel a bit nostalgic of when I was a kid and listened to these artists. It is especially cool to see old photos of Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, and several other musicians.
Day 4: HIKING
We are feeling a little adventurous today and I did a little online research for hiking trails. We are looking for a trail that offers rewarding views, a moderate challenge, and a little off the beaten path. I found the Waihee Ridge Trail as we filled our water containers, put on our hiking gear, and head out the door.
This gorgeous hike has it all! Starting off with a steep incline at the second parking lot trail head. If you park at the lower lot, it is an additional mile or so of incline walking to reach the official trail head. There are no restrooms anywhere nearby, so be aware.
We hiked about 5 miles of this beautiful and scenic trail. At the top, we encountered a small amount of rain, but overall a beautiful day. There are areas that are a bit steep, but the good thing is that this trail is not very highly trafficked. The day of our visit here it was quiet, serene, and we found waterfalls. It is a moderately challenging hike, so fewer folks hike this trail. Most tourists probably look for something easier and not so strenuous.
Views on the way up.
Day 5: BEACH
This was to be our day to enjoy the beach and the ocean. We spent the afternoon relaxing on the beach, dipping in the water, and even found a random hammock for anyone to enjoy.
The beach area where we spent the day at was not an official designated beach or picnic area. We found a quiet, hidden cove spot with only a few people here in the area between Kahana and Napili before you reach Kapalua. It was great.
Although our trip began with a unexpected challenges, we realize that it is nothing to worry about. We feel very lucky and fortunate to be able to experience this short time in Maui. Our last visit to Maui was for our honeymoon, 17 years ago. We enjoy reminiscing of our Maui trip from back then. In making a few comparisons of today versus back then we notice a few things. We noticed a few pop up retail boutiques and a couple small shopping retail centers. Other than that, not too many changes.
The weather was spectacular, the beaches and water were perfect, and the sunsets were stunning! The highlight of our trip was meeting a new friend, the beautiful friendly kitty we called Tiger. He was visiting us at our condo every day we were there. We can’t wait to go back again.
Other details of our trip:
Royal Kahana Maui by Outrigger
Pacific Whale Foundation
Haleakala National Park
PO Box 369
Makawao, HI 96768
During the mid 1800s, some mariners on the vessels entering the San Diego harbor claimed to have seen the light from 39 miles away (unconfirmed). These lamps that lit up the sky and coastal harbor played an integral role in the history of San Diego as well as the harbor defense during World Wars I and II. Welcome to the historic Cabrillo National Monument San Diego!
Cabrillo National Monument is another beautiful and interesting park that surprised me. My sister, KL, feels the same way. We made sure to stop by and explore Cabrillo National Monument while here last February to share my birthday with me. As we begin our journey through the park, we talk about the time we lived together in San Diego about 20 years ago. Our chat leads us to asking each other why we never visited Cabrillo National Monument San Diego during that time.
We discuss that KL, even having her commissioning ceremony at the cemetery nearby, we still did not visit the park. My sister obtained her college degree and was commissioned as an A.F. Officer through R.O.T.C. at this cemetery.
We decide to make up for lost time. We venture further into the park to learn more about this historic and beautiful place. This spectacular day was made for us, as we don our cameras and snap away at the stunning views. Views full of colorful sail boats, an old time ship, and the unique bay area landscape. This memorable time is incredible as we share laughs and a leisurely walk while we reminisce about our days as roommates while enjoying the park.
Meanwhile, as we explore further into the park, we learn that it is more than just about a coastal lighthouse. The vibrant beautiful marine plant life has come to life! The rains from that year have definitely helped put a spark of color into the park. Some of the magnificent ground cover includes succulents such as prickly pear cactus and dudleya, toyton, lemonade berry, encelia, black sage, and chaparral broom. The buckwheat and Indian paintbrush really bring the cliffsides to life!
Cliffs and Tidepools:
Our journey continues down into the lower areas of the park, near the cliffs and tide pools. The tide came in so we primarily browsed around the cliff areas and enjoyed the stunning coastal views. The edges can give way and be dangerous so caution is recommended.
If you visit the park when the tide is out, you will have the opportunity to slither around the slippery tide pool rocks and shoreline beach area. This area of the rocks can be very slippery.
One marine plant-like animal I find quite interesting is sea anemones. They will curl up into a ball if disturbed.
Old Point Loma Lighthouse:
The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is a big part of Cabrillo National Monument San Diego along with a flourishing coastal Mediterranean ecosystem, a migration pathway for gray whales, and a small peek into the life of the lighthouse keepers who worked this demanding job.
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo set out from Mexico to explore north into unknown waters to chart the coast and search for gold.
He makes a note that the harbor (San Diego) “is closed and a very good port.” There are various accounts of his expedition north, for example, during a stop on Isla de la Posesion (one of the Channel Islands), he injures himself while aiding his men during a fight with the Chumash Indians. The other account was that he injured his arm and shoulder on a previous visit there.
The cause of Cabrillo’s death may have been infection, it is noted. Although Cabrillos exploration ended, he did make a lasting mark, as his expedition provided landmarks, winds and currents to help make future exploration safer.
The Lighthouse Operation
During the mid 1800s, this historic lighthouse is a 24-hour operation. The keeper on duty operates the coastal lights 24 hours, seven days a week, and with no vacations. The living quarters for the assistance keepers is a smaller structure located right next to the old lighthouse building.
As we walk through the interior of the lighthouse, we notice how small the spaces are. The kitchen and sitting room appear as small rooms, I feel like a giant browsing through these rooms. The stairs leading up to the main lamp is extremely narrow, curved, and has short headroom.
Whale and Ocean Overlook:
As you walk further past the lighthouse, there is a newer covered scenic overlook area along with observatory telescopes to look for whales. Here you can witness the whales on their journey as they migrate. The key thing to look for is whale spouts (when the whale is surfacing to breath, it releases a plume of air and water) and flukes (as the whale prepares to dive, it raises its tail fluke out of the water).
The Bayside Trail is approximately 2.5 miles roundtrip and a path that takes you downward through numerous types of native coastal sage brush. On the path of this trail, the remnants of the defense system area used during the wars are located here.
Point Loma is a natural protective barrier to the entrance of San Diego Bay. This area provides lookout areas that offer strategic views that aid in military defense systems.
This played a fundamental role during the World Wars I and II, as the Army built searchlight bunkers, fire control stations, and gun batteries in particular areas along this coastal park.
The views of the entire harbor and bay area are spectacular that any photographer enthusiast can appreciate.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Cabrillo National Monument San Diego. Sharing experiences of something new together; learning a bit of history and enjoying quality sister time strolling through a beautiful park on this lovely day.
This park is accessible to visitors with wheelchairs, service animals are welcome, there is an entry fee into the park. If you bring your pets, they are only allowed in the tidepool areas and must be on a six-foot leash at all times.
Cabrillo National Monument
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive
San Diego, CA 92106
How to travel to Dubai on a budget! By Guest Blogger, DubaiWikia.com. There are many wealthy, glamorous cities in the world, but they come with their share of slums and evidence of economic disparity. Not so in Dubai. It’s safe to say that the people who live or work in Dubai are more than well-to-do – it’s that or they cannot survive in this expensive city. Dubai is just a sparkling, glittering land of fantasy where you can forget where you come from. You can take on a different persona there. The trick is to enjoy this incredible city without breaking the bank. Trust us to guide you on how to travel Dubai on a budget.
Please research your Dubai destination for the latest Covid-19 policies and guidelines.
How to Create a Budget for Dubai Travel
When you travel to Dubai on a budget, you don’t want to spend too many days in Dubai. Dubai is so well connected that you can enjoy a great deal of the city within a short time.
- Begin your research months before you travel
- Identify the cheapest flight to Dubai. Check rates on UAE airlines first – Etihad Airways, Emirates, Gulf and others. Identify the least cost and create your airfare budget.
- Check out rates for accommodation at the time of your visit. Remember that if you’re traveling in the peak of summer, which is off-season, you’ll enjoy cheaper rates, discounts and freebies at hotels, restaurants, activities and attractions. Hostels are cheaper than hotels and if you’re traveling as a group, best to rent out a cheap apartment. Do your homework and set the budget for your Dubai on a budget stay.
- Food in Dubai can be uber expensive or very cheap, depending on where you eat. Eating at pubs and bars works out well as long as you don’t order drinks, which are overcharged at bars. It’s best to buy groceries and cook your own food, or eat at mall food stalls, food trucks or local eateries. Do your homework and set a daily budget for food.
- Dubai has excellent transportation. Purchase a Nol card which can be used for the metro, water bus, trams and monorail services. Taxis are cheap if you hire them for the whole day. Decide which attractions you’re going to visit and compute your travel expenses.
How to travel to Dubai on a Budget: Take in Free and Cheap Sights
You’ll be paying through the nose for Dubai’s attractions, such as the view from the Burj Khalifa’s observatory deck. If you decide to forgo expensive attractions and rather focus on free or cheap ones, you can save a lot of money. You’ll still be enjoying everything the city has to offer.
1. Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall and the Dubai Fountains
- Avoid paying for the trip to
- the observatory deck. Rather, walk around the Burj Khalifa’s circumference, on the nicely laid boulevard. You can get a beautiful view of the entire building from there.
- The Dubai Fountain is free to watch, either from an abra on the Burj Lake or from outside the Dubai Mall.
- Exploring the glorious Dubai Mall is also completely free of charge. There’s a huge glass wall in the lobby itself, through which you can see huge fish, sharks and multi-coloured marine life swimming. This is part of Dubai’s famous aquarium.
2. The Dubai Museum
For just AED 3, you’ll learn about the Emirate’s social history and Dubai’s transition from a humble fishing village to a mega metropolis. You’ll also understand the deep culture and heritage of Dubai.
The museum, housed in the Al-Fahidi Fort, contains many dioramas of the old fishing and pearl diving industries. There is a collection of weaponry as well, apart from other artifacts of Bedouin lifestyle.
3. Jumeirah Mosque
This is one of the few mosques that is open to non-Muslims as well. It’s the largest mosque in the city; it offers special educational tours to promote an understanding of Islam. Best of all is the spectacular view you get of the Jumeirah Mosque in the evening after the lights are lit.
4. The Palm Islands
Take the Metro till the Dubai Marina stop and from there, take the monorail to the Palm Islands. You can explore the islands, delighting in the beautiful architecture all around. The truly palatial Hotel Atlantis and the Burj Al Arab are located on two arms of the Palm Islands.
5. Dubai’s Beaches
The best beaches in Dubai are located in the Jumeirah district. The Jumeirah Beach is fabulous, as is the Kite Beach, which is well known for its many water sports. Public beaches don’t have sanitary and safety facilities, so you’ll have to use private beaches, paying a fee.
6. Old Dubai
Old Dubai comprises of the towns of Bur Dubai, Deira, the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and the Dubai Creek. The Al Fahidi town-ship is lovely, with its narrow cobbled lanes and old houses made out of black coral. Examine the old wind-towers closely – these are the devices which kept homes cool before air conditioners.
Explore the neighbourhood of Bur Dubai and its many eateries, souqs and art galleries. Don’t skip the gold souq, with its display of the biggest gold finger ring in the world. You can smell the fragrance off the spice souqs from a distance as well. Cross the Dubai Creek paying 1 AED on an old Abra vessel. On the other side you’ll find Deira with its food outlets, textile and carpet souqs.
7. Dubai Desert Safari
While a desert safari isn’t exactly cheap, you can get a cheaper rate by joining a large group of tourists. Look for promotions and discounts on Groupon and in the local newspapers. Go nuts sand-boarding on the tall dunes, and bashing into them in an SUV. If you sign up for an evening or overnight safari, you can enjoy an excellent dinner along with plenty of cultural entertainment.
8. Global Village
If you visit Dubai between late November and late February, you can visit the Global Village for a fee of AED 15. The Global Village is an annual gathering of many countries, displaying their handicrafts, indigenous foods, cultural programs and much more. There’ll be carnivals, fairs and many fun programs, and fireworks during the evenings.
And just because Dubai is in the desert doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favourite winter sports. In the Mall of the Emirates there is a national skiing center. They provide all the equipment you’ll need to enjoy skiing and snowboarding.
- Check out offers on Groupon at the time of your visit. You might get some good discounts and take advantage of some promotions.
- Also, if you are planning a longish trip, download The Entertainer app, and leverage offers and discounts to eats, attractions and activities.
- Always check if the taxi’s meter is on before the journey begins to avoid being overcharged.
- Add the charges you pay towards your visit visa UAE to your travel budget.
If you do your homework right and work at it, you’ll find that you can travel Dubai on a budget. Just create a suitable budget beforehand, and be sure to allocate a margin for excess.
Read more about travels to and in Dubai at DubaiWikia.com
More budget travel: Things To Do In Hawaii On A Budget
Enjoy this delicious recipe for protein packed snack perfect for an on the go energy boost and nutrition. These yummy bars will also crave some of your sweet tooth as well! The following recipe is for the batch I prepared for myself. I made a very small batch, so if you desire to have more, then double the recipe. Perfect as almond butter protein bars for on the go snack.
Tools Needed for almond butter protein bars
*Small mixing bowl
*Small sauce pan
*measuring cups or small cup containers
*Spoon and spatula
*Small square pan, dish, or Tupperware container
Recipe for almond butter protein bars
1/2 10 oz. bag of chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli dark chocolate with cocoa chips).
1/4 C. Almond Butter (I use the no salt or no sugar added, because I do not want them to taste too sweet)
1 Tbsp Honey
1/4 C. Coconut Flour
1/4 C. Raw Oatmeal
Melt the chocolate chips in the sauce pan on very low heat, and begin to stir after a couple minutes of heating. When all the chips have melted, then place the melted mix into the small square container, then place into the refrigerator.
Mix together the almond butter, honey, flour, oatmeal and nuts in the small mixing bowl.
The amount of almonds and walnuts I use is just a small container cup full. You can use the amount of nuts to whatever your desired amount is.
Then place the mixture into the small square container placing it on top of the hardened chocolate layer.
Place the dish back into the refrigerator and let it cool for about 30-45 minutes. You can then cut slices into about 16 small bite size pieces, which makes it convenient when I am on the go then I can just grab one or two and enjoy some sweet protein energy for the day. These protein bars are best when kept in the refrigerator.
**Bonus:** Add a handful of crushed corn flakes to spice up the flavor and texture of your protein bars.
More healthy recipes here:
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If you are one of the lucky people who are able to travel to Hawaii and not just dream about it, then you are in for an amazing treat! Hawaii is not only a place that offers the beauty of the ocean and beaches, it also represents a way of life and culture. As well as endless activities to do on a budget.
UPDATE NOTE: Please check for safety and Covid protocols for Hawaii prior to traveling. Hawaiian Airlines just announced four new flight routes due to high demand for travel to the islands during the pandemic.
The culture breeds calm, nature, appreciation for land and ocean, open mindedness, and a laid back relaxed way of life. You’ll experience an immediate calming that overwhelms you merely at your first step off the airplane; the relaxation and good vibes begin.
Relaxation and feeling good is only just a small part of experiencing the Hawaiian islands. There are eight major islands that make up the Hawaiian islands and I am most familiar with Oahu. I have spent so much time visiting, that I lost track of how many times I have been here.
Things To Do In Hawaii On A Budget
As you might imagine, there are countless places on Oahu to fall in love with. To begin, the beautiful city of Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is located on Oahu. I do not spend much time lingering around the downtown areas or indoors. But there are several very cool places that I enjoy and things that you may want to check out on your next visit to Hawaii. And most of our activity is very little or no cost. Read on for things to do in Hawaii on a budget.
Waikiki Beach is a must see at least one time if you visit Hawaii. Although this beach is a tourist destination, there are other beaches less populated. Waikiki Beach is essentially an iconic place and one of the most recognizable places in the world. No cost. One of the most popular things to do in Hawaii on a budget. You can also grab lunch or enjoy dinner with a sunset!
Bellows Beach is a beautiful beach located on Bellows Air Force Station, is only open to the public on the weekends. This beach is not as populated and busy as other local beaches. No cost.
North Shore Beaches: No cost. There are several beach and park areas along the North Shore Hawaii.
- Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park
- Laniakea (or Turtle) Beach
- Waimea Bay Beach Park
- Pupukea Beach Park
- Sunset Beach
- Waialaeʻe Beach Park-Pahipahiʻalua Beach
- Kawela Bay
- The Top 5 Best Beaches North Shore
There is no cost to walk and browse around this luxurious hotel, which is also an icon and historic hotel in Honolulu. With its bright pink colors of concrete stucco, it has been called the The Pink Palace of the Pacific. We always make sure to go down to the Waikiki area and mill around the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. There are lovely boutique shops, comfortable seating areas to relax and enjoy the garden balcony. Another enjoyable activity to do Hawaii on a budget
Here you will find a beautiful scenic and private landscape that is full of nature preserves and animals. The ranch property is used for numerous locations for filming television and movie sets. You can also rent ATVs, mountain bikes, horseback, or a bus tour through the ranch.
We had an incredible day at the ranch when we rented mountain bikes and ventured throughout most of the ranch a few years ago. They offered a complimentary lunch and beverage. And there was even a visit by the horses as we were eating lunch. For reservations and fee schedules check it out Kuala Ranch.
USS Arizona Memorial
USS Arizona Memorial: I am sharing with you our amazing experience on our visit to the USS Arizona. On this excursion, you will be learning about an incredible time in history. It is known to be one of the most pivotal moments in history as this battleship was bombed on December 7, 1941 during an attack on the U.S. by the Japanese.
We arrived on time at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center for the embarking onto the boat to be taken out to the memorial site that lies above the actual sunken battleship. There are a few options to choose from of which works best into your timeline on your visit here. Reservations or walk in tickets are available so you can review what best fits your schedule here.
USS Missouri Memorial
USS Missouri Memorial: This is another piece of history that is well worth the visit and tour on America’s Battle Missouri. There is a fee to tour this memorial.
This is where the WWII officially ended and where the Japanese formerly signed the final surrender.
This is another one of Hawaii’s iconic sites to visit. The marketplace has converted the upper level to living spaces and the residential community for Hawai’i Pacific University students. Aloha Tower is a site for any traveler or visitor to see. There is no charge or fee to take the elevator up to the top level and step out to the balconies to see the gorgeous views of Honolulu. No cost. Another interesting thing to see Hawaii on a budget.
Hawaii most definitely has its share of history and culture. But now it’s time to explore more adventure and activity. Check out these fun and adventurous things to do that are low cost to no cost.
Diamond Head hike: This trail is a short and moderately challenging path with a 0.8 mile trek from the Trailhead and 560 feet elevation. Rated as steep and strenuous. Beautiful and scenic with views of Honolulu skyline areas. There is a low fee to park in the lot and hike Diamond Head.
Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail This is another beautiful short hiking path that is about 2.5 miles distance with 505 feet elevation. This hike is rated as easy and is very heavily trafficked. There are gorgeous views of the lighthouse and various plants and flowers along the way. No cost.
Kealia Hiking Trail . Located nearby Dillingham airfield and a hiking trail of 7.6 miles with 2516 feet of elevation. It is rated as moderate and contains lots of views. This trail is beautiful as you scour through trees, red dirt switchback trail, inclines and rough paths. It is not very heavily trafficked and is a quiet and adventurous trail. No cost.
Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden: This is a beautiful, peaceful garden to stroll through as you enjoy the various plants, flowers, and several small animals, such as ducks milling around the property. You will enjoy the lovely sounds of the birds in a peaceful serene setting. No cost.
So stop dreaming and make your trip happen! Hawaii is an incredible place and I recommend that you visit and experience it at least once in your life. It is so full of nature and adventure, beauty and culture! Although each island has its own unique qualities, Oahu is one of my favorite.
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Are you looking to take a time out and plan a getaway from the daily stress of life? Yes, with the challenges of everyday life especially in recent times, this is the perfect time to enjoy and rekindle your relationship with yourself and your partner! Update: With the world slowly opening up, please abide by the individual states or county’s regulations with respect to Covid-19.
We’ve done a little research and found these incredible places that might strike your heart and peak your interest for your romantic getaway trip! Take a look at these beautiful cities and all the things to do, dining, and lodging that they have to offer.
1.Kauai, Hawaii. Why visit here:
2. Scottsdale, Arizona. Why visit here:
3. San Diego, California. Why visit here:
4. Palm Springs, California. Why visit here:
5. San Francisco, California. Why visit here:
6. Seattle, Washington. Why visit here:
7. Austin, Texas. Why visit here:
8. Miami, Florida. Why visit here:
9. Maui, Hawaii. Why visit here:
10. Honolulu, Hawaii. Why visit here: