Point Reyes

Today is rainy day in San Francisco, so why not relax at home and get another blog post up?

Last weekend we had some amazing weather so we decided to take a short drive north to go hiking at Point Reyes. We had picked out a (12 mile trail ūüė∂), packed our backpack with multiple bottles of water (we made the mistake in Abel Tasman of running out of water), a few snacks, my camera and 300mm lens.

Once we arrived to the parking lot, we ran into a couple of locals and their horses who recommend another trail to us. It’s pretty easy to change our minds when all the trails around here are so amazing.

First we hiked down to an amazing beach. It was still early, desolate, and incredibly peaceful. We threw down our towel and just r-e-l-a-x-e-d.

The trail we picked was called Muddy Hollow trail. After all of the rain the area has been getting, the name of the trail defiantly fit. I can’t count the amount of times that I got water and mud in my shoes. Needless to say, we need to invest in some hiking boots.

The locals told us that the trail lead to an area where Elk were typically seen. Ironically, on our drive up Chad was talking about how neat Elk’s are. So of course he wanted to go that way. We head in the direction where the Elk were suppose to be, slowly winding up the steep hill. We got to the top, took in the views, and starting making our way down the other side of the hill. We were reallyyyyy hoping to see some Elk, but no luck. At this point it was getting late (and we were running out of snacks.) We turned around and head back. We will try for the 12 mile hike next time when we got some proper shoes.

7.5miles later, one sock change, a few blisters, and a few splinters later… we were back at the car. I never said I was a great hiker, I just said it was beautiful ūüėČ.

 

Advertisements

The city of Wellington

DSC06416

Wellington was on the top of our list of places we wanted to visit. We have read such wonderful things about this little city from a fellow blogger, the Young Adventurous.

A little bit of background on Wellington:

map_nz_welly

Wellington is the capitol of New Zealand. It is located on the most southern end of the north island. It is located in the Cook Strait which causes strong winds to funnel through the city and¬†give it the nickname “Windy Welly.”

Our first visit to Windy Welly:

DSC06361

Our first trip to Wellington was a couple of days after Christmas. Wellington is about an 8 hour drive from our home here in Auckland. The weather was  UNREAL. We got really lucky and got a couple of days that were beautiful, sunny, and not windy at all (apparently this is very atypical).

We made it a point to explore as many of the Young Adventurous’s recommendations as possible. Click here to check out her blog post.

DCIM100GOPRO
Coffee at Fidel’s Cafe. Note that is coffee I am drinking from that bowl.

 

Fidel’s Cafe: Best coffee in New Zealand. I had a bowl of coffee. Yes. A small bowl. I’m really going to miss all this yummy coffee so easily available in NZ.

Chow: If you are in Wellington and don’t check out Chow, shame on you. This restaurant serves fresh asian cuisine. We stepped out of our comfort zone and ordered: Mussaman Curry, Red duck curry, Vietnamese Pho, & an array of appetizers. May I add that all this food was over two separate visits, although Chad probably could have eaten it all in one sitting. When we found out we were going to get another chance to visit Wellington, we were most excited to go back to Chow.

Havana bar: This bar/restaurant has a really awesome environment. They serve tapa’s style food, which was very ¬†delicious but a little on the pricey side.

Basque bar: If you are in the mood for some unique sangria on the rooftop deck, make sure to check out this bar.

The Library bar: a bar modeled after a library. Books everywhere. May I add that they have two for one deserts (on Tuesdays). Defiantly worth checking out.

DCIM100GOPRO

Dirty little secret: This bar is slightly difficult to find, but totally worth the search. This rooftop bar has such a great view of the city. 

DreamWorks exhibition at Te Papa Museum

I don’t know if I have ever had so much fun at a museum. Being a lover of all things animated, this was so up my alley. I blended right in with all the little kids.Classics such as¬†Shrek,Madagascar,¬†Kung Fu Panda, and¬†How to Train Your Dragon¬†became an exhibition. Need I say more? We had a blast spending the morning in the museum.

 

Up next: The Famous Cable Car

When in Wellington…. you must ride the cable car. It’s the iconic thing to do. It was originally created to serve as a connection between the Lambton Quay (the main shopping streat) and a suburb in the hills called Kelburn. When the cable car drops you off at the top, there is a nice long windy trail that one can hike back down to the bottom. There is also a botanical garden and an observatory. We didn’t end up doing the hike, we just relaxed and enjoyed the views.

 

Our second visit to Wellington:

Chad got the opportunity to work in the Wellington office of his company for a few days at the beginning of February. So back to Wellington we went! Without any complaints.

While Chad was at work, I took a ferry across the harbor to Days Bay. I rented a bike and found a beautiful trail that was right along the coast line. On my adventure I saw some sweet little billy goats, and then it terminated at a lovely little lighthouse. It was a really awesome way to spend a Wednesday.

DSC07260

 

Extra pictures:

Surf trip to Raglan

Raglan has been on our to do list for EVER!

We are so thankful that we got the opportunity to go down to Raglan for the weekend. Raglan is a beautiful little surf town on the west coast of the north island of New Zealand. Raglan is world know for three surf spots: Ngarunui Beach, Manu Bay, and Whale Bay. Although the surf was a little bit on the small side when we went, my surfer boy had to get his toes wet regardless.

raglan towsn
Photo credit: Google

The town itself was a little strip of surf stores, art galleries, coffee shops, an ice cream hut, and a few little restaurants. Every time we drove into town, it was always populated.

The first thing that caught your eye when you walked onto the beach was the sunlight glittering off of the sand.  It was beyond majestic.  The whole west coast of New Zealand has black sand beaches and we are enjoying the opportunity to explore as many of them as possible.

Whale Bay

DSC05745.JPG

DSC05735

We started our trip by finding the campground we were staying in, checking in, and immediately heading down the road to check out the surf. The first place we went was Whale Bay. We walked down the steep hill and onto the charcoal rocks. The surf wasn’t to impressive at the moment, so we just wandered around the rocks and explored the shoreline. Out of nowhere, wandered over this old dog. He was well traversed in the ¬†landscape and showed us the way around the rocks. He followed us around, and at times took the lead and showed us where to go. We named him “Melvin the mooch.” For a minute, we were concerned he might not have a home until¬†he followed us to the end of the rocks and then said goodbye! There was no doubt that¬†he was a very loved local dog.

DSC05755.JPG

 

Ngarunui Beach

DSC05777DSC05765

We then head to the biggest sandy swimming beach in the area, Ngarunui Beach. The waves here were a little bit better, so Chad grabbed his board and I grabbed the beach chair. Once again, to get to the beach we needed to hike down the massive incline. The hills are always worth it though.

DSC05794

After a little surfing, a little sunshine, and a little grub… we head back to the campsite to shower and get ready for dinner.

One of the local restaurants was having a Christmas party that night, so we head there for dinner. This was our meal at Rock-it Kitchen:

IMG_4789.JPG

I was a little taken aback when this guy came out, but it was so delicious that I got over the fact that my flounder was looking back at me. After dinner, we head back to the campsite and head straight to bed.

Manu Bay

The next morning we were awoken by the extremely load snoring  of our neighbor. We got a nice early start to the day, made some eggs for breakfast, packed up our tent, and head into town. We did a little shopping at the adorable surf shops, and picked up a cappuccino. Once we were caffeinated, we head to Manu Bay. The tide was receding, so we just hung out at the top of the hill and absorbed as much vitamin D we possibly could. Once the waves picked up a little bit, my man friend jumped at the opportunity to surf at a world famous spot.

DSC05797

Post surf, we packed up our towels and cooler then head back into town for some ice cream and fresh cold water. Shortly after, we embarked on our two hour journey home up the famous windy New Zealand roads.

 

As always, below are the bonus pictures:

 

Cheers!