Out & About

Wanderlust: New Zealand and Australia

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

This November while most of the USA is getting ready for Thanksgiving we’ve decided to travel for 3 ½ weeks to a part of the world we’ve been wanting to visit forever. We’re off to Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia, and we’re booking flights now with our saved up funds and miles. We decided on November for a few reasons, weather wise it’s the equivalent of May in the States so it is an ideal time to go.

The kids will miss two weeks of elementary school but thankfully they can keep up with independent study and they have the week of Thanksgiving off as well. We decided it’s now or never since they will be too busy in junior high and high school for us to go during the school year and we want to be there in good weather. Also, my two American born cousins are married to Aussies and live on the east coast (one in Melbourne, one in Gold Coast) and we’d like to pay a visit to their families too. 

australia new zealand fiji

First stop, Fiji, I’ve been dreaming of this place forever.


Next up, New Zealand, land of beautiful landscapes and outdoor adventures.

new zealand

Finally, we would like to spend 12 or so days in Australia along the eastern coast from Melbourne up to Brisbane with a stop in Sydney in between.


Many of you have been to or live in these countries, I would absolutely LOVE if you shared any tips on traveling here, and any recommendations on where we might stay and what we should see along the way so I can plan our route. Thanks so much for any input!

Angel Island

Monday, October 6th, 2014

I had plans to write about my ideas for the master bathroom at the fixer Las Vegas house today but I couldn’t resist sharing just a few shots of our weekend adventure so tune in for the bathroom chat tomorrow. Yesterday we journeyed to a place I absolutely love, and for anyone who has grown up around or lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, you know of what I speak: Angel Island.

This State Park a magical place to walk or bike and if you catch it on a perfect day like we did, Angel Island will give you unforgettable views of the San Francisco Bay, the City, and the Golden Gate Bridge – so worth the boat ride and uphill climb.

We’ve hiked here a few times for the exercise and panoramic views and it really is the BEST. For those planning a visit, consider it a worthy stop especially in what I believe are the best months to visit: May, September, and October when you’ll escape the notorious fog bank that tends to hover over the bay throughout the summer. You can take a midday or sunset cruise, we chose an early morning ferry ride from nearby Tiburon in the north bay, where high end homes overlook over the dock and bay.

tiboron homes 2

tiburon sailboats

Catch the ferry service direct from San Francisco or Marin County, either service will bring you to the island and its views.

golden gate view

Bring a bike or rent one there, but packing a picnic lunch is advised since a hike around will take 2-3 hours and there are tables where you can stop and take in the view. If you forget your picnic, there is a cantina/cafe on the island for purchasing food. The adventure is one of those “fill your lungs with fresh air and eyes with a magical view” kind of walks that is work the trek.

picnic table view of sf


angel island home


hiking trails


east bay view


angel island coastline


golden gate view


boats in harbor


sf city view

This is such a wonderful weekend day or sunset evening excursion, check out the Yelp reviews here, and add a trip to Angel Island to your To Do list next time you visit San Francisco! .