New Year, New You.

Ten days into the new year and the cogs are already turning, getting the creative juices flowing and aligned with our renewed focus on all things travel.

For the majority of the past year you’ve seen a significant decline in our online prescence. Do not adjust your screens… this was intentional. We took a step back from writing and traveling and turned our energy toward ourselves, our friends and family.

We envision new adventures and challenges for 2016.

Some of these include:

  • Wyoming – Spending more time poking around.
  • Montana – Exploring the terrain in great detail.
  • Utah – We missed our favourite state in 2015.
  • California – We’re looking at seeing more remote locations.
  • Hawaii – This is a bucket list locale for us. Fingers crossed!

Some parks we’d really like to investigate:

  • Yosemite – Because.
  • Yellowstone – Bison, baby! (Ole Faithful too.)
  • Bryce Canyon – Slot canyons and all the reds!

Devon got herself a shiny new camera and I cannot wait for her to flex its muscles on some crazy, beautiful subject matter. It’s far too much camera for me and I’m not ashamed to admit that. She says my photography has vastly improved but I’m sticking with my trusty lil EOSm. I’m giving myself the challenge of understanding all of my settings and how to use them properly. Small victories in my near future!


We already have a fun trip in the planning stages for the end of February, beginning of March (for my birthday).

So, stayed tuned…

We’re baaaaaaaaaack!

– Jade


It’s All About The Chase.

I love a good road trip. I enjoy discovering new places and going on adventures to places I’ve never been. I’m not one for the details. To be honest, that part kinda bores me. But for Devon, the fun is in the details. She loves the planning. She enjoys the task. I just want to get in the car and go.

Right now, Devon is planning an epic road trip for September of next year. She says we’ll be traveling through fourteen states, and I’ll need my license as I’ll be helping with the driving duties. What she hasn’t told me yet is the destination. There’s always one place on a road trip that either her or myself have always wanted to go. Yes, we go to several places and see many sights, but ultimately, there’s one thing off our bucket list that we check out. She’s stringing me along on this one with a few pathetic hints. Telling me a few of the states we’ll be going through only tells me that we’ll be going through the south west. Nothing else.

As I wait for the details to unfold, I can reflect on some of the things we’ve done & some of the places we’ve gone.

Sunset at Venice Beach.
Sunset at Venice Beach.
I remember my first trip vividly. I had never been on a plane, and I had never been on vacation. Thanks to Devon I was about to check both off my list in November of 2008 when we went to Los Angeles. The flight itself is only two and a half hours, no biggie. I got to sit in a window seat on the flight down. To see the earth from that view was spectacular. Humans look like ants, and the mountains look like goosebumps.

When we got to LA my cousin Doug met us and volunteered to be our tour guide. He was awesome, and we couldn’t have asked for a better guide. Devon let me do all of the touristy things that I could find. We did it all. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood sign, the Whiskey a Go-Go, Sunset Strip, Mel’s Drive-In, Pink’s. I mean we did it all. We even managed to fit in a turn around trip to Vegas. We had a blast. One of the greatest trips I’ve ever been on.

Jade at the salt dome in Canyonlands.
Jade at the salt dome in Canyonlands.
The first time I went to Moab, UT sticks out in my mind as well. Until you’ve gone to the desert yourself and seen the beautiful rock formations in person, you can’t say a bad thing about it. To experience the barren landscape and see the dry expanse, only then can to truly marvel at the beauty of the land that you once took for granted, the place you call home. Moab is blanketed with Entrada sandstone. The crazy orange hues seemingly blur into one shade, yet if you look close enough, they pop individually and begin to share their story. The desert is not for everyone, it’s unforgiving, but Devon and I enjoy some of the greatest hikes there, at least twice a year. Our two favourite parks in Moab are Arches National Park & Canyonlands National Park. If you find yourself in the area, do yourself a favour and check it out.

Epic sunburns, especially Stephen's.
Epic sunburns, especially Stephen’s.
Another one of our trips that I truly enjoyed was driving down to San Francisco. One of the funnest trips in a great city. A city filled with fun & history. We stayed at a Travelodge out near the airport. We ended up saving a bundle by staying there. Not a bad little place either, they even serve a continental breakfast. We drove our car down to the piers and parked it for the day. We filled the whole day with a walking tour of the city. That’s right, you heard me, we walked the entire city. If you have the time to do this yourself, do it. However, don’t make the mistake that we did and go without sunscreen. It was overcast and Stephen, Devon & myself did not even think about lathering up with sunblock. Did we ever get red & crispy. We walked the entire city and packed in as many sights as we could. Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, Alcatraz, Coit Tower, Lombard street (the crookedest street in the world), Deloris Park, Mission Deloris (which is stunning), Market street, downtown San Fran (including a parade for Greek days), yes, we managed to do it all. We squeezed every drop out of the city that we could. Our feet hurt, our faces were burnt but it was worth it. I don’t think I would ever want to experience San Francisco a different way. That day was perfect.

We’ve been on a handful more adventures since those trips, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out what Devon has in store for us. She keeps poking me, thinking I’ll magically know what she means. But alas, I do not. I have no idea and it’s killing me. But I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I’ll keep guessing and Devon will keep toying with me.

Greatest game of cat & mouse ever.

– Jade

The Happiest Place on Earth.

Up until September I had never been to Disneyland. It’s a special place that I’ve always wanted to see and experience but never had the opportunity to until this year. I know what you’re thinking, aren’t you in your thirties? Isn’t there somewhere else you’d rather go? Truthfully? No. Ever since my first Disney movie… Since the first time I saw a commercial with happy, bouncy children, laughing and skipping around Disneyland… What a magical looking place! Mickey & Uncle Walt just suck you in. They make you want to go there. They got me. So this year was finally my time to jump around and dance about with all of the characters around me. Can you say excited?

We had been in LA for a few days when the time finally arrived for us to go to Disneyland. My cousin Doug works there and got us in for free. Which, by the way, I cannot thank you enough for that. We had an amazing time! It was so generous of you! The entrance fee is $120.00 per person, all of the rides are free. There are huge lines for every ride, some taking up to two hours before you get in. Yikes! Singularly the best thing about having Doug with us was his ability to get us into the rides without waiting in lines. He has a magical presence there and it was hard not to think of him as the unofficial mayor of Disneyland. Everywhere we went, people were stopping him and saying hello. One cast member (as all employees are referred to) even said she loved him over her microphone.

Now, normally on any typical day at Disneyland, you can only get to about three or four rides in roughly eight hours at the park. For us, with Doug to aide in the fun, we managed to get on thirteen rides. It must have been the “Canada Magic” as Doug called it. We checked out the Star Tours ride, you get into a large booth and the whole thing moves, shaking you all over the place. The ride is 3D and I completely understood why Doug skipped the ride. I think Devon actually became really motion sick on the FIRST ride of the day. The way it dips, dives & zig zags about, it’s enough to make anyone sick to their stomach. Next up is probably the best ride at the park, Space Mountain. Whoever came up with having a roller coaster in the dark was a total genius. Fast, fun & unpredictable. Pure adrenaline. All the big rides take a picture of you & you never know when it’s going to happen. This makes for very funny photos. We went over to the Buzz Lightyear ride where you sit in a car with a gun & shoot at the evil Zurg. It’s a pretty fun ride and makes for some healthy competition. For the record Doug and I creamed Devon and Stephen. After that we went on the It’s A Small World ride. I’m not one to complain but if there’s one ride you should avoid… it’s this one. A twenty minute ride on a boat where they play the song over & over in every language possible. This one makes you want to drown yourself in the foot of water below you, as I believe Stephen and Devon tried at least twice.

We took the Pirates of the Caribbean ride next. It’s pretty impressive to know that a movie franchise was made around a Disneyland ride. It’s a decent ride too. They’ve integrated bits from the movie into the ride. Jack Sparrow is everywhere. There are three very convincing wax figurines throughout the ride. It’s by this time that I realize that I’m enjoying myself immensely.

Next up was Splash Mountain which had a line around the whole ride. Doug talked to another cast member & ended up procuring us two special passes which had us skipping the line. This one little boy shot us the deadliest look. Another one shouted “Hey, they’re skipping the line!” at us. Devon waved a pass at his face which didn’t help much. There are several spots in the ride where water splashes up into the boat. Doug told us when we were to hold up our feet. After that Devon kept asking Doug what was going to happen on every single ride. Doug said nothing. Since it was my first time there, I was put into the front row of every ride. We held our feet up as we dipped down and Splash!, we were doused. But that wasn’t the biggest one. We zip around the ride and climb up & up… as we hit the top, I look down and realized that we were going to be splashing down hard. We went flying down the side of the mountain and Sploosh! what a huge landing. We hit the bottom and the nose of the boat went under the water. Devon & I were soaked. Devon screamed “My iPhone” and held it victoriously, not a drop of water on it even though her shorts were soaked. The whole left side of me & all of Devon’s shorts… soaked. When the ride came to a stop, it was quite obvious that we all had been splashed pretty hard. It took us s bit to dry off but the sunny California weather helped.

We got our hands stamped then walked the short distance to Disney California Adventure. Yes, that’s right. We got into two parks for free. As much as I loved Disneyland, I think I enjoyed DCA even more. When you walk into the park, you are literally walking into Hollywood, in 1923. There is a bronze statue of Walt Disney looking exactly the same way he did when he first arrived in Hollywood. He designed this park to look just as it had when he got there. There is something magical about walking into a theme park that looks like the hey day of old time Hollywood. There is even a replica of the Carthay Circle Theatre, where Snow White debuted in 1937. Walking down Buena Vista avenue, we enter a building that has Tim Burton models all around. After checking out the very cool models, we make our way toward Cars Land. When you walk up to it, it looks like you’ve walked right into the movie. In fact, it reminds me of Utah. We walked over to the Tower of Terror. Aptly named, you walk into the ride and you enter a room. There they show you a sequence from the Twilight Zone. And a creepy bellhop leads you into a large room that looks like a boiler room. Once there, you wait to enter an elevator. The creepy bellhop returns and lines you up to get into the elevator. You take your seat, clasp your seatbelt and the bellhop asks if this is your first time. Then he says, “I feel sorry for you” as the door closes. Then the lights go out and the elevator rises. Then it rises some more then suddenly drops. Then it goes all the way to the top. The doors open and you see the whole park. The view is stunning and then the elevator drops again. The elevator randomly rises and drops and all the while Doug, Stephen & I are laughing & cheering. Devon is beside me screaming her head off like a little girl. I’ve never heard her so scared before in my life. I’m so amused by her terror that I enjoy the ride that much more. After we leave the ride we walked around Cars Land for a bit.

Once we checked out the attractions in Radiator Springs, we avoided a parade, cut through A Bug’s Life & made our way to the California Screamin’ roller coaster. Talk about your smooth ride. It does a full loop. Devon even asked for her “mommy”. She’s a riot in amusement parks.

We stopped along the boardwalk and played some games. I ended up winning a stuffed Dumbo doll at the water gun game. I gave the Dumbo to Devon… then she spiked it and did a touchdown dance. Everybody laughed, including the guy to operated the game.

We went on the Mater ride which is kind of similar to the tea cups, but is doesn’t turn fully around. Watching Doug & Stephen fly around and crash into each other was hilarious. Once that was done there was just one ride left, the Cars ride. Since Doug doesn’t work at DCA, he has no pull here so we actually had to wait in line… for 65 minutes. I don’t think any of us had realized just how hard it is to stand in line for over and hour. It was in this line up that Devon saw the cutest, most well behaved girl and at the end of the night Devon gave her the GIANT Dumbo doll I had won her. Such a sweet act of kindness. The line felt like it took forever. It’s a good thing that the ride was worth the wait. You sit down in a hot rod and zip around a set that looks like Utah, then you line up with another car and race around to the finish line. A pretty fun ride and not a bad way to spend your day.

In all, we spent ten hours at the park and made it on about thirteen rides. I haven’t enjoyed myself that much in a long time. I hope you’re lucky enough to make it to Disneyland some time and I hope you’re lucky enough to make it on more than five rides.

It truly is the happiest place on earth.

– Jade