A Day in Cinque Terre

Upon asking friends, family, and fellow travelers what to do in Italy there was one thing everyone agreed upon…go to Cinque Terre. With such a consensus we had little choice, however when trying to figure out how exactly to make it happen we got quickly overwhelmed; bus to train station, train from Florence to La Spezia, train from La Spezia to Riomaggiore, train between the Cinque Terre towns, and then have to do it all in reverse to get home…sounds like a real headache! So after much frustration trying to plan and price everything out we got smart and booked a tour with Walkabout Florence 🙂 At a cost of €90 this tour wasn’t significantly more than the cost of train tickets + lunch, however you get a significantly better experience. Considering we only had one day to explore Cinque Terre we wanted to see and do the most we could, which Walkabout Florence provided…all 5 towns, lunch with a view, hiking, swimming, and an extremely knowledgeable tour guide who had us laughing the whole day. So without further ado, check out our day in Cinque Terre!

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Freedom Camping in New Zealand

I never thought it would happen, but after 6 weeks living in a van we became hippies…or at least we smelt like them, and by “we” I mean me 🙂 Our transformation began in Auckland when on our 8 year anniversary we purchased our first home. Her name was Lucy and she was built by Toyota in 1995 and dubbed Estima. She came fully equipped with a bed, a cooker, and all the camping essentials. After a thorough cleaning of prior hippy smell we took off on our “freedom camping” adventure! Of course we only got 45 minutes out of Auckland before the first surf spot, Piha, caught Dan’s attention and we set up camp 🙂 Driving into town at night, not really seeing much, we were treated to a wonderful morning…opened our lovely blue curtains to see a grassy field, crashing waves, and a welcoming party of ‘big ass birds’ come to share our breakfast…seriously what kinda crazy bird is that?!

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Clockwise: Our baby Lucy, the locals, Piha Beach

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Lost to South America

I know what you’re thinking…”it’s about time!” And I’m sorry it’s taken so long for an update, but it turns out blogging is hard and very time consuming. But enough excuses, here is what we’ve been up to for the past THREE MONTHS!

Florianopolis, Brazil
After finally parting ways with Rio de Janeiro and the comfort zone that was Nilce’s house, we caught a Thanksgiving day flight to Florianopolis in the south. Although our Thanksgiving dinner consisted of airplane crackers, cheese and a cookie, we were elated to finally be in “Flori”, where Dan has been dreaming of going since we met. I quickly realized why; Flori is the more “blond, organized (German) part of Brazil”, it’s a little cleaner and calmer, but above all it’s where the best waves are. The plan was to stay here a week…we stayed for 3 🙂 It turns out a good surf hostel on the beach, hammocks, tons of fresh seafood, and a car is all it takes to make us happy. Honestly we probably could have stayed here a month but with so much still to see in South America we booked a 17 hour bus to our next stop, Iguazu Falls.  See more about our time in Flori here!

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Deserted beach at the end of our Naufragados hike

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Surfing Florianopolis

Florianopolis is a must go destination for any surfer traveling through Brazil. After many years of surfing and searching the coast of Brazil, I finally made it down south to “Flori”. While the water is colder than almost anywhere else in the country, the density of quality waves is second to none.

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Shot Talk – A Complete List of Travel Vaccines

imagesU5SVN8OCWe all hate them, but if you want to travel the world you’re gonna need them, and they require some pre-planning. Things to consider:

  • What countries your visiting
  • Past vaccinations
  • Cost of vaccinations
  • Timing of series shots
  • Side effects

During planning for our world trip this is what my husband and I learned and what we decided to get ourselves. Note that our approach to vaccines is to get the minimum…we don’t want to die, but we also don’t want to introduce possibly harmful drugs into our bodies. Our planned destinations include South America, South-eastern Asia, Oceania, and Europe, here is what we got:
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Yellow Fever Free For All

If you’re like me (cheap and/or a procrastinator) you may find yourself in the position of needing a vaccine abroad. If that vaccine is Yellow Fever and you’re in Rio de Janeiro I’m here to help!

Things you’ll need:

  • Passport
  • Your big kid pants

To get this vaccine free you need to go to one of the many public health clinics around Rio. As my husband and I were staying in Sao Conrado, the closest to us was Gávea, however there are many other locations so it’s worth checking if another is closer. The full list can be found here or I’ve attached it below:
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Ubatuba or Bust

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Hello all,

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks and I finally writing…without Dan vomiting 🙂 When I last left you we had just gotten back to Rio from Saquarema and thankfully the weather in Rio finally started clearing up which allowed us to finally act like tourists in Rio! First stop was taking the gondola to Sugarloaf to see the amazing views of Rio. Next we saw the Christ, which although crowded was so iconic and exciting for me, plus I got to play with my selfie stick! After seeing two amazing views we opted for a third and hiked the Bonita mountain with Andre and Ruby, which ended up being pretty epic thanks to the fog and gusting winds. Feeling the wind coming over the side of the cliff and being engulfed in fog so thick you could barely see the edge was like being in the clouds and differently memorable. Capping off our tourist tour we visited the botanical gardens and watched the baby monkeys and then accidently got drunk on Caipirinha’s…all in a hard weeks work 🙂

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Bred to Roam — First Blog Post!

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Hello world!  Ok…hello family and friends

**I swear future posts will be shorter**

After 20 days abroad I’m finally starting our blog, it’s amazing how time flies.  You’d think not having jobs, chores, or internet, would leave plenty of time to write, but it turns out one’s ability to procrastinate only grows stronger when you stop knowing what day it is 🙂

So what have we been doing?  Well after a week stop in Niantic, Connecticut to visit the Brown’s and welcome our new nephew Aiden Wise we boarded the world’s most cramped plane from JFK to Rio de Janeiro.  I donno why I thought American Airlines was a good airline, maybe because they have brand recognition?  Well on this flight I came to my senses…AA sucks.  The people are rude, they’re always late, there are no TVs on the chairs, and they have the smallest seats (see Dan’s excessive leg space below). Actually writing this makes me remember why I liked them, cause they always offer vouchers for people willing to take the next flight which I DO!  Probably not the best reason to like an airline.  On the plus side our ‘I donno if she’s joking’ flight attendant, kept the free beer and wine coming until we fell into deeply awkward sleep.  Also, the flight cost us a total of $11 and was non-stop so we have no right to whine.

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