Rotorua, NZ ’10

 here’s another post from our super last minute new zealand trip in 2010. we posted a little teaser from hobbiton and now here’s a little something from rotorua. it’s a stinky town because of all of the thermal activity around there. on our way there, we had some lunch and we were laughing at the chicken flavored chips they had. the girl there wondered why we would laugh at that since she heard we had jalapeno flavored chips in the US.

right outside of our hotel room was a thermal hot spring! we saw it go off every hours or so. as we headed out of rotorua, we went to two thermal parks, waimangu and wai-o-tapu. we got a good deal getting into the parks because it had been raining non-stop since we left auckland and there was flooding on part of the trail. luckily they also had these nice large umbrellas for us to use like in hobbiton, we apparently were not prepared with our dinky little san diego umbrellas 🙂

these two parks were huge and unfortunately because of the rain, we had a hard time taking photos…it was actually good practice for us to get the shot right the first time rather than having all the time in the world to take photos.

it was cool on the hikes that there were all these open places with the thermal activity but then we were also walking through forest, it was beautiful!

all of the places at wai-o-tapu were named after the devil and hell, we found where he lives!! run away! the funny thing was that there were all these dark names like devil’s ink pots, devil’s bath and inferno, but then there were also places like bridal veil and champagne as well.

love the detail in the rocks from all the bubbly acid over time.

such pretty colors from all the elements

at the end of the hikes we were soaked and actually got picked up by buses because of the flooding. i asked the lady if they ever worry about volcanoes or earthquakes. she said volcanoes but they usually have 2-3 weeks notice, that’s nice!!

we need to start finding vacation spots that don’t rain 100% of the time, i guess that’s due to our general poor vacation planning…oh well still fun!!

you are what you eat part 5

you are what you eat part 5 – sweets
this is part 5 of a healthy eating series, to read the rest go here: Read part one hereread part two hereread part three here, read part four here
another common thing that people say to us when we say we went all natural is ‘wow, you guys are so good’, ‘how can you function without any bad food?’ well, honest answer? we don’t. just because we eat all naturally doesn’t mean that we avoid sweets. when we made this decision, it was spring. we forgot we’d have to deal with saying no to a lot during holidays, especially halloween. for me, it’s almost easier to just say to myself, ‘well, it has high fructose corn syrup or dye so i just can’t have it’. but sometimes, we just really need a piece of candy or chocolate. so here’s what we’ve found…WARNING: don’t read this post if you are hungry, tired or at ‘that time of the month’ because you will probably go out and buy everything…
red and black licorice – trader joe’s has an all natural one, colored with beets. it does have corn syrup but supposedly trader joe’s doesn’t make anything with gmo’s…take it for what you will. vons also carries a brand of red licorice that is all natural.
fruit chewy candy and salt water taffy! – trader joe’s has this as well, colored with vegetables, also with corn syrup
chocolate – this has been the most tricky thing for us because as much as i’ve researched it, i just can’t figure out if soy lecithin is bad for you. we’ve cut out all soy, but they say that soy lecithin is from fermented soy which isn’t bad. other places say, well it’s probably gmo so it’s still bad, and others say that because it’s such a small amount, it doesn’t matter. so it’s up to you on the soy lecithin issue, but trader joe’s has a mighty plethora of delicious all natural chocolate products, YUM!
another thing i do to get around the sweets issue is just bake things myself. this is actually a great way to talk yourself out of junk food because you have to decide if you REALLY want it since you have to make it yourself. i do love baking but i don’t always have time, so i can usually talk myself out of the sweets this way. but, if i NEED chocolate (you know what i’m talking about ladies…) i bake with chocolate chips or chunks from jimbo’s. they are all natural, NO soy lecithin ANDDDDDD they are fair trade, yippee! they also have baking m&ms at jimbo’s with all natural coloring. i also found all naturally colored sprinkles at sprouts so cupcakes can have some color once in a while 🙂
there are a lot of cookies at trader joe’s but again, much of it has soy lecithin or enriched flour, so i just bake these myself to be safe. plus, i can buy the flour non gmo at jimbo’s.
sweet breads like pumpkin bread or any kind of muffin i also bake myself. this is mainly because most of the muffins out there are full of all the things we cut out and so full of calories. i sometimes steam my own pumpkins, puree and freeze them in baggies until i need it for recipes, that way i don’t have to worry about pesky aluminum (see, everything is bad for us!!!)
so enjoy some goodies! hopefully i’ll post some fun recipes soon 🙂

Boston, MA – ’12

the first and last stop of our new england trip

we actually had planned on only going to boston because we just had about a week to travel, but when us californians realized how much we could drive in a short amount of time, we decided to do all the new england states! so we started in boston, had the first evening there, then at the end, spent the last day/night there.

so the first day we were there was the coldest day of our trip. this is what we packed for having gone in spring, but we were surprisingly hot the rest of the trip. so at least we got to pull out the jackets and beanies one day!

boston tea party 🙂


oh hey, there we are!

i loved that they use these historical buildings for modern businesses rather than tearing them down

more mocktography and some chowder! [which jared wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole]

so on the way back through town, it was pretty warm! we did some of the freedom walk and pretty much walked through the whole city. what a fun city!! we got directions from this girl and her bostonian accent was just amazing. we kept asking her more details so we could just keep listening to her talk 🙂

loved this old guy!

yum! dunkin!!

hope you enjoyed! no crazy stories this trip, just a bunch of fun photos 🙂