Normally I am not a fan of organized tours, I find them to be boring and waaayy to long. However they can be useful in certain circumstances. For instance if you want to get outside the current city you are in and you don’t feel comfortable renting a car, it is a perfect alternative. In Munich for example there is a ton to do, however with so many amazing sites only a few hours away it would be a shame not to experience it.
One day trip I hold very fondly is the trip to Eagle’s Nest – a Teahouse given to Adolf Hitler as a gift for his 50th Birthday. It is a beautiful cabin at the top of a very curvy road on a mountain summit among the Bavarian Alps. It is about a 2 hour drive from Munich and a great time to take a cat nap if you are exhausted from a night out drinking all the amazing beers Germany has to offer.
To get inside the house after the long curvy ride up, you must walk through a long dark tunnel and up through a bronze elevator. You are welcomed to a beautiful cabin which has been preserved and part of it turned into a cozy restaurant. Outside you are welcome to sit, drink beer or enjoy lunch. Since we were on a budget we opted for a beer.
A view from the bus and we make our way up the very very windy mountain road.
After enjoying a fresh brew make sure and check out the sweeping views all around you. The Bavarian Alps are breathtaking and are not ones I recommend missing out on.
After taking in your scenery, head up to the top of the summit and climb that beast!
I think we may have stayed up there forever taking pictures if it were up to us. Hats off to all the amazing pictures our travel buddy Andie got of all of us! It was a perfect place for pictures you only dream of so don’t forget your camera!
Despite my disdain for tours I was so glad my travel partner Andie had talked us all into going on this amazing tour to see Eagle’s Nest! For only around $75 a person the tour more than paid for itself, getting us out of the city and into the incredible Bavarian Alps. If you are looking for a good tour we used Viator and I highly recommend them!
Traveling can have it’s ups and downs. Some days are all clouds and rainbows, while other days test you as a person. My favorite day in Munich was the day we had nothing planned. No tours, churches, or otherwise. We were free to roam the city.
This day we happened to decide to grab some bikes and check out the park everyone bragged about, The English Garden. Our perfect day was almost ruined as we could not find where to purchase our bikes. Unsure of whether we should even ride bikes in a foreign city we were about ready to give up when we followed the trail of bikes. Amongst the bikes we found a shop listed on the city map. If all else fails then look around for clues, you can always find what you want with a little detective work!
For just a few bucks we each were set up with our own bikes. We were ready to hit the road!
Munich is such a fun city full of booths, food, and souvenirs. Riding through the streets was a bit daunting at first along side the cars. However once we made it through there are streets just for bikes!
We made our way to The City Center inside the park. Isn’t it beautiful?
Then since we had worked up quite the appetite we stopped at the beer garden for beer and brats!
After we filled our belly full of delicious food and beer, we then headed to explore more of the Park. We had no idea we would encounter such an amazing spot. The Garden offers surfers a chance to show off their skills. There is a dam which is set up to produce a wave under a small bridge where surfers line up and take their shot.
Image via Kit McVay
The English Gardens were absolutely beautiful with tons of trails for any bike rider to enjoy and bask in. If you are in Munich take a chance on a random bike ride through the city park and enjoy all the beauty it has to offer you.
My current Neighborhood in Seattle is Ballard. Ballard is constantly growing and a great place for young or old business professionals. My favorite thing to do on the weekends is to eat brunch which if you know me, should come as no surprise. When I first came to Seattle it was a tough transition where food is concerned. I would often spend $10-15 dollars on a plate and walk away dissatisfied. Over time I was able to find exactly what I was looking for in a restaurant and figure out if a place had what I desired just by looking at the line at the door. One rule that has held steadfast for me in Seattle is, “If there is a line, then the food is divine”. Ok maybe that’s not really my rule but it’s not a bad place to start.
So after 2 years of living in Ballard, these are my favorite brunch spots! Trust me when I say you will not be disappointed!
Morsel & Bean
Only a beautiful 3 blocks away from my apartment Morsel & Bean has proved it’s worth over the last year in Ballard. With homemade biscuits topped with decadent flavors such as the “Mama’s little pepper Aioli” or “Roasted Tomato Jam”, the foodie in you will not walk away dissatisfied. You can choose from a biscuit with one of their famous toppings or try a breakfast sammie. My personal favorite is the “Spanish Fly” which features prosciutto, over medium fried egg, arugula and that delicious pepper alioli I was bragging about.
A fun Cafe with an old diner touch to it, “Skillet Diner” is my absolute favorite place to eat in Seattle. If you are looking for meals with tons of food and tons of flavor you have hit the right spot. For months upon moving to Seattle I searched for the perfect fried chicken, and I found my love in the “Little Rob”, a masterpiece of a breakfast “sandwich”. Fried chicken topped with a egg, cheese, and their signature spicy sauce sandwiched between brioche buns with the perfect amount of crunch.
Bonus: Check out their amazing cinnamon rolls for an appetizer that feeds the entire family!
Hattie’s Hat, a Ballard staple is the perfect place to go Sunday morning after a fun Saturday night. The bar is perfectly dark and cozy allowing you to cure that hangover with their perfectly tuned bloody mary and big surprise fried chicken (maybe I’m obsessed with fried chicken ok?). The environment is friendly while you watch old movies like “Weekend at Bernie’s”. What is also great is they are open on holidays when many places are closed.
Have you been to Seattle? What are your favorite brunch spots?
Jump off of a perfectly good bridge, why not right? Bungee jumping has always been on the top of my list of things I must do. In London bungee jumping was on the itinerary but got taken off due to availability. So when looking for things to do I knew Jumping off of the tallest bungee bridge was something I had no choice but to do.
Now some people told me I was crazy and most just shook their heads. The main theme was that I should definitely do it now while I have the guts because as you get older the more fear and reality set in. As time got closer to go to Africa that became more than true.
There were several times I may have text Jen (more than likely drunk) and made her reassure me I wasn’t going to snap my neck. My biggest fear was not the jumping, the equipment, the possible lax standards in another country, no my one thought was that my clumsy awkward self would somehow move the wrong way and snap my tiny little neck. Jen being the trooper that she is reassured me that I would not die and we were ABSOLUTELY not backing out of this as we had told waaay too many people.
Fast Forward to South Africa the night before we were booked to go bungee jumping. We stayed at a treehouse in the forest. The treehouse was everything we wanted it to be….had we been honeymooners who enjoyed spiders the size of my head watching me shower. When we booked this beautiful Tree House with amazing views, baboons outside your window, and spiders the size of your head we weren’t completely aware how far off the path we would be and that our treehouse was 100% glamping which means there isn’t any food within an hour of the main cabin. We arrived at said treehouse starving, tired, and completely out of clean clothes.
That night we ate peanut butter crackers, ostrich jerky, and protein bars. During “dinner” at the main cabin we realized with our shotty internet connection that it would take about 2 hours to get to the Bloukrans Bridge at 8am. Meaning we would have to wake up at 5am. At this point I was willing to give up. I would sacrifice bungee jumping to get a few precious hours of sleep. Jen however would have none of this plan. We found a way to rearrange our plans so we could go shark cage diving and she was going to get me to the Bloukrans Bridge even if she had to drag my grumpy butt out of the spider infected tree house before sunrise.
We managed to survive the night after jen bravely made sure all the huge spiders were outside the treehouse safe and sound. She even broke her “no spider left alive” rule and got the spiders out with a strainer and a pot. The next morning we woke up at 5am tired and grumpy (ok maybe that was just me) and drove 2 hours to get to our bungee appointment.
We arrived at the bridge right on time with empty stomachs. The problem with waking up at 5am is nothing is open to eat. So I ate the remaining peanut butter crackers and Jen refused to eat anything in fear of throwing up during the jump.
When we arrived FACE Adrenaline got us all suited up and ready to jump. The scariest part of the jump for most is walking across the bridge. The jumping point is on the second tier of the bridge. They have a DJ and equipment on the bottom part underneath the actual road. It was surprisingly a nice set up. I basked in the walk underneath the bridge looking below and jen threatened to push me off if I didn’t stop talking to her.
Somehow I managed to be jumper number 1. Not exactly my favorite idea but a theme Jen and I have is that I pretend to be the brave one when it comes to heights. I try to avoid acting scared so Jen can panic alone in silence. Being jumper number 1 left me no time to freak out or think of all the ways I could snap my neck.
I had decided weeks before jumping that I was going to make my jump emotional. As cheesy as it may sound I wanted to turn my fear of letting go and literally jumping off of a bridge into a moment of truth for me. I was going to think of all the things that hold me back, get me down, or things that have happened that are out of my control. I was going to leave them on the bridge. Jumping off of that bridge would be a moment of pure freedom and bliss. It would be my own moment.
Jumping was everything I wanted it to be. As you can see in the video I hesitated at the beginning, not out of fear but rather I had not been given the chance to clear my head and leave it all behind. Once I was able to do that, I gladly jumped off that bridge and free fell toward the river below. In that moment, I had never done anything better in my life.
I highly recommend Face Adrenalin bungee jumping. They made sure we were completely at ease and had no questions. Most of all they kept us alive.
Follow my Adventures:
Jump off of a perfectly good bridge, why not right? Bungee jumping has always been on the top of my list of things I must do. In London bungee jumping was on the itinerary but got taken off due to availability. So when looking for things to do I knew Jumping off of the tallest [...]
Bloukrans River Bridge, Tsitsikamma, Plettenberg Bay, 6600, South Africa
Journeying on a Safari was surprisingly not on the top of my list when planning for my roadtrip across the Garden Route in South Africa. For my travel buddy Jen it was a high priority along with Shark Cage Diving. I of course obliged mainly because who doesn’t like animals, and secondly because she agreed to bungee jump with me. What I didn’t expect was how much I would enjoy the safari and how it would amaze me so to see such incredible wild animals.
Schotia Private Game Reserve has been ran by the same family for around 25 years and are dedicated to a true safari experience. They are about 45 minutes away from Port Elizabeth which was at the tail end of our road trip. We opted for the two day one night package at Schotia Farms which cost around $250 a piece. We stayed in a “Honeymoon suite” which was more akin to “glamping”. We had a super comfortable bed with a tent surrounding it ensuring that no bugs were making it in to disrupt our sleep. They even provided a nice bottle of red wine which we were unfortunately too sleepy to drink.
On the first day we arrived around 2 in the evening and got to head straight to our Safari. Our park ranger happened to be a super intelligent *cough hot cough* 20 something who’s dog Janga was his partner in crime. One of our first animals to see was the elephant, who could have cared less about us and instead was more concerned about the rough bush he was intent on eating.
Our Ranger made sure everyone in our group got to see all the animals we so desired. This included the white rhino. As you can see the Rhino’s horn is not fully grown. This was due to a poacher who drugged the rhinos and cut off their horns. The saddest part is the rhino horn is used to cure many ailments which has been scientifically proven to be completely false. Meaning these innocent animals are tortured for a myth.
After the Rhino’s we headed off to see what else we could find. We saw giraffe, zebra’s and African antelope (my way of saying I don’t remember their names). The Giraffe was a mother of twins who according to a ranger did not actually care about her babies. This was not her first set of babies and she didn’t mind if they got eaten by a lion. A big fan of the circle of life I suppose.
Right as the sun was setting we found the lions. Steve the alpha with the beautiful ombre, his lioness, and his son are all pictured below. The lioness was on the hunt that night looking for some dinner for Steve and Simba. The rangers were actually at a point that they were worried about Steve since you could see his ribs and he hadn’t eaten in several weeks.
We sat there for at least 20 minutes watching the sun set while the lion pack soaked up the last bit of the sun. The lions didn’t seem to mind nor care that we were only yards away. Steve yawned, Simba laid next to his father and the lioness paced back and forth looking for a possible hunt to feed her family.
That night after a delicious all inclusive dinner we searched all night looking for the lioness on the hunt. Our ranger Ryan knew she was out hunting and was hoping to catch her in the act. Unfortunately cold and tired we went to bed unsure whether the lioness was successful in feeding her pack.
During our morning drive Ryan quickly found Steve and his lionesses bounty. See in the Lion kingdom the lioness hunts for her pack and then the male gets the first pick. We found the lioness and her son eating the leftover tail a few yards away. Seems like a raw deal to me but I guess that’s just the feminist in me talking
After a delicious hot breakfast and a ride back to the main center we headed off to Addo Elephant Sanctuary. Now this is something both Jen and I really wanted to do. Unfortunately this means we did not heed the advice of others. The sanctuary is beautiful and a really great experience, however it is much different than the safari. The sanctuary is toured in a van versus an uncovered safari vehicle. We still got to see some beautiful elephants and even a lion however I wouldn’t suggest doing it the way we did. If you do not have time for the Safari I suggest the elephant park as you can drive your own car through and take your time. However if you are doing the Safari I would not necessarily suggest doing Addo since you can see elephants at Schotia.
Despite all this I was still able to get some amazing shots of some beautiful animals.
One last look before we headed off to our next adventure in South Africa….