Do We Have Everything…I Hope So! New Zealand, Here We Come!

Where in the world are Kwin and I going now? Here is a little hint….it’s where both of us have ALWAYS wanted to go; It’s the adventure capital of the world; and it’s where Lord of the Rings was filmed…NEW ZEALAND!

To be specific, Kwin and I are heading to the South Island of New Zealand for two weeks! We will be making our way from Christchurch to Queenstown, Lake Puringa, and so many other towns in-between.

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So Excited to have some amazing sunsets like these along the coast<3                        Photo Credit to Kelsey Frankhauser!

What’s our agenda you ask…that’s a good question, and unfortunately I don’t have an exact answer! New Zealand has so many things to offer (if it were up to us, we would be staying there a heck of a lot longer than two weeks,) but we plan on doing a lot of hiking, biking, white water rafting, paddle boarding, diving into the culture, going to local mom&pop shops, and most importantly relaxing! When Kwin and I travel we don’t like to have everyday planned to a ‘T’, instead we have a backbone of where we are going and things we would like to do. We like to ask the locals about hidden gems, and places that they recommend! It’s out honeymoon, so unplugging and just being present with one another is a HUGE plus for this trip.

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I cannot wait to be doing this!                                                                                          Photo Credit: Kelsey Fankhauser

Like our trip to Kauai, Hawaii, we rented a camper van (Check it out here) to live in for our two week stay. This time we did upgrade to a bathroom, thank goodness! One thing we like most about staying in a camper van versus a hotel/Airbnb and rental car is that we don’t feel obligated to be somewhere every night. This allows us more freedom and flexibility.

Freedom Camping

Camping in New Zealand has become quote popular, drawing in people from all over the world to vacation! This is wonderful for the New Zealand economy…but can be pretty harmful to the environment. In order to preserve the beauty of New Zealand, the government passed a new law (Freedom Camping Act 2011) limiting ‘Freedom Camping.’ With this new law, they made it a little bit harder to camp anywhere in New Zealand     (This link explains it a little easier!).

This did put a little damper on our complete freedom while in New Zealand..but I just made sure to look into what cities had “Freedom Camping lots” and which ones required you to book ahead of time!

What All Are We Bringing? 

Since we are traveling by plane we do have to somewhat limit what we bring…no bikes, not all our camping gear, and no dogs :(.

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  • It will be summer over in New Zealand during our trip, so most of out attire is bathing suites, hiking clothes, and comfortable gear.
  •  Tahoe SUP Inflatable paddle boards!
  • GoPro, and all it’s accessories
  • Karma Drone
  • Passports!
  • Books! Kwin and I love reading and are looking forward to sitting on-top of a glacier with our books.
  • Hammocks

Kwin and I are so excited to finally be taking out honeymoon and going to such an amazing and beautiful place! If anyone has been to the South Island of New Zealand please feel free to share some of your favorite things! We plan to unplug completely while over there but cannot wait to share our adventure when we get back!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and see you all in January 2018!

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Sunny and 23 degrees..Winter is here!

Is anyone else as excited as I am for snow finally? 

As a child, I really did not like the winter months. I lived in the city, and there are only so many times you can go sledding down the same hill, build a snowman and have a snowball fight with your neighbors before it gets kinda old. Winter in the Detroit area is cold…and I mean cold…but is lacking one major part of winter, SNOW! Don’t get me wrong, they do get some snow…but nothing like Lake effect snow up here. Lastly, but being cold cold is almost painful to me ( I have the lovely disease Raynaud’s!)

With all that being said, now at the age of 23 I absolutely love winter! After moving to northern Michigan three years ago Kwin really exposed to the beauty and all the fun things you can do during this time of year.

Snowshoeing– Kwin and I absolutely love snowshoeing. Whether it be in the back woods behind out house, on a wine tour with friends, or just leisurely at a state park we love it.

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Fat Tire Biking– This one Kwin got me into last winter. Due to my lack of confidence in biking, and extreme fear of losing control…biking in the winter is defiantly a challenge for me. However, I do really enjoy it! Being out in nature, riding through the snow-covered words is pretty amazing.

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Cross Country Skiing– This my friends is a heck of a workout! Since running is pretty tough to do on the wintery, snow covered roads you should give this sport a try! It’s tough, and does take some practice (like Fat Tire Biking, I hate losing control of things) but is super fun.

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Downhill Skiing– Growing up I can count on one hand the times I went skiing. I always wanted to learn, but never got the opportunity.  Like most the sports I listed above, I am defiantly still learning and gaining confidence with this sport too, but it’s fun and something to do with a group of friends on a winter day!

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Sauna Ice Bath– The combination of heat from the sauna, and cold from the ice bath has some incredible health benefits! Improving circulation, healing injured/damaged tissue, and increasing hormone levels to fight against depression are only a few! There really isn’t a way to describe how amazing a sauna/ice bath session is on a cold winter day feels.

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Let me just add, I would like to thank Kwin for have such patience with me regarding any winter sport!

As I mentioned about, I have the lovely disease Raynaud’s..which to those who don’t know is a circulation disease. Basically, whenever I am cold (yes, this can even be walking down the freezer section at Meijer) all the circulation to my hands and feet stop,leaving them white or purple in color! Not only this, but they HURT and feel like I’m being stabbed constantly. So as you all can imagine, I hate being cold and try to avoid it as much as possible! Knowing this and how much I love doing outside activities, Kwin found me some heated gloves- and let me tell you THEY’RE AN ABSOLUTE LIFESAVER!

Check them out HERE : Outdoor Research Stormtrack Heated Gloves!

Winter is just beginning, and I could not be anymore excited! Let all the fun activities begin.

I hope you all enjoyed this blog and as always, get outside and enjoy this beautiful world we live in!

Wait, is it really December?

December 1, 2017…HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?! 

It feels like just yesterday I was writing my goals for the 2017 year; Like I was planning vigorously for my wedding; And like Kwin was paddle boarding across Lake Huron.

November, like all the others months, flew by so fast; does anyone else feel like they were just wearing their halloween costume? It was full of a lot of adventures, holiday traditions, sauna sessions, and NOT normal weather.

Here is a little review of our November adventures!

Edmund Fitzgerald 

On Friday November 10, 2017 we made our way to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish Point, MI. Kwin, Joe Lorenz and Jeff Guy had the honor of ringing the bell of the famous shipwreck ‘Edmund Fitzgerald.’ They were asked to be  apart of the memorial service honoring the sunken sailors who were on the Edmund Fitzgerald 42 years ago.

Stand Up For Great Lakes also announced their Lake Superior Crossing next July!

 

Tahquamenon Falls 

I had never been to the Eastern part of the Upper Peninsula before…and since we were already up we figured why not make a trip of it! Kwin and I made our way to Tahquamenon Falls, and let me tell you THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL!

If you’re not familiar with the area, there are two sets of waterfalls..the upper and lower (The Upper is the most well known because they’re bigger and easier to get to).

We were there after a fresh snowfall, which really made everything better! There is something special about the crisp and clean snow covered rocks and trees surrounding the falls.

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Detroit Turkey Trot 

Thanksgiving is probably one of my favorite holidays, hands down! I love the traditions, the time spent with family, and the food (who doesn’t love that part!). Kwin and I have done the Detroit Turkey Trot for the past 3 years, and this year we recruited both my brothers to join. Its a fun and beautiful run, especially seeing Detroit grow over the years!

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Shoutout to my mom for hosting the best thanksgiving dinner too! She works all day cooking and making sure that everything is so tasty<3

THESE SUNSETS AND SUNRISES LATELY 

Okay, does anyone else think that November has been so awesome with the sunrises and sunsets lately?! Not only these, but  we been treated with beautiful weather this month too!

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As much as I have enjoyed this prolonged fall, I’m definitely ready for a Michigan winter! Bring on the Fat-tire bike rides, the cross-country skiing, the snowshoeing and the sauna-Ice bath sessions!