I present to you the ultimate 6 day Iceland road trip, complete with a detailed agenda, hotels, too many photos to count, a packing list and some helpful tips along the way. I went with my friend Maggie who you may recognize from last year’s Yosemite trip. Since we had already been to the top of one waterfall it just made good sense to continue chasing waterfalls in Iceland. A couple months of planning, a Google Map and multiple Google Sheet itineraries went in to this trip (it’s possible I’m a type A personality). Here’s what it looked like:
Day One: Blue Lagoon, Reykjavík, Hallgrímskirkja
Day Two: Geysir, Kerið, Gullfoss, Friðheimar, Secret Lagoon
Day Three: Háifoss, Seljalandsfoss, Gljúfrabúi, Skógafoss
Day Four: Sólheimasandur DC-3 Plane Wreck, Dyrhólaey, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Fjaðrárgljúfur
Yes, you read that right. Three days. One National Park. Two cities. If it wasn’t already clear, I don’t really do much relaxing when I travel…
There are two important lessons I’ve learned in my 28 years of life:
Find good travel friends
Luckily, I found a great one – my friend Margaret who joined me on my impromptu Big Sur trip last year and Austin this year. So, when Margaret Instagram Storied that she was thinking of going to Denver, I did my best Liz Lemon and immediately replied “I want to go to there.”
A couple days of checking calendars later and we were booked, Google Map and everything. How did people travel before color-coded Google Sheets and Maps?
Alternate title: The sort of 8 day trip that turned sort of 9 days thanks to a canceled flight. But more on that later.
I’m about to attempt to cram 5 National Parks, 1 National Monument, 39.4 miles of hiking and one extra afternoon/evening stuck in Salt Lake City in to one post. Stick with me here and I promise you’ll be rewarded with (1) an epic vacation idea and (2) some pretty amazing photos.
My cousin and I recently embarked on an 8(ish) day journey through 5 Utah National Parks and a National Monument. I had been to 4 of the parks before, but I’m always willing to go back for more. This was our route: Las Vegas > Zion National Park > Bryce Canyon National Park > Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument > Capitol Reef National Park > Moab > Arches National Park > Canyonlands National Park > Salt Lake City
Let’s begin at the beginning – Las Vegas.
Day 1: Las Vegas > Zion National Park
We landed in Las Vegas in the morning, picked up the rental car and drove immediately to In-N-Out before driving the 2.5(ish) hours to Zion. We stopped for some groceries for lunches and snacks for the week in St. George and arrived in Zion around 2 or 3pm. We had time for a hike so decided to do the Emerald Pools trail. There are 3 Emerald Pools: lower, mid and upper. It’s 3 miles round to the upper Emerald Pool.
Inspired from the brilliant Donna and Tom from Parks and Recreation, my friends (Phoebe and Michelle) and I just returned from a treat yo’ self trip to LA. Yes, we did TREATYOSELF2017 in LA (if you’ve watched the show you’ll get the significance).
We stayed in Venice Beach (at an Airbnb) and traveled around a bit during a long weekend (Friday – Monday). Here’s my vacation recap and a travel guide (if you like beaches, sunsets and food, you’ll like this travel guide).
Day One: Venice Beach and West Hollywood
We arrived in the early afternoon and had a horrible rental car experience (i.e. waiting over an hour for the car). So, we went immediately to In-N-Out burger because it’s delicious and we were starving. After eating our body weight in burgers, fries and shakes, we drove to the Airbnb in Venice Beach and started exploring the area.
In January I decided I needed a vacation, preferably somewhere warm. I was debating a couple options and ultimately (and easily) decided on Austin, Texas. I’ve been to Dallas a few times for my last job, but never Austin. Plus, I have a friend who just moved there (Sam) and a friend in Dallas who could drive down for the weekend (Margaret). SOLD.
I decided to book a long weekend in February, arriving in Austin on a Friday and leaving on a Monday. It’s a quick flight from O’hare and definitely a great easy weekend trip.
On Day One, I flew in to Austin and Margaret drove down from Dallas and met me at the airport. We went immediately to a food truck stand for tacos and then pigged out on some Gourdough’s Big Fat Donuts. They are as big and fat as advertised.
2016 was a pretty good year for me travel-wise, so I decided to do a wrap up post of my favorite places and photos of the year.
San Francisco, CA
3.29.16 – 3.30.16 | work trip
My first work travel of the year was Dallas but I don’t have any fun pictures from that so we’ll begin with San Francisco (one of my absolute favorite places). This shot was taken at Baker Beach at sunset.