Loathing for Idaho: A Road Trip Horror Story

Contrary to popular belief, we travel within our own country as well, so I thought I’d share one such adventure.

While many might fly to reach their destination faster, there is merit in making an adventure out of a road trip.  The United States is a vast country with many exciting locations along the way.

Idaho is not one of them.

Continue reading “Loathing for Idaho: A Road Trip Horror Story”

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5-Day Backpacking Trip – Brown Bears in Alaska

Backpacking will be a part of our world travel adventures in 2019. We dream of hiking El Camino Santiago in Spain and the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. While these trails each have their own personality and beauty, taking a bush plane to the middle of nowhere to photograph brown bears is something else entirely. Brianna went to Alaska with 5 other photographers to get right in the heart of bear country hiking along the beach about 150 miles southwest of Anchorage. Continue reading “5-Day Backpacking Trip – Brown Bears in Alaska”

Oregon Solar Eclipse 2017

A solar eclipse is something I have always wanted to see, but never really expected to. Especially not right in my home state of Oregon, where I live within 50 miles from totality! I have seen plenty of lunar eclipses which are a lot more common, but no where near as cool. This hasn’t happened here in nearly 100 years, so I would consider it a “once in a lifetime” event. And it definitely lived up to my expectations and beyond.

Continue reading “Oregon Solar Eclipse 2017”

Costa Rica: The Story of Rico

Now, this is just a fun little story from Costa Rica I wanted to share with you.

Our resort in Puntarenas featured nightly shows.  Between spectacular dance numbers, a small comedy troupe entertained the audience with humorous sketches and bits.

We met who we’d later come to call Rico on our first night, when he mimed a complex drum solo, complete with slapstick shenanigans.  This was one of the few acts I could fully enjoy because it had zero dialog.

We soon discovered he frequently had the word, “Rico” written in sharpie across his belly.  We were never quite sure why, though it did earn him our nickname.  He also wasn’t the only one; one of his stage partners often sported a shirt featuring the word “Tamarico.”

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Continue reading “Costa Rica: The Story of Rico”

Jungle Canopy Tours in Costa Rica – Helpful tips

Whenever you imagine Costa Rica, you automatically think about waterfalls, exotic birds, sloths, crocodiles, snakes, and those cute (but deadly) frogs. You may wonder where the best place and time is to go see these things. While we were in Costa Rica, we went on two canopy tours and there were so many others we did not have a chance to see. Here are some helpful tips based on our time there.
Continue reading “Jungle Canopy Tours in Costa Rica – Helpful tips”

Costa Rican Food

We often say we merely travel for the food.  When scoping out a new place to visit, one of the first things we look for is good food.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Tokyo was like that; we just wanted to eat everything we saw in anime.  Seriously, I went to Japan with a food bucket list.  We deliberately sought out taiyaki and ramen, and we really did just go to Osaka for the food (okonomiyaki followed immediately by takoyaki).  We looked forward to the amazing breakfasts served at our ryokan, and we couldn’t get enough of all the little street vendors.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017 Continue reading “Costa Rican Food”

Driving in Costa Rica – What you should know

Driving in Costa Rica is definitely different than driving in the U.S. Do not go there expecting expansive freeways going in every direction. Picture more back country roads going over mountains with no room to pass. Expect every trip to take about twice as long as it would in the U.S. Big trucks have trouble making it over the mountains so you take turns passing them. I remember seeing lines of 6 cars at a time passing a truck and getting over at the last minute before oncoming traffic appears. Use good judgement when passing other vehicles, be predictable, keep a little distance in front of you in case something happens you have time to react. Doing these things will help keep you safe. Have I mentioned there are very few guard rails?

Continue reading “Driving in Costa Rica – What you should know”

6 Drinks You Should Try in Costa Rica

Who doesn’t like a good drink?

Whenever we travel, we like to have a regional specialty.. in fact, we want to try as many local drinks as possible!  We knew Costa Rica would have plenty of tropical beverages to slake our thirst.  If you’d rather not try to figure out how to ask, “what do you recommend?” in Spanish, try these.  Or if you can’t make it down to Costa Rica, try making them at home! Continue reading “6 Drinks You Should Try in Costa Rica”

Isla Tortuga Banana Boats and Snorkeling – Costa Rica

For my 40th birthday, I wanted to do something pretty awesome. I always enjoy doing some kind of boat ride whenever I travel. So we took this cruise from Puntarenas to Isla Tortuga. What a beautiful trip! The boat ride was nice with a loaded bar, a couple of mini pools to stay cool, and awesome views. It couldn’t get much better…… Continue reading “Isla Tortuga Banana Boats and Snorkeling – Costa Rica”

Trouble in Paradise

I just got back from an amazing backpacking trip in Alaska, so I haven’t had much time to prepare a post this week.  Apologies for the short one.

When you’re left with only a few hours at the resort, what do you do to pass the time?  Stuff yourself with more rice and beans?  Order another fruity, morning cocktail?  Seek out the beach cat?

We decided to have a little impromptu photo shoot. Continue reading “Trouble in Paradise”