All posts by Mandy Bee

Kenai Fjord Tour in Seward, Alaska

This is, sadly, the last post in our Off to Alaska tour. There are two things we think you absolutely must do while in Alaska: one, take a bus tour through Denali National Park and two, take a boat tour through Kenai Fjords National Park.

We took a 9-hour tour, starting from the harbor heading about 75 miles to a glacier and back through Kenai Fjords National Park with Kenai Fjords Tours. The tour is $184 per person, including breakfast and lunch (surprisingly good), and was well worth the price. The captain was extremely knowledgeable, giving information throughout the tour, and I don’t know it if it was just luck, but we saw plenty of wild life, though my camera wasn’t that great at capturing it.

Pod of orcas on Kenai Fjord Tour
A pod of orcas – my best wildlife capture of the day!

Views on Kenai Fjord Tour

Glacier with some seals out yonder
Whale tail
Whale tail!
Fjords from a boat
Goodbye fjords!

Hopefully the pictures speak for themselves. All in all, we highly recommended the Kenai Fjords Tour if you’re not used to seeing fjords, whales, sea lions, orcas, glaciers and puffins… which I think is many of us.

If you’d like to catch up on the rest of our trip to Alaska, you can read about our time in Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Denali National Park. It was an amazing 2-week trip!

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I’ve visited Pittsburgh maybe 25 times in my life. I can’t say that Pittsburgh is in the forefront of my mind when it comes to planning a trip but my mom lives there, so we visit pretty often.

Mandy and Jessy when they were young
Me and my sister when we were teens getting ready to go snow tubing!

Continue reading Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

(Some of) The Blue Ridge Parkway

Since we were driving home from Pittsburgh once again, we thought we’d try to take some of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

We drove the North Carolina portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, starting at the entrance nearest I-77. I had read before we chose our entrance point that if you have limited time, the North Carolina bit is more scenic than the Virginian because it is much more mountainous.

We spent about 7 hours on the parkway from I-77 to Asheville, where we called it quits.

Trip to Mom’s | My new trip on!

For the most part, the drive was really lovely, but we are still really spoiled by our recent trip to Oregon. After about an hour or so on the scenic route, I stopped asking to pull in to every single photo area.

Continue reading (Some of) The Blue Ridge Parkway

More Pictures from Evans Knob Farm

There’s not much more to say about Evans Knob than John already said. We completed our two weeks of WWOOFing yesterday and are really sad to have to go back to our normal lives. Kathy, Reid and the rest of the Evans family (pets included), all really made us feel at home, useful and appreciated.

The featured image is an epic shot of the ducks that John took with his iPhone. We’re all a bit amazed at how well it turned out.

Trees in a foggy forest
From the living room window of the cabin

Continue reading More Pictures from Evans Knob Farm

Our Road Trip from Florida to the Grand Canyon

With Detours to Ruby Falls, The Meteor Crater, Painted Desert and Petrified Forest

The road trip from Orlando, Florida to the Grand Canyon that we took from September 26, 2011 to October 2, 2011 is something that we’ve mentioned in one of our first posts, and is still probably one of the most epic, fun, adventurous road trips that John and I have taken.

The Grand Canyon was actually never on either of our ‘lists of places to see’. A big hole in the ground didn’t really intrigued us. But road trips did. And a road trip out west really intrigued me.

We had a week of vacation coming up with no real plans and the Grand Canyon popped into my head. I looked up how long it would take to drive — 1 day and 8 hours. It would be a crazy road trip. We would have to drive almost straight through just to have a couple of days to explore the park. We’d have to sleep in the car! It would be epic, like those coming-of-age movies where friends have crazy road trips! (At least, that’s what I thought anyway.)

So on the morning of September 26, 2011, we set out with adventure on our mind.

Continue reading Our Road Trip from Florida to the Grand Canyon

Elsewhere: Never Ending Voyage, a travel blog

Ever since I read Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts, I can’t stop entertaining the idea of selling everything we own and traveling non-stop for years.

Simon Fairbairn and Erin McNeaney of the travel blog, Never Ending Voyage, are a couple that did that very thing. They’ve been traveling for 5 years, working from their laptops as ‘digital nomads’. Even if you’re not planning on selling everything to skip off to earth, their blog posts are inspiring!

My favorite post so far is: How to travel long term with only carry-on luggage

Even for short trips, dragging around typically-sized luggage is a huge pain for me, including waiting around the luggage claim belt for what seems like an hour. I probably wouldn’t hate plane travel as much if I could just pack light!

Simon and Erin’s ability to travel with bare essentials is inspiring to me and I think I’ll take it as my next personal challenge to only take a backpack on our next trip. Check out their blog, Never Ending Voyage, for tons of tips on long-term travel.

Travel Fatigue: How to stop it before it happens

It’s amazing how, even though we’re extremely excited to be on the other side of the country, seeing something new every hour, we become disenchanted when we do a little too much a little too often. On the last few days of our trip in Oregon, we got the “Let’s just stay in our hotel room and order takeout” syndrome. Travel fatigue.

Continue reading Travel Fatigue: How to stop it before it happens

Over the River and Through the Woods Scenic Byway and West Cascades Scenic Byway

The Over the River and Through the Woods Scenic Byway starts about 25-30 minutes north of Eugene, Oregon. Take I-5 up and then get yourself onto Highway 228 and just drive east.

The byway takes you through farmlands, over rivers and through woods – imagine that! Our trip on this byway happened to be on an overcast and rainy day, which surprisingly didn’t ruin anything.

Continue reading Over the River and Through the Woods Scenic Byway and West Cascades Scenic Byway

Photographs: Running around Oregon & Washington

I apologize in advance, but this post is a bit of a cop out. We’ve been running around so much, from Portland to Seattle to Portland to Eugene, that we haven’t had much time for sitting down to write a blog post. I guess it’s a good problem to have when you’re traveling but no so good for this blog and its readers.

These are the photos I’ve been taking with my DSLR. If you’ve been keeping up with my Instagram, some of these may look a bit familiar but the photos taken on a DSLR always have a different quality than those taken on an iPhone, so I thought I’d share them anyway.

Rocky Butte Sunrise Overlooking Portland, Oregon

Mount St. Helens Visitor Center in Washington

Tumwater Historical Park in Washington

Highway 101 from Highway 26 to 20 in Oregon

For more pictures from the last few days, be sure to check out my Instagram account! 🙂