An Adventurous Life for the Budgeting Family

Six Flags Over Georgia – Hustle!

Six Flags Over Georgia – Hustle!

A couple years ago, we had the most successful theme park day EVER. We arrived extra early, had fanny packs with essential items, and wore ubiquitous neon clothes with sneakers and hats for sun protection.

We were half joking, but half totally serious with our get-ups and our winner takes all attitudes. At the beginning of the day, we jogged to every ride so that we could bypass all lines. And it really worked! It was also a weekday, which meant the crowds were lighter. And we planned to go before kids got out of school for summer vacation. So it was a perfect storm for theme park awesomeness.

Of course, I got nauseous by the end of the day from all the upside down twists and turns and running in the blazing sun, so we ended our day before the park closed. But it was definitely the best Six Flags experience I’ve ever had.

Have any tips and tricks for how to own your day at a theme park? Share them in the comments or on our youtube video page!

Pensacola Dog Beach

Pensacola Dog Beach

Our dog Oskar loves to swim. I mean he really loves it. When he was a puppy, I took him to the beach for the first time. As soon as I took his leash off when we stepped onto the sand, he took off in a full sprint and chased a seagull into the Long Island Sound. It was so natural to him to leap into the water and start paddling out. Ever since then, I’ve tried to treat him to beach trips as much as possible.

But Oskar isn’t one of those dogs that can go off leash safely. He will chase a cat or even a bug right into the street if left to his own devices. And he is a curious wanderer. I am terrified of losing him. For that reason, we made a really long leash to bring him to the beach with, allowing him to swim and sprint on the beach with more freedom. But the leash gets heavy and it’s a hassle.

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So when we found that Pensacola, Florida had a dog park on a beach, we were interested. We took Oskar on a vacation with us for a long weekend, and stopped at the dog beach on the way back. It was amazing! It was a well-maintained dog park with a washing station, water fountains for dogs, and covered areas for shade. Yet it was on the bay! So the fence jutted out into the water so you could feel secure that your dog couldn’t get lost. One dog did swim out pretty far past the fence line, and someone had to go swim and retrieve him before he got too tired and not able to get back. But most dogs just frolicked near the beach line.

Needless to say, Oskar was in heaven on earth, and we had a great time watching him have so much fun. We definitely recommend this dog park for fellow traveling dog lovers!

Honeymoon in Paris

Honeymoon in Paris

We spent three short days in Paris at the end of our honeymoon. We visited Montmartre, which was my favorite stop of the trip. The neighborhood consisted of small, windy, cobblestoned streets reaching uphill towards a beautiful church called Sacre Couer. Where all those upwords Seuss-like roads converged, artists painted in the fresh air while tourists milled about and locals sat on small metal chairs outside of quaint, crowded little cafes.

Paris honeymoon

Of course, we also had to see the Eiffel Tower and ride on a boat through the Seine. We also visited the Arc de Triomphe and ate lots of crepes. It was a whirlwind of a visit so I hope to go again for a longer stay. Paris is absolutely beautiful!

An Icelandic Honeymoon

An Icelandic Honeymoon

We went to Iceland on our honeymoon. We left for our trip the morning after our wedding, which was super hectic. We fell in love with Iceland once we arrived and got some much-needed sleep. There were many adventures to be had. We went dog-sledding, swam in a geothermal cave that a scene in Game of Thrones was filmed in, went in the Blue Lagoon, drove in crazy weather, trekked through a glacier cave, ate interesting food, stayed in quaint country hotels, and more. Check out our video to see some of the many highlights.

Iceland Honeymoon

Highlights from Our Trip to Iceland in the Winter & Our Offbeat Travel Picks

Highlights from Our Trip to Iceland in the Winter & Our Offbeat Travel Picks

In the beginning of March, we traveled to Iceland. It had been a harsh winter according to the natives, and we definitely witnessed the tail end of it. It was cold, but dang was it beautiful.

Week in Iceland

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As we drove around the perimeter of the country, we saw more varieties of snow-covered landscapes than you could ever imagine. There were mountains, there were fields, there were waterfalls, there were cliffs, there were other planet-like lava fields, there was even a glacier!

Here are my top picks for what to do in the winter in Iceland.

DSC_04611. Visit Icelandic Horses

When you land in Reykjavik, you’ll find pamphlets about a horse show and horse farms and a horse museum. I’m sure these are fantastic. However, we opted to steer clear of touristy, crowded places in the capital city. Instead, we pulled over when we saw something that caught our attention. As an animal lover, the horses grabbed my attention first and foremost. We saw these beauties on the side of the road in the southwest, and I had to get out and pet them and feed them and find out all of their personalities. They tried to eat my hand and clothes, but other than that they were wonderful!

 

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2. Climb in and on a Glacier

I never thought I would touch a glacier in my lifetime. I hadn’t really thought too much about glaciers, to be honest. But this was an incredible experience. We took an ice cave tour on Vatnaj√∂kull, which is one of the largest glaciers in Europe. It’s incredible to think that the state of this mass of ice affects the weather and tides in much of the world. For example, when it’s hotter than usual in Iceland, the ice melts, then water rises, and then the beaches of Long Island become eroded from the extra water. Amazing! Besides the science of the glacier, you’ll also enjoy the incredible photo opportunities. There are even longer trips for avid and professional photographers, so that you’ll have more time to capture the beauty of the ice caves.

 

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 3. Visit Akureyri, the Capital of the North and Go Dog Sledding

Akureyri is located in northern Iceland. It feels like a small New York, with its trendy (and delicious!) restaurants, beautiful buildings, and funky and good-looking young people out on the town at night. We changed our travel plans last minute to pass through this “capital of the north” because we found a dog sledding tour that was available. It was so much fun to pet the huskies and get to ride through the dark night with a pack of them. What an experience! Since we arrived early for our tour, we were able to eat at a very cool upscale restaurant called Rub23. I definitely recommend it! I ate sushi, while my husband ate off the special meat menu where you choose your meat and a handful of spices that you get to add to it yourself. He tried a different rub or sauce on almost every bite of his meal.

 

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4. Explore! We found our own personal hot spring cave on our adventures…

If you rent a car like us, you can pick your own route . Make sure you check the road conditions before you head out, and then every half hour or so while you’re traveling. Whether changes dramatically within 5 minutes in this country. There are so many beautiful sights to see, so go explore!