Category Archives: Travel

Mother Nature, you tease.

TSheezy and I decided to do Skyline to the Sea last weekend (June 21-22). It’s one of the most beautiful trails in the area and it’s long, but it’s mostly flat and downhill so it’s doable. The general itinerary is over three days, but we decided to do it in two because of work.

I’m sure she’s going to write an epic blog post with really detailed information and photos and it’s going to be all grammatically correct and etc but in the meantime, here’s the hike from my perspective:

A Recap of Modern Day Hiking Events

Day 1 (Castle Rock -> Lane Campsite, 19 miles)

05:10 Alarm is going off. Texting TSheezy. Shower. Make coffee. Make eggs. Where the hell is TSheezy we were supposed to leave at 5:30 I WANT TO BE HIKING I’M SO EXCITED!!!

06:00 TSheezy shows up but forgot socks. Turns out I forgot socks too. Drive back to her place and grab socks for everyone! Yay socks!

07:15 No parking at Saratoga Gap. Drat. Drive to Castle Rock. What an extra 3.1 miles on top of the 17 we were already planning on hiking?

07:30 Meet some bros. Laugh at bros. Hit the trail! “Everything is else really light in the grand scheme of WATER”

08:00 Oops we only brought one almost empty bottle of bug spray. The other one is on the floor of my house. Ah…

09:00 It’s so nice out! What a lovely day for a joyous saunter through the woods!

(All photos shamelessly stolen from TSheezy. #ImNotSorry)

09:30 So glad we got socks. It’s cushioning the bumping from my ankle boot into my SUS ankle plate and screws (somewhat)!


11:30 (Mile 9.5) Hit Waterman Gap Trail Camp. Refill water. Eat a ton of beef jerky. Why is beef jerky so goooooood?? Dried mangos also good. More on this later. THuski elevates legs, part 1.

12:00 Onwards and downwards!

12:45 TSheezy tries to use Instagram because she’s amazed there is reception. I’m amazed that we’re in the beautiful wilderness and she’s thinking of Instagram. TSheezy returns to the task at hand of why she pulled out the phone in the first place to give MelMel a quick status update of where we arm and confirmed that we will still require pickup from Waddell Beach on Sunday. Eat more beef jerky.

13:45 Knee is killing me. Apply knee brace for extra support. Trail mix for the win. Did we just walk in a circle? We just walked in a circle. Around the road. Well I guess the fastest way from Point A to Point B is most definitely a series of circles. Yes.

14:30 WHY IS THERE A PEACOCK IN THE TRAIL. Are people allowed to have pet peacocks? Oh wait where is it going oh it’s crossing the street… what a brave and adventurous peacock! TSheezy you saw that too right I’m not hallucinating right?? Right?


16:30 Hollow Tree Trail! 1.58more miles to the campsite.. wait… what… why does this sign marker say 3.2 miles? WELL THERE’S NO WAY THAT’S RIGHT COMPARED TO THE INTERNET (note that Lane is about a 6 mile detour from the Skyline to the Sea trial but the preferred campsite, Jay, only allows people who had camped at another site the night before)

17:00 Where is the campsite

17:15 Where is the campsite

17:30 Seriously WTF where is the campsite

17:35 Oh my god my knee is killing me where is the campsite. A family passes by while I’m sitting on a log repositioning my knee brace.

Kid with Bieber hair: Was that your friend up ahead?
Me: Yeah! How long ago did you pass her?
Kid: Yeah… she’s really really far ahead.


17:45 *At every turn* “I really hope I turn the corner and the campsite is there…. NOPE JUST CHUCK TESTA”

18:00 Stupid leaves on the trail because nobody takes this trial. Stupid Internet map. Stupid backpack. Stupid broken joints. WHERE ARE YOU CAMPSITEEEEEEEEE??

18:05 Don’t mind me, just hiking along and yelling “SGOTTTTTT” every 5 minutes trying to get my friends’ attention (to no avail because she is very far ahead of me because she has strong not-broken knees and not-broken ankles of non-sadness)


18:15 Contemplate setting up camp in this very nice looking grove of trees. “SGOTTTTT!!!!”

18:20 Pass a nice couple walking in the opposite direction

Me: Hello! Did you happen to pass the turnoff for Lane Campground?
Them: Yeah! It’s about 200 yards ahead!

YES!!!!!!! Glory! Hope! Happiness! I am filled with new energy.

18:25 Where is the campsite. This is more than 200 yards. Does that couple know what yards are? Do I know what yards are?

18:28 All is lost.

18:30 (Mile 19) I FOUND THE CAMPSITE! And TSheezy! *Collapse on tarp*

18:35 Hour 13. The mosquito situation is becoming dire. We have discovered that due to some hilarious miscommunication we only brought one bug net. For… a hammock. Only big enough for two people if they cuddle. TSheezy has no intention of cuddling with me. Am too tired to be sad.

Take stock of the water situation (no water at Lane). Cook dinner. Instant couscous and instant mashed potatoes have never tasted so delicious!!!! Tie things to trees so the bears can’t get them. Let me rephrase – tie things to trees so the SHORT bears can’t get them. If Mama bear wanted that food she would house that food.

19:30 Elevate. Pass out on tarp while clutching dried mango and with legs 90 degrees up in the air.

20:30 Sunset. Not that we were awake for it or anything

Day 2 (Lane Campground -> Waddell Beach, 16 miles?)

06:30 Alarm goes off. “Sgot wake up.” “Unnnhhhhhhhh”

07:30 “Sgot it’s 7:30 we should get up.” “Unnnhhhhh”

07:40 Limp over to bear-food-rope-tree contraption. Retrieve food. Make oatmeal. Stoves are cooooooool

08:00 Pack. Put on knee brace and ankle brace. Apply more bug spray. The nozzle barely sprays anymore we are so low on bug spray. I guess I’ll wear long pants today.

10:00 Arrive at Big Basin HQ. Drink about 4 liters of water each. Refill all bottles. Rest. Elevate. Make instant coffee directly in my water bottle. I now have ALLLL the energy for limping down the mountain really fast!

10:45 Onwards.

12:45 Arrive at Berry Creek Falls. Elevate. Eat more beef jerky. And chocolate. And bars.

13:15 Continue.

13:30 FINAL 6 MILE FLAT STRETCH!! Should be easy right?

14:30 Tired.

15:30 When can we see the beach? MOTHER NATURE YOU’RE SUCH A TEASE

16:30 Right foot. Left foot. Right foot. Left foot.

17:00 One and a half more miles. Come on Tiffany you can do it. You can do it. You can do it.

17:05 We’re out of beef jerky.

17:10 Dried cranberries just aren’t as good as beef jerky.

17:30 Wait seriously why can’t I see the beach yet?????

17:45 Arrive at Waddell Beach. Crawl across the highway and collapse on the beach. Zone out on the ground next to our packs while TSheezy tries to get reception on her phone to call Melissa.


17:50 There is no reception

17:55 Still no reception

18:00 Briefly discuss walking a mile away where other people got reception.

18:10 Start talking to a nice guy who ends up giving us a ride back into Santa Cruz (thanks random dude!!)

18:35 Arrive at TSheezy’s friend house and collapse on his floor while we want for MelMel.


21:00 Back to Castle rock, pick up car, go home, throw things on floor, shower, pass out.\

Day 19-23: Thira/Santorini, Hellas (Θήρα)

In fall 2010, Jess approached me and asked if I would be down to go on an epic adventure in Greece with a few of our mutual friends from DTU. I accepted in a heartbeat – Greece is one of the countries on the very top of my list of places I want to visit (it’s an EXTENSIVE list too!) and I am so so happy that Holger and Joe were able to make it happen. I booked flights in and out of Athens and left the rest for Holger to figure out, but I never would have dreamed that we would end up on Santorini Island – cliff diving, lying on the beach, crashing ATVs, and enjoying the beauty of an amazing sunset off the coast of Ia. These pictures don’t even begin to explain what an amazing experience it was!

Sunset over Caldera Beach

(Because no story about Santorini is complete without a photo of the beautiful blue roofs =D)

Pictures and adventures below the cut!

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Why I should just take the subway everywhere (China edition)

So I’ve been in China since August 18th and I’ve gotten a bit of experience with being driven around here. This is actually my first time in China, and it’s incredibly different from anywhere else I’ve been previously. The transportation around here is just as cray as it is in Vietnam, but it very different ways. In Vietnam, there are tons of mopeds and they are very good at dodging pedestrians, so there aren’t too many accidents. Here, people drive faster and seem to be more impatient, resulting in more collisions and almost-running-over of pedestrians! Since I’ve been here, I’ve been in buses, vans, and taxis, and as I have promised Smos that I would be creating some sweet charts, I took the opportunity to compile an excellent chart documenting my general experiences in a vehicle in China:

Please note that for all but one of the unsafe conditions, the driver was also efficient and got us to our final destination much quicker than if he had obeyed basic traffic laws. There is currently no correlation between the driver spitting on another car and speed, but while he was spitting and pulling his head back in through the window, there was a lot of extra swerving, which may have contributed a slight addition to our speed due to the added friction. Or I could totally be talking out of my butt =)

(Additionally, my co-worker throwing up was attributed to him having terrible food poisoning, but the driving may have contributed slightly to nausea. You’re welcome for the image =D)

In retrospect, this is actually a very bad choice of chart. Stacked bar chart may have been better.

If I had a sweet chart-making group, this would not have happened.

Back to work!

Day 17-18: Athens, Hellas (Αθήνα)

I apologize profusely for the delay in this post! It has been written and sitting around as an open tab for the last two weeks – I just never got around to adding photos to it! And I mean really, what’s a blog post without photos?? Aside from this, there are two posts left in this awesome saga, and those will be written… soon! I promise! =D And now without further ado – ATHENS!

I never thought I would be in Athens. For me, Athens was one of those places that I only read about in history books (such as the pyramids in Egypt) and and saw in movies about mythology – never in my life, even while planning the trip, did I really think that I would make it to Athens and stand where so many great minds of our time came from. One of the oldest cities – the beginning of Western civilization as we know it, the birthplace of democracy… I could just go on and on! I was standing in the Acropolis staring at the Parthenon when it really hit me – I’m finally here. This really exists. It’s not something that I just read about. I am so incredibly lucky to be here, taking in all of this.

View entering the Acropolis!

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Day 13-16: København, Danmark

YESS – I’m finally returning to my second home – Denmark! It’s so strange to think that just about a year ago, I was leaving Denmark, wondering when the next time Iwould be back was. I was hoping to be able to make it this summer, and I actually did it! We had an awesome time just relaxing and chilling with people I met when I was here last year =D I’ve been so excited and I sound like an idiot just babbling on so I’m going to stop here – read on for more adventures and photos!

Enough said!

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Day 11-12: Milano, Italy

Unfortunately, our trip through Northern Italy was almost at an end =( However, we got to end it with two days of sightseeing and of coruse, SHOPPING, in Milano! Like I mentioned in one of my previous posts, the amazing thing about Italy is that every city is completely different than the previous one. In addition to some quick exploring and sightseeing, we met up with my good friend Stefano T!

Stefano and I enjoying some granitas in Sforza’s gardens! (Photo by Cat)

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Day 8-10: Veneto, Italy

If you’ve heard me recount tales of my semester abroad, a name you may remember is Stefano, the craziest Italian of them all! He’s hilarious, an amazing chef (his pizza and coffee is to die for!), an incredibly good host, and just a total riot to hang out with! He’s also completely insane, but in a good way =D

Day 5-7: Emilia-Romagna, Italy

In this portion of the trip, we explored the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy! We met up with Andrea (a friend from when I studied abroad in Denmark) and his brother, and they took us on a gorgeous hike in the mountains!

Historical charm, delicious food, amazing architecture, and good company – who could ask for more?

Marcel/Fabio (he is having a slight identity crisis) enjoying the sun atop Pietra di Bismantova in his oversized Armani shades!

This is my new favorite quote: “L’amicizia si misura in metri di pizza” – friendship is measured in meters of pizza!

Keep reading for photos of awesome buildings and amazing food! =)

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Day 1-4: Paris, France

Hello all!

So remember how I promised I’d try and update every day? Yeah, well, screw that! However, now I have decided I will make posts encompassing the explorations of each city, so less random posts, better content (hopefully) – and perhaps they will be more timely as well!

Our trip begins with a journey to the City of Light on the River Seine – a beautiful place none other than Paris!

Additionally, this is Marcel, the travelling hedgehog. He likes food, toadstools, travelling, Armani, and being in photos! You may be seeing quite a bit of him in the next few posts!

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Dang hoodlums. The lot of them!

Today, my sister made a substantial and generous donation to the young Parisian hoodlums. In the form of… her entire wallet =(

But other than that slight mishap Paris is pretty sweet =) From meeting up with old friends and Kebab #1 to napping in the sun at a gorgeous park and watching the sun set above the Paris skyline, it’s been a good day. Now, to cure this ridiculous jetlag!

Love and a kebab,