Throwback Thursday: I can’t ski but I sure love Mammoth, CA

As the title states- I can’t ski. In fact, I don’t even really have a desire to learn. The thought of flying down a mountain on two sticks totally freaks me out. That being said, I love California’s ski paradise: Mammoth, CA! Prior to getting invited to a wedding in summer of 2017 I’d never heard of Mammoth but I’ve learned much more after visiting and hearing about what a popular winter training destination it is during the February 2018 Winter Olympics.

To get to Mammoth from CT I opted to fly from Hartford to LAX and then rent a car to take the five hour drive into the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. Though this was a long drive I’m glad I did it because it was a great opportunity to see red rocks, deserts and parts of California I’d never seen before!

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About an hour into the drive
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Getting my first glimpse of the mountains

In between wedding festivities I got a chance to check out three destinations that make Mammoth a great place to see when the snow has melted!

Hot Creek Geological Site

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Heading down the paved path to the creek

The first place we visited was the local Hot Creek Geological Site. This volcanic basin was formed 700,000 years ago. Water filters down from the mountains through the earth’s crust and becomes super heated to create the steaming creek. The sulfur scented water is beautiful to look at but too hot to touch- the creek is fenced off and swimming is strictly prohibited.

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Views of snow capped mountains adjacent to the creek

Best part? Parking and visiting is totally free!

Reds Meadow

Reds Meadow is a gorgeous valley that can be accessed by parking at the Mammoth Mountain Main Lodge and taking a shuttle bus 1,400 feet down into the valley. There are lots of things to see in Reds Meadow- the shuttle has ten different stops you can get off at to get to what you want to do. We opted to first get off and see Devils Postpile National Monument.

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The impressive rock formation was formed by lava and glacier ice over 100,000 years ago. It was officially protected as a national monument in 1911.

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We got back onto the shuttle and road a couple more stops down to Rainbow Falls. We hiked a relatively short, steep trail down to the falls which are aptly named for the rainbow present in the water’s mist.

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Bus passes for the Reds Meadow shuttle are available for purchase at the Mammoth Adventure Center and cost $8 for an adult ticket.

Wild Willy’s Hot Springs

Despite the kooky name, Wild Willy’s Hot Springs was my favorite place to visit in the Mammoth area. These are natural hot springs that are completely free to visit and use all year round.

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The smaller of the two pools you’ll find at Wild Willy’s is naturally heart shaped!

This was my favorite place because I felt so enveloped in nature. The springs are out of view from the parking lot so there aren’t any cars (or really any part of civilization) in sight.

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Humans weren’t the only ones enjoying the springs- a herd of cows was grazing nearby.

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Have you ever been to Mammoth, California? What’s your favorite part of this mountain paradise?

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Stay adventurous!

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Throwback Thursday: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland

When looking for things to do in Edinburgh, the Royal Botanic Garden was at the top of my list. I love visiting public gardens when I travel because they’re beautiful and usually cheap or free. Even on a misty, cool fall day the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens didn’t disappoint. We got to enjoy low crowds too which made many areas feel like our own private backyard.

The gardens are open daily but hours vary so check their website. Admission is free however they offers options to see additional indoor exhibits for a small fee. Here is some of the beauty that awaits you:

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The gardens have 10 glasshouses on the property

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The cottage in the background was dedicated by the royal family

I loved it here and would go back in a minute. I’m sure it’s just spectacular on a sunny, clear day when you can see the city on the hillside beyond the gardens. Have you been to the Royal Botanic Gardens? What’s your favorite time of year to visit?

In other news- the adventures continue in 2019 as I head to Walt Disney World on Friday! If you want to follow along keep your eyes on my instagram story for live updates.

Stay adventurous!

Goodbye 2018, hello 2019: A year in review

I can’t believe another year is in the books! I wanted to review my December stats and goals, and take a look back at all the places I got to see in 2018.

December stats:

Number of total posts: 38

Number of total views: 790

Most viewed post: Throwback Thursday:Haleakala National Park in Maui, HI

Most commented post: runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: 4 days, 4 races, 48.6 miles

Number of Twitter followers: 742

Number of Instagram followers: 499

Number of Pinterest followers: 207

Number of blog subscribers: 83

December goals:

  1. Find or make three group boards on Pinterest- I didn’t do nearly as well at completing my goals this month. I don’t regret it because the reason I didn’t spend as much time on my blog was because I was enjoying my holidays with family! I totally failed at this goal- didn’t make or find a single group board aside from the one that I was already part of. I’ll keep this in mind in the future.
  2. Curate my Pinterest boards to 50 pins each- I added significantly to all of my boards but none of them are over 50 pins. I’m ok with this- I want to make sure I’m adding good content and not just pinning things to meet a number quota.
  3. Tweet 4 times per week– I didn’t tweet four times a week but I think I did better at sharing original content and engaging with other people.
  4. Beat out my old record for a post with the most views or comments- Success! I beat my old record for most views this month by writing about Haleakala National Park!

Memories from 2018:

January- I started off 2018 with a massive accomplishment by completing runDisney’s Dopey Challenge. I recently finished a series of posts on the experience that you can read here.

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February- My sister and I celebrated her 30th birthday in a grand fashion by cruising to the Bahamas on Norwegian Cruise Line! We got to visit the beautiful Atlantis resort- read about that here.

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March- I turned 25 this year- a quarter century old!

April- I made my first trek to Hawaii! I got to see so many beautiful things and I have lots more things I want to share from that trip in the future. I’ve already shared about visiting Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm here, and Haleakala National Park here.

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Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

May- Spring was in full bloom in Connecticut this month and I took advantage of visiting the local park to check it out.

June- I did my first yoga at the winery class at Arrigoni Winery- I love that place! You can read more about it here.

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July- This month I enjoyed a week long family vacation in Rhode Island. One of my favorite memories from this trip was seeing Connecticut’s light houses on the Lights and Sights Cruise.

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August- I saw my first MLB game at Fenway park as part of a birthday celebration for my cousin!

September- I started September off by visiting Rosedale Farms and Lost Acres Vineyard on Labor Day Weekend! I also started blogging this month!

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October- This month my mom and I took our girl’s trip to upstate New York. We got to see some beautiful fall foliage and drink delicious wines. I’ve written lots of posts about this trip but one of my favorite’s is this one about visiting the Olympic Ski Jumps in Lake Placid!

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November- I was busy at work so I could save up money for my 2019 adventures.

December- As I mentioned earlier I’ve been more removed from the blog this month as I’ve been spending lots of time with family and friends. My mom and I made a final wine trail visit to Hawk Ridge Winery in Watertown, CT to enjoy their holiday decor.

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My 2019 goals:

  1. Start a Master’s program– I’m excited to go back to school and am hoping to start in the spring.
  2. Travel as much as I can afford– Already have lots of trips on the roster. I plan to enjoy these and add more if the opportunity arises.
  3. Reach my one year anniversary of blogging– I’m comin’ for ya, September 2019!
  4. Continue to grow my blog– Of course I want to continue to grow my blog and related social media but I hope to remember why I started blogging in the first place- for fun, not followers!
  5. Race more half marathons– In 2018 I ran two full marathons which was awesome but I want to scale back and spend more time appreciating the half marathon distance.

Happy New Year! Thank you for your continued support- wishing anyone reading a happy and healthy new year. Stay adventurous!