California Road Trip 2019 | Adventure's with Shayna & Ryan | Santa Barbara | Monterrey | San Francisco | Yosemite | Joshua Tree |

It’s no secret that I miss California. Growing up there my whole life I never quite knew the extent of how lucky I was to live in perpetual sunshine, dry heat and right smack dab in the middle of every mountain, ocean, desert and city I could drive too within an hour or so. Having lived in Georgia these past few years each time I visit home I see just how much I took my surroundings for granted. There are so many landmarks and places that I could have spent a ton of time at and I never did. So Ryan and I decided to visit these places we never get to see anymore on our trip out for an engagement session. Here is our adventure!

After landing at LAX we drove straight to Santa Barbara. If you’ve never been, it’s an awesome place! I planned our second anniversary in Santa Barbara and we loved it. The people are nice and laid back, the smell of the ocean is in the air and all around there is just a general warm feeling in this place. Our hotel had bike rentals and we took them out for a spin after settling in and biked through downtown. We managed to catch the sunset before heading up to Northern California.

And of course during this beautiful sunset I hear crunching……

After he finished his Doritos, not sponsored, we got to enjoy the rest of the sunset.

Our next adventure was a drive up to Monterrey, one of my favorite places in the world. It’s where Ryan proposed to me and where i’ve always felt relaxed, which is a tough thing for me as I’m massive type A. We were headed up North when all of a sudden, out of NOWHERE we saw a sign for an Ostrich farm. Yup, you read that right, and after we realized that was exactly what we read too we turned the car around!

We all but ran out of the car to feed them and if you aren’t following us on Instagram, well you missed out on that feeding frenzy. Luckily they also had Emu’s and they were very cute and very well…interesting looking.

After too much time spent with the Ostrich’s and Emu’s we drove all the way to Monterrey and found the same spot we stopped at on our way home after Ryan Proposed.

We spent the next day driving through Monterrey and then were off to San Fransisco.

We didn’t spend a ton of time in the city as we had already visited a lot of places in San Francisco before so we wanted to explore a bit more of the places around/outside of the city. There was actually a pretty neat couple of locations that Ryan had saved years back so we decided to visit a big tree tunnel and an abandoned boat that used to be a big photography spot.

Our next day we drove to Yosemite. Ryan’s family used to camp at Yosemite every year when he was a kid and he always talked about how much fun they had and all of the cool things they got to do and see. Honestly it made me a bit envious that we didn’t have this annual family tradition growing up but hey, at least I was able to visit with him. I definitely want to go back and camp whenever we get the chance too, or glamp lol.

Despite not being able to camp we were able to at least go for a good ole hike. We originally were going on a somewhat small trek to see Vernal falls but upon the hike we were met with trail closures. Honestly we didn’t even think about the weather or fact that this was winter and meant that there would be trail issues so we didn’t really bother to check. BUT we decided to keep going and we were able to see it from above which was a pretty cool view!

Yosemite was beautiful and although we were sad to be leaving we were also heading to Joshua tree and were excited to leave the cold weather to enjoy some sunshine in the desert.

We drove the remainder of the day to Joshua Tree and of course were met with traffic so we barely made it to the park in time for sunset, but it was SO worth it!

We spent the night in town and attempted to get a sunrise in the Joshua tree valley to see the park during the day before heading back home.

BTW if you ever ask me to pose for the camera, you will without a doubt receive the above pose, so Natural I know.

There is so much to be explored in our home state and I feel like such a dummie for not going out and exploring more that was literally in driving distance. At least we were able to experience them now and have more adventures to come in the future re-visiting these places and seeing more of their beauty.

Iceland | Part 2 | Adventures with Ryan & Shayna

Well hello and welcome back to Part 2 of our Iceland Adventure! If you haven’t checked out part one stop everything and click here! Ok, now that you’re caught up, lets jump right in! We left off with Diamond beach, which quite honestly was amazing to see. There were a lot of people up at the crack of dawn with us to see this natural phenomena which was really neat to see all of the photographers out and about. After Diamond beach we headed to hike and see the Svartifoss waterfall. This hike was super easy, honestly most sights and hiking in Iceland are pretty awesome since you drive right up to the majority of them! This place was literally out of Game of Thrones or honestly any fantasy movie. The trees were incredibly curvy, the foliage was all fall colors and the rock formations were just so interesting. Needless to say this was an awesome hike!

And of course here’s me attempting to make a funny…

Remember that time we drank straight from the stream? Well we continued to do the same thing and took our reusable water bottle with us to drink fresh Icelandic stream water, again we didn’t die so I’m still assuming we did the right thing! Plus Ryan being a water connoisseur says that it is the best water he has every tasted. After the hiking and water fall we were on the road again to our next destination which was to see a glacier! Now I know there are many Glaciers in Iceland but this one had hardly any visitors since it was so early in the morning and this spot was probably one of the most calming places I have ever been too.

Well except for Ryan’s drone. That was not calming hearing “Crap! It lost signal!” echoing through the canyon. *Spoiler alert, he didn’t loose it*

This image is the Glacier that we were at. We drove quite a ways to get to it and were hiking along the left side of the image to see the melted ice.

On our drive we found one of the oldest churches in Iceland along the way which was really neat to see. They built the church into the ground almost and it was one of the most interesting churches i’ve ever seen before. The really weird thing was the graves though, they looked built up, which was a bit unsettling.

After the church we drove to our next destination which was adjacent to Diamond beach and housed the majority of the iceberg pieces that would eventually wind up in the ocean or pushed back to the beach. This day turned into a very clear gorgeously cold day that really showed off the colors of the island and the water, it was epic!

After spending some time here with the icebergs we took off on our journey to the east side of the island. Now during this lovely journey we had quite the adventure with our tire. It kept deflating so we’d inflate it and keep moving on. There was a point where we knew we had a complete flat tire, were in the middle of nowhere and just kept driving super slow till we saw civilization. We eventually were able to pull over and change to the spare, its very dangerous to try and pull over anywhere in Iceland! They actually warn about this on the plane ride there! We were so far from any dealership or any rental car place to exchange it so we just kept going and hoped for the best! We figured we’d be good because we saw our first Icelandic cat in this town. Logic right?

After that endeavor we were able to drive to our next stop, Vestrahorn. It is a three peaked mountain in the Hvalnes peninsula. Although Ryan was excited for the landscape he made a huge mistake by not realizing that there was horse farm connected to this peninsula. Needless to say I was jumping fences and spending my time with the horses. He actually thought he lost me until he realized that I never left the horses, I mean why would I?

*first picture is of our first Icelandic kitty sighting! He was so cute!

I practically yelled at Ryan and told him to pet the horses. Once he did I think he finally learned why they are just such amazing creatures. I’ve always had an irrational love for horses and have never been afraid of them, they’re just so beautiful and so amazing to be around. I can’t explain the feeling but it’s almost similar to how I feel about cats haha. Ok enough gushing about Icelandic horses. After leaving them, begrudgingly, we began our journey to the quiet side of Iceland through the east Fjords.

This drive was so calm and stunning, apparently no one travels to the east fjords during the winter time because driving conditions are awful and well, there’s not much going on besides fishing and industrial buildings and farming. I think we were lucky we drove on this day because it was clear for us to see at night but man oh man was it windy, I mean cold somewhat rainy wind that just shook the car and chilled the bones. BUT stunning.

I knew once we reached our Air BnB we would be out for the count, excited to shower and be happy to go to our next adventure. I knew originally I would have to split this blog up and thought I could do it in 2 parts, but I SO thought wrong! Yes that’s right there are tons of more images! and part 3 is to be continued! Thanks for following along on our journey!