Shayna

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 3 | Adventures with Shayna & Ryan

Alright! We’ve made it to Part 3! If you haven’t read all about the beginning of our trip you can find part 1 Here and part 2 Here. We ended our last blog on our drive through the fjords and chilling weather. Well the weather got much colder throughout the night and as we started our morning we were met with snow. We had a long drive ahead of us through the snow to visit the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss.

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Dettifoss

The falls are 100 metres (330 ft) wide and have a drop of 44 metres (144 ft) down to the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. It is the largest waterfall in Icelandin terms of volume discharge, having an average water flow of 193 m³/s

I tried to get a better vantage point from climbing rocks because this waterfall was so massive. You can see the image of the other woman standing way to close for comfort on just how large the falls are. I kept my distance since it was windy, freezing cold and very easy to fall! We got stuck in this spot for a little while due to the lack of snow chains and tourists who kept getting stuck. We eventually got out and were on our way to our next location, the Hverir Geothermal area, which was incredibly smelly due to the sulfur! We didn’t stay there very long and were off to our next spot.

Our goal was to hit as many Game Of Thrones locations as possible during this trip, in case you weren’t aware, I am a HUGE Game of Thrones nerd! Follow me on Instagram and i’m sure you’ll be amused over my nerdy tendencies. Anywho while in this are on our way to Akureyri, we found Jon Snow and Ygritte’s cave!

Stunning, yet deadly. The caution signs to not touch or get in the water were everywhere BUT we still climbed in for this shot! Next we went to Godafoss before settling in for the night on the northside of the island. We were really hoping to be able to see the Northern Lights as the north side is typically the darkest but it was a cloudy evening and we didn’t luck out.

After our night in Akureyri we began our decent back to Reykjavik and stopped at the Black Church, Kirkjufell mountain and some black sand beaches.

We found the same waterfall the Arya was training at with the Hound before Brienne and Podgrick found them. It was probably my favorite waterfall we discovered!

After this we drove for quite sometime before heading back in to Reykjavik. Our next day we explored the city, discovered a viking ship (architecturally speaking), fell in love with their concert hall! I mean, it’s stunning! We had lunch and then discovered some amazing street art.

The next day we got our photo’s taken by a local Photographer Kaja! We spent the majority of the day with her and had the most amazing time! Despite it being incredibly cold and really windy we were able to get some really great photos from our session! Visit my Instagram to see some of those images! The next day we were back to adventure time! As an Anniversary gift I bought tickets for us to go inside of a volcano, yes you read that right! He really wanted to see the inside of this volcano and me being the adventurer I thought why not?? This volcano was taller than the statue of liberty and was originally discovered by brothers who went all the way down below on a rope! An added bonus for me was to see a Red Arctic Fox near the volcano site!

Our next day would be spent driving the golden circle and somewhat relaxing.

This last image is also from Game Of Thrones! It’s the same road the Wildlings were walking on with Jon after they had breached the climb over the wall.

On our last day we drove fairly early in the morning to Vík to see the plane crash. Ryan was obsessed with visiting the plane wreck.

On our way back we found the strangest and funniest thing in Iceland! A Fence of women’s underwear and bras! We searched the story behind it and it turns out that the land owner hung her own bra from the fence and then shortly after more and more women started hanging their bras so it just became it’s own tradition.

Our last night on the Island we had reservations to go to the Blue Lagoon. Originally I had wanted to go during the day to see it in the sunlight but they were booked, and I am so thankful they were! While eating out one night we met fellow travelers who were simply the best humans to meet during our travels! It turns out that they had the same reservation time as us for the Blue Lagoon! We didn’t take any photos at the lagoon as this was meant to be a relaxing time so hopefully I can help paint a picture for you.

The lagoon is comprised of a natural geothermal hot spring and the water is in fact blue. There are tons of people in the pools and although you are able to drink in the pool and wear mud masks there is still a clean feeling to the warm water. The location itself is huge and offers a ton of other amenities. Thankfully on the night that we went and met up with our friends the night sky was clear and we could easily see the stars. While chatting in the water we met two of the employees who worked for the blue lagoon (Both were gorgeous) and throughout our talks we were asking about the northern lights. I had already determined in my head that we wouldn’t be seeing them this trip and would have to make another trip (darn lol). Somehow in the midst of warm water, crisp cold air, great people the lights at the blue lagoon went black. The locals yelled Icelandic to each other and our Blue Lagoon friend pointed to the sky and like magic, Green appeared from thin air and started dancing in the sky. This was probably one of the most incredible moments I have ever experienced and I will never forget the feeling of staring up at the sky and watching the northern lights from the Blue Lagoon.