A Travellerspoint blog

December 2018

Happy New Year! Hauʻoli makahiki hou!

IMG_20181231_174921_739.jpg We had a rocky start on our spontaneous trip to Hawaii. It all started the morning we were checking in for our flight. Since we were in a rush to mark ourselves present for the flight. Tony jogged back, after parking the Jeep. On that 1.5 mile run his kidney stones dislodged themselves and began to move. During the flight he noticed a dull pain and by the time we arrived on the Island, settled down in our hotel room he urinated blood. Soooo... yesterday he spent the day in the ER, had a CT scan where the doctors confirmed two big old kidney stones. Too big in fact, to pass them naturally. As soon as we return to California he needs to see a urologist and have the stones blasted. He received a bunch of meds to last him for a while, so he can stay somewhat comfortable while we are on vacation. 90_20181230_140058.jpg
We woke up around 7am, antsy to pick up our rental car. While Tony picked up the vehicle, I packed our backpacks and got everything ready to check out of the hotel.
By 10a.m. we made it to the other side of O'ahu and stopped at the registration office on Bellows. hoping for an available cabin. Anytime I called to make reservations since arriving on Friday, I have not been able to reach anyone. Showing up in person was our only hope. We got extremely lucky and were able to book a cabin until the end of the week. Even the receptionist said, that it is rare for them to have anything available. I just know in my heart that we were meant to be here this week. Somehow everything has worked out for us, even if we felt crappy at times. The beauty of this island takes away from feeling sick and overshadows the sinus aches and kidney stones. 741A1AC8F34207A8EC53C82F287C3C7A.jpg
We couldn't believe our luck! Excited we dropped off our backpacks in the cabin, bought groceries that should last us until Friday and finally walked the beach. 74184A46C65DF9A87FA71312229C610D.jpg 7418D9EB065FF68310FE3BACDED62E18.jpg 7419912BBFC46C5C6B07F7646E3B4D1D.jpg
We sat outside for the remainder of the night, wishing our families in Germany, on the East coast and Texas Happy New Year and finally crashed before it was time to ring in the New Year here in Hawaii. 7417C35CC3D6768FACB631A09C18F6DC.jpg

Posted by Meike Carter 03:31 Comments (0)

Finishing 2018 with a surprise trip

Well, where do I begin...After all the Christmas excitement fizzled, reality kicked in and we were getting bored. Initially we wanted to see the snow Christmas day after opening our presents, but our Jeep didn't meet California's standards when driving through the mountains. Even though it is 4 wheel drive, snow chains are required. Scratch that idea.
While I was in the midst of tidying up the bedroom, Tony asked me how bad I wanted to see Hawaii. Pretty darn bad, I tell ya.
Several space available flights are scheduled to take off within the next 48 hours. Instantly my excitement level went from 0 to 10.
I love Hawaii! Back in 1994, when I was 17 Tony and I met in Waikiki and fell in love. Our Journey started in Hawaii and it will always have a special place in my heart. E7AD700FDF400F6DA275BCA815A6DD00.jpg
After deciding that a Hawaii trip would be a good decision while there is no school, Tony signed us up for the flights, we packed our backpacks and prepared everything for the next day. It was not easy falling asleep, too excited and constantly wondering if we are forgetting something and going over what still needed to be done in the morning. We showed up for roll call, marked ourselves present and waited anxiously for our name to get called.
That never happened! The seats filled up with very large families and in no time flat the 73 available seats were taken.
Good thing, we are laid back and flexible. Flying like that requires a ton of flexibility and patience! At least we tried, accepted the fact that this wasn't the day to fly space A and we
returned back to our RV, spending the rest of the day editing my next YouTube video.
I wanted to stay productive and take advantage of our internet while we were still at home. Flights can pop up unannounced at any time and you have to be prepared for it. I felt pretty good having completed my newfound passion of movie making.
Friday was uneventful, no flights at all ,but that didn't bother me too bad, because I developed a raging cold from a few days earlier, hiking Point Reyes. Hot cups of TheraFlu and my fuzzy socks kept me comfortable, while I was laid up on the couch with the laptop right beside me, getting more editing done.
Saturday morning bright and early at 5 am the coffee maker was purring, while we confirmed several flights in the morning to Hawaii. Today will be the day! Freshly showered, we arrived at the terminal with our backpacks, camera bag, 2 massive cups of coffee and a whole lot of hope. As we entered the terminal one roll call was already in session and we thought we were too late. Panic started to kick in. Quickly I ran over to the counter to mark us present, while Tony returned the Jeep to the long term parking lot. Well, the first roll call was completed without our names being called, but we weren't worried because there was another flight lined up. We did not make it at 6 am and we did not make it at 7am.....but the 8am roll call we finally made. When I heard our name I actually jumped for joy. 180_E7AB6E9CC504BFF729AA3E2CD513A3AC.jpg 180_E7ACBE17E560CA2DB3049F4ED4973B33.jpg Within an hour we were checked in, on the tarmac and airborne on our way to Hawaii. 20181229_111302.jpg

Posted by Meike Carter 13:24 Comments (0)

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!
This is our first Christmas in the RV and the first Christmas without our 20 year old daughter Michelle. It was definitely untraditional, slightly emotional yet completely stress free. I remember the holidays as being jam packed with grocery & Christmas shopping, holiday parties at work and for each kid, presents for teachers. Homemade goodies for work, and usually long drives in the car across the states to visit family. We noticed that nobody would return the favor and visit us, but for the kids sake we wanted to keep the tradition, no matter how far away we were stationed.
By the time the holidays were over, we were so worn out but had to get prepared for work again. There was very little time to decompress and chill before diving back into swing of every day life.
This year is different. We don't have to return to work, Landon is homeschooled and we live in our house on wheels, allowing us to create our schedule as we see fit and changing our backyard along the way. We have less space to live in, but we use all the space wisely and feel comfortable with what we have. Any knick knacks or clutter is definitely a no go. With that easy new stipulation Christmas shopping gets much less complicated. We will scale down to only the items necessary instead of buying several random things just to fill the space. I have been paying more attention to the quality of a product and ask myself if it's really a want or a need item. Once a month I go through my drawers and cabinets just to reevaluate what items have not been used and donate them once a bag fills up. It is not that hard getting rid of things, it honestly feels uplifting knowing that I might help someone else who can make better use of it.
Tony knows that I am always working on my YouTube channel, that I need extra equipment for my GoPro, carrying cases for equipment and hiking gear. That narrows his range of presents for me down and I can improve on my hobbies. This Christmas Tony gave me some microphone buffers because he knew that I was embarrassed about the crackling sound of wind overshadowing some of my audio. Still new at editing, producing and narrating my videos , it can get pretty intimidating when the equipment isn't putting out top quality.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that I need to embrace imperfection in order to learn from it and produce one video better than the last.
One thing I learned is to stay passionate about your work and to continue growing in your field of "happiness ". A hobby does not have to turn into a business, in some cases it can make you seize up, not allowing the creativity to flow. It starts to feel like a chore rather than a hobby. If that happens just take a break and find some inspiration.
Well, traveling has always been a hobby of mine, ever since I was a little girl. Raised in Europe, my parents traveled every summer with me and my sister. One summer, we tent camped along the Adriatic sea in Italy. Some bad weather moved in overnight dumping a tremendous amount of rain. I remember the tent caving in under the pressure and the water rising in the tent. That night we had to run to the car and seek shelter. The next morning a beautiful sunrise woke us and my sister and I wanted to play on the beach. The sand was covered with beached jellyfish and I was in awe with these wobbly creatures, trying to examine them.
One trip over 30 plus years ago created a passion and everlasting memories.
Since then I continued traveling and always get excited to visit a new place. My grandmother used to say that I have the "Wanderlust" wearing my traveling boots with ants in my pants. It's true! I can't seem to stay put in one place for long. The world is too beautiful for me not to explore.
Find your passion and create those memories, it has more value than any material items.
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! IMG_20181217_163557_785.jpg

Posted by Meike Carter 11:02 Comments (0)

Hoping to see whales at Point Reyes, CA

B4B545ABB085AA3A70982E21B2D52A51.jpg Recently I found out about the whale migration along the west coast, with Point Reyes being the perfect place to watch these gentle giants.
The migration usually takes place mid December and continues throughout the Spring. With Christmas just a few days away, we thought it would be a great opportunity to drive all the way out to Point Reyes. B4B5C415F5EBF7888280C936637D7D6F.jpg 20181222_145101.jpg
One super cool fact is, that once you cross over the San Andreas, you leave behind the North American plate and enter onto the Pacific plate. The landscape looks different, very lush with juicy green hills and tons of cattle farms. Wildlife is abundant here, you might just have to wait for a herd of cows to cross the road. 20181222_140839.jpg
Our first stop was at South beach, where Tony and Landon spotted a seal in the surf. We tried to get closer to get a better look but it disappeared. 20181222_140434.jpg 20181222_140400.jpg
After a while we were eager to make it to the absolute point of the island in hopes of seeing a whale. We poured ourselves a cup of coffee and waited. No whales today.
But we did see some obnoxious elephant seals on Chimney Rock. That beach was covered with them. 20181222_152857.jpg 20181222_153523.jpg
We were quite amused with their behavior, the sounds coming from the beach were like a bunch of clogged drains getting flushed. Most of them layed like oversized slugs in the sand, while the ones awake were fighting and running each other off the beach, chasing one another in the water. Landon really got a kick out of that.
We drove back to South beach hoping to catch a sunset. I almost decided against it, because it had been overcast for the majority of our visit. 90_CBD1CF15BB72151EC37E1439E97971CB.jpg 20181222_162715.jpg
Miraculously a sliver of sky opened up and this is what we saw. It was so breathtakingly beautiful, no editing was necessary. CBD0DAAFF7FCF6A6B38C3CC8F5C867D1.jpg CBD06B32CF4E9F44EA139812B3E4B45E.jpg 20181222_165333.jpg
Thank you Point Reyes for making this day so memorable !

Posted by Meike Carter 00:58 Comments (0)

Season 2. Winter Journey

Welcome back to our Journey! 20181207_165601.jpg
Merry Christmas from Travis AFB. We finally arrived at our final destination for this season, after traveling 4000 miles. It is bittersweet I have to say. I did not want to stop, thinking of settling down for a few months did not sound appealing, but at the same time I saw a new potential in our future. We can get our much needed doctor appointments knocked out, our poor little Jeep can get worked on and our home can get thoroughly cleaned.
We reserved our site until May on a very conveniently located campground on the Air base. The days Tony is in college I don't have to worry about feeling stuck in our rig, because all the necessities are within reach with the grocery store, shopping center, hospital and restaurants all within walking distance. Our first day alone turned out pretty eventful, Landon and I marched all the way to the passenger terminal at the base airport and we came back with useful information for our upcoming surprise trip. IMG_20181217_163557_785.jpg
Our first expedition took us an hour from here, to Marin Headlands. In that area are approximately 6 National parks. You know that we have no choice but to see them all! I love our parks. 20181217_121423.jpg
That morning the local weather channel advised of massive waves along the coast of San Francisco area. The waves are called "Sneaker Waves" and appear suddenly. In the past people walking the beach have been swept off the beach by Sneaker Waves. Usually they are 20- 30 feet high, but can reach up to 50 feet. This was way too intriguing and we had to see that in person. 20181217_131801.jpg
The waves were definitely powerful, with my camera I was not able to zoom out far enough to capture the size of the waves further away. They were extremely huge! The ocean roared while I marveled at the beauty of it. IMG_20181217_163557_785.jpg
We hiked along the cliff, tasting the salt in the air. 97F7898CC48A270AE93DD8138182F8CF.jpg
As we hiked back, we picked up more brochures for the other parks nearby. But first and foremost we had to see San Francisco's most famous landmark. 97F6D9E799980C96E7454CD1A6DC21C1.jpg
Our day was very eventful and I fell in love with the Bay Area. 20181217_130143.jpg 20181217_141258.jpg

Posted by Meike Carter 13:23 Comments (0)

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