Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog » http://tellthemisaidsomething.com Travel and life in a big digital ball Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:49:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The RiSE Lantern Festival in Las Vegas (video) http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/26/rise-lantern-festival-las-vegas/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/26/rise-lantern-festival-las-vegas/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:44:32 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5993 Our American road trip has already taken us through some amazing parts of the U.S. There is such a variety of landscapes and lifestyles in this one country that it almost boggles the mind. It is one of the reasons … Keep on reading

The post The RiSE Lantern Festival in Las Vegas (video) appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
Our American road trip has already taken us through some amazing parts of the U.S. There is such a variety of landscapes and lifestyles in this one country that it almost boggles the mind. It is one of the reasons we decided to road trip here, because by crossing one border you have available to your eyeballs a plethora of sights and sounds as different from one another as all the countries of the Americas put together.

From our humble start in Arizona up through Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon and now Montana. We have crossed through deserts, around coastlines and into the snowy mountains. This is an amazing country and I can see why Americans like it so much!

This post is about just the one state though, Nevada, and just the one event in that stateand more specifically, the RiSE Lantern Festival in Las Vegas. Vegas was for me a complicated mix of emotions. It is a very man made place, but it is surrounded by incredible natural beauty which I think is often lost in the glitz of the Strip. Not so much by the locals but by every movie ever made of the place.

RiSE lantern festival las vegas

Thanks to Holly though we got to see another side to Vegas. A pretty unassuming place most outsiders have never heard of, The Jean Dry Lake bed. My two best experiences in Vegas just so happened to be in this eerie place. The first I have already mentioned and made a video of, that is my Paramotor flight which you can watch here (it is pretty spectacular, check it), which I had planned to do even before we knew where RiSE was going to be held. The second, the previously mentioned RiSE Lantern Festival!

Enjoy the video… (make sure you watch it in full HD / 1080)!

Thanks to Holly and a gracious friend who gave up her tickets for us, we got to take part in and watch the Rise Lantern festival out in the Mojave desert. The premise is simple, a group of people coming together and sending their individual hopes and dreams out into the world by writing on their lanterns and letting them soar. Aside from the reason, it is an amazing thing to see.

I am not one for expunging emotion most of the time. Possibly because of how much I have seen and done I am generally pretty blase about most things. I enjoy my life thoroughly, but I don’t tend to get overly emotional about much. I have to admit though, in the moment when thousands of lanterns went up simultaneously, and thousands of people cheered them on, there was a little something inside me which took flight right along with them.

RiSE lantern festival

RiSE festival las vegas

lantern festival las vegas

RiSE lantern festival las vegas

The Rise Lantern Festival was a spectacular event and one I am grateful to have been a part of. So thank you very much Holly and the aMasongraceproject.com for letting us be a part of it. Peace

For more stuff n’ things to your inbox, subscribe to the blog here. And subscribe to my Youtube channel here.

The post The RiSE Lantern Festival in Las Vegas (video) appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/26/rise-lantern-festival-las-vegas/feed/ 5
A creature of comfort http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/23/creature-comfort/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/23/creature-comfort/#comments Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:11:03 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5969 I have stayed in a lot of places in my time on this Earth, moving around more than a teenage orphan with behavioral issues and a penchant for substance abuse. The abodes I have aboded in range from a sleeping bag on wooden … Keep on reading

The post A creature of comfort appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
I have stayed in a lot of places in my time on this Earth, moving around more than a teenage orphan with behavioral issues and a penchant for substance abuse. The abodes I have aboded in range from a sleeping bag on wooden boards in the freezing Himalayan mountain ranges to cowboy cabins in confusingly named towns with a crazy man who screams at you for driving faster than five miles an hour.

I stayed in a hostel room in China filled with unwashed barely above the poverty line travelers with dreadlocks / dirty hair and five star hotel rooms in Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand.

I have stayed in hotels, motels and the occasional holiday inn. Under Democratic, Theocratic and Communist rule. I have lived in cold places, hot places and places which were just right. I lived in all three stories of a hotel for months and spent a year in a tiny studio apartment by the beach. There is not a place or house type I have not lain my head for at least one night. Except maybe a barn, but what am I? Jesus?! No one sleeps in a barn these days…

All these fabulous places I have graced with my presence, yet I have never stayed in a place like this.

whitefish house montana

whitefish montana kitchen

What place is that? Well it all begins in a quaint little town in Montana called, Whitefish. A town so unassuming and adorable that you would never believe what resides deep within its squeaky clean bowels. Surely this is not the type of place you would expect to find so devious a premises. In the plant world she would be known as Dionaea muscipula, aka, the Venus Fly Trap. In the house world we call her, Temptress!

She just gets me. I have never been cradled and mollycoddled by inanimate objects to the point where I start to question whether maybe, just maybe, this house is reading my mind. I know it sounds crazy, but you haven’t seen the things I’ve seen. You haven’t opened the door to a world which can be controlled without moving…anything but your thumb. I’ve been there, I’ve seen things man…

There are a thousand little touches which make this place this place, comforts so subtle that occasionally I giggle softly to myself with a “of course it has that” look on my face, smirking and whispering “You go girl” in a way that only lunatics in straight jackets and people with Bluetooth headsets might appreciate.

I haven’t named the house of course because that is ridiculous, you can’t name someone elses house, idiot. That would be like looking after someone elses child and giving it an interim name while under your care. However, if I was to call out to the house when no one else was listening, I would probably call it something like Super Amazing, or just Miss Amazing for short. Miss and not missus because she is too special to belong to one man and amazing because, well, she is amazing, idiot…

From the moment I stepped over the threshold I new this was going to be a special five weeks. Greeted by a constant temperature emanating from the floor and soft lighting which accentuated her dark wooden curves and black and white color scheme, I did that weird solo giggle thing to myself and knew it was all over.

Bob and Wendy showed us around Ms. Amazing but their voices floated around my periphery as I took all of her in. I could see the well deserved pride in their eyes as they revealed one saucy feature after another to us. Built in coffee machine, always on hot tub, programmable rain shower with more heads than a mythological Greek monster and a hands free toilet with glute pleasing pre-warmed seat that just gets me, it just, you know, gets me…

whitefish bathroom

With every corner we turned and every cranny we peeked into more marvels availed themselves to us. Glorious things which have no business being here on this dirty mud ball of a planet and which I could imagine being features of my house in Heaven one day. The beds are super comfy, the microwave is huge, the fireplace comes on with the click of a button, THERE IS A VACUUM CLEANER THAT LIVES IN THE WALLS!

Click the image for a full scale version of the Vacuum Killer!

vacuum-killer

Every where you look there is something I didn’t know I wanted, but now I don’t know how I will live without. My life is forever changed. Damn you Bob and Wendy, damn you for letting us stay in your incredibly awesome house…

Yesterday I left the house for a couple hours, at least my body did, but my mind and my heart was curled up on the couch using the universal remote to control the lighting and features of every room. My soul had stretched out and thumbed on the fireplace then brought up Netflix on the super clear TV so that I might luxuriate the day away in spirit if not in body.

Today I don’t have the strength to fight its all encompassing embrace, so I think I will just let my body join the rest of me as I snuggle up in front of the telly, thumb poised on the all powerful remote while the toilet softly whispers my name in the background. Oh Ms. Amazing, you complete me…

If you want to share in the joy that is Miss Amazing, contact “The Lodge at Whitefish Lake” and ask to stay in “The Viking Creek Cabin“, your world will be rocked.

For really cool stuff n’ things to your inbox you should subscribe to my blog here.

The post A creature of comfort appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/23/creature-comfort/feed/ 8
Powered Paragliding Half Moon Bay in California http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/20/powered-paragliding-half-moon-bay-california/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/20/powered-paragliding-half-moon-bay-california/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 23:40:27 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5961 My second powered paragliding flight back in the USA was without a doubt a doozy with some fairly intense turbulence. It also marked my twentieth flight which when I look back over how hard it was to get to this point, … Keep on reading

The post Powered Paragliding Half Moon Bay in California appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
My second powered paragliding flight back in the USA was without a doubt a doozy with some fairly intense turbulence. It also marked my twentieth flight which when I look back over how hard it was to get to this point, makes me fairly proud of the achievement. Enjoy the video and then read on.

It was tougher than I thought it would be this powered paragliding business. It takes a lot in the early days to make yourself leave the ground behind, especially once you leave training and it is just you. A lot of people quit pretty early on, which is why there is a lot of almost new equipment constantly going up for sale. It takes a lot to see this thing through, but man what a reward.

This flight just outside of San Francisco at a place called Half Moon Bay was my craziest yet, but it also showed me that I was truly in the game, because instead of just freaking out, I thought about what I needed to do and kept my composure. Nothing terrible happened, and I rode the crazy turbulence in to a successful landing, it was pretty scary, and extremely exhilarating.

powered paragliding half moon bay

Half moon bay powered paraglider

Sarah and I are world travelers, we have been to some amazing places and seen a lot of amazing things, but flying is some next level living. After awhile the travel can become a bit stale and needs to be spiced up, added to or changed altogether. It may sound strange to those who work full time jobs and yearn to travel, but when you do it as a lifestyle, travel itself becomes as monotonous as working, well maybe not that bad.

We do try to change up our style of travel and locations a lot, and this has kept things fun. From cold to hot climates, mountains to oceans, temples to caves, backpacking to staying in amazing homes when our friends give us the opportunity. We like to mix it up.

The Powered Paragliding is my mixing it up, and even though sometimes the fear creeps back in and I feel like I don’t want to keep doing it, I know now that I always will keep coming back. Even more so than the travel, flying makes me happy, it gets my heart pumping and challenges me in a way nothing else ever has. When I setup for launch, when I am floating hundreds of feet above the Earth and when I land safely back on Terra-firma, I feel truly alive.

For stuff n’ things to your inbox, you should subscribe here!

The post Powered Paragliding Half Moon Bay in California appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/20/powered-paragliding-half-moon-bay-california/feed/ 8
Staying in a Yurt! What next? http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/16/yurt-living/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/16/yurt-living/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 16:17:37 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5943 When I think of Mongolia I think wide open spaces, cold weather, horses and huts / Yurts. For some reason almost everyone knows what a Yurt is, in case you don’t though, it is a mobile hut thingy that nomadic Mongolians … Keep on reading

The post Staying in a Yurt! What next? appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
When I think of Mongolia I think wide open spaces, cold weather, horses and huts / Yurts. For some reason almost everyone knows what a Yurt is, in case you don’t though, it is a mobile hut thingy that nomadic Mongolians live in, glad I could clear that up for you…

So when we were given the opportunity to stay in a Yurt, imagine my skepticism as I pondered staying in a mobile hut while the ever advancing North American winter enveloped us. Sure the nomadic Mongolians have survived hundreds of years living in Yurts, but I prefer my nomadic abodes to be less nomadic, and to have indoor plumbing, heating, a claw foot bathtub, and a skylight. Which is lucky because this Yurt had all those things and more.

trinity Yurt

The Yurt we stayed in along the Trinity River in California is a modern and exceptionally comfortable place to lay ones head. We can thank Glamping Hub again for finding this beautiful out of the way hidey hole for us, because left to our own devices we would not even have known that it existed and very likely have missed this part of the country all together.

Trinity River yurt stay

Trinity river Restaurant

Trinity River views

Trinity river hotel

From the get go we knew that this would be a great experience, the owners took us on a guided tour of the area pointing out the best places to hike and introducing us to the adjoining restaurant and coffee shop which they run (they actually roast the coffee there!), and encouraged us to have a wood fired pizza the following day, which we did, and it was sensational. Aside from the grand tour we were also treated to a delicious dinner cooked by the multi-talented owners themselves. Below is a fantastically staged shot of Sarah pretending to help.

Trinity River Cafe

Trinity River Restaurant

Our gracious hosts

The star of the show though was the Yurt, which is saying a lot when you are surrounded by mountains and eating wood fired pizza on the edge of a crystal clear flowing river. Trust me when I say, you ain’t never seen a Yurt like this. Stepping through the door it was obvious that we were going to enjoy our stay here. Warm air greeted us as did the claw foot bathtub, ridiculously comfy bed, lounge area (complete with lindt chocolates thank you very much!) and a central second story with another bed and skylight. Try packing that on a horse!

Yurt skylight

Yurt bathroom

Yurt lounge

Yurt dining

We stayed for two nights in the Yurt and found it hard to leave each morning because of just how comfortable it was, and after lounging in the bathtub listening to opera music I had to finally admit that I am becoming a bath person.

I had never heard of the Trinity river before, and would never have found this amazing area by myself, but I am glad we got to see it and it is a great reminder that when you are open to change and the unexpected, unexpectedly cool things have a much better chance of happening.

Hiking Trinity River

To follow the journey you can subscribe here, see you in your inbox!

The post Staying in a Yurt! What next? appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/16/yurt-living/feed/ 4
Cowboy livin’ in the USA http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/10/cowboy-livin-usa/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/10/cowboy-livin-usa/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 18:23:31 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5929 I’m a cowboy, and on a steel horse I ride. That horses name is Senor Squeek and she is a Transgender Nissan Pathfinder. My cowboy credentials although limited, are I believe enough to warrant my making up the completely original first … Keep on reading

The post Cowboy livin’ in the USA appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
I’m a cowboy, and on a steel horse I ride. That horses name is Senor Squeek and she is a Transgender Nissan Pathfinder. My cowboy credentials although limited, are I believe enough to warrant my making up the completely original first line of this post.

Cowboy Nevada City

Just what are those credentials you ask? Keep reading and you’ll find out, or if you don’t want to know, do not keep reading, because spoiler alert, you will find out if you do.

It all started thirty three years ago when a bouncing baby boy was born in a dusty barn in Mexico, that boys name was Carlos, and about fourteen thousand miles away in a hospital bed in South Africa, I, Tyrhone, was also born.

Cut forward thirty three years and four months and we find our hero Tyrhone (not Carlos, I don’t know where Carlos is) driving his transgender Nissan Pathfinder with all his worldly possessions and his girlfriend, who has made it very clear she is not one of his “possessions”, into a little Californian town called Nevada City. Which is in California, not Nevada. Which is even more confusing than the first part of this story.

nevada city

Nevada City, in California…

How did we end up in this little town? Well that is not a long story. We got on to glampinghub.com and looked for something on our route North, and when something like a Tipi pops up and you don’t feel like laying your hat in another motel, you jump at the opportunity. Not too high though because Tipi’s are not very wide, and unless you are in the middle you will hit your head, and without a hat on, it’s gonna hurt.

Tipi Nevada City

The town of Nevada City has a history, and it is a good one. Something to do with Chinese people and miners. It was explained to me and I was listening, but my brain already has too much knowledge, and any more just tends to slip away. What currently lies there though is a historic little town, with delicious coffee and some delightfully friendly people, I am not sure about the rest of the people, only the delightful ones I met, but I assume the others are pretty good to.

The delightful people I refer to are the couple in who’s Tipi and Cowboy cabin we stayed for three nights. Aside from being incredibly nice and showing us around the property, they also shared an incredible home cooked meal with us, which when you live on the road is something you seldom see. Well we see a lot of home cooked meals when staring through the windows of strangers, but we don’t get to partake in many. I am just so grateful that we could join Chris and Vic in the dining room rather than having to hide outside their window while munching down on another burger (although I do love burgers…mmmmmm…burgers…)

Cowboy dinner

And yes! When I said Tipi earlier, I fully meant Tipi! Like the ones the Indians lived in back in the day. I am not going to explain the Tipi to you as that was definitely more Sarah’s jam and so she will undoubtedly write about it, even if I did put a feather in my hair and pose at said Tipi’s entrance.

I want to tell you about the Cowboy cabin we stayed in the following two nights, when the cold made it apparent that we were no longer in Mexico at the height of summer. What is there to tell? Well, I loved the cowboy cabin!

cowboy-cabin

nevada city cabins

I loved it because I have a beard now, and men who have beards should do things like stay in a wood cabin and make fires. We should be whittling wood and skinning rabbits while spitting in a spatoon “’cause I dun chewed my chewin tobaccer”, but I also loved it because it was comfy, it was warm, and it was different!

cowboy stove

While in the cabin I got to make a fire from the already chopped wood, so my lack of skills with an ax were never once disclosed, and I got to use a blowtorch to light that sucker, so my inability to start a fire with already chopped wood also never saw the light of day.

So as I lay there in my jim jams, laptop buzzing away at the foot of the bed. A fork full of Pe nang Thai curry and some ice cold Diet Coke from the refrigerator sparkling on the night stand. I realized something, I was now a cowboy, and it was really easy.

For stuff ‘n things to your inbox when I write ‘em, subscribe here pardner.

The post Cowboy livin’ in the USA appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/10/cowboy-livin-usa/feed/ 7
Powered Paragliding Jean Dry Lake Bed Las Vegas http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/02/powered-paragliding-jean-dry-lake-bed-las-vegas/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/02/powered-paragliding-jean-dry-lake-bed-las-vegas/#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 16:40:38 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5900 Back in the USA for the first time after my training here just over nine months ago and I had my first Powered Paragliding flight in an amazing location, the Jean Dry Lake Bed outside of Las Vegas. I put … Keep on reading

The post Powered Paragliding Jean Dry Lake Bed Las Vegas appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
Back in the USA for the first time after my training here just over nine months ago and I had my first Powered Paragliding flight in an amazing location, the Jean Dry Lake Bed outside of Las Vegas. I put together what I think is my best video yet (below) of my first Powered Paragliding flight back in the US, I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think.

THE SYNOPSIS!

The night before we had attended a lantern festival in the very same spot (video coming soon), and the burnt out lanterns strewn across the lake bed made for a pretty cool feature on the otherwise barren sandy expanse (don’t stress environmental types, people came to pick it all up as we left). We woke up at dawns crack and took the half hour drive to my launch site as the sun was rising. The bed itself was covered in a light haze as I unpacked and prepped my Paramotor and wing.

Shortly after, with a successful forward launch I was in the air flying above some amazing new scenery. Gotta love this Powered Paragliding thing! Because of the big open and FLAT space the dry lake bed offers, I was able to practice some low flying and work on stabilizing my height to cruise closer to the ground. It seems true what they say that the more you fly these things, the more you start enjoying the low flying stuff over the high flying, when you are up high you move pretty slowly (or seem to), and although beautiful, not a lot of stuff happens. When you fly low though it is more like racing a car that drive in a third dimension and you have to think fast and actively pilot more.

The goal is to eventually be able to do foot drags along the sand / beach / grass / snow and start doing some real tight turns. That is a little way off though as I am still building my confidence. I have to say though, this flight really felt like a turning point for me. I worry less now about the whole setup process and about what might go wrong and just focus on doing a thorough pre-flight check and then enjoying myself. I think I am starting to realize that I got this! I know what I am doing and if I don’t get slack, there is no reason for anything to go wrong. Sure one day I might catch an errant wind and have a bad launch or landing, but I also might not. The fear is leaving and I actually crave getting in the sky now with almost no trepidation.

THE VIDEO

Aside from the awesome Powered Paragliding video above, we also got some pretty cool photos of me flying around the lake bed.

Paramotor Nevada

Dust getting picked up by a few cars arriving for clean up

Powered Paragliding Las Vegas

A great view from my Paramotor about 300 feet up

Powered Paragliding Nevada

A lot of landing spots!

Paramotor Jean Dry Lake Bed

Flying over SOS and Senor Squeek, amazing to have loads of space to practice low flying

THE CREDITS

Thanks to SOS for showing us around Las Vegas and for helping me pig out on some awesome food, for taking us to the Lantern festival and for coming along for a very memorable Powered Paragliding session in the wee hours.

*I fly a Blackhawk BH125 Paramotor with a Kestrel weight shift cage and a Velocity Elektra Paraglider, and either I am just the best at forward launching or my wing is super easy to get up, probably the latter!

Let me know what you think of the video in the comments below, and subscribe to the blog here to get updates when there is new stuff. And subscribe to my Youtube channel here for great travel and Paramotoring videos.

The post Powered Paragliding Jean Dry Lake Bed Las Vegas appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/11/02/powered-paragliding-jean-dry-lake-bed-las-vegas/feed/ 10
Yosemite in style http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/10/29/yosemite-style/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/10/29/yosemite-style/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:11:09 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5879 I love the outdoors, which may come as a shock because most of you know how much I love all the things that happen indoors! I mean, what’s not to love? How could any modern human being not want to … Keep on reading

The post Yosemite in style appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
I love the outdoors, which may come as a shock because most of you know how much I love all the things that happen indoors! I mean, what’s not to love? How could any modern human being not want to sit on a big comfy couch and be entertained by a magic box while gorging on freshly cooked anything and ice cold diet coke before tucking oneself into a nice warm bed safely hidden from bugs and wild animals by four strong walls?

Convenience man, it’s what we have been working towards throughout recorded history.

Reading the above you would be forgiven for wondering how I could also love the outdoors. Read on, there is more to this story…

On our way to San Francisco to meet up with our very generous friend Sam to live in her equally generous sisters house for a wee while, we were passing though Yosemite National Park, famous solely for its connection to an animated bear named Yogi and his somewhat less famous side kick Boo Boo, and not at all for its devastatingly beautiful scenery.

But the story starts a little before that, in a dirty smelly hovel of a motel surrounded by crackheads and irate cops.

You see, the earlier part of our tour into the US was marred by a somewhat unpleasant stay in the aforementioned hovel, but as is so often the case in life, even this unpleasant happening led to an amazingly fortuitous expansion of our travel plans, and even I would say, our lives. The morning after as we checked each other for accidental needle punctures and prayed that our car still had all four wheels, an idea struck our sleep deprived brains, “Lets get out in ‘The Nature.'” From this idea sprung a slurry of Google searches which almost by chance fell upon our saving grace, Glamping Hub.

Sarah had wanted to do a bit of camping in the US, and me loving the outdoors as I do was equally keen to do some hiking. What I was not keen to do, and believe after a night or two Sarah would feel the same way about, was sleep in the outdoors. I mean, I love hiking. Walking along mountain paths, breathing in fresh air, watching life go about its day while gently skirting its delicate surrounds – it’s like meditation for your body.

Yosemite yoga sarah somewhere

What I don’t like, is being dirty, sweaty or uncomfortable for long amounts of time. I like to do ‘The Nature’, and then go wash it off in a hot shower before tucking myself away in a comfy bed that sits at least two feet off the floor.

I like to be in nature, then leave it behind for the evening before coming back to it refreshed and craving its soothing yet somewhat icky embrace. For me this does not happen if I have to sleep in a tent surrounded by equally icky people. I need a comfy place to sleep, to shower, to make coffee in the morning, and a throne on which to read the newspaper, if you catch my drift.

Yosemite bath

Do you have my ducky?

Enter Glamping, and the fine folks at glampinghub.com. Aside from the occasional one liner in a movie or TV show, I had never really thought of Glamping much, in fact I just thought it meant having a really posh tent! As it turns out, there are glamping places all around the world and most of them offer my dream camping experience: walls, shower, toilet.

Yosemite Glamping

Try getting all this in a tent!

Our horrific night in the Crack Motel led us to want to experience the outdoors more, and my desire to not have to sleep outdoors led us to Glamping, which has led us to an awesome way to live during the times between house sits. So here we are, having completed our first bit of glamping in an amazing tree house in Yosemite National Park, and excited to have a whole new way to travel which doesn’t involve dingy motels or cramped tents, Hallelujah!

So now I can go for a wondrous eight mile hike with Sarah in some of the most beautiful “nature” in the world, and then I can come home and wash that nature right out of my hair before settling on the couch for a couple hours of Mike & Molly on the goggle box. What a delightful way to exist.

WHAT ABOUT THE HIKE AND THE NATURE?

Well the hike was incredible. After eating a lot (nothing new for me) in Las Vegas, I needed to average things out a bit and get some exercise. Enter an eight mile hike up and down three thousand feet of cliff side surrounded by insane vistas, squirrels, a woodpecker and a surprising amount of Australians.

Woodpecker Yosemite glampinghub

It’s hard to describe how scenic Yosemite national park is, so I made a load of videos which I will turn into one ridiculously amazing video (along with the five others waiting in line), but for now some still images will have to do. Please enjoy.

P.S. Rob of hungryescapades, we climbed way higher than you and therefore had approximately four times as much fun.

Hiking the trail Yosemite national park

We hiked to the top of those cliffs.

Glamping in Yosemite views

This view of Yosemite popped out of nowhere on our first day driving in the park.

Yosemite trees

If you get lost in the forest, follow the moss, or use a GPS.

Yosemite hiking glamping

“Sorry what Sarah? Look out for the WhAAAahhhhhhhhh!…”

Yosemite point trail hike

Where we had our celebratory pic-a-nic basket

Glamping in Yosemite

Sarah washing her Crystals in the stream.

Yosemite mountain hike

Yosemite Valley in all its glory

For more stuff direct to your inbox, subscribe here, it’s a lot of fun.

The post Yosemite in style appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/10/29/yosemite-style/feed/ 17
Introducing the Grand Canyon http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/10/13/introducing-grand-canyon/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/10/13/introducing-grand-canyon/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:42:24 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5827 Prepare yourself for a spectacular schmorgasboard of photographs, this is the Grand Canyon!! *but first a bit of background, enjoy… Here we are several days into our American Road Trip, and despite a rocky start by somehow spending a night in the … Keep on reading

The post Introducing the Grand Canyon appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>

Prepare yourself for a spectacular schmorgasboard of photographs, this is the Grand Canyon!!

*but first a bit of background, enjoy…

Here we are several days into our American Road Trip, and despite a rocky start by somehow spending a night in the dodgiest part of Phoenix with crackheads and cops outside our motel room door (no doubt discussing Global Warming or the financial crisis, or prison), we are now well and truly into the spectacular side of this country I have longed to visit since I was knee high to a grasshopper.

We left Phoenix in the rear view mirror a bit disappointed to not have seen the good stuff I know is there, but also ready to move on from a particularly yuck night which had some unexpected benefits (more to come on this).

It didn’t take long for things to start looking up as about 5 minutes into our drive we were in a beautiful part of Phoenix which we had somehow skirted the day before while looking for a place to stay.

From the get go, the view became spectacular and stayed that way right through to our destination, Flagstaff Arizona!

We passed through the spectacular red rocks of Sedona on the scenic back route and knew that this was finally what we had been looking for. We had decided not to stay in Sedona because it was out of our price bracket and instead booked a few nights in Flagstaff at what has turned out to be an incredible gem of a find. A clean, comfortable motel room walking distance from the old town and close to my favorite things: food creation stations, otherwise known as restaurants!

Sedona Arizona

Scenic Sedona Drive

Scenic Sedona Drive

Sedona Diner

We have stayed here for 4 nights so far! With day trips around the area to beautiful parks and scenic drives. Today was lunch at Mormon Lake which is more of a lake bed than an actual lake, but is even more scenic because of it.

Mormon Lake Arizona

The Coup de Grace however is the ridiculously beautiful Grand Canyon, which somehow manages to live up to the hype heaped upon it by every one who has ever been there. One of the things which continues to slap me in the face with its wowness is seeing these things I have witnessed on TV shows and movies; in comic books and photos all my life. From simple diners to staying on the iconic Route 66 to this the most Grande of grandness, The Grand Canyon.

Feast your light suckers on these spectacular images from our drive along the southern rim and a brief ten minute walk down a trail, because why use your legs when you have wheels?! Well, one day I would like to do the rim to rim hike, but for now the drive was enough to keep me wanting more.

IMG_0857

IMG_0869

IMG_0877

IMG_0880

IMG_0887

IMG_0891

IMG_0895

IMG_0909

IMG_0920

IMG_0923

IMG_0932

IMG_0945

IMG_0962

IMG_0975

IMG_0999

IMG_1013

IMG_1014

IMG_1024

For more cool stuff and to follow our journey, subscribe to the blog here.

The post Introducing the Grand Canyon appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/10/13/introducing-grand-canyon/feed/ 7
On the road again http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/10/03/road/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/10/03/road/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 15:53:27 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5807 Here we are two days out from jumping back in the car and hitting the road again. It is a funny old life this one we lead. There is a strangeness to living in a place almost long enough to … Keep on reading

The post On the road again appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
Here we are two days out from jumping back in the car and hitting the road again. It is a funny old life this one we lead. There is a strangeness to living in a place almost long enough to call it home, and then packing your bags and leaving. Add pets to that eqaution and it almost feels like leaving home all over again.

This is not a bad thing of course, and the three months we have spent here in La Penita is not the longest we have stayed in one place (a year in Playa del Carmen will trump time in one place places for some time methinks), but for some reason leaving here really does feel like leaving home.

Maybe it is Chica and Matu the owners cats who we have come to love way more than they love us, or the incredible views and beach style living which makes it feel like we are leaving something behind. I’m not sure what it is, but I am almost as sad to say goodbye as I am ready to be travelling again. I say almost because despite my mysterious nostalgia, the itchy feet itch more these days than ever before, and three months in one place seems just about my maximum now.

La Penita cats La Penita cats

La Penita has been a blast, we have explored the area from a local point of view, especially by having the car to get around with, and we have spent equal amounts of time relaxing and working at the house and exploring at the numerous beaches dotted along this coastline. We have eaten local food and dined at “The Posh Place” on the hill overlooking La Penita and Guayabitos.

la penita vista restaurant

I also got to practice my flying more here than anywhere else and added a number of flights to my mental log book, not to mention getting to watch a sunset from seventeen hundred feet in the air, a personal first for me and a pretty epic moment all around.

paramotor la penita mexico

It has been fun living here in La Penita for these last three and a half months, but it has also had it’s challenges. One of the things you don’t really consider about house sitting, is that the reason people need their houses sat is because they are leaving them behind, most often to get away from bad weather. Although the weather here in La Penita has not been terrible, it has been hot during our time which is the off season for a reason, and I don’t do heat well. Fortunately the house is situated at the top of a hill so there is often a nice breeze blowing, and when there isn’t there is always the Air conditioning!

I am ready to leave the heat behind, and also the beaches and jungle for something a little different. We have pretty much spent the last 2 years in a perpetual summer while traveling with the occasional spurts of cold weather locations. I am ready for some proper cold, some inland scenery, a forest or two and perhaps a ton of snow to play in. I am ready for the great Northern winter in the US of A.

london cold

the last time I was cold, England 2013

In a couple days we will jump in the car and drive up to Arizona, we have a loose plan made great by the kind offers of friends to stay with them in between a few confirmed house sitting gigs (Thank you very much Sam, Bob & Wendy and Holly / Taunia / whoever takes us in). We will be doing a bit of camping in places I have been hearing about on the telly since childhood, places like Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. We will be staying with friends or in friends houses in places I am not even entirely sure exist outside of the goggle box like Las Vegas, San Francisco and the mountainous expanse that is Montana.

All of this over a a few months before heading off to the Colorado Rocky mountains for a season of snowboarding in the birthplace of snowboarding, and then, well and then who knows. So far we have found that loose planning tends to lead to the most interesting outcomes, it is just fortunate that loose planning is really all we are capable of.

The next few months are going to be a blast and something entirely new again. If things had of gone according to plan we would probably be in Central America right now effing and blinding at having to pay off another “official” not to get our stuff confiscated. Instead we are heading North to the land of amazing food, smooth roads, amazing landscapes and in a complete surprise to myself as to how I am looking forward to them, rules and regulations!

I say it all the time to Sarah, in fact we often have long conversations about it, but dude, I seriously love my life. Who gets to live like this, I mean, c’mon, this is awesome! Sure we have our down moments, and sure things often go wrong or we get worried about stuff, but that’s because we are human and humans are dumb. The truth is if God was handing out lives and asked which one I wanted, it would probably be this one, or maybe Damian from Vampire Diaries, or Batman…

So thank you very much La Penita de Jaltemba for being yet another incredible part of an incredible journey. We did not know you existed before stumbling upon your doorstep, but I am so glad we got to know you, laters.

la penita de jaltemba la penita de jaltembala penita de jaltemba

For more stuff and things subscribe to my blog here, it’ll be good for you.

The post On the road again appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/10/03/road/feed/ 10
Sunset Powered Paragliding flight in Mexico http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/09/24/sunset-powered-paragliding-flight-mexico/ http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/09/24/sunset-powered-paragliding-flight-mexico/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 21:43:09 +0000 http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/?p=5792 What is it like to watch a sunset over the ocean from seventeen hundred feet in the air while sitting on your own private swing? Watch the video to find out and then have a read about an amazing day. … Keep on reading

The post Sunset Powered Paragliding flight in Mexico appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
What is it like to watch a sunset over the ocean from seventeen hundred feet in the air while sitting on your own private swing? Watch the video to find out and then have a read about an amazing day.

After two weeks without any Powered Paragliding because of storms here in La Penita, Mexico, I finally managed to get up again! We loaded the Blackhawk BH 125 Paramotor onto the tow rack of our car and drove down to the beach at around 6pm to start setting up for the evenings flight.

The weather couldn’t have been better. There was a nice steady 5 mph breeze blowing off the ocean and it was just late enough for the temperature to have dropped to bearable levels. We even managed to park in the shade of some Palm trees thanks to the low sun.

I took out the Paramotor and my Velocity Elektra Paraglider and in 10 minutes had everything laid out for the flight. At this point a local fella on his way home came to watch the proceedings, machete and 2 litre coca cola in hand! After explaining to him in English (he didn’t understand) about how I was going to be flying this machine, and him explaining to me in Spanish (which I barely understood) where he lived and that I should fly over his house, he stood quietly on the sidelines and watched events unfold with a curious “Yeah right” grin stretched across his face.

Paramotor launch Mexico

Another couple showed up while I was warming up the engine, and the guy told us how he works in Turtle rescue and was actually there to pick up a load of baby turtles to release that night. After a friendly chat they got out their phones and recorded the launch. Somehow the spectators actually made me more focused and after the paramotor engine warm up I was ready to go!

My launch was a perfect reverse with about 10 steps before leaping for the skies. I climbed quickly near the ground because of the wind, but up at about thirty feet I didn’t seem to be climbing much and realized I had left my trims out (which makes the wing faster but also makes it harder to gain height), which is also why my launch was so quick! I pulled in the trims which slowed down my speed and I began to climb (it is also the first time I adjusted my trims in flight, which changes the shape of the Paraglider and feels a bit scary).

The view was spectacular, watching the sky turn orange then red as the sun set over the ocean from seventeen hundred feet in the air is almost beyond words. It was definitely one of my most amazing Powered Paragliding flights to date.

Powered paraglider at sunset Powered paragliding beach

Later in the flight as it was getting dark the air got really bumpy, and the wind went from about 5mph on the ground, to about 20mph a hundred feet up. Then when I came in to land it suddenly dropped to nothing before changing direction at the last second so that I had to run like hell and wasn’t sure I could run it out at the speed I was going, but somehow I did and had a safe landing. The weather here in La Penita Mexico is very hard to judge and has only a passing resemblance to the weather down the road in Puerto Vallarta so I have to be extra careful, which is why I do not fly as much as I would like to.

Powered paragliding sunset

In about 15 minutes we had everything packed and strapped and ready to go, by this point we needed torches to find our way around but luckily I have my Paramotor packing system down pat and we were on our way home in no time, but not before stopping in with our new friends to look at the baby turtles!

Turtle sanctuary Mexico

This was an amazing Powered Paragliding flight made even better by the locals who stopped to watch me fly, and by the baby sea turtle Sarah got to hold (see the end of the video). Thanks for watching and let me know what you think in the comments.

Subscribe to my blog for updates to your inbox. And subscribe to my Youtube channel for the latest videos.

The post Sunset Powered Paragliding flight in Mexico appeared first on Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog.

]]>
http://tellthemisaidsomething.com/2014/09/24/sunset-powered-paragliding-flight-mexico/feed/ 0