Beach Bum

Summer in February is still a foreign concept to me, yet here I sit in the blistering heat. It’s forecasted at 100F today, with a heat index of WHAT THE EFF WHY IS IT SO HOT.

Despite our advantageous location of being in the Northern Beaches, I’m still feeling the dredge of summer as I type this. No air conditioning reminds me that this was once a penal colony. I believe the harshness of the environment here created a race of super humans known only as: ‘Strayans.

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Summer Days: Sydney, Australia

Summer in Australia announces it’s presence as a warm breeze that wafts lazily into the family room while you’re enjoying Pavlova and a cold, Australian white. Unlike Florida summers, often overwhelming in nature, Australian summers are like a warm security blanket. With them come all the perks one would expect to find in the warmest part of the year; Lazing around on beaches, eating mangos, getting sunburns.

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Nagano’s Snow Monkey Park

Despite the apparent lack of snow, I decided the Snow Monkey Park in Nagano might be worth a visit. You know those pictures of monkeys bathing in hot springs with snow in their fur? Yea, those are taken at this place. We drove up some pretty windy, random roads in an effort to find this place. As we pulled up to the gates, Kris and I noticed that there was a 500yen fee to even get into the parking area. We debated turning around for about one minute, when, right on cue, a monkey strolls up and sits in the drive. Sold. We pulled our coins out faster than you can say “Nagano Monkey Snow Park.”  Continue reading

Hakuba in The Off-Season: Summer

Summer vacation has finally began! It was a long time coming, with many days of hard work, but it’s such a relief to have some time off! What does one do with time off? Well, this girl gets in her car and drives, drives, drives.

I drove about 6 hours northeast to Hakuba, famous for hosting the downhill ski event in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. Hakuba means “white horse” as those who first came saw the mountains and thought of a white horse. It’s a small village that for most of the year is fairly quiet. However, come winter it is normally crawling with ski and snowboard enthusiasts from all over the world. My travel buddy, Kris, and I decided to try out this winter wonderland in the summer to see what we could see.  Continue reading