Posts Tagged With: photography

Breaking Ones Own Expectations

July of 2013, Welly Size 10

My Dear Readers,

I never expected for school to completely take over my life. Today I came upon my poor little blog and it needed some love. It’s literally been six months since my last post because I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I haven’t even been on WordPress! Well, I’m back baby, and better than ever!!!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m an extremely cautious person. I hate being in trouble, so I always try to learn all the proper manners, laws, and other important tid bits that others may not think of. And I don’t like to make unsafe, chance-y decisions. So when I got into a car with a New Yorker and two South Africans and drove around the Burren to the Cliffs of Moher I was absolutely astounded at myself.

In America you don’t hitchhike if you can help it. Rather untrustworthy of others in general, we are self reliant on getting from place to place unless it’s public transportation. This isn’t the same in Ireland; staying on the farm, everyone who wasn’t American talked casually about hitchhiking to different sites, and seemed surprised at my reluctance. Being a young female, there is an instilled fear of traveling in America. I think it’s from watching too many crime dramas.

So when I met the lovely New Yorker named Elena who offered to let me tag along with her and two South Africans named Cameron and Cameron as they drove around The Burren, I never expected to take them up on the offer. So I left Galway and began a whole new experience with complete strangers and managed to have an adventure that can never be compared.

We got on the road and once more the gorgeous expanse of Ireland just took my breath away. If you’ve never seen just the average view of Ireland, then you are missing out. Even living in New England which is very green and gorgeous, there is no green like Ireland green.  I mean…..

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We made a few stops along the way…

Dungaire Castle

Dungaire Castle

Cameron and Cameron! And moi!!!

Cameron and Cameron! And moi!!!

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To snap some truly amazing pictures…

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We stopped at the beach!!! DSC02468DSC02480

I had no bathing suit… But that didn’t stop me.

The water was fantastic!

The water was fantastic!

Until we finally made it to the infamous Cliffs of Moher.

DSC02538Due to Ireland’s famously rainy weather, the fact that we made it to the Cliffs on an unbelievably gorgeous day was incredibly lucky. And I did not waste a single second. I’m only posting a few of the pictures I got to take, but believe me, I took at least a hundred.

DSC02541 DSC02545 DSC02553 DSC02576 DSC02579 DSC02591 DSC02593 DSC02614 DSC02621 DSC02625I even managed to face one of my most powerful fears: heights. I’ve never been a fan, especially of man-made heights. But the Cliffs definitely made me feel rather ill.  If you walk far enough you can reach an area of the Cliffs that doesn’t have suicide barriers  as you may have noticed in my previous pictures. Well, I managed to stick my head out over the sheer edge of the Cliff, and stayed there for several minutes. After rolling far enough away from the edge though, I promptly rolled up into a ball and had a panic attack. But afterwards I felt proud of what I had been able to do; I had faced one of my fears (though I still haven’t cracked it!). Believe me, if you want to give facing your fear of heights a go, the Cliffs of Moher is the place to do it.

Until my next adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Europe, Fresh Prints, Ireland, Past Tides, WWOOFing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lack of Internet = Lack of Posts, or How I Realized That I’m an Internet Addict

July of 2013, Boot Size 10

My Dear Readers,

So I want to address something that I’m sure many Americans have realized when traveling: we are spoiled.

My best friend tutors six years old, and she has horrified me with the knowledge that all of her students own either a tablet or a smartphone. This as a base is terrifying to think about, especially since when she also told me the kids had no idea what hopscotch is.

Desk, meet my head. Repeatedly.

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This! This is hopscotch!

I’m terrified of the day when children don’t know what jump ropes are until their obsessed over their appearance and weight and go to a gym with them.

So for those of you not living in America, yes this is sort of what America is becoming these days. Is it everyone? No, but as I’ve said, every stereotype lies a grain of truth. And America’s addiction to technology (which I admit I’m a part of with my own array of tech) has crippled our ability to enjoy anything outside the net universe.

I didn’t not think I was as bad as most Americans; I pride myself in enjoying the outdoors when I’m not being assaulted with work and school at the name time. But living in Ireland for one month, I’ve realized how addicted I am to the internet. The wifi at my farm was located at the owners house, and to use it you had to sit outside under a small awning that does not necessarily protect you from the rain that is so common in the land of green. So while you got to see two posts from me while I was actually in Ireland, I gradually lost interest in lugging my seven pound beast of a laptop all the way to the house and shiver in the cold. In a way, it helped my addiction to the internet, and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of my new tan- yes, a tan in Ireland- and going out to enjoy America for more than just the internet-verse.

Ireland in general, and I’m sure much of the world outside of America, has a distinct lack of technology. Many places are cash only, and lacks ATMs in order to allow you withdraw money off of your card. Being so used to every store having some sort of free wifi, I found myself floundering for an internet connection in order to send a text to family members to assure that I was still alive and not kidnapped while I was taking my couple days off out and about seeing what Ireland is like.

Because honestly, how can anything on the internet beat seeing this in person?

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Nevertheless, this next month is going to be filled with posts about my adventures in Ireland, one month late because internet access to post was lacking…

And I’m okay with that.

Until my Next Adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Fresh Prints, Ireland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Couperage Wine and Whiskey Bar

January of 2013, Boot Size 10

My Dear Readers,

Two months back, I had a gathering with my internship with SteamFunk Studios. In order to add a bit of fun in, I asked my darling sister if she would like a visit, seeing as I has to drive to Harrisburg, which is about two hours from where she lives in Philadelphia. Considering how fantastic my relationship is with my sister, she jumped at the chance for us to hang out even if it was only for a night. With this is mind, my sister thought that it would be nice to introduce me to a bar with cheap but delicious food. And when I say cheap I mean cheap: five dollars per serving!

Couperage Wine and Whiskey Bar is a popular little place in Philadelphia that my sister goes to every Thursday with her friends for an evening of casual drink and snacking. I won’t lie, I have no idea what the average size of a bar is, but it was crowded and noisy, but no in an unfriendly way. It was alive and friendly, and despite being an underager (not quite twenty-one yet) who doesn’t like alcohol in the first place, I was quite charmed by the atmosphere. Then the food came around.

Each of these compact, nicely portions pub food snacks were five dollars each. My sister and I split three little plates: mac ‘n’ cheese, cheese steak fries, and a pulled pork slider with chips.

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Mac ‘n’ cheese:

As far as mac ‘n’ cheese goes, this was actually kind of blah. I’m not sure what kind of cheese they used, but it wasn’t particularly strong, so it had a bland-ish flavor. But it wasn’t terrible! And I remind you, five dollars. And also I’m probably ruined taste-wise due my childhood addiction to Kraft…..

Curse you cheap American food….

IMG_2849Cheese-steak fries:

Holy crap are these the most delicious guilty pleasures I have ever tasty. I’m normally not one for french fries (not huge on potatoes), but this was quite possibly the most heavenly thing I’ve ever sunk my teeth into. The cheese was perfectly melty, the steak was delicious, and the fries just rounded off this perfect dish of delight. For five dollars. Seriously I can’t get over the fact that these were only five dollars.

IMG_2850Pulled Pork Slider with Chips:

You heard me right. Pulled. Pork. Slider. Totally better than your average hamburger or cheeseburger slider.  Seriously this was a teeny tiny basket of heaven. Add in those wonderfully thick cut potato chips that are perfectly salted and I felt like I was in snack nirvana.

There is nothing better than finding great deals on delicious food. If you are ever in the Philadelphia area and you’re looking for a place with good, cheap pub food and a variety of delicious drinks, check out Couperage Wine and Whiskey Bar. Their tasty little bites are absolutely phenomenal.

Until my Next Adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Fresh Prints, Past Tides, Sister Bonding in Philly | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Am Way Too Excited Right Now

March of 2013, Boot Size 10

My Dear Readers,

So… I was intending to post a story about my travels. Something of worth and sustenance with some humor thrown in as well.

But I simply cannot focus because I’m too excited!!!! Way too excited. So as you all know, I recently got my tickets to Ireland. So I’ve been hyper and excited about that. It’s inspired me to start planning what I want to take, and where I want to try and visit during my days off from working on the farm. And now I just bought a camera after a year of being camera-less, specifically for this trip.

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Look at how adorable she is!!!! But don’t be deceived by her size. She takes amazingly good quality pictures, and 1080p videos to boot! So it really looks like I’ll be doing the daily or every-other-day vlog that I want to do! And it’s going to be amazing. And thinking about the pictures and videos I’ll be able to take is making me even more excited. Thus I’m freaking out and completely unable to focus on posting a deep, insightful travel story.

My humblest apologies.

Have any ideas where I should try to go in Ireland (keeping in mind I have to take local transportation and I will only have two days away from the farm, max)? If you do, leave them in the comments!!!

Until My Next Adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Fresh Prints, Ireland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Don’t Forget to Wear a Coat!

November of 2010, Boot Size 10

My Dear Readers,

So, every trip has its screw up, and when I went to Guatemala for a few days to attend my uncle’s wedding, I made a minor mistake… I forgot to bring a real jacket.

Now, one might think, hey you’re in a tropical area, why worry about the lack of a proper jacket? That’s what I thought. But I was wrong. Boy was I incredibly wrong.

So here’s the story: My uncle’s wife is a native Guatemalan, and so they had two weddings. One was located in our home state for legality, the second was in Guatemala for his wife’s family. As bridesmaids, my sister and I manage to scrape together the funds to go for three days (a very touchy subject…. not something I’ll cover today). With our dresses and some traveling clothes, we set out for a country that had never really been on our list.

It took me three planes, my sister two; I had to fly to where my beloved sister lives so that we weren’t traveling alone. After that we flew down to South America, but had to take a smaller plane to Guatemala itself. It was the first time I’d ever boarded a plane by walking across tarmac (usually we have those little hallways straight to the door).

Our pilot boarding the plane

Our pilot boarding the plane

We arrived in Guatemala late afternoon early evening, and we went to dinner and check out our hotel. Our hotel that looked like it was enchanted…

Our bed with handmade textile blankets

Our bed with handmade textile blankets

The courtyard, complete with fountain

The courtyard, complete with fountain

This was the hallway. No joke.

This was the hallway. No joke.

Yeah, it was gorgeous. The food was amazing too. As a farming major, there’s just something about super fresh eggs that just makes your taste buds go to heaven… Man, were they yummy. Pair that with some re-friend beans (first time ever having them), fresh mango slices, bread, and fried plantains (swooning just thinking about them) and you have a very classy and beautifully presented breakfast. As a note, it’s hard to have coffee in America when you have coffee fresh from the number one farm in the world… I’m spoiled…

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Anyways! My uncle’s wife and her family offered to take my sister around the sight seeing. What that meant was leaving the town we were in and driving two hours around some mountains to get to another city surrounded by volcanoes and a lake. I do apologize for the lack of names, but I never got the chance to get the names of the cities and mountains before family differences stopped me. Nevertheless, I cannot get over how beautiful it was to make our way through the windy mountains to a city that was completely isolated. The only way to get there was by the long windy road, or by boat.

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We took pictures.

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We ate new foods.

Fresh made in the restaurant, including the chips!

Fresh made in the restaurant, including the chips!

Some of them were yucky.

Banana curry soup... yuck

Banana curry soup… yuck

Nevertheless the most important thing I learned in Guatemala was the one thing that I forgot to pack.

Bring a proper jacket (a sweatshirt would work too).

I should explain my thought process. Guatemala has a very warm climate, so I brought a little navy blue jacket that didn’t button shut. This proved to be my undoing as I realized that we spent the majority of our time in the windy mountains. We also traveled across a very windy lake!

Note how it's a half jacket.... Also the adorable little turtle backpack I purchased

Note how it’s a half jacket…. Also the adorable little turtle backpack I purchased

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Sometimes, yes, I took the coat off.

Sometimes, yes, I took the coat off.

 

Now yes, my arms were covered, but it was a half jacket that didn’t button/zip/attach at all. So all the lovely little breezes that whipped my hair straight up…

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Were mildly uncomfortable!

I wish I’d remembered at least a sweatshirt to cover up with. Nevertheless it was a minor issue, just a small lesson to be learned. But make sure y’all remember your jackets before you leave the country!

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Until my Next Adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: On Traveling, Past Tides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

How to Incorporate Travel Into Your Education

October of 2012, Boot Size 10

My Dear Readers,

So as a college student I have been very run down with the fact that school and work has pretty much absorbed my life; that hasn’t been taken up by those two categories I try to devote to my boyfriend and my family. This previous summer I did essentially nothing. At most I managed to go to the parks in my area like Canobie Lake Park (I actually went to that one a lot). With this in mind I didn’t want to repeat that next summer.

Since I’m already saving up for my Disney trip January of 2014, I had to make sure this trip was within a college student’s price range. And since I’m a college student who only works weekends, that’s make it even tougher. But I was determined to make it work. With this in mind I also had to consider my schooling: maybe I could incorporate travel into what I want to do for my future.

While right now I’m just your average Biology major, but its destiny is to be switched to Sustainable Agriculture and Livestock. I have a passion for nature and animals, and my ultimate goal is to bring good eating and living to those who think that they cannot due to their living situations such as those living in apartments or in the city. You don’t need to have land and a garden to have fresh herbs and other product. That is what I hope to donate to the world with my little slice of life.

But with this in mind I’ve been pondering about how I can travel while working a career that- frankly- deals a lot with staying in one place. How will I be able to get out an experience the world and all the culture that it holds?

I’m surprised I didn’t think of it earlier honestly.

WWOOFing!!!

I have no artistic ability, so no I did not make this graphic. I actually found it on another blog! SO credit to them if they made it: http://elleswim.net/2010/10/05/324-wwoof-in-central-america/

Alright make all your dog jokes now and get it over with. Trust me I giggled the first time too.

WWOOFing stands for World Wide Organization on Organic Farms. And it’s pretty much how it sounds. It’s a world-wide farming community that helps organic farms get in contact with volunteers who have a hunger for knowledge and getting their hands dirty.

One thing I love about travel is going off the beaten path and not only being able to experience the country but being able to experience the people. It’s the people that make up the meat of the cultural pie, and I prefer interacting with the people than just getting my picture taken at monuments. That’s just boring.

With this in mind, I will be WWOOFing in the country of Ireland!

This picture was taken by my father. All credit goes to him.

That’s right, Ireland. A country well known for it’s farmland and love for self-sustenance and organic practices. WWOOFing will be able to let me not only see Ireland, but to experience Ireland. I’ll be able to get in there, get my hands dirty, learn new foods, new skills, new sayings. I’ll be living and breathing Ireland!

Look at all that green!!! Again, this picture was taken by my father. All credit goes to him

I will be leaving not long after my anniversary with Tom in June, and I will be staying on a farm for about a month. I have about eight months to save, plan, and prepare for working on a farm, and taking day-trips out when I can. As the time gets closer to my departure I’ll be posting about home-stays and prepping for long term travel. I’m also more than willing to take suggestions and answer questions about WWOOFing, farming, travel, and any other burning questions that you wish to ask. Just leave a lovely little comment and I’ll make a post about it.

So I hope you all you travel lovers will be able to take a long look at what you want to do for your career, and maybe you’ll be able to find a way to incorporate travel into it! Because nothing is better than doing what you love in a completely new and foreign place!

Until my Next Adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: On Traveling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Tony’s Travels- AAC 2012

October of 2012, Boot Size 12

…. Oh, no, I don’t have an explanation for my absence  Take any combination of life, college, and been out traveling and that’s pretty much. If you want to know more about the everyday events of my life, I have a Facebook page and an Instagram (vivianaayre). It’s easier to be active there.  Anyways, on with the story!

Not long ago, Tony and I ventured up to New Hampshire to attend Another Anime Convention 2012 to have a truly nerdy time. During our time there, Tony met some pretty awesome people, and saw some cool cosplays.

First he chilled with some Narutards and one adorable little Kayleigh (from Firefly) cosplayer.

Then he helped out Misa on Wheels, New Englands favorite cosplayer on wheels, with her wheelchair. For some reason she wouldn’t let him install rockets. 

Check out Misa on Wheel‘s Facebook page! She’s an inspiration for all

Next was a trip to a Brentalfloss concert

Next Tony demanded to see some lady cosplayers. The pervert!

After harassing the ladies, security decided to have a word with him… but Tony has that kind of charm that just draws you in.

Overall both Tony and I had a blast with all nerds, sharing our love for anime and and good times with the rest of New England.

Until our Next Adventure,

Viviana Ayre and Tony

Categories: Past Tides, Tony's Travels | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Getting Closer!

August of 2012, Boot Size 10

My Dear Readers,

So it is now only a few hours away from being a week until my adventure at Camp Anime begins. My new costume (properly known as a cosplay) has arrived, and I’m super excited. Granted, I have a feeling this trip is going to be very busy considering I’ve discovered that the company I’m interning as a videographer for is running about 50-70% of the panels.

….. Oh Boy I’m going to be busy.

Other possible complications that I won’t mention will also be difficult and I might have to enter an element I’m not sure I’m comfortable with. But hey, you only live once right?

I feel like the term YOLO is a good mentality in its core… but is severely misused. It’s sad really, because it can be such a good phrase to live by when you travel. New food? Try it! Because you only live once. And now that I have gotten my opinion on YOLO out, I can continue my thoughts on Camp Anime.

I’ll be taking off Friday morning to head off to Connecticut, sadly by myself, but I’ll be meeting up with the people I work for. It’s not going to be a super long drive, but I won’t lie, long drives alone are rather brain draining. Having no one to talk to and share the driving experience with is kind of a bummer, but hey, you take what you can take!

I’ll be staying in Connecticut from Friday until Sunday before I head back home to a work meeting that night (lucky timing, neh?). During that time I’ll be running from panels to panel, taking video, taking pictures, and dressing up in cosplay. The nerdlet in me is screaming in excitement, and I’ll be honest with you guys that my fingers are trembling as I type this.

Current events wise, I started college this week! A light load this semester with only three classes and only going to school Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday will help me immensely. Hopefully I’ll be able to bang out some more travel posts for you guys, because I have regained access to my fountain of pictures, and I’ve been getting a few ideas. Alas, ridiculous hours have kept me from my keyboard. But my workload has been lightened with college, so I’ll hopefully have some more time to write. I swear I have a few drafts brewing, but nothing solid quite yet that I’m going to be releasing to you guys quite yet. Until then I’ll be working hard for you guys!

Until my adventure begins next weekend!

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Fresh Prints | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tony’s Travels: White Mountains!

July of 2012, Boot Size 10

I introduced Tony to you all not long ago; well, it’s time for him to share his experiences when he joined my mother and I on a trek up to the White Mountains.

Our first stop was at DirtVentures ATV Rentals. Tony hitched a ride with me on my ATV

ATV-ing is a lot of fun, and very adrenaline pumping. But despite being an all-powerful superhero in a superior suit of armor, he made sure to wear his helmet. It was a little big though…

After ATV-ing for two hours we all decided to kick back and relax. Taking the lengthy jaunt up to our hotel, Tony learned how lovely bed and breakfasts can be. We had made reservations at the Jefferson Inn, a huge house with some of the nicest accommodations.

Some of the accommodations including a movie collection for families to enjoy, an all-access hammock, and a porch filled with comfy chairs with a view of the mountains. The best accommodation of all though was the unlimited, free hot chocolate and tea.

Oh and did I mention the marshmallows? Yeah we definitely indulged in like… five cups of that amazing stuff in the span of eight hours (two at night, three in the morning). TOny agrees that nothing is better than watching the sunrise over a warm cup of cocoa.

Tony’s opinion, along with mine, is that B&B’s are a very peaceful and enjoyable experience. Those who love travel should try a B&B out at least once. You will not be disappointed.

Until our next adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Fresh Prints, Mountains!, Tony's Travels | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Adventures with DirtVentures!

June of 2012, Boot Size 10

My Dear Readers,

So for those of you how have not liked my blog on Facebook… You missed out on some of the awesome pictures I took! It’s easy, there’s a little button right next to this story that you can click, and see ALL the pictures from my weekend gallivant! Yeah I’ll be posting some here, but I took a lot and thus can’t reasonably get them all up here. After all, I like to talk on here. Facebook is much easier to post picture on 🙂

Anyways so my mother decided to surprise me with a trip up to the mountain centered around a certain activity that she had been hiding from me until the day of the event.

We took off at around ten in the morning and drove straight up so that we would have time to stop for lunch. More about that later. Lunch digested, we took off to the centerpiece of our day: ATV-ing!!!!

DirtVentures ATV Rentals is an awesome business that gives you a very fun experience. For those who have no idea how to ride an ATV, have no fear! As a person who has never been on an ATV before, I was kinda nervous.

We rolled in at around one thirty to be greeted by the friendliest Bulgarian woman with two of the most adorable little girls I’ve ever seen. Seriously they were unbelievable precious. Nevertheless she informed us that the tour ahead of us was running late, which would delay us by about fifteen minutes. But we weren’t in a rush and had a lovely chat to fill the time. True to her word, about fifteen minutes after our scheduled time, our guide Mark and his group of five came rolling in.

Mark introduced himself and explained how the tour was going to work. We were going to start in the sand pit where we’d be trained on how to steer and maneuver safely without wiping out. For two women who have never been ATV-ing this was very comforting. He very simply explained the controls and how to keep one’s balance over rocky terrains and slopes. Then he took us down into the pits…

We started simple enough; driving in sandy circles with very mild bumps to adjust to keeping a steady speed and feel how to distribute our weight when turning. Then we had a small trainer bump that we had to lean forward and relax back to make sure to not flip the ATV. Once we got comfortable in the sand, Mark graduated us up to half-sand/half-dirt with much rockier terrain. Repeat this process except we graduated to steep slopes and how to properly go down a hill. Our final exam was taking us out of our comfort level and having us descend a steep slope absolutely covered in rocks which was a daunting, bumpy trip down.

I felt very comfortable on the ATV so when Mark asked if we wanted to start up the mountain. Now Mark was awesome, from a review point of view; he made the idea of RTV-ing up a mountain very exciting and yet not terrifying. Super friendly, and explains how to maneuver very simply and makes it super easy to do.

Going up the mountain itself was a gorgeous experience. It was so green and serene, it was fantastic. Mark took the journey slow and steady, and let us stop for breaks to relax and enjoy the scenery. The views were simply phenomenal. The road itself was bumpy and turbulent. Three days later and my hands are still sore from gripping the handles so tightly. But there’s a lot of power in these machines, and they powered up the mountain with ease.

To add onto how awesome Mark was? When a nasty blister on my Mom’s hand from the handlebars popped, he gave up his own gloves to help protect her. That is beyond exceptional service. He was so outstanding.

Final summation? DirtVentures was an awesome, fun time. Make sure you dress properly and bring gloves, but as long as you remember that, you’re golden. Excellent service and I highly suggest it. It’s a unique experience that should be done at least once.

This is Mark everyone. If you get him as your guide? You are guaranteed awesome

With that item off my bucket list, I’m really excited to tell you even more about my weekend gallivant.

If you wanna check them out, this is their website: http://www.nhdirtventures.com

Until my next adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Fresh Prints, Mountains! | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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