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The Gluten Free Travelette

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Friday Favorites + Weekly Wrap Up

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I kicked off last weekend with a day full of wine tasting in Amador County (wine grapes pictured above) to celebrate a dear friend's birthday and this weekend is sure to include plenty of wine as I head off to a bachelorette weekend in Pismo Beach. I can't say I'm too upset about it all. :)

As usual, I've gathered up a few random favorites from around the web and wrapped up the posts for the week in case you missed something. Don't forget, I've also opened up the blog to sponsors and would love to work with a few more fun brands, makers, artists and fellow bloggers. You can learn more about the sponsorship opportunities here, if interested!

Friday Favorites: 

  • I recently discovered Another Escape and was super excited to dive into the publication when Volume 1 showed up in my mailbox. Such a beautiful magazine.
  • These photos of polar bears under water made my heart melt!
  • Loved this video + blog post from Adina over at Gluten Free Travelette! I must say, the footage of their pup Parsley is my favorite. :)

Wrap it Up: 

  • If you're not familiar with the work of Nicholas Wray, scoot on over to Monday's post to learn more about his thriving photography business and how he started out as a creative entrepreneur.
  • There are some shiny new travel tips in the app store, my friends! I've added a few things to my Exploring the U.S. Northern Rockies app, so be sure to check it out!

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What are you all up to for the weekend? Fun stuff, I hope? Make it count, my friends! 


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Guest Post: The Road to Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park

I've asked a few blog friends to share their experiences and adventures this week and I'm pleased to introduce this incredible travelogue from Adina Marguerite Pease from Gluten Free Travelette I've been following her blog for quite some time and the girl knows how to travel. She's been kind enough to share one of her favorite drives through Fiordland National Park in New Zealand.

If this post doesn't make you want to hop on the next flight to NZ, I don't know what will. Enjoy!


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Located on the Southwest quadrant of the South Island of New Zealand, Fiordland National Park is the place I just can’t stop dreaming about. Within the 12,500 square kilometers lie dramatic fiords, rainforests, lakes, meadows, and granite peaks. In addition to the varied landscape, the unique biodiversity of the flora and fauna have earned Fiordland National Park a designation as part of the Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Site.

During my time there, I found myself simply enchanted with the curious trees and creatures inhabiting this relatively untouched ecosystem. While there are plenty of hikes (including 3 Great Walks) to take through the backcountry, Fiordland’s epic landscapes are also easily accessed though less vigorous activities. At the very least, a drive down Milford Road from the nearby town of Te Anau is a must do. Those 117 kilometers of road are so scenic; driving it just once might not be enough.

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Driving through the glacial carved valleys on Milford Road, the trees truly stand out. They cluster together and seem to be slowly flooding in across the grassy plains from the mountains. There’s just something about these trees; the way they move in the wind together, the way their limbs curl, and where they grow. The combination of the Southern Beech, Rimu, Miro, Kahikatea, and Totara trees makes me feel like I’m stepping into a different, almost magical, world. I imagine these curious trees are planning some kind of slow invasion of the open space.

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Continuing along through the rainforests, which are filled with the Crown ferns and jewel-colored rivers, you get a glimpse into a landscape dominated by those intriguing trees.

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Driving up into the higher elevations of the park, the forest begins to thin and the landscape is instead ruled by granite peaks, ice, and cascades of water carving their way down the mountains. Also found in this part of the park is a rather cheeky species of alpine parrot, the Kea, who are frequently seen begging for treats along the side of Milford Road.

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At the end of the road, small and large boats wait to take passengers on a cruise of Milford Sound. During the summer months, make sure to save your pennies and book early to take at minimum a short cruise through the fiord. On the sheer cliffs, the trees combine with moss to create nets of plant life which cascade down towards the water. The trees at the top function as anchors for the rest of the net. When enough anchor trees fail, the entire net goes tumbling down into the fiord. Leaving a vertical scar on the cliff from what is know as a ‘tree avalanche’.

Cruising through the waters of Milford Sound, make sure to watch and listen for the creatures who live there. The New Zealand Fur Seals can often be found sunning themselves on large rocks. If you keep a close eye on the water and bring a pair of binoculars, you may even spot one of the two species of penguins; Fiordland Crested or Little Blue. We were fortunate enough to spot the frilly yellow forehead feathers of the rare Fiordland Crested penguin swimming off the side of our boat.

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Milford Road is an out and back drive, so on the return trip make sure to stop at all the spots you missed on the drive into Fiordland National Park. If you find the flora and fauna as intriguing as I did, you’ll probably find it necessary to come back.


Adina Marguerite Pease is a travel and food writer, photographer, and explorer based out of Seattle, Washington. Having traveled through 6 countries, 18 states, and over 70 cities since going gluten free in 2009 - it's become her passion to share her adventures and inspire others to go new places and try new things. You can find additional stories about her adventures in New Zealand on her blog, Gluten Free Travelette.


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Northern California + Calderón + Happy Links

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 "Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises."  // Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Happy Links:

  • Adina at The Gluten Free Travelette shared a recent hike in Washington that had me craving somequality mountain time. I immediately added the hike to my "I Want To Go To There" Pinterest board.
  • My favorite resource for clean cosmetics, No More Dirty Looks, is hiring an assistant! If you're interested and have the time, you should definitely think about reaching out.
  • These prosthetic limbs are incredible. Who knew artificial limbs could be so artfully done?! I'm not sure if you all know this (I suppose I don't write about it much), but I was born with just half of my right arm and I wear a prosthesis everyday. These beauties have me wishing for an upgrade!

Wrap it Up:

  • On Monday, I professed my love for Skillshare. I'm taking the "How to Write a Killer Magazine Article Pitch" class... which reminds me: I need to start my project!
  • I welcomed a new series to the blog this week that focuses on the careers of creative entrepreneurs. Be sure to stop in and check it out!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. I'll be spending it at a garage sale I'm co-hosting with my mom in an effort to get rid of excess. If you're in the Sacramento area and want the details, let me know!


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