Living in the Land Down Under

“When you think of Australia, you probably also think of kangaroos, boomerangs and the outback. But, did you also know that the “Land Down Under” is home to beautiful beaches, government funded arts programs, and a plethora of outdoorsy adventures? If you’re looking to break the “Europe norm” with study abroad programs, travel halfway across the world, and experience everything from the Great Barrier Reef to the Sydney Opera House on one continent, consider spending some time in Australia. I’m sure you won’t regret it…”

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Check out my latest post on The Abroad Guide—–>  WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT STUDYING ABROAD IN AUSTRALIA

 

Have YOU ever traveled to Australia? Tell me about it in the comments!

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Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Every summer, my dad and I go on a father-daughter hiking trip. This year, we went up to the Franconia Range in the White Mountains in New Hampshire to hike Mt. Lafayette and Mt. Lincoln.

We stepped off at exactly 10:30 am and hiked up the Falling Waters Trail to Little Haystack, and then across the Franconia Ridge Loop, reaching the summits of Mt. Lincoln (5,089 feet) and Mt. Lafayette (5,249 feet). We stopped at the Greenleaf Hut along the Appalachian Trail and then made our descent via the Old Bridle Path, finishing a 9 mile hike in almost exactly 6.5 hours, counting stops for water and lunch.

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They don’t call it “Falling Waters Trail” for nothing! (I’m 5’6″)

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Panoramic view from the top of Mt. Lincoln. Breathtaking!

Cue my dad singing, “My, legs are on FY-AHH!” to the tune of Alicia Keys. Priceless.

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IMG_2374 via Instagram @getat_mel

I’m surely not the most experienced hiker, but I thought this trail was pretty damn intense. The first couple miles of the ascent were almost straight up, with natural “stairs” winding through a tunnel of trees that had my legs burning the entire way. The waterfalls at the beginning were beautiful and I was so tempted to jump right in! We encountered more people and dogs on the trail than I anticipated, but everyone was friendly. There were surprisingly a lot of father-daughter pairs, just like us.

When the trail finally opened up in the “alpine zone”, we had reached the summit! There were a bunch of other people hanging out at the top, and I heard a lot of French accents. While at the base the temperature was around 77 degrees, at the top it was noticeably cooler and you could hear the wind across the mountains. So cool.

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Yup, we crossed that peak. (Btw, Burton makes great backpacks)

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Panoramic view of the top of Mt. Lafayette (and my dad).

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Tradition of summit selfies continues.

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8.9 miles of trail total.

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We were moving!

Fortunately, my aunt and uncle have a ski condo in North Woodstock, NH, so we were able to crash there and take a hot shower before heading down to the Woodstock Inn for dinner. We split the pulled pork nachos, each got a GIGANTIC lobster roll, and I got a little cup of caramel ice cream to end the day, while still probably definitely having a net loss of calories.

I chugged several cups of water before passing out at 10 pm, and in the morning we grabbed coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts and a shirt from Life is Good (one of my favorite stores!) to commemorate the hike before heading home sore, yet satisfied.

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I had so much fun with my dad & I can’t wait for our next adventure!

We Can’t Stop (Crafting)

Although we live 7 hours apart for nine months of the year, and 7 minutes apart for the other three, my best friend Sam and I can spend hours together running errands, sharing recipes, and trading stories without skipping a beat.

Today we went on another one of our marathon adventures, with an agenda that brought us to Forever 21, Lowe’s Home Improvement, and pretty much everything in between.

We made some quick lunch, then some not-so-quick-but-oh-so-yummy vegan brownies and got to work. Sam ended up making these AH-DORABLE  Lilly Pulitzer picture frames and coasters for her Ohio apartment, while I set out to make this string art I saw on Pinterest (shocker).

A long time and some sore fingers later, I had completed my project! They say home is where the heart is, so obviously I left my heart in Syracuse.

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I also put together a collage of my favorite inspirational Mary Engelbreit sketches from an old daily calendar. I definitely recommend keeping calendar pages for use in future crafts!

photo 2My favorite is the top-most left one, “There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going“. So true.

I ended the day with a nice walk around town with my mom, and a brownie with some raspberries while I watched Pretty Little Liars. They even mentioned Syracuse in the first minute of the show! #cusenation.

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Have YOU tried any cool crafts recently? Share them below! I’m always looking for inspiration.