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Baseball Fenway Roadtrip

JustFly Chronicles The Best Places To Check Out America’s Pastime

As North America gets closer to escaping the last grasps of Winter, the boys of Summer are getting ready to play ball. Baseball season is about to enter full swing which means sitting in the sun, enjoying a drink, and taking in some live baseball if you find yourself in the United States or Toronto, Ontario, Canada. While baseball gets a bit of a rep as a boring game, it is something you should definitely take the time out of your trip to see according to JustFly. JustFly is an online travel agency based out of North America that knows how to have fun from coast to coast. We asked them to identify some of baseballs best ball parks. They were happy to provide us with a list of the game’s best and most historic venues.

Camden Yards – Baltimore, Maryland

The first stop according to JustFly’s review is Baltimore to visit Camden Yards and the Baltimore Orioles. Opened in 1992, Camden Yards is easily the newest field on this list. But, what it lacks in age it makes up for in modern baseball beauty and one of the best spectator experiences in all of baseball. Designed to have a “retro” look and feel, Camden Yards receives high marks from fans and players across the league who appreciate its respect for baseball’s treasured history in the United States.

Baseball Roadtrip to Wrigley Field

Baseball Roadtrip to Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field – Chicago, Illinois

Built originally in 1914, Wrigley Field is as much a museum as it is a baseball field. Long revered for its ivy covered outfield walls, Wrigley Field is famous for a curse that has contributed, potentially, to a famous championship losing streak. In a story that is simply outrageous, the curse goes that the team will not win a World Series thanks to team staff removing a goat from the field. The owner then declared the team would never win again. Amazingly, the team has not made it to the World Series since 1945, the year the goat was removed from the stadium. The team hasn’t actually won a World Series since 1902.

Fenway Park – Boston, Massachusetts

The oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, Fenway Park is famous for being home to the Green Monster. While you may think this has something to do with Boston’s heavy Irish heritage, it’s actually in reference to the massive wall that occupies left field. While the wall has swallowed up many would home run balls over its time, the fields awkward dimensions has have been both a burden and a benefit for the players who have had the fortune to play at Fenway since its opening in 1912.  No visitor would go wrong taking in a classic battle between the Red Sox and their famous rivals from New York.

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in the village

Plugging In After Checking Out: Top Three Travel Chargers for any Trip

When you stop and think about it, travel balances a number of very fine lines. It straddles comfort and growth, expectations and reality, disconnecting and tuning in. Sometimes we take trips solely to put some distance between ourselves and our everyday lives, often needing a break from our jobs and the routines that keep us plugged into electronics. In the last couple of years, even taking a virtual vacation from social media has become key to maintaining sanity.

Though, when traveling, many of us rely on the very devices we seek to escape to keep in touch with friends and family at home, to meet up with new friends we’ve made on the road, and to share our enlightening experiences with everyone who might enjoy them vicariously. Depending on where you travel, staying connected through your devices can either prove very easy or especially challenging. Some countries have vast infrastructure and free wifi to support your social escapades, while others barely have the cell service, much less the power, to keep you connected.

No matter the circumstances, there are a few handy devices that can help you prepare for whatever kind of electronic network you’re met with. Because, without a charge even readily available wifi is useless, we’re highlighting three travel chargers to keep you plugged in wherever you are.

An International Power Adapter

First things first, a charger of the more traditional variety, but, like, on steroids. This guy will be your best friend whenever your road map is a little unclear. Universal adapters work in almost every country, and while they are bulkier than other varieties, you’ll be happy to have just one to keep track of rather than having to pack two to five for each place on your list.

phone charging

A Quick Car Charger

Regardless of where you find yourselves, most cars come stock with a standard AC outlet. If you’re on a long road trip or simply shuttling from the airport to your hostel, having something like this handy will give you enough charge to get you where you’re going. Chargers like the ZUS are especially helpful because it comes with two USB ports and fast-charging capabilities, providing enough juice to power two tablets at once.

 

A Portable Power Bank

AKA the battery life-saver. Seriously, don’t go anywhere without one. The Lumsing, for example, is fairly compact, though admittedly a little heavy, and comes with dual charging ports. You can get up to four full smart phone charges before it needs recharged itself, making it perfect for long bus rides, airport delay, or just your run of the mill rolling blackout.

Wherever you take your technology, we want to hear about it! Tell us in the comments how you stay connected even when you’re well off the beaten path!

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Hiking torres del paine 5

Hiking Torres Del Paine: What to Know Before You Go

There’s something undeniably special about long multi-day treks through nature. They revitalize our souls in a way few things can. They offer us a different way of understanding a place, moving slowly, really taking a scene in with all of your senses.

I personally have hiked mountains in Ethiopia, and thru-hiked the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier. I’ve hiked the length of small islands and the coast of Portugal. Each of these places left an impression on me that I wouldn’t have gotten through the glass of a car window. It’s no wonder I was called to Torres Del Paine National Park deep in the heart of Patagonia-often deemed the best place to hike in the world.

I chose to hike the Torres del Paine full circuit with the great outift over at Erratic Rock. While guides are not required for any of the treks in Torres Del Paine, and, yeah, I could have handled this trek on my own, going with a guide turned out to be an excellent decision. In retrospect, it made the whole experience more enjoyable overall (much more on that below!).

What to Know Before Hiking Torres del Paine:

Unpredictable Weather:

Want to be laughed at in Patagonia? Ask a local what the weather is going to be like for the next week. The term “four seasons in a day” doesn’t even seem to do this place justice. During the trek we experienced everything from beautiful 80 degree sunshine to driving sideways rain, 85 mph (you read that right) winds to a white out blizzard. Oftentimes it was as if the rain and the wind were at war with each other; just after the rain soaks everything in it’s path, a strong gust of wind out of Antarctica blows through drying everything within reach.

Crazy weather and wind on the trail

Crazy weather and wind on the trail

The crazy weather made it an authentic Patagonian experience. It’s also why going with a knowledgeable guide proved to be truly important when it came to our itinerary. The night before setting off, he adjusted our starting point to ensure we would go over the John Gardner Pass on a good day (avoiding the snow and sleet storm that seemed imminent in the coming week). As a result we had a wonderful day with spectacular views of Glaciar Grey from the the top of the pass.  Going over the pass with visibility for miles in every direction made comprehending the sheer size of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field a possibility.

Top of John Gardner Pass

Top of John Gardner Pass

Gear Necessities:

The Torres del Paine trek, more than any I’ve ever done before, required the right kind of gear for the trail. Many of the campsites provided little protection from the elements, and it wasn’t out of the ordinary to see someone’s tent take flight with the caracara birds in the area. The high quality four-season tents provided by Erratic Rock kept me warm on nights when the temperature dropped well below freezing. More importantly, the tent stayed stationary when the strong winds fought to carry them along.

Hiking torres del paine 2 Tough tents were not the only necessity, though. “I always thought trekking poles were for the senior citizens going for slow walks next to the beach,” thought Nick, one of six in my hiking group. It’s fair to say his opinion had changed thoroughly by the end of our circuit. With a full pack on your back, trekking poles support your knee and hip joints on the steep declines throughout the hike. More importantly, they acted as stability when we found ourselves on the narrow trails on the sides of mountains and the aforementioned wind gusts did their best to try and knock us off our feet.

Quick-drying base layers, waterproof outer gear, warm layers for the cold nights, dry bags for your electronics, and the low-tech but extremely effective trash bag around your sleeping bag and dry clothes inside your pack are all highly recommended as well!

Crowd Control:

One of the many advantages to doing the full circuit instead of just the extremely popular W trek is that the crowds on the backside of the park were much more manageable. As soon as we hit the W portion of the trek, the number of people fighting for trail space, tent space, and cooking space was much greater. At present, there is no limit to the number of people that can trek each day, and it’s understandable that people are coming from all around the world for the special experience here.

Hiking above Glaciar Gray

Hiking above Glaciar Gray

Again, here is where going with a guide proved to be well worth it. There were days where we spent more time exploring, and there were days when we hustled to make camp earlier in the day. After witnessing about 100 people sleeping head-to-toe on the cooking area floor because there was no room for their tents, the hustle to the Campamento Los Cuernos completely made sense.

While the crowds were a hassle in camp, on the trail most people were very courteous and friendly, realizing and respecting that everyone was there for the wonderful experience with nature.

Science Class:

Trekking in Torres Del Paine felt like my high school Earth Science class had come to life. Martian-shaped lenticular clouds that would have been at home in the sky of a Dali painting floated overhead. Weather systems traced mountain ranges and changed so quickly it was like watching a movie in fast-forward. The sheer size of Glaciar Gray suddenly made it easy to understand how glacial erosion works. The towers made of granite remain where the overlying sedimentary rock layer has been completely eroded away.

torresdelpainetowers

Torres del paine towers

I peppered Koen, our wonderful guide, with question after question about how this amazing place at the end of the world had been formed. He patiently answered all of my questions, and suddenly all those Science classes of my past became extremely relevant and equally fascinating.

We also talked extensively about how the massive glaciers were receding. Tree lines on La Isla reveal just how far Glaciar Gray has receded in only about five years’ time. It’s one thing to think about the theory of climate change and another entirely to see it personally. Despite already knowing the overwhelming importance of its effects and the pressures to reduce them, seeing such jolting evidence in real time left an impression I will never forget.

Trekking Torres Del Paine 6

With all it has to offer, Patagonia always held an air of fascination for me, and this is one of those trips that truly outpaced all expectations I had. A big thanks to Erratic Rock for organizing this wonderful excursion – one I hope to revisit before long.

 

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Tacy Yoga on the Beach

How to Stay Healthy while Traveling

Tacy Nielson is a Yoga Instructor and Reiki healer who is passionate about holistic healing, traveling and living life to the fullest. She was born and raised in Minnesota and is now enjoying life in sunny San Diego. Read more from Tacy here.

While there are so many benefits to traveling, one of the less positive aspects can be difficulty in maintaining a healthy routine. It takes extra awareness and planning that isn’t always feasible on the road. For example, my husband Ryan and I recently did some traveling. We first drove from Minnesota to the tip of Baja Sur, Mexico where we stayed for a month. After arriving back in San Diego we then went on a two-week road trip through some of the western United States. Over the course of the trip, we hit Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches and Redwood National Parks! We also did some hiking in Portland, OR at Multnomah Falls, which was beautiful. To finish out the trip we drove down the west coast starting in Cannon Falls, OR and ending back in San Diego, CA.

Before leaving Minnesota, I made a commitment to myself to keep up with my healthy routines while on our trips and I’m happy to say that I found it was easier than I thought. Some of my tips relate specifically to road trips but you can apply them to any kind of travel and make them work for you!

Healthy snacks (and chocolate of course!)

First off, I knew we were going to be spending tons of time in the car… and I mean TONS of time! Let me start by telling you that I LOVE junk food in any and all varieties. Knowing this about myself, I took precautions before we headed out for two weeks of junk food temptations.

National Park Tacy
My first precaution was to pack some kind of nuts, my favorite being almonds. (I love the Less Salt Almonds from Trader Joe’s.) I also packed a trail mix. I choose one with mostly dried fruits and less fatty nuts like almonds or pecans. My go to pick is again from Trader Joe’s, the Omega Trek Mix with Fortified Cranberries. If you are a chocolate freak like me, maybe pick one with a chocolate covered fruit or nut, but try to steer clear of M&M-filled mixes because, sadly, that’s really just candy. I love the Trader Joe’s Happy Trekking Mix.

But because I know I will need to have some chocolate throughout the drive, I packed a dark chocolate bar and carefully rationed it out little by little so I didn’t run out! Sometimes I even shared it with Ryan, if I was feeling generous. Other great options are clementines, bananas, apples or rice cakes with PB, and of course I fill up my biggest water bottle to stay hydrated.

In terms of beverages, I do my best to stick with water and refill my bottle from the fountain machines at gas stations. If you need a hit of something other than water, you can go for something like a Naked Juice. My personal favorite is the Acai Machine. It’s true that these juices have a lot of sugar in them, but it is all natural coming from the fruit and is free of added sweeteners.

If you need more of a pick-me-up, there are a lot of good Kombuchas on shelves right now too, but again you’ll want to check that sugar content. Of course coffee is always an option, and I’d recommend going for it as black as you can take it to avoid the sugar-filled creamers.

If you are not a planner and packing food isn’t your thing, then I have a couple tips for sorting through the gas station and convenience stores that will be unavoidable on a road trip. Most of these have fresh fruit like apples or bananas, which are always great options. Granola bars can come in handy as long as you take a couple minutes to make sure you are picking one with low sugar and real, natural ingredients. One of my favorites is KIND bars. They have a lot of flavor options without a ton of added sugar. You probably could have guessed that I go for the chocolate dipped ones! My personal pick is the Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt. It has 200 calories, 7g of Fiber, 6g of protein (to keep you nice and full) and only 5g sugar. You can always grab some trail mix or nuts here too!

When it comes to restaurants I don’t have many restrictions or rules. After all, you are on vacation, right? I do my best to eat as I normally would and allow myself to splurge on fun new foods or a delicious dessert. Really it isn’t a vacation until you checked out the local ice cream shop anyway! Balance is key, people!

Workin’ on my fitness… yes, even on vacay

As a yogi, I do not travel for any length of time without my yoga mat. It’s a little bit like a security blanket. A yoga mat is especially convenient because it’s pretty small and can be shoved into an already packed car or even carried on if you are flying somewhere. Plus, yoga can also be done almost anywhere: In a hotel room, on a hotel balcony, on the ground next to your tent, in the courtyard of your hotel, the gym at your hotel or even on the beach (my personal favorite!). If you don’t have a clue what to do outside of your yoga class there are some great websites with varying lengths of free classes! A really great one, for example, is doyogawithme.com.

Tacy NP
If you’re not a yogi and have other workouts you enjoy, it can be just as easy to keep those up too! You can go for a run around your hotel or campsite or rent a bike and cruise around the city. My favorite trips and cities have been the ones I have explored on foot or by bike. Get your traveling partner(s) to come with you and make it part of the trip by taking walks on the beach, going surfing, taking a walk after dinner (before you find that ice cream parlor), swimming in the hotel pool or hitting up the hotel gym. There are so many options!

You can also incorporate your exercise into your outdoor surroundings. If you are on an already active trip like ours, where we were hiking almost every day, let that be your exercise and call it a day. Or if you did bring your mat, get on it at the end of the day and stretch out those sore legs. In my opinion, the best type of exercise while on a road trip is definitely car dancing. Crank the tunes and bust a move!

Stay Healthy Traveling 

Keeping up my fitness routine means that I will have a more relaxed and enjoyable vacation overall. Road trips in particular can make you feel stiff and tired, so getting some exercise in each day will keep you grounded, calm and boost your mood. Even if you feel like you don’t have time and your trip is keeping you crazy busy, try getting up just 20 minutes earlier to get whatever movement in you can. You will thank yourself later and I promise it will be well worth the lost snooze.

Better yet, when you get home from your trip you won’t have that readjustment period to get yourself back into those healthy routines you follow in your everyday life. Since you’ve been doing them all along you can just keep on going! No guilt and no vacation weight means you can fully enjoy your trip and feel great about yourself when you get home! Give these a try and I promise your next vacation will be your best.

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Romantic Sunset

Five Oddly Romantic Getaways in the U.S.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty far from a hopeless romantic. I’m more of what you might consider a closet romantic. As in, I don’t dream of over-the-top proposals but I can certainly still appreciate a strong showing of adoration. I just appreciate it a little more quietly than some (I won’t name names).

Chocolate Heart

Image courtesy of lenguavempace

So, as a closet romantic, Valentine’s Day doesn’t do much for me. I find it to be a bit too forced, a little too well-rehearsed, and I much prefer unexpected displays of affection or small surprises. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate in any shape, form, or pile and I mean no disrespect if you disagree, it’s just my love language. Though ultimately, like chocolate, I love love however anyone chooses to express it.

To better support that notion and the spirit of the holiday, I put together a little list of offbeat romantic getaways that may – if you’re anything like me – make your celebration a little more memorable. Because your love is unique, here are a few equally extraordinary ways to celebrate it!

Five Oddly Romantic Getaways in the U.S.

Treehouse Point, Washington
Just half an hour outside of Seattle, Treehouse Point is a cozy resort composed of six tree houses available for rent. The elevated cabins, the first of which was modeled using lines from the Parthenon, have been built into the old-growth forest famous in the Pacific Northwest. If your inner child still dreams of more mature tree houses, this is the place for you.

Hicksville, California
Don’t let the name fool you – this place is far from trashy. The Trailer Palace, as it’s affectionately called, lives in Joshua Tree, California, a desert oasis perfect for long, quiet, star-gazing sessions. Complete with more than 10 kitschy trailers, an archery range, a saltwater pool and mini-golf, Hicksville has the perfect combination of isolation and entertainment.

Joshua Tree National Park

Image Courtesy of Bootsnall

Tipi Village Retreat, Oregon
Maybe four walls are a few too many for you. In that case you may want to try your love-luck on a tipi at the Tipi Village Retreat near Eugene, Oregon. Set in a secluded woodland, the tipis come comfortably decorated with stone floors and wool blankets while breakfast options include an assortment of organic eggs, smoked salmon, or fresh fruit and granola. This place is a feast for the eyes and the tummy!

Glacier Under Canvas, Montana
You may have noticed a National Park theme. (It is the service’s 100-year anniversary, after all!) Glacier Under Canvas is exactly as magical as it sounds: you sleep just outside (seven miles) Glacier National Park in luxurious safari-style canvas tents. The great outdoor activities nearby are as endless (and some are offered through the resort) as the breath-taking scenes you’ll encounter on this getaway.

Glacier National Park

Image Courtesy of New World Encyclopedia

Dunton Hot Springs Hotel, Colorado
If you prefer your wood log-cabin stacked and ground-level, Dunton Hot Springs Hotel is yet another ideal destination. A restored ghost town, the hand-built cabins of the resort string together a luxury lifestyle and remote relaxation. You’ll find wifi among a waterfall (but no cell service) and a hot spring surrounded by snow. Bonus: all meals – and a chapel – are included in the price of your stay.

We hope you’ll enjoy these dreamy destinations as much as we do, and we wish you and yours a Happy Valentine’s Day nonetheless!

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