Celebrating my Birthday in Cairns, Australia

Millaa Millaa Falls outdside of Cairns, Australia

Cairns Australia, on my birthday. It was perfect. The Radiance of the Sea dropped anchor in Yorkey’s Knob, just north of Cairns. There are so many opportunities here. The ship offered options of rainforest tours, trains, markets and of course, the Great Barrier Reef. We made a better choice and spent the day with good […]

Which is the Best Season for North Island Waterfalls?

Whangarei Falls during the Winter in Whangarei New Zealand

There are four stunning North Island waterfalls that we recently took our AFS students to see. It was winter in New Zealand, but we got lucky and had mostly sunny days.  Our prior visit up north was in the summer before our youngest daughter left on her AFS exchange to Argentina. The winter rains made quite […]

Multnomah Falls: Another Reason to Fall in Love with Oregon

Multnomah Falls and Benson Foot bridge in Oregon

One look at Multnomah Falls and I knew why people fall in love with Oregon. It’s a short 30 mile drive east of Portland with easy parking and a short walk to this natural masterpiece on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. An Interesting Story from Wikipedia: On Labor Day in September 1995, a 400-ton boulder, loosened by erosion, fell […]

Waterfall – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Waterfall in KeriKeri, New Zealand

W is for waterfall . . .  or wow. Practical Information:  Haruru Falls is a block waterfall located on the Waitangi River. Haruru means “big noise” and you know it is named correctly as you hear it long before you see it. According to Māori legend, a taniwha (water monster) lives in the lagoon below this waterfall. […]

Itinerary Options: Driving to the Top of New Zealand

Top of New Zealand, the northern tip of the North Island.

The top of New Zealand is too often overlooked by tourists, as there are so many amazing places to visit in this country. However, it is a paradise, filled with amazing natural history and cultural folklore. We have made the journey a few times. The trip to the top of New Zealand can be done is 3-days if you […]

Four Stunning Waterfalls: Auckland to KeriKeri, New Zealand

Waterfalls on the North Island of New Zealand

Driving north from Auckland, it took only minor detours to see incredible waterfalls. It didn’t take long to remind us that New Zealand landscape is some of the most vibrant and dramatic in the world. It’s not just the South Island that one must visit for the natural beauty one expects to see in New Zealand. We took our time as we headed to […]

Catlins Rainforest – New Zealand’s Often Missed South Coast

Purakaunui Falls in the Catlins Rainforest, South Island, New Zealand

It’s been eight years since we drove through the Catlins rainforest along the southern coast of New Zealand’s South Island. We have done a lot of traveling since then, yet the Catlins is still one of my favorite spots. Looking at the old photos, two things occur to me, first our girls have grown up […]

Hunua Ranges, Hunua Falls and a LARP in the Woods

Hunua Ranges, Auckland, New Zealand

The Hunua Ranges extend beyond the southeast edge of the Auckland region, a direction we don’t generally travel.  However, one of our girls was participating in a LARP event (Live Action Role Play), and I was a photographer/chaperone.  As we passed a sign for “Hunua Falls,” I made a mental note to return as I […]

Weekend Travel Inspiration: Explore Locally – New Zealand

Explore Locally: Hunua Falls, Auckland, New Zealand

Lately my focus has been to explore locally, traveling to nearby New Zealand destinations rather than leaving the country.  Then I found this quote: “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” ~ G.K. Chesterton. […]

Sarah’s Saturday Snapshots #14 – Waitakeres Tramp

Gorse flowers on Waitakeres tramp

Last week I went on a Girl Guide camp to Manukau for my Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award training, and while there we went to Karekare beach in the Waitakeres for a tramp with our packs. It rained a bit and was quite muddy, but it was really fun and I enjoyed the hike. I took a few […]

Samoa Highlights: Top 10 Things to Do (And Driving Tips)

Samoa Highlights

Adventure is around every corner on beautiful Upolu, the main island of Samoa. While we came for a break, we found our selves stopping to swim into a cave, jump into a trench, feeding turtles and visit an author’s home.  Upolu is the main island of Samoa and home to it’s capital city Apia.  Despite our […]

Jumping Into Vivid Turquoise Waters at To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa

To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa

Waterfalls and cliffs seem to taunt my girls, calling their name and daring them to jump off into the waters below.  It doesn’t seem to matter whether the waters are swirling at the base of a waterfall, crystal clear, or vivid turquoise – my girls like to jump. Hubby and I opted to stay back […]

Treated at a Hospital in Samoa; at least the Scenery is Nice

Waiting area for Hospital in Samoa

Emergency room visits are never fun, yet somehow our visit to the hospital in Samoa left us rolling our eyes.  Thankfully it was nothing serious. It started with a mosquito bite. For just a moment, my teen forgot the rule and scratched the bite on the back of her hand. It swelled up to affect […]

Hiking to Fuipisia Falls – A Hidden Gem in Samoa

The rushing waterfall - Fuipisia Falls, Samoa

Fuipisia Falls is a hidden gem. It’s located on family land in Samoa. Not our family but rather a wonderful Samoan family who took us through the bush and across a creek to see the rushing waterfall in the rain. We spent last week in Samoa. Fuipisia Falls was one of the highlights of our day driving […]

Yelapa, A Hidden Paradise in Mexico ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Yelapa Mexico

Yelapa is a hidden paradise easily accessible by boat from Puerto Vallarta. Located in the state of Jalisco in Mexico this small fishing village has also been a peaceful retreat for the rich and famous including Bob Dylan, Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, and Dennis Hopper. Although none of them were there the day we visited, […]

I Drank from the Fountain of Youth ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

fountain of youth

The fountain of youth – myth or reality? According to folklore and our extremely youthful looking Norwegian guide, Tvindefossen Falls is it. Located somewhere between Flaam and Voss in Norway, we stopped, climbed and drank, using our hands to cup the water. Did it work? Maybe yes, maybe it’s just silly, but either way, it […]

Desert Floods in Oman ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Desert floods in Oman

The desert floods in Oman evoked an interesting reaction. We witnessed the wonderment of children who rarely see swimmable wadis (a ravine that is dry except in the rainy season), and the bewilderment of the adults that looked on. Sadly, six people drowned that day in the Arabian desert as the dry ground was incapable of absorbing […]

The Great AtoZ Theme Reveal – See What I Am Doing

Spain - Santiago De Compostela - 27 (1)

Drum Roll please . . . It’s time for the great AtoZ theme reveal: My 2014 A to Z Blogging theme: My Photos of AmaZing Places We love to travel and tip the scale now at 42 countries, so picking 26 AmaZing spots was a bit more challenging than you might imagine. You will have […]

Photo Highlights 2013 (New Zealand, Alaska, and More)

maori warrior

I thought I would end the year with my photo highlights 2013. All photos on this page ©Rhonda Albom 2013. All rights reserved. (Click on any photo for more information. Each photo on this page links to it’s original post.) Did I miss any of your favorite photo highlights 2013? Do you prefer the cityscapes, […]

Lambs, Cows, Pukeko and More in New Zealand’s Shakespear Park

Shakespear park new zealand

There is no shortage of great hikes in New Zealand.  We are day hikers, and lucky enough to live near Shakespear Park, one of the many massive Auckland regional parks.  Before you ask, it was not a typo, the park is named after the Shakespear family who bought the land in the late 1800’s from […]

Alaska Photos – Glaciers, Waterfalls, and Reflections

alaska photos

Today I am sharing more of my Alaska photos and, since it’s Friday, I am also Celebrating Small Things, which come in the form of a few funny comments by teens and hubby.: I opened the bin of freshly baked Toll-House cookies and found only a note which read: “Thank You, Love, Cookie Monster.” Hubby […]

Travel Photo Tips: Waterfalls, Glaciers, Whales in Juneau Alaska

Photo tips for capturing whale tail shots. This one Juneau, Alaska

Like so many of us, I take lots of photos when we travel and I am always looking for that edge, those travel photo tips that will improve my images. Today we picked up a few. Cruising Alaska on the NCL Sun takes us to some stunning locations. While many of the ports are easy […]

Kiss The Blarney Stone (Travel Tips from AtoZ)


Do you kiss the Blarney Stone, drink the kava or, sip from the fountain of youth? We participate in our travels, ignore the continuous lashing of negative feedback and, were vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B. Why not kiss the blarney stone? – It’s been reported that teens break into the tower and urinate on […]