Monthly Archives

September 2020

New England, North America, Travels

Acadia National Park Weekend: Eat, Stay, and Hike

Over Labor Day Weekend 2020, we decided to do our long-awaited camping trip to Acadia National Park! Only, COVID is here. This means that no park campgrounds are open, private campgrounds in Bar Harbor are packed, and there are a lot of RVs! We drove up to Maine on Saturday and were back in Boston by Monday night. Overall, I see the hype of Acadia. It was so beautiful, and really nice hiking! I’ve written up a guide on all things Acadia during COVID: where to eat, where to stay, and where to play (meaning, to hike)!


We are avid Hipcampers. If you don’t know what Hipcamp is, get ready. It’s one of our best finds in the Northeast! Hipcamp is Airbnb for camping, with a huge range in properties. You will find everything from pitching a tent in someone’s backyard for $15 (we’ve done that) to luxury Airstreams in Joshua Tree for $400 (we have not done that). We were hoping to set up camp somewhere in the vicinity of Acadia National Park, but could only find a site roughly an hour from the park. Park campgrounds are CLOSED and private grounds in the Bar Harbor area are either RV stations or motels.

We stayed here, and from what I understand it’s owned by one guy who decided to set up a campground and hook up his mobile home in the area! The property owner’s name was Wolf, he was super responsive, and had roughly 15 sites to set up at! There was a fully functioning shower and bathroom, and firewood for sale.

It was amazing. Out here in the middle of nowhere, right in the lobster fishing area of Maine, this campground was completely packed! We stayed two nights, and have nothing but positive things to say about it! It was roughly an hour away from the Park and the drive to get there was beautiful. Perfect for a weekend exploring Acadia National Park.


So, we got to Acadia on Sunday morning of the 3-day weekend, and knew we wanted to hike! Aiden has a lifetime National Parks pass, so luckily we didn’t need to wait in line to get a pass, but we saw signs everywhere that it is preferred you buy your pass online before entering the park. We stopped at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, where park rangers were stationed outside to give suggestions on hikes in the park.

We had friends who were driving up from New Hampshire and planned to meet us in Bar Harbor for lunch, so we only had time for a shorter hike. Also, the Park Loop Road at Acadia has a lot of one-way only drives, so if you start down one way, you will need to do the whole loop before finding an exit!


We wanted to do the North and South Bubble hike, as they are more difficult and higher than other hikes, but we are so glad we chatted with that park ranger. She mentioned that not only would we not be able to find parking at the Bubble trailheads, but there was no way we would make it to Bar Harbor by lunch. We would need to drive the whole one-way Park Loop Road instead of just turning around. THANK YOU ACADIA PARK RANGERS FOR THE GREAT ADVICE! She suggested we hike Dorr Mountain, the mountain next door to Cadillac Mountain, and it was great. The trail was straight up on the way down, but we opted to do the loop on the way down to not have to scramble down rocks.

Dorr Mountain is what’s known as a “ladder trail” where part of the trail you are maneuvering yourself on a rock or cliff side along rungs and ladders. It was super cool on the way up, but i’m glad we didn’t have to hike down that!


Our favorite topic… food and beer. We were ready for lunch after our hike at Dorr Mountain, so we jogged back down to the car, drove out to Bar Harbor, and waited for our friends! This Sunday happened to be the date of our Fantasy Football draft so naturally, we found a brewery in downtown Bar Harbor to quench our thirst and get our draft picks! Atlantic Brewing Co, thanks! They had a great blueberry ale, and lunch looked good too!

When our friends got to Bar Harbor, we went to the Thirsty Whale Tavern for lunch. This place was one of those where it wasn’t too attracted by tourists, but the food was great! I had my first-ever lobster roll… and I’ve been living in New England for 6 years.


After lunch, we decided to do the Ocean Path with our friends, as that was the best place for a sunset! On Ocean Path Road, you park on the side of the road and walk the path, but the path is right next to the road. It is absolutely beautiful and has some cool turn-offs to find cool views. We were tight on time, we decided to drive it from viewpoint to viewpoint! We stopped at Sand Beach Overlook and at Thunder Hole, and also found a few great side trails! Highly recommend, it is a busy path but understandably so.

So there, you have it! How to spend a weekend in Maine and one day in Acadia National Park! Of course, it would have been nice to camp in Acadia and do a few more hikes in the park (especially on a weekday). But, with what time we had, I feel like this was a perfect itinerary to get a feel for Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, ME! I hope you enjoyed reading this guide, if you want to receive to-the-point guides like this to your inbox, hit the subscribe button. Located at the top and bottom of this page!

P.S. This whole area of Maine has some of the best vintage and antique shops I have ever seen. If Aiden and I weren’t moving in a few months, I would have spent a week’s salary on shiplap, buoys, and vintage furniture. Definitely make a pit stop at some of these, they are amazing!

Asia, Indonesia, Travels

Two-Week Bali Itinerary For The Active Adventurer

Bali has been on my list for years. I’ve been trying to go for five years now, and finally made it. Aiden and I spent two weeks in Bali and surrounding islands, and are sharing our Bali itinerary.

In December of 2019, Aiden and I spent two weeks in Bali and the surrounding islands, and spent both Christmas and New Years in this amazing place! Our route included laidback island life, temple hunting, waterfall, volcano chasing, and underwater exploration. Here’s a detailed two-week Bali itinerary with lots of movement and adventures.

Island Life in Bali


Any guide that you have read about island life in Bali exists here. This place is truly so laidback and accommodating to everyone! We started off our adventure with a few days in Legian, a beach-front neighborhood near the airport. I thought it would be a great central place to get a feel for the island before heading up to Ubud. Aiden and I were here for 4 days!

If you want to hang out on the beach with the locals, this neighborhood is for you! From our research, we knew that nearby Seminyak and Canggu were Westerner-heavy, but Legian had tons of locals! We spent lots of time walking to Seminyak, exploring the beach-front area and eating some great food! I do have to say… the Legian beach was not the cleanest I’ve seen. There was so much plastic, and it was disheartening to see. Other than that, I think it was a decent place to start off the trip, but if we were to go back, we would deal with a longer ride from the airport and settle down somewhere more green, closer to sights and points of interest.


For New Years Eve, we made our way to Canggu, a surfer, and digital nomad haven. It was pretty quiet during the day when we were there, but it got rowdy at night for New Years Eve! We stayed at this amazing little hotel, Surf Motel, and it was so great. Two minutes from the beach, amazing room and a great roof deck. One thing to note about Canggu, if you do not want to ride a motorbike, you will have a really hard time getting around the neighborhood.

How Canggu works is that there is one main road, and then many small roads veering off towards the beach. So, if you are staying along one tiny road, in order to get another part of the beach you will need to get out to the main road and then go down one of the small side roads. We had NO CLUE, and it took us so long to get places! We were in Canggu on New Years Eve, and finding motorbikes was not too easy, but there were plenty of local drivers willing to take you if you are in a pinch!

Canguu is a great middle ground between the very luxe Seminyak and very low-end Legian. Canggu would be a great place to stay for a while, as it has a ton of Western amenities but also has that island charm! We were here for one night only over NYE, it would be a great place to stay longer.


We took a day trip from the city to Uluwatu to see the temple and hop some beaches. All in all, so worth it! Do yourself a favor and download either the GoJek (motorbike Uber) app or Bluebird Taxi (regular vehicle Uber) app, because it is so affordable to hop on one to get to Uluwatu from the city!

After exploring the temple, we made our way to Padang Padang Beach, and this place is a surfer’s haven. We ate lunch in the village, a cliff-side village with lots of steep stairs full of beachside shops, surfboard maintenance and a few restaurants! Bintang (beer) and Mie Goreng (stir fried noodles) for $3 was the move this day. After lunch, we took a dip in the water and hung out at the cove beach! Getting a BlueBird back took a bit, since many cars are not out that far. Keep that in mind, and consider maybe a GoJek back!

All of my photos this day were shot with my Nikon D3300. I have a complicated relationship with this camera, but at the end of the day, these two photos of Aiden and Padang Padang Beach are my favorite!

All of my photos this day were shot with my Nikon D3300. I have a complicated relationship with this camera, but at the end of the day, these two photos of Aiden and Padang Padang Beach are my favorite! Take a look at it here.


We booked a day tour to the Nusa Islands when we were in Legian! Honestly, I am not a huge fan of full day tours, but it was relatively cheap and I wasn’t really feeling like trying to figure out ferrying over and getting set up with snorkling and island tours. The tour was $60 per person, and included round-trip transfer and ferry, snorkeling, lunch (Mie Goreng and Nasi Goreng–YUM!), and a private motorbike tour of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan (the two smaller Nusa islands)!

The snorkeling was fun, a nice thing to do before we went diving, lunch was nice and really relaxing but our favorite part was definitely the motorbike tour! This older man and woman picked us up, I hopped on her bike and Aiden hopped on his bike. They took us EVERYWHERE… I’m talking Blue Lagoon, Devil’s Tear, Sunset Point, Sandy Bay Beach, Yellow Bridge Point. You can find the tour here. Great day trip from Legian Beach!

Nusa Islands

Spiritual Bali


Ubud was our second destination, all of my research pointed to this town being the quintessential Bali place. We spent 3.5 days, and we wish it was a little longer. It did not disappoint! We were surrounded by rice fields, waterfalls, farms, yoga studios, amazing food, monkeys, temples and great people! Some essential to-dos in Ubud:

Ubud things to do
  • Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
  • Campuhan Ridge Walk
  • Stroll down Jl. Gowtama street
  • Ubud Market on Jl. Karna street
  • Yoga Class (we went to the Yoga Barn)
  • Tegallalang Rice Terraces
  • Air Terjun Tibumana waterfall park
  • Cooking class at a farm in Ubud (we chose this Airbnb Experience)

Tegallalang Rice Terraces: this place deserves an extra shout out. It is one of the TOP tourist destinations in Bali, and any time you see a picture of a girl with long flowing hair on a swing swinging into the beautiful landscape, odds are it was taken here. Even though this place is beautiful and totally worth the trip, it is such a tourist trap. We paid 100K Rupiah (7 USD) to enter the rice terraces, and then several other people tried to tell us we had to pay them since they were the farmer to get in. I understand paying the farmers, but this definitely felt like tourist traps. Be prepared for intense heckling and get to the far side of the terraces for some peace! Also, be prepared for the heat. There is minimal shade.

To get here, we rented a motorbike and it was about a 30 minute ride from central Ubud. Totally doable, and maybe wear a swimsuit under your clothes so you can bike over to a waterfall and cool off afterwards!


Mt. Batur is the famous active volcano on the north side of Bali. The sunrise hike is a really popular tour, but we chose to do the guided hike through this Airbnb Experience to try to have a little fewer people on our hike. It totally worked! Our guide took us a different way, and while we were hiking with only 2 or 3 other small groups, the main path was packed–even at 4 AM. The hike is not the most difficult hike I’ve done, but definitely not the easiest!

We got picked up at 2:00 AM from our hotel by the driver, there were 2 other people in our van. We got to the homestay of our trek guide at 3:30 AM, had a small breakfast, and began hiking at 4 AM. The hike takes about 1.5 hours. Once we got up, our guide cooked breakfast for us on the steam of the volcano and let us watch the sunrise. It was Christmas morning and felt really special! Then we hiked back down and began the drive back, we were back at our hotel by 1 PM.

The views were amazing, being on an active volcano was amazing, but what we did not expect was that the Airbnb guide also had us stop at a Luwak coffee farm on the way back! It was a way for them to make some extra cash, but we got a free tour by a lovely girl who had wonderful English and showed us around her family’s massive coffee farm. She gave us a ton of samples, and then we were able to purchase some Balinese and Luwak coffee to take home!

Some things to note: if you get carsick, be prepared. The road to get up to the homestay is rough, I had a hard time hiking due to my upset stomach.

Underwater: Diving in Bali


We were determined to get open water dive certified when we were in Bali. From a bunch of research, we found one of the best places to get certified was the Gili Islands. We were excited to explore another island, and there was a great dive school on Gili Trawangan. From Ubud, we got a taxi and then took a ferry over to the Gili islands. The island is completely motor-free, the most motorized traffic you can have is a slow-moving motorbike, and you can walk around the whole island in about an hour! We stayed in a hut that had an outdoor bathroom and several huts were positioned around a pool! You can book beforehand like we did, or just walk around the island until you see a guesthouse that has spots open. See our accommodation here.

Our dive shop was called Trawangan Dive, highly recommended! Our open water dive course was 2.5 days with 5 dives, 2 mornings in the classroom and pool, and cost roughly $300 per person! That is:

1. much less than any place in the US or Mexico and

2. incredible price for some of the best marine life we have seen.

If you want to go to the Gili Islands for diving, we recommend Gili T. If you want to go to the Gili Islands for a beach party vibe, go to Gili T. If you want a serene and relaxing experience, Gili Air may be better suited. Once we were done with our dive course, we didn’t really want to stay at Gili T. It’s a lot of clubs and bars, and beaches are either packed or have washed up coral, making it hard to sunbathe. Overall, a great break from Bali!

Are you planning a trip to Bali? Do you have questions or just want to share how excited you are? Leave a comment! So pumped to hear from you guys!