Great Barrier Reef: Heron Island

DSCN1422Remember when I visited Australia, got halfway through posting photos, then disappeared for awhile all distracted by my full time job working retail over the holidays?  It’s time to get caught up.  Over the next few weeks, every Friday I’ll be sharing the rest of my travel photos from the epic Australian journey.

Heron Island is actually quite difficult to describe.  It’s one of those surreal Discovery Channel beauty type of places that just saying “It was so beautiful” doesn’t even scratch the surface of how I really felt.  The skies are the purest blue of blues and the ocean looks as if a turquoise diamond has melted over the reefs.  This island is located on the Southern end of the Great Barrier Reef so the coral is mostly browns and neutrals with a few great pops of color.  The bright colorful coral is more North where the water is warmer.

One of the fantastically fun things about Heron Island in particular is that during low tide, you can walk a good mile from shore and only be up to thigh deep water.  It’s such a remarkably unique way to visit the reef!  We were able to spot tons of sea life just during these walks alone.  Bright blue starfish, neon lipped clams, sea cucumbers everywhere, and we were even lucky enough to spot a sea turtle both times we did a reef walk.  You’re literally in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, surrounded by wildlife.  From birds to sharks, you’ll have some form of wildlife in sight at all times.

This Island is known for its sea turtle activity.  While we visited in October, the sea turtles were in mating season.  We witnessed quite a bit of sea turtle love and saw evidence of the females coming to shore for a little rest.  Apparently, the males practically drown the females while, you know, getting busy so the ladies need a break.  A sea turtle cigarette so to speak.  At other times during the year, visitors can witness the entire sea turtle life cycle.  I would have died to see the baby turtles!  Next time, I suppose.DSCN1494DSCN1579DSCN1470DSCN1407DSCN1545DSCN1359DSCN1534DSCN1502DSCN1454DSCN1393DSCN1375DSCN1361DSCN1726DSCN1356DSCN1605DSCN1432

 

Fun fact: Heron Island was named after these birds above but they’re actually Egrets!

To plan your visit to Heron Island, click here.

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Seaplane to The Great Barrier Reef

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The next step of our adventure was to visit The Great Barrier Reef.  Visiting here better be on everyone’s bucket list.  It’s an amazing surreal experience.  It’s absolutely incredible how up close and personal you can get with the wildlife.  For example, we got up to watch the sun rise one morning to witness a little sea turtle love and saw tracks where the ladies had come to shore for a nap.  Just a flat out cool experience.

I highly recommend trying to take a helicopter or seaplane out to wherever your stay takes you for another perspective of The Great Barrier Reef.  As we were flying over we saw sharks, stingrays, schools of fish, and lots of sea turtles.  Pretty much everything I wanted to see!  The seaplane experience was really awesome too.  Landing and taking off on the ocean was crazy! I’m so happy we did that.  Stay tuned Wednesday for more on my Great Barrier Reef adventure.

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Sunrise Over Tokoriki

DSCN0560The sunrise from the top of Tokoriki Island was hands down one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever experienced.  The orangey-pink skies were some of my favorite colors hovering over my newest favorite place.  It’s really hard to describe the beauty.  The way up there was quite a steep hike and at 5:15 am, it’s somehow even more difficult.  I almost passed up the opportunity to see this for a little extra snooze time but I’m so happy I peeled myself out of bed!  It was just the most stunning and romantic experience!

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Bula from Fiji

imageBula!  You hear that everywhere in Fiji.  When asked what it meant, they just replied, “It means everything!”  So we heard it coming and going and just as a joyful acknowledgment.  The people were so warm and welcoming, I felt like I was home.  If home was the most epic beach location.  I wish!

It’s hard to describe the color of the beautiful water surrounding Tokoriki Island.  It’s the most inviting blue I’ve ever come across.  It’s so toasty warm I could snorkle for hours.  And after a long snorkle, we could simply relax in the quiet of an adult only resort with a beverage and the sound of the ocean lapping at the shore.  It’s magical how beautiful Fiji has been to us.

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Silly in Santa Monica

DSCN0282Those of you that know me know I have kind of a huge obsession with dinosaurs.  I mean, my favorite movie of all time is Jurassic Park!  (And if any of you know how I can be an extra in the 4th one, I’ll be forever indebted.)  So while I was visiting 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, I was super excited to see garden dinos!  I’m just getting my silly on in these shots so don’t judge.

While the boys watched football at Barney’s Beanery (an epic place to watch any sporting event), I got my shop on at some of the great boutiques in the area that I don’t have down in San Diego.  Brandy Melville and Kitson were my two favs.  I have some major wandering coming up soon so keep your eyes peeled on my social media!  (Instagram: @WanderingInHeels)

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Coronado Beach Day Look

DSCN0245Sometimes a day of relaxing on the beach with the girls is the best R & R you could ask for.  I got a really annoying sunburn a month or so ago and now I’m hyper about making sure I’m protected from the sun.  I want my super pale skin looking as young as possible for as long as possible!  Other than caking on tubes of sunscreen, I wore a UPF 50+ hat and a long maxi dress topped with a luxuriously soft white Equipment blouse.  Take that, Sunshine!

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Hat: Eric Javits, Blouse: Equipment, Maxi Dress: J.Crew (similar)

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Clam Digging in Washington

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That’s right, my friends.  I went digging for clams in Washington.  Over our Thanksgiving trip, Tyler’s family suggested a camping adventure to Pacific Beach to dig for razor clams.  I’m game to try anything once but got a little freaked out after looking at the weather report.  It kept warning of an “Arctic Invasion” (“Killer Snowflakes!”  My mom exclaimed) and the thought of battling almost freezing temperatures with high winds and rain while clomping through the wave edge looking for razor clam holes was not as appealing as I originally thought.  We totally lucked out though.  When the tide was low, the weather broke and we had an absolutely great time.  I was shocked how fun it really was!  That was until we got to the cleaning the clams part…  I’ll spare you the details.

P.S. – I wore this look when I went to get my clamming license at Sportman’s Warehouse.  I don’t think they believed me that I was actually going to use it…

 

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