Ambassador Love

Starting 2019 off with some shared love from some companies I adore.

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Recently I have joined the Ambassador team to two companies : Inkkas & Lively

Two very different companies, with two very different products. Both have an amazing product and a purpose.


Inkkas is a fair-trade company that’s product is made by local artists. It is an online shoe store where they have promised to plant a tree for every pair they sell. “ Inkkas are crafted with respect for the environment and the people who make them.” The shoes are funky, unique, comfortable, and hold up! I own two pairs currently, and highly recommend them. If your interested in trying a pair for yourself or gifting to someone you know would love them, use my code to save 35% off!! Andrea35 at check out

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Lively is a bra & undies company that is inspired by women. Products made for women to feel sexy, comfortable, bold, smart, and healthy. To encourage that and embody that! To showcase that :-)

If your curious about their products and want to save some money please use :

AMB-andreacoanphoto at checkout to save $10

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image courtesy of  WearLively

image courtesy of WearLively


I would like to add one more company that is worth mentioning, Eddie Bauer. 

I have partnered with this company for my reasons. The most obvious is their love and respect for the outdoors. Being an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast I can back this company up 100%. They make incredible products and they know it bc they have a lifetime guarantee on all of them! They also have an award program for those of you that are adventure seekers!

They run deals often, so be sure to just pop on over time to time : EddieBauer

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Wander & Discover : Croatia

Last Fall I attended a First We Eat Workshop that filled my heart with so much warmth and my tummy full of local ingredients. It truly was magical.

Then the magic continued as I my husband flew out and joined me for a week exploring this beautiful country.

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I would be lying if I said we knew what we were getting ourselves into. Neither of us knew much about Croatia. And this is actually my favorite way of seeing and exploring a new place.

I don’t have expectations or images in my head to live up to. I just go! To me that is being FREE.


So, the journey began in Zagreb.

Once Joel arrived we jumped into our rental car and headed to our Airbnb downtown.

We were greeted by a pup that was being framed by a wall of beautiful vines and greens covering the building. The dream state was already sinking in.

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After a good nights rest we were ready to drive on and explore the next town.

We had our week planned out with some hikes in mind, long drives, and what cities we wanted to explore during our stay. And with each stop our love for this place grew. Quickly we noticed our pace slow down, and the level of appreciation for such a unique country grew more evident.

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Plitvick Lakes

Plitvick Lakes

I was very excited to make a stop at Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is a forest reserve in central Croatia. Walkways wind around the falls and lakes as you settle into a zen state following the wood planks. Their are 16 terraced lakes, that are connected by waterfalls, that extend into a limestone canyon. And depending on the time of year you go, your experience will be completely different. We enjoyed the Fall colors and deepness of auburn and yellows hues. But look forward to returning to the Lakes some summer to soak up the warmth of the sun and rich and lush greens this place would provide.

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DIOCLETIAN’S PALACE

DIOCLETIAN’S PALACE

As soon as we entered Split we knew our venture had just begun. Our Airbnb was located in Old Town. Little did we know the roads to get to this area and our ‘apartment’ for the night were nearly un-driveable. But, Joel went into the streets winding through old stone buildings as the street narrowed and narrowed. Oncoming traffic for a barely one lane road would approach, and only way out was to drive the whole windy road back in reverse to allow locals to pass. It was nerve racking and impressive to say the least.

But this introduction to Split was intimidate and gave us an immediate impression of the area. Within its white stone walls and under its courtyards are a cathedral and numerous shops, bars, cafes, hotels and houses.

Its full of life, history, and old! Very Old. Incredibly breathtaking.

I could walk these side streets for days

I could walk these side streets for days

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A must visit in Split is the Cathedral and Bell Tower of St. Domnius. It is regarded as the Oldest Catholic Cathedral in the world that's still in the original structure. The bell tower architecture started in the 13th century with reconstruction that took place in the 20th century. It stands at 57m high.

And if your not afraid of heights, I recommend climbing the stairs to the top of the Bell Tower where the views will take your breath away.

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After two days in Split we planned a boat ride to the island of Hvar.

We understood that Hvar island may be a tad more sleepy this time of year ( October ) but it worked in our favor of enjoying the area with less people and chill vibes. Dogs were wandering around loose and greeting people. Last minuet boat tours had space available, and no need for reservation at restaurants. All in all, it worked out okay!

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Amfora Grand Beach Resort was the first ‘real’ hotel we had stayed in during our stay in Croatia. When entering our room, we noticed a kind note wishing us a Happy 10yr Wedding anniversary and fancy dessert. It was such a nice touch and made our stay feel personalized.

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As much as we have been enjoying the old romantic towns, small streets, ancient history, and incredible structures, we were so excited to spend the day on & in the water. We booked a day tour with Hvar Tours where they took us to cliff jump, the smallest beach, and the blue caves!

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Next stop on the agenda was Split!

And this is when I am at a loss for words. This place.

Most know it from Game of Thrones.

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View out our bedroom window

View out our bedroom window

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I am happy to have a partner that is willing to stand on the edge with me -    THE BELLTOWER

I am happy to have a partner that is willing to stand on the edge with me - THE BELLTOWER

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blue cave

blue cave

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After returning from a full day on the water we took a hike to catch the sunset.

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Because we were traveling at the end of peak season not all the tours or boats were running. So, instead of taking a ferry from Hvar to Dubrovnik we had a driver take us the long way through the villas and towns.

It was such an amazing way to cover more ground and see more of the country side of Croatia.

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Our tour guide recommended we headed up the tallest hill to reach the Fortress at the top of city that overlooks the islands.

Little to our surprise the sunset that night would color the town pink.

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Dubrovnik was our final stop on our trip. It is a popular city in southern Croatia fronting the Adriatic Sea that is known for its Old Town. Along the water sits old ancient city walls that were completed in the 16th century. These walls create a city within the city. Dubrovnik’s uniqueness is so charming with its limestone streets and stairs that fill alley ways for the most romantic of night walks.

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The Dubrovnik City Walls Walk is the perfect way to appreciate the structure of this wall along with all of the rich terra-cotta roof tops and lively square.

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After a day of wandering around the square and walking the wall we took the Cable Car to watch the sunset from above.

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We spent our last two days eating pasta with truffle and exploring these great walls… it was a lovely way to end a trip that I in conclusion feel was simply magic. A place I would recommend anyone go visit.



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Croatia {First We Eat}

I had the pleasure of attending my first FWE workshop with Eva & Carey two years ago, held in Iceland.  My expectations were totally exceeded and I was left wanting more.

So, when I saw that they were hosting a  food & styling workshop in Croatia, I jumped at it! 

The weeks and days leading up, I was connecting with fellow attendees via social media, and making plans to stay in Croatia to explore once the workshop ended.  I was unsure what to expect of Croatia or how this workshop would differ from the previous one I attended but, I was ready for anything!

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There is something to say for when you get the opportunity to be in the midst of someone you admire in your field.  To spend a few days watching how they work, listening to their advice and soaking up as much information as you possibly can that leaves you feeling blessed. 


This is how I felt after attending the First We Eat workshop held by Eva Kosmas Flores

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Upon arriving in Croatia, I met up with 3 other gals at the airport.  Our 3 hour drive through the Croatian countryside to Istria county, where the workshop was being held, was filled with laughter and great conversation. A perfect start to an amazing journey.

We were all so excited to learn and be amongst like -minded individuals, creating art and sharing our passion with one another.

Tournant  : boutique catering

Tournant : boutique catering

Driving through Istria County is a treat in itself. It is filled with windy country roads, beautiful trees, rolling hills, and small narrow streets lined with vineyards.  

Once we pulled up to the house we all gasped with awe to how stunning and romantic the villa was.  Eva & Trisha came out running with a warm welcome and showed us to our rooms.  The following few hours were spent meeting with everyone and dining by candle light.  We were served with Incredible food prepared by Jaret and Mona -which was the perfect way to end a day of travel. 

 

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The next few days were all planned out for us.  They were filled with food styling demos, Lightroom overviews, learning social media strategies, eating wonderful food, wine tasting, truffle foraging, exploring, late night chats by fire, and of course- Photography!

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Besides the wonderful food & beauty that surrounded me daily I was amongst some of the most amazing ladies.  The talent, joy, enthusiasm, passion, and drive that sat around the table daily was the biggest reward of this workshop.  Coming from all over the world, with different levels of experience, we came together and shared our passion for Photography.

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Tri lu  kne  ceramics 

Tri lukne ceramics 

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Lets not forget one of the most important elements of the workshop- FOOD.  We were spoiled by the most amazing food prepared from seasonal ingredients by Chefs, Mona and Jaret of Tournant.

These two individuals were simply incredible.  Yes, they knew how to cook, but their passion for cooking is what left a lasting impression.

Every meal they prepared had us running for our camera's. Then our forks.  Then for seconds. 

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picnic overlooking town of Motovun

picnic overlooking town of Motovun

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When you sign up for a First We Eat Workshop you are getting a whole experience filled with knowledge, adventure, and inspiration. What goes on behind the scenes is pretty remarkable.  On behalf of one of my favorite food photography inspirations, Eva Kosmas Flores from Adventures in CookingTrisha Hughes of Eat your beets blog, and  Danielle Firle of Tendue, Thank You!  Your hand in all of this truly makes the experience special. 

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local truffles

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The lovely Miss Mona

The lovely Miss Mona

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styling food

styling food

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parting gift

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The morning of our departure we decided to stop in the town of Hum.  

 Hum is located on Istrian peninsula of Croatia and in the Guinness Book of Records as the 'smallest town in the world'.  It is recorded to only have 17 people living there.  The streets are not drivable but perfect for exploring by foot.  And that is just what we did.  With hot coffee in hand, we walked around the town of giants and castles.

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Then it was goodbye...

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Motovun

Motovun

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Our truffle pups 

Our truffle pups 

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Mozi Magazine : Feature on camera gear + traveling

Travel and photography go together like bread and butter, Bonnie and Clyde, salt and pepper. You get it. But traveling with gear isn’t always easy. How do you pack it? How do you keep it safe? What equipment do you need?

To see complete feature, head over to the blog today to read my tips on those exact questions...http://www.mozi-mag.com/12995-2 

 

 

Photo gear while traveling:

There are many articles and opinions on how to prep your gear or plan for a photoshoot when traveling. Whether it is packing gear to fly, to hike with, or for a long road trip, I have experience in all of these scenarios. I continue to learn each trip I take on how to be more efficient and prepared.

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1. Flying with gear

There are so many variables to consider when you plan to fly for a shoot. My nerves are always going as I worry I will leave something behind. But there are ways to help calm those nerves and feel prepared. I would first recommend that you make a list of essentials – camera body, two or three lenses, two batteries, back up charger for batteries, and at least two memory cards. These are just the essentials! Depending on what kind of trip/job/traveling you are doing, there may be some additional items you wish to bring. But, these are a MUST for me!
I like to use a solid camera backpack that carries all of those things, so they are on my back and with me at all times. You do not want to check-in your camera gear.

If traveling overseas, check to see the weight limit of carry on bags. It is a terrible feeling when they are asking you to gate check your most valuable items. Also, some places like to see proof of ownership/purchase of the gear you have. I was coming back from Mexico and they wanted to tax me for what was in my bag because they questioned if I purchased any of it while visiting Mexico. From that experience, I learned its better to be safe and prepared for anything like that. You are not always aware of laws in different countries. I keep a little pouch in my camera bag with proof of purchase or warranties so I can prove that it is in fact my gear, not a new purchase!

When traveling, the big question of what gear to bring is very hard. To me, my first question is, “how much am I gonna be on foot?” You have to think of weight on your back, as well as what lenses will provide the most coverage and help you in the majority of situations. With those two questions in mind, I love to bring my 24-70mm lens and my wide 28mm lens. If i plan to photograph a lot of food while visiting somewhere I also bring my 50m lens. This also acts as a wonderful portrait lens. With those three lenses, I feel pretty solid.

If you have a place thats safe to leave gear, once you arrive to where you are going, an extra camera bag with more lenses and an extra body is always recommended. An example of that is shooting a destination wedding. You need external flashes, more memory cards, 70-200mm lens. Again, you can usually have two cary-on bags. So, you still can keep gear on you. Split up the weight so you feel comfortable while traveling via airport.

 

2. Hiking

I am in love with my photo sport 200 AW backpack from Lowepro. You can surprisingly fit a good amount of gear in there, and its so comfortable on your back. When traveling on hikes and venturing in nature, It is not necessary to bring all the extra gear. I leave my chargers behind, and make sure I charge my batteries prior, and have one in my body and one extra. I know most people love tripods when shooting nature photos, but, if i am hiking, it does not come with me! I get creative and use ledges, rocks and whatever I can find to rest my camera on if I want to shoot a long exposure. My favorite lens for hiking is my Canon 11mm-24mm lens!

 

3. Road Trip

I am a proud owner of a camper van. Her name is Parker and she has been all over the US. I have driven her across country a handful of times and it is by far my favorite way to travel as well as photograph. In my car, I have designated areas where I keep my camera bag(s). I usually have a smaller bag that just holds my Canon 5D IV and 27mm-70mm lens on it, ready to use at any given time! Then, behind the passenger seat I have my larger main camera bag with my Canon 6d body and my wide lens on it. Also in that bag you will find a good 3 more lenses. That is mainly my ‘storage’ bag. In the main zipper compartment is my chargers, external flash, laptop, etc. I also have my tripod attached to the side of that bag. Then I have my Lowepro sport bag with two other lenses in it. That is the bag I grab along with my main camera rig that I have in the front seat when I stop to explore a rest area, or hike on the side of the road. When I travel long distances, and know my gear is safe, and on me, I can bring more with me. It allows for you to not be as picky with your gear, and have more readily available to use. This is why this type of travel has its perks. Though- there are some downsides as well. Too much gear on you, makes for more choices to make while in any given situation. Sometimes, thats helpful. You don’t feel as limited. Though, worrying about more than a handful of lenses can be stressful if your still learning what lenses you feel most comfortable with or how to implicate them in different situations, subject matter, and lighting.


For further info or questions, please feel free to write me bellow! 




ICELAND { First We Eat}

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Words are not my strong suit but I will do my best to share this amazing experience with imagery and a few words mixed in here & there.  

 
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First We Meet

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Day 1 :

 After arriving in Reykjavik, I was patiently awaiting to start the  First We Eat Workshop!  

Soon I would be meeting Eva Kosmas Flores and Carey Nershi, the hosts of FWE and joining the rest of the group.

 

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This was my second trip to Iceland, and I hope not my last.  The magic of this place has not changed, but this journey was quite different than from my first.

I have to take a minute to share how  brilliant this workshop truly was.  FWE was hosted by two of the most talented young ladies along with the talented Linda LomeliMaggie Pate, and Ingrid Hofstra.  All in which had a huge part in my experience.  Together they made a wonderful team- busted their asses, showed us iceland, and fed us well!  


To be photographing along side of these ladies; learning, observing, and exploring is a real gift.  I thank each and every one of them! 

After a full nights rest, I woke up in Mosfellsdalur with a wonderful homemade breakfast and a day full of surprise and education ahead of me.  I was well rested and ready for anything!

 

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Waterfalls are so powerful and moving.  They have such a huge presence, and the ones in Iceland are no exception.  Eva & Cary took the whole group to visit Seljalandsfoss along with a secret hidden waterfall ( my favorite ).

 I found myself escaping the crowds and running around like a kid, exploring the hills and views behind the falls.  I can just stand and watch a waterfall for hours...so captivating.

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 Laxnes Horse RanchThis was one of my favorite activities during this visit to Iceland.  I do not have much experience riding horses, and my little guy, kinda scared me here and there, but he kept me safe and it was an incredible ride.  The area in which we rode was full of rolling hills, green mossy mounds, and lava rocks!   We were not allowed to bring our cameras, but I managed to sneak a few with my phone.

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What a day... Following horse back riding, picture taking, and food (of course) we headed to the Secret Lagoon!  Had a little picnic outside, with light drizzle and then enjoyed the geothermal pools.

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fine group of ladies

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 Linda Lomeli seriously makes some of the best looking, and tasting baked goods.

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This bundt cake had us all over the table - shooting at all angles! 

After a little lesson on how to style your own images, we were given some time, props, and a slice of cake to play around with.

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Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss

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After chasing waterfalls, we went to on dirt roads to reach Keldur (grass houses that are thousands of years old on ancient farm land).

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Upon our return to our sweet little cottage (Airbnb) in Mosfellsdalur was this incredible full rainbow!  It was such a nice little treat to come home to.  We quickly recollected ourselves and prepped for a wonderful dinner and mini photoshoot.

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breakfast hash

breakfast hash

I loved waking up, walking outside, being surrounded with beautiful views and a table full of stunning desserts to photograph,  No better way to start the day.

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Then walk inside to enjoy homemade soup and a perfectly set table.

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On the last full day of the FWE workshop we had some extra time to choose which activity we wished to partake in.  Some ventured downtown to shop in Reykjavik, others went to geothermal pools, some needed to rest, and a few went on a hike.                  

Which activity do you think I choose?

 

Perfect rainbow over   Laxnes Horse Ranch

Perfect rainbow over Laxnes Horse Ranch

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Erla Gretarsdottir

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After everyone came back together to the house, we got ready for our last meal!  The weather had cleared up so we were able to eat outside, with beautiful rolling hills and mountains in the near distance.

 And of course, one last pictuesque dessert. 

We followed this wonderful meal with a little lesson by Maggie Pate on textiles and how to weave a loom.

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As the Workshop was coming to an end, the goodbyes started going around. Though, I was saying goodbye to the group I was not saying goodbye to Iceland.  Not yet! 

I had planned to rent a car and drive around for two more days before flying home.  Erla, a local to Iceland, helped me map out my next two days in Iceland.

I was ready for lots of driving and some solo time.

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After getting my car, I stopped at  Reykjavik Coffee Roasters, got a Swiss Mocha and went onward with my journey into the beautiful landscapes of Iceland.

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The Snæfellsnes peninsula

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After driving up and around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula , stopping in Hellnar for a nights sleep, and exploring Arnarstapi, I headed to Reykjanesbaer. 

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My last night in Iceland was spent at OkHotel in Reykjavik.  

After a full day of driving around it was nice to be on foot and walk around the city.  Jen, one of the gals that I met during the worshop was still in Iceland, so we met up at Kaffi Vinyl for some vegan food.  Afterwards we wondered around some stores before I went back to my hotel...I had to get up at 4am.

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I thank Erla for my detour to the Southern Peninsula of Iceland.  

Reykjanesviti was stunning!  Just a short drive from the city you can find yourself in geothermal fields, views of the oldest lighthouse in Iceland, and cliffs with crashing waves against black beaches.  

On my last trip to Iceland, I visited Vik.  I was so bummed to not be revisiting those beaches this time around, but Reykjanes Peninsula totally made up for it!

 

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Grindavikurbaer

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On the drive to the airport, in the wee hours of the morning, I enjoyed the full moon over the mountains and sun rising on the water.  It was so emotionally beautiful. 

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Till we meet again... Iceland you will be missed!