Norway Fjords cruise – first stop Alesund, Norway

Eric and I are cruising the Norwegian Fjords! This is Eric’s dream trip. He has wanted to see the Fjords for many years. I think I would of wanted to for all these years, if I had any idea how breathtakingly majestic they would be.  Every turn was more beauty, more awe!  Our cameras did not catch the magic of the Fjords in any way.  Seeing them in person was something I will never forget.  It was like seeing a movie where you can’t believe the scenery.  Below we share a few of our experiences through photography as we made our stops along the way of our cruise on the Norwegian Jade from our favorite spot on the ship, our balcony.  Also, the port stops were fun and quaint.  How I would love to live in Norway if it wasn’t so cold half the year! I’m usually not at a lost for words to describe places, but for Norway I am.  Just beautiful!

Our first port stop is Alesund, Norway. Alesund is at the beginning of the Fjord, and is also named Norway’s most beautiful town. We toured the stunning town and Art Nouveau architecture  on board the City Train Tour.  It was both fun and informative of the town history and culture. It took us to all the spots we wanted to see, and told of spots we wish we could of traveled to.  As we traveled through our first Fjord, we both were stunned by how picturesque and gorgeous Norway is!  As I said above, the photos just don’t do it justice, and since we were there during a rainy week, I’m sure sunny photos might help with sharing how just magnificent this country really is.  How green the mountains, and how blue the water was.

CityTrain Tour
A drop in guest as we enjoy the Fjords from our Balcony
So Stunning!
The shoreline of Alesund
Words fail me!


The streets of Alesund and the many Art Nouveau buildings
Alesund, Norway
Eric takes my photo by the waterways of Alesund
Sailing through the Fjord
Sun breaks through the clouds, as we approach Alesund
Norwegian Jade
Sitting in the train, waiting for our tour of Alesund
View from the top of the Troll Mountain or Fjellstua
Our first glance at the city below – Alesund
City Train Tour!
Down on the street in Alesund
Everyone walking around the city on a rainy day
Us pinching ourselves, that we made it to Norway
Alesund coastline
Clouds are here to stay I think
My husband really enjoying his trip!
Sailing in the Fjord

Waterfalls – Yosemite National Park

ERIC and I made a day trip to Yosemite National Park this week to see the impressive Waterfalls.  The snow started to melt last week during the beginning of the summer heat hitting the Central Valley of California.  We had a spectacular time as we hiked through the Yosemite Valley and snap picture after picture of the many waterfalls that were gushing over the granite mountains surrounding it.

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YOSEMITE has always been a favorite of ours, maybe because it is in our backyard.  Only 1 hour from our home.   Or it might be the amazing sites we see no matter what time of the year.   We make several trips a year to Yosemite National Park and it is always delightful.

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THIS  trip was not a disappointment, even though we were hoping to see snow on the ground like we did last year.  There was no snow but seeing those magnificent WATERFALLS with the blast of the spray as it hit the rocks, was amazing.   I don’t remember ever seeing so much water in the Valley.   There were small waterfalls everywhere you looked, and the Yosemite Falls, Vernal Falls, and the Bridalveil Falls were spectacular.  The roaring sounds of them cascading over the mountains was a sight to behold.   Like I said, YOSEMITE never disappoints!

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Me getting amazing photos of the Mountains surrounding the meadow
Eric photographing the Valley floor
I love Yosemite!



Driving through the desert in search of an adventure last Tuesday, after spending the morning at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, we headed up Hwy 14 outside of Mojave.  Seeing a sign for the Red Rock Canyon, an having never heard of them, we were very intrigued.  Those Red Rocks did not disappoint.  Getting there was not that easy, as the signs were a little hard to follow coming from the South to the North, but once we turned around and headed back down, we found the turnoff.

nature trail

We stopped along the area to take some photos and found the Hagen Canyon Nature Trail.  Since we already had our hiking boots on we strapped up the backpack with the gear and took off.   It was really a very easy hike, which is what I am all about!  The trail wound around the Canyon with a few climbs, but nothing too steep.

people in the rocks
These rock formations are amazing.

The rock formations and the wild flowers were worth every step!  We had a blast taking photos and enjoying the beautiful site.  It was by far, our favorite stop of the day.  We spent several hours hiking and snapping up photos.

After a long day of hiking and photography we stopped off in Tehachapi for lunch at Kohnen’s Country Bakery.  It was a great lunch.  Unfortunately we didn’t get our first choice (beerocks were long gone {sad face} ), but second choices were good too.  Eric had a German sausage sandwich, and I went with the Ham sandwich.  Of course I added a cherry cheesecake to finish lunch off, well a few bites anyways, and pack the rest for the long drive home.

Can’t wait for our next adventure to where Shuman Travels continues….

Window Formation

are you seeing this
Are you seeing this?


poppy field
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

The Super Bloom is happening now in California after the many rainstorms this winter that have caused a major boom throughout the State.   The much needed rain soaked the seeds laying dormant in the dirt and have started blooming all over California.   The Shumans headed out on Monday to drive down to Lancaster to catch the blooms before the hot Summer Sun dries them up.

Wow!   We hit the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve just after closing time on Monday afternoon.   We were just scoping out the area after checking into our hotel room (Marriott TownePlace Suites)  so we knew exactly where to show up the next morning.  We were shocked at how many people were still up on the hill checking out the Poppies, since it was windy and the poppy flowers had closed up  (which they do in the cold or fading sunlight).   People were everywhere.  Climbing hills, parking on the street, taking selfies with the poppies, etc.   My husband and I couldn’t even imagine what the weekend was like.   People are poppy crazy for the Super Bloom!

Parking on Lancaster Road
Having read several articles in magazines and newspapers, we were now understanding the Super Bloom craze that was sweeping the State.  We traveled back over (15 miles) from our hotel to the AV California Poppy Reserve the next morning.  We were prepared to hike the Valley and enjoy the blooms.   Much to our shock and dismay, when we pulled into the Reserve, after passing dozens of cars and people on the road up to it, the long line of cars and full parking lot up the driveway, made us quickly turn around before we became stuck in the line for hours.  So much for our Tuesday won’t be that busy plan.   We were struck wondering if this was a Tuesday crowd, what the heck was a weekend crowd like.  We don’t really want to know!  Blat!!!  We join the throngs parking out on the road when we found a spot, and took pictures here and there below the reserve.   We were so glad that we had walked up the hill in the reserve the night before.

poppy in bloom
Beautiful California Poppies
Eric had a fabulous idea to head up a road marked with a For Sale sign to see if we could get a picture (long shot) of the Poppy Reserve.   There we took some of our favorite photos of the golden covered hills.

Antelope Valley
Hope you enjoy the pictures and also get inspired to make the trip to see the Super Bloom.  It was a fabulous time.  But stay on the trails!!!!!

hills in valley
Lancaster County

tons of poppies
Field of Blooms