life on pine

sf >> mendocino coast

Kate ParrishComment

cruising california’s north coast

after spending a week in austin with family for christmas, we headed back to california to ring in 2019 and celebrate baby p. we went up north to explore a region that i’d never really spent much time in – anderson valley and the mendocino coast.

the whole drive from healdsburg to mendocino is the happiest blend of mountains, trees, wine country [famous for pinot noir] ocean cliffs and some of california’s rawest natural beauty. sadly our camera broke halfway into the trip – but we were still able to capture a few fun photos to share.

here are some of our favorite stops!

lunch on the final day at the shed in healdsburg which just closed [very sad to see this place go] and a pit stop at our favorite dry creek general store – followed by a night at the brambles in philo, breakfast [and dinner] by the fireplace at maccallum house, perusing fun goods at honey & ro, another delicious dinner at wild fish and cozy coffees at moody’s coffee bar. if we did our trip over we’d stay at the blue door inn during our days in mendocino. on our way back to SF we stopped in elk for a night at harbor house inn [more on this incredible spot later] and timber cove lodge.


raglan, new zealand

Kate ParrishComment

raglan, new zealand

this tiny little town on the north island wasn’t really on our radar until a friend in SF said we “had to meet her pal that lived in raglan”. when we researched it – it was obvious that we had to make a stop. what looked like the big sur of NZ, ended up being the the coziest, moodiest little surf town with such a great energy.

we ended up staying with the friend of a friend [who’d we had never met] for multiple nights in his guest room and it was such a memorable experience. we cooked dinner together, explored the town, watched documentaries, and kyle went for a few rocky surf sessions. we also camped at solscape for two nights where our rickety tent could barely survive the crazy rain storm and strong winds. would have much rather been in the teepees photographed below :)

if north island NZ is on your list, make a stop in raglan! you won’t regret it.


R E A D M O R E:

new zealand! the tongariro alpine crossing

Kate ParrishComment

hello, nz! 

our 3-ish weeks in new zealand started on the north island where we flew into auckland and tried to pack in as much as we could before heading south. we started with the popular hike – the tongariro alpine crossing – and ended up going on one of the windiest days that year [120mph!]. i truly felt like i might blow off the side of the mountain and thus not many photos were taken that day. 

the trail runs through an active volcanic region in the midst of tongariro national park,  a 7-8 hour hike through dramatic volcanic scenery, offering epic vistas all the way to mt taranaki on a clear day.

some quick tips/things to know:

  • you will likely sleep in the town of taupo, nz on the nights before/after the hike 
  • it will take most of the day - the tongariro alpine crossing is ~12 miles long, on average the trek takes between six and eight hours to complete, so definitely pack a lunch + snacks + plenty of water
  • park your car at the end, and book a s huttle to the trailhead [then when you're done, your car is waiting for you :)] 
  • check out this site for all the info you need to know 

Y O U  M I G H T  A L S O  L I K E:

back in mexico city

Kate ParrishComment

mexico city

this was the final stop on our trip before heading back to the states, and it was a prefect place to end [and meet up with kyle's dad & step mom!]. it was a short and sweet 2 nights, but filled with a lot of food, drinks and exploring. we hit up some of our favorites from the last time we visited, and also popped into many new places.

some favorite places from this trip:


why every traveler should be using google maps

Kate ParrishComment


honestly, i often hate apps and it took me a few months for kyle to get me on board with what i'm writing about to day. so if you have that mindset, please bear with me!

navigating a new city is hard. add in a packed agenda with no international data plan and it can be very overwhelming and expensive. don't get me wrong, we love a good old fashioned paper map and still use them often, but when trying to efficiently get to all the right stops we have found google maps to be somewhat life changing. we, [among others] are impressed with where they have taken the experience and how well they are integrating with international travel. not only are their maps far more accurate & reliable, the interface is much nicer and they seem committed to travel planning as they just released google trips


  • STARRING with this functionality, it's extremely easy to save & remember restaurants, bars, museums, hotels, trail heads, and more – and then see how close/far they all are from each other. we also use it to save the places we stumble upon and end up loving. all you need is wifi to save a location, and from then on it will be saved on your map even if you don't have wifi. 
  • OFFLINE MAPS avoiding international data charges, they let you download for a defined area. it will keep all your starred places and street names/metro stops/etc so it functions as a modernized city map. you'll be able to get around just like you were on wifi. 
  • AUTOMATIC SYNCING email/airbnb/hotel bookings/etc. – these all find their way to your map, too. example: i got lost in seville the one time i tried to go out alone [sigh] – and opened my map to see what i could find. and there was a little star that said "seville airbnb". my google had already synced it to my offline map and i was able to get home no problem.

E X A M P L E  F R O M  P A R I S:

as you will see on our international travel guides, we have made maps for each city with all of our favorite places that you can easily download to your google account to have on your phone. simple as that! some photos below to help better walk you through the process. 

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