I remember being out on the water with my family. I was three, and my father would place my hands on the leather boat wheel, empowering me to believe that I was steering. As I grew older, my dad showed me how to spot fish from ripples on the lake surface and how bobbers would move when fish were nipping at the bate. He taught me how to set a hook and clean a fish. We spent hours fishing, but in actuality, he spent hours teaching me to be patient, to observe nature, and to respect nature. (more…)
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! ~ From The Koziols
It has been an exciting year full of new adventures! To start, I was accepted into Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s Master of Physician Assistant Program. I had to quickly move to Midland, TX and begin my studies as a PA-S (PA student). This past year has been a real blessing for travel, which included a medical mission to Jinotega, Nicaragua, exploration of the caverns of Carlsbad, New Mexico, a hike to the highest point in Texas in the Guadalupe Mountains, a wine-tour through Texas Hill Country, and the chance to explore the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, California. (more…)
Over 120 caves make up what is now known as Carlsbad Caverns. Uniquely, these caves were formed not by the running water of streams, but rather limestone decomposition by means of sulfuric acid, leaving behind a world of caverns beneath the Earth’s surface. Limestone rock that encloses Carlsbad Caverns comprises of ocean fossil plants and animals from a reef complex created ages before the dinosaurs. At that time the southeastern corner of New Mexico paralleled that of Key West along the Florida coastline. Jim White is credited as the first explorer of the cave in 1898, utilizing a handmade wire ladder to descend 60-ft into the depths of the cave.
The last jaunt of our Texas Road trip included a series of wine tastings over several days. We traveled through Texas Hill Country, rated “one of the 10 best wine travel destinations in the world” by Wine Enthusiast, visiting wineries in Fredericksburg, Hye, Spicewood, Driftwood, and Dripping Springs. We also ventured to Jacob’s Well, a natural artesian spring in Wimberley and explored the arts, beats, and eats of Austin. (more…)
My husband, Alan, and I started our Texas Road trip from Houston and made our way southwest toward San Antonio to hit two favorite hotspots, the Riverwalk and The Alamo. We were pleasantly surprised to make a third stop north of San Antonio, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, a scenic ranchland with over 500 animals roaming freely over 400 acres of land. (more…)
Our last day in Maui, while less adventurous than the rest of our trip, served as a relaxing finale to the trip. We ended our trip with a bang (of flavor), dining at Star Noodle – Top Chef Season 10 finalist and fan favorite, Chef Sheldon Simeon’s Asian Fusion restaurant. The rest of the day was left to explore Kula’s culinary gems, Ali’i Lavender Farm and the Surfing Goat Dairy Farm. (more…)
We woke up early to enjoy fresh Kona coffee, lilikoi, starfruit, and banana bread from the farmer’s market on our balcony, and we watched as a double rainbow revealed itself over Ka’anapali Beach. For me, Maui was an island of diversity – it offered me the ability to snorkel in the most beautiful beaches around the world, while a massive shield volcano loomed miles away, and miles from that boasted a tropical jungle. Today we were visiting the last active volcano in Hawai’i outside of the Big Island, Haleakalā. Dating tests have indicated that it last erupted in the late 1700s.
Our journey along the backside of Mount Haleakala started early Wednesday morning in hopes that we would make it to the ‘Ohe’o Gulch and Pipiwai Trail before the crowds. Traveling up the backside of Mount Haleakala also allowed us to avoid traffic, as a great number of people forego this beautiful drive due to rental restrictions. The backside of Mount Haleakala is known to host particularly sharp, curvy, unpaved roads with high cliffsides overlooking the coast. While it can be considerably dangerous, particularly during heavy rainfall, I cannot imagine traveling to Maui and missing out on the beautiful views of the upcountry fields or the volcanic cliffsides. (more…)
Alan and I woke before sunrise for our rafting and snorkeling venture. We chose to tour with a company called Blue Water (known for their personalized, adventurous excursions) in hopes that we may avoid a typical tourist-centric trip out to sea. The Kanaio and Molokini Snorkel and Rafting excursion fit our tall order. The tour allowed us to observe a variety of remote snorkeling sites, sea turtle habitats, and a rare, uninhabited part of the island, the volcanic Kanaio coast. (more…)
Hang gliding in Maui proved to be the highlight of our trip! We arrived at the Hana airport to meet Armin, an FAA-certified flight instructor and tandem hang gliding pilot, who was going to be teaching us how to pilot a motorized hang glider, commonly referred to as a “trike.” The aircraft featured tandem seating (much like that of a motorcycle), as well as dual control from front and rear seats, and a backup ballistic parachute system, which acted as a way to insure our safety. The micro-light aircraft featured a hang gliding wing and weight shift operation, very much like a traditional hang glider, but was powered by a reliable 912cc 4-cycle Rotax aircraft engine. This type of trike offered comfort and convenience, allowing us to enjoy more flight time high above Hana. (more…)