On the Road Again: Do You Want to Explore Santa Cruz

 

On the Road Again: Do You Want to Explore Santa CruzFor my 50th birthday, I have been working on a project of doing 50 New or Adventurous Things before I turn 50. I know that what is important to me is experiences. “Success is not a destination, but the road that you’re on. Being successful means that you’re working hard and walking your walk every day. You can only live your dream by working hard towards it. That’s living your dream.” Marlon Wayans

In order to make my celebrations complete, I chose to celebrate with people in person! I wanted to see my favorite teacher and mentor, Joannie Parker, who had moved to Santa Cruz last year.

On the Road Again: Do You Want to Explore Santa CruzI flew from Burbank to San Jose and picked up an incredible car for my road trip. I loved being behind the wheel of the brand new 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE! It is sleek, stylish, comfortable, quiet and really handles the curves from San Jose to Santa Cruz. The all-new Dynamic Force Engine has power when you need it and 53 mpg! While Lily Tomlin says, “The road to success is always under construction,” I know that I need to feel secure on that road.

I felt very safe and confident with Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P). The dashboard alerted me to turn my lights on and a RED FLASHING SIGN said BRAKE! when two cars ahead of me stopped short. It has “an active safety package that includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) and helps you drive with confidence.”

On the Road Again: Do You Want to Explore Santa CruzBeing at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, I felt very calm. Some of the trees are over 1,000 years old! I figured in this 40-acre grove of towering old-growth redwood trees, I was very very young! It is a beautiful drive in the Santa Cruz mountains to the start of the trail. You can bring your bike but not your horse and it was $10 for parking. I was told that “these sky-scraping redwoods were admired by explorer John C. Frémont, President Theodore Roosevelt, and inspired some of California’s earliest redwood preservation efforts.”

Joannie and I walked the 0.8-mile (1.2km) flat loop trail. While we were there, we met a bus group from South Korea. They were marveling at the largest tree with us. It is approximately 277 feet tall and about 1,500 years old.

I loved visiting my mentor and the redwood trees. It made my holiday even better that I was driving a car that made me feel confident with every curve. I am looking forward to my 50th birthday celebrations and know that whatever comes next I am capable to handle it!

On the Road Again: Do You Want to Explore Santa Cruz

 Photos by Lisa Niver with #LGV20
Thank you to Toyota for sharing the 2018 Toyota Camry with me! I loved my driving experience.
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Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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