Pronounced (CHINK-weh TAY-reh). I hate to say it but I had pretty low expectations for Cinque Terre. Of course all the colorful, cliff dwelling towns are picturesque but everything I had read talked about how uncomfortably packed the five small fishing towns are with tourists, the unwelcome cruise ship ports and the threat of imposing tourism limits. I was pleasantly surprised when Cinque Terre turned out to be one of my favorite stops in Italy!
Kevin and I love taking small spontaneous weekend trips that require absolutely zero planning or preparation. Sometimes it totally backfires on us (cough *our first night on Catalina Island* cough) but other times I feel like it's the best way to truly experience a new city with no expectations or biases.
Zanzibar was the final stop on our honeymoon tour of Africa. We purposely chose to end in Zanzibar because we thought it would be nice to leave on a "relaxing" note after the "active" portion of our trip. Turns out, the Safari was just as relaxing as lounging by the pool all day. All the same, it made for a good excuse to visit and explore this beautiful island off the coast of Tanzania.
We knew we wanted to travel for our wedding anniversary but we had such a busy month of September that we never pulled the trigger on a trip. That left us scrambling the week before to find something that "felt special" (my sentiment) but practical (Kevin's sentiment). That's how we stumbled across Santa Catalina Island. It's super easy to access from Southern California but still has an island getaway feeling. My only regret is that we discovered Catalina so late in our SoCal years because I would have loved to have spent more time here!
Our trip to Italy in 2017 started in Naples which is a great starting point for the Amalfi coast. It's hard to believe that it's already been two years since we visited Italy but life has been an absolute whirlwind since our trip. Perhaps it's because because Kevin and I got engaged in Positano and we've been on a roller coaster ever since!
We chose The Bahamas for our Babymoon because it's one of the very few Zika free tropical destinations within a reasonable distance to the U.S. Having both been to The Bahamas before - think college spring break style circa early 2000's - we were a little unenthused about this destination at first since that wasn't the vibe we were going for on this particular trip. However, a little research led me to discover the Out Islands and we instantly fell IN LOVE with the pictures and description of Harbour Island.
Next stop on our big family vacation was the Hawaiian Island of Kauai! As a surprise, I worked with a local company, Lei Greeting, to greet us with flower leis ($28.80 per lei), in traditional Hawaiian form upon our arrival at Lihue Airport - Aloha! My niece and nephew especially enjoyed these vibrant, fresh flower necklaces; the boys not so much, but it sure made for a cute family photo!
As part of our big move across country, we drove from Chicago to San Diego. One stop that we instantly fell in love with was Vail, Colorado. Since then, we’ve been vying for the chance to go back and properly explore this picturesque town. As luck would have it, we had some dear friends relocate to Denver recently creating the perfect excuse to visit them AND this charming mountain village during its prime season!
The year 2017 was a birthday milestone for our family - celebrating 30, 40, 60 and 65 (and of course, 6, 28 and 33). To commemorate, we took our first EVER all family vacation! After carefully selecting Hawaii as the destination, we booked, planned and patiently waited for what felt like forever.