Top 5 Beaches To Visit in Mykonos, Greece

The second island we visited during our honeymoon trip to Greece was Mykonos. From the moment we got off the ferry until we got back on to head to Athens a few days later, we loved every minute on the island. We spent a large amount of time at the Old Port enjoying the restaurants and the ocean view. At the Old Port, we saw the Windmills and spend many afternoons getting lost in the white alleyways in Little Venice. My favorite part of Mykonos was the ability to enjoy a large amount of various beaches. Although we did not get to visit every single one, we tried to get to as many as we could to see the difference among the beaches. We wanted to visit the more well known beaches like Paradise Beach as well as get recommendations from locals on their favorite beaches. Here are my top 5 beaches to visit in Mykonos, Greece:

Top 5 Beaches To Visit In Mykonos, Greece

  1. Ornos Beach – We spent less time on the beach because of the high winds but we sat at a bar off the beach enjoying a drink and the beautiful view. Even with the high winds, the beach was a beautiful front to decorated restaurants. The beach made me want to just sit there all day and enjoy the peaceful ocean. We stayed out on the lounge chairs until we could not take the wind any longer before spending the rest of our time reading, protected from the wind. I wish we would have been able to enjoy more of our time out on the beach but regardless it was still one of the best spots.
    Ornos Beach Mykonos Greece
  2. Platis Gialo Beach – Luckily since we visited Greece right before the peak season, the beaches were fairly quiet and calm. We really enjoyed our time at Platis Gialo as we used the shaded lounge chairs to enjoy the beach. I mean really baklava on the beach – that is a dream Greece scene! The beach had its windy moments but was a lot calmer than other beaches we visited. This was one of my two favorite beaches due to the fact that it was the perfect setting to lounge under the sun, reading a book and enjoying music!

    Platis Gialos Beach Mykonos Greece
  3. Super Paradise Beach – While Paradise wasn’t much beyond loud music and dancers on the bar, Super Paradise was a perfect mix of good music and a calmer beach. The water had clean sand and beautiful see through water. We spent the longest time at Super Paradise because of the atmosphere. The husband spent a huge amount of time in the water which wasn’t too cold in mid May and I spent a ton of time enjoying the sun. This was probably one of my two favorite beaches while this was the husband’s favorite beach of all that we visited.
    Super Paradise Beach Mykonos Greece 2
    Super Paradise Beach Mykonos Greece
  4.  Psarou Beach – Our guide who took us to the hotel told us Psarou was one of the more expensive beaches, often frequented by the wealthy and celebrities but that we had to visit just to experience. The beach was very pretty (even on the overcast day we visited) and had luxurious day beds and expensive restaurants. It is more enclosed in a bay with beautiful homes and hotels surrounding the beach. The beach also offers water sports like jet skis and kayaking. We did not spend too much time at the beach but I completely agree with our tour guide, it is a beach you have to visit just to say you did.
    Psarou Beach Mykonos Greece
  5. Agios Stefanos Beach – Agios Stefanos was the closest beach to our hotel so we spent a few mornings relaxing on the beach. The water was a perfect blend of green and blue. The beach was one of windiest beaches making the beach more ideal for the morning because the wind really kicked up by the afternoon. There were great restaurants off the beach that also served the lounge chairs as long as you purchased two items. I would highly recommend the beach for families due to the separation away from the party beaches.
    Agios Stefanos Beach Mykonos Greece

Have you booked your ticket to Greece yet? Pack that swimsuit and head to the island! 

Check out other travel recaps for Greece on the Travel Page! 

Hotel Review: Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach

Before I recap our last day in Phuket, Thailand, I will be reviewing some of the companies we dealt with, hotels we stayed at and airlines we took during our trip. Our last day in Phuket was one of the most memorable days of my life, tied very closely with our last day in Bangkok. Before I wrap up the trip (I mean I have to by the time we leave for Greece in May) I wanted to share my review of our stay at Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach.

Hotel Review

Our tour package included our Phuket stay at the Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach which turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Let’s just put it out there from the beginning… This was one of the best hotels I have ever stayed at. Our welcome started with water, cold towels and fresh fruit. After a quick flight from Bangkok, it was the perfect start. Upon checking in, we walked to the edge of the lobby to see the Andaman Sea. It was gorgeous. Overlooking the infinity pool that fades into the ocean, I was certain we would be enjoying every minute we were at the hotel.

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We were driven to our hotel room with our bags to an ocean view suite. The second we opened the doors to the patio, I was extremely taken back. A large jacuzzi looking out across the blue waters? I actually messaged my friends and boss to inform them I would not be coming back with a view like this. Every single day, we woke up and fell asleep to the soft waves. Watching sunsets from our patio will be some of the highlights of my life, highlights I will always remember.

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The room we stayed in was the Jacuzzi Villa thanks to a killer deal we received through Affordable Asia (review to come next week). The bed was large and comfortable. The room was extremely spacious. The walk in shower included a rain shower and beautiful woodwork throughout the room. Most often, we left the patio door open anytime we were in the room. The weather was perfect and we could not get enough of that ocean view. This was one of the first times we went on a trip and really enjoyed what the hotel has to offer.

I have learned over the years that the most important thing about a hotel is the location. Novotel does not disappoint. Not only is it right on the beach, overlooking the ocean, it is extremely close to main attractions and beaches. The infamous Patong Beach is a short walk along the beach or an even shorter taxi cab ride. All boat landings for our tours to the islands was always less than 15 minutes away. Every morning, we enjoyed the wide spread continental breakfast as well as an outside dinner, next to the beach one night. The best part however? The one hour massage we booked on the beach. I fell asleep for half of it because after a belly full of fresh fruit, the ocean in the background and a Thai massage, how could you not? Honestly, I think the worst thing I could say about the hotel was that one night we heard very loud frogs for a few hours. Otherwise, the room, views, service and food definitely earn the hotel an A+ in my book!

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Tell me: What is the most important thing to you when you book a hotel?

Check out past Travel Thursday posts if you missed them on the Travel Page! 

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Travel Thursday: Phuket Itinerary

We are one day closer to Friday which also means Travel Thursday! On Tuesday, I shared my Bangkok itinerary for our trip next week. After Bangkok, we will be traveling to Phuket to finish off our trip. Although there are less sights to visit but more islands to visit, our days will still be packed. We purchased additional tour options to visit particular islands we wanted to enjoy. Therefore, we will spend additional time traveling but I am sure it will be well worth it when we get to step onto those beautiful white beaches. Our last day in Phuket is completely open so we will soak up the gorgeous beaches and Thai massages!

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Here are some of the planned spots we will visit in Phuket, Thailand:

Wat Chalong – One of Thailand’s largest and  most beautifully ornamented Buddhist monasteries. Monasteries are extremely common in the city as this is one of almost 30.

Phang Nga Bay – James Bond Island – As seen in two James Bond movies, the island is most famous for its sheer limestone cliffs that climb out vertically from the emerald green water. Another beautiful site near Phuket that I am more than excited to enjoy. 

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Buddha Cave Temple – Another well known temple with a large golden Buddha. Decorated in rich, vibrant colors, this temple seems like the most exciting one to visit.

Monkey Beach – The name says it all, a beach filled with monkeys. I plan to feed the monkeys and hopefully get a picture with one!

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Khai Island – I think you can tell by now, Phuket will be the spot where I get a million pictures that do not do justice to the beauty we will see. Khai Island is just that – pure beauty, with it’s completely see through water, known for being able to see the fish swimming with you.

Kho Phi Phi  – Made famous in “The Beach” (which we watched this past week) with it’s white sands, picturesque backdrop and clear blue waters, this is the reason I wanted to come to Thailand. The pictures look amazing and is my idea of a perfect beach. 

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This is just a small list of all the spots we will be visiting but definitely some of the more well known tourist stops. We have a few more islands we will be stopping at as well as visiting more of the city life within Phuket. Regardless, I know this trip will be one of a lifetime, produce many beautiful pictures and leave us with wonderful memories.

Tell me: Which of these spots would you most like to visit? Would Monkey Beach scare you to visit?

Thailand: Bangkok Itinerary

The week countdown to Thailand is almost here! We have been busy getting ready for our 10 day trip to the other side of the world. Luckily, our planning has been much less about the trip, more preparing things before and after for the fact that we skip Thanksgiving to go right to Christmas. With our work schedules, we benefited the most by traveling during the holidays and miss the least amount of work. Our trip has been extremely planned by the package we picked. Therefore, most of our days are packed in the day and left open for us to explore at night. The first half of our trip will be in the capital- Bangkok. Our itinerary is packed with some amazing tours and hot spots to visit making it even more exciting. As you look through the planned list (which is most of our plans, not all), you better believe my camera will be full with pictures when I come back.

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Here is our itinerary for our stay in Bangkok, Thailand

Temple of Golden Buddha – Home of the world’s largest solid gold Buddha? Yes! I am so excited to visit the historic Temple which is our first stop in Thailand. You will notice temples are a theme in the country.

Temple of Reclining Buddha Wat Pho – The oldest temple that I got even more excited to see after watching “The Beach.” In addition, the temple was the birth place of the Thai massage!

Gem’s Factory and Thai Silk – I am most intrigued by the Gem Factory tour to see how gems are extracted for jewelry. This highly recommended tour includes watching how jewelry is made (awesome) and concludes at the Thai Silk markets.

Kingdom of Siam at the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha – Another historic, architectural grand palace with the most famous Buddah shrines in the country.

Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall (Marble Hall) Art Exhibition – I love visiting spots with amazing architecture. This palace made of marble, I am sure will be one of my favorites.

Damnern Saduak Floating Market – Shopping out of Thai vendor’s canoes sounds awesome to me! I love getting to experience other countries culture which makes this one a definite must for us.

War Cemetery – The war cemetery explains the history of Asian labors who worked on the Death Railway under the Japanese army to construct a portion of the Burma-Thailand railway.

Thailand Elephant Camp

Elephant Camp – I have been most excited about seeing baby elephants since we booked this trip! I am so excited to visit the camp which will be followed by a ride through Thailand’s rainfore

Bamboo Rafting in River Kwai – bamboo rafting? This sounds like this will be my favorite day of the trip!

Tell me: Which of these would you most want to see/visit/do? Would you ride an elephant?

Meeting New People in New Places

Recently, I have been trying to condense all of my pictures into one location (which is proving to be a tad bit more work than I thought). As I was organizing the pictures, I stumbled across the pictures from when my mom and I visited Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, France. The gardens were absolutely beautiful with vibrant flowers and immaculate gardens. After we spent time in the gardens, we finished walking around and started to plan where we would go for lunch.

Luxembourg Gardens Paris France

As we headed out, I saw an older couple near the garden entrance with the wife trying to take a picture of her husband. Although my mom was with me, her voice was in my head reminding me like she always has, “Always offer to take someone’s picture.” I asked the lady if she wanted me to take a picture for them which she replied in her (adorable) British accent, that she would love that. The second the words came out of her mouth, her husband replied “I did not say I wanted to take a picture with her.” They both just laughed. I instantly loved this couple. My mom and I ended up talking to them about where they are from, their views of the US, our government, their travels and how long they have been married. They had been married over 50 years and were traveling around the world together. We enjoyed talking to them for over 20 minutes before I walked away smiling and txtng the hubby to tell him how I wanted to be like that couple when I was older.

Meeting new people in different places is one of the best things about traveling. Not only have my international travels led me to meet some amazing people but my US travels have been entertaining as well. My husband and I sat next to a world-traveling Westminster Kennel Club Show Winner who shared his life story about his divorce, raising dogs, music and travel. When in Rome (literally) I sat next to a very sweet guy on the plane who let me grab the arm rest in between our seats as we were taking off. As he saw I was very nervous, we started talking to discover that we were both from So Cal. In New Orleans, my best friends and I sat next to sweet, 4 year old Genevive on our swamp tour. She sang The Beatles to us in her adorable accent while showing us her teddy bear the entire tour.

All of these people and many more have made my experiences all the better. Traveling is amazing for so many reasons but the people I have encountered will always be a memorable part of the experience.

Tell me: Do you have memorable interactions with new people while traveling? Have you continued contact with any of them after your trip?

Travel Tips: Part III – Packing

One of my favorite things to do before going on a trip is pack my suitcase. I am known for my over packing. Often my thoughts are “why not bring it, just in case I might need it.” That often results in me carrying around unnecessary extra weight and bringing lots of stuff back I should not have brought in the first place. As I have continued to travel to different places with various types of weather, I have improved my packing skills with each trip. With our weekend trip to Portland in August, I will really test how much I have improved on packing smart when I will only take one carry-on. I guess this is good practice for the rest of the trips I have this year as well.

Travel Tips

To finish off the last of the Travel Tips (check out Travel Tips I and II if you missed them) and keeping in line with Travel Thursday, let’s talking about packing when traveling. Here are some of the best tips I have picked up over the years which will help you pack only what you need and hopefully get away with just a carry on for some of your trips:

-Make a packing list- First and foremost, write it down. Create a packing list accounting for how many outfits you will need based on the weather of where you are visiting and what you will be doing. When you have a list, it is easier to stick to without adding additional items you really do not need. As I mentioned in Travel Tips I, research is crucial to planning a trip so make sure you research before you make your packing list. Creating a packing list based on research of your destination also makes sure you bring anything you would not have thought of based on the current conditions, i.e. sunscreen, umbrellas, hiking shoes, etc.

-Roll your clothes- Not only does this help save space when packing but it helps to keep clothes less wrinkled. I hate wrinkled clothes and hate it even more when I arrive at a hotel where they do not have an iron in the room. Folding your clothes in half then rolling them up takes up significantly less space and allows to you better utilize small space in luggage.

Dress smart: Layer, stick to neutral colors and pick versatile items- When packing clothes for a trip, pick light weight, versatile clothing items that you can mix and match as well as layer. This allows you to use clothing items multiple times in different outfits which means bringing less. When you stick to a neutral color palate or one color you will be able to mix and match easier. Don’t fret- this does not mean you need to look like a plain jane in your vacation pictures as you can still add color into your wardrobe. Add color through jewelry, accessories and shoes which take up much less room.  

Pack your shoes- Yes I love shoes but I am not reminding you to bring them. Instead pack the inside of your shoes with small items i.e. jewelry, socks, accessories, phone cords, etc. This way you are utilizing as much space in your luggage or carry on as possible. You would be surprised how much fits in them saving you space and allowing you to store smaller items without worrying about them getting lost in your luggage.

Maximize your personal item- Utilize the fact that most airlines allow you to have one personal item in addition to your carry on. Don’t bring a small purse or bag, use a backpack or duffel. They offer a maximum size you can bring on so make sure you take as large as you can. Pack your personal item with important documents (passport, credit cards, ID, etc.) as well as the items you will use on the plane and valuable items like electronic devices and chargers.

Group your outfit together in a large ziplock bag- I picked this trick up when doing Ragnar and I will continue to use it when it comes to packing. Instead of planning the top, bottoms and shoes for an outfit then later throwing an extra shirt in case I spill or different shoes in case I change my mind, I pack only my outfit. Using the jumbo ziplock bags, place your shoes (then any socks or accessories in the shoes as I mentioned above), top, bottoms or dress and undergarments together. Everything you need is grouped, in one spot with no unnecessary items thrown in. With the ziplock bags, you should only need one other bag for your toiletries which would easily fit in a carry on.

Use plastic bags or ziplock bags- If you use ziplock bags to group your outfits together, then you can put your dirty clothes back in the ziplock bags. Wrap up your shoes with plastic bags to prevent them from dirtying your clothes. Then you can use the plastic bag to throw your dirty clothes in during the trip. Saving space and planning ahead is what you need for packing!

Hopefully some of this tips will help packing on your next trip- good luck!

Tell me in the comments: Are you an under-packer or an over-packer? Do you have any tricks you use when packing?

Travel Thursday

Check out Travel Thursday I and II and III

Travel Tips: Part II

Last week on Travel Thursday, I shared the first post of the series Travel Tips. Following the tips I shared to help you start in the initial planning of your travels, today I want to share Part II of Travel Tips. As shared in Part I, researching, planning and booking a trip requires special attention to getting the most cost efficient trip. Over the past few years of travel I have found websites that I regularly check whether thinking about where I want to go on my next trip or am actually in the booking stage following a few weeks of the research stage.

I advised in Part I to subscribe to travel company’s emails so you can be notified about special offers or sales. I hate having a full inbox so I have one separate account for just travel companies. This way I can still receive offers from companies but do not have my work or personal emails getting too mixed up or bombarded with travel emails. Due to the exclusive offers you get from email subscriptions, it is beneficial to add your email to companies’ list. Beyond email subscriptions, there are many websites to book travel through that you can get competitive rates on which help you to make the best decisions when traveling.

Travel Tips

Here are some of my favorite websites that I regularly use when researching, booking and planning any travel plans:

Groupon – I love Groupon getaways because they offer some all inclusive packages that allow you to visit places at a great deal. We booked our Thailand trip through Groupon at an extremely competitive rate including air, hotel, some meals and the option to add tours. We knew that we wanted to visit Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand so we started researching into making the trip work. After looking for a couple months, we found a Groupon getaway for 4 days in each city. Basically Groupon did most of the leg work for us and allowed us to add optional tours to the trip. If you have a place in mind that you wanting to visit and are flexible on dates, Groupon is a site you should visit to see what options they have in getaways.

Hotels.com – Hotels.com offers not only competitive rates on hotels but many subscriber exclusive offers as well. One of my favorite features from Hotels.com is their reward program. For every 10 hotel nights you book through Hotels.com, you get 1 free night. If you are traveling often, this can add up very quickly. Hotels.com has a deal of the day where you can book a discounted daily rate for various cities. The website also offers many special deals and coupon codes through their email subscriptions.

Skyscanner – If I had to pick a favorite travel website, Skyscanner.com would definitely be it! It is a wanderluster’s dream website. The site compares flights across hundreds of airlines- high end flag carriers, charter flights, and budget airlines giving you many options when it comes to air travel. Besides giving an extensive listing of airlines allowing you to see the cheapest option, you can book the flight instantly with the click of a button. There are no added fees because when you’re ready to book we send you a direct link to the airline or travel agent. The best part of Skyscanner is their ‘Everywhere’ search which lets you input where you want to fly from and which month. The search will show a list of available flights from your airport to destinations across the globe.

Kayak – I use Kayak for finding the most cost effective flights and hotels. It allows you to input your search options which gives you results for multiple airlines and hotels. I used Kayak for my trip to Europe which was perfect due to their itinerary management. Once you booked an airline or hotel, it allows you to manage your entire trip itinerary within their website. This is very helpful in your planning stage to have everything in one central spot.

Viator – I owe a special thank you to my coworker who introduced me to Viator.com for booking tours. It is the best website to use when you have booked a trip and are starting to plan what you want to do or see. Viator offers cost effective tours for travel spots across the world. They offer tours that appeal to everyone from day trips, food tours, sightseeing tours, walking tours and more. The website will offer options for anyone in any spot you are planning to visit.

Tell me: What is your go-to website when booking travel?

Note: I have no affiliation with any of the sites listed above. They are simply websites or companies I have found to offer the best service, rates and booking options when it comes to travel. 

Travel Tips: Part I

Last weekend (while we were already on vacation mind you) my husband booked our next vacation to Portland, Oregon!  If you have been keeping track, that vacation is in addition to the New York & Seattle trip taken in February but before our trips to Miami, FL and Thailand. Needless to say this year is filled with travel. We are both very lucky to have jobs that give us plenty of vacation per year which allows us to travel. However, most often when people find out about our travel plans they make comments that we must make a lot of money or ask how it is possible to travel so much in a year.

By the end of the year we will have taken 7 trips- 6 domestic and 1 international. While that definitely equates to a lot of money spent traveling, we have been very smart when it comes to planning our trips. Every one of our trips has been carefully thought out and planned before booking. For example, our round trip plane tickets to Miami cost $80 for taxes and fees because we used miles to pay for the flight. This is just one of the many examples of how we are able to afford 7 trips in one year while working full time jobs.

So with that I wanted to do a 3 part series with some of the travel tips that have worked to get the best deal and make the money work for as many trips possible. I am definitely not an expert in travel planning but have found some resourceful ways to help with the details and costs of traveling so hopefully these tips will help you get to where you want to go. As a part of Travel Thursday, here are some general travel planning tips:

Travel Tips

First and foremost, I think the most important tip for any travel of any type is research, research and research. Read as much as you possibly can about the places you want to go. Plan where you want to go, what you want to see and when you plan to visit. Then research if your plans will work logistically, financially and physically. As a type A personality, this is one of my favorite parts of traveling. Planning is essential for any trip and starts in making your trip most cost efficient. Research the best time to visit where you plan to vacation. Many people thought we were crazy to go to New York in February. Crazy? Maybe a little. Was it much cheaper to visit than any other month? Definitely. We saved a significant amount on hotel & transportation because we went during the off-season. Researching the best time to visit will also help you to plan around the season you decide to visit.

This will allow you to start the next step of planning in regards to what to pack, what tours to take, how much your trip will cost and what to expect during the time frame you will be going. After you picked your travel destination, do some more research and start reading as much as possible on the place you will visit. By reading travel guides, other people’s reviews and online forums, you will be able to start the actual day to day planning of your trip by creating a list of things you want to do and starting an itinerary of your vacation.

After you have decided the time frame of when you want to travel, sign up for email notifications from travel companies. I know no one likes extra emails in their inbox but if you set up a separate account for just travel deals, you can find ways to save money. Many companies will send you emails with sales and special deals that only subscribers can book. If you sign up for email notifications from companies, usually they will give you a coupon code for your first booking/purchase. Also, by signing up for fare and sale alerts, you can track prices to determine the best time to book.

Another way to make traveling easier on your wallet is by making your money work for you. As I mentioned earlier, our Miami flights cost us $80 for taxes and fees because I used credit card miles to “pay” for the trip. Using an airline specific card, I was able to accumulate enough miles within the first 3 months to fly us from California to Miami. The majority of credit cards will give you a sign up bonus if you spend a certain amount of money within the first few months of getting the card. The initial bonus is usually is enough to cover 2 round trip airline tickets. In addition, you will earn miles for every dollar you spend, additional miles for dollars spent on travel and dining. Lastly, cards have additional benefits including set companion fares and special flight discounts. Make sure to research the best card for you and what you are trying to accomplish. Find out what each card’s miles points will cover. Some cards cover just flights while others allow you to also use points for hotels, transportation and car rentals.

Of course, these are some tips to start in the initial planning of your travels. Stay Tuned: In Part II of Travel Tips, I will share the websites that have helped me in researching, planning and booking the most cost efficient trips.

For my fellow wanderlusters: What is your #1 travel tip for first time travelers? 

Travel Thursday

Check out Travel Thursday I and II and III

Travel Thursday

Last night, the husband and I were recapping our last year together. Our 1 year anniversary is next week so we were reminiscing on our vacations from the past year. He mentioned how over the past year all of my trips combined have led me to 8 states/countries and 3 vacation spots in California. Not too shabby for a year time span right? It got me thinking about how reminiscing on past trips often fuels me until my next trip. I love to read about other’s travel experiences so the wheels started turning to create “Travel Thursday.” My hope is that this will help in getting people to write more about their personal travels.

So what is it? It is a weekly post for bloggers to recap their past trips/vacations or discuss any upcoming travel plans. It’s an opportunity to help with blog post ideas as well as promote travel through personal experiences. How can you join? It’s simple. Write a travel related post, grab the “Travel Thursday” button and link back to Planks and Planes somewhere in your post. Then, just write. Reminisce on that great vacation you always think about or write about the destination you are dying to go to. I can’t wait to read them!

 Travel Thursday

With that, let’s get on with the first “Travel Thursday” post as I recap some of my past year travel highlights.

Favorite spot visited: Why didn’t I save the hardest question to the end? Of course I loved every place I visited but favorite by just a sliver would be Paris. Overall, everything about Paris was just perfection. The landscape, the food, the people, the language, the Eiffel Tower; everything was better than I ever imagined. Paris is definitely the spot I left a part of my heart in.

Best place for food: Hands down, Rome. Ahhhhh I can still taste the lasagna and pasta. I ate some of the best food of my life on that trip. Every lunch and dinner I would enjoy a pasta dish, large glass of wine and finish with dessert. Let me tell you, I never had an even mediocre meal. Every meal was delicious and flavorful. Don’t even get me started on the gelato! YUM!

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Worst place for food: That’s a hard one as most places I have visited the past year have been known for their food or a specific style. Of course I had some eh meals but I think London would be lowest on my list for food. They had food most similar to the US which didn’t provide too many new or exciting options.

Coldest place visited: We went to New York during one of the coldest winters they had in years. Every time locals would find out we were from California, they would ask why did you come now? We didn’t expect it to be in the negatives but we learned to deal with it and still enjoyed New York.  At least it made me appreciate the California weather we enjoy year round.

Hottest place visited: Rome because of the humidity! I have experienced humidity in various places but with all the walking tours I hated the weather in Rome. It was too hot and sticky that I felt gross for the majority of the day. Every afternoon we would go back to our hotel just to take a shower before finishing the second half.

Most active/healthiest place I visited: Mammoth, CA was the most active place I visited due to snowboarding. With all the walking up and down mountain sides as well as the snow activities, I burned a ton of calories that weekend.

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Least active/healthiest place I visited: New Orleans, LA. While there was a decent amount of walking, the food made it very unhealthy. Although there were a lot of fish options, most were fried or smothered in heavy cream sauces. Don’t get me wrong, was it delicious? Absolutely but New Orleans is not the place to start a new diet.

Until next week… tell me your favorite place you visited in the past year?

Live Your Life List: Travel Edition

Welcome to Wednesday!

Most of the time, people write out a bucket list of all the things they want to do or places they want to see before they “kick the bucket.” In my opinion, it just sounds too morbid. I prefer to call it my Live Your Life List. How’s that for alliteration! The idea of these lists helps to remind and motivate people to cross these things off your list. I like the concept of living your life by doing what you want. It is your life, you should do all that you want and see everything you desire.

Being the Type-A personality that I am, I have not just one life list but 3 different lists. I have one list for travel, one list for fitness and one list for everything else. Today I want to share my Life List for Travel (which is constantly changing). As I research and read about places around the world, I am constantly adding new locations. My goal for each year is to visit at minimum one domestic location within the US and one international location. Therefore, I keep a domestic and international list to help decide. When I get to cross a travel destination off my list, I usually add another one to keep the list always growing and never include all the places I want to visit. My travel list is not just limited to a specific destination but trying certain activities in a place that are well known for such. So without further ado, here is my current list:

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Top 5/ International Trips:

  1. Greece
  2. Spain/ Portugal
  3. Ireland/ Scotland
  4. Germany/ Netherlands
  5. Thailand (November 2015)
  • Attend the Olympic Ceremonies
  • Ski/ Snowboard in Swiss Alps
  • Visit Paris/ See the Eiffel Tower
  • Visit Rome/ See the Sistine Chapel
  • Visit London
  • Visit at least 5 2 continents (because we all know I’m not making it to Antarctica anytime soon)
  • Feed a monkey a banana in Thailand
  • Go on an African safari
  • See the Northern Lights in Iceland
  • Attend Holi in India
  • Attend Carnival in Brazil
  • See the New7 Wonders of the World
    • Great Wall of China (China)
    • Petra (Jordan)
    • Christ the Redeemer (Brazil)
    • Machu Picchu (Peru)
    • Chichen Itza (Mexico)
    • Coliseum (Rome)
    • Taj Mahal (India)
  • See the 7 Wonders of the Natural World
    • Grand Canyon (United States)
    • Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
    • Harbor of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
    • Mount Everest (Himalayas)
    • Aurora (United States)
    • Paricutin Volcano (Mexico)
    • Victoria Falls (Africa)

London        Rome

Top 5/ Domestic Destinations

  1. Boston, MA
  2. Miami, FL (September 2015)
  3. Chicago, IL
  4. Hawaii, HI
  5. Nashville, TN
  • See a Cirque de Soleil show in Las Vegas, NV
  • Learn to surf in Hawaii
  • Ski/Snowboard in Mammoth, CA
  • Ski/Snowboard in Denver, CO
  • Ski/Snowboard in Park City, UT
  • Ski/Snowboard in Lake Tahoe, NV
  • Go to New York City (Top 5: New York)
  • Visit the White House
  • Visit the first Starbucks in Seattle, WA (Top 5: Seattle)
  • Go on a cruise
  • See the Grand Canyon
  • Celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans, LA
  • Visit Hershey’s Chocolate World in Pennsylvania, PA
  • Visit Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL
  • Visit Yosemite National Park
  • Visit Yellowstone National Park
  • Visit Niagara Falls, NY

SONY DSC

Why not make your own list, book that plane ticket and live your life!!

If you could pick anywhere in the world you could visit, where would you go?