travel Tag Archive

  • Breckenridge and the FIRST snow fall!

    While staying in Frisco we decided to visit Breckenridge since it's only 20 minutes up the road.  If I had to rate my fav town this weekend it would be Breckenridge, Frisco and then Vail!

    Cullen and the girls and I headed to a cute little children's museum and then got juice and smoothie bowls at_____. Breckenridge has a pretty chill vibe to it and super artsy! I loved a number of families roaming around and all the cute little boutiques, restaurants and this little crepe truck we saw:) There was a really fun art installation that the girls loved and my favorite thing of all is the leaves were changing!!!

    Then headed back for naps and cozy time by the fireplace. It rained the rest of the afternoon BUT then the rain turned into SNOW!!!!!!That's right I just wrote SNOW! I wouldn't say that I love snow, but there is something about it snowing in the mountains that is just magical!

    In all my life I've never seen SNOW in September!! it was pretty dreamy being in the mountains and coming out of dinner to see the top of the mountains covered:) As we headed back home the next day all we could do was ooh and ahh while gazing at the snow cap mountains. then the fog, and then the leaves changing colors it was such sight and I felt so thankful that we got to enjoy such beauty!

     

     

  • Weekend Getaway to the Mountains

    Headed to the mountains last weekend for my SIL's Ember & Aura pop-up shop in Vail. This was my first time in Vail and my first time really being in the mountains, AND I  LOVED IT! How have I been a beach girl for the last 9 months but now I feel more like a mountain girl!! Can you be both? 

    We drove up to Vail on Thursday before we checked into our Airbnb. It was simply breathtaking... you kinda felt like you were in the Swiss Alps and not in Colorado! We ate at a yummy little beer garden where we were surrounded by people speaking all different languages.  The girls were charming everyone as they laughed and walked through town. Isla found a fountain that she decided she wanted to splash in even though it was 60 degrees out! After that, we found some new friends big bird and Elmo and then headed to our Airbnb. Which I thought Vail was adorable but Frisco charmed me instantly and maybe was more my speed. A cute charming town that truly looked like a mountain town surrounded by the mountains gorgeous blue skies and lots of cute boutiques and restaurants. 

    The next day I helped my SIL with her Sustainable Vail Pop-up for a few hours and did some window shopping and then headed back to have lunch with the girls! 

    Seriously love the vibe of the mountains, how they make you feel in awe and at peace with everything. So thankful for all our little trips around Colorado to get a better feel of our beautiful country!

    Have you visited Colorado? Do you have a favorite spot that we must see?? I would love to know!

  • Colorado Springs, The Garden of the Gods Park

    So guys, I' think I'm becoming a mountain person!! It's crazy to think we've spent the last 8 months living by the beach and although I loved it I am truly taken with the mountains right now!

    The Garden of the Gods is so breathtaking and there is something about driving down a road and then all of a sudden these huge red rocks appear and they are absolutely gorgeous and unexpected! 

    I feel like since we've gotten to Denver I've needed to up the girls' wardrobe we really only had summer clothes from the last few months and as we roll into fall it's getting chilly here and especially when we are up in the mountains. My SIL laughs every time we talk and I tell her that there is a SUPER TARGET nearby and it seriously has the best selection of clothing for kids and clothing for mamas! I mean, have you check out the Who What Wear Collection? I could never find it online but the super target has it all!

    Outfit details:

    Isla's outfit is from top and sweatshirt from Target and leggings here, My Jacket old Lululemon similar here, jeans and basic white tee , similar hat here, shoes.

    If you've been to Denver or Colorado and you have any must-have places we need to see, please let me know!!

     

     

  • Road Trip to Little Rock & Fort Worth

    It's hard to believe we've been back in the states for 1 MONTH! Ahhh, where is the time going? We've been to Sea Girt, New Jersey; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Troy, Ohio; Terra Haute, Indiana; Risco, Missouri; Little Rock, Arkansas; Fort Wort, Texas; Amarillo, Texas and making our way to Denver, Colorado for the entire month of September.

    We're so very thankful for this time we get to see and play with friends and family. We keep saying we only have this one life and we need to live our life to the fullest now not when we retire or when our kids go off to school. So here we are only planning one month at a time!!

    Here's to living your best life!

  • Send My Bags

    Traveling gets harder with kids, especially when you add a piece of luggage and a stroller. Don't get me wrong, I'm obsessed with our stroller (link here), but It's not that compact. So, when we knew we were leaving Asia and headed to Europe to road trip for two weeks before settling down in Portugal, we knew we might need to find another way to get our luggage from Salzburg to Portugal (and hopefully skipping the cities in between like, especially Venice)

    Then I remembered reading that Amber from Barefoot Blonde's Blog had written about using a service called Send My Bags it just that. It sends your bags to your destination for you. At the time I was thinking this was a genius idea but not sure I would need it. Well, I was wrong here we were flying into Prague and road tripping it for two weeks, and there was no way to pack everything in our car, especially in Venice Italy in our future. For those of you who haven't been you have to lug your suitcases all over the tiny, charming street of Venice to get to your apartment as well as take them up and down many bridge stairs so this was just not a possibility for us with two kids and a stroller.

    So I reached out to Send my Bags to see if they wanted to Collab and they did! I wasn't sure what I could pack and how much I could pack. But I was pleasantly surprised with the variety of luggage sizes and weights you could send.

    So I packed my big suitcase and Cullens' carry on with anything we wouldn't need for the next two weeks and packed ONE CARRY Carry on size bag for the 4 of us for the next two weeks! (Patting myself on the back)

    The suitcases were super easy to prepare we just had to print out forms to attach to the bags with string and then we left them at the front desk to pick up between the time of 9-5pm. Honestly, this part would have been inconvenient if we were at an Airbnb and had to stay home all day to wait for them. So I would suggest staying at a hotel or doing it on a day where you don't plan on going anywhere. They did come promptly at 10 am, but you never know.

    So once the bags were out of our hands, they were supposed to arrive in one week to our house in Portugal. They came two days early, and our host was able to meet them and hold them until we arrived.

    Both our bags were in great shape, and all the contents were in perfect condition. I'd use them again. It was hassle free and took a huge weight off our shoulders (literally, lol). So next time I can just sit back and relax and know that all my favorite things will arrive safe and sound.

    **They are great if you are moving cross country, headed to college, flying with golf clubs or skis and don't want to worry about lost luggage.

    Send My Bags sponsored this post but all opinions are my own.

  • Cruise Ship Overnight in Queenstown

    Over Night to Queenstown

    Anytime I’ve been on a cruise I”ve only done day excursions. On this cruise with my parents they wanted to do the overnight. I was alittle skeptical of how good could it actually be for the amazing price. But my parents talked to another couple on the boat and they said that every overnight they had gone on with Celebrity Cruises had been amazing.

    My other concern is how would the other people be with kids on the tour bus. So far people hadn’t been that smiley or kind to the girls so I was hesitant.  But in typical fashion my dad said “what do you care what they think” true but still as a mom you aware of everyone and thing around you.

    But then i thought to myself, we’ve been traveling for 4 months and the girls have done great so let’s DO IT!

    So, the next morning we packed one bag for the 4 of us and headed to catch the tender into Mossman Gorge. We were met by Mr. Paul a resistant  Bus driver that insisted this tour wasn’t for kids and that it would be really hard and super windy. I reassured him that we got this and gave him my “you gotta be kidding me MOM eyes” I know my girls and they will be fine! Of course, any mom that’s ever said this is totally freaked that just this once you don’t know your kids as well as you thought. The bus driver is giving us an out to get off the boat now, BUT of course we don’t take it. At this point I’m “T’d” This doesn’t happen often but I hate being judged because I have kids and i’m determined to show him how we are ROCKSTARS at traveling.

    When we get on the bus I notice there are all couples and one other German Family with older kids.  The bus driver reiterates over and over that there will be no bathroom stop for 2 HOURS! Luckily Isla has mastered holding it!

    The first two hours fly by and we make tons of stops to look at breathtaking scenery from the rain forest to mountains to sheep farms. The girls are killing it and we have pretty much converted the Paul, the bus driver and all passengers on the bus. We stop for lunch at this Texas roadhouse in the middle of nowhere. It was actually really delicious and then we make our way to Queenstown.

    Can i just say not only have we converted Paul to think that our kids are awesome. But that in return he might just be the best driver and tour guide i’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. He sandwiches his facts about NEw Zealand with jokes and funny commentary and it keeps me entertained and interested for the 8 hour tour day.

    Not having any idea what Queenstown is I’m pleasantly surprised when we arrive at this dreamy town that’s rather Aspen like. Rolling hills right on the water and the best people watching. We hurry and check in to our hotel and then stroll around town for 1hr before we catch the ferry to dinner at Walter Peak Farm.

    They fail to mention that this might be one of the most picturesque  and magical farms you will ever visit. We had almost considered not going because it was a really long day on the bus and we wouldn’t get back from the farm until 10:30.

    Well, I’m glad we didn’t miss out on this. You take a steam boat ride to this gorgeous sheep farm. They have the most amazing house that you go into for an all you can eat buffet or everything you can possibly imagine. From bbq chicken, pork, beef to cheese plates, 5 different salads, the most amazing desserts and of course WINE.

    We head back to our hotel on the steam boat where we listen to the piano play songs and everyone singing along. Such a memorable day from all of us.

    The next morning we wake up bright and early and head to an old gold rush town, Arrowtown. I wish we could of stay in this town a bit longer because it was so modern yet kept the architecture of the gold rush days. We stopped at a gorgeous winery in the mountains and then made our way to dudin to catch the cruise ship.

    This was a day for the books!

     

    Akaroa:

     

    This small french influenced town was perfect for strolling and eating local french food. The houses were beautiful. We ate a brasserie and strolled by the waterfront where the girls swung on swings.

     

    Wellington:

    We took the cable car to the top of wellington and made our way back down through the botanical gardens. These botanical gardens were so pretty they took up over…

     

    There was a playground half way that we stopped at and played on. Then headed to the tree house to pick up a Explorers  backpack for isla to wear while we walked around the park. It had a magnifying glass, bug catcher, duck food, binoculars, crayons and a bird guide book. I thought this was a genius idea and instantly she was more involved and excited on our walk. We had a blast watching her try to look through her magnifying glass.

    We grabbed some lunch and headed back to the ship.

     

    PIcton - Marlborough Wine Region

     

    So we didn’t book a tour in time and heard that the town of Picton was on the smaller side and could easily be seen in less than an hour. Not giving us the best impression of the town but the local surprised us with flower boutiquers when we got off the boat and little pins that said Picton. It was the sweetest gesture that you couldn’t help fall in love with their spirit and sweet town.

    Per usual Cullen had a plan, he suggested we rent a car and go to the winery...I’m pretty sure this is never a bad idea.

     

    We got a chance to show my parents how we like to travel. So Cullen rented the last car in town (a beat up minivan)… apparently other people had this same idea. And we hit the open road with Cullen driving on the left hand side and my dad in shotgun. I don’t know why this is always a funny sight.

     

    Cullen had done his research we drove through rolling hills through cute towns and ended up at Wairau Winery, which was absolutely breathtaking. We relaxed here had a wine tasting ordered an AMAZING lunch and drank more wine of course!

     

    After we headed to a famous Chocolate factory and back to the boat. This was my favorite excursion besides Queenstown Overnight.

     

    P.S. If Cullen is ever planning a trip or a excursion the answer is YES you always want to be apart of it!

  • Great Barrier Reef

    This was totally a bucket list day!! I never thought we would see austraila, let a lone on of the wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef. We totally got the hook up from Tourism Port Douglas to go on Calypso Reef Tours.

    I wasn't sure how it would go considering the girls hadn't been on a boat yet but they did awesome. They did not get in the water because the water was super choppy but they were amazing on the boat. Cullen and I did the parent relay race, where one parent gets to go snorkeling and the other watches the girls and then we trade.

    I do have to say when it used to be just Cullen and I we were a team in the water and he would point out fish or cool things and i would nod and laugh...not really sure what he was pointing to. But it was kinda our thing. So i missed that but was glad to get to see the reef on this trip.

    The crew was really aweomse. They made sure we were taken care of. We got on they fitted us for masks and flippers and we all had to wear stinger suits (which kinda made me feel like a more legit snorkeler lol) just in case we came in contact with some stingers or jelly fish.

    Right when we got out onto the water they served high tea, including tea, coffee, and biscuits! YUM! Then we hit up the first of our 3 reef stops. They reef got more and more beautiful by the last stop, which i guess was their plan all along. The crew filled us in on what to be on the look out for when before we snorkeled the reefs. I loved this part because i feel like I never know what i'm looking at or seeing and this made me feel like i was a reef guru.

    Half way threw the day we had an amazing lunch of sandwiches, salads and dessert. After we hit the last reef we had another tea and then we headed back home. AND THEN this is when i discovered Rum and coke in a can! Where has this been all my life? It was really good! Just saying!

    Well, the girls killed it on this excursion. I'm giving them a 8/10 for an 8 hour day of sitting on the boat while your parents have fun. Notice it's not a 10/10 because they need something to strive for, right?

  • Top 15 things to do in Port Douglas, Queensland

    While in Port Douglas we worked closely with Tourism Port Douglas to make sure we had the most authentic Australian experience while we were there for a month.  
     
    They did not disappoint. They helped us find the right tours that were family friendly and in our budget. If your looking for the locals that have the insider knowledge look no further.
     
    After everything we did there, here are our top 15 things to do in Port Douglas for families.
    1. Sunday Markets in Port Douglas. A must try is the coconut stand - super yummy but also super healthy. This lady and her family harvest coconuts from their own land and every Sunday they set up shop at the market. After you purchase your coconut, there's a delicious protocol. First, drink the coconut water, then hand it back the coco mistress. She'll cut it in half and shred the inside with a power tool to make coconut flakes. Then you choose your own adventure:  bananas and coconut syrup for sweet or beans, greens and tamarind sauce for savory. Both our 3 yr old and 11 month old loved it!  All in all the market is quaint and fun - you can buy fresh fruit, handmade dresses, toys, custom necklaces and lots more next door to a historical church on gorgeous inlet. Prices range from $-$$$ all depending on the booth. A must see!
    2. Rent a car. Being able to see so many amazing places on your own timetable is priceless, but if you choose to go self-guided, you'll save some money on tours, too.
    3. Do a Walkabout with local indiginous leaders, the Walker Brothers, came highly recommended. We weren't able to go because Isla got sick but this is a MUST if you go. The locals even take the tour...thats how you know it's good!,  You'll gain amazing insight into aboriginal culture, Go crab hunting, sample some bush tucker, and learn about the local culture.
    4. Picnic like its 1917. Yes, the simple pleasures seem to be on steroids in Port Douglas. Grab a bottle of wine, a baguette, ham cheeses and fresh fruit and head to the beach to watch the sunset. It’s pretty magical.
    5. Morning and evening walks on 4 Mile Beach were some of my favorite moments. Also the coolest time to swim in the water, too - so grab a spontaneous beach workout and then plunge in the water. Although the beach side technically doesn't get the sunset, it does tend to get gorgeous pink clouds at sunrise and sunset.
    6. Boat watching. Grab Fish and Chips and take it to watch the sail boats roll in around 4:30 by the palm trees we did this a handful of times, because (bonus alert) there was a playground right there, too.
    7. Go to Mossman Gorge to swim. These sacred Aboriginal lands are littered with swimming holes - but this one is spectacular and well-organized. Pack a lunch and have a picnic by the water. Mind the current, but don’t be scared to wade in by the rocks if you've got bubs (I love how they call their kids "bubs". I will die and come back Aussie).
    8. See the world's oldest rainforest. No big deal - just millions of years old alongside the breathtaking Coral Sea and infested with giant dinosaur-looking birds -- that I feel weird admitting I had never heard of until I saw one with my own two eyes -- Cassowaries. The Daintree Rainforest is an hour north of Port Douglas. Hike the trails, check out the beaches and have a lovely lunch at one of the many spots along the way. Also YOU MUST have some Ice Cream from the Daintree Ice Cream Co. As you drive in you are driving right through their fruit orchard. IT WAS DELICIOUS. We tried their sample cup with four delicious scoops of ice cream. Passion fruit, Durian, Soursop, and Mulberry. Isla slurped her cup and said, "mo'."
    9. Sho-pping! Spend the day shopping around Port Douglas. Take a pit stop at the sweet book store in town they have toys and books to read and coffee and treats for you while you sit and relax. Also, you must stop in and see my buddy at With Sugar, she has the perfect selection of gifts for anyone on your souvenir list. Then grab a nice coffee next store at The Little Larder. Pro tip: don't try to order a cup of coffee anywhere in Australia. The attempt will go down in flames. It's called a long black. I had a memory lapse at Little Larder and was taken to task quickly!
    10. Photo op! If you like views (and you know I do), head up to the look out. From this vantage point you can get the best view of 4 mile beach:)
    11. Do an Outback Safari, Kathryn style. And by Kathryn style, I mean there shall be scones. We drove through the stunning Julatten hills (wild Kangaroos spotted: 1) on a day trip to Yungaburra, the cutest little outback town - the kind that has lamp posts adorned with flowers for no reason. We had an amazing brunch at The Whistle Stop Cafe (the sheer poundage of the scones' cream still prances in my dreams). Later on Isla and Gisele played in the local library, Cullen hunted for duck-billed platypus, and we all made friends with a little girl named Josephine. Her family owns the only Christmas tree farm in the area. From here we headed to a near by waterfall-slash-swimming hole to cool off, where we promptly crashed a 4 year old's b-day party!
    12. Head to Kuranda, an aboriginal town in the mountains. Or better yet, skim through the touristy town and go look in awe at Barron Falls. There's also a pretty train ride you can take that we weren't able to do, but from what I hear it's really worth it, check it out here.
    13. Of course, you have to check out the Great Barrier Reef! I mean, how can you not? It’s one of the wonders of the world and it’s absolutely breath taking. We took Calypso Tours  thanks to Tourism Port Douglas. We were really impressed with Calypso Tours they did an amazing job. They had great staff we enjoyed high tea when we first got on and had a big spread for lunch. The staff played peek a boo with the girls and they shared with us what we would see at each reef so we knew what we were looking at when we went snorkeling.  Read more of our experience and how to do it with kids here.
    14. We loved The Wildlife Habitat. We got to see koalas, ducks, wallabies, snakes and crocodiles up close and there was no one else there! And we got to FEED kangaroos, too! What do they eat you ask? Roo food of course 🙂
    15. Meet a giant hungry fish named George. Grab a beer and a bucket of shrimp at the On the Inlet and wait for the George the 250KG Groper to make his appearance for dinner (unfortunately, in Australia they call Grouper "Groper" - though trust me, George is not a molester). He is seriously huge and quite the sight! It gets kinda crowed so show up early to grab a seat by the water.  
    If you've been to Port Douglas and you feel I've missed something please share!! If you haven't been...add this to your bucket list!
     
  • Hoi An, Vietnam – Airbnb

    People have been asking to see what our Airbnbs look like so here is the one we are staying in RIGHT NOW! We are currently in Hoi An, Vietnam, a sweet, magical town.

    Our Airbnb is right by the beach and we are completely in love! Our host, Ha has thought of everything and the color scheme is on point! Upon arrival they had a fruit plate and juice set out for us, that alone usually wins us over 🙂 We have a crib for Gisele and a 'big girl bed' for Isla (aka a double bed) and a cozy seating area in the main room. There's a wonderful outdoor area where we lounge on a day bed under a palapa while Isla plays in a water tub with the toys they have provided.  Every day the maid comes and cleans the house. This is something that is hard to get used to, but I do love not having to worry about cleaning especially with ants and other critters that like to come visit our kitchen.

    We're only a block away from the beach so we can stroll over anytime. There are plenty of chairs and umbrellas, and it's super easy to race home for nap time. Though I must say, probably my favorite part is taking a sunset cruise on the bikes provided. We plop the kids on the back of bikes, and off we go!

    Well, we are pretty much loving it here! Check out our instagram for more pics and I hope to get a post of our life in Hoi An up soon!

    (Picture Credit: Airbnb)

     

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  • Last Week in Port Douglas

    From now on I'm going to start my weeks off with highs and lows! I think it will help me reflect on the week past and it will be fun to go back and read with every new place we visit! Can't believe this is our last week in Port Douglas. We  head to Sydney this Friday to meet up with my parents!! I'm not sure who is more excited me or Isla! I seriously think I might cry when I see them!! Friday can't come soon enough!
     
     

    Loving the Australian Accent

     
    Not a fan of  jelly fish and croc warnings at the beach. They have vinegar in a bottle just incase you get stung:) Ekk! No thanks!
     
    Loving the vibe in Port Douglas. It’s so chill here and all the shops are so cute. Love the fact that you can walk everywhere.
     
    Not a fan of how long it takes mail to get here. I order some things from when we were in Bali… Which was a month ago from Australian companies and they are still NOT here!
     
    Loving morning walks on the beach and evening swims (when there is no jelly fish) and evening strolls.
     
    Not a fan of being exhausted last week. I hit a wall last week and was sick and in bed for two days! No fun!
     
    Loving having a car here so we can take day trips on a whim.
     
    Not a fan of Gisele eating everything in sight. Somehow i forgot about the crawling phase when you get any crumbs, leaves or sand. 
     
    Loving how Isla and Gisele are playing together more and more. In the morning I’ll find Isla in Gisele’s Pack n play and they are laughing and kicking their feet
     
    Not a fan of the time difference between here and the states. Makes it hard to get a hold of family and friends. 
     
    Loving my Gathre Mat! It seriously comes to the rescue on every adventure we’ve been on!
     
    Not a fan of the white dragon fruit… that’s right i’m being a DIVA about my dragon fruit. 
     
    Loving Sam from Port Douglas Tourism he has been so helpful with booking excursions and advising on the it things for us to do while were here.
     
    Not a fan of Cyclone Debbie that's suppose to be making appearance this week. NO THANKS!
     
    Loving the views from all around the island. This place is so picturesque.
     
    Well we are packing in lots of excursions this week since it's a our last week here (tear) So stay tuned for some amazing pictures from the Great Barrier  Reef, and our walkabout adventure.