They say the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem – so this is confession time. I hear time and time again that you need to be loose with your itinerary, allow room for things to happen, don’t over-schedule. Well my friends, I confess that I have a problem. I obsess over the planning phase of travel. I spend countless hours researching, reading guides, reviews, googling everything and anything related to the destination, and yes, I even analyze and study maps to see what is in the area and how to best maximize my time. While others stress over planning a trip, I pretty much live for it. I look forward to planning my next trip like an alcoholic looks forward to their next glass of booze.
A year ago my daughter went to St. Augustine as part of a school field trip. She enjoyed it so much we decided to make a 24 hr stop on our way to Charleston the following summer. For those who do not know, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the country. Not only is it full of history (from Spanish colony to British rule) but it is fun to. It is a great place to walk around, admire the cool Spanish architecture, have some good food, and experience some great tours and entertainment. There are also tons of tourist traps – I mean shops along the way to pick up some mementos. If you have never been to St. Augustine, then pack your bags and give it a go. There is lots to keep you busy and I guarantee you will find something that is right for you. We spent less than 24 hrs in this historic town and sampled just a bit of what it has to offer. I can’t wait to go back for more.
Is travel one of your New Year’s resolutions? Do you want to take that family vacation or dream honeymoon, but the thought of high costs is putting a damper on your dreams? There are countless ways to make your travel dreams a reality without having to go into debt. I will share with you some tips and tricks, things I have learned and used, to help turn your DREAM vacation into REALITY.
Research in order to set goals
You can’t start saving if you do not know how much you will need. Therefore, your first step is to research. Use guidebooks, internet searches, ask your family and friends, and gather as much information as you can. What are the average flight, hotel and rental car costs? What do you want to see and do and how much are the costs to those? Will you be eating at restaurants or buying at supermarkets, and what is the cost of food? And don’t forget extras like insurance, baggage fees, passport renewals, visas, or any other items you may need to purchase before the trip.
Every girl needs to get away with “just the girls” for a few days. It does not need to be anything elaborate or expensive, just a few days to connect and recharge. Most people I know do a “girls weekend” with just a small group of friends who they have probably known in person for most of their life and with whom they have many things in common. Not me. My girls trip involves a group of about 90 women, from different states and different backgrounds. The only thing we all have in common is that we were pregnant together about 12 years ago. And now we try to meet (as many of us as we can) once a year for a girls trip.
I am not a huge fan of bringing back tons of souvenirs from my trip. These will just sit on a shelf and collect dust. With 2 children, 2 dogs, and 2 adults who already have a hard time getting rid of stuff, our home is already cluttered enough. But my travels are precious memories, and I do want a way, aside from this blog, to record them and re-live them. Therefore, I have turned to digital scrap-booking and creating my own photo books. And the best part is, all those pictures are not just stored in a box, or kept hidden on a hard drive or phone, but are now in a beautiful book for everyone to enjoy. The process is fun and easy and the results are beautiful.
When I think of the Fair, for some reason Charlotte’s web comes to mind. Remember that scene in the movie where the rat, Templeton, sings about the fair to Wilbur? That is what I picture when I hear the word Fair. Not only that, I also hear the song over and over in my mind:
A fair is a veritable smorgasbord orgasbord orgasbord
After the crowds have ceased
Each night when the lights go out
It can be found on the ground all around
Oh, what a ratly feast!
Well Templeton is not all wrong. There is certainly plenty to do, and plenty to eat and drink at The Fair. This one happens to be an annual tradition for us and we look forward to it every year.
If you mention Napa Valley in your office or on social media you are likely to get opinions from everyone on the best wineries, the best tours, the best restaurants. And overwhelmingly you will probably hear “Don’t go there, that one is too touristy”.
While going to some smaller, less known wineries should be on your list, if you are a first timer in Napa Valley you should also plan to visit some of the iconic spots and wineries. I mean, you would not go to Paris for the first time and not visit the Eiffel tower right? With that said, Napa really does have something for everyone, even if you do not drink wine. So if you are planning your first trip to the Valley, like we did for our 10 year anniversary, here are some things to consider:
Spending Time OTP (Outside The Perimeter)
We love visiting our family in Atlanta and we try to get there once a year if we can to visit with them and explore the city and it’s surroundings. There is so much to see and do there and as the kids grow we just introduce them to different things and experiences.
For the past few years we have been exploring the city attractions and visiting places like the Atlanta Zoo, Aquarium, Coke Museum, Centennial Park and even a show or two at the beautiful Fox Theater.
This time, we decided to visit in the spring instead of the hot summer, and decided to take advantage of the cooler weather and explore the outdoors.