Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Burren Walk

The first country we visited on our honeymoon in September 2009 was Ireland. In a very short three day visit we took in Dublin, Kilkenny, Cliffs of Moher, Doolin and Galway. We rented a car in Dublin and made a loop through the middle part of the country. On our way back to Dublin after spending time in Doolin and at the Cliffs of Moher we took a guided tour of the Burren.
Before our trip I did a little research online and found an inexpensive tour that got us out of the car and hiking up a hill in the beautiful countryside. With Burren Walks we took the short 1 hour tour and it was fantastic! I wish we would have booked a longer tour, but at the time I was worried about my husband holding up. This was by far our favorite experience in Ireland. Getting out of the car and taking in the scenery by foot while listening to some history of Ireland was amazing! 

On this tour, the owners give you a tour on their own land. Our guide was friendly and helpful, even suggesting we take a detour for lunch in Galway on our return trip to Dublin. It was a great recommendation and a town we would have otherwise bypassed.

This was a fantastic tour and amazing experience! Be sure to book your tour in advance next time you're in the area! We'll definitely be back for the longer version of the tour.

*This is NOT a sponsored post, just one of our favorite experiences in Ireland

Travel Tuesday

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Travel Dreams

One of my top passions in life is travel. Experiencing history, food, art and so much more that other cultures have to offer brings me great pleasure. As this blog is dedicated to those things in life, large or small, that bring me joy I thought I would share a list of travel dreams that I hope to experience some day. 

I've added a new tab at the top of my blog or you can click here to read about my travel dreams. This list is by no means exhaustive, just what I could come up with off the top of my head. I will be coming back to update it from time to time and hopefully posting about my awesome adventures as I accomplish them!

What are your top travel dreams?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Chicago City Sights

Chicago City Sights is a new feature that will appear regularly on my blog. So often people live in cities and never fully experience them from a tourist perspective. I've even heard locals (from a range of cities) scoff at the idea of visiting their local tourist attractions. Some people are even proud of the fact that they've never visited any of the tourist sites in their local city and never plan to. 

Well, the joke is on you my friend because you are really missing out on a whole other side your city has to offer. When closing yourself off from a section of your city, you are ignoring all of the beautiful museums, art, architecture, history and so much more. 

I say why not visit the local tourist sites? In my opinion it's awfully foolish to refuse to visit the local jems in your city, yet you are willing to pay big money to travel elsewhere to see the same things. After all, people are paying good money to travel to your fair city just to visit what your local city has to offer. So why not check out what's in your own backyard?

So Chicago City Sights will be a frequent feature here to highlight the tourist spots around the great city that is Chicago. 

What new spots are you exploring in your city?  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Florence

After we left Rome, the next stop on our honeymoon was Florence. 

Our first night in Florence we hiked up to Piazza Michelangelo for a view of the city at sunset.

 The next day we had lunch at an outdoor restaurant before we walked through the city streets to take it all in.

Mid-afternoon we stopped for snacks and a liter of wine. We don't usually drink so early in the day, but we thought...why not? We were on our honeymoon after all, why not indulge a little? 

It sprinkled on and off all day long so the outdoor cafe had a little awning open to keep us dry. Our favorite snack, dessert or really anytime treat was the tiramisu. It is completely amazing and nothing like I've ever tasted in the states. Of course I gobbled it up so fast (every time) that I never actually took a picture of it. Even if you're not usually a fan, I highly recommend you try it!

That evening we had dinner at a restaurant with views of the Ponte Vecchio. Both the food and the view was amazing.

What trip to Florence is complete without a trip to the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo's statue of David? I was really impressed with both museums. I love visiting art museums and these are two of my all time favorites. 

Another favorite memory of the trip was just walking through the streets taking in some of the incredible architecture.

We took in a lot of the city, but in three days we still didn't make it to see everything, especially considering that we took a day off from museums to just wander the city from one cafe to the next. I can't wait to return someday. Florence is a beautiful city full of history and Renaissance art. It is easily accessible by train. Next time I hope to venture out to the nearby towns to take in the gorgeous Tuscan countryside.

Have you experienced Florence? What did you love most?

Travel Tuesday

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Spring 2014 Things I Love

For years now I've maintained a gift folder that contains ideas of items I would like to receive from my husband, whether they are pages I tear out of a magazine or a list with links that I email to him. This takes a little pressure off him and even if he strays from the list, he at least has a clue as to what's on my mind. I try to refresh the list regularly throughout the year. That way he has plenty of options to choose from for any gift giving occasions or in case he wants to surprise me with something out of the blue (which he actually does from time to time!).

With Valentine's Day approaching and my birthday just around the corner in March, I thought I would help him out a little bit since I left him hanging at Christmas (although he did quite well on his own as you can see here). 

The one thing I would really love to receive this year is a trip, however with my packed school schedule the next few months I know that's not in the cards for now. So, I would happily accept any of the items below.



*Note: This is NOT a sponsored post.

What are the gifts are on your wish list?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Ostia Antica

Rome is such an amazing place to visit! I was only there for a few days so I definitely didn't get to see everything I hoped for in that one trip. 

While we were in Rome in September 2009, we took a half day trip to Ostia Antica. The area is now in ruins but was once a thriving port city. It is only a 30 minute train ride away from Rome and not to be missed!

There was so much to see at Ostia Antica that I could have spent the entire day wandering among the ruins. You can also visit the small museum, although we missed it because we spent all of our time exploring outside.

I recommend taking the train ride out to explore Ostia Antica next time you are in Rome.

What is your favorite travel adventure?