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Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Germany’s Fairy Tale Village

Posted by on Jul 7, 2019 | 1 comment

Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Germany’s Fairy Tale Village

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It’s one of the loveliest medieval towns in all of Europe and a charming stop on any visit to Germany. Translated as “Red Fort on the River Tauber,” Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the town you envision when you close your eyes and think of storybook Germany.

In fact, the whole village looks a bit like a movie set. Yet these narrow, cobbled lanes lined with half-timbered houses are steeped in more than 1,000 years of fascinating history.

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Every Little Thing You Need to Know for the Perfect Kauai Vacation

Posted by on Feb 21, 2019 | 1 comment

Every Little Thing You Need to Know for the Perfect Kauai Vacation

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Inside: The best things to do in Kauai, where to stay on the island and which tasty treats to try! Note: This post contains affiliate links.

You promised me a vacation. Somewhere sunny and tropical.” I sulked to my husband, Dave.

I need a beach, a sunset, and an umbrella drink. Stat.”

And I had earned it, he agreed. Recently coming off a four-month work stretch without a single day off. But suddenly, there was a complication.

Two weeks before, we were happily planning our annual winter trip to Thailand, the Philippines or somewhere equally sun-splashed and fabulous. And then a job offer in Germany landed in Dave’s lap.

Jumping at what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to live abroad, we accepted. And now we were anxiously staring down the barrel of a Bavarian winter in T-minus two weeks.

Squeezing in that tropical vacation was a must, now more than ever. Even with only a few days to spare. Asia was clearly dead, but dreams of island paradise were still very much alive. Just a little closer to home.

Enter…the Hawaiian Islands. Specifically, the garden island of Kauai.

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Portugal on Points: How to Maximize Your Travel Rewards

Posted by on Jul 12, 2018 | 2 comments

Portugal on Points: How to Maximize Your Travel Rewards

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Our recent summer trip to Portugal was indeed pretty incredible, but it almost didn’t happen at all.

You see, we recently bought a rather large boat to use as a second home in the Seattle area (my husband’s home town). Due to this new expense, the budget for our annual summer European holiday took a nose dive.

Uh, to pretty much nothing.

Never one to let a lack of adequate funding spoil a great trip to Europe, it was time for me to get creative. I was determined to make the most of my travel rewards – including airline miles, hotel points and credit card rewards – to spend 10 days traveling around Portugal on as tight a budget as possible, while still making it a fabulous vacation for both me and my husband, Dave.

My goal? To do the whole 10-day trip for $1,000 or less. I got pretty close. Here’s how I did it…

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The Algarve Portugal in 3 Perfect Days

Posted by on Jun 22, 2018 | 0 comments

The Algarve Portugal in 3 Perfect Days

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It’s the southernmost region of continental Portugal and one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in all of Europe…with good reason. In 2017, the Algarve region saw an estimated 7.1 million tourists and recent studies have named it one of the best places in the world to retire.

Nicknamed the “sunshine region,” this relaxed, Mediterranean retreat is known for year-round sunshine, sandy coves, azure waters and stunning golden cliffs. It was from these shores in the 15th century that Portuguese explorers set off on an epic journey to discover other lands. And today, it is on this same coastline that Portugal welcomes the majority of its annual visitors.

Not surprisingly, no trip to Portugal would be complete without a visit to the Algarve. So, after beginning our Portuguese holiday in Porto and then hopping over to the Azores for a few days, it was time to fly back to the mainland and hit the beach!

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The Azores: Europe’s Most Extraordinary Islands

Posted by on Jun 13, 2018 | 0 comments

The Azores: Europe’s Most Extraordinary Islands

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Situated in the middle of the North Atlantic, 850 miles off the coast of mainland Portugal, the Azores archipelago is made up of nine lush, volcanic islands. Known for its verdant landscapes and abundant volcanic springs, the Azores are one of the “hottest” (pun intended) island destinations to emerge on the tourism scene since Iceland.

You may not have heard much about this remote island chain yet, but with international flights on the rise and new, hip hotel openings, it’s likely you soon will. My advice? Get there before everyone else does.

The Azores are one of two Autonomous Regions of Portugal (the other is Madeira). The autonomous regions were established to recognize the islands’ distinct geographical, economic and cultural differences from continental Portugal.

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Porto, Portugal: A Travel Guide

Posted by on Jun 6, 2018 | 1 comment

Porto, Portugal: A Travel Guide

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Spring has begun to fade into summer which means it’s time for the annual Europe trip! May is one of my favorite months to visit the continent and with my husband Dave working in Germany last month, I couldn’t resist tagging along and planning a few weeks of travel after his business trip wrapped up.

Last year, you may remember that we tackled a road trip through Ireland and a few new spots in Italy – Procida, Ischia, San Marino, the Amalfi Coast and the Italian Riviera. This year, the destination is Portugal!

I’d been to Portugal once, on Round the World #3, but I’d barely scratched the surface of this diverse country by devoting my time solely to Lisbon (there is so much more to see!). This time, I was determined to spread my Portuguese wings and venture north, south and offshore by visiting Porto, the Algarve region and the Azores during our 10-day journey.

We were also on a tighter budget than usual (due to our recent purchase of a boat in Seattle), so for this trip I would need to maximize my travel rewards points to keep our costs down. Spoiler alert: I was even more successful than I’d hoped in that endeavor, more on that in this post!

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Learning to Sail in the Caribbean – From Landlubber to Sailor in 7 Days

Posted by on Mar 12, 2018 | 3 comments

Learning to Sail in the Caribbean – From Landlubber to Sailor in 7 Days

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If pressed, I could not offer a reasonable explanation as to why my husband, Dave, and I decided to learn how to sail.

It sounded fun? Well, sure. But so does a spa holiday.

Sailing holidays are glamorous? Obviously! (But, as it turns out, sailing courses are decidedly not.)

We plan to buy a power boat? Nope, that would be a good reason to take a power boat course.

Dave and I are indeed in the market for a boat, but we have already decided to buy a power boat we can moor in Seattle’s Puget Sound area (his home town) and use as a home base for our regular visits.

So, I suppose the main reason we decided to learn how to sail is that we wanted to be educated buyers when purchasing any type of boat. Is it possible that a sailboat might be a good option for us? How would we know unless we tried it?

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