Monday, February 23, 2015

Our Favorite Travel Memories

As I mentioned earlier, we're starting to plan a big trip for a few weeks in March and April (any ideas?!). We've already been lucky enough to have had some amazing travel experiences these past four years in Europe (and at home in the US!), so we compiled a few of our favorite moments:
From Ryan:

Florence. To me, Florence embodies everything Italian: it has culture, history, incredible food and great wine. Plus the city is so manageable - you can walk everywhere. I've only been once, for a few days, but it was my favorite trip we've taken in the past four years. When I walked into the Accademia and came face to face with The David, I was completely taken aback. Its size, the details, the beauty of it and the idea that a person could make that - the whole thing was incredible.

Moab/The Grand Canyon/Mesa Verde. This was an impromptu trip that we took in May of 2014. We were sitting at home in Colorado one day when I suggested that we go on a two-night camping and hiking trip in Moab (Sophie had never been). Sophie is more of a planner but to my surprise, she agreed to leave the next day. The hiking was great, the summer crowds weren't around yet and we were having so much fun that we decided to continue on to the Grand Canyon (where Sophie had also never been before). We did two nights there and and then went down to Mesa Verde for one more night before heading back to Steamboat. I loved showing my wife these amazing western landmarks that she had never seen and I loved taking her on a camping trip. Camping was a favorite activity of mine when I was young and it was fun to recreate that with her.

Lake Como. We went to Lake Como in January (!!) of 2012 for a weekend. It was one of those trips where sometimes you just need to get out of town and have a change of scenery. When we got there, it was completely empty and quiet and peaceful. We ate dinner in the same restaurant both nights (and had this amazing pasta dish with buckwheat noodles, sage, cabbage, potatoes and tons of butter), had coffee both mornings in the same cafe and stayed in the only hotel that was open. All we did was walk, play cards, nap and watch sunsets over the lake. It was perfect for re-charging and we got to see a side of Lake Como that only the true locals see.

From Sophie:

Siena. The first trip that we took together was to Siena in November of 2011. We figured out the train schedule (and got on the right train, which is half the battle), found the hotel easily and ate dinner in a tiny restaurant where we shared a table with two charming gay Frenchmen and ate an amazing pine nut cake for dessert. We arrived at night when it was already dark but when we woke up in the morning and opened the shutters, we were looking out over a sea of red tile roofs....not what you see in Cortina! It was so much fun to explore a new part of Italy together AND we learned that we're pretty good travel partners which is important for our lifestyle.

Prague. On our way to Prague, we made it to Innsbruck before we realized that our GPS didn't have maps of the Czech Republic and could only take us as far as Germany before we were on our own. The only thing we could do was buy a paper map and wing it. In a country that loves to put together as many consonants as possible, it's not a good idea to travel sans GPS! I don't know how this happened, but we drove around the city for a while before stumbling on our hotel by the side of the road. It was truly a travel miracle. And not only did we successfully find the hotel, we remained in good spirits which is half the battle. That was a time when I knew I had married the right person.

 Moab/The Grand Canyon/Mesa Verde. This impromptu camping trip was a huge learning experience for me. My previous self-imposed camping limit was two nights, max. When I ended up camping for five nights, voluntarily, I was really surprised. This trip really pushed my boundaries and I was happy to find that I LOVED it. I wasn't worried about my dirty hair (actually I brought dry shampoo with me, so I guess I cheated a little, but whatever) or lack of fresh vegetables and I felt healthy and strong from all the hiking. I proved to myself that I could do something that I thought I couldn't or didn't want to and I was really proud of myself (and Ryan was too).

We'd love to hear....what are your favorite travel memories?

Also coming up this week: how we travel, why we travel and favorite places to visit.