Category Archives: Trip Guides

2 Days in Paris with my Love!

Paris is really not any different than any of the other stops on the trip. We have just a little over 2 days to see as much as we can. And we have big plans.

Friday:

  • Take the Ferry from Dover, arriving in Calais
  • Sightsee a little bit in Calais (the City Hall & Rodin statue)
  • Take the train to Paris, arriving mid-afternoon
  • Drop off Luggage at our hotel (The Baltimore thanks to Hotwire Hot Rate)
  • Visit the Arc de Triomphe
  • Eat dinner to celebrate 5 months of married life at La Coincidence – Paris

Saturday:

We booked the 2-day Paris Pass which includes admission to everything (except the Eiffel Tower) and transportation via Metro, the hop-on/hop-off bus, and the Seine river cruise. It’s expensive, but we did the math and decided the cost made sense. Also almost all of the tickets are “Skip the Line” which we need to save time. Watch the sales or promo codes and you should save 10-15% on booking. Paris Pass

  • Combination of walking/hop-on hop-off bus
  • Plan to see as many museums as possible starting with the Orsnay (Note, we are not big art people, so we plan to see the highlights and move on – understand we could easily spend more time in each of these)
  • Notre Dame
  • Walk across the Lover’s bridge (sadly, can’t put any locks on it)
  • Then the Louvre, Jardin des Tuilleries, and Orangerie
  • Lunch/Dinner somewhere in a French bakery
  • And we have tickets to go up in the Eiffel Tower at Sunset
  • Seine River cruise

Sunday:

    • Up early to hit Versailles (this guy had an excellent guide we plan to use: Mike’s Guide)
    • Hit Sacre-Coeur in the Afternoon
    • Anywhere else we missed/go to bed early

The next day we get up really, really early and head to the airport because we are flying to Athens!

Our Very Ambitious Ireland Itinerary

When we started planning our Europe trip we started with the Mediterranean cruise. And then from there, we thought it’d be silly not to take advantage of the two weekends on both ends. So that’s how we ended up deciding to also visit Paris and spend some time in Barcelona. And then Brian came to me out of the blue and asked if there was any way that I could make it work so that he could go to the Guinness Factory in Dublin. And I said “challenge accepted”!

And that’s how our trip got really crazy, really fast.

Itinerary:

Friday night:

  • Fly overnight from Washington DC to Shannon, Ireland. Arriving at 7am on Saturday morning.

Saturday:

  • Drive to Limerick and kill a few hours by driving past landmarks such as: Bunratty Castle, King John’s Castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. John’s Cathedral.
  • Drive back past Shannon to the Cliffs of Moher, via The Burren
  • Head North to Kinvarra and Galway, passing by Corcomroe Abbey
  • Keep heading North past Benwiskin Mountain and Sligo
  • Spend the 1st night of our honeymoon in a castle at Lough Eske in Donegal

Sunday:

  • Get up early and hit Dunsluce Castle
  • See Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede
  • Drive through the Dark Hedges on the way around the Antrim Coast (Note: Google maps shows the shortest route, we plan to take a longer route along the coast)
  • Drive through Belfast to see the birthplace of the Titanic
  • Arrive in Dublin & turn in our rental car by 9pm

Monday

    • Sleep in – We’re staying at The Clarence Hotel in Dublin
    • Do a hop-on/hop off bus tour
    • Spend the afternoon in the Guinness Factory and get the “Connoisseur Experience”
    • Eat dinner in a real Irish pub

Tuesday we fly out really early for London!

All in all, Ireland is the part of the trip that actually gives me the most worries just because of the distances we have to travel and I know that there are a bunch of little one-lane country roads to worry about. The movie “Leap Year” with all her travel disasters does not help with my anxiety. But, I keep telling myself, tour companies do basically the same tours we are doing based out of Dublin. So if they can drive great big buses in the same amount of time, surely we can get around in a little car. And I’m excited that we will be staying out in the countryside instead of basing ourselves in Dublin and driving back and forth.

Cross your fingers for us that it all goes well!
Also if anyone has any suggestions for beating jet lag, we need to hear them!

Home Sweet Home – Washington DC

My family visited us this year for the 4th of July, so Brian and I got to turn the tables and be the tour guides for a change. Below is a list of our favorite things in the DC area.

Our Top 10 DC List:

  • Walk around the monuments at Night (See Route Below)
  • Visit the Air & Space Museum (especially the Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles if you have a car)
  • Museum of Natural History (rocks, dinosaurs)
  • Go up in the Washington Monument/Old Post Office Tower
  • Museum of American History
  • Tour the Bureau of Printing and Engraving
  • Visit the White House (either walk around the outside, or if you are lucky the Garden Tour is nice, we personally weren’t too impressed with the inside especially considering the hoops you have to jump through to get a tour)
  • Visit the Capitol Building
  • Get outdoors and visit Great Falls
  • For food, we recommend visiting Union Station or Chinatown – lots of choices and the scenery is neat.

Our Walking Tour Map:

The Monuments are really neat to see at night. The Lincoln and Jefferson memorials are really well lit and the glow takes awesome pictures. Also, there’s something really neat about the Korean memorial at night. The darkness makes you think about and appreciate everything that the troops did. Plus, it’s not as hot and there’s much fewer crowds. We highly recommend it.

Here’s our map that involves 100% walking & public transportation. It hits the following: Smithsonian Metro, Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Roosevelt Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, and ends at Foggy Bottom (just keep walking straight North from my map a couple more blocks), all with the Washington Monument in the center of your tour. A total of 3.8 miles, but it’s very flat and there are nice, even sidewalks the entire route.

Two Trips to Jamaica in One Year

2014.01 Jamaica Trip 141

In 2014, I took 2 separate trips to the island of Jamaica. The first trip was planned by my friend Missy. Then, after that trip was planned, my mom saw the pictures and decided that she also wanted to go! You don’t know my mom, but she’d never been outside of the U.S. before and this was completely out of character for her. But my dad is awesome, had always wanted to see more of the world, and decided to go ahead and book the trip before she changed her mind! It all worked out, she loved it and has gotten bit by the travel bug now just as much as I have. 🙂

Read my Guide to Jamaica Here

St. Martin – Home to the Most Beautiful Beach in the Caribbean?

There’s so many things to do on the island of St. Martin, but no one will tell you about the secret, Long Baie, the most beautiful beach in the world.

DSC03820We visited St. Martin to celebrate our 1-year dating anniversary. While there we ate at some amazing restaurants, tried out many different beaches, shopped, swam with sea turtles, snorkeled, gambled, watched airplanes, and hiked to the tallest point on the island. But nothing stood out in our minds like the beautiful blue water of Long Baie.

Click here to learn about Long Baie and other fun things on the island of St. Martin!

What do Donkeys, Conch Shells & John Glenn have in Common?

DSC03253

Grand Turk is a little island with lots of variety. In just a few short hours, we traveled all the way across the island by golf cart to visit the lighthouse, were scared (!) by wild donkeys, motored past the memorial for John Glenn’s famous splashdown of the Mercury spacecraft, hunted for conch shells, enjoyed a pina colada at Margaritaville, and swam in the ocean less than 100 yards away from our cruise ship. All in all, it was a great day!

Planning Details Here!