There are times when we expand and times when we contract. I love to expand through blog land and social media and then there are times when I retreat and turtle into my little family. This holiday has been turtle-ly and I’m digging it!
I have LOVED receiving all of the holiday cards and messages! Thank you! With the new year approaching I’m really excited about expanding and renewing with creativity and more connections.
Here are some photos from our morning coffee/beach walk. The sky was pinkish and surreal. I am so inspired to come back for a morning photo shoot. I’m looking for the right model.
Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Age of Miracles was on her book tour and about to visit Seattle where I was living at the time a few years ago. Our mutual friend told me the amazing story of the life of this book and how wonderful Karen was, encouraging me to attend the signing.
I read the book within the week and headed to the signing with a very specific question in mind, “Is this young girl character you?” The book is set in San Diego (my heart’s home town where I lived for over 10 years) and follows an adolescent girl, through “the slowing,” a slowdown of the earth’s rotation and the events that follow.
After she read an excerpt and opened up the floor for questions, I had my chance. Her answer was so striking to me. No, this girl was not her but the inspiration for the life events were her adolescent self’s worst fears. A boy snapping your bra for a non-spoiler example.
Since then I sometimes imagine what my worst fears in a situation would be and it TOTALLY makes for an intriguing storyline.
These photos are from a lunch in Laguna Beach a little while back. We sat down at Nick’s but Grant was SO over dining out at this point so we changed our burger orders to to-go and ate by the beach. WAY better.
Now I know where the idea for SHARKNADO came from.
This week we are transitioning Grant to his crib (and own room) and he has started sleeping through the night. I have to say this is one of the hardest things I have ever done and it is very emotional for me. I keep focusing on the benefits for him getting a good night’s rest and having his own space. I truly miss him and I even cry at night! HA! I wish so badly for him to be back in our room and I know that this is the only way he was going to be able to sleep through the night well.
On another note…this trail was so awesome!!!! I was snapping photos like crazy on this trip. Hope your week is off to a great start!
After a week in the jungles of The Big Island near Hilo, we came to stay a week on Kauai. This island was too fun to photograph!! I was in love with the treehouse we stayed in. The finishes were so beautiful. The bottom photo is from our bedroom patio. We were there only for a little over a week but I felt like it was our home. AH! Going on vacation really gave us time to connect and be the most present with each other that we have been since having Grant. Vacations always give us a lot of clarity on the next steps in life too. I’m so recharged with fun new goals and a more positive attitude!!! Gah! Happy Monday!!
I totally have those friends who do month(s) long vacations where they spend the larger part in a more “affordable” area and shorter portions in more expensive places. Think Thailand $ for a while and then a short trip to Japan $$$$.
I have always been intimated by vacation planning and payment. My friends or husband always do the planning and I show up with an attitude up for anything (swimming with manatees and nurse sharks-this is mortifying to me). Now with some practice though, I’m getting the hang of it and want to share some tips on getting the most out of vacation because I’m 1. Thrifty and 2. A Glutonous Taurus.
Maximize Your Vacation
1. Go to a place that has multiple venues/destinations nearby and take multiple vacations in a small geographic area.
We are on a Hawaiin vacation now. We started the trip on The Big Island of Hawaii (pictured above) and now we are enjoying Kuai (photos to come). In Europe we did a cruise to visit multiple countries and then spent time in Rome and Paris on our own. Do you know how it kills me that we didn’t also take the train from Paris to London!? AH!
2. Start low then go fancy!
We usually start our vacation at a less expensive destination and our accommodations improve as the vacation goes on. ANYWHERE is going to be awesome in the first couple of days.
In Belize we started in a jungle hut and then ended in a nice hotel on a little caye. We also took time to go see the Mayan pyramids in nearby Guatemala at the start of the trip.
3. Start fast then go slow!
It takes us a little time to wind down into a vacation. At the start, the adrenaline is there to go spelunking. snorkeling etc. We like to then ease into lounging after some activities.
4. Be a local.
VRBO has saved us so much money and given us incredible “local” experiences. Our apartment in Paris was 1/4 the price of many hotels!!!!
Nice places will even have all the beach towels, rain umbrellas, snorkels etc. you need. Having laundry onsite allows you to pack super light and saves time and hassle of laundromats.
Find the local farmers markets and grocery stops to stock your place with snacks. We get standard oatmeal/cereal and almond milk to have around for early or late night snacking. Fruits and vegetables are great to have around because sometimes there isn’t much of that when dining out.
Purchase alocholic beverages and do picnics. I saw lots of people doing fancy little picnics in Paris and eating on the beach is always so fun.
Acai bowls, crepe stands, quiche and street tacos!!! You will save a lot of dough.
6. Do your research!
You can buy tickets ahead of time to see The David in Florence. If you wait until you get there, the tickets for that day may be sold out or there may be a long line for them!
Make a hot list of the places you want to see and activities you want. Even get an idea of what you may want to buy so you pounce on it when you see a good one.
Those Lonely Planet books are great. I also love Rick Steves for Europe. There are great apps as well.
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