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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Looking Ahead to 2018

Can you believe that 2017 is already over? I can't. The year seems to have flown by and I've been looking forward to all the good that 2018 is going to have in store. As always, I like to look back at the past year and share some of my favorite pics of our travels.

This past year I ended up in Las Vegas three times and am looking forward to another trip (two, actually) soon. I'll be there in February and July and will hopefully bring you all some awesome travel goodies from my first visit.

In February, my mom and I took a trip to Vegas and did a bunch of sightseeing and eating. Because it wasn't hot, we were able to do more outdoor things than we had in the past. I took her to the Ethel M Chocolate Factory that Eric and I had only ever gotten to see the outside of. The cactus garden is a lot more pleasant when it's not 487 degrees outside.

We ate. A lot. My mom likes the options of a buffet, so there were quite a few plates that looked like this one (don't worry, there was also real food and vegetables).

Some of our outdoor things were taking a bus tour, wandering downtown and hitting up the Neon Museum. There was a lot of art on our short trip, which was awesome. You can't imagine how much free art is all over the city, so keep your eye out when you're wandering around outside.

On our annual July trip to Vegas, we had awesome foods as well. If you're eating crummy food in Sin City, you're definitely doing it wrong. We hit up my favorite coffee shop, Bad Owl Coffee for breakfast more than once. Their waffles are amazing and there are so many delicious coffees to choose from. If you're new, or you missed my last two or more posts on this excellent coffee shop, it's a magical little space that's Harry Potter themed. (See what I did there?) They are opening a second shop in Vegas in March and they also have espresso flights now that come in House colors. Guess who's getting that? 

Our friends found a great Mediterranean joint in a strip mall that we loved so much, we took family back later in the week. It was phenomenal and these stuffed squid were some of the best seafood I've ever had. It was perfect place for a family get together.

Before they had to go back home, our friends did a bit of sightseeing with us. I drove them downtown to check out the Container Park and happened to stumble upon this great free art bus tour sponsored by Lyft and Zappos to promote Las Vegas's downtown art showing called Life Is Beautiful. It was a sweet find for sure.

In October, we were supposed to head to St. Thomas, but the tragic hurricanes brought that to a screeching halt. We would have still gone to do disaster clean up had we still had a place to stay, but our resort was damaged as well and closed until sometime next year. So, after many calls, I was able to change my flights to a new destination. I'd strongly suggest getting travel insurance if you're ever going out of the country, even if it still counts as part of your country.

So, no St. Thomas, but we were able to spend the week in San Diego instead, which was almost just as good. We've never really been to San Diego before, making it a brand new destination for us. We hit up Legoland our first day, and if you've never been, it's really fun with or without kids (I assume, since we don't have any). Because most children are under 5, they have a very short attention span and lines are blessedly short, meaning you can get to a lot of rides in a day. 

This was our first time we've taken a train on vacation in the U.S. We didn't rent a car on this trip, so instead, we took the train to and from Carlsbad from San Diego to visit Legoland and then pretty much walked all over the city, because we were in the middle of it all.

Our vacation rental was right across the street from Balboa park, giving us easy access to all the activities and attractions inside. We hit up quite a few museums, the zoo, and eating establishments. It was an excellent week full of exercise to walk off all the delicious food we found, and seeing the city in a new way, interspersed with getting some insider tips from Uber drivers when we just couldn't walk anymore.

What did you love about your travels in 2017 or are you most looking forward to in 2018?

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