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Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category

A funny thing happens when you leave everything behind and take off around the globe. Regardless of how much money you save before leaving, when you pack up all your belongings into boxes and put them in storage (or leave them at your parent’s house like we did. Thanks again guys!) you essentially become homeless, for lack of a better word, and when push comes to shove will sleep wherever you have to; park benches, beaches, bus terminals and random couches have served us well. We ended our last post by saying that we woke up refreshed and ready to go after the night in Franz Josef. Truth be told, the evening soak in the spa wasn’t the only reason we woke up feeling good. We had intended to spend the night sleeping in the back of our Subaru because it was too cold for the tent, but the mountains surrounding the glaciers made the temperatures too chilling for even that to be feasible. The holiday park office was closed for the night meaning no possibility of upgrading to a cabin, so we sorted out our options and went with plan c: sleeping in the TV lounge. The little boy watching cartoons was less than pleased about us interrupting his late-night private screening of Looney Toons and quickly exited with a scowl. A soft sofa in a heated room beats a cold stiff car any day, and in a matter of minutes we fell fast asleep. We slept so well that our alarm clock didn’t wake us; the holiday park manager did. He was there bright and early, “goo’day ladies and gentlemen. It’s time to get up now. Let’s go. Guests will be waking soon, and this isn’t a sleeping room as I’m sure you’re well aware.” He was actually quite jovial about the whole thing, but we couldn’t help but feel a bit like bums being brushed from the sidewalk. In our defense, we had paid for a campsite (making us guests too) and the TV room didn’t have any closing hours posted. Anyway, we got a good night’s sleep in a safe cozy place and after some breakfast and coffee were ready to hit the highway and get our road trip back underway.

The west coast of New Zealand’s south island is the most remote place in the entire country. The crowds that cluster around the famous glaciers dissipate as you move north along the coast. Tall mountains, thick forests and rocky coasts made development of this region quite difficult. The towns are all very small and are few and far between, but like most of the island, the landscape is astonishing. We spent the morning hiking near Okarito Lagoon.

The nature reserves in this area are home to the endangered Kiwi bird from which New Zealanders get their nickname. Millennia ago, when the islands split from the ancient continent of ‘Gondwana’ land mammals and other predators had not yet evolved in the region making it a paradise for an endless array of bird species. Over time many of these birds, like the Kiwi, developed strange appearances and lost their ability to fly and became ground dwellers, but the arrival of humans and introduction of non-native species by European settlers has taken a devastating toll on many of these birds. On a lighter note, the Kiwis aren’t the only strange inhabitants of the area; isolation seems to have resulted in some very peculiar human residents as well. It is a bit tough to explain, but the citizens of the west coast definitely dance to the beat of their own drum. Something along the lines of the Beverly Hillbillies meets Jerry Springer show.

After our brief jaunt along the west coast, we made our way to the northwest coast of the south island to New Zealand’s smallest national park, Abel Tasman. Although small, it certainly stands up to its competition. It is home to one of the country’s Great Walks, called the Coast Track, which is a 51km long trail that runs along the edge of the national park with incredible ocean views. We spent a few days camping on the beach and going on day walks along the Coast Track. The orange/red sand beaches, thick forests of fern trees and warmer rain-less weather made us think this is the place to be in New Zealand.

We got peeled out of the paradise that is Abel Tasman because of one of Amy’s big brothers, Aaron. Although not the most logical route, last week we drove straight through back to Christchurch, where we began our New Zealand adventure. Aaron is on his second year working with the U.S. Antarctic Program as a cook at the South Pole station and was being deployed from Christchurch. Naturally, we wanted to stop through town to see him! It was a fun two nights catching up over a couple of beers. He even let us be stowaways in his hotel room, adding to our list of unique places to rest our heads for the night. Although we’ve meet up with quite a few friends during our RTW trip, this was the first time we had seen any family in the past 9 months and it really felt good.

While Aaron was at training sessions, we made a day trip out to the Banks Peninsula, another amazing land formation in this country. The peninsula used to be a volcanic island but attached itself to the mainland after millions of years of erosion (check out a map, it’s pretty interesting). The town of Akaroa is situated on Akaroa Harbor which is the epicenter of the peninsula. From there, fingers jut out creating several bays. We took as many back roads as possible that day, putting ourselves in a few precarious situations on extremely narrow gravel roads. Amy even got chased down by a mama sheep while trying to photograph its two black lambs. Overall, it was one of our favorite scenic drives in New Zealand so far.

After saying farewell to Aaron and wishing him luck in Antarctic captivity for the next four months, we drove north to Kaikoura. While checking into a holiday park for the night, the receptionist asked if we were in town for the horse race. “What horse race?” we said. She informed us that it was the one day of the year when the local horse track got used for the Kaikoura Cup. Having never been to a proper horse race, we jumped on the opportunity. The sun was out, and so was the entire town of Kaikoura. It was a blast. There wasn’t the pomp and circumstance that comes with races like the Kentucky Derby, but the excitement, big hats and celebratory drinking were all there.

Kaikoura is known for its seals, and we definitely got our fix while in town. The day after the horse race we set out to hike around the Kaikoura Peninsula, an 18km endeavor that took a bit longer than we’d anticipated, but was well worth the trip. We would say that as a rule of thumb, when visiting New Zealand, check out every peninsula you can. The views of the snow-capped mountains juxtaposed with the turquoise blue ocean were stunning, not to mention the incredibly adorable fur seals that lounge on the coastal rocks. The next day, on our trip out of town, we stopped at a trail head that was suggested to us by our Kiwi neighbor, Steve, at the holiday park. We took a short walk up to a waterfall and had one of the most marvelous wildlife encounters we’ve ever experienced. There were 14 fur seal pups playing and lounging in the pool of the waterfall. Apparently their moms lead them upstream and leave them for protection while they are out to hunt. The sight of tourists gawking over the seal pups was almost as entertaining to watch (click here to see a video we took of the seals).

We continued to make our way north along the ‘Classic NZ Wine Route’ until we reached Blenheim. The Marlborough region is world renowned for sauvignon blanc production, and Blenheim is the center of the action. We had our eye on a free campsite along the Wairau River, but first took our time wine tasting our way through the area. Neither of us are huge white wine drinkers, but if we had to choose one varietal, sauv blanc would be it. The crisp, grassiness of the NZ brands are beautiful. We, of course, had to stop at the famous Cloudy Bay for some tasting, and we were also happily surprised by a few other wine makers that we’d not heard of: Hans Herzog, Staete Landt & Yealands.

After we hit our 5 winery limit for the day we began to make our way to the campsite. Unfortunately, after about 30km of country roads, we came to a 4WD-only section that our Subaru just wouldn’t have made. While trying to decide on a new game plan, Mike noticed a sign that said ‘Pine Valley Hut.’ A hut? Way out here? We were curious so decided to hike the 40 minute trail in to see what it was all about. Maybe it was all the wine we’d tasted, maybe the sunny weather had gotten to our heads, but what we found was a gem of a place. We knew right away that we had to hike back out to grab our gear. It was such an awesome hut that we decided to stay for two nights. It had been quite a while since we’d gone two entire days without seeing another sole. It was a fun time making fires, swimming in the river, and hiking.

Thus far, our New Zealand road trip has proven to be a real treat. While hitting the highway daily sometimes make us feel a bit like vagabonds, every day away from home makes us realize that we all share one world. After nearly a year since moving out of our apartment, we have become accustomed to calling whatever hostel bed, campsite, hotel room, apartment or couch our home. It is funny how many times we will be tired from a day of exploring and say, “let’s go back home.” We know that one day in the not so distant future we will be heading home for real, but for now we are thrilled to be continuing this once in a lifetime expedition.

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We only had three days in Tokyo, so we had to make the most of this electrifying city. To write the end before the beginning, we can sum it up by saying we left Tokyo with a strong desire to return. In the first part of this series, we will share with you the incredible food scene we experienced in Tokyo. Part II will delve into our exploration of some of the city’s sights and neighborhoods.

From Sea to Table

Do you ever wonder where that little piece of tuna you’re eating came from? While it’s hard to know for certain, there is a pretty good chance it passed through the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, the largest fish market in the world. The action starts early here, with fish auctions for the high-end catches running from 5am to 7am. We arrived around 6:30am and dove right into the chaos that consumes the heart of the market.

Early morning hours at the Tsukiji fish market

This is not your typical neighborhood fish market; Tsukiji is home to fishermen who are selling massive quantities of fish to wholesalers. According to Wikipedia, over 400 types of seafood are sold at Tsukiji on any given day. If it lives in the sea and can be eaten, it’s sold at Tsukiji Fish Market.

Ominously glowing pieces of tuna. Aren’t they stunning?

One of the many species of octopi on sale at Tsukiji

Aside from the extra large bivalves and colorful octopi, we were most impressed by the humongous tuna that we saw. Workers handled these whole frozen tuna with hooks and gloves, maneuvering them from the ground to counter tops. There, they are cut in half using band saws and then into smaller pieces by knives that looked more like swords.

HUGE tuna fish

Tuna handler in action – hopping over his group’s share of tuna and in between table saws

You do not want to get between this guy and his tuna. “Call that a knife?” This is a real knife, Mr. Crocodile Dundee.

Hop on the Sushi Train

Although a novelty in the States, sushi train restaurants are not so uncommon in Japan. Excited to try some of the fish we saw at Tsukiji the day before, we headed out to dinner at a sushi go-round in the Asakusa neighborhood.

Watching our dinner circle round as we waited in line with anticipation, our appetites growing by the second

We enjoyed some of our favorites, such as Hamachi (yellow tail) and Aji (mackerel) and also tried a few new things, including abalone and crab miso soup.

Fatty tuna roll with green onion

Octopus sushi

After the waiter tallied up our tower of plates, which ranged from 180-700 Yen/plate, and added in our sake, the bill came to about $50 USD. Not exactly a cheap meal, but compared to a sushi dinner for two at home, it was a steal. Well worth the dent to our backpackers’ budget!

We did so much damage…

Dinner, Tatami-Style

Many fantastic restaurants in Tokyo are very unassuming. There is little to no signage out front, and you often do not even realize they are there. We were intrigued by a certain restaurant near our hostel. Each day during lunch, we noticed a line of people that stretched down the block, but in the evening it was hard to tell if the place was even open. The front doors were shut, and the building had no windows. After two days of walking past with our curiosity teeming, we finally gave in and slowly opened one of the sliding wooden doors to take a peek.

Amy getting comfortable on the tatami floor

Inside, we found several tables of people sitting on tatami mats and enjoying traditional Japanese cuisine. The menu wasn’t well translated, so we did what we normally do in that type of situation – we smiled and pointed to the dish that everyone else was eating. Turns out the dish is called “Dozeu-nabe” (this website describes the dish pretty well). The dish was composed of small river fish that had first been cooked in sake and then transferred to a shallow metal dish. The fish then simmered over hot coals with green onions and fermented soy sauce on top.

The preparation method softens the fish so that they can be consumed whole, bones and all.

Mike digging into the dozeu-nabe

When the waitress first brought the dish to our table, our faces must have looked hilarious, as it didn’t look too appetizing. She graciously showed us how to properly prepare it. Halfway through the meal, she stopped by to tell us that one of the cooks was very impressed after observing our chopstick skills and Japanese dining manners. We always try to be culturally conscious travelers, and it was nice to hear that our efforts are appreciated! In the end, we could not have been more satisfied. Dozeu-nabe is delicious, and we were thrilled at the authenticity of dinner that evening.

Hibernating in the Sake Dens

Visiting an izakaya (sake den) was on our must-do list upon arriving in Tokyo. These Japanese style pubs are where the locals relax, loosen their ties after work, and often get helped out the door by a waiter as they stumble with an arm over their friend’s shoulder.

Hanging sake bottles mark the entrance to an izakaya in the Shibuya area

Following our tatami-style dinner, we made our way to a nearby izakaya that served up delicious tapas (for lack of a better word), meat skewers and generous glasses of sake.

The good stuff

The other good stuff

After six large cups of refreshing cold sake, a sampling of pork temple and chicken liver, and some great people watching, we were set for the night and made our walk home with nothing but smiles on our faces.

We call this ‘the sake glow’

The good thing about spending at least three days in a city is that it gives you the opportunity to truly experience the local cuisine by eating  nine solid meals. Between our tatami dinner, visit to the fish market, sake den experience, and many more meals, which we did not include in this post, we felt as though we had a good grip on the Tokyo food scene. As we mentioned, we left Tokyo wanting to see and taste more, and we will certainly be back someday.

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Three days ago, while waiting at the train station, we started chatting with a fellow passenger about our RTW trip. Next thing we know he whips out a business card and…April Fools! That was just a ploy to get you to read our post. It’s about our wine tasting adventures in Eger, Hungary, and we promise if you keep reading you’ll enjoy it (especially if read with a glass, or bottle, of wine). And maybe if you tell enough of your friends about our blog, we might be on the Travel Channel someday 🙂

Eger is home to Hungary’s infamous “Bull’s Blood” red wine (Egri Bikavér). It is delicious stuff; a cuvee made from a blend of three or more grape varietals, many of which we had not heard of before our visit. You can taste Bull’s Blood, and many other red and white wines, in an area just outside of the old town called The Valley of Beautiful Women.

Wine cellars line the horseshoe-shaped road that makes up the Valley of the Beautiful Women

Interior of cellar #19, the first stop of our wine tasting adventure.

The cellars in the valley are lined up one right after the other and vary quite a bit in terms of their décor and seating arrangements. Some are very well appointed with great patios; others are simply holes dug into the side of the hill with standing room only. Either way “tastes” of wine, which are actually full glasses, start 90 HUF, which is less than 50 cents! The price and proximity of the cellars make this a gloriously dangerous place. The good news is that the walk back to Eger only takes about 15-20 minutes.

Enjoying a glass of Bull’s Blood at cellar #17

If countless glasses of wine haven’t quenched your thirst, the cellars also sell wine in bulk, poured straight from large tanks. You can buy plastic jugs to have filled with your favorite wine, or can bring your own container.

Plastic containers are available everywhere in the Valley, so you can take home a liter too.

Someone filled us in on the wine-by-the-liter deal before we arrived, so we brought our own water bottle. Reduce, reuse, recycle, right?

“I’ll take 1.5L of Bull’s Blood to go, please!”

It is a funny sight to see locals and tourists alike carrying grocery bags full of wine in plastic bottles. We got our 1.5 liter bottle filled for just under $4 USD.

A few locals carrying away their stashes of wine for the weekend.

Aside from wine tasting, Eger is a fairly small town with few tourist attractions; easily covered on foot in a few hours. In our previous blog we talked about how much we loved the Hungarian food in Budapest, and the trend continued in Eger. We stumbled upon a fantastic restaurant near the castle called Imola and had one of the best meals of our trip thus far. The highlight was a smoked duck appetizer served cold with goose liver mousse and berry preserves. We aren’t usually huge fans of liver, but this dish was stellar! It was a bit shocking to find such an amazing and elegant restaurant in a small agricultural town.

Spending a few nights in the countryside was a perfect way to wrap up our time in Hungary and relax before a busy two days of train travel to our next destination, the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia.

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A Taste of Porto

We spent three days in Porto, and while we did explore some of the city’s churches and attractions, a good portion of our time there was spent touring port houses and tasting port wine. It is the home of port, after all; the similarity in the nomenclature is no coincidence. Porto is a truly amazing city, but we will be dedicating this post entirely to the wine that bears its name. We hope that the information we share will shed some light on this lesser known wine and help others plan their own Porto adventure.

View of Porto from Vila Nova de Gaia

Although it’s called “port” wine, the majority of the port cellars are actually located in Vila Nova de Gaia, the town across the Douro River from Porto. The list of port houses below is by no means exhaustive; however, we feel that it represents the majority of the cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. There are also maps and signs posted throughout the town to help guide you along the way (especially helpful after a few tastings).

Cálem: Closest port house to the bridge that connects Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia. Paid tour and tastings available.

Croft: Although a bit of a hike up the hill from the river, it is well worth the visit. Free tour and tastings available.

Tasting at Croft port cellar – 10 year tawny (left) & ruby (right)

Ferreira: Known as the Portuguese port wine because it is the only major port company has been continually operated by the same Portuguese family since its founding. Free museum that provides information about the company’s history. Paid tour and tastings available.

Tasting at Ferreira port cellar – branco, 3 year lágrima, 3 year ruby, 4 year tawny (from left to right)

Kopke: Tasting room only, no tour. Paid tastings available.

Quinta Do Noval: Tasting room only, no tour. Paid tastings available.

Sandeman: One of the world’s largest and most well-known port makers. Free museum that provides information about the history of port wine, the company, and marketing and brand development. Paid tour and tastings available.

Sandeman port cellar

Sogevinus: Tasting room only, no tour. Paid tastings available.

Taylor Fladgate: Free tastings. No tour, although there is an informational video playing in the tasting room. There is a restaurant on the property as well, with an outdoor patio where you can enjoy great views of Porto and the river.

Tasting at Taylor Fladgate port cellar – 2005 LBV

Vasconcellos: Paid tour and tastings available (free if you purchase a bottle).

Wiese & Krohn: Founded by Norwegian cousins, now owned by a Portuguese family. Free tastings. No tour, but there is a small museum that displays traditional port wine making equipment.

The port wine cellar at Wiese & Krohn

We took tours at Croft and Ferreira, where we learned the basics of port wine. One important lesson that we learned is that to be a true port wine, the grapes must be grown in the Douro Valley, which became a demarcated region (D.O.C) in 1756.

Port wines are fortified and filtered, so unlike table wine, they will not mature in the bottle. When you buy a bottle of port, drink it. Once opened a bottle of port is good for up to four months. The exception to this rule is when the Institute of Port Wine declares a “vintage” year based on the remarkably high quality of grapes from a particular harvest. These wines will age in the bottle and, once opened, need to be consumed within a couple of days.

At this point you may be wondering, why is port wine fortified with brandy? The answer, to get you drunk faster. No, not really. Port wine producers began to add brandy to their wine in order to preserve it better for transport by sea to England, their largest consumer.

The two most recognized port wines are ruby and tawny. Did you know there are more? During our visit to Vila Nova de Gaia, we learned that there are actually several different kinds of port. Below we explain them, in very simple terms may we add, so to learn more, you’ll just have to visit Porto yourself!

Ruby: Made from red grapes and aged for a relatively short period of time in very large French oak casks. The large size of the casks limits oxidation and flavor absorption, allowing these wines to keep a more natural “ruby” color and ripe fruit flavor.

Tawny: Made from red grapes and aged for a longer period of time in small French oak casks. The smaller barrels allow for greater levels of oxidation and contact with the wood. These two elements cause tawny to become amber in color over time and develop deeper sweetness similar to dried fruit or honey.

Colheita: A small category of tawny ports, which bear a harvest date. However, unlike vintage ports, colheita is not bottled right away, but allowed to age in the barrel, sometimes for decades.

Branco (white): Made from white grapes and aged in a similar style to the ruby. These ports range quite a bit in terms of sweetness and some producers even make a style known as “chip dry,” which referrers to a taste that is as dry as a piece of wood.

Lágrima: Made from white grapes and aged in small French oak casks for a longer period of time than white ports. Interestingly, this style of port wine is not commonly exported from Portugal due to the belief that it would not be agreeable to non-Latin palettes. So be sure to get your fix while you’re in Portugal!

Rose: The newest innovation in port wine, roses are technically ruby ports, however, are limited in their exposure to the grape skins during the fermentation process, giving them a lighter color.

Vintage: When the Institute of Port Wine determines that a particular year produced exceptionally great grapes throughout the entire Douro Valley, they declare a vintage year. This occurs approximately twice per decade, with the most recent vintage being 2007. Due to the rarity of these ports, they are quite pricey. Unlike other styles of port wine, which are made using grapes blended from various years, vintages are made only with red grapes from that year. Vintage port wines are bottled after just two years of aging in the barrel and are not filtered, which allows them to be stored and aged further in the bottle. The oldest vintage port available for sale is from 1863!

Late Bottle Vintage (LBV): Very similar to vintage ports, but much more affordable, LBVs are made when a particular winery feels that their grapes are exceptional during a given year. LBVs are not declared by the Institute of Port Wine, however are dated with the harvest year. A great tip is to purchase a LBV with the same year as a vintage port.

Enjoying a day of port tasting in Vila Nova de Gaia

If you enjoy wine, you should definitely add Porto to your list of travel destinations. Or, for a more affordable alternative, head to the nearest wine shop, pick up a few bottles of port and invite some friends over. We will be adding a glass of ruby, our favorite port, to the end of many meals to come.

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The past nine days of our RTW trip were spent cruising on the Norwegian Jade. We know that cruising isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of budget backpacking, but while researching destinations in Spain during the planning phase of our adventure, we came across an incredible deal on this cruise.

Our ship, the Norwegian Jade

The Canary Islands were of particular interest, not only for their relative obscurity and year round temperate weather, but also because much of Mike’s family lineage prior to arrival in the Americas comes from this small group of islands.

We set sail from Barcelona just after sunset on Sunday, January 22 and headed out to sea for two days before making our first port.  It was a real treat to sail through the Straight of Gibraltar and catch our first glimpse of Africa, lit up on the midnight horizon.

Funchal, Madeira – Madeira Islands (Portugal)

Our first stop was in Funchal, the capital city of Portugal’s Madeira Islands.  Despite being located in the North Atlantic, the island felt very tropical with an amazing variety of flowers and birds.  We caught city bus #21 first thing in the morning which took us up a narrow and curvy (to say the least) road leading to the mountain top village of Monte.  From here, the famous Funchal toboggan drivers set up shop.  The toboggan rides, which originated as a way to rapidly transport ice to the shore from the mountain top ice houses, have turned into a major tourist skeptical. While we did not indulge in a ride, we had a blast watching shrieking passengers skid down the mountainside.

Toboggan Ride

While most tourists take the toboggans down, we took the scenic walking route, which allowed for some incredible views of the Atlantic with Funchal in the foreground. If you’re interested in the particular route that we took, Google search “walking monte to funchal” and you’ll find step by step directions.

View of Funchal

The steep scenic route did a number on our legs but also allowed us to check out the local architecture.  We were inspired by the walled courtyards with beautiful tile work, all perfectly framed by pink and orange tropical flowers.

Tiled courtyard with colorful flowers

By the time we reached the city center, we were ready to relax. The islands of Madeira are known for producing their own variety of Port wine, so naturally, we had to try some. We picked up a bottle and headed for a nearby park to enjoy our last few hours in this island paradise.

Blandy’s Madeira Wine

Santa Cruz, Tenerife – Canary Islands (Spain)

On our second day at port we were blessed with particularly great weather, so headed for one of Tenerife’s few sandy beaches, La Playa de Las Teresitas. We heard that the beach was only a 20 minute bus ride from town and ambitiously attempted to walk instead. While walking, we discovered the Canary’s ubiquitous outdoor public gyms, but after over an hour, the sidewalk became an onramp to the interstate, and we were forced to take the bus.

Outdoor gym in the Canary Islands

When we finally made it to la playa, we were stoked to say the least! We think the picture says it all.

La Playa de Las Teresitas

After Amy’s pale skin couldn’t handle the sun any longer, we hoped the bus back to the city center to check out the city’s music hall, El Auditorio de Tenerife.

The beautifully tiled Auditorio de Tenerife

Arrecife, Lanzarote – Canary Islands (Spain)

The island of Lanzarote is best known for its picturesque and rugged volcanic landscapes, but we were drained of energy from our previous day in the sun and chose to stay in the small town of Arrecife.  While this city is noticeably smaller and less energetic than our first two ports of call, we did enjoy its captivating blue waters and small fishing town feel.

Fishing harbor in Arrecife

Málaga, Spain

Our final stop on the way back to Barcelona was the port city of Málaga, situated on Spain’s southern coast near Granada. Prior to our arrival, we knew very little about Málaga, but were pleasantly surprised. The city is very modern and well kept, but is still host to some amazing ancient structures.  To get a better view, we headed to an old roman theater known as el Alcazaba and hiked up a fantastic nearby trail. From the top we were able to view many of the city’s main attractions including the Plaza de Toros and Catedral del Obispo.

View of Málaga

On the Ship

Most of our days at sea were spent relaxing by the pool, reading, playing cards, and enjoying the Jade’s fantastic live music and entertainment. Because of Mike’s background in the hospitality industry, we were both interested in the operational aspects of running a floating hotel. After speaking with the Hotel Director, we had the opportunity to take a behind the scenes tour of the ship, including the kitchen, galley and provisions areas, bridge control room, laundry facilities, waste disposal center, and theater. We were amazed at what goes into making a cruise happen smoothly and seamlessly.

Tour of the Jade’s laundry facilities

Tour of the Jade’s massive walk-in produce cooler

The Jade’s Staff Captain explains the radar system during the tour of the Bridge

We had a fantastic time at sea and it was a great opportunity to rest up, eat three (or more) good meals per day, and prepare ourselves for the upcoming month of hostel living and a relatively unknown itinerary. We are now in Valencia and looking forward to exploring the home of paella!

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Last Week in Denver

It’s our last week in Denver. We’re done with work. We’re moving out of our apartment. And we’re enjoying lots of going-away parties.  With all the excitement and anticipation of leaving, we’re beginning to realize how much we’re going to miss this place. People often ask us if we’ll be returning to Colorado after our RTW trip, and the honest answer is we don’t know. A major goal of our trip is to live in the moment, which means making as few future plans as possible.

That being said, Colorado is an awesome place! For those who have never been, get here! For those who live here, appreciate it!  As we get all reminiscent and sappy about our years here, we wanted to share some of our favorites for locals and tourists alike…

While we still have a lot of the world to experience, Colorado has to be one of the coolest places out there.

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