Archive for the ‘ Travel ’ Category

Maui: Day 6 Blessings

Waking up to Lincoln. Slappy Cakes deliciousness. Island drive with Ryan. Beautiful Maui vistas along the coast. Playing games with friends with ocean view outside. Three glasses of white wine. Walk to simple wedding rehearsal. Ice cream with Ryan. Running into the ocean to cool off. Staying a while. Playing with Lincoln in room. Meeting up with friends under the Banyan Tree. Watching sunset together. Walking along Old Town. Meeting with friends at brewery. Lincoln eating kalua pork and avocado. Beef stew, rice, and beer. Typing on this keyboard.

Day 7: Day Before Wedding

Day 7: Day Before Wedding

Day 7: Day Before Wedding



Day 7: Day Before Wedding

Back in Maui

Funny being here twice in one year. Day 1: Thankful for husband who loads car with luggage and carries Lincoln’s gear. For TSA Pre. For baby who flies really really well. For not feeling disastrous despite less than 4 hours sleep. For learning L slept through the night for first time in weeks. For landing in Maui and the familiar scent, sound, heat of it. For the excitement of being here. For our traditional Costco run and the anticipation of friends’ arrival. For L finally eating. For our walk on the beach to see sunset. For introducing L to the ocean. The look on his face in the sand, seeing the pools, and his crib that he won’t use. For L’s repeated delight today with pretty much everything, but especially our hotel room.

Maui - Lincoln 10 Months

Maui - Lincoln 10 Months

Maui - Lincoln 10 Months

Mommy Kiss

  1. Sneak outside to look at the ocean.
  2. Hide from strong wind gusts behind tree.
  3. Smooches.

Cousin QT in 2011

I always find it remarkable how my cousins and I make time to visit each other several times a year despite being spread across three states. We always seem to make the most of every day we have together, even if it’s just for the weekend. I was reminded of this when my cousin Jenny flew up last weekend for my birthday.

I was going through my old blog posts and found this one unpublished from 2011. That year we made a combined 6 cousin trips, not bad for cousins living in Seattle, Las Vegas, and LA.

In 2011…

Nikki's MoH WeekendWe toured.

Nikki and Neil's Wedding
We celebrated.

We hiked.

We lounged.

We gallivanted.

We sang.

We made this hand sign.

Guevara CousinsWe remembered.

Grand Canyon Trip 2011
We road tripped.

Cinque Terre: A Day Trip to the 5 Villages

“Go to Cinque Terre. It is the most romantic place on Earth,” I was told, repeatedly, by friends and colleagues. Even when I went to the bookstore while planning our trip, I picked up an Italy book, flipped it open and said “Cinque Terre – Best Time to Go: April”. All roads were leading to Cinque Terre, so I Googled and told the hubster. The next thing you know we’re on a train from Florence, with a transfer in Pisa, to a quick stop in La Spezia, before boarding a local train to Riomaggiore–the first of the five villages.

What is Cinque Terre? Well literally, it’s the “Five Lands” located on the coast of Italy that is part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is not accessible by cars and was built on top of steep cliffs that overlook the sea. Picturesque for sure. Most stay a night or two, but decided to just make it a day trip and see what all the dreamy-eyed looks were about when people would describe this place.

The ride to Riomaggiore on the train was short. Through the tunnels we caught glimpses of the sea and knew we were in for a treat. But first we had to get past the hordes of high school students. Sadly we disembarked at the same village a few hundred students and their chaperons. Insert loud clambering Italian teenagers. Wait a while for them to a ramble past and then–there was the coast.

Cinque Terre

In Riomaggiore, the one thing I wanted to do was walk on Via dell Amore, the Lover’s Trail, because a friend had told me it was the most romantic hike ever. Yeah, I’ll give her that. It was gorgeous and every square foot of the path was covered in the graffiti of couples’ initials, poems, and declarations of affection. On the guard rail were locks that visitors left (throwing away the key), an expression of their love.

Cinque Terre

Yeah, this path was gushy but it’s Italy and we’re in Cinque Terre and you’re walking by the sea–does it get any better? I finally convince Ryan to put our names in stone and we take our time (mainly avoiding the crowds) walking on the path. A school teacher even offers to take our photo.

At the end of the path was Vernazza. A tiny village again beautifully placed atop cliffs. Here’s where my narrative drops off a bit and I’m going to rely on photos.

Cinque Terre - 19

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre - 51

Cinque Terre

Travel Cities 2012

It’s year-end round up time!

February 3-5 Tuscon, AZ

April 4-5 San Francisco, CA
April 6-13 Tokyo, Japan
May 24-25 Glen Cove, NY
May 26-27 New York, NY

June 24-27 San Diego, CA
August 3-5 Vancouver, Canada
August 18-19 Portland, OR
August 31 – September 3 San Francisco, CA

October 21-25 San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
November 7-10 Portland, OR
November 25 – December 2 Las Vegas, NV
Decenber 14-16 Eden Prairie, MN
December 18-19 Washington DC


  • 2012 was a relatively light travel year, but I loved my time in the PNW.
  • Spent 55 days traveling, compared to the 101 days on the road last year!
  • Flew only 38,678 miles; goodbye MVP Gold status, you were good to me.
  • Visited 2 new international cities: Tokyo and San Jose del Cabo; 1 short of last year’s resolution, but FWIW Tokyo is enormous!
  • I traveled primarily for leisure: days were spent 75% for pleasure and 25% for business.
Shinjuku Gyoen - Day 2
Cherry blossoms in Shinjuku

Despite the less travel, I found myself increasingly grateful for the ability to jet off to work, explore different countries with Ryan, and be with family and friends these last six years. God has done great things for me.

Past Travel Cities Posts: 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007