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Travel

Our Italy Trip! Five Tips for Traveling internationally during COVID #Italy #travel #travelblogger #travelingduringCOVID

We had a great 12 days traveling through Italy during April school vacation week! It was a bit stressful with all the paperwork and figuring out tests to come back to the U.S. but all went well. We started our adventure in Florence and then visited the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, the Tuscany region including Sienna and San Gimignano and Venice. I will need to go back to visit Rome, Milan and Capri! Every trip was an adventure and the sights just got better and better. We did cover a lot of territory which meant getting on many trains at 7:00 am but I wanted to see as much as I could! Here are my tips if you plan a trip to Italy or any international destination.

  1. Try to fly direct – While there was no direct flight to Florence I would recommend flying direct into the bigger cities such as Milan or Rome as Florence is a few hour train ride away. While we were lucky that we had a 4.5 hour layover in Paris, due to our flight being delayed, customs, long lines we made it to the gate with less than one hour to spare!
  2. If you have to test to come back to the U.S bring the emed covid tests Home (emed.com) While there are many Farmacias in Italy the day we needed our tests was a national holiday. We were lucky with the help of a local friend to find the one pharmacy that was open! Brining the test just provides an extra layer of backup.
  3. Certain airlines have the fly ready documents – if they do download your documents before you leave. There was a lot of uploading of documents so get your COVID vaccines, passport information and if you need a negative test – have it all ready! We didn’t check bags on the way there but our airline required us to go to the ticket counter to show all our documents. Bring the original card, not a flimsy copy like my husband did! Or have a copy on your phone. We did need to show our vaccine card on trains and before we went into restaurants.
  4. Get global entry – We were able to go through customs on the way home very easily and with no line at all. It is a program through the trusted traveler program so you’ll have to have an account for each family member and then have an interview at an airport – the process does take time but its so worth it.
  5. Book any transportation or tickets to museums in advance – Because we went during the Easter holiday week most attractions were sold out – meaning that I had to see fake David and not the real one!

Buon Viaggio

Positano is my favorite spot!
Travel

What’s the new normal? Travel adventures and more

As we are heading into February….I know I cannot believe it…..and digging our from under snow, I am imagining sun, sand and the beach. As the holiday season and January was filled with COVID, I hope we are able to turn a corner and see less of the pandemic and more of a new normal and getting back to seeing people and more travel.

Even if it is a daily adventure out to the local coffee shop, a walk outside with a few friends or a day trip to the beach – do something each day that makes you happy! Wear your mask and of course social distancing is still in effect but you can so somethings that are safe while enjoying a meet up here and there! We have fun trips planned down the road so there is that to look forward to as well!

So looking forward to beach trips with friends, family travel and day trips as well!

Fun times with friends on February school vacation pre-COVID
Travel

Fall Travel #travel #travelblogger #destinations Florida it is!

Well, getting back to travel has been slow with COVID still here but we are all about safety. Traveling in the airport and on the airplane you have to wear your mask obviously but when you get to your destination that could be a whole other story. For us whenever we went inside we wore masks and some people did and others didn’t. Our trip to Tampa was awesome. We stayed with a good friend who lives right in downtown Tampa. We toured the University of Tampa, went to Saint Petersburg Beach and Clearwater Beach and both were amazing. I would recommend a trip there in October as it’s still hot! The temperatures were in the high 80s – just perfect weather and of course perfect company too. Dinners were amazing at this location called Hyde Park. We also ventured out to the waterfront and ate at the Armature Works. It was amazing. In Clearwater, we had lunch at the Sandpearl Resort and that is a place I would recommend staying for sure. Lots of fun, sun, sand, and good times in Tampa!

Summer in Maine
Travel, Uncategorized

Summer 2021 where have you gone? #summer #travel #travelblogger #beachlife

Summer 2021 is just flying by. With COVID still here, the weather not so great and with kids work schedule – all combined makes for a…..not the best time to travel. We still got a few day trips in and we still have a couple weeks left for beach trips and fun, local dinners and spending time together before the start of the school year. Of course my annual cape cod trip was an adventure and for the second year in a row it was a July 4th family style celebration in South Yarmouth. Any exciting last minute summer plans?

Travel, tweens

January 2020 – is it spring yet? #travel #travelgoals #schoolvacationweek

I cannot believe it is the end of January. With our holiday trip over and having just come back from Miami I am craving warm weather. I have never been to Miami in January and it was 80 degrees every day which was so nice. It looks like we will have a staycation this February school vacation week. Well, maybe we will plan a night or two away. April school vacation week is the same as sports will occupy most of that week as well as drivers ed! Wow…how did that happen? Anyway our goal is to travel more this year…..yes, I say that every year but it is a good goal to strive for right? On my list of course is London, Paris and Italy but also South Carolina, California and maybe Bermuda too. As for the staycations for school vacation week we love our day trips to Boston and Maine and NYC is a quick overnight so think about those locations if you are planning a staycation. Enjoy this lovely cold weather we are having and dream about spring temperatures!

Travel, tweens

January 2020 – is it spring yet? #travel #travelgoals #schoolvacationweek

I cannot believe it is the end of January. With our holiday trip over and having just come back from Miami I am craving warm weather. I have never been to Miami in January and it was 80 degrees every day which was so nice. It looks like we will have a staycation this February school vacation week. Well, maybe we will plan a night or two away. April school vacation week is the same as sports will occupy most of that week as well as drivers ed! Wow…how did that happen? Anyway our goal is to travel more this year…..yes, I say that every year but it is a good goal to strive for right? On my list of course is London, Paris and Italy but also South Carolina, California and maybe Bermuda too. As for the staycations for school vacation week we love our day trips to Boston and Maine and NYC is a quick overnight so think about those locations if you are planning a staycation. Enjoy this lovely cold weather we are having and dream about spring temperatures!

Holidays, Hotels, Travel

Pre-Christmas Travel – Highly Recommend it and to #Quebec @FairmontFronten #travel #momentsLCF #hosted

This year I was prepared and got everything ready for Christmas the weekend before so we could travel to Canada for a quick get-a-way. Our destination was the lovely Quebec City and what a beautiful, magical city. The Fairmont Frontenac offered me a discount to stay at their hotel and of course I said yes. This magical castle located on Cap Diamant overlooking the majestic St. Lawrence River is the place to stay.

It is a castle and it is magnificent! The lobby was decorated for the holiday season and had about 20 Christmas trees all decorated I believe from local companies. A cute dog greets you when you check in. The hotel is very dog friendly and you can pay a bit extra to have your pup stay with you. Daphnie is their St. Pierre breed (a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and Lanernese) and the story is she was trained to be a guide dog by the Mira Foundation. But because of her amazing social skills she is now the Canine Ambassador at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac!

We loved everything about the resort — especially the food. We were lucky to be offered complementary breakfast at the Place Dufferin – Lovely views of the Saint Lawrence River and croissants for everyone! The hotel also has a Starbucks and we had wonderful drinks and light bites at the 1608 bar. There was so much to explore on the grounds of the hotel. The kids loved the pool. I loved the cute shops and really all the holiday décor was magical. I highly recommend traveling here during the holiday season. It is a hotel unlike any other I have ever visited – charming yet grand, magical and stunning – a perfect retreat for the Christmas season.

Fun winter activities in Quebec

In addition to exploring the grounds of the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac we ventured out to the Quartier Petit-Champlain. This area right below the hotel with adorable shops and restaurants is a must to visit. With the holiday lights and Christmas trees with snow it was like being in a snow globe! We were also able to experience the German Christmas Market. Beautiful decorations, tasty treats, choral singers – all around a magical time! The toboggan slide at the Frontenac is a must ride! It is open Mid-December to March and what a rush and fantastic views of the Frontenac and the River. I read that it can be as fast as 40 miles an hour! This is one activity that you have to experience! In addition, we took a ride and went dog sledding! This was the best experience. We went to Aventures nord-Bec Stoneham. The whole experience was a dream! First you learn how to maneuver the sled (yourself!) Then a guide takes you on a ride in the forest with your dogs. Each sled is for two people so you get a chance to ride and then steer the sled – it was a magical experience. We also got a chance to visit with the puppies after. They also served hot chocolate and cookies to us. This activity is a must if you go in the winter to Quebec. We also went ice skating too – there are a few places to go and here is a link. I do believe we stopped at this place – the Plains of Abraham. There are so many outdoor activities to enjoy in Quebec in the winter.

I would highly recommend a winter trip to Quebec and to stay at the Fairmont Frontenac! We loved it!

Disclosure: The Frontenac offered me a discount on the room and complementary breakfast. As always all opinions in this blog post are my own.

Holidays, Hotels, Travel

Pre-Christmas Travel – Highly Recommend it and to #Quebec @FairmontFronten #travel #momentsLCF #hosted

This year I was prepared and got everything ready for Christmas the weekend before so we could travel to Canada for a quick get-a-way. Our destination was the lovely Quebec City and what a beautiful, magical city. The Fairmont Frontenac offered me a discount to stay at their hotel and of course I said yes. This magical castle located on Cap Diamant overlooking the majestic St. Lawrence River is the place to stay.

It is a castle and it is magnificent! The lobby was decorated for the holiday season and had about 20 Christmas trees all decorated I believe from local companies. A cute dog greets you when you check in. The hotel is very dog friendly and you can pay a bit extra to have your pup stay with you. Daphnie is their St. Pierre breed (a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and Lanernese) and the story is she was trained to be a guide dog by the Mira Foundation. But because of her amazing social skills she is now the Canine Ambassador at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac!

We loved everything about the resort — especially the food. We were lucky to be offered complementary breakfast at the Place Dufferin – Lovely views of the Saint Lawrence River and croissants for everyone! The hotel also has a Starbucks and we had wonderful drinks and light bites at the 1608 bar. There was so much to explore on the grounds of the hotel. The kids loved the pool. I loved the cute shops and really all the holiday décor was magical. I highly recommend traveling here during the holiday season. It is a hotel unlike any other I have ever visited – charming yet grand, magical and stunning – a perfect retreat for the Christmas season.

Fun winter activities in Quebec

In addition to exploring the grounds of the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac we ventured out to the Quartier Petit-Champlain. This area right below the hotel with adorable shops and restaurants is a must to visit. With the holiday lights and Christmas trees with snow it was like being in a snow globe! We were also able to experience the German Christmas Market. Beautiful decorations, tasty treats, choral singers – all around a magical time! The toboggan slide at the Frontenac is a must ride! It is open Mid-December to March and what a rush and fantastic views of the Frontenac and the River. I read that it can be as fast as 40 miles an hour! This is one activity that you have to experience! In addition, we took a ride and went dog sledding! This was the best experience. We went to Aventures nord-Bec Stoneham. The whole experience was a dream! First you learn how to maneuver the sled (yourself!) Then a guide takes you on a ride in the forest with your dogs. Each sled is for two people so you get a chance to ride and then steer the sled – it was a magical experience. We also got a chance to visit with the puppies after. They also served hot chocolate and cookies to us. This activity is a must if you go in the winter to Quebec. We also went ice skating too – there are a few places to go and here is a link. I do believe we stopped at this place – the Plains of Abraham. There are so many outdoor activities to enjoy in Quebec in the winter.

I would highly recommend a winter trip to Quebec and to stay at the Fairmont Frontenac! We loved it!

Disclosure: The Frontenac offered me a discount on the room and complementary breakfast. As always all opinions in this blog post are my own.

Events, Travel

Lazy days of summer – not! #travel #seniortrip #Aruba

Well this summer flew by so fast. Anyone else think so? Swim and Dive season, Beach days, my daughter’s senior trip and of course now running around trying to get everything in order for her move to college. How did that happen???

Earlier in the summer it was all things summer swim and dive season. Then onto travel. Summer is so packed and we usually do multiple trips in the summer. This year was the big senior trip for my daughter and her friends. If you haven’t heard the story we were booked to Punta Cana. Well, with everything going on there we just didn’t feel comfortable going so we rebooked to Aruba. SO GLAD WE DID. If you haven’t been you must go. We chose an all-inclusive and I would do this again. Aruba is known for its great food but we had kids with us so this was the best option and it was great. Food was really good and no worries about the dining bill! We did venture out with ATVs and went to the natural pool and baby beach. One interesting stop was the fish pedicure. It was different and weird but I loved it.

This was such a memorable trip. We were relaxed and felt safe in Aruba. Lots to do – with shopping and gambling lol. There was even entertainment at our hotel pool which everyone loved. We stayed at the Barcelo and would recommend it. We can’t wait to go back!

Here are my two favorite scenes from the trip – the pool photo and the beach view from the trip we took out to the middle of the ocean to the Tarzan boat. There was this place in the middle of the ocean that had rope swings, trampolines and high dives. Yes, I did go off the high dive. It was amazing but sometimes you have to remind yourself you are not 20 anymore, but I will always try new things!

 

Aruba – senior trip for my girl – love this island

Pool at the Barcelo Aruba – one fun place

 

 

Events, Travel

Lazy days of summer – not! #travel #seniortrip #Aruba

Well this summer flew by so fast. Anyone else think so? Swim and Dive season, Beach days, my daughter’s senior trip and of course now running around trying to get everything in order for her move to college. How did that happen???

Earlier in the summer it was all things summer swim and dive season. Then onto travel. Summer is so packed and we usually do multiple trips in the summer. This year was the big senior trip for my daughter and her friends. If you haven’t heard the story we were booked to Punta Cana. Well, with everything going on there we just didn’t feel comfortable going so we rebooked to Aruba. SO GLAD WE DID. If you haven’t been you must go. We chose an all-inclusive and I would do this again. Aruba is known for its great food but we had kids with us so this was the best option and it was great. Food was really good and no worries about the dining bill! We did venture out with ATVs and went to the natural pool and baby beach. One interesting stop was the fish pedicure. It was different and weird but I loved it.

This was such a memorable trip. We were relaxed and felt safe in Aruba. Lots to do – with shopping and gambling lol. There was even entertainment at our hotel pool which everyone loved. We stayed at the Barcelo and would recommend it. We can’t wait to go back!

Here are my two favorite scenes from the trip – the pool photo and the beach view from the trip we took out to the middle of the ocean to the Tarzan boat. There was this place in the middle of the ocean that had rope swings, trampolines and high dives. Yes, I did go off the high dive. It was amazing but sometimes you have to remind yourself you are not 20 anymore, but I will always try new things!

 

Aruba – senior trip for my girl – love this island

Pool at the Barcelo Aruba – one fun place