SPACE NEEDLE | SEATTLE, WA

I was only in Seattle for one day after a cruise, since my flight back to Texas didn't leave until the next morning. I was able to explore a little bit on my own before some of my friends who live in Seattle came to pick me up to give me a local-led one-day tour.The Space Needle is only about a 20 minute walk from the pier where my cruise ship docked (Pier 66), so I decided to check that out on my own.One of my favorite things to do when visiting the city is to find a place to see the skyline from up high. The Space Needle observation deck was perfect for that at 520 feet up ....more

HEADED TO OREGON

Today, Mark and I are headed to Oregon. Yay!I've never been and always wanted to go. There are so many things to see in Oregon, so we decided to make it an 13-day road-trip, and we'll be camping most of the time.Here's our not-so-set-in-stone itinerary: Portland > Columbia River Gorge > Painted Hills > Smith Rock > Bend > Three Sisters Wilderness > Crater Lake National Park > and all the way up the Oregon Coast.I'm pretty dang excited ....more

TRIPLE CROWN OF SURFING 2008 | SUNSET BEACH, HI

We're going a few years back in time with this one.When I lived in Hawaii in 2008, I was lucky enough to check out one of the world's largest surfing competitions, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. There are three different competitions located at three different beaches on the North Shore of Oahu, including Sunset Beach, Banzai Pipeline, and Haleiwa Ali'i Beach Park. I went to the O'Neil World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach.The North Shore is notorious for it's high swells in the winter ....more

OAK ALLEY PLANTATION | VACHERIE, LA

Be ready for a lot of green in this post!After being in New Orleans for the weekend, we wanted to visit something with a different feel. My mom had visited Oak Alley Plantation a long time ago, and I knew Mark would love the plantation's oak-lined alleyway as well as the history. So we went!Oak Alley Plantation is a National Historical Landmark located on the Mississippi River, about an hour outside of New Orleans ....more

CO-OP FOOD COURT | AUSTIN, TX

There are so many food trucks in Austin. I love the places that have a bunch of food trucks clumped together, like this one. The Co-Op Food Court is located a few steps away from the University of Texas campus, making it an easy choice for on-the-go food for students, professors, and UT visitors.The Co-Op Food Court honors UT's traditions and colors, as burnt orange is seen everywhere, as well as a massive longhorn (UT's mascot) in the middle of the courtyard ....more

INTERLAKEN, SWITZERLAND

While in Europe, we were constantly trying to dodge bad weather, so our travel plans were up in the air everywhere we went. We went to Interlaken, Switzerland because of reports of okay weather, but it was wishy-washy even there.We ended up only getting to really experience only about one day in Interlaken because of such bad weather. Luckily, we did get some sunshine, and even though it wasn't much, we took full advantage of it.Interlaken is named so because of its location in between two gorgeous lakes, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz ....more

FRENCH QUARTER | NEW ORLEANS, LA

Even though New Orleans isn't totally my kind of city, no one can deny the beauty of the architecture and the uniqueness of the culture here, especially in the French Quarter.Since the French Quarter Festival was that weekend, and started at 11:00 am, we decided to go explore the area early in the morning (and when I say early, I mean 8:30). There were barely any people out at that time. It was nice walking the streets with a camera in my hands and Mark by my side.We loved Jackson Square, which is right across the street from the river front, and has a backdrop of the gorgeous St ....more

CAFE DU MONDE | NEW ORLEANS, LA

Everyone says that eating beignets at Cafe du Monde is a must when in New Orleans. Well, it might be, but being gluten-free, I can't eat there. That didn't stop Mark from wanting to eat there, though!I happily went with him and ordered a coffee while in the famous cafe ....more

RIOMAGGIORE | CINQUE TERRE, ITALY

Riomaggiore was the last village we visited in Cinque Terre.Cinque Terre, which means "five lands", is comprised of 5 villages located on the western coast of Italy. Each village has many similarities, like their colorful buildings and walkable streets. But there are many differences, as well.Like...more

MANAROLA | CINQUE TERRE, ITALY

Manarola was the fourth village we visited in Cinque Terre.Cinque Terre, which means "five lands", is comprised of 5 villages located on the western coast of Italy. Each village has many similarities, like their colorful buildings and walkable streets. But there are many differences, as well.Like Monterosso, we took the train to Manarola instead of hiking, like we did from Corniglia to Vernazza ....more