Thursday, January 7, 2016

Five Favorites: Places We Traveled

I'm linking up with The Big White Farmhouse this week for Five Favorites.  In the spirit of reflection and the new year, I thought I'd post about my five favorite places we traveled last year, so here they are!

San Diego, California

The month before we left for Turkey was filled with lots of boxes, lots of time spent with family and friends and a few trips in the United States before we began our adventure abroad.   We were really lucky that we were able to squeeze in a trip to see our friends Matt and Katy get married.  We spent a lot of time with them during our time in Hawaii (I say ours because I feel like I was there enough, but really it was Mike's) and I was elated that we could have one last hurrah with them before we left.

I was also super excited because I had never been to San Diego before.  Mike (and a ton of other people) raved about it and it definitely lived up to the hype.  It's such a cool beach town with a lot of personality and I definitely drank the San Diego kool aid. We got to spend lots of time with Matt and Katy, as well as our friends Joe and Michelle who were there for the wedding (they met at our wedding!!).

Cappadocia, Turkey

Man, oh man do I love Cappadocia.  We planned for three days in Cappadocia and had heard that was probably enough, but I honestly think you could do at least two more if you're the outdoorsy type.  There is a ton of hiking there and the views and the landscape is breathtaking.  Add in the hot air ballooning and you've got me sold.  I know we'll be back at some point, probably with visitors, but I could have spent another week there hiking and just exploring the caves that have ancient drawings all over them. Another hot air balloon ride wouldn't have been bad either.

This was our first trip out of Turkey and it definitely didn't disappoint.  We spent 11 days in Cologne and driving around eastern Germany.  We were both drinking the German kool aid (it tastes very similar to beer)  within minutes of stepping foot in Deutchland and have dreamed of returning ever since we left.  The structure and cleanliness compared to Turkey probably had a lot to do with it, as well as getting to hang out with a bunch of other Olmsted scholars, but there were so many things we fell in love with on this trip.  Plus, Oktoberfest is quite the experience that everyone should have at least once.

Neuschweinstein castle.  A real life Disney castle!

Sicily, Italy

We are big wine tasters.  We try and do it everywhere we go.  It's such a fun thing to do and can be the start of good conversation.  Plus, wine is always good. I'd say at this point, we have done our fair share of wine tasting and kind of know what to expect.  Wine tasting it Italy, though, is at a whole new level. 

Prague, Czech Republic

Neither of us knew much about Prague before we visited, but it kept popping up on lists of must-see European cities, so we knew we had to visit and it didn't disappoint.  Prague was our first trip where we stayed with another Olmsted family and it was a ton of fun.  The Sullivans welcomed us into their home and made us feel like part of their family for a few days and outside of their home, we fell in love with the beautiful city.  We enjoyed the cold weather and the Christmas-y feel that Prague had and definitely want to go back and see what the city has to offer in the summer months.

Thanks to our travel buddy Claire for the great photo :)

We've had so many great trips this year, it was hard to narrow it down, but these five were definitely highlights of the year.  We've had some not-so-great trips as well, but overall, it's been a great year of travel and we're anxious to see what 2016 has to offer!

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