Photo of the Days: End of our Trip

Spent Friday visiting the Underground River in Sabang and in Puerto Princesa Saturday 

Photo of the Days: Island Hopping Days 2&3

Did a group tour b on Wednesday and a private tour a on Thursday. All glorious. 

Photo of the day: Island Hopping Day 1

Went on a combo tour c and d today and had an amazing time taking in nature. 

Photo of the day: Finally in El Nido

After a long day and a half of traveling, we have arrived at our destination and couldn’t be more thrilled with Nacpan Beach and the first sunset we witnessed here. 

Planning: Palawan

We are headed off to our first beach vacation in years and only our second trip to Southeast Asia. I saw a picture of the Bacuit Bay about a year ago and after never hearing of Palawan before, it jumped to the top of the list. Maybe the ocean was calling us. And ironically on what should be our most relaxing trip without a lot of preplanned activities, I am more stressed out than ever pre-trip. Lots of odds and ends have contributed to that feeling of dread. I’ve worked a terrible amount of hours at work lately which makes me feel like I’m rushed in trying to make sure everything is ready. Secondly, my dogs GPS collar stopped working last night and while I completely trust our pet sitter, having the tracker just adds a peace of mind when we are at home and away. And now we are frantically trying to get a replacement tracker on a holiday weekend. Which hopefully we finally have figured out and will arrive before this post is published, but it still only gives us 24 hours to figure it out and be able to explain to the pet sitter how to use it!

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March 2017

Three big events happened in March, I finally bought my new computer and we booked our August trip (Headed to Slovenia!) and I booked my Memorial Day girls weekend trip (Headed to Boston!). I couldn’t be more excited about all three of those things, so while otherwise March was pretty lackluster, those made it an exciting month!

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Belgium: Wrap Up

After deciding to visit Amsterdam in April 2016 to see the tulips in bloom, we debated whether to spend the entire week of vacation in The Netherlands or add a second country. After weighing the pros and cons of each, we decided the pull to experience Belgium was greater than seeing more of The Netherlands. However, I absolutely loved Amsterdam and have no doubt that we will be going back to see more of The Netherlands in the future. I enjoyed our time in Brussels and Bruges, but I didn’t feel that pull and love I felt in Amsterdam. Brian enjoyed Belgium more than I did, but he loves beer more than I do so I’m not sure if that factored in at all. That’s not to say I wouldn’t want to re-visit Belgium, I would, it’s just not at the top of my re-visit list.

We also debated quite a bit on where to base ourselves. The most popular cities in Belgium to base yourself in seem to be Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, or Bruges. Granted there is plenty more to the country than those four cities, but knowing we wanted to branch out and visit more than one city, we wanted to base ourselves in one with easy connections. Originally that was going to be Bruges, but after deciding to make a day trip to Paris, we changed to Brussels as it was an easier connection both from Amsterdam and to Paris. Belgium has a lot to offer and you can make so many different things a focus when traveling there from food to beer to World War history to art. We chose the food and beer angle to our trip, as neither of us are huge war history buffs and we had made art a focus in Amsterdam so we wanted something different for the second half of our trip. Therefore in this guide, I won’t be giving much information on war history so if you are looking for advice on the battlefield sights, you will have to look elsewhere. Sorry!

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Belgian Cuisine

Like I stated in my Amsterdam/Dutch food wrap up, I didn’t know much about Belgian cuisine other than it featuring beer and chocolate to some extent. Spending a few days in Belgium isn’t enough to learn all there is to know about the food scene, we did learn it’s a unique mix of food culture. We didn’t get to try many of the more popular traditional Belgian main courses due to a variety of other choices we made which I will explain as I go. This just gives us a better reason to come back and try those traditional dishes.

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Flashback: Sounion, Greece 2011

We saw more than we anticipated during our first day and a half in Athens, so with our second full day in Athens we decided to take a daytrip outside the city and settled on Sounion. Sounion is an easy half to full day trip from Athens being located 69 kilometers (43 miles) south of Athens. The most famous landmark in Sounion is the Temple of Poseidon which is located on the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula. It’s as picturesque a location as you could ask for in a country full of amazing ruins. The marble temple stands out against a beautiful blue backdrop of the sea.

We reached Sounion via bus along the coastal route. The buses leave fairly regularly both towards Sounion and from Sounion back to Athens. If you take the coastal route, try to get a seat along the right side of the bus for the best views of the sea during the bus ride. The last bus back leaves fairly early, so even though the Temple of Poseidon is gorgeous at sunset, don’t plan on catching the sunset if you are relying on public transportation back to Athens. The bus ride takes approximately 90 minutes each way. There is another bus that goes via the inland route to Sounion that passes closer to the airport if you prefer that option.

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