After our adventures in Catskill and Hudson on Sunday, on Monday Alissa and I toured the Olana State Historic Site. Olana is a historic house, museum and property in Greenport, New York, near the city of Hudson. The estate was home to Frederic Edwin Church, one of the most prominent Hudson River School landscape painters during the 19th-century. His estate is now a historical preservation site.
About a month ago I visited my sister Alissa in upstate New York. She lived in New York City for a number of years and then decided she needed a break. So, she moved upstate about a year ago. I’d been meaning to visit and then decided visiting in the Fall would be a great time, to see the Fall foliage and visit before it gets super cold, and I was right.
For Labor Day weekend Jeremy and I visited my in-laws in Hilton Head, South Carolina. This was the first trip to Hilton Head this summer. Normally we love to go down for long weekends, or holiday weekends, but we’ve been so busy this summer. You can see some of my prior Hilton Head blog posts (Christmas 2017, Christmas 2016, Thanksgiving 2016).
After Edinburgh/the Scottish Highlands and Amsterdam, we traveled to Paris! I’ve been to Paris before with my girlfriends and Jeremy has spent a lot of time in Paris for work. But, we’d never actually been together. So, we were so excited to go to the most romantic city together for the first time.
After Scotland, Jeremy and I traveled to Amsterdam. A few years ago I visited Amsterdam with girlfriends (see blog post recap 1 and recap 2). However, Jeremy had never been so we made a short trip. On Monday July 9 we took an early flight from Edinburgh to Amsterdam and arrived in the early afternoon. During our visit we stayed at the super trendy W Amsterdam. The hotel is split into two separate buildings across the street from one another. One building was a former telephone exchange building and the other was a bank. When we arrived to the W our suite wasn’t ready so we ventured out into the city to our lunch reservations at De Kas.
Jeremy has a work training this week (week of July 16) in Cambridge, UK so we planned a trip to Europe the week before his training. For the first part of our trip we visited Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland and then ventured into the Scottish countryside. Whenever we travel internationally we try to take overnight flights to attempt to get on the other time zone (especially when we went to Nepal and Thailand). So, we left Atlanta at 10pm on Thursday July 5 and landed in London at 11am on Friday July 6. Since we already lost a half day traveling we flew from London to Edinburgh instead of taking the train. So, by the time we got to Edinburgh it was late Friday afternoon.
Over Memorial Day weekend I spent time with my Dad’s side of the family for my cousin Victoria’s wedding. Victoria and I are only a year apart. So, growing up we were always very close. Victoria is such a beautiful person inside and out, and found her perfect match in Alex, her husband. It was so nice to see everyone for Victoria’s wedding since my Dad’s side of the family is fairly small but are all spread out.
My Dad and Stepmom live in Virginia near my Mom and sister Caylen. Aunt Linda (Victoria’s Mom), her boyfriend and my Grandmother live in Bradenton, Florida. Then, my Dad’s brother, my Uncle John, his wife Aunt Marcelle and my two cousins Melissa and Leah live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’m the oldest of all girl cousins. So, we always joked it was going to take a very special guy to be able to join our all female clan. Luckily Alex, Jeremy and Steven (my sister Caylen’s boyfriend make the cut).
For Mother’s Day I went to San Francisco for a girls weekend. My friend Katie lives in South San Francisco and had a baby in January. So, my friend Melissa and I met in San Francisco for the weekend to see Katie and meet her new baby boy, Tripp. Katie, Melissa and I used to be roommates in Arlington, Virginia and now all live in different states. Melissa still lives in Arlington, Virginia so I’m able to see her when I go home to visit my family. But, since Katie lives so far away, we try to see one another at least once a year. Last year I visited Katie for Memorial Day.
The weekend of April 27 to April 29, Jeremy and I visited our friends Kristyn and Jason Schellhaas in New Orleans. I’ve only been to New Orleans once before, and that was a few years back to visit them. Last time I unfortunately came down with a horrible bug and was extremely sick the entire weekend. So, this time I was looking forward to being healthy and being able to taste the New Orleans Cajun style food and drinks. Jeremy and I met Kristyn and Jason while living in DC and have stayed in touch with them after they moved to New Orleans and Jeremy and I moved to Atlanta. We had an amazing weekend filled with perfect weather, great friends, fabulous food, drinks and live music. Read more
After our time in Nepal, Jeremy and I planned a visit to Koh Samui, Thailand. Since we were already making a trip across the world, we decided to extend our vacation by an additional 5 days and relax by the beaches of Koh Samui, Thailand. We stayed at the Le Meridien Koh Samui.
Jeremy and I had an amazing opportunity to visit Nepal with his Uncle Byron, Aunt Cynthia (the aunt and uncle who we visited over Thanksgiving to their vacation home in Ojai, California), sister Molly and his Aunt Cynthia’s best friend Donatella. Jeremy’s family has donated to Mercy Corps, a global non-governmental, humanitarian aid organization for the past 10 years. Mercy Corps specializes in operating in areas that have undergone/are currently undergoing various forms of economic, environmental social and political instabilities. So, Mercy Corps is really making a difference in the world. Read more
I went to Tulum, Mexico for a last minute girls weekend. My best friend Joanna (and one of my bridesmaids) had planned a trip with another one of her friends Alexa from Houston, Texas. On New Year’s Day they both decided they needed to get out of the cold weather and planned a trip to visit Tulum, Mexico. Luckily they ended up having room in their Airbnb and so I bought a last minute plane ticket to join!
I’d previously visited Tulum in 2013 with my husband and his family. We stayed in a villa on the beautiful sandy beaches of Soliman Bay, about 20 minutes north of Tulum in Riviera Maya. For a family vacation, I highly recommend renting a house as it’s great to all spend time together rather than having 5 different hotel rooms. But, for a girl’s weekend our Airbnb in Tulum was absolutely perfect! Our Airbnb was located outside Tulum and about a 10 minute drive or 20 minute bike ride to the beach. Read more