Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Show and Tell Tuesday: Favorite Vacations

Before we can get started today with sharing about our favorite vacations, I have a SUPER exciting giveaway for y'all!  Here's a hint...


EEEEEK!!!!  It's a SET of matching monogrammed converse for you and your mini!  OR if you don't have a mini then it's a pair of monogrammed converse AND a tote bag!  How awesome is that?!?!


Crystal from CrystalFaye sent a set to Griffin and I and she and I are both LOVING them!  Everything is better with a monogram, right?!?!?! :)




If you can't wait until the drawing ends, be sure to use the code MOMFESSIONAL15 FOR 15% off of your order!



I am so excited about today!  I loooooooooooove looking at other people's vacation photos and getting to experience a little bit of the world vicariously through their travels. I'm not someone who has a lot of "wanderlust"... I'm not constantly planning the next trip or getaway.  Dave and I traveled before we had kids and it's something we're looking forward to doing more as a family as our kids get older.

My #1 Vacation of ALL TIME is when Dave and I traveled to the Canadian Rockies in the summer of 2006.  We flew in to Calgary, Alberta and rented a car and then drove a loop through Banff and Edmonton.  We stayed a different city every night and had so much fun.  


We went in the summer and the scenery/wildlife was amazing.  I'm definitely a "cool weather" girl and LOVE crispness in the air so this trip was perfection. 

This was pre-iPhones for us, and our car didn't have navigation - so it was just us and a paper foldout map.  We got into probably the BIGGEST fight of our entire marriage (we don't really argue, so this was a big deal) over directions and driving and I believe a map was thrown out of the window because "why even have a map if you know where you're going without looking at it". :)  After ending up at the opposite end of where we were supposed to be (and actually ending up on someone's private farm), we had to call a truce and laugh about it :)




We sort of had a plan going into the trip (as in I had reservations along our "route"), but on the daily we kind of just winged it and asked locals and employees of wherever we were staying that night what we should go and see/do.

We stayed in different cabins every night and still laugh about one that was COMPLETELY not what we had expected and was completely lopsided.  As in, we had to put our heads at the foot of our bed because otherwise the blood all rushed to our brains and we had to bail out the shower because the water all pooled at one end instead of going down the drain. ;)


We saw glaciers where I was convinced I was going to fall into a crevice and had a sweet little boy ask me if I was a movie star (I think it was the big sunnies that did it)...

... and we took a "two-hour" trail ride up a mountain that turned into a 5-6 hour affair after getting caught in a crazy downpour and having our horses refuse to go down the mountain because it was too slippery. The trail company actually sent another guide up the mountain (I guess the horses will go up, but not down if it's really slick) with camping gear in case we had to spend the night.  


... and we stayed in a one room cabin (like... the clawfoot tub and kitchen area was next to the bed without a wall) on a sweet elderly couple's property with no phone or cable and we were pretty convinced we were going to end up as the storyline for a Law and Order episode :)


I'm originally from Canada (I lived there until 1992 when we moved to North Carolina and I totally consider myself American.... except for the fact that I'm actually a permanent resident who can't vote), and it was fun to get to introduce Dave to some of my Canadian favorites along the way (Swiss Chalet, Tim Hortons and SHREDDIES! The best cereal there ever was.  Any time I go to Canada I bring an extra bag so I can bring home Shreddies, malt bread (this is more of a Dutch thing than a Canadian thing), Smarties (they're like M&Ms, only better) and REAL maple sugar candy :)

sidenote: let's talk about how "fashion forward" I was in my gaucho pants.  I loved me some gauchos!!!  I'm pretty sure I didn't wear jeans at all in 2006.

I blogged HERE about another one of our favorite trips - this one was to The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia.  The Homestead was built in 1766 and holds some MAJOR history (including more than half of the US President playing a round of golf there!) and it is absolutely picturesque.  

The grounds are AMAZING and the resort itself is unbelievable...

I was pregnant with Mason and Dave played lots of golf while I either rode in the cart and drank hot cocoa while reading OR I hung out in our room and took baths and made it downstairs for tea service in the grand lobby.  Seriously.  We spent TONS of great quality time together and (being pregnant) we ended up foregoing MANY a meal at the five-star resort and ended up going back and back and back to a hole-in-the-wall pizza place for some of the best pizza I've ever had.  We even celebrated a football victory with the local team one night :)





I mentioned the Homestead a few weeks ago in a post and a super sweet reader of mine clicked over and read the original post where I mentioned how Dave and I saw this house every time we entered or exited the resort and how I SWOONED over it the whole trip.  The perfectly manicured lawn, the leaves, the porch, the smoke coming out of the chimney.... it's all perfection.  Well, it turns out that this sweet reader of mine GREW UP IN THAT HOUSE!!!  How crazy is that?!?!?!


"This may seem crazy, but I read your Homestead post this morning - and this was my house! My parents built it when we moved to that town in 1995. We lived there until 2012 when I graduated college! So crazy. I was casually reading along with your blog this morning and couldn't believe I saw this picture pop up! I promise we used to have crazier stalkers than you - people would come up to our door with questions and asking to take pictures and even make my parents cash buying offers right on the spot! My dad's resort group oversaw The Homestead. We moved to that middle of nowhere town right before I started kindergarten and I wouldn't have wanted to grow up any other way. I'm now in Orlando and my parents have retired in Sarasota on the beach. 



That home is SO special to me... I sledded down the front yard with my sister and my friends every winter, learned how to ride a bike in the driveway, shot hoops with my dad every night after dinner... the list goes on and on. It was definitely my parents dream house and we were so blessed to be able to build it there."

Isn't that just BEYOND cool?!?!?!  Thank you so much for reaching out, Alexia!!

There were other vacations I really wanted to share with you, including a couple of beach vacays, but I am MUCH more of a cool weather girl so those won out. We did stay in a really cool resort in Jamaica for our honeymoon...


... but believe it or not I don't have that many pictures because most of our days were spent like this :)
Maybe on another day.


So link up, and show and tell us about your favorite vacation(s)!

   
   
PS - Thank you so much Crystal for providing G and I with the Converse and for giving away two pairs!  LOVE YOU, SWEET FRIEND!!!

71 comments:

  1. Funny we were just talking about the fact that we had no idea how we got around before navigation on our phones YESTERDAY !!! I love all your pics ! Thanks for hosting us :)

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    1. Right?!?! What did we do before the little blue dot telling us where we are and where to go!?!?! :)

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  2. Loved this!!! I need more information on how you ended up in that lady's cabin with no phone?!

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    1. I booked it online and it was advertised as a cute little bed and breakfast and the pictures made it look like different rooms.... turns out breakfast was in her kitchen with her and herhusband in the morning. No thanks! hahaha It was an adventure!

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  3. I want to go on both of these vacations!! Let's ditch the boys next time and take a girls trip...I would love to do Canada or Virginia with you! I love, love, love Show & Tell Tuesdays and obviously, today's post was right up my alley :).

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  4. Canada! I had no idea you don't have Shreddies in the US. Love that you shared that all with Dave.

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    1. WAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! No Shreddies here (maybe it's just no Shreddies in the South?!?!?!) and you have no idea how disappointed I was when Dave didn't share my enthusiasm over Swiss Chalet :)

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  5. THe pics of your trips are so pretty!! I love that you go somewhere with nice, cool weather! What a beautiful backdrop! Love!!

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    1. I like to go anywhere I can wear a scarf :) hahaha

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  6. Such pretty pictures! After reading all of these posts, Chris and I have got to start traveling more!!!!!

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  7. Your Canadian Rockies pictures are beautiful! And I have to agree with all of your food choices to bring home…my best friend is Canadian (lives in Toronto) and I'm a tried-and-true Southerner. My first experience with Shreddies was LIFE CHANGING!!! lol! And Smarties…she will send my kids a care package with only Smarties and Maple Cookies. They are like gold around here. Thanks for sharing…I'm thinking I'll have to take my family to Canada this summer!!!

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    1. Dave said Shreddies are "just like Wheat Chex" to which I replied, "never again will you eat my imported cereal". hahaha :)

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  8. Tim Hortons!!! I live about an hour away from Niagara Falls so we are super close to Canada and Tim Hortons is now a staple here! There is one about every half mile and the Tim Bits are the best hands down. Plus we have smarties too!

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    1. LOVE Tim Bits!!! The chocolate ones are my favorite :)

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  9. I am the WORST about taking pictures on vacation. These are all so pretty I feel like I should take another trip just to take pictures...and also just to take another trip!

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  10. Banff is absolutely gorgeous and your photos are beautiful! What a fun way to do a trip! I love Smarties! We lived overseas for a spell and that was always a preferred treat. Thank you for sharing your trips! And how crazy about the reader who recognized her house! Small world! A fun link up! Thanks for hosting!

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    1. You're so welcome! And yes.... such a small world!

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  11. Great post! Love the tidbit about the map being thrown out the window. I laughed out loud at that--I think we can all relate. Love your honesty!

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    1. It was legitimately the biggest fight we've ever had. I'm not saying who threw the map, but I will say I can be mildly dramatic :)

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  12. Homestead looks awesome!!! Such beautiful views!

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    1. It was GORGEOUS! We can't wait to go back when the leaves are in their prime!

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  13. Please tell me where you stayed in Jamaica! :) we've been there several times but haven't stayed anywhere that looks like that....

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    1. It was called Sunset at the Palms and it was in Negril. A little "off the beaten path", but small and quiet and BEAUTIFUL!!!

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  14. Gahhh beautiful! I feels so jipped in the trip department lol.

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    1. Hahaha. I'm sure you've taken some FABULOUS trips!

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  15. Andrea, I'm seriously OBSESSED with my Crystal Faye monogrammed chucks! And now a matching set for Mia?! Ohmyword I'm dying right now! I am literally praying that I win! Thank you and Crystal Faye for doing this awesome giveaway!

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  16. Love this link up!! Your honeymoon looks exactly like what we will be doing...in 15 days!!!

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  17. The Candaduan Rockies! I never would have thought to go there, but it's definitely on my list now! So pretty! I love all of your pictures of the scenery! I could totally call the homestead home :) That house is like our ultimate dream!

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    1. Isn't the house amazing?!?! I would move there tomorrow!!! hahaha

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  18. I love your casual style...a year without jeans sounds blissful!! You've inspired me to take a trip into Canada. I have family in England and I am very familiar with Smarties, yum!! Also, Crunchie bars are the BEST. If you have a World Market nearby, I believe they sell those imported chocolates there :)

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    1. OOOOH! I'll have to check World Market soon! I also love a CaraMilk bar :)

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  19. If you and Shay come to The Homestead, you have to let me know. We will do lunch. Enjoyed the pictures of Canada.

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  20. I wear my monogrammed converse all the time! Hoping to win a pair for my sweet girl !

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  21. Loved reading about your Canada trip. I'm born and raised in Calgary, Alberta myself so this post was cool to see :)

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    1. So fun! My brother was born in Edmonton and we lived in Calgary when I was a toddler (we actually went to the Olympics when they were in Calgary!)

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  22. How cute are those matching converse? I need;)

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  23. Loved this!!! Canada is extremely beautiful!! I MUST get there!!! And totally crazy, cool story about the house!!

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  24. I go to Toronto every summer with our high school group at church and I loooooooove Tim Horton's! We are all obsessed with it :) Loved this post!

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  25. Ahh I love traveling! This post is awesome. I also love anything monogram and I was typing in "Emily Landers" into the part of the giveaway where you put the name in which I follow you on here and it submitted it before allowing me to finish. Just had to clarify!!!!

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    1. No worries!!! Thanks for letting me know :)

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  26. Eekk, what a great post! We are travelling to Banff this summer (from Ontario) I've never been to Alberta before so I'm very excited about our summer adventure! We'll be sure NOT to stay in the little cabin ;) I had no idea there were no Smarties or Shreddie's in the US.. Shreddies really are the best! And I stop at Tim Hortons almost every day on my way to work- opps!

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    1. Shreddies are THE BEST!!! I just checked and I can have them delivered through Amazon Prime... for $20/box. hahaha

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  27. Yesterday, I spotted a 2015 Road Atlas in the grocery store. A ROAD ATLAS?!?!?! I remember buying a new road atlas for summer car trips with my parents, but I never in a million years would have guessed they still print them!

    REALLY hoping I win the sneakers. It's something I would love but would never splurge on myself. :)

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    1. I still remember when I got my license and had to meet with our insurance agent and he gave me a road atlas :) hahaha

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  28. A day spent like your last picture (reading in the pool) is my idea of heaven. Great pictures!

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  29. Ahhh, thanks for touching on my house again! Such a nice note :) and it is a CRAZY small world!!!

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    1. Of course! Now I'm going to need you to send me pics of the inside :) hahaha

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  30. Andrea, your pictures are beautiful! This is making me need a vacation, stat!

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  31. This sounds like SUCH an amazing adventure! I'll have to remember your ideas for a future vacation! My husband and I discovered Tim Horton's on our honeymoon while road tripping through Ontario and loved it. The food was great and the people working there were so kind - then we ate at another one right after crossing into New York and had the opposite experience. We decided right then that we like Canada way better, lol! Thanks for sharing, I love a great vacation post :)

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    1. Canada is WAY more polite than the US - although I do have to say the south rivals Canada for friendliness :)

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  32. I would DIE for those shoes... went to the site and saw they are way more than I can afford. :( hope I win them!! fingers crossed! love from Canada. let me know if you need a shipment of Shreddies! Did you know you can buy packets of Swiss Chalet sauce mix?! life changing!!

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    1. Fingers crossed for you!!! And I have the sauce packets but it's just not the same :) Maybe if I brought out a finger bowl. hahaha

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  33. Absolutely love this post!! I am an Albertan and no matter where we vacation, the rockies are always my favorite :) Something about that crisp mountain air and the gorgeous hue of the lakes and rivers, just makes me want to go back year after year! Loved your photos! PS: I am a Timmies addict ... thank goodness their prices are 1/2 that of Starbucks!!

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    1. LOVE me some TimBits and yes... when we talk about trips the Canadian Rockies always makes it's way to the top :)

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  34. Now I really want to go to Canada! I have been to Niagra Falls as a kid, but that was before you needed a passport :( I would love to go back and explore more than just the falls. It looks beautiful!

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    1. This is kind of on the opposite side of the country - but you should still check it out :)

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  35. My famy did a road trip to Banf when I was in high school and I still talk about it and hope someday to take my husband there!!! So beautiful.

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  36. Eek! I love those monogrammed converses!

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  37. One way I can tell you still have Canada in you? You said Calgary, Alberta. Not Calgary, Canada. ;)

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