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!!!