10 countries and countless cities made it on my 2013 Bucket List. France, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Jordan, Aruba, Curacao, Canada, USA, Mexico, and Fiji were all part of my whirlwind of adventures and new experiences. I never envisioned such an amazing year of opportunity; my life continues to be a dream come true. I am blessed. Some people create a bucket list because they are dying; I created one because I want to live.
Here are my top ten favorite travel photos from 2013.
Number 5 - Children Jumping from a Pier in Curacao
Imagine an island where hidden coves reveal an emerald-blue sea. Where arcs of golden sand stretch out beneath vibrant, multicolored sunsets. Where a rich historical heritage meets Caribbean vitality. Where the only thing you need to worry about is deciding how to spend your next day in paradise. Where children throw caution to the wind and jump from piers into the refreshing ocean. Imagine Curaçao: the best-kept secret in the Caribbean.
When you travel, do you let your inner-child run free?
Every holiday or celebration is now heightened to a new level. The anticipation builds inside of me like a boiling pot on the brick of spilling over. Why? Because I’m a mother and I get to experience the joy of celebrations anew. This was Athena’s first time trick or treating for Halloween. I was able to see the wonder in her eyes as she dressed in her costume, knocked on doors, received treats, and carried her pumpkin basket. Life is more beautiful just by being near her… even if she is a witch. Continue reading →
It seems like just when you feel comfortable with a baby product, it’s time to change again. I loved Athena’s car seat/stroller system. I had it from her birth until now. It was familiar and easy to use but she no longer fits in the car seat. I do have her jogging stroller, which is absolutely perfect when it comes to sun coverage and durability, but it’s too heavy and too big to use on a regular basis. So it’s time to switch again. I knew exactly what I wanted in a stroller; I wanted something sturdy and lightweight with great sun coverage and a large basket for storage underneath. I found the Joovy Groove and it has everything I wanted and more. We’re all set for another couple of years… at least when it comes to a stroller. Continue reading →
Too many tour companies claim to offer family travel experiences only to venture to their site and learn that families must not consist of babies. I have a 14 month old and I want to travel the world. Where are all of the true family tour companies? Even Adventures by Disney, yep, that’s right, Disney!, has a minimum age of four. No wonder couples are putting off having children until later in life. Are we really that restricted when we have children? Are toddlers not considered part of “family travel”? Are there no other adventures parents out there that would like to bring their children to experience new countries and cultures? Continue reading →
Why pay for a harbor tour when you can get it for free? Overlooking the stunning blue waters of the breathtaking harbor, The Fairmont Hamilton Princess and Fairmont Southampton hotels offer everything you could possibly need to make your vacation a truly memorable experience including a complimentary ferry. Hop on and off as many times as you’d like and enjoy the beautiful Bermuda waters for free. Continue reading →
Since moving to North Carolina 5 months ago, we spent so much time searching for the best location to build a house that we neglected the natural parks and beauty that surround us. Today, we found Jetton Park in Lake Norman and it was the perfect place to get back to nature. A stunning beach, lush trails, and quiet picnic sites filled the 106 acre lakefront park.
We strolled through the park slowly and relaxed as we took it all in. The trails were paved with leaves freshly fallen from the surrounding trees. Families, joggers, and people walking their dogs littered the path as much as the fallen leaves. With each friendly “hello” and “how are you”, we felt more and more at home. The people of North Carolina were the biggest draw to the area and we are constantly reminded that we made a great decision for our family. Continue reading →
Where should it be located? How many bedrooms do we need? What towns should we consider? Do we want brick, or maybe siding, or even yet… HardiePlank? Should the master bedroom be on the main floor or upstairs? What lot should we choose? Building a house can be taxing… oh yeah, we need to consider the community tax as well. AHHHHHHH! After months of searching, Darren and I might have found the house for us. The community, the neighbors, the amenities, and the house design all bring a smile to our faces and a “home” feeling to our hearts. Continue reading →
It seems like just yesterday I found out that I was pregnant with Athena. Now, she’s four months old! How did that happen? I felt so prepared for her arrival. We had everything that we needed to take her home and comfortably welcome her into this world, but she is growing so quickly and she learns something new every day. She laughs; with the cutest little giggle, she can melt my heart. She recognizes my voice; when I sing, she is instantly soothed. She looks intently at me; when she watches my every move, I know that I’m the most important person in her world. She’s actually growing out of her clothes and tummy time gets longer almost daily. The time had come to put away the 0-3 month clothes and think about crawling, walking, and eating solids. For a few of our most important baby product needs, we chose Joovy. They recently introduced a new line-up including a walker, a potty, and a step stool. Things change so quickly, I figured I would get all three and be prepared for the next few “steps”. After all, the last four months went by in the blink of an eye. Continue reading →
Flying a jetpack, seeing a wonder of the world, sleeping on the beach, taking a helicopter flight lesson, giving birth, finding the best Italian restaurant, volunteering for a new organization, and seeing immediate family may seem like an odd grouping, but it’s just part of my 2012 Bucket List. It wasn’t until this month that I’ve been able to accomplish one of the most important items (Obviously under delivering my baby girl). On July 7th, 2012, I returned to eastern Canada so Athena could meet her family. The complete happiness that filled my grandfather as he held her in his arms for the first time was one of the most memorable moments of my life; the look on my mother’s face when she gazed into Athena’s eyes warmed my heart; and watching my little sister, Gabriella, play with Athena like I played with her made me feel like I was in the Lion King and listening to Mufasa talk about the circle of life. Although only number 7 on my 2012 Bucket List, seeing all of my immediate family was one of the greatest highlights of the year. Continue reading →
The bustling and popular Five Fishermen Restaurant in Halifax, Nova Scotia has an unsinkable history; it was once Snow’s Funeral Home and housed bodies recovered from the Titanic. The reviews for the restaurant are equally unsinkable, though, so I thought I would give it a try. On my last night in Canada, accompanied by my sister and her boyfriend, I reeled in a delicious dinner at Five Fishermen. Conveniently located next to the World Trade and Convention Centre, The Five Fishermen Restaurant & Grill is recognized as Halifax’s finest seafood restaurant. Known world wide for its fantastic cuisine, friendly staff and rich history, they provided exceptional quality, a downtown view, unparalleled service, and a memorable evening. Continue reading →