April In. . .


Source: Japan Guide

One of the only upsides of being in a long distance relationship is frequent flyer miles. LOTS of frequent flyer miles. After over 5 years of cross country flights and extra credit card points, I've accumulated over 150,000 miles. I've known all along (well, since we got engaged) what I wanted to do with all these miles: Go on an awesome honeymoon!

We're approaching 6 months out from the big day so we thought we ought to solidify where we wanted to go. We took into account time of year, desired activities (adventure travel vs. lounging), food, culture, and ease of travel. We considered New Zealand (yep, we had enough miles to get there for free), Thailand, Portugal,  Croatia, but ultimately decided the time of year was too perfect to neglect one of our favorite places on the planet. These are all scenes from our destination:


Source: Japan Guide


Source: Aura Tachibana

Japan-Nagano-086Source: Jennifer Chong

Kinfolk_Instant-Extraction_v8-06-04-13_01-750x500Source: Kinfolk Magazine

I'm sure its been a pretty easy guess, but we're headed to Japan!! New Zealand was the runner up, but with 11 days to travel we decided it was just too far to go. United has a direct flight Seattle to Tokyo so the great thing is we can have an exotic vacation without spending too much time actually travelling.


Source: One Kings Lane

Even though we've both been, we feel like there is SO much more of the country we want to see and experience and we're super duper excited. Plus, it will be cherry blossom season. I already know I am going to take a bazillion photos. Our plan is to start our trip in Tokyo, then spend a few days up in the mountains near Nagano soaking in hot springs, then head to Kyoto to experience the amazing temples, and finish up in Osaka which is the foodie capitol of the country. If anyone has any Japan travel recs, send 'em my way. You can also follow my Japan Honeymoon pinterest board.


French Honeymoon

We finally booked our honeymoon and I'm so excited to be going to France! Now, along with the final wedding preparations, we're adding honeymoon planning to our plate. Luckily my fiancé is a great trip planner and we are going to keep the agenda pretty simple so we have plenty of time to relax.

First stop: Paris!

lovers-bridge-pont-des-arts-paris-france P1070740 Chanel-store-Rue-Cambon

france paris wedding honeymoon attractions - eiffel towerSources: Lovers Bridge, Food, Chanel, Eiffel Tower

Next up on the itinerary is Provence - a few hours southeast of Paris by high-speed train. We're still researching where we want to stay in this area. The things we want to do - wine taste, eat good food, a truffle tour, see a Roman ruin or two, and relax in the beautiful setting.

CrillonleBravetruffle HoneymoonSources: dogs, truffles

 ancient_history_provence wine_provence_gallery_2Source

Our last destination will be Côte d'Azur, also known as the French Riviera.

imagechateau_new wedding-cote-dazurSource


This will be a first time in France for both of us. I can't wait to see what it has in store for us!

The Trip of a Lifetime: Planning the Honeymoon

This week, I've been obsessing over our honeymoon for a couple of reasons. 1) It's still hovering around 30 degrees here in beautiful Ohio, so a summer trip to somewhere warm and beachy sounds incredible right about now.

2) I've discovered the secret to those annoying early Spring/Summer dresses and sandals that pop up everywhere in February--buying for the honeymoon! (Somehow this seems a little more forgivable...don't question the shopping strategy!)

For our honeymoon, we're planning on flying into Paris, and traveling to Lugano, Switzerland, then to Florence and Cinque Terre, Italy. Isn't there just something beyond dreamy about honeymooning in Paris? I hope we can make the timing work (if only I could take a month off of work...). Lugano is the "ancestral village" of my Swiss-Italian fiance, and a stunning resort town, so I'm really looking forward to that, as well. And Florence and Cinque Terre will fill out our trip with equal parts touristy activities, and rustic, remote beach town!

Here are a few images that are so stunning, I may just make them my desktop background at work.


Dreaming of Faraway Places :: Honeymoon

I don't know what it is about this week, but I can't stop thinking about faraway places, aka going on vacation! It might have something to do with the warm weather tease we are getting from San Francisco (as per usual), and my trip to Austin a couple weeks ago that have me wanting more. While I have gone on some wonderful trips over the past few years (Hawaii, Mexico, Solvang, CA) I find myself yearning for a longer and farther away spot. I want to see things I've never seen, experience a new culture, and bask in the sun from another side of the globe. My fiance and I went on a two-week trip to Germany and Italy back in 2009 and it definitely sparked the travelers within us. Neither of us did the study abroad or post-college travel thing, so we both feel like we have so many places we want to see and experience. We have been thinking about our honeymoon since before we got engaged - not specifics, but mainly that we wanted to go somewhere we had never been and that we'd like it to be in the Europe vicinity. Basically our honeymoon is our excuse to go on a trip just for us.

The things we want in a destination include good food, warm weather (in late July/early August), beautiful sights and a place with lots of history. Here are some of the countries calling my name. This is before much research so I will, of course, do another post when we have more figured out.

Greece. My fiance is 50% Greek and has never been there. Our honeymoon seems like a fitting time for a first trip there for both of us. We'd love to go to some of the cities on the mainland and the islands. Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete. 


Turkey. I've heard they give quite the exfoliating body treatments at the Turkish baths in Istanbul. Also pictured are the Lycian Temple Tombs near what is now Dalyan, Turkey. During our trip in Italy, we discovered we are more sight-seers than museum-goers.

Sources: Baths, Temple Tombs

Croatia. I don't know much about this country but have heard and seen great things. The latest Bachelorette episode added fuel to my Croatia fire, but I swear I wanted to go before Emily went there! ;-) Also, parts of Game of Thrones are filmed there...major selling point.


Bali. Okay, I know this is not at all in the Europe vicinity, but I warned you, I have travel on the brain and I'm all over the place. Too many places to go, not enough time! Everyone we know who has gone to Bali raves about it, so it's on my list for sure! Also, I hear it's cheap once you get there. I know I would instantly be more relaxed and carefree thinking 'that dinner only cost us $15 US dollars?!'

Sources: Hotel, Tanah Lot, Rice Fields 

With so many amazing places to choose from, how did you narrow down your honeymoon search? Do you have any advice for locations that can be done on a budget without missing out? Where can we find the best combination of cuisine, sights, natural beauty, and relaxation?

{honeymoon planning} Flights Are Booked

After researching every single airline known to man, I finally picked a suitable travel plan and booked the tickets! I spent a tad more than I wanted to, but it was totally worth it because of the extra leg we get to add into the trip. If you have ever been to Australia, or are an avid researcher of the area and just know everything there is to know, I would love some input and advice.

Our trip starts 4 days after the wedding (Monday, April 11) with a non-stop flight to Sydney. (Yes, I am stocked about the non-stop). Of course I called to ask for wifi, and they do indeed have it. (double yes!) This is an overnight flight so hopefully if we sleep for 15 hours, we will be there in no time. We arrive Wednesday at like 6:00am. No what? We have like 5 days in Sydney, so suggest some go-to spots people!

On Saturday (or Friday, haven't decided yet.) we head over to the Gold Coast. We are "driving" although I don't know what that means or how we are going to get there. Point is, we get to the Gold Coast on Saturday. We check into the Versace Hotel (YES!) and get a small getaway within a getaway for the weekend. I have heard great things about the Gold Coast and I can't wait. I have signed up for Groupon deals for the Gold Coast and Sydney so hopefully that helps me find great deals AND great places to go that are highly rated. So if you are a Gold Coast fan, this is the point to chime in with your all-time favorite spots!

Next up, and this is a totally new addition to the trip, Auckland New Zealand. Turns out I found some tickets that were the same price but included this little addition! Totally excited because Ian was obsessed with going to New Zealand. So here we are at the final leg of our trip. We arrive on Tuesday and leave on Friday. Not totally sure what adventures this will lead to, but I am hoping New Zealand has something totally amazing to offer! So this is your turn all you New Zealander's. What spots must we check out?

And that will conclude our 11 day journey in as of now, uncharted territory. I really can't wait for the wedding to be over and to be just hanging out all around these totally gorgeous areas. So far my budget is looking pretty good too which helps me stay sane :)

Ok, suggest away my lovely friends! Srsly, I am talking favorite hotels, favorite places to eat, favorite activities, must see spots, etc. etc. etc. Anything will help me plan a totally fun and totally amazing trip. Thanks :)