Celebrating Thanksgiving Abroad – Travel’s Influence on Our Traditions

Family are gathered, pies are baked, wine will soon flow, football is queued, and the bird is already releasing heavenly, succulent smells that will quickly infiltrate every corner of the house.  By the end of the day, tummies will be stuffed, the room will be full of laughter and games, and eventually, we’ll all pass out in a food coma before our first holiday movie of the year.

Does this sound like your home on Thanksgiving Day?

For us, Thanksgiving has always been about family, food, and celebration.  And while millions of Americans will be traveling home this holiday season, this will be our first abroad.  So how do we celebrate when so far from home?  And how has travel changed this American tradition for us?

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Truly Unique Dining in Vancouver B.C.

This was the most unique dining experience I’ve ever had. I highly recommend this restaurant if you’re willing to try something new; it will change your outlook… pun intended!

LotsaSmiles Photography

This experience warranted its own post, as I have never before had a dinner quite like our last in Vancouver.

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Our Favorite Restaurant in 2018

We like to eat out quite often, and we tend to splurge more than we should. There are so many good restaurants that it is hard to pick a favorite. For us a restaurant is more than just the food it serves; it is also the experience. To be a favorite means that we enjoy our time there even without the food. A great restaurant has staff that is present when we need them, food that is timely and well prepared, and there’s a good atmosphere. The taste and quality also matters. After our Favorite Japanese Meal post, our favorite food shouldn’t surprise you. And that leads us to our favorite restaurant experience in 2018. Drum roll please….seattle-1

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World Highlights: Our Favorite Japanese Meal

We’re toning back a bit on our blogging, as we’re now in crunch time before we leave for our big trip!  Therefore, enjoy full posts every other week, with quick travel highlights like these in the alternates.  Let us know what you think!  We’d love to know what your favorites are!


© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

We had so much incredible food in Japan; how could we pick just one favorite?  While we loved the comforting ramen and drooled over the extravagant ryokan breakfast, one restaurant rose to the top, and it still makes my stomach grumble at the thought of it.

World Highlights: Our Favorite Japanese Meal | BIG tiny World Travel | We only travel to eat! Japan had some of best food we've had, but one restaurant rose above the rest! Check out our favorite from our visit. | #travel #travelcouple #internationalfood #traveltoeat #travelfood

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We Learned How to Drink Like a Russian

Life is full of all sorts of fun experiences, most of which, you never plan for.  In fact, it is the unexpected moments that make the best memories – the ones that stick with you throughout the years and make you smile when everything else dissolves into nostalgia.

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We had one such evening, quite by happenstance.  We had the pleasant fortune to learn what it really means to drink like a Russian.

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Portland: Our Favorite Restaurants

You’ve gotten the preliminary tour.

You’ve seen the local highlights.

Now, let’s talk about food.

Portland is known as a big foodie town.  We love our food.  And living here as long as we have, we have found our favorite spots.  So when we have guests, here’s where we take them.
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Costa Rican Food

We often say we merely travel for the food.  When scoping out a new place to visit, one of the first things we look for is good food.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Tokyo was like that; we just wanted to eat everything we saw in anime.  Seriously, I went to Japan with a food bucket list.  We deliberately sought out taiyaki and ramen, and we really did just go to Osaka for the food (okonomiyaki followed immediately by takoyaki).  We looked forward to the amazing breakfasts served at our ryokan, and we couldn’t get enough of all the little street vendors.

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6 Drinks You Should Try in Costa Rica

Who doesn’t like a good drink?

Whenever we travel, we like to have a regional specialty.. in fact, we want to try as many local drinks as possible!  We knew Costa Rica would have plenty of tropical beverages to slake our thirst.  If you’d rather not try to figure out how to ask, “what do you recommend?” in Spanish, try these.  Or if you can’t make it down to Costa Rica, try making them at home! Continue reading “6 Drinks You Should Try in Costa Rica”

Maid Cafes

Of the many kitschy things to do in Japan, visiting a maid cafe usually makes many lists.  We aren’t typically ones for overly touristy things, and we often go out of our way to avoid them (tourist attraction undoubtedly leads to throngs of visitors).  But while we were recovering from having been inundated with the overwhelming noise and stimulation of the tiny Akihabara shops, we decided to duck into one of these cheesy maid cafes. Continue reading “Maid Cafes”