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….
The first major step has been taken on the path towards traveling the world. I just put in notice to leave my job on April 15th. The experience was quite nerve-wracking, but I did it. The reaction from my bosses was not quite what I expected.
It’s time to take another break – the holiday season is crazy busy!! Are you swamped, too? We have some exciting updates coming to our website, and more adventures on the horizon. But for now, please enjoy this tale of another opportunity we had to travel on the corporate dime!
I learned from my father many years ago one very important lesson: take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. After all, you never know when you might look back on a “no” and wish that it had been a “yes.” I strive to live every day by the mantra of “no regrets,” and thus far, it has served me well.
When Aaron’s company decided to move its headquarters from Portland to Chicago, they offered him continued work in the new city, along with a relocation package. To help convince us, they would fly us (both) out to Chicago for a weekend, show us some apartments and the city sights, and wine and dine us – all on the company’s dime. We’re quite happy living in Portland, and Aaron hated his job at the time, so moving wasn’t even a consideration for us.
Aaron almost told them no, outright. I thought he was crazy.
As I’ve divulged before, I love surprises. And fortunately enough for me, Aaron loves to dole them out (when he can keep it secret long enough to actually surprise me). He particularly loves to plan surprise trips. So this year, for my birthday, he packed us into the car and just started driving north. And for me the destination was a mystery.
About a year after we vacationed in Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach, Florida, we had an opportunity to return through a last-minute vacancy in a business-organized trip. Aaron’s company offered him the suddenly open spot, and much like the last time we were offered a free trip, we jumped on it!
Of course our agenda was much different, given we weren’t really planning this trip, but it was still just as fun as the previous. And the obligatory seminar was worth getting the airfare and per diem on someone else’s dime.
Oregon has some magnificent coastal areas that are more than just beaches. Several rock formations create some very unique landscapes that you cannot find anywhere else. Last weekend we enjoyed our time with family, an accommodation with a view, and some delicious seafood during our stay. The weather felt like it was summer even though it was early November.
We’re taking a small break this week, as we were crazy busy preparing for and running our home anime convention, Kumoricon (did you know we’re in charge of the convention’s official video and photography?). That’s one event we’ll both actually miss considerably next year. I’ve always said I wouldn’t miss Kumoricon for the world… but that’s precisely what we’ll be doing!
Anyway, we’ll be back next week with some more Florida stories, but in the meantime, enjoy this fun photostory from one of our campgrounds in Norway, Kyrping!
We saw plenty of fauna in Norway (though certainly not as much as in Costa Rica). And while the species didn’t really surprise us, their behaviors did. We passed lounging yaks, curious goats, and baying sheep (were we in Norway or Scotland?). And I was attacked by a seagull.
Read the full article: Photostory: Seagull Attack at Kyrping | LotsaSmiles Photography
Throwback Thursday: May 2011
As a traveler, I’ve always loved going on road trips. There are times where it makes sense and other times when it doesn’t. This was one of those times where it didn’t make sense, at least not the way I did it. Oh, I have learned from my mistakes, but I decided anyway to drive from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and back in one day. This is about a 4 hour drive each way, and the way back was not forgiving. But I still had an amazing time that I will never forget.
Aaron and I have been traveling together for years. We kept it local while funds were tight, but as we grew our savings, we were able to venture farther afield. Ten years into our relationship, we wanted to celebrate with something special, so we flew the farthest we had been to-date: to tropical Miami, Florida. (We hadn’t yet gone international; that wouldn’t come until our trip to Japan four years later. And fun fact: Miami is actually 200 miles farther from Portland than Hawaii, where we honeymooned.) It was one of our earliest major trips, and it only helped solidify our love of travel. We tend to vacation hard, and this was no exception.
Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Food, lodging and transportation costs can really add up. Despite these high costs, we were able to do this trip on a budget without sacrificing experiences. We even got by without handling any Norwegian cash until we found some while cleaning out the rental car. Here are our actual expenses from our trip to Norway.