Waves crashing on a sandy beach at Santa Cruz, Portugal

A Glimpse of Santa Cruz

What is the best place you’ve visited on someone else’s recommendation?

We’ve finished with South America, so we’re circling back to what we skipped before: the rest of Europe!

We had heard a lot about Portugal before our first visit, but most of the stories hailed from either Porto or Lisbon.  So when our Lisbon Servas hosts recommended a small beach town – Santa Cruz – we were excited to check it out.

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Continue reading “A Glimpse of Santa Cruz”

A Glimpse of El Tabo

How do you relax while traveling?

For those of you who have been with us for a while, you know that our favorite way to travel is with cat-sitting (if you want to learn more about it and other ways we get free accommodation all around the world, you can check it out here). We miss our kitties at home, and this is a great way to stock up on some much needed purrs.

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Coming to South America, we knew our ultimate destination was Patagonia. However, we decided to explore Santiago and some of the surrounding areas first! And landing a cat-sit at the coast was a perfect way to do it!

In El Tabo, we slowed down a bit, completing some work and even hanging at the beach! We also found THE BEST pisco sours at a local restaurant and befriend the bartender (the only one there who spoke English, which she was happy to practice).

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And we loved the house we were staying at. Located in a quiet neighborhood (aside from the noontime traditional siren), the modest house was surrounded by a massive garden. We also had a (very comfy) hammock and a fire pit at our disposal!

And of course, we had Chispo to keep us company!! He loves loves loves to go outside on his leash, and we happily obliged while watering the garden. He even kept us company while we worked outside on the porch. He’s also a next-level kneader, fluffing the blanket with all paws and a corner firmly in his teeth. We loved his little chirps.

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Funny thing.. voice-to-text does not know what to do with the word “Chispo.” Instead, it’s converted to words like “cheeseball” or “cheeseboard.” So we started taking to calling this lovable floof “Cheeseball” or my personal favorite, “Chispo con queso.”

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And yes, there are three pictures of him in this post because he’s just that photogenic. Besides, it’s all about the cats!

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A Glimpse of Balbriggan

What is your favorite coastal town?

Like many of our prior cat-sits, we hadn’t originally planned ongoing to the small coastal town of Balbriggan just north of Dublin in Ireland. However, we have a tendency to follow cats around the world.

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A Glimpse of the Giant’s Causeway

What is your favorite geological place in the world?

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Long before visiting Northern Ireland, I knew I wanted to see the famed Giants Causeway. A beach consisting of hexagonal basalt columns, it feeds both my love of patterns and my affinity for cool geology. It was formed by volcanic activity 50 million years ago and lava that cooled and cracked much like drying mud does.

Continue reading “A Glimpse of the Giant’s Causeway”

Newport Oregon: A Coastal Gem

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.

Beach near Newport Oregon

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Isla Tortuga Banana Boats and Snorkeling – Costa Rica

For my 40th birthday, I wanted to do something pretty awesome. I always enjoy doing some kind of boat ride whenever I travel. So we took this cruise from Puntarenas to Isla Tortuga. What a beautiful trip! The boat ride was nice with a loaded bar, a couple of mini pools to stay cool, and awesome views. It couldn’t get much better…… Continue reading “Isla Tortuga Banana Boats and Snorkeling – Costa Rica”

Hawaii: Pu’uhonua O Honaunau Park

Pu’uhonua O Honaunau Park is located near a popular snorkeling point known as Two Step. This park contains rich amounts of culture with a reconstruction of a Hawaiian temple. It is a sacred site of the Hawaiian people and is preserved by the National Park Service.

We stumbled upon this place by accident while on our way to snorkeling, but really enjoyed the quick glimpse to the past. Check out this quick video as I walk around the main portion of the park. Continue reading “Hawaii: Pu’uhonua O Honaunau Park”