Christmas in Puerto Escondido

The family decided to take another holiday in the sun, this time we ventured down to Puerto Escondido on the pacific coast of Mexico.

As a family, it's sometimes hard to travel as a group, with three teenagers in tow, and making sure that everyone has what they need but we made the best of it and survived relatively unscathed.

 

 First day at the beach in Zipolte

First day at the beach in Zipolte

We had a mix up in our flight schedule so we arrived a day early to the ocean and decided to go to Zipolte, the only "official" nude beach in Mexico.   

 Sometimes the simple moments are the ones remembered...

Sometimes the simple moments are the ones remembered...

 Getting out and exploring cities is one of my favorite things to do.  While we were at the grocery store, I spotted this donkey tied up on the street and couldn't resist.

Getting out and exploring cities is one of my favorite things to do.  While we were at the grocery store, I spotted this donkey tied up on the street and couldn't resist.

 This guy ran one of the restaurants on the beach at Carrizillo.

This guy ran one of the restaurants on the beach at Carrizillo.

Adventure Is Where You Find It

Fortunately, if you're willing to be creative, adventure doesn't have to be too far away. I ended up going out to Bend for a family commitment and decided to stay overnight and explore the China Hat wilderness area. 

 The drive over Mt Hood proved to be its own snowy adventure

The drive over Mt Hood proved to be its own snowy adventure

 Hilltop Views

Hilltop Views

I stayed one of my favorite hotels, the old St. Francis Hotel, and was able to take advantage of the soaking pool, theater, and the late night fire pits under the string lights to enjoy an evening cigar.

 The beautiful soaking pool

The beautiful soaking pool

 Dinner at Fusion 5 was nothing to scoff at.  The executive chef has received numerous accolades and now I understand why! 

Dinner at Fusion 5 was nothing to scoff at.  The executive chef has received numerous accolades and now I understand why! 

 The firepits at Hugh O'Kanes always beckon me with their ambiance, even in the coldest weather...

The firepits at Hugh O'Kanes always beckon me with their ambiance, even in the coldest weather...

After a relaxing evening, Samantha and I headed out into the wilderness to see what we could find.

 Country mailboxes on our way into the Badlands  

Country mailboxes on our way into the Badlands  

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After miles of exploring, we put the Jeep to the test a few different times, both ascending and descending some pretty treacherous rocky trails.

 She performed like a champ the whole time... 

She performed like a champ the whole time... 

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Samantha usually prefers co-pilot to backseat driver

 

The drive home was its own adventure in the varying seasons that one can experience in a single day in Oregon.  

The Beauty of Prague

Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
— Steve Jobs

After several days in Paris, we flew on to Prague for a few days of walking around the city and taking it all in.

I visited Prague in the fall of 1998 and fell in love with this city. It was a simpler city then, with much less tourism, but it is still just as beautiful... 

Walking through the streets, the cobblestones and the sunlight have a unique and magical quality to them in this medieval city.

I think one of the most heartwarming things for me to watch was to see how my daughters bonded when they were walking around together. I would look ahead of me and see them holding hands at an intersection, having them both be older than I "remember", it's a wonderful opportunity to see them still be such good friends and share in the travel experience even though they fight like cats and dogs at other times.  

Lilia has always expressed an interest in varied architecture and how it differs in the religious aspects of thechurch and how it's based around their history and the style and ideals of the country. It was really interesting to be able to take her to the Saint Vitus cathedral in Prague after her seeing the different architecture in Paris.  

Because Prague was one of the very few cities that was not born during WWII, much of the original architecture still stands which makes a profoundly different than many cities across Europe.  

And sometimes, you have to find silly and fun things to do after brunch, like take a paddle boat around the river, rather than go to yet another cathedral or walk around the historic city....

Traveling to European city, or anywhere for that matter, requires a different sort of timeline when you're traveling with teenage kids.

They very often want to go and see things but, given the nature of teenagers, they also want breaks in between. We would end up going to visit sites in the morning and then heading back to the apartment for the afternoon to have some downtime.  We would then head back out for the evening time for dinner and possibly a walk around the city.  

While it was often different from the way that I used to travel by myself, I found it to be somewhat relaxing to be able to take an afternoon nap while the kids decompressed

 Michal and Dária's place is just as they describe. The apartment is beautiful and, while it is on the third story of a walk-up building, it is most definitely worth a stay. The freshly remodeled apartment is well done in every way and exemplifies the old beauty of Prague

Michal and Dária's place is just as they describe. The apartment is beautiful and, while it is on the third story of a walk-up building, it is most definitely worth a stay. The freshly remodeled apartment is well done in every way and exemplifies the old beauty of Prague

Montanita Ecuador

Over the Christmas holidays, we decided to visit Montanita as a place for the kids to surf and for all of to enjoy some quiet time at the beach.   I have to say that Ecuador was one of the cleanest countries I've ever visited in my life.  On our way from the airport tomorrow to month Anita, we drove through quite a bit of Guayaquil, which is the major city closest to Montanita with an international airport.  In our drive through the city, I personally didn't notice one piece of trash on the street throughout the whole city.  I don't know if its the amount of international investment happening or simply national pride but it was certainly impressive.

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Travel Quotes for Inspiration

These are the best inspirational travel quotes ever (in my opinion). Get motivated to explore the world with these memorable quotes from famous travelers.

I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I love inspirational travel quotes. They capture little moments of clarity that highlight truths about travel, adventure, and life.

Great travel quotes remind me that the emotions I’ve felt traveling the world for the past 5 years have been experienced by many others.

We’re all connected by a love for travel!

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Waking Up In Paradise

This is my first visit to this tiny slice of paradise in the Gulf of Mexico.

Located approximately 30 minutes by ferry east of the mainland, it is a somewhat unspoilt paradise of quiet beaches and white sand roads that has yet to be overrun with large resorts or rowdy tourists.

There's a story behind everything, I just wish I could hear them all

It's always amusing to me that I notice such different things as I begin my journeys, things that I might not ever see at home...

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