A Treehouse Tucked Away…

During our time on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos, Juan befriended a local taxi driver named Manolo. Of course, the two of them had a lot in common: Spanish is their native language, they grew up in Ecuador and they seemed to laugh at the same things (probably at me)!

Kidding aside, Manolo was one of the coolest locals we met on the island. Why do I say this? Not only was he a “salt-of-the-earth” kind of dude, but he became our private chauffeur and took us to some unique places.

Our first stop on our “non-touristy” tour of San Cristobal Island was an eco-friendly treehouse. A family generated this treehouse – as well as other rooms on the property – from 100% recycled and sustainable materials! The hippie in me loved this and never would’ve known about it had we taken another taxi…

Have you ever befriended a kind stranger while traveling? And if so, do you still keep in touch? 🙂

Exploring Cusco, Peru (July, 2018)

Lima had its highlights, but Cusco had a flare of its own!  Aside from the turbulent plane ride and altitude sickness, my mom and I really enjoyed ourselves (and wish we could go back)…

IMG_7794IMG_7802IMG_7805IMG_7810

The city center had a lot to offer!  The architecture was a mix of what you’d envision in places like Spain or Portugal with South American charm.  There were terraces and balconies on almost every building, especially the restaurants!  We were in this valley surrounded by mountains, tourists from all over the globe and many friendly street vendors (AND pups).

IMG_7814IMG_7815IMG_7816IMG_7817

The narrow streets really fascinated my mom and me because there were so many cars AND so many people weaving through them.  We would chase after the sun because the wind and cool air picked up in the images you see above.  I’m also lucky that I didn’t twist an ankle because the fitted sidewalks were incredibly uneven!

IMG_7826

IMG_7846IMG_7854IMG_7848IMG_7849

My mom and I saw TONS of friendly dogs and bright colors while walking in the evening.  We also heard beautiful music and were able to see a fun parade during one of our nights in Cusco.

IMG_7863IMG_7864IMG_7865IMG_7866IMG_7867IMG_7868IMG_7869

Many consider Cusco a tourist trap, but I hope these photos prove otherwise.  My mom and I really immersed ourselves in the culture and didn’t want to come home!

Lima, Peru in iOS (June,2018)

Toward the middle of June, my mom and I FINALLY decided to visit Peru! We were on the fence for a while, given the fact that I’m starting a new job in September and getting married in November…but our better judgment prevailed!

7A44D77D-BA3C-4E44-ACD6-944076233A42

I mean c’mon! Look at that itinerary (courtesy of my mom)!

We mainly stayed in Lima to become acclimated to the altitude change; however, we really enjoyed it! Aside from my mom feeling the initial culture shock while departing from the airport, all went smoothly!

29A3010E-8C75-4AF1-AF3B-76CDE766FC79574D4C6D-C643-4BD9-A4CD-BD7D3C679AEEDC87C4B3-5452-4460-B7FF-73D10CF2F440

We had so much fun in the city! The Starbucks barista’s spelling of “Dawn” was my favorite part!  At the hotel, we even made friends with the pet guinea pig!

32779B4E-DEC9-483B-BAEF-91599DD3577DEBC09726-6554-4AD3-96A2-ADDF964C86F0

From strolling through Parque del Amor to eating and shopping at Larcomar, Lima didn’t disappoint 🙂

B289BD2B-96C3-4632-A2A9-854F04A8D19B11A60ADD-E3F1-427B-ABD3-16EBFFC65411

Grand Rapids, MI (Black and White Photo Essay)

Yesterday I had to drive a total of four hours for a one hour meeting…

Let’s just say that I chose to make the most of it! I walked around downtown Grand Rapids for about an hour, listened to the cars drive by and construction on nearby buildings. Taking in the city air to me is how others feel about country air: peaceful.