Snorkeling with Sea Lions

During our last full day in the Galápagos, Juan and I rented snorkels and headed to the “hotspot” for animal watching. We were greeted by sea lions who wanted to swim and play with us!

Pro tip: buy an underwater camera before you visit the islands. I instantly regretted not having one…

Private Beach near Kicker Rock

After a long (but very fun!) two hours of snorkeling at Kicker Rock, the group headed to a beach that was completely secluded!

There were many staggering features of this deserted area, and I can’t decide which one was my favorite…

1) the water had beautiful turquoise and teal tones

2) the sand was organic, which means that the chemicals the pufferfish can’t digest turns into the soft, velvety sand we walked upon!

3) every creature on the beach was tranquil (more posts to come on this!)

4) the views on and around the beach were awe-inspiring

5) the warm waves hitting made me feel as though I was taking a bath

The only thing I’d change? The FLIES! They bite, and they bite HARD.

Pro tip: bring bug spray to the Galápagos!

“Glamping” in Chile

That’s right: my husband and I participated in some “glamorous camping” during our time in Chile!

Three years ago, I discovered a unique Airbnb that I immediately wanted to see. Mateo, a French-born man who now lives near Santiago with his wife and daughter, built a dome for people who want a once-in-a-lifetime experience under the Milky Way.

It was worth the wait because the dome was everything I was expecting and more! The bed was perfect for cooler nights, the clear area allowed for the dome to get warm during the day and unplugging was just what we needed. I could tell that Juan was just as thrilled to be there!

We stayed a total of three nights, and each provided us with the perfect opportunity to see the stars, drink herbal mint tea and enjoy each other’s company.

If you’re interested in staying here (which you should be by now!), please visit Mateo’s Airbnb link here: https://abnb.me/e2m8GMYAVW

Machupicchu with Mom (July, 2018)

Looking back at these photos is bittersweet; we really miss this trip but still cherish every memory and are grateful for the opportunity that we had together.

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The trek up to the old civilization was an adventure in-and-of itself!  Our bus driver was winding through the narrow roads like nobody’s business, abruptly dodging other tourist buses on the way up!  I was too excited to be nauseous on the way there, but the way back down was another story…

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We had the BEST group on our tour and our guide was amazing.  Jamie (pronounced “Hi-May” in South America) was the perfect combo of educational and entertaining!  He joked and said he hiked the Inca Trail at least once a week to get away from the world; part of me thinks he was serious because you could tell he was at home here at Machu Picchu.

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What still amazes me the most about the Incas is how forward and advanced they were, especially for their time.  The way they worked collectively, farmed with innovation in mind, and how they utilized everything they had astounds me.

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The views, no matter which direction you faced, were beyond impressive.  As soon as I uploaded this photo, I was shocked that I was physically standing there not too long ago; I am truly blessed. AND I got to see some llamas in their natural habitat, which obviously made my dreams come true!

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My mom and I were exhausted on the way back home, but our train ride fashion show kept us fairly engaged 🙂 I recommend Machu Picchu, Peru, and South America for anyone who loves cultural immersion, friendly people, and adventure!

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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)…

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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).

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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!

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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.

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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!