Enjoy guest posts from IGE readers describing their best vacations ever while I’m away on mine! Check out my Italy travel page which I’ll be updating with links to videos, pictures & posts throughout my trip!
Name, Blog: Maura, TheMOHDiaries
Who, what, where, when and why: Since college has ended and my friends and I have joined the “real world”, there has not been much time for catching up and relaxing together. My two best friends, Kate & Liz, decided to take advantage of Liz’s aunt’s house on Cape Cod for Girls Weekend 2010! We went this past weekend and it was hands down the best weekend of the summer.
My favorite part of the vacation was: The Cape, as it is known to local New Englanders, is a quaint, classic New England place. It has a bit of everything- nightlife, beaches, awesome restaurants, crab/ice cream shacks galore, and many historical settings. Basically, there is a little something for everyone! My favorite part of my trip was spending time with my girlfriends and exploring the quaint town of Chatham (Yup, the same Chatham the movie Summer Catch is based on. Remember the one with Freddie Prinze Jr. & Jessica Biel. Love it!)
My best travel tip for this location: Cape traffic is notorious for being a disaster! Do yourself a favor and take work off on Thursday to head down early and then leave late Sunday night. You’ll get to enjoy the sights a little longer and miss some of the wrecked traffic.
The thing you MUST do at this location: The MUST do thing on the Cape (in my opinion of course) is to eat seafood every chance you get. You won’t find fresher lobster, crab, or fish anywhere else! Oh, and the clam chowder at Captain Parkers in South Yarmouth is a MUST MUST MUST!
The thing I want to do next time I return: I didn’t get a chance to visit the famed ice cream store, Sundae School, this time around. I’ve heard it’s the best place on the Cape for ice cream so I’ll definitely be stopping by the next chance I get! Thankfully, they have three different locations so there is plenty of opportunity to try it out!
Name, Blog: Donna, My Tasty Journey
Who, what, where, when and why: My husband and I went to Paris for our first anniversary last October. A completely ridiculous, all- too-short 4 days…and I wouldn’t have changed a SECOND of it!!
My favorite part of the vacation was: Oh gosh…what’s not to love??? The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Versailles, The Louvre, The Opera House and of course, an excuse to eat fresh Pain Au Chocolates for breakfast every single day! Heaven! But if I had to pick: watching the sunset from the Arc de Triomphe was probably my favorite.
My best travel tip for this location: Stay at the “Hotel de la place des Alpes” ! It was a perfectly nice and clean hotel within a stones throw of 3 metro lines to take you anywhere you would want to go in the city. (Plus it helped that they spoke English and didn’t laugh at our botched attempts at French!!;) Not to mention, our 5 night stay costs nearly the same as ONE night in some hotel rooms in big cities! What more could you ask for???
The thing you MUST do at this location: Taking the tiny winding staircase to the top of the Sacre Coeur Basilica! The Sacre Coeur is located in Montmartre, which is the town on the top of a hill in the outskirts of Paris, and you get a view of the city from one of it’s highest points. Unreal! Not to mention, you’ll NEVER forget that staircase!! Wooosh!
The thing I want to do next time I return: The Catacombs (we were LOCKED OUT on this tripL) and a day trip to Normandy…and I’m already dreaming of those Pain Au Chocolates…
The Notre Dame…
Biking through Versailles…
St. Augustine, Florida
Name, Blog: Erin Jones
Who, what, where, when and why: A couple years ago my husband and I took a weekend trip to St. Augustine, Florida. Neither of us had been before. We stayed at a cozy bed & breakfast, which was a first for both of us. It is such a quaint city, with so much history. It is, in fact, the oldest (continuously occupied) city in the United States. St. Augustine is home to Flagler College and the Fountain of Youth. Downtown St. Augustine is filled with restaurants and shops.
My favorite part of the vacation was: There is so much to do! We took a carriage ride through the city. You can ride in a group, or go the romantic route and pay extra to ride as a couple. We went the romantic route. Except I ruined it and told the guide I was interested in the history so she gave us a running commentary the whole time! I enjoyed it, but I don’t think it was quite what the husband had in mind! We also took a St. Augustine After Dark tour. We chose the walking tour, but you could also go on a trolley, or in a hearse. Yes, really, a hearse. There’s only one time in my life that I want to ride in a hearse…and I’m not ready yet. Anyway, I think a lot of people expect the tour to be scary, and it had a few of those moments, but it was mostly filled with history.
You can climb to the top of the lighthouse. Quite a haul, but the view is definitely worth it. And, of course, there’s the beach.
My FAVORITE part of St. Augustine is the Alligator Farm. You can see exactly what I’m talking about here. The bed & breakfast owners suggested that we check it out. It was well worth it. While walking through the farm, I noticed a photo booth where you could have your picture taken while holding a three-year-old albino alligator (with its mouth taped closed). I wanted to do it. My husband noticed that you could get in the gator pit and have your picture taken. And he convinced me to do it. I did, however, make sure they had just been fed.
So, you can see me and Skipper, the gator I had my picture with. Definitely an adrenaline rush, and the highlight of my first trip to St. Augustine!