My first vacation of 2016 is only 2 weeks away and I could not be more ready. Work has been hellish, as I walk on eggshells waiting for a doomsday meeting with my boss (which, honestly, would not be completely unwelcome right now). I need a break. I need to relax. I need to detach from life as it is, and lull myself into a fluffy cloud of pretending that life is really frozen drinks, hot sun, sandy beaches, and more frozen drinks. Two weeks, two weeks, two weeks...
|The shelling in Sanibel and Captiva is amazing.|
We have three great vacations coming up this year and I am so looking forward to them. We have Sanibel Island/Captiva, which is more welcome because it should be fairly carefree. My only concerns there are that we are traveling with a friend of mine and her daughter, and we have never traveled with them before. She and I get along so well, and Hubby gets along really well with her as well. Our daughters have been friends since kindergarten and have been on-again, off-again at times, but seem to have a good time when they are together. Her daughter is not used to traveling; in fact, she has only gone on weekend trips to amusement parks and to visit family. My daughter is an avid traveler and her mind is as open as it gets to new experiences. I'm hoping once the girls get together and TJK can show her friend what travel is all about, it will spark something and get her friend into traveling as well.
Our other trips are a week in Toronto and just over a week in Portugal. I don't know why, but I am not overly excited for Toronto. I've been there before (it has been a long time though, so I'm sure much has changed), but I don't have a driving desire to go back. But, we will have a great time because we always do. We'll research and find off-the-beaten-path things to see and do, and it'll be a wonderful adventure. Plus, we are driving there and will add in a stop at Niagara Falls, which TJK has never seen. And we'll spend the night there in a room with a view of the Falls from our window, which should be pretty damn cool.
Portugal, on the other hand....I could not be more excited. I have never been, but have been looking into all it has to offer. We will spend 4 days in Lisbon and then rent a car and head down the coast to the beautiful beaches and seaside villages of southern Portugal. We will spend a couple of nights in a variety of small towns along the way, even staying in a converted convent one night! From all I have seen, Portugal looks stunningly beautiful. I truly cannot wait. My mother is nervous for us to go; she is petrified of terrorism and thinks our airport is going to get blown up. I won't be scared out of seeing the world, though. There are nerves, of course, but nothing enough to hold me back. I always think of how we had plans to go to Egypt and decided "next year..." That was a terrible mistake, because then there were the uprisings and now it is too dangerous for Americans. Last year I really wanted Istanbul and Cappadocia, but thought it might be too dangerous. Now this year, it is even worse and had a tourist area in Istanbul hit by a suicide bomber not that long ago. I hate living in a world where there is so much to see and do and appreciate about other cultures, yet it is just not safe.
|Here, piggy piggy piggy....|
I had hoped we would do Istanbul next year, but it isn't looking so good due to the terrorism concerns above. So my plan for next year is one week in the Bahamas - maybe part of it at Atlantis because TJK would love that, but the rest in the Exumas where I can swim with pigs. This has become top-of-bucket-list for me and I want to do it SOON. I mean, really, can you imagine pulling up to an island and having pigs swim out to meet your boat? And then getting out into the water and swimming with them? I need this in my life.
The other trip on tap for 2017 is Cuba. I feel like it is a year too late for this trip, but I'm hoping it will still be old school Cuba and not 'Murrica Cuba. I don't want to see McDonald's. I don't want to see a sanitized version of this island that tourists see but the Cuban people don't live. I want to see as accurate a view of what Cuba truly is as possible before it changes due to open relations with the US. I want there to be no US money. I want to see how people really live. I wish there would be a little bit of wifi, but I can live without it if it means an authentic experience. And then, in five years time, we will go on a cruise with a stop in Cuba and we will eat at the Margaritaville and shop at the Diamonds International for tanzanite jewels.
And for our other trip(s) in 2017? Maybe Salt Lake City. I've been itching to go there and hike in those beautiful national parks that look like moon landscapes. Maybe Vancouver, as it would be cool there in the summer and they have lots of interesting breweries. Probably a cruise. We aren't doing one this year and Hubby is not happy about this fact. He wants to do one of those mega ships. I really couldn't care less, but would love to eventually hit Jamaica (because I have never been) and Grand Cayman (because we snorkeled in Stingray City a few years back and I'd love to give TJK the same experience as it was badass).
Two weeks....two weeks....two weeks......