Well! Top o’ the mornin’ to ya! We made it to Wednesday, and for that we can all be grateful. For one, it’s hump day, we’re almost there! B: who doesn’t love a good #WineWednesday? And in conclusion, it’s jetsetter day.
Can you tell we’re a little loopy today?
Favorite Place: The Last Place I Visited — Seriously, how can I pick just one when this world is so incredible? I fell hard for Thailand, with its unique culture, friendly people and delectable cuisine.
Budapest wooed me with its rich history and gorgeous architecture. Ditto for Spain, particularly Madrid and Granada. I could easily live in Chania, Crete, where I saw some of the best sunsets of my life. And New York City will always hold a special place in my heart, as I met my husband there.
Favorite “I can’t believe I’m doing this” moment: Holding a Panda Bear in Chengdu — Like many kids, I grew up adoring pandas. I had plush toys that I loved to squeeze when I was young but never dreamed I’d get to hold one in real life. Seeing a pair of them at the National Zoo in Washington, DC was as much as I could hope for. But then I moved to China in 2011 and visited the Giant Panda Research Base in Chengdu. Not only did I witness dozens of pandas frolicking in the park, but I actually got to hold one of the babies!
I was so excited my husband was afraid I’d scare the panda and it would bite me. Thankfully it just munched on some bamboo while I gleefully held it in my lap, mentally squealing, “I’m holding a panda bear! I’m holding a panda bear!!” It was one of the most surreal and wonderful experiences of my life.
Favorite meal: KOMI in Washington, DC — I’ve eaten a lot of memorable meals around the world. I believe that trying new foods and exploring the local cuisine is a big part of the travel experience. My time in China and travels in Southeast Asia definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and opened up a treasure chest of flavors that I’d have been too afraid to try before. I mean, once you’ve eaten water buffalo and taken a shot of deer antler wine, anything goes!
When we were recently back home in Washington, DC, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner at KOMI for our anniversary. KOMI is a Greek restaurant with no menu; rather, the chefs prepare a multi-course tasting dinner to delight your palate. The space is small, intimate, and no photos are allowed inside. At first I was upset about this but totally forgot about my camera after the first bite. We enjoyed a total of 16 courses, each more exciting than the last. The ingredients included foie gras, sea urchin, goat, tripe and duck hearts, which I thoroughly enjoyed but would have shied away from only a few years before. Of course, my favorite dish was one of the desserts: candied olive oil, sea salt and dark chocolate pudding. Some things never change!
First experience traveling alone: Hong Kong — Back when I worked in marketing, I would take the occasional business trip to cities and towns across America. I’d go exploring on my own if time allowed, but I was never alone for long periods of time. My first experience of true solo travel didn’t actually happen until last summer when I went to Hong Kong, and even that was an accident; a friend had intended to go with me but had to cancel at the last minute. I ended up going by myself and had a fabulous time! I got to do exactly what I wanted to, when I wanted to, and met some great people along the way. It definitely won’t be my last solo trip!
Favorite family vacation: Portugal Road Trip with Mom — My Mom and I have gone on many travel adventures together, but the most fun was definitely our two-week road trip across Portugal. I’ll never forget the drive to Sintra, a mountain village with several impressive castles. It was on a single-lane road with blind hairpin turns – we squealed and laughed the whole way! All told, we drove several thousand kilometers from Lisbon to Sintra, Nazare, Evora and back to Lisbon. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
Any exciting trips coming up? I moved to Riga, Latvia just over two months ago and am super excited to explore the Baltic region. I’ve already travelled outside Riga in Latvia as well as to Tallinn, Estonia, and have been blown away. I’m looking at Germany and the Czech Republic for upcoming trips. Also, my Mom is coming to visit sometime this fall and I hope we can experience the Christmas markets and Neuschwanstein Castle together, which we’ve talked about doing for ages. After that, Lithuania, Scandinavia and Poland are all on the short list. Planning is half the fun!
GUYS, remember the time Heather sent us a photo of her holding a panda? WE WANT IT. And if you’d like to send us your own photos of yourself holding cute animals, please do! We can feature you as our next jetsetter, because we are just so very benevolent.
/ we need more Jetsetters in the queue, so seriously. Get at us: info at the lazy travelers dot com.
the romantic & the wino