Close-up wildlife encounter

DH and I recently shared a magical experience.  We became one with nature.  Ok, before you stop reading and think I’ve gone loony let me share that this was a really great, once-in-a-lifetime (although I suspect for us it may be one of many experiences as we keep finding cooler and cooler ones each year it seems!), up close and personal encounter with exotic animals.

 

We played with cubs like this guy above.  How cute is he?  We got to spend four hours playing with the animals and enjoying them!  Last year we got up close and personal with a pair of monkeys abroad and thought that was going to be our best experience ever. Zoos and aquariums just aren’t the same after you’ve already held those animals in your hands and interacted with them in a completely different way.

It was truly an amazing experience and lets you experience life in a completely different way!

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If you give a type A vacation time…

If you give a Type A vacation time…

She’s going to ask for a map and pick a place to visit.

When you give her the map, she’ll probably ask for a guidebook so she can find her way around the new community.

When you give her the guidebook, she’ll probably want to do a bit more updated research and she’ll ask for a laptop and internet connection.

Once she’s plotted a sample itinerary and route she’ll want to plan for any and all incidental needs along the way.  For example, she will research any restaurant within a 2 mile radius of the major sites you’ll be seeing.  Once she’s completed this work, she will probably want a good quality printer and manila folder to store her research inside.

She’ll take that research in the folder and place it in chronological order, starting with the first documents she’ll need such as the airline reservation, flight numbers, and baggage allowances on this plane ride to the very last documents she’ll need including the cab company’s phone number or parking ticket.  She’ll ask for paperclips and a good pen to take with her so that she can keep track of her document use and additional notes.

While on vacation, she will use her pen and paperclips to keep notes on the vacation and constantly refer back to her previous research to ensure a wonderful vacation.  And, as she returns from her vacation and files the notes away, she’ll kick up her feet, joyfully exhausted from the planning, touring and scrupulous notetaking.  This will probably remind her how much she could use a good vacation.

AirTran Review

We went away on a mini-vacation this week.  While we were away, we ate at a couple of great ethnic restaurants, enjoyed a few homecooked meals with family in the area, and leisurely relaxed reading books and catching up on movies.  It was a great trip… once we got on the plane.

Of course, the stress of getting in and out of the airport seems to increase with every trip.  We each carried a small bag (a purse for me and a messenger bag for DH) and brought along 1 bag which we were willing to check but fortunately able to carry-on with us at no additional cost.  We flew Airtran for the first time and they provided us with a complimentary snack and soda on the 2 hour plane ride.  Hooray for customer service!  Once we’d stripped our shoes, jackets and bags, and successfully navigated the security line, I felt as though we were on the best plane ride of our lives.  It’s amazing what a difference it makes to have someone provide you with a drink and snack on board.  The staff was extremely kind and courteous to passengers and the lines at the gate moved very efficiently.  We were all boarded in under 10 minutes (approximately 35 rows or so on the plane if I counted correctly with 5 seats across that were almost completely filled!)

While I missed the t.v. on Jet Blue I found the complimentary checked bag, snack and drink plenty satisfying for our getaway this time.  I would definitely fly Airtran again!

Passion for Travel

DH and I have a passion for travel.  While I’ve visited many countries and been blessed with several opportunities to learn languages and visit other areas of the globe during my formal education, DH’s first international trip was our honeymoon!  We agreed that we would start a map of our travels.  We purchased 2 large paper maps and put them up in our living room.  One is the world map and the other is the US map.  I had visited 40% of the US and nearly 10% of the world on my own before we were married.  My goal is to show DH the world and enjoy my travels twice as much now that he is by my side.  We like to track our travels on www.travbuddy.com and learn more about upcoming trips there.

Singles and travellers seeking new friends can also form relationships there.  In addition to learning about others, I’ve been able to share recommendations for where to eat, what to see and where to stay in my local area for other travellers.

I’ve added the map link to the blogroll and recommend making your own travel map if travel is a passion for you as well.  It’s humbling to note just how many countries are out there and how few even a well-seasoned traveller has actually visited!