Three Countries, One Plane Ride

One of our favorite things about traveling has been discovering new parts of the world and the rich history of each new place; routinely starting out our exploration with a guided tour at each destination.  So when we arrived in Dubrovnik and learned that its location was essentially a junction of three nations, we jumped at the chance to book visits to both Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina to broaden our discovery of the region.  While I certainly have not become an expert of the complex past of these countries in just a few short days, I did my best to sort through the flood of information we gathered and have tried to paint a bit of context below.

Continue reading

Vienna, the Regal City

Our three day weekend in Vienna was simply lovely.  A dear well-travelled Chicago friend gifted us a stay at the Marriott for a night and we relished the chance to enjoy a 5-star accommodation and the unlimited access to their Executive lounge; now that’s the way to travel! We definitely got this said friend’s points’ worth in our enjoyment of the ongoing food buffets during our 24-hour visit!  And lucky us! We found an apartment rental available within the hotel to finish out our weekend stay; a great way to continue the weekend!

View from the top of the hotel

View from the top of the hotel

Continue reading

The Pearl of the Adriatic

After we said goodbye to Central Europe on Sunday, we boarded another flight and headed east to a country that has only been on our bucket list for a short time: Croatia. We didn’t know much about the coastal country before we left, other than it was once a part of Yugoslavia, but my friend, Amanda, had raved about it so we kept our eyes peeled for a cheap deal to get to Dubrovnik. When I heard Dubrovnik was also the backdrop for the set of one of our guilty pleasures, Game of Thrones, it was easy to pull the trigger when we found a good fare on Austrian air! Continue reading

Czech Please!

That island life...

Loving that island life…

There’s nothing like one of your best friend’s arriving to change the pace of a trip. Prior to Andrew’s arrival on the island, Dan and I had entered a somewhat coma-like state and spent the majority of our two-week visit to Tenerife enjoying real rest. We joked that we don’t think we’ve slept that much in years; an accomplishment aided by an incredibly dark room and an amazing mattress (an Airbnb first!). On top of our demanding sleep schedule, I made my way through a couple of books, wrote a bit, Dan got in a good amount of work, and we both got plenty of sun; Dan’s olive skin naturally taking to it a bit better than mine! The highlight though, other than our evening pilgrimage to the corner store to pick out an ice cream bar for dessert (we got real crazy here, folks!), was the introduction of a new DeRose addiction: Breaking Bad. No spoilers please, we’re only in Season 2! Continue reading

Spanish Style Beach Vacation

While we are certainly grateful that the timing of our trip spared us the majority of another infamous Chicago winter, one of the things that we have not gotten much of on this European adventure is sunshine. And when most of your daily transport is done on foot, even 50 degrees doesn’t cut it! So when holed up on yet another cold and rainy evening in France, it was easy to prioritize warm weather over other travel factors when booking future legs of our journey. As a result, we have inserted a little “vacation” in the midst of our trip and are spending just under two weeks in the Canary Islands, Spain off the northwest coast of Africa. Continue reading

Lovely Lisbon

Nine days of fast and furious fun with my parents in Spain distracted us enough to almost forget what was to come after their departure. So when boarding our plane from Madrid to Lisbon, I was literally clueless about what to expect for our next destination. Admittedly, if you had asked me a few months ago where Lisbon was on the map, I shamefully would have had to admit that I had no idea. So with nothing to expect, and everything to learn, we arrived in what I will boldly call my new favorite city: Lisbon, Portugal! Continue reading

Barcelona with the Brays!

For those of you who know my parents, you will not be surprised to see a couple of guest posts coming your way later this week regaling our readers with the many stories from our time together in Spain.  But until the co-authors of the Brayzette, the family Christmas newsletter that has graced homes across America for over three decades, debut their first international edition, you will have to put up with me for another post…

Continue reading

The Not-So-Nice Elements of Travel

Dan and I have been enjoying a really nice time in Nice, France this week (okay, okay…only one cheesy joke!) and are soaking in the first spring-like weather of our trip.  In true DeRose fashion, we have continued our theme of eating well in a country that is known for its food; we lunched on mussels drenched in arrabiata sauce in the Old City, we cooked fresh filets straight from the local butcher, and we sampled our fair share of Niçois sweets from the many pâtisseries along the way. But while I could go on and on about our culinary tourism (and the beautiful sites!), I’ll spare you my shameless bragging and share a bit of the not-so-glamorous elements of long-term travel: the planning of travel and more often than not, the actual travel itself! Continue reading

Living like the French do…

Dan and I are almost at the one-month mark of our trip. And while our initial arrival in London practically seems like a lifetime ago, in another way, time has completely flown by! After our first three weeks of rapid intercontinental puddle jumping, we made the conscious decision to slow down the pace of our trip. And consequently, the pace of our tributary blog posts; je suis desole! Continue reading