Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Show and Tell Tuesday: Favorite Vacation

Today's prompt for Show and Tell with Andrea from Momfessionals is my Favorite Vacation.  This one, while I had to debate a little bit back and forth, is an easy one for me to answer.  While I love every trip that we go on, whether a quick weekend jaunt or a week long adventure, there are two that tie for my favorite.

one || Honeymoon to Costa Rica {2007}
This was the first trip that Benjamin and I took together.  He planned almost all of it on his own and did a wonderful job!  Costa Rica is a short plan ride away from Houston and neither of us had visited there previously.  We stayed at two hotels: one on the coast and one more inland.
We first stayed in a little bungalow at Villa Caletas.  After one of the most terrifying drives of our lives, we arrived to what looked like paradise.  Nestled in the rain forest and sitting right above the Central Pacific coast, the views, weather and fruit were absolutely delicious!
Since this spot was secluded and away from any major civilization, our days here were spent walking around the property, enjoying the beach and the views.
Finca Rosa Blanca was our second hotel stay.  It was closer to San Jose and allowed to us do more sight-seeing and touristy activities.  While San Jose was not our favorite, we enjoyed visiting the Cafe Britt coffee tour, visiting the La Paz Waterfall Gardens as well as spending time at Zoo Ave, a place that rescues and reintroduces wildlife back into their natural environments.
This trip was special because it was the wonderful way to spend our first week as a married couple.  Away from everything, reminiscing about our wedding, learning what it meant to travel with each other and having hours upon hours to dream about the next years of our lives together!

And now just a few snapshots before trip two!

two || Family Trip to Aberdeen, Scotland {2013}
When I was in the second grade our family moved to Aberdeen and from that time on it has been my favorite place in the world.  I love the castles, the sheep, the weather, the people.  When Winston was six month old, we went with my family to Aberdeen!  My brother had not been back since we left at the end of his first grade year.  This is my second favorite vacation!
Little Bug did an amazing job the the flights.  The first leg was easy because we flew overnight landing in London in the early morning.  This helped greatly in switching his sleeping and eating schedules.
Since we went in April, we knew that the weather would still be a bit on the chilly side.  Every time we went out, Winston got bundled up in tons of layers to keep him warm!  Our first day there we walked Union Street visiting favorite stores that were still in business like Waterstone's, Nova, John Lewis, and the Kilt Shop.  Because he was warm in his Oscar the Grouch onesie, Winston got some great napping in while we were out and about.
Jamie Oliver opened a restaurant in Aberdeen so we made reservations and went there for dinner one night.  It was all Italian food and I can remember that the desserts were quite tasty!
Every meal my place setting had an Irn-Bru ready for the drinking!  It is one of the things that I acquired a taste for while living there.  The taste of it is hard to explain.  It doesn't taste anything like orange soda even though you might think it.  Our Kroger and the British grocery store in the area sells it so I am still able to taste it's deliciousness every once in a while!

The second day was spent at Crathes Castle.  It is our family's favorite castle in the area.  And since all of us were on this trip, we hired a photographer to get some family photos.  They turned out beautifully!  
That night we ate a family favorite restaurant Yu's, which sadly closed its doors this year.  I am thankful that we were able to eat there together and enjoy their delectable duck!  
Right after college I had the opportunity to move to Stonehaven for four months to work at Hunting.  It was one of my favorite times in my life.  I got to meet really great people and the Martins, who I stayed with during this time, welcomed me into their family.  It was such an honor for me to be able to introduce Winston to some of the Hunting folks that I worked with and the my sweet family!
Benjamin, Winston and I took at road trip to Huntly to see a falconry one of the days we were there.  It was a new experience for all of us!  We arrived in plenty of time to walk around the grounds and then watch {and participate!} in their flying display.  
Every trip to Aberdeen is not complete without a stop at The Ashvale for fish and chips! 
Our last full day in Aberdeen, the men went golfing at Porthlethen Golf Course while the ladies + Winston went shopping!  We met up at the ruins of Dunnottar castle, another favorite spot of mine.  We had brought along our ErgoBaby and it was perfect for this excursion up and down the steep steps leading to the ruins.  
The last place that I really wanted to stop at before leaving was The Albyn School.  When Noah and I attended this school it was a school for girls that only allowed boys to attend for Pre-K.  Then the boys were sent to Robert Gordon.  At this school I wore a uniform that in the winter consisted of knee socks and a kilt, picked up an accent, learned Scottish history and learned to swim the breast stroke.
This is my favorite trip because I was able to share a place that was near and dear to my heart with Benjamin and Winston.  I was able to visit special places again with Mom, Dad and Noah.  It was sweet because Salem was able to see the places that we have talked about and referenced in stories.  It was not just a good trip, it was a great trip.  I am thankful that we all have stories with, "Remember that one time we all went to Aberdeen...."  

And now for a slew of photos just because:

Thanks for sharing in our vacations with us!  Do you have a favorite vacation spot?  Are you traveling anywhere for this summer!  Let me know, even if its just a staycation in your hometown!  I love to hear where people's adventures take them!  


  1. Thanks for commenting on my page, your vacations look fabulous! I have thought about going to Costa Rica and it looks beautiful. We live in Houston too! :)

  2. Oh my goodness what a cutie!!! Love the famly pics you guys are gorgeous!!

  3. Those look like amazing trips! Now you've got my trip wheel spinning with ideas! Your baby is adorable!

  4. Both of these trips sound amazing! I love all of the pictures. Nathan and I have never been out of the country! We are hoping to change that next Spring!!

  5. You have visited some beautiful places! I think Costa Rica would be a great place to visit.

  6. Both trips look amazing! I love that you got to travel back to Scotland with your family. The family photos are beautiful. :)

  7. Those look like some great trips! I have never crossed the Atlantic ocean and I'd love to go! This makes me want to go on a vacation really badly. :)

  8. Costa Rica looks so fun! I would love to visit that castle. Such beautiful family pictures!!

  9. Both these trips look amazing! I love that you didn't stop traveling just cause you have a young kiddo.

  10. Both sets of photos are sooo stunning!!! Looks liken great trips. We are taking the babe on his first plane ride next week. I'm terrified! Luckily its only about an 1 and half flight! Wish us luck hehe

  11. Wow. Just wow. So happy you guys got to take your honeymoon shortly after getting married. Such a start move :) I "delayed" ours and almost 5 years later, I am still waiting. Haha! If (God willing) I do get preggo again, I am going to demand a babymoon :) Looks like you had an amazing time on both trips and I would give anything to visit Scotland - just beautiful!

  12. Wow! Your pictures are beautiful! Both trips look like they were a lot of fun.

  13. Thanks for stopping by my blog! How special that you were able to go back and visit Scotland. My husband and I were talking about how special it would be to return to the UK for a trip to celebrate something like my daughter's high school graduation. I look forward to following your blog!

  14. We did our honeymoon in Costa Rica too! Your trip sounds similar to ours, just in different places. We did part of the time in the rainforest...and the drive there was terrifying...and then the second half on the beach. I want to go back again so badly! Loved reading about your trip!


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