My Future Trip

5 Dec

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My EuroTrip back in 2003

3 Dec

The Lost City of the Incas

18 Nov

 

Last week we went on a vacation to Peru after an amazing deal we got on travelzoo.com. Even though it was a short trip it was sure exciting and fun!

We started in Lima, the capital of Peru and it’s biggest city. Navigating through Lima was treacherous, as most traffic lights are used simply for decoration. However, Lima does have it’s gems, with beautiful seaside restaurants and breathtaking views of the ocean from the cliffs. Peru also has the best food in the world, and the many variations to choose from were delicious. We spent 3 days with Charlie, my 90 year old grandfather, and had an amazing experience in Lima also went to the state Ica where we visited “Las Dunas” an oasis resort in the middle of the desert where we went sandboarding.

Now it was time for our journey to Machu Picchu. The first stop of our adventure was Cuzco. We took an hour flight up to the city 7000 feet up into the Andes. Once we arrived, we were instructed to drink tea derived from the coca leaf to help us acclimate to the high temperature. If you don’t and try to exert yourself right away, you get a horrible sickness called soroche. We spent a day and half in Cuzco and admired the amazing architecture of both Spanish and Inca influence. We went horse back riding through the rolling hills and saw some ancient ruins, curious llamas and grazing sheep. I even got to run with my horse through a beautiful field of green grass.

Soon it was time for the next next stop in our quest. We got on a train for a 4 hour ride down through the amazing mountain ridges of the Andes and arrived in a little mountain town called Aguas Calientes. It is at the base of the mountain that Machu Picchu resides on and survives on the Machu Pichu tourism. We explored the town from top to bottom, and even found the elusive Peruvian Hairless dog, which is almost as common as the mythical “Chupa Cabra.” We got a room at a mountainside villa in the trees with a view of the whole town and called it our “tree house”.

Finally, the time had come to make the last leg of the trip up to Machu Picchu. We boarded a bus and zig zagged our way up some very treacherous switch backs for what seemed like hours until we arrived at our destination. The initial view of Machu Pichu was mesmerizing.  It is something that cannot be put into words. We explored every corner of the city with our local guide, Felix, who knew so much about the history of Machu Picchu that we are convinced he was an Inca in his past life. We climbed  to the top of Wayna Pichu and had amazing views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains and river. We tried to capture the experience with these photos, but the real beauty of Machu Picchu has to be experienced first hand to really be appreciated.

First night in Lima at the famous restaurant “La Rosa Nautica”

 

 

My amazing dish at “La Rosa Nautica” Grilled Corvina with Chimichurri Rice

 

#gopro From the point of view of a baby!

 

 

 

Sanduning at “Las Dunas”

 

Me with my husband and brother hiking up the dunes

A llama checking us out

Sophia having fun in her swing

My husband with what Peruvians call a “medium size beer”

With my grandparents at Country Club  El Bosque

Sophia’s first horse ride

Our favorite…local Lucuma flavored icea cream.. yum

First night at Cuzco, we stayed in a really nice bed and breakfast called LLipimpac Guesthouse

 

Visiting the ruins at Sacqsaguayman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the “Plaza de Armas” in Aguas Calientes

 

Peruvian Hairless Dog

This is the Inti Watana (Sun clock)

 

 

The Lost City was still under construction… this was their work in progress.

Breathtaking…

Hiking up the Wayna Picchu

we made it!

#planking at the top of the Wayna Picchu

Seattle and Whistler Trip

23 Oct

Last year we took an amazing trip to Seattle for Labor day weekend and just for fun we rented a car and drove all the way to Whistler. We stayed in an http://www.airbnb.com house in Seattle that had beautiful views to the lake. The host of our house gave us advice what places to check out and they were defintely worth it.

 

View from the house we stayed in Seattle

 

Pumpking Patch

23 Oct

This weekend we went to Tanaka Farms in Irvine to pick up some pumpkins to carve for Halloween. This place is amazing I highly recommend to visit. There are thousands of pumpkins you can choose from, plus there is a petting zoo and even a corn maze for kids!

New York, Portugal, and Morocco

16 Oct

Last year I took a trip to Portugal and Morocco with two of my girlfriends after an event I had to work in New York. My husband had no vacation time left  and I really wanted to take one last trip before Sophia was born, so me and my two friends went on a once in a lifetime vacation.

Me (with my 6 month baby bump) and one of my co workers at the Quiksilver Pro New York – September 9th, 2011.

9/11 memorial over looking Mahattan from our hotel

After a week of non stop working at the event, vacation officially started.  I got on the airplane and head to Lisbon where I met with my girlfriends that flew from other cities. First stop visit to the cathedral in Lisbon.

We took the sightseeing bus the first day to visit the top tourist attractions around Lisbon such as Monasterio dos Jeronimos (above).

Discovery Monument on the northern margin of the Tagus River estuary of Libon.

For lunch we went to Castelo S Jorge and ate at a local Italian restaurant on the way up the mountain.

The next day we went to a small fishing town that right next to Ericera d ilhas, well know surf spot in Portual.

In this town we had to stop to eat the famous pastel de Belem, I think we must have eat over a hundred by the end of our stay in Portugal… they were delicious!! But I found later on a recipe to make it at home and they came out great.

We explored the famous Sintra and visit the Castelo de los Moros.. is a must! The sceneries look like they were out of the Lord of the Rings movie.. amazing!

Here we are at the most western part of Europe!

Of course we had to do a stop at the Quiksilver office/store in Portugal.

The next day my friend from Portugal took on on an amazing helicopter ride to check out Lisbon, he let me be his co pilot.

After many days of exploring Portugal we took a short flight to the city of Marrakech in Morroco.

We stayed inside the Medina in a small but beautiful riad where they received us with a welcome breakfast that had many assortment of pastries, orange juice and tea.

After resting for a bit we adventured to the Jema el-Fnaa. We saw dancing cobras, acrobat monkeys, and thousands of shops.

Traditional food – cous cous with boiled vegetables in curry sauce. This plate probably cost around $2

At the mosque.

Next stop was Ait Ben Haddou— this is where they filmed the movie Gladiator. It’s a must!

Our lunch on our way to the Sahara desert

We stopped at an Argan oil factory and saw how they made it from the seed

Our camel ride in the Sahara desert

Dinner at the middle of the desert

 

My Bucket List

14 Oct

These are some of the things I’ve already checked out of my bucket list, but I still have many, many more to accomplish 🙂Image

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stephanie castagnet

You Only Live Once

Marina Chetner

Be Inspired Through Travel

What an Amazing World!

Seeing, feeling and exploring places and cultures of the world