Friday, April 17, 2015

National Park Week 2015

This week is National Park Week here in the States. And what better way to celebrate than to visit one for free! This weekend, April 18th and 19th all National Parks are free!

The US has 59 National Parks, hopefully one is near you!

{Acadia, Source}
I have been to a few, including: Acadia (Maine), Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico), Haleakala (Hawaii), Hawaii Volcanoes (Hawaii), Hot Springs (Arkansas), and Redwood (California). I may have been to a few others and don't remember :) Here is a full list.

{Hawaii Volcanoes}

{Haleakala, Summit District}

{Haleakala, Kipahulu District}

Have you visited any National Parks?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Points In the Bank

If you are a collector of rewards points or frequent flyer miles then you know the feeling of when those bonus points hit your account. It's a great rush and maybe it reinvigorates you to start collecting more.
IHG (Holiday Inn brand) usually offers about 60,000 points if you sign up for their credit card. Right now you get an extra 10,000 points (= 70,000) and then if you were targeted, which I was, you were offered 80,000 points if you spend $2,000 in 3 months. 80,000 was just too good for me to turn down.
Now this card has some bonuses that our trusty United card does not. It offers 2x the points for gas, groceries and restaurants and only costs $65 annually. United only offers 2x the points when you book airfare on their website and its $95 annually. For us, since we take a minimum one trip a year the $95 is worth it just to get the priority boarding and free checked bag.
Also, I didn't just go and get the IHG card because of the bonus; there is a plan to us those points. We are hoping to take a trip, just the two of us, to Yellowstone National Park sometime next year and there is a Holiday Inn on the outskirts. And we're hoping to take baby girl on her first beach trip to Florida at the end of the summer next year. We will be taking full advantage of these points for these two trips and hopefully we'll have enough by then where it will all be free!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Maternity Monday ~ Week 34

We have less than 6 weeks to go! Countdown is on!!!
Total weight gain: Creeping up to 40 pounds!
Stretch marks? Still don’t have any - Loving Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil (now using my travel size I bought for our vacation) by Mama Mio and Basq Advanced Stretch Mark Butter (now on my third tub).
Sleep: Some nights its good, some nights its bad
Miss Anything? Being able to put on my own socks. Yep, the belly is starting to get that big!
Movement: Seems like she is moving more and more. Maybe it's because she is getting bigger and I feel every little movement now. 
Food cravings/aversions: Same as the last update
Anything making you queasy or sick? Same as before
Labor Signs: Nothing that I know of...
Symptoms: My lower legs have started to swell! I try and keep my feet propped up as much as possible. And I am getting "pregnancy" brain real bad! So much so that I made my chalk board sign, took pictures, then realized I missed spelled one of the words...
Belly Button in or out? In
Mood: It's okay, I just slowly move around work and the house.
Looking forward to: Working out again!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Getaways Around the U.S.

Wanting to travel somewhere for Spring but don’t know where? Yahoo! Travel has come up with a great list of suggestions!

Charleston, South Carolina
I have never been to “the South” so I would love to visit Charleston or Savannah, Georgia

Orlando, Florida
Pretty sure you can find something to do in this magical city; perhaps a theme park ;P

Washington, D.C. 
I have to see the cherry blossoms some day!
Los Angeles, California 
Great time to check out LA’s new tourist campaign, “Culture L.A.”

Holland, Michigan
Their annual Tulip Time looks just beautiful!
{"Holland MI Tulips 01" by BazookaJoe at en.wikipedia; Source}
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Hurry if you want to catch some snow skiing!

San Diego, California
Great weather, beaches and an awesome zoo! Can’t go wrong with this Spring time destination!

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Campgrounds open in April
Sanibel Island, Florida 
Seashell searching can be done year round!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Maternity Monday

Long before we were expecting I had an idea to make a photo album of all the things my husband and I did before we had a baby. That way our child can look back and see all the fun adventures we had and hopefully inspire them to have their own adventures one day.

I titled this album Before You Were Born. So far it's about 56 pages and it has us graduating college, when and where we met, our engagement and wedding pictures, pictures of our fur babies and of course pictures from our travels. I am also including the weekly update pictures, ultrasounds and the baby shower.

Even though I love to scrapbook, it is so time consuming and I have decided to use companies like Shutterfly to create any sort of photo albums for now on. Below is a collage of some of the pages in this album.

7 more weeks and counting!!!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Travel RoundUp

Happy Friday and Happy Easter Weekend! I am just so happy to have the day and sleep in 3 days in a row! Here are some interesting articles going around the travel world right now:

1 - This American man spent a year living in Airbnb rentals in Hong Kong. Some were nice, others were...very, very tiny!

{Photo: Kevin Lynch, Source}
2 - Virgin Atlantic is now going to offer mood lighting! Looks pretty cool!

{Photo: Virgin Atlantic, Source}
3 - A new service is being offered to travelers that want great pictures but hate asking strangers and ending up with a so-so picture. You can now hire professionals to follow you around and take your pictures. Maybe someone will mistake you for a famous person?!

{some of our not so great pictures...but hey, we look good}
4 - Did you know you could bring these 11 weird items on a plane? I knew of a few of them. 

5 - Take a look at this massive sing ray in Thailand that will be on John Corwin's show soon...
Hope you have a great weekend!!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Movies that Inspire Travel

I watched a few really good movies this weekend and both were set in Europe!

Kidnapping Mr. Heineken
This movie is set in Amsterdam and its based on the true story of when four friends decided to kidnap millionaire and beer mogul Alfred Heineken.  

I thought the movie was pretty good and the acting was great. 


The Hundred-Foot Journey
This cute movie is about an Indian family that moves to a tiny town in France and opens a traditional Indian food restaurant, one hundred feet away from a famous French restaurant. 

This movie is really cute and funny and has a great message! 

What movies inspire you to travel?

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