Today’s post is a guest post from Carolyn AKA Mrs. PWaC. When I came home from work the other day, as we were talking about our days, she paused and said she was reflecting earlier in the day that 2015 truly was a year of seeing some amazing sights.
Like any travel blogger worth his salt, I told her to write those down and I would use them for a post! So here are her thoughts on the amazing sights of 2015, in chronological order of when we visited them in 2015
(DAN: One of the things that I liked about going to Puerto Rico was the fact that on the list of Caribbean airport taxes, Puerto Rico has the lowest taxes. Plus you don’t need a passport to go to Puerto Rico!)
The major highlight of our summer was our Amtrak trip, where we used 100,000 Chase points transferred to Amtrak to take our family of 8 from Ohio to Denver (it would have had a cash price of $6540 – yikes!). Traveling by train was pretty cool – I enjoyed eating our meals in the dining car and playing games in the lounge car as a family
Old Faithful and the bison at Yellowstone
Old Faithful was one of the things on my bucket list, and one of Carolyn’s remembrances was how crabby she was at Old Faithful (her words, not mine! :-D). It’s one of those things that is completely frustrating at the time, but somewhat humorous looking back and remembering. We laughed together remembering how frustrating it was at the entrance to the park. We had JUST stopped and bought our park entrance tickets, but 500 feet down the road at the gate, Carolyn somehow could not find hers (remember, because of the size of our family, we’re a 2 car rental family, so each car had to buy their own pass). Lots of tears later, we found that they had fallen down on the side of the driver’s seat.
One thing I remember about Mt. Rushmore is realizing that although it’s huge, it actually looked a little smaller than I had imagined!
So many adventures on our Europe Trip!
Some of my favorite memories from our Europe trip were sitting in first class (DAN: technically business class) only to get kicked off the plane in Boston. We spent a stressful day in Boston trying to get rebooked, and while I felt lucky to be able to get on a flight the next day, it did mean that instead of a day in Dublin, we ended up with only 3 hours there before having to leave so we had to take a whirlwind walking tour around Dublin (while lugging our carryons through the city streets!)
From Dublin I remember napping on the train to Belfast and then riding in my first “wrong-sided” car / taxi in Belfast.
I loved everything about this city! The walking tours were great (we downloaded some free ones to walk around both the City as well as the area near Buckingham Palace), and seeing all of the history and the famous sights. I love being able to say “I’ve been there!” when we see famous sights
(DAN: This just happened the other day when we were watching Sherlock!)
I also loved traveling all over by subway and the double-decker red buses, and attending church in London was cool too! And that doesn’t even mention our tour day where we saw Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Jane Austen’s house in Bath.
I loved feeling so rich and classy at our hotel in Nice. Getting to swim in the Mediterranean Sea and seeing the sunset in Nice. Then swimming in the ritzy hotel pool in Nice
Getting breakfast and lunch at the French boulangerie (bakery) was so funny (DAN: Definite language barrier there and they could not understand that my wife, a vegetarian, did NOT want a fish sandwich and really just wanted bread, cheese, lettuce and tomato ;-D )
Taking the train to Monaco was great too.
It was all around crazy just BEING in a place as cool as Monaco. Everything was so tropical and beautiful! The surprise helicopter ride was epic! Hard to describe the sights during the ride or how cool it felt to land at the airport. (DAN: Though this video does a pretty good job!)
Rome was very interesting and beautiful. Everything was so old! The Coloseeum was great (DAN: Using my “pro tip” to totally skip the lines!)
Then there was eating gelato at some random square with tons of artists selling things. It was so cool being in a country so different yet people were just living their modern lives around all that old stuff and history. And SO MUCH WALKING! (DAN: We really did walk a TON). Loved our pizza and cheese grocery store dinner at the 2 story hotel room.
Again, I was blown away at being in such cool places with so much history – getting to see amazing, once in a lifetime places. (DAN: and pretty much all of this was due to miles and points. As I said on one of our trips – “truly I lead a ridiculous life…”)