6 Things to Do in Porto, Portugal 🇵🇹

Portugal is one of our favorite destinations. This beautiful country has fantastic beaches, mountains and valleys, cities and nightlife, culture and cuisine.

On our last trip we decided to spend 4 nights in Porto and the surrounding area, and we had such a great time! Here are some tips for what to do in Portugal’s second largest city, particularly if you’re a wino like we are 🍷😁

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10 Tips for Traveling from the U.S. to Europe During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Planning an international trip can be a bit stressful these days, especially since the rules might change at any minute. But we recently had an amazing trip to Europe and recommend just doing some research and practicing some patience.

Was it hard to navigate European travel in the times of COVID? No, at least not if you’re full vaccinated and willing to take a bunch of rapid tests. Travel takes a bit more planning, some extra Euros and a little luck. Here are our tips for the fully vaccinated.

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Where to Go in Costa Rica

We just returned from another trip to Costa Rica and already are plotting our next journey through this lush, beautiful land that is teeming with wildlife viewing, hiking, fishing, swimming, surfing and other opportunities for adventure. Here are some recommendations for what to see and do based on our experiences.

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Here’s a Q&A with LiAnn on her travel inspiration

What’s it like to be a world traveler? How did we catch the travel bug? What advice do we have for new travelers? Check out this awesome series from Riana at Teaspoon of Adventure. LiAnn and other globe trekkers share their experiences: https://teaspoonofadventure.com/traveller-of-the-month-liann/

Incredible sunset at our airstream in Edgecomb, Maine

Our Favorite Stays Around the World for Less than $100 a Night

We’ve had some amazing adventures as we explored the great outdoors of the United States over the last 15 months from the safety and isolation of our own rental car (or our old reliable Subaru Forester). But one thing that always shocks us about U.S. travel is how expensive (and crappy) hotels are. A rundown motor lodge on the side of the highway with stale bread for breakfast costs at least $150 a night. That same crappy room will cost $250 or more if it’s close to a popular national park. Yuck!

You don’t want to know how much we paid for a room with this view in Connecticut!

So we wanted to share our favorite stays from around the world that cost less than $100 a night (including all taxes and fees). Of course, prices change over time and vary depending on the time of year, but this is what we paid.

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Getting those shots!

We are celebrating with different shots in 2021 than in this 2013 photo—but we are celebrating just the same 🥳 As someone who is missing an organ and nearly died from sepsis, pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome 13 years ago—all things that COVID can cause—I am so happy to be vaccinated, to lift the PTSD veil I’ve been living under for the past year and to start getting back to life. Thank goodness for science, medicine and the amazing health care workers who are getting us through this. It’s not over yet, so please continue to stay safe 💜💜💜 And if you are partaking in the other kind of shots, always get a Lyft 🚗

Where to Eat in London

London is one of our favorite cities, and it’s so hard to believe we were wandering her streets, fighting through holiday crowds, eating street food and going to live music venues in December 2019—just a few months before the pandemic changed the world.

As we reminisce about that trip and dream of international travel, we thought we’d share some of our favorite restaurant experiences from our last trip. A local will certainly provide better insights into off-the-beaten-path treasures—but here are some popular spots showcasing the variety of cuisine available that a first time visitor is bound to enjoy.

We walked to all these places from our Soho hotel except for Borough Market—we hopped an Uber for that. Note that some places are temporarily closed or only offering takeout right now.

1. Borough Market

You’ll find Borough Market near the top of many travelers’ London itinerary. Wander through the many shops and food stalls to find exactly what you’re in the mood to eat, whether that’s scotch eggs, cheese toasties, oysters, tapas, pastries or something else entirely, you’ll find it here.

After lunch, we explored the Southwark area a bit before crossing the Thames and checking out the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge.

2. Punjab Restaurant

You can’t go to London without trying the best Indian food outside of India. Punjab is a North Indian restaurant in the Covent Garden area that has been around since 1946 and has the most amazing cuisine and excellent staff. You may have to wait in line for a table (or order takeout during the pandemic) but the line moved quickly, and it’s well worth the wait anyway.

3. Patara Soho

Patara is an international chain that serves up contemporary Thai dishes in an elaborately decorated dinning room that sets the perfect ambiance to begin or end a night out on the town. You will find traditional Thai dishes, modern interpretations and tastes from other Southeast Asian regions on the menu.

4. Radio Rooftop

We had a plan when we arrived on our early morning flight into London: drop our bags at the hotel and find a place for brunch with a view. The idea was to keep ourselves entertained and distracted from the jet lag until we could check in and take a nap. Radio Rooftop is a swanky bar and restaurant at the top of the ME Hotel and was a short walk from our accommodations. The brunch menu was fantastic, as were the cocktails and the view.

5. Dog and Duck

You can’t go to London for the first time without trying fish and chips, a game pie or chicken tikka masala, right? Our hotel was right next door to this wonderful, traditional pub with a tiny dinning room on the second floor. Dog and Duck has delicious ales and pub food, including vegetarian options, and is located in the heart of everything.

Bonus: Where to Stay

We stayed at Mimi’s Hotel Soho and can’t recommend it enough. Mimi’s, like Dog and Duck next door, offers the perfect central location. The hotel has an amazing staff, a great little bar and comfortable rooms—and it’s surprisingly affordable for the location. The rooms are tiny and some don’t have windows, but that’s all very clear in the description, so make sure you read carefully before you book. We got the Lux room with a window, and it had all the space we needed including a foyer!

The lux room with window at Mimi’s was perfect for our stay!

What are your favorite hot spots in London? Let us know in the comments.

Where to Go on a First Trip to Alaska

The vast and diverse terrain of Alaska is impossible to explore in its entirety. We barely scratched the surface—and we didn’t even leave the beaten path—but we still had a genuine and unforgettable experience. Here’s what we did on our first trip to the last frontier.

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5 Tips for Planning a Pandemic Road Trip

Have you been going a bit stir crazy lately? Us, too. Five months into isolation, we were ready to get out into the world again, but we wanted to do it as safely as possible. Although there’s still so much we don’t know about COVID-19, we do know a lot about limiting the spread. So we decided to very carefully plan a road trip from Washington, D.C., to New England, and we hit the road for 9 days starting on on Aug. 8.

Here are some tips based on what we learned on our road trip.

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Is it Safe to Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic? Here’s What We Experienced

We take on additional risks every time we leave our front door. As the survivor of a horrific accident, I know this as well as anyone. But at this point in time in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the risks are greater.

Everyone’s risk tolerance and circumstances are different. Personally, I’m about as likely to go to a concert or crowded beach as I am to dance with a metal pole in an open field during a lightning storm. There are certain CDC and WHO guidelines I think we all should be following: maintaining social-distancing recommendations, wearing masks at indoors public places (and outdoors when distancing is not possible), washing hands, cleaning surfaces, etc. After that, the decisions may be a bit different based on personal circumstances.

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