A new adventure begins!

Hi friends,

Mid-April already – time flies! It’s been nearly a year and a half since we returned to Florida. We bought a home, found jobs, and settled into a routine that’s about to change pretty drastically :)

As some of you know (mostly our Miami friends), Abe and I are beginning a new adventure this June. We’re really excited about this new chapter in our lives, which will become a little louder, a little more chaotic, and definitely filled with even more love.

I wanted to share Abe’s final video of our trip around the world, an amazing recap that makes me, well, think of all the stories and the adventures we experienced during our unforgettable year of travels.  We used this video to share our big news with our families back in November… I hope you enjoy it.  Check out the low res below, or see the high res here.

 

And for those of you still having some doubts… It’s a GIRL! :)

 

 

A European Flashback

This morning we’re leaving New Zealand and flying to Japan, the last country of our traveling year. Three more exciting weeks to go, and then we’re heading home!

Luckily, we’ll have Abe’s amazing videos to remember all our adventures vividly. In fact, check out his latest video montage, an awesome flashback to some of our travels across Europe (or can see the high res version here):

An Icelandic Video

We fell in love with Iceland a few months ago (check out my blog post if you missed it). It’s truly an amazing place, and I highly recommend a visit.

Abe made a beautiful video of our time there, which you can check out below (or stream the high res version here). There’s quite a bit of kissing, but I refuse to apologize for it. I couldn’t help myself: I had to fight off the cold somehow, and the sledding dogs weren’t always around for a snuggle. Can you spot the seal swimming around the glacier lagoon at the end?

 

Baltic Cruise Video

Now that we’ve finally finished planning our trip (check out our complete itinerary here!), Abe’s had much more time to work on his video compilations. You heard a little about our Baltic cruise in my last post, but Abe’s amazing (and dance-filled) video definitely brings our Viking adventures to life. Check it out below, or see the high res version here. It might be his best one yet!

 

What part of Eyjafjallajökull don’t you understand?

Dear friends – it’s been a month since my last confession post. But it’s ok, because it’s important that I manage your expectations regarding the frequency of my updates (after all, I’ve been told that low expectations are the key to happiness). Abe and I are now officially more than 7 months into our trip, and it’s time I started weaning you off anyway.  Can you believe there’s only 3½ months left to our travels? It’s freaking me out.

But I don’t want to whine about how my yearlong travels are too short for my taste. You might already secretly hate me a little for it, and I don’t want to make it worse. I’m not looking to get hate mail or anything. No, instead, I’d like to tell you about our Icelandic adventures.

Before I start though – I feel I should disclose that I’m skipping over a Nordic cruise with my parents-in-law. And I’m not skipping it because they’re secretly cruel to me and I couldn’t find anything nice to say. Quite the opposite. We had an amazing time, and you’d think I was just sucking up to them if I told you how much I loved discovering Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland together. But the show must go on, or I’ll never get to recount Iceland and that happened over a month ago already. So I’ll just share a couple pictures of our Nordic trip, and then I’ll fast forward.

DSC_0419 {Formal dinner aboard the Eurodam}

DSC_0624{Being Vikings in Stockholm}

So, Iceland. We landed around midnight and it was still light out. We read that sunset should happen around 2AM, but as we found out a couple hours later, the sunset is somehow also the sunrise (does that make sense?) so it never actually gets dark out in the summer. Which was fine by us: it just meant more time to see stuff. Apparently though, Icelanders sometimes go a little crazy in the summer because they forget to get shut-eye and get ridiculously sleep deprived. Like that would ever happen to me. Maybe I should become a summertime sleep coach in Iceland – after all, I have all the necessary expertise and 27 years of impressive napping experience.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA{The beautiful iceberg lagoon near Vik}

Then again, I feel I could go crazy myself just listening to the Icelandic language. I’ve never heard a language that’s so crazy complicated. You can’t even try to pronounce the words you read. No, go ahead, really: I dare you. Read the store name in the picture below. Icelandic is probably the least sexy language in the world. It even beats German, and that’s an impressive feat.



2b42c1b4e8d90ceda8d1c3b458931fd8

Anyways, við skulum fara (that’s “let’s move on” in Icelandic). We spent 6 days in Iceland, where we drove an average of 500km per day. It’s an insanely beautiful country, and nature there just feels… powerful. There are crazy glaciers, crater lakes, volcanoes, cliffs, cascades, iceberg lagoons, fields packed with trotting Icelandic horses, and only a few little towns in between. Oh, and let’s not forget the many sulfuric geysers that look awesome but smell like rotten eggs. At first, I thought Abe had some serious farting issues. I’m #sorrynotsorry to admit it, but I blamed him for countless geyser stinks as we drove through the countryside. I do believe that he eventually started taking advantage of the situation and blamed geysers to cover up his farts, but he denies this so it’ll remain a mystery.

crater lake iceland{at an incredible crater lake}

I can’t really tell you about our Icelandic experience without mentioning that we went dogsledding on a glacier(!!) and boating in an iceberg lagoon(!!!). First, let me tell you about the dogs: they were adorably fluffy and so incredibly excited to go running. I wish I could muster half their excitement towards exercise – I’d be the fittest Swiss in Miami. It was funny though: the second the dogs started running, they all decided that they absolutely needed to pee and poop WHILE running, which they obviously couldn’t do, so they started tripping over each other and kept (unintentionally?) peeing on each other as they ran. That sounds to me like a pretty great incentive to run faster.

dogsledding iceland{our view from the sled}

Abe with dogs Iceland{Abe petting two of ‘our’ dogs.}

As for the iceberg lagoon… wow. It was breathtakingly beautiful, and the fact that there was an adorable seal lounging on icebergs and swimming around made it even more special. Beyond the more traditional explanations, our guide also told us that local guys (including himself) sometimes try to impress women by offering them small icebergs that they’ve pulled out of the water… That’s right, that’s how Icelanders attract potential mates. You only see the 10% that’s above the water, so you’re in for a real treat when he whips the whole thing out. Sexy… Luckily, you now have ice to cool yourself off.

seal in iceberg lagoon iceland{see the seal swimming around?}

Well, I think that accounts for most of our Icelandic trip. Oh, we also went to hear this guy in concert, and… well I think this actually changes things a bit. Disagree if you will, but I think he redeems the Icelandic language. It’s now back up above German on the language sexiness scale. And on that (musical) note, we’re off to continue our adventures!

Pirate Lions & Wieners

Caution: This post contains nudity and wiener flopping. Scroll at your own peril. 

Once more, I’m so far behind on my blogging that I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how other bloggers stay on top of it. Maybe if I rewarded myself with wine every time I wrote I’d do it more… who am I kidding, I do that already and it barely works. Anyways, let’s get to it. I know you’re curious about the wiener flopping.

Since I last posted, Abe and I have spent 2 weeks in Greece, a week in Amsterdam, a few days in Geneva and 2 weeks cruising Scandinavia. There’s a lot to catch you up on and it’s a bit overwhelming. So, in the wise words of Julie Andrews, I’ll just start at the very beginning (a very good place to start) and tell you all about Greece.

We split our time between Athens, Santorini, Paros, Antiparos and Mykonos. Santorini is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Instead of describing it to you, here are a few pictures:

Santorini{Oia, Santorini}

Amoudi Bay {Amoudi Bay, Santorini}

Abe and I Santorini{Us in Oia, Santorini}

Unfortunately, it seems that half the Chinese population agrees with me and finds Santorini picturesque. As a result, we ran into at least 5 Chinese couples getting their wedding photos taken daily, in full bridal attire. Here’s the weird part though: those couples don’t actually get married in Santorini. Instead, they hold on to their wedding dresses and tuxes for a few years, until they travel to Greece and then do a photo shoot there. At least the grooms know their brides will stay skinny enough to fit into their dresses… that’s worth a photoshoot in Santorini, right? No fried rice for you.

hike in Santorini{During a 4-hour hike from Thira to Santorini, passing countless Chinese couples}

As for our time in Antiparos: we were really lucky to be invited by my sister’s best friend’s parents (still following me?) who have a home there. At first they didn’t recognize me (fair enough, they hadn’t met me before) and told me I didn’t look much like the picture they’d seen of me. So I started thinking I should probably wear makeup again, or do my hair, or do something to look like my pre-travel self. Eventually they showed me the picture in question though: turns out, it was picture of my sister. Mind you, they’ve met my sister repeatedly, and she stays with them for a week every year. Somehow they didn’t recognize her and assumed it must be me. Luckily, I still look enough like her, so they put their suspicions aside and let us stay. And fed us. And pampered us. And it was wonderful.

In Antiparos we spent our time boating in turquoise waters to other beautiful islands and beaches. There was also, I should tell you, a pirate lion on our boat. WHAT? That’s right, you heard me. A pirate lion. It was like Life of Pi, minus the fear of being eaten because he was a little too cute.

Pirate Lion{The lion on the boat}

 

Pirate Lion 2{Note the pirate flag}

Any resemblance to an oddly shaved dog is purely coincidental.

Mykonos also had its share of thrills. We went beaching, clubbing, ate lots of Greek food, visited archeological sites, and met this Italian guy:

Italian in Mykonos{At Paradise Beach, Mykonos}

You may find it hard to believe, but the front of his swimsuit was more revealing than its back. And he flopped ‘it’ on people. Wait, why am I censoring myself? He was flopping his wiener left and right, literally whacking people repeatedly with it to the tune of ‘What is Love.’ I know it may be hard (hah) to believe, but it was great beach entertainment. And I thought I’d seen it all on South Beach.

Ok, so now you’ve heard my share of Greek anecdotes. I’ll let Abe tell you more of our stories, and in a more refined voice I’m sure, with his great video (a masterpiece, in my opinion). See it below, or view the high res here:

 

 

 

 

Video Flashback to St. Moritz

About a month ago, I wrote a post (my very first, so go easy on me) about what we did in St. Moritz. Back then it was text only; however, since surfing in Costa Rica, Abe has been honing his go-pro skills and making awesome video montages.

He’s now gone back and edited the footage from our time in the greatest country on the planet (Venezuela, USA, Switzerland). This video really captures the fun we had – I hope you enjoy watching it! See the high res version here, or check out the low res below:

 

 

Wedding Weekend in Florence

We arrived in Florence on January 16th. The city is incredible. It’s charming, beautiful, and ridiculously rich in history, culture and art. Also the pasta and wine are amazing. And the men are handsome, but I didn’t notice as I only have eyes for my husband.

Maybe we’ll decide to come back during the Europe part of our trip – we definitely didn’t have the time to explore properly.

I should backtrack and tell you that we came to Florence in the first place to celebrate my cousin Steven’s wedding. They were pretty unlucky as there was an airport strike the Friday afternoon, so half the guests showed up late and missed the family pictures. Which means we stood out more in the pictures, which isn’t half bad. Check us out:

Kim & Abe Florence

{Abe and I during family pictures}

We took a guided tour of Florence. We learned about the Medici family, who essentially ruled Florence for 13 generations. They didn’t declare themselves kings but acted as such. They strategically built houses that were more modest outside but lavish inside so as not to inspire envy amongst the people.

Duomo 2 Florence {The Piazza del Duomo}

We visited the Piazza del Duomo and went into the Santa Maria dei Fiori. The duomo is spectacular, with its sheer size and the green, red and white marble outside. We didn’t have the time to climb the 400+ stairs to the top of the cupola, but I hear it’s beautiful and worth it. I can’t say I regret not climbing all those stairs though. A coffee sounded way more pleasant and relaxing.

We walked to the charming Ponte Vecchio, where the Medici family built a secret passageway to be able to cross from one side to the other inconspicuously. The bridge now houses countless little gold and jewelry stores.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA{View of the Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi Gallery}

If you visit Florence, you really should visit Uffizi Gallery. It’s filled with works of the great Italian masters, including Botticelli, Da Vinci, Titian and Michelangelo. One of its most famous works is The Birth of Venus, it’s tough not to be in awe when you stand in front of it. Also, I do like that chubby was beautiful back then. I vote we bring that back so I can eat more pasta and tiramisu.

We passed by the Palazzo Vecchio and saw the replica of the statue of David, but didn’t have the time to go see the original at the Galleria dell’Accademia. That makes me feel like a crappy tourist, and I almost didn’t want to admit it to you. Next time we visit, that will be at the top of our list.

The wedding on Sunday was beautiful. The ceremony took place in the Great Synagogue, and the reception was at the Stazione Leopolda. A huge congrats to the beautiful bride and groom, Isabelle & Steven!

Steve_Isa 2{The beautiful bride and groom, Isabelle & Steven!}

St. Moritz – Top of the World!

We started our travels in St. Moritz, Switzerland because my family comes here every year. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. I may be biased as I did grow up in Switzerland, but I think you’d agree with me if you visited.

Here are 5 activities that we did, and that I’d recommend you do if you visit:

1) Ski (or snowboard, but I prefer you ski as snowboarders suck and cut skiers off). That’s the best part of being here. The slopes are beautiful and there are plenty of beautiful places to stop for a tasty Glühwein (hot spiced wine) or Schiwasser (hot water with strawberry/raspberry syrup, lemon, and kirsch).  I think the optimal ratio is 75% skiing, 25% chilling and drinking on the slopes, but whatever floats your boat.

Kev St. Moritz

{On the slopes – thanks to my cousin for the picture}

2) Go sledging. There are a few places you can go, and it’s easy to get there too. Take the train from St. Moritz to Preda and rent a sled. You can sled all the way to the next village, Berguns. Or you can go to Muottas Muragl, where the run is faster and more intense. I won’t be held liable if you die at Muottas Muragl though… There have been deaths in the past (no joke) but you’ll probably be fine.  Just call ahead to make sure they’re open.

Sled St. Moritz

{Us at the end of the sled run in Berguns}

3) If you’re not up to skiing or sledging (it happens to the best of us), go for a walk. There are many beautiful places in St. Moritz and the neighboring villages. I’d recommend you walk around the lake or to the Roseg. If you choose the latter, make a reservation at the Roseg restaurant at the end of the hike, and take a horse carriage back. I don’t understand people who want to exercise on a full stomach.

4) Ice skate. There are a couple ice rinks, including one in St. Moritz Bad (the lower part of the St. Moritz village) and one at the Kulm Restaurant. I vote in favor of the Kulm because I once broke my shoulder skating in the Bad, and will forever fear that ice rink.  Bring your own skates or rent them there. It’s a fun way to spend an hour or two, even if you’ve never skated before. Again, I won’t take responsibility for any broken bones (or death).

5) Take a curling lesson! Yes, it’s an olympic sport. No, I still don’t know why.  You can call the Curling Club to organize a class. It’s fun! It’s like bocce on ice. Check out a video of us curling! My sister and I are outstanding brushers, but my cousins Steven and Kevin deserve the credit for excellent shot and guidance. Seeing the losers get pissed is half the fun. I’ll omit telling you how badly we got beaten in the remainder of the game.


{Our curling lesson}