Travel: Europe (!!!)

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London, England: Westminster Abbey

What a trip! We are back from our two week European adventure. Let’s just say… it was nothing short of amazing. We truly had a trip of a lifetime and are so incredibly thankful that we were able to have this experience. This post is a high level recap and introduction to all of the other content that I will share in the coming months in regard to our trip!

Two of the most common questions I got when I told people the trip we were going on were 1) Did you work with a travel agent? and 2) Are you going with a tour? The answer to both of those questions was no. My husband, Troy actually planned every single detail of our trip! He loves planning travel and this was a really big goal for him to accomplish. I must say, I was very impressed with the trip he planned for us; #rufenerworldtravel for the win ūüėČ

While we were in Europe, we visited 5 countries and 10 cities! People told us we were crazy for doing this but honestly, it worked out really well and I wouldn’t change a thing. It fit perfectly with the type of trip we wanted to go on. With that said, we are pretty fast-paced people and wanted to see a lot of places. It’s not for everyone but we loved it!

We visited the following cities and countries: London, England, Stuttgart, Germany, Munich, Germany, Zurich, Switzerland, Lucerne, Switzerland, Geneva, Switzerland, Venice, Italy, Florence, Italy, Rome, Italy, Paris, France. You can expect blog posts coming soon about each country!

We had 3 connecting flights on our way over to Europe and were worried about losing our luggage. Due to the number of places we were traveling while we were over there, losing our luggage was a not a risk we were willing to take. So, we only took carry on luggage and it was the best decision that we made! I will have a few posts coming soon about what I packed. I’ll let you know what I wore a ton and what I could have gone without. Also, I¬†had Troy take quite a few outfit photos while we were out and about so you can see how I styled a lot of the items that I packed.

Our longest flight was 7 1/2 hours and between eating, sleeping and watching a few movies, the flight went by pretty quickly. I’m compiling all of my travel / flight essentials and will share that post with you soon, as well!

I’m really excited to share this content with all of you! It’s so fun having a place to share it and it means so much to me that all of you take the time to read it! Xoxo

 

Travel: Waterbury, VT

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At the end of September of 2016, Troy and I headed to Waterbury, VT. A few days after we got back from our honeymoon at the end of June, I started a full-time job and we still had quite a bit of work to finish up on our house. We decided to go on a fall trip and this was a perfectly timed getaway after a busy summer.

Waterbury, VT is a quaint, small town in Northern Vermont. All of the residents of the town were so nice and welcoming. Whenever we told them we were from out of town there was a genuine excitement from them and they were ready to give recommendations.

We stayed in an Airbnb for the few nights we were there and had such a great experience. By staying in an Airbnb, we were able to stay in downtown Waterbury. We were able to walk to dinner most nights and overall enjoy the different aspects of the town.

We did two hikes while we were there; one at Pinnacle Meadows and one at Camel’s Hump National Park.

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This was a really fun hike!¬†We were at the at the top of the mountain we hiked in Pinnacle Meadows. Two teachers had taken their class on a hike (so fun!) and one of them took this picture for us. They gave us the recommendation to hike at Camel’s Hump National Park, which was our favorite hike!

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This is one of my favorite pictures of Troy and I. It was so windy (and cold!) at the top of the mountain at Camel’s Hump National Park.

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We stopped at this cute little shop that sold maple syrup. We bought a few bottles to take back home with us and anytime we use the syrup we talk about memories from the trip.

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We visited Cold Hollow Cider Mill and loved it. We are little partial to Bauman Orchards (in Rittman, OH) but it was fun to visit something similar out of state.  They had awesome apple cider donuts, apple cider and a gift shop that was fun to browse.

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We went on a Ben & Jerry’s factory tour, which was a little disappointing. The production facility we toured only¬†had about four production days per week, with no set schedule. We decided to test our luck but unfortunately they were not making ice cream the day we toured.¬†We were a little bummed but the tickets were relatively inexpensive and we got a free sample of ice cream at the end.

I’m always curious where people eat and different restaurant recommendations they may have.¬†A few places we ate at were Prohibition Pig (awesome barbecue), Arvad’s Grill & Pub (decent food, bad service), and The Blue Stone (great pizza place). We ate at a few other cafes and small lunch places but to be honest, we ate a lot of Clif bars / snacks while hiking, which typically took place of meals (sorry mom).

This trip was only a few days long but we had so much fun! I had zero expectations going into the trip and it has been one of my favorite trips, to date.

Have you ever gone a trip with no expectations and had a blast? I would love to know where you went!

Travel: Where to Next

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One of Troy and I’s favorite thing to do together is travel. We both really enjoy it and it is good for us to take time away from our busy schedules and travel the world. Since being married, Troy and I have taken 7 different trips together. A few of those weekend trips and a few a little while longer and we have thoroughly enjoyed each trip for different reasons.

Today, I have some really exciting news to share about our next adventure! In about a month and a half, Troy and I are traveling to EUROPE! We could not be more excited!

We (and by we, I mean Troy) have been busy planning this trip since last Fall. It seems unreal that it will be here before we know it! We are flying into London, England and will end our trip in Paris, France; while visiting a few cities in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy in between.

This trip is a total dream come true for both of us – it’s hard to believe that it is so close! It has been so fun sharing this news with our friends and family. One of the best parts has been how excited everyone is for us.

I have been busy sourcing different clothing items to take over with me. Cute, versatile and comfy are my three criteria. So far, I have found some really good pieces to take but I still have a few more staples to find. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments!

Have you ever traveled over seas? I would love to know all our your tips and tricks!

 

Travel: Estes Park, CO

When my sister told me that she was going to be living in Estes Park, CO for the summer, I immediately knew I had to visit! The only caveat was that I was getting married, going on a honeymoon AND starting a new job. I was really determined to still make it out there so Troy and I brainstormed and decided to go the weekend of July 4th.

I am so glad that we made it out to Colorado. It was so fun to see my sister, meet her friends and obviously take in all of the beauty that Colorado has to offer!

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Troy and I at Bridal Veil Falls

Troy and I flew out Friday night after we both got off work and got there early Saturday morning. We got some rest and then hit the ground running. My sister had the weekend mapped out for us, which was really helpful. We were there for two and a half days and during that time we hiked 3 trails and even took a trip to Boulder.

Our first hike was to Bridal Veil Falls… it was so beautiful. We crossed over a river at the base of the falls to climb up further and I’m so glad we did because this was our view…

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Em and I taking in the beauty at the top of Bridal Veil Falls

Our second hike was to Cub Lake. During the hike we encountered about 50 elk (and their babies!) no less than 25 feet away. Cub Lake was really pretty and as a bonus, it was covered in lily pads.

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Selfie on our hike to Cub Lake

We went for a sunrise hike to Bible Point on Monday¬†morning… it was absolutely breathtaking. We grabbed breakfast quick after and then headed to the airport to catch our flight back home.

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Troy, Em and I at Bible Point for the sunrise

A short but incredible weekend in the beautiful state of Colorado! I am so glad that we took this trip and thankful for the memories that we created.

Travel: Punta Cana

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The months leading up to Troy and I’s wedding were really crazy. I was finishing up my degree at Kent State, while working as a resident assistant, completing an internship and finalizing details for our upcoming wedding. Troy was busy working full-time and remodeling a house for us to live in once we were married.¬†Needless to say… we were really excited for our 10 day honeymoon in Punta Cana following our wedding!

Most days we spent poolside or on the beach…

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Relaxing by the pool at our resort 

We also went on two really fun excursions while we were in Punta Cana.

The Seaquarium excursion consisted of walking on the ocean floor called “snubing” (cross between scuba diving and snorkeling), swimming with sharks and stingrays, visiting the natural pool and getting kissed by a sea lion (ew, no thanks).

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Snorkeling while on the Seaquarium excursion 

The La Hacienda excursion consisted of traveling to the Dominican countryside, a horseback trail ride, buggy riding, swimming in a river and visiting a coffee & sugar cane plantation. This excursion was our favorite. I had never rode a horse before this so riding a horse on a 45 minute trail ride was quite an adventure for me but I loved it!

We had a really fun time traveling and relaxing together. However, after the 10 days were over, we were excited to get home and get settled in!

Have you ever been to Punta Cana? What did you think?