Travel, When in

Year in Review: Favorite Cities of 2019

My husband have traveled a lot over this past year, both domestically and abroad! So he has compiled a list of his favorites cities for 2019. We hope you enjoy this list and have the opportunity to visit some the cities and experience all the sights and sounds they have to offer.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest tops our list of favorite city to visited for 2019. It is absolutely beautiful during the summer months and has lots of places to see and things to do. There is so much rich culture to experience and the people are very friendly courteous and polite. On his last visit, he got to see the Castle District, St. Stephen’s Bascilica Cathedral, the Eye of Budapest and Heros Square. But that is not all that Budapest has to offer….the Hungarian National Museum, Szchenyi Thermal Baths, Danbu River and Ecseri Flea Market are definitely worth visiting. And don’t for get grab a bowl of Hungarian goulash while your there. This hearty dish is full of veggies, beef, and lots of paprika. My husband really enjoyed this dish and ate it almost everyday!. Budapest will is definitely on the horizon for 2020 and hopefully I can tag along too!


Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, South Korea is next on my husband favorite cities list this year. He has been to Seoul many times and enjoys the culture, temples and especially the food. Fun fact….did you know that Seoul is the home of fried chicken and barbeque??? Who would of thought!! This was right up my husbands alley and now I see why he visits so often. While there he visited the Coex Centre in the Gangnam district, home to Asia’s biggest underground shopping mall complete with casino, kimchi museum and traditional Buddhist temple. There is so much to do and see, its definitely worth visiting.


San Diego, California (USA)

One of my husbands favorite spots in San Diego is Mission Beach. A classic style oceanfront boardwalk, Mission beach features lots of shops, an amusement park, miniature golf, bumper cars and lots of restaurants. The view of the ocean is breathtaking and with miles of beach there is plenty of space for sunbathing, sand volleyball and swimming. This is the perfect place for the whole family. While there, don’t forget to catch a San Diego Padres baseball game, which are a lively and a ton of fun and visit real pirate ships in the bay. Since my husband is a frequent flyer, it seemed only fitting that he eat at Mr As, a restaurant located right off the airport where you can dine at eye level with the landing planes. It is definitely a sight to see!


Taipei, Taiwan

Next on our list is Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. The mild weather in Taipei (especially since its always hot where we live) is ideal for the perfect getaway. But this is your warning….keep an umbrella handy. It rains a couple of times per day in Taipei. During his visit, my husband got the opportunity to visit the Golden Waterfall in Golden Ecological Park. A waterfall that is golden sounds too good to be true but it is truly beautiful. Due to the regular rainfall in the mining area (there’s that consistent rain again) and abundant heavy metals, the water has a golden hue when it leaves the waterfall. If only there were REAL gold in the water…..wishful thinking! Its also a popular spot for newly weds and photographers so it can definitely get crowded (pun intended). Not only is the landscape beautiful but there is so much culture to experience. For example, the Chiufen Shengping Theater, the oldest existing theater in Taiwan, which still shows old school movies a certain times of day each week. If your a movie buff and like movies shown on an old school projector, this place is right up your alley. And don’t forget the food! The cuisine is elegant and but tasty. There are so many dishes to try from traditional to exotic and you can’t leave without having some Dragon Fruit. Taipei is definitely worth another visit in 2020!


Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan is a beautiful and artistic culture that is fond of barbeque. Armenia is known for its BBQ around the world; they literally grill everything! Of course this was right up my husband’s alley, he considers himself a BBQ master!! The grill naturally brought everyone together and prompted lots of talk about site seeing, world issues, and work-of course! This was perfect for my husband as he is definitely a people person. Additionally, he also got to experience celebration of 2800th year of Yerevan as a the capital of Armenia. He was able to see all festivities, concerts and parades for celebrate this momentous year including a visit to Anniversary Park occurred. The park includes 250 new trees, 5 bronze statues, and Urartu style bull and lion statues and is currently maintained by the same family for the past 99 years. Don’t forget you camera! My husband took some awesome pictures of art, innovation and sculptures which Yerevan is know for. And who could forget that giant spider! Made of discarded metal, this spider located outside the Moscow Cinema you won’t soon forget. As for me (who has a fears of spiders) I was not nearly as enthused. After visiting the spider (of my nightmares), he had the opportunity to visit Republic Square and see the Singing and Dancing fountains. A water feature with a light show set to classical, pop or jazz music; it is definitely a must see and favorite tourist attraction.

Surviving Chaos, Travel, When in

Taipei, Taiwan and the Flu

Recently, my husband visited his team in the beautiful city of Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. He typically travels to Taiwan twice a year but he managed to squeeze in 1 more trip before the end of the year. He really enjoys the mild weather in Taipei (especially since its always hot where we live) and doesn’t mind the rain that occurs a couple of times per day. He has learned the hard way to keep his umbrella close by. While there, he got the opportunity to visit the Golden Waterfall in Golden Ecological Park. Hmmm, this sounds too good to be true. Due to the regular rainfall in the mining area (there’s that consistent rain again) and abundant heavy metals, the water has a golden hue when it leaves the waterfall. If only there were REAL gold in the water…..wishful thinking! Its also a popular spot for newly weds and photographers so it can definitely get crowded (pun intended). He also visited the Chiufen Shengping Theater, he oldest existing theater in Taiwan, which shows old school movies a specific times of day during the week. If your a movie buff and like movies shown from an old school project, this place will definitely give you some nostalgia and trip down memory lane. In addition to movies, there’s a tour about the theater history, the gold rush and the Baroque architecture of the cinema.

A Foodies Paradise

Taipei features beautiful architecture throughout the city and is a foodie’s paradise. With food shops lining the streets, its easy for tasting a variety of different foods. Jiufen Old Street is the perfect place for foodies with so many vendors to choose from. Its lively, busy and features excellent views of the mountains and the sea. The cuisine ranges from traditional to exotic but worth a taste. My husband recently had his first experience with fresh squid; an experience he will never forget. Thankfully he was able to end it on a positive note with some Dragon Fruit, a delicious and sweet fruit.

On the home front

Meanwhile back at home, I was in true survival mode. The week started out great but things started going downhill and fast. During the week, the school kept sending messages about the flu outbreak at school and to keep your children home if they were sick. I kept breezing by the messages because I was for sure my kids were wearing their jackets/gloves/hats and washing their hands thoroughly….multiple times a day…with soap. Wishful thinking….our son lost his gloves, at some point earlier in the month (he never told me he lost them), and he was SORTA washing his hands. So low and behold…..he got the flu! Then our daughter got the combination of flu/strep/cold. How is that even possible??? Fun fact…..did you know that you can spread the flu BEFORE you are showing any symptoms? Did you know that your kids will tell you that their desk partner in class was sick with the flu AFTER they are sick AND while they are sitting in the doctor’s office?? Nothing like a doctor’s office confession!!

So there we were, sick and shut in. We couldn’t really leave the house and couldn’t have anyone over for fear of spreading their illnesses. This also meant I had to disinfect our ENTIRE house. Lysol, Whirlpool and I are now best friends: 10+ loads of laundry (maybe more as the loads started to blend together in my mind…..) and lots of wiping down light switches, door knobs, staircase rails, remote controls, etc. By the time it was all over (6 days later), we had a serious case of cabin fever; you’d be surprised by the type and how many games and songs get invented out of severe cases of boredom.

And without further a due, here are your tips for surviving chaos:

  • Stock up: I luckily had purchased a some bottles of fever reducing medicine, soup, crackers, elderberry syrup and ginger-ale. My husband laughed at me because he thought we wouldn’t need all that stuff….whose laughing now!
  • Delivery service: If you can have ANYTHING delivered-just. do. it. You don’t want have to pack up your kids and go to the store when they are feverish, fatigued, and cranky.
  • Keep learning: Believe it or not, our kids actually got bored of TV. School workbooks came in handy (thanks Barnes and Noble)
  • Morning Mantra: Have a positive saying that you can repeat to yourself; its heartbreaking when your little ones are sick and miserable.
  • Patience: Patience is a virtue. You’ll need lots of it.
  • Self care: Don’t forget to eat. Don’t forget your vitamins. Remember take a nap when they nap. You’ll thank me later!
  • Wine: Self explanatory-you earned it!!!!!!!

Until next time, safe travels…..