Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oh there’s no place like “_________” for the Holidays!

The sky is gray more often than not in Washington State’s Puget Sound these days. It’s a sure sign that summer is a fleeting memory and that – for us -  travel season is just around the corner. 

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Seattle skyline - October 2014
While for many, these dark, dreary days are the prelude to upcoming holiday decorating and dinners – for us, it is the promise of new adventures.

PicMonkey Collage
J.W. Marriott - San Antonio, Texas, 2013
The ‘holiday season’ in the United States has a dual kick-off in October as December’s Christmas decorations (some actually appear in stores in July) are competing with Halloween for shelf space. Thanksgiving is simply scrunched in between the two at the end of November.

Coincidentally, travel season at our house is on the same schedule. . .we start talking winter travel in July and by October are ready to pack suitcases instead of unpacking decoration boxes.

PicMonkey Collage
San Antonio, Texas, 2013
This Traveling Twosome won’t be decking any halls this year. We’ll more likely be hanging hand-washed travel clothes than mistletoe and holly. 

As I’ve pointed out before, a travel lifestyle – sometimes requires the old traditions, like Christmas, give way to new adventures.

So our ‘season’ begins with an 'almost Thanksgiving' tradition – an old familiar favorite - a road trip to Arizona for a stay at our timeshare ‘desert home’.

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The Mani - Greece
But after we return that’s when we’ll begin preparing for a real adventure and shake up our holiday routines but good! You might say we are practicing what we preach in this blog: we are traveling out of our tried-and-true destination comfort zones, stretching ourselves a bit and heading to a place. . .well, a place that three months ago wasn’t on our radar. Not. At. All.

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The Mani - Greece
“How about ________________ for Christmas and New Year’s?” The Scout asked a few weeks ago.  He’d been researching and happened upon this destination. Chuckling a bit, we agreed that it would certainly be different – then we gave ourselves a couple days to think it over.  We finally used our age-old reasoning, “Why not?” And booked it!

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Sunset - the South Pacific
As we’ve begun telling friends of our plans we’ve had two distinct reactions (there haven’t been any gray areas with this one): the first is an involuntary jerk of their heads and then a noticeable pause before asking either, “Why?” or “Where?” (perhaps hoping they hadn’t heard us correctly the first time).  Only a few have said, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to go there!”

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The South Pacific

I’ve used a mix of photos in this post – they are all from previous trips as obviously I don’t have any to use to give you a hint of this new destination. And by now, you’ve probably realized I am not telling you our destination until next week. . . I’ve got to round up something suitable to use to illustrate that post. 

In the meantime, where would you go if you were to stretch yourself and go somewhere different? A stretch. . .some place that might have your friends asking, “Where!?!?”  

Welcome to our new followers and subscribers this week and thanks to all of you for your time ~ Happy Travels!

Linking Up this week at:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox 
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route 
Travel Photo Monday – Travel Photo Discovery 
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening

48 comments:

  1. As you live in one of my favorite areas of the world, it's hard to believe you LEAVE there. I will not even try to guess where you're going. I'll wait & be surprised. More fun that way, as you know. OK, what's this about San Antonio and Hook'em Horns?
    You know I'm in Houston, a native. Wouldn't it be wonderful to meet? Got a big house and am a great hostess. xx's

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    1. Marsha, I had no idea you were a Houston native - and resident! I was in San Antonio for a conference last year and thus the photos of the hotel. Would love to meet sometime and the next time you head to Seattle or I head to Houston (where I have never been before) lets do our best to meet!! Thanks for commenting today - love getting to know more about my blogosphere friends.

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  2. All these photos are a marvelous tease for an adventure.
    “How about summer for Christmas and New Year’s?”

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    1. Yes that would be my preference over a wet, gray day here, Gaelyn! Thanks for the visit today ~ as always, it is appreciated.

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  3. I am looking forward to seeing where you go to! We haven't planned holidays for next year. We are re-grouping after everything that has happened over the last few months. But travel somewhere we will I am sure....oh actually....we are possibly going to the remotes National Park in Western Australia with our son and his family.
    Where would I love to go? Italy, Greece, Turkey, Mongolia, and Antarctica. Closer to home - New Zealand. So close but still on my list.
    Happy travels.

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    1. Oh Jill, I know how life can move travel and plans for it off to the sidelines, but glad to see you've got a lengthy bucket list (of interesting destinations!) there and also have some tentative plans. It all sounds good. Take care ~ and thanks for commenting!

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  4. I think the only place that would surprise my friends would be Papua New Guinea. Although it is right on our top doorstep not many Aussies holiday there! I am looking forward to finding out your surprise destination. :)

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    1. Oh Jan isn't that the case! Sometimes those close destinations just keep getting put off and they hold some of the greatest possibilities!! Papua New Guinea would be so interesting - hope you get there and report on it someday.

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  5. We'll be in a timeshare in Las Vegas for the third year in a row!

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    1. Oh Jackie I love timeshare life and I love Vegas -- that sounds just perfect! Thanks for commenting today~

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  6. My FIL wanted to go the Caribbean last Christmas and I couldn't do it. I need cold and snow at Christmas, though on 12/27 I'm happy to head to warmer climes. We went to Lake Placid, which was quite a Christmasy place to be for Christmas

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    1. Oh Eileen, I have two friends on FB who said the same thing: give 'em snow for Christmas but then get out the suitcases!! Sounds like Lake Placid would be a perfect spot for a picturesque Christmas.

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  7. In a few years I'm hoping we can take off for a few months and perhaps work part-time from a warmer location. We've been thinking about the next BIG trip - and Turkey comes to mind if the area doesn't flare up. If not we'll probably go biking in Corsica. Unless of course some other opportunity crosses our path - and it just might.

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    1. Turkey and Corsica both sound good to me, Leigh. I like your hedge 'unless some other opportunity crosses our path' -- we like those opportunities the best sometimes. In fact, that is probably what this next biggie should be called 'the opportunity that crossed our path'! Thanks for stopping by~

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  8. Don't tell me you come back in Greece?If so, it's not such a big surprise because everybody know that you are in love with this part of the world!....?...
    Happy weekend and sending you my sweet thoughts
    Olympia

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    1. Oh dear, Olympia! Had that house purchase worked out we would have likely been there in early December anyway, picking olives, but since it didn't we are waiting until the spring to return. . .maybe we will even meet during our next visit! Have a wonderful weekend ~ Jackie

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  9. mmm...good question. I don't think anyone would be surprised of me going anywhere really, so nothing I'll pick will shock them.
    At the moment I'd really like to go to Malaysia, the Yunnan province in China and the Laos and Cambodia mekong delta/

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    1. Oh Denise, I am with you on all of those potential destinations, particularly Malaysia! Thanks for the visit and taking the time to ponder with me. . .

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  10. Jackie, you are a tease! :) Well I am heading to tried and true Thailand for the winter. I plan on spending Christmas in Bangkok, and then on to Chiang Mai. There are a couple of places in Northern Thailand on my radar that I haven't been too before, and I just might head to the beach in Cambodia! If I was going somewhere different right now, it would be Portugal. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

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    1. Oh Nancie that sounds like such fun! We just talked with a couple of friend's who've been in Portugal (and aside from some flooding a few weeks ago) they raved about it . . .especially Lisbon where they reported much renovation and refurbishment of old buildings and still some good prices to be found!

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  11. Last fall we were fantasizing about taking the Trans-Siberian from Russia to Mongolia and this fall we're fantasizing about Botswana. Since we have a full schedule of travel lined up for the next several months I'm sure our dream destinations will keep changing as we read and research more countries! The world's a big place but travel makes it seem smaller, somehow, while allowing our dreams to become bigger!

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    1. Anita, you hit the nail on the head! Both of those fantasies sound fabulous. Sounds like you see the world as we do: so much to see and needing more months in a year to get to them all! Thanks for the comment and visit!

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  12. Hello Jackie and Joel

    It is so exciting planning a vacation. I will look forward to hearing more about your plans for winter.
    Have a glorious weekend
    Helenx

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    1. Hello Helen! Hope you are also having a glorious weekend and I look forward to your winter reports -- will you be in the US or your new home or both? Keep us 'posted' Hugs to you, Jackie

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  13. I'm so excited to hear about where you're going!!! I love viewing the world through your eyes. It keeps me going until I'm able to travel again. :-)

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    1. So glad you enjoy our ramblings in the world and my ramblings about them on the blog! Have a great weekend! Happy springtime to you as well~ Jackiexx

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  14. You always choose so good places... it's a pleasure to read you when you post something new! (:

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    1. What a nice comment, Lily! And thanks so much for reading TravelnWrite! I've visited your Lazy Penguins and love it as well. Hope to see you back here often and please continue to leave comments. Jackie

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  15. I enjoyed looking at all the Christmas pretties you won't be hanging Jackie and you have definitely piqued my interest for the next destination. No clue!
    At least I'll get to armchair travel somewhere exciting along with you and Joel. It's always a pleasure when you share your travels at Mosaic Monday.

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    1. Thanks Judith for visiting - yes, even though I won't be hanging any decorations, it doesn't mean that I don't love seeing them. . .and mine would never come close to these in the hotel. Thanks again for being such a great hostess~

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  16. Good collection of shots from the trips.

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    1. Thanks much for stopping by Rajesh! Happy week ahead to you.

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  17. Enjoyed the photos - hard to believe the holidays are just around the corner. Thanks for sharing your travels with us.

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    1. It is amazing to think it is almost Halloween and it won't be long before the other two big days have come (too fast) and gone (too quickly)! Thanks for the visit Glenda!!

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  18. Oooh, a cliffhanger. I read you every week, but now I will be trying to anticipate what you are going to announce. My guess is Antarctica. It's the only place that I can think of which would a definite yea or nay reaction. If it was obscure, then everyone would just ask, "Where?" With all the travel that we've done over the last few years and all the other travelers that we've met in real life and via blogs, I realized that there is no place that I would consider strange other than one where the chance of me ending up dead is quite high. For some reason, I've been thinking of the Bolivian salt flats lately. It's doubtful that I will get there anytime soon but I hopefully have decades of travel ahead of me. We don't have Christmas plans other than heading to Houston to see family. I'm hoping to add something on to that but must discuss it with the hubby and kids. My teen has had a rough time with starting high school, and I strongly suspect that his wish will be to have time to be at home and actually relax.

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    1. Oh now the Bolivian salt flats. . .that made me sit up and take notice. Hope you write about wanting to go there and why real soon. . .that would be most interesting!! Sounds like a good Christmas is in store for you this year. Until next week. . . happy travels!

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  19. Such a tease! I would love to go anywhere warm for Christmas and New Year. Greece sounds wonderful. Sounds awesome, have a great time..

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    1. Yes, you will likely be surprised when I tell you where we are going. . .I am still thinking, "Are we really doing that?!"

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  20. Beautiful photos ....love the Greek mountains!
    Thanks for taking us on your travels....

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    1. Oh thanks so much for stopping by - glad you enjoyed the photos! Hope to see you here again!

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  21. Oh, they're all gorgeous, but I'll take that San Antonio visit please. Such a warm (as in nostalgia, not temperature. lol) feeling in those photos.

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    1. I laughed at your 'warm' comment because we were in San Antonio during a weird cold spell that had temperatures so low we could barely go outside the hotel and when we did it was just for quick trips. Their famous river walk was empty -- too cold, but you are correct, there was a definite warmth in the adornments! Thanks for visiting~ always appreciated!

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  22. Where would I go if you were to stretch yourself and go somewhere different? A stretch. . .some place that might have my friends asking, “Where!?!?”
    Good question; well...
    Eileen is right: "I would love to go anywhere warm for Christmas and New Year"...adding: somewhere where I can take lots of pictures while travelling (but I'm doing this always!!! lol...so funny!!)
    But in fact, I can't make plans in advance, (for objective reason, most). But, this idea, it sounds so great, that one day I'll put this in practice... Many thanks for visiting and have a sunny day and week, also!

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    1. We seldom nail down our destinations in advance - because we like the freedom of 'going where the wind blows us' but sometimes we find something so out-of-the ordinary that we book it as we did this upcoming adventure. Thanks for visiting today!

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  23. Jackie,

    You definitely know how to create suspense, my friend! I am completely and utterly baffled by this one...NO clue, whatsoever! Judging from the reactions of your friends, am I right in sensing that it will also be somewhat of a challenge in some ways? Me? Paris! I've lived in Europe for half of my 50 years so far, and have only been to England, which was wonderful.

    Standing by for the surprise...

    xoxo
    Poppy

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    1. Oh Poppy, you would love Paris. . .I can imagine your posts from there! And as for where we are going. . .that is coming soon! Stay tuned. . .
      Have a great week -
      Hugs, Jackie

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  24. Mystery! looking forward to your destination. I'm thinking somewhere in Africa? We're actually going to your neck of the woods for Christmas and going to Whistler. As for me, I've become obsessed with the South Pacific so I think saying I want to go to the Cook Islands would make some ask 'Where?!' ;)

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So happy to see you took the time to comment. We read them all - and each is much appreciated. We hope you will be a regular here and comment often!

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