The Search for Norway’s Northern Lights

This week, we’re excited to have another guest blogger: Marge Roberts.  She’s excited to share a trip with you that she took in 2017 to Norway.  As you’ll soon see (if the picture above wasn’t enough) there are a LOT of reasons Norway should be on your travel wish list.  Take it away, Marge! 

If you have ever thought about going to Norway…. run, don’t walk, to your favorite travel app, and book a trip now!

In 2017, when a friend asked me to join her, I jumped at the chance for a European vacation with friends, not really caring where we went. In hindsight, it was one of my favorite trips so far. I wanted to share my favorite activities and, of course, recommend some food/drink spots. 

After all, food and drinks consume a large portion of any good vacation, no?

Our adventures started off in Oslo, where a walk around the Royal Palace is a great place to start. You can walk all the way around the building itself, and the top of the steps is a great place for a Gossip Girl type photo. XOXO. 

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Frogner Park, about a mile from the Royal Palace, is a large public park with pristine landscaping, sculptures, and a museum. Some great photo ops are available amongst the natural beauty. 

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And, last but not least, you MUST visit the Viking Ship Museum to see several 9th Century Viking Ships. 

The best part about all of these escapades is that they are free, except for the Viking Ship Museum, which comes in at a reasonable ~$11.50/adult. 

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All of these daytime activities can be broken up with a quick trip to Harald’s Waffles. I recommend the classic combo with sour cream, jam, and brown cheese (weird, I know, just trust me). Eight Rooftop Bar of the Grand Hotel Oslo is another great pit stop, with scenic views to accompany an afternoon glass of Champagne which, believe me, we enjoyed!

Other noteworthy bites include Vulknfisk, inside Mathallen Food Hall. Get the mussels and you can thank me later.

Pipervika offers seafood with sweeping views of the port via floor to ceiling glass. Ruffino’s Italian is ideal for a nice dinner out followed by a nightcap at Summit Bar at top of Radisson Blu Scandinavian Hotel.

Summit Bar also has splendid views of the city at night through three full walls of windows, making it the perfect way to wind down your evening. 

But my favorite might have been the unassuming Schou Brewery, a no-frills brewery that feels like it could be underneath a palace. The warmth from the floor-to-ceiling brick combined with the warmth from the fireplace made for a nice juxtaposition to some chilled brews. 

After Oslo, we visited Tromsø, Norway. If you have never heard of it, do not worry.  I had not either. And yet, this place quickly became the star of the show! We found another cozy pub, Huken Pub, with superb burgers and a warm cabin-like environment. We even managed to meet some locals at Solid, a bar with spunky music, and a lively crowd. 

But guys, the best was yet to come.

There were two events, yes events not activities, that were easily the highlight of the whole trip.  First, the Fjellheisen cable car offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding island. I suggest going around sunset and taking in this breathtaking scene! 

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But the piece de resistance was, of course, a northern lights tour.

Everyone was dying to see them.  Everyone, it seemed, except me.  Don’t get me wrong, I thought it would be cool, but I severely underestimated this worldly wonder. We did a northern lights tour from Polar Adventures (https://www.polaradventures.no/) who had given us a wonderful bus tour of Tromsø the day before. The tour consisted of a drive up the mountain at night and we were given suits to help keep us warm. Our tour guides stopped the bus, gave us fold-out chairs, and made hot chocolate while we waited. 

Drumroll please…our tour guide said this was one of the best showings of the northern lights he had seen in 6 years (For reference, we went in mid-October).

The green lights came rolling in over the mountains for hours. We laid on the ground and watched, in awe, feeling so small and yet feeling the importance of what was happening.

I have never experienced anything quite this spectacular in my life. I implore you to take the time to get out of the city, up the mountain, and brave the cold because it will be something you will not forget. 

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Thanks Marge for sharing your absolutely incredible trip to Norway.  We’re both incredibly jealous and will be booking our trip just as soon as this whole lockdown thing gets lifted!

Pesos, Quesos, and Besos: Mexican Culture comes alive in CDMX

This past week, we spent 5 days in Mexico City (or CDMX – “Ciudad de Mexico”) and it was one of our absolute best trips yet! From the vibrant culture to the friendly locals to the very, very low cost, CDMX checked off so many items on our wish list and a few more we didn’t even know we had.

So, let’s dive right in and we’ll share why we think Mexico City should be next on your travel list!

Culture and Language

Mexico City exudes culture. Almost every street corner has a mural on it and even their construction fences are adorned with a mix of surrealist and Dia de Los Muertos artwork. The colors are bright and vibrant and showcase the excellent talent of the local street artists.

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Hi Frida!

In addition to art, music and dancing are a huge part of the Mexico City culture.  On our first full day, we strolled out of our Airbnb onto Av. Paseo de la Reforma (a main street in the city) and stumbled directly into a free dance exercise class.  Of course, we had to join in!

Markets or Mercados are also a large part of the CDMX culture.  You can find a huge open-air market near the Palacio de Bellas Artes, a beautiful art museum modeled after the opera house in Paris.

At these markets, you can find pretty much everything you need from clothes to souvenirs to hand-made goods.  And all of it is very cheap.  Take the price you think it will be and divide by 2 or 3 and it’s likely that’s how much it costs.

We’ll talk more about the exchange rate later!

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Don’t speak much (or any) Spanish? 

Don’t worry, CDMX is definitely still a great place to visit.  Many restaurants have English menus and many locals speak at least some English.

However, we’d still recommend learning some basic expressions so you can find the bathroom, say thank you/how are you doing, and order another drink! (the important things, of course…)

We also had a great time and tons of exposure to local culture on our Airbnb Experience with a local host named Rafa, where we visited 3 local cantinas.  We learned history and interesting facts about the city we would never would have learned otherwise. We would highly recommend this experience and even made a few friends!

 

Finally, we highly recommend stopping by the Anthropology Museum, which not only has great exhibits on Mexican culture (including very cool Incan and Mayan sections) but also features a beautiful open-air plaza with plenty of shaded area.

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Cost

Mexico City is incredibly affordable. As of today, one US dollar = about 19 Mexican Pesos.

Here are a few of our costs for the trip (in USD to keep things simple):

  • Uber rides: $2-$5 for a 10-20 minute ride
  • Meals: $15 for an average lunch with drinks for 2 (our most expensive dinner was $40 for 2)
  • Airbnb: $58/night (modern, new apartment in a desirable area)
  • Massages: $70 for 2 for 90 minutes (!)

Food and Drinks

Food and drink are an integral part of Mexican culture and we certainly took advantage of both while we were in the city.

It should be no surprise that tacos in Mexico City are amazing.  You really can’t go wrong here, but make sure you walk a little bit beyond the tourist spots to find where the locals eat.

Also, you can find street food on almost every corner. Do not shy away – try some of the amazing and cheap food that is offered. The smells are incredible and the food was some of the tastiest we had all trip!

Also, make sure you order a Michelada (beer with lime juice and a salted/spiced rim of the glass).  You won’t regret it!

P.S. Don’t miss the churros!

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Neighborhoods We Loved

Roma

The Roma neighborhood is a favorite of ex-pats and is dotted with tons of indoor/outdoor restaurants and bars.  If you have a nice day and want to eat outside, we highly recommend choosing a restaurant on the Fuente de Cibeles circle.  It was absolutely beautiful and relaxing. We also scored a free beer to wash down lunch!

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Coyoacán

Coyoacán is best known for being the home to Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter who has developed a very strong cult following lately.  The museum was closed when we visited the neighborhood, but we really enjoyed the local market, great bars and restaurants, and beautiful scenery. Most museums are closed on Monday so make sure to note this if traveling during the week,

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Take the 20-minute uber ride from downtown to this neighborhood, you won’t regret it!

La Condesa

La Condesa is located only a short walk from Roma and is equally worth a visit.  In this neighborhood, you’ll also find the massive and beautiful Bosque de Chapultepec and the Chapultepec Castle. It is the CDMX equivalent to Central Park in NYC.

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If you’re looking for somewhere to run, exercise, or stroll, this park is for you!

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Book Your Trip!

We did not have much planned ahead for this trip and we are so glad we left our plans relaxed. CDMX is massive and there is SO much to see and do. We mostly walked around and explored all the culture and beauty this city has to offer.

So what are you waiting for?

Book that trip to Mexico City and experience a beautiful, vibrant, affordable city and culture!

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Madison: Magic in the Midwest

If you’ve been reading our blog (for even 5 minutes) you know that Meagan and I are MASSIVE fans of Ann Arbor, MI.  And we promise that our love for the city is completely unrelated to the fact that we spent many of our early adult years together there, fell in love there, yada yada yada.

But a trip we took this past weekend made us rethink everything about college campuses and midwestern cities.  The destination?  Madison, WI.

The unassuming city or town (depending on who you ask) is nestled between two beautiful small lakes, the Monona and the Mendota and is about a 1 hour, 15-minute drive west from Milwaukee.

Our visit was timed perfectly: It was a cold (very cold) and clear Fall football weekend.  The campus was teeming with people (it was Michigan State vs. Wisconsin) and the first snow hadn’t arrived yet.

In short, Madison blew us away.  Here are a few things you should do on your first (or your next) trip to this college town.

Visit on a Game Weekend

Duh! But seriously, football brings out everyone young and old and the city becomes a sea of red and white.  Pro tip: You can pick up a $5 Wisconsin Football t-shirt at the bookstore on campus to blend in better.

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Students and Alumni tailgate pretty much everywhere around campus, but if you want to see where it gets pretty rowdy, take a walk down Regent Street on the south side of the stadium.

The fans and people of Wisconsin were very friendly and welcoming! Midwesterners are just downright good people. We were even invited to a free all-inclusive tailgate sponsored by Travel Wisconsin (shout out!).

Don’t Miss the Terrace and German Beer Hall in The Student Union (!)

Yes, you read that right.  The Wisconsin Student Union has a German Beer Hall in it.

And not a small one, the Der Rathskeller can seat hundreds and on the aforementioned game day it turns into a hot destination for both locals and visitors to catch the game, drink a stein, and eat a pretzel or fried cheese curds (yummm).

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Outside the Union, you’ll find a massive terrace with several other eating options.  The terrace can fit another thousand people or so and overlooks the lake.  On warmer days, this is a great option!

Walk Around Epic’s Campus in Verona, WI

While we were surprised by the beauty and energy of the University of Wisconsin campus, Epic’s campus surprised us even more.

Epic is a healthcare company (hang with us, we promise it’s worth it!) that, for some strange reason, decided to build their corporate campus into a series of different “worlds”.  These “worlds” include storybook (Alice, Oz, Chocolate Factory), Galaxy (Andromeda, Borealis, Heaven), and one that even makes you feel like you’re in Harry Potter!  Check out these pics of the amazing campus:

The best part of it all? You can tour the campus on the weekend for free. 

All you need to do is show up, they provide the maps, and you can go at your own pace.  Make sure to allow at least a couple hours.  Even in that time, you’ll probably only be able to see about 2-3 worlds (at a brisk pace!)

Stop by the Capitol Farmers’ Market on Saturday

While you’re in Madison, swing by the Capitol on Saturday morning to see an impressive farmer’s market that wraps completely around the square.

You’ll find fun options for breakfast including a LOT of different types of pastries.  And, of course, you’ll find cheese! Actually, you’ll find cheese pretty much everywhere you go in Wisconsin. We even stocked up and brought some home with us! (Yes the cheese is that good and lives up to the hype).

Grab a Drink at the Weary Traveler

On our first night in town, we were looking for somewhere close for a drink and a bite.  Fortunately, the Weary Traveler was incredibly close to our Airbnb!  We got a spot up at the bar, grabbed 2 nitro stouts, a meat and cheese plate, and really enjoyed the atmosphere and incredibly friendly Madisonians.

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If you want to get a local feel for Madison, put the Weary Traveler on your list!

Get Some Time in Milwaukee – Especially the Historic 3rd Ward

On Sunday, our flight wasn’t until very late at night, so we took advantage of the extra time to explore Milwaukee’s Historic 3rd Ward.

Start your visit here by seeing the Milwaukee Public Market which has many fresh options ranging from Seafood to Sandwiches to Sushi and (of course) more cheese.

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If the Public Market is too busy for you or doesn’t have the right options, walk across the street to the Belgium Restaurant Cafe Benelux.

Here, you’ll find great Belgian and non-Belgian food options, great beers, and an amazing indoor-outdoor space that can accommodate whatever weather Milwaukee can throw its way.


Where to Stay

If you’re traveling, why wouldn’t you travel with Airbnb?  We absolutely love it and haven’t stayed in a hotel in over 3 years! Get $55 on us by using this link to book your next trip.

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Here’s where we stayed in Madison (use the link above for $55 off!):

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/7838433 

P.S. if you really want to maximize your travel, become an Airbnb host!

Fund your travel by renting your place.


 

Buffalo: Where Wings Meet Waterfalls

When you think of top vacation destinations, Buffalo, NY is probably not in your top 5 (or even your top 20!) But, several weeks ago, we spent a weekend in Buffalo and had a great time and wanted to share our top picks.

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Big shout out again to Southwest and their Companion Pass credit card bonus that we’re still taking advantage of as much as we can before it expires at the end of 2019.  Nothing makes it easier to visit more places like buy 1, get 1 free tickets!

So on to the deets: if you find yourself in Buffalo, whether for a wedding, a family trip, or a weekend getaway, here are the places you need to check out.

Buffalo Wings

Sure it’s a bit gimmicky, (Buffalo wings in Buffalo) but there’s a reason why the wings that were invented here in the 1960s took off across the country so fast.  They just do Buffalo wings right in Buffalo (Did we mention the wings here seem to be double the size of those anywhere else in the US?).

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Actual heaven.

Most people will recommend going to Anchor Bar, the original home of the Buffalo wing, for the best in town.  However, we’d actually recommend Gabriel’s Gate for a fantastic, off-the-beaten-path Buffalo wing feast (see above).  The wings are huge and you have tons of great options for flavors!

Niagara Falls

Buffalo is a short 30-minute drive from Niagara Falls.  The Canadian side of the falls has much more going on (zip lines, casinos, etc.), but if you’re just trying to see the falls up close, you can leave the passport at home.

In order to truly see the falls and feel their impressive fury, you need to take a trip on the Maid of Mist! After you fight your way through the lines of tourists at the entrance to the park, you’ll find yourself donning a poncho and fighting for the best seat on the boat.

And by seat, we mean there are actually no seats and you’ll be hanging onto the railing of the boat as you near the falls.

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Try to put your phone down and soak up the awesome beauty of one of the most amazing natural attractions we’ve ever seen.  The sheer force of the misty wind and the sound of the falls are incredibly impressive.

As for the attractions surrounding the U.S. side of the falls… be prepared to find yourself back in the 1970s, where it seems NOTHING has been updated or renovated since your parents took a road trip here as kids.

Theodore Roosevelt Inauguration House

As you may or may not know…. the Mitchell’s have a slight fascination with Teddy Roosevelt (He even made it into a a few of our wedding pics). We’re always up for a little history with our travel so we stopped by the Theodore Roosevelt Inauguration house before departing Buffalo on Sunday.  The inconspicuous house, located just a mile from downtown has incredible historical significance.

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It’s where the 26th President of the United States stayed while the 25th President, William McKinley was recovering from a gunshot wound.  When McKinley ultimately passed away, history was thrust onto this location where Roosevelt took the oath of office in the living room and began his incredible tenure as President.

At this house, you’ll also find a passionate historian leading the tour (at least we did!) who really enjoys her job and is great at it.  You’re guaranteed to learn a thing or two about our favorite president with a visit to this historical house.

Canalside District

The Erie Canal brought prosperity (and a lot of crime!) to historic Buffalo.  Today, a major effort to revitalize the Canalside district has made it a fun area to visit year-round.  We visited on a warm summer day and enjoyed walking nearby the water as boats came in and out of Buffalo.  In the winter, they freeze a massive area here for skating (see below!)

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Giacobbi’s Cucina Citta (Italian Restaurant)

If you’re craving Italian while visiting Buffalo or have a big crowd to feed, we highly recommend Giacobbi’s.  We had 4 in our group, including a few Italians (Meagan and her mom!), and they were blown away by this hidden gem in the city.

img_6008.jpgThe menu has all of the traditional favorites and is served family-style. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs because we ended up with so much extra delicious food (yay for leftovers). The service and hospitality here were top-notch, making us all feel like we were dining in at Grandma’s for Sunday dinner.


If you’re traveling, why wouldn’t you travel with Airbnb?  We absolutely love it and haven’t stayed in a hotel in over 3 years! Get $55 on us by using this link to book your next trip.

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P.S. if you really want to maximize your travel, become an Airbnb host!

Fund your travel by renting your place.


 

 

 

 

 

Aruba: One Happy Island

2019 has been the year of travel for the Mitchells.

We decided to celebrate our 30th birthday Caribbean style with one of our best friends in Aruba! Why Aruba you ask? Well, it is a Southwest destination, which we have flown exclusively now that we have the companion pass. BOGO tickets!

We also heard wonderful things about Aruba from family and friends. From the pristine beaches to the friendly people and adventure sports to exploring the island…Aruba seemed like the perfect spot to celebrate the big 3-0.

And as we dreamed it would be, Aruba was the perfect destination. We have ventured to several Caribbean destinations over the past 5 years, but Aruba easily claimed the top spot.

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The beaches and water are among the cleanest and most beautiful we have ever seen. We also had plenty of adventure and water sports to keep us busy… but of course, we also enjoyed just laying out and relaxing.

Where to Stay

  • Eagle Beach area (Airbnb or Costa Linda)
    • Our Airbnb was less than a 5-minute walk from Eagle Beach and offered nice peace + quiet, plus a large pool, grills, hot tub, restaurant, and a market.
    • Several people on our flight raved about the Costa Linda! They have been coming back for years.
  • Palm Beach (if you want the all-inclusive, but touristy experience) – Also this is where you’ll find most of the action sports (jet ski, tube, boat, etc)

Best Beaches

  • Eagle Beach (voted top 3 beach in the world!) This beach was absolutely breathtaking. It is also very quiet and subdued. We came here to lay and relax every day and loved the beautiful turquoise waters and smooth and clean sand. This was the highlight of our trip and definitely a must see beach! 

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  • Arachi Beach (also very quiet and has a fun running jump into the water!) + a nice swimming cove nestled underneath the rock outcroppings

Activities You Don’t Want to Miss

  • ATV or UTV Tour – You can cover almost all of the island in 3 hours. We opted for the morning tour (8 am) which is highly recommended – the sites tend to get crowded closer to lunchtime. The ATV’s were WILD! This is a must do for thrill seekers! Be sure to wear water shoes. We missed this memo and ended up with some torn up feet! 

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  • Natural pool (before all the tour groups show up)
  • Hidden natural pool (about 1000 ft south of the abandoned gold mine)
  • Get out on the water! (Whether it’s a boat tour, tubing, jet ski rentals or a booze cruise) Aruba has some of the most beautiful water imaginable and it’s even better from a boat. 
  • Sunsets: Make sure to see at least one sunset on the beach while you’re in Aruba, they are magical.  Bringing a bottle of wine makes it even better!

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Things to Be Careful About

  • Sand fleas (wear bug spray even if you don’t see or feel the bugs!)
  • Spending too much $$$ on groceries: Aruba is a small island and has to import almost everything.  Cheerios, for example, cost more than $8.  Save money by buying local fish/food and generic brands instead of the ones you usually buy in the US
  • Downtown gets really crowded when a cruise is in port.  Avoid it and hang by the beaches to the north!
  • Rent a car when visiting Aruba.  It’s going to be pretty difficult to get around otherwise! We relied heavily on our rental car and found it to be very affordable! 

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  • Aruba is a very small island. It is totally a place to kick back and relax. However, unlike islands like Puerto Rico, there is much less to do (aside from the beach) to keep you busy.

Great Things About Aruba

  • Everyone speaks English
  • Everyone accepts US dollars and almost everyone accepted credit cards
  • No hassling you for money when you’re on the beach
  • Almost nowhere we went ever felt “crowded”
  • Very safe and friendly people!
  • The weather is beautiful almost every day.  It was 82, sunny, and windy (yes it is ALWAYS windy in Aruba) all 5 of the days we spent in Aruba. 

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If you are looking for a spot to kick back and relax while soaking up some spectacular ocean views…Aruba is a must do!

We decided that from now on Aruba has become our “go to” Caribbean oasis. Aruba…we will see you again very soon!


If you’re traveling, why wouldn’t you travel with Airbnb?  We absolutely love it and haven’t stayed in a hotel in over 3 years!

Get $55 on us by using this link to book your next trip.

1405612741-airbnb-why-new-logo

P.S. if you really want to maximize your travel, become an Airbnb host!

Fund your travel by renting your place.


 

 

Sweet Home Oklahoma (City)

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Places to Visit

University of Oklahoma

Just a short drive from downtown OKC (20 minutes) is Norman, OK, home of the University of Oklahoma.  By now, you should know that no trip is complete without Meagan and me stopping by the local college campus!

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We really enjoyed the OU campus, which is absolutely MASSIVE! We’d recommend a stroll through fraternity/sorority row and the Parrington Oval, the focal point of the campus.

It goes without saying that you should also walk past the football stadium. You will find quite a few statues of famous players there (still waiting on the Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray ones which are sure to pop up soon!).

Oklahoma City National Memorial + Museum

While visiting Oklahoma City, make sure to stop by the impressive and moving National Memorial and Museum.  The events, the memorials, and the heroes of that fateful day in April 1995 are well preserved at the museum.

The cost is $15 per person, which we found well worth the money.  The outdoor memorial, located on the site of the former Murrah Federal Building, is incredibly well done and worth a visit. Make sure to check out the memorial fence, where gifts are left behind to honor the victims and survivors of the bombing.

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Will Rogers Park

We stumbled upon Will Rogers Park in Northwest OKC as we were looking to kill some time before Meagan got a massage.  The expansive park is a beautiful respite from downtown OKC and has great, windy walking trails. This park turned out to be such a pleasant surprise and is a great place to unwind and relax.

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For those big on the ‘gram there are countless instagrammable scenes at Will Rogers park.

Wheeler District

On the fringes of OKC just across the river, there is a Ferris Wheel (hence the name!) This fresh and up and coming part of OKC hosts concerts, fitness classes, and has many, many, many hammocks to just chill.  Additionally, the park and district borders a running and biking trail for those looking to get their exercise in!

Plus, there is this great OKC sign there to do posts like this:IMG_4141.jpg

Places to Eat

The Mule!

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Just a few blocks from our AirBnb was the Plaza District- a super trendy and very hipster section of town. We read multiple rave reviews about The Mule and it did not disappoint (Just look at this amazing grub)!

They serve up speciality cocktails including their house – you guessed it- MULE alongside gourmet grilled cheese. If you ever have the chance, check this place out! YUM!

Fuzzy’s Tacos

Fuzzy’s Tacos has a few locations in OKC and trust us, they do not disappoint! We ate at the location on OU campus and sampled the enchiladas, tacos, and a chilled goblet of beer (which was absolutely perfect on a hot day).  Make sure to carve out some time for swinging by Fuzzy’s on your trip to OKC.

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Where to Stay

We really had NO idea where to stay when we booked this trip. Our Airbnb (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/25482625) was near the Plaza District and was a quick drive to most areas of the city.

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We suggest renting a car – the city is pretty spread out and a car makes it much easier to get around. Bricktown also has an abundance of hotels and was a very popular and happening area down by the Oklahoma River.

Go off the beaten path on your next weekend getaway and check out OKC!  You’ll love the people, the food, and the laid back lifestyle.


If you’re traveling, why wouldn’t you travel with Airbnb?  We absolutely love it and haven’t stayed in a hotel in over 3 years!

Get $55 on us by using this link to book your next trip.

1405612741-airbnb-why-new-logo

P.S. if you really want to maximize your travel, become an Airbnb host!

Fund your travel by renting your place.


 

 

Colombia: Mountains and Beaches Abound!

The Mitchells Take on South America: Colombia Edition 

Must Do

Bogota: We started our South American adventure at 8,660 feet above sea level in the sprawling capitol city of over 8 million residents.

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Bogota is a booming metropolis with views of the surrounding mountains mixed with a bustling downtown and urban city center. The city is incredibly active, especially on Sundays when the city closes many (usually busy) downtown streets to cars. We were fortunate to arrive on Sunday morning and got to take full advantage of a car-less downtown.

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Monserrate: Less than a few miles from where we were staying in Bogota was Monserrate, a large mountain directly overlooking the city. There are three ways to the top: a cable car, a funicular, and a very steep and very unstable path.

We chose option 1 (and we’re glad we did!)

The ride was beautiful and well worth the price of less than $10 USD. At the top of the hill is a very large church and a few restaurants that leave you thinking: how the heck did they get all of these building materials up here?!

The view is incredible at the top of the mountain, the pictures simply don’t do it justice.

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One thing we’d recommend when on the top of the mountain: take it easy! You are over 10,000 feet above sea level and it’s really easy to get out of breath and light-headed very quickly.

Another recommendation: If you have the time (about an hour), take the hiking path back down.

Note: We only recommend doing this if you are in good health. The pavement is unstable at points and definitely rough on the joints. Meagan’s last knee injuries certainly didn’t make things easy! However, there are plenty of places to stop on the way down and plenty of brave souls making the hike up the path (P.S. Only do this if you’re a true pro and in great shape)

Cartagena: Cartagena is the sparkling gem of Colombia. This beach city was originally not on our itinerary, but after we spoke with friends who had been to Colombia before, we quickly changed our plans and added a cheap flight from Bogota.

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The moment we arrived, we were in love. Cartagena has a Miami beach vibe without the crowds. We stayed in an amazing (and affordable) Airbnb that boasted unbelievable ocean views from our bed and a 70-foot balcony (you read that right, check it out below).

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This was the highlight of our trip! We sat on the balcony, sipped cocktails and finally just had the time to relax. Even when we had to do a little work on the trip, it was hard not to smile when doing it from this balcony.

Cartagena is like many tourist beach areas though: If you are on Bocagrande beach (the most popular), expect many vendors to come up to you offering to sell hats, drinks, even massages.  Work on your “no gracias”, you’ll be using it quite a few times!

Things to know before traveling to Colombia:

The vendors can be very aggressive. They may come up and start massaging you, stroking your hair, putting hats on your head, etc in hopes you will pay for a good or service. We found it best to ignore their attempts at selling items- the more you speak with them the pushier they get.

Some people (read: our parents) still have the perception that Colombia is unsafe.

Let us tell you, Colombia was very, very safe (even compared to other places we’ve traveled recently). We never felt uncomfortable and the people were always friendly and very helpful.

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You’re going to need to speak some basic Spanish to get around (taxis, restaurants, etc.), but even a novice armed with Google Translate can easily get by.

The US dollar goes a LOOONG way here. A 15 minute taxi ride was about $2-4 USD, lunch averaged around $4-6 USD per person and dinner around $15 per person with drinks. One last pro-tip: Download the Rappi app, it’s a mix of Postmates, Uber Eats and any other on demand delivery app you’ve ever seen. Best of all, it’s super cheap!

We loved how far we could stretch our money here! Another great reason why you need to bump Colombia up to the top of your travel list.

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Look how happy and relaxed we are!

As you can see from the pictures, Colombia was beautiful and we will definitely be back! One more continent down for MittenToMunich – Although we still have many more countries on the travel list in this beautiful part of the Southern Hemisphere.


If you’re traveling, why wouldn’t you travel with Airbnb?  We absolutely love it and haven’t stayed in a hotel in over 3 years!

Get $55 on us by using this link to book your next trip.

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P.S. if you really want to maximize your travel, become an Airbnb host!

Fund your travel by renting your place.


 

 

Ireland: A Green World of Wonder

We’re on our way back from Ireland and, wow, what a trip! In only a few short days, Ireland jumped up to the top of our favorite travel destinations and it’s one we’ll definitely be back to.  As a bonus, the locals are among the nicest people we’ve ever encountered in our travels.

So even if Ireland wasn’t at the top of your list for travel destinations, read this post and maybe you’ll bump it up a few spots too.

Continue reading “Ireland: A Green World of Wonder”

Deep Creek, MD: Winter Wonderland

This past weekend, we travelled with 10 friends to Deep Creek, MD.  Deep Creek is just about as far as you can travel west in Maryland and a 3 hour drive from DC.

Where to Stay

Deep Creek is FULL of vacation homes and they are all very affordable, especially with a large group.  We booked through Taylor Made and our house came to about $130/person for 2 nights.

Just make sure to either bring/rent a 4WD car/truck or park on the street.  The driveways are treacherous and we definitely got super stuck!

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What to Do

  1. Invite Lots of Friends!

Like almost anything, the Winter Wonderland of Deep Creek is more fun with friends!  We had a group of 10 and had a great time playing games, watching football, and venturing out into the snowy wilderness.

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2. Take a Nature Walk

Deep Creek is beautiful year-round.

Make sure you take advantage of the abundance of nature and simply walk around in the woods.  We went on a quick walk and found what must be one of the most picturesque rivers in the United States.

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3. Ski/Snowboard at Wisp

During the Winter, Wisp Ski Resort is the major attraction in Deep Creek.

Although it can’t compete with the mountains in Vermont, Canada, or out West, Wisp holds its own as one of the best mountains in the MD, VA, WV region.

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Where to Eat

Deep Creek has surprisingly good food and drink options for a resort town.

We’d highly recommend both Dutch’s at Silvertree and Ace’s Run.  Both offer great views of the lake, a hearty winter menu and great local beers on tap.

They are the perfect places to stop as you get to town or for a late lunch after a day on the slopes!

 

Get Outside and Enjoy the Winter!


If you’re traveling, why wouldn’t you travel with Airbnb?  We absolutely love it and haven’t stayed in a hotel in over 3 years!

Get $55 on us by using this link to book your next trip.

1405612741-airbnb-why-new-logo

P.S. if you really want to maximize your travel, become an Airbnb host!

Fund your travel by renting your place.


 

 

Hoboken: Life on the Hudson

Welcome to Hoboken!

This weekend, we traveled to Hoboken, NJ.  We actually have been to Hoboken a LOT over the past few years visiting our best friend, but we thought it was time to finally write a post about what we love about this small city on the Hudson!

If you aren’t familiar with Hoboken, it’s in New Jersey directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan, just a quick ferry bus or train ride into the city. But it feels a world away from the skyscrapers in the distance with a small town laid back neighborhood vibe.

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Things to Do

Hoboken is very well known for it’s food scene.  So you may notice that our “things to do” follows theme closely.  Hope you enjoy (and don’t get too hungry!)

Visit the Delis

  • Vito’s: It’s hard to go wrong with any one of Vito’s speciality heroes, but we’d recommend the Chicken Florentine, Garden State or the Soprano.  At the very least, make sure to get a sandwich with ‘Mutz (that’s Mozzarella for the uninitiated – Hoboken has a Mutz festival every year too, but that’s a whole other blog post!)

 

Grab a Bagel (or a Dozen!)

On pretty much every block (maybe even every 3rd store) there is a bagel shop.  Like the Deli scene, it’s hard to go wrong with bagels in Hoboken, but here are a few of our favorites.  Make sure to get a few extra to take home! If Alex had his way he would eat bagels for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  • OBagel: Alex usually goes for the Bacon, Egg, and Cheese, but if you’re looking for something a little on the lighter side, OBagel offers an incredible selection of over 20 different types of cream cheese!

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  • Bagels on the Hudson: While OBagel is our first pick, Bagels on the Hudson is open 24 hours/day which is very important when you’re looking for a bite on your way back from Manhattan. This shop is no frills but also has a pretty long line (whether it be at 9 am or 3 am).

Stevens Campus

Hoboken isn’t ALL about food! Make sure to venture onto the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology, an engineering school nestled along the Hudson and the middle of Hoboken.

 

Take the Ferry to the City

This past weekend, we did something we had never done before in Hoboken.  We took the ferry to the city.  While it was on the more expensive side ($9 one-way), the city skyline at night + the speed of the trip (10 minutes) made it a fun way to get across the river.

Pick up the ferry at 14th street, they run every ~30 minutes on the weekend and you can buy tickets right where you get picked up.

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Bryant Park Skating Rink

Happy Holidays

We hope you and yours have a great holiday season with friends and family!  Thank you for reading Mitten to Munich and we promise to keep sharing tips and tricks in the New Year!

 

 

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If you’re traveling, why wouldn’t you travel with Airbnb?  We absolutely love it and haven’t stayed in a hotel in over 3 years!

Get $55 on us by using this link to book your next trip.

1405612741-airbnb-why-new-logo

P.S. if you really want to maximize your travel, become an Airbnb host!

Fund your travel by renting your place.