Author Archive

Back in May, D and I went on a quick glamping jaunt with some friends. We stopped by his parents’ house in Las Vegas, and then made our way over to the Grand Canyon, followed by Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and parts of Grand Staircase near Paige, Arizona. One the most memorable parts of our trip was touring the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons, narrow slot canyons formed by thousands of years of rain and erosion. The light inside of the canyons made for some pretty spectacular photography…so without further ado, here you go. Read More

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The Plitvice Lakes are located a 4 hour drive north of Split. We spent an entire day there, and the photo above does a great job of explaining why it was worth the drive and the duration of the day.

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After a night in Split, we took off the next morning to start our island-hopping along the Dalmatian Coast. Our tour, booked through Split Excursions, departed from the dock by the main promenade. The speedboat ride from Split takes about an hour to Hvar. In late May, the water was still quite chilly. I highly recommend bringing a jacket along with a long sleeve shirt to wear, as the wind can get quite frisky. Once we arrived in Hvar, we met with a local guide who showed us around the old town, and then had a few hours on our own. Read More

12 Days in Croatia, Montenegro, & Malta

We’ve finally sorted through all our wedding stuff (if you’ve gotten married before, you know what I’m talking about) and I found a few spare moments last week to sort through our honeymoon photos. D and I are headed off to London and Paris later this week (in keeping of our wedding vows to act as one another’s travel buddies), but we’ve got a lineup of photos and details of all the places we visited on our honeymoon. In typical Darwin style, we’ll kick this off by sharing our full itinerary and budget for the 12 days we spent in Croatia, Montenegro, and Malta. Really I should just cross off Montenegro because we only went there for a day trip, but it’s worth a mention anyhow. A few notes in hindsight:

  • Avoid transferring through Frankfurt if at all possible. We found the airport to be enormous and inefficient, with inconsistent security policies.
  • In the name of transparency, we’ve shared the majority of our expenses (dining not included). We were on our honeymoon, so we felt it was worth it to splurge a bit on experiences (a la day trips vis-a-vis island hopping in the Dalmatian Coast). We kept costs reasonable on airfare and hotels by utilizing points wherever possible.
  • Long story short: Prolong your stay in Croatia because it’s insanely beautiful. You’re probably okay skipping Montenegro and Malta if you’re short on time.

Click for the full itinerary, and check back for reviews on our lodging, dining, and travel experiences!

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Howdy, friends! If you follow us on Facebook you know that earlier today we posted a photo from Dubrovnik, Croatia, aka King’s Landing, Westeros from Game of Thrones. Anyway, the reason we are here (you know, besides the fact that Croatia is a beautiful country and we like to travel and all that fun stuff) is because we are on our honeymoon! Yup. Darren and I tied the knot last Saturday. Lots of info to share on Croatia and photos from our wedding later,  but in the meantime, you can follow along our adventures on Instagram @winnie_dora and @thedarebear. Montenegro tomorrow! I’ll just leave you with our same day edit by the amazingly talented Ryan Geldermann.

 

This past weekend I spent time in Orlando, Florida for my bachelorette party with 7 of my bestest friends. Being the nerdy granny that I am, I knew that an all-night rager in Vegas, Miami, or one of the other usual suspects was probably not in store for me. Enter Harry Potter world at Universal Studios…dreams really do come true, guys and gals. I’ve got a few thoughts and tips to share if you intend on making Orlando/Universal Studios your bachelorette party destination, but first, a few snapshots.

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1. We stayed at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, one of the four onsite hotels that allow you to access early admission into Universal Studios. The resort had a cute 50s retro theme and include multiple pools, including a lazy river that you could float around in.

2. We all received Harry Potter style glasses as part of our favors.

3. Also included in our goodie bags were temporary tattoos that read “I belong to Winnie’s bachelorette party. If found, please buy me a butterbeer!”

4. And t-shirts/tanks that read “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good” Adorbs.

5. The Hogwarts castle where the Forbidden Journey ride takes place. With early admission, we only waited 30 minutes for the ride. I was blown away at the extent of the details inside the park, from the holograms, to the talking pictures, to the random knick knacks found in the books and movies.

6. Likewise, the village of Hogsmeade was chockful of details, including the faux snow on the rooftops.

7. Inside of Honeydukes, enough candy to satisfy even the most sugar-fiending signficant other (*cough Darren*)

8. Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes also had a lot of sweets to the tune of “U-No-Poo”, “Puking Pastilles” and other treats as found in the book.

9. Tried my first [frozen] butterbeer and butterbeer ice cream. It tasted like a combination of butterscotch and cream soda and was delicious…for the first ten sips. I recommend sharing with a friend, as I found it to be quite sugary.

10. We ate at the Leaky Cauldron for lunch, which features English cuisine. I had 2 mini-pies which included fisherman’s pie and cottage pie.

11. The architecture and decor inside of Gringotts bank for the Escape from Gringotts ride was absolutely breathtaking. Our whole group literally exclaimed, “WOW” when we caught a glimpse of the main room when making our way in. Unfortunately most of us left our cameras in the locker, so this is the only evidence I have. The ride was also my favorite.

12. Hagrid’s motorcycle and side car. The park(s) were full of details like this that made for ideal photo opportunities.