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Travel

Third Trimester: 28 Weeks Pregnant

December 18, 2016

Holy Moly, we are in the third trimester at 28 weeks. I can’t decide if it feels like I’ve been pregnant forever, or if it’s been speeding by. All I know is that I find myself battling between enjoying this time and counting the days until our little babe is here.

We went to mammoth with our family this week, last time we went most of the snow had melted so it was wonderful to get to see it as a winter wonderland this time around. Of course, I stayed inside for most of the time since I am banned from snowboarding. (Alright I admit even if I was allowed I probably would have skipped it). Instead I got to fulfill my baby fever by watching my sweet niece and our little girl’s future best friend, Avery, who is 2.5 months old.

Third Trimester – Symptoms:

  • Sore ribs: Ugh, I know it’s minor but my ribs, particularly on my right side are completely bruised.
  • Nesting: Definitely nesting, I just want to make the house perfect. However, since we just moved in May, there is a lot left to do and on one income, at least for now, it makes it really hard not to spend money on the extra things. These include art and decor, toys for our wee one and other items that would help with convenience but we are obviously surviving without. – Just gotta wait for those sales!
  • Sleeplessness: I guess I should just take it in stride, (and just get used to it already) but every night I wake up for a few hours and can’t fall asleep/get comfortable. Seems like it’s normal with all the changes happening, I literally have to throw my belly side to side to flip over in the bed.

I’ll add to the list if I think of anything else, but this is all that comes to mind right now.

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Grand Canyon Road Trip

November 27, 2016
Antelope Canyon

Over the Thanksgiving holiday we decided to take some time to check off another bucket list item before this little girl gets here. We opted to do a “Grand Canyon road trip” through Southern Utah and Northern Arizona to see a few of the national sights on our way to San Diego, where we ultimately celebrated Thanksgiving with Andrew’s side of the family.

We had a lot we wanted to see and covered a lot of ground in a very short amount of time. I’m sure we would have loved to add a few more stops but being preggo and it being cold outside is slightly limiting as far as intensity of activities and flexibility to camp where-ever. May not be such a great idea to camp in the snow on a deflated air mattress while lugging around those extra lbs on your belly. Don’t ask, but I will say, getting in and out of an air mattress that isn’t completely firm is near impossible while expecting. – If I may though, I have to give myself credit for being ok camping and sitting in a car for 2000+ miles considering the circumstances.

The ride was well worth it. Here are the stops we made:

Death Valley: Our first stop was in Death Valley. Here we stayed at Stovepipe Wells a first-come first-serve campground with a solo bar and general store. We arrived as the sun was going down and got to see an amazing light show by way of the infinite stars and when we left in the morning got to walk out through the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. 

Zion National Park: Our first day here we were able to do a couple hikes through the park and overnight it started to storm. On our way out, due to the flash flooding, we were in for a treat because the entire national park turns into a bed of a million waterfalls. – Anywhere you can imagine water pouring, there is. It was quite incredible. I am just sorry I don’t have any good images capturing the beauty of it.

Antelope Canyon: It was actually quite pricy to get in here, about $46 per person, which to me is a lot for what lasted about 30 minutes. The land formations are unlike any other though, and I don’t regret splurging to have checked it off our list. Our guide was really informative and, due to the rain, which miraculously let up as soon as we got inside, the crowds had dispersed leaving us to take some really wonderful pictures without interruption.

Horseshoe Bend: Horseshoe bend was one of the most beautiful places. We were standing on top of the cliffs and it simply didn’t look real. The photo where I am sitting on the ledge I remember thinking, and it took a moment to realize how small and vulnerable we are in this huge and incredible world.

Monument Valley: Monument Valley closes around 4:30 in the wintertime so I would definitely recommend looking into that before you go. We got there at 4:31 and after a little shameless begging, somehow, convinced the lady at the gate to let us in. We had currently been watching WestWorld which made us appreciate the amazing monuments even more.

Grand Canyon: BRR! We got up early for some sunrise pictures, froze our fingers and noses and didn’t even get anything worthy – you won’t see any of the pictures we took here. However, it was definitely awe inspiring to actually be there overlooking the landscape as the sun woke up.

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Italy – Positano, Amalfi Coast

September 25, 2016

Positano was like a dream. Cute shops and boutiques overlooking the mediterranean, salty sea water, fresh salami and prosciutto, basil, tomato sandwiches, cotton candy sunsets, and what feels like a million stairs to climb.

I have always been inspired by the mediterranean for my home decor so I was in heaven for the three days that we were in Positano and on the Amalfi Coast. I just want arches of morning glory and bougainvillea dripping from my fence. – Luckily both of these grow pretty easily around here so perhaps next summer I can make my vision come to life.

We dipped our toes and floated in the sea, looked for sea glass, made some friends and on our last night we attended the locals’ annual fish festival, listened to live music, and worn out and sun-toasted passed out in our beds only to be woken up a few short hours later to the booming of a major firework show right outside our balcony. Ugh, take me back to Positano right now please.

 

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Italy – Tuscany, San Gimingano and Siena

September 22, 2016

As I mentioned last time, we spent a day taking a guided tour through Tuscany, San Gimingano and Siena. While we were extremely worn out by the end of the day it was a really wonderful way to get to see all of these places with someone knowledgable to show us around and teach us about the difference cultures, wines, histories, architectures etc. For example, did you know that Siena was a gothic city? Now you know ;-).

San Gimingano was a small medieval village that is, unfortunately, completely taken over by tourism. That being said, I realize it’s hypocritical that we took a tour there, and we did get an immersive experience, visiting cafes where Andrew and Aileen got wine, and I got chocolate.

Note: unless you REALLY love pepper don’t opt for peperone rossa chocolate. Contrary to my assumption, this does not mean you are buying some exotic rose flavored Italian chocolate… I am not a picky person but didn’t feel right throwing away expensive chocolate but every time we opened our bags the [incredibly potent] smell would overcome us until we finally gave up and tossed it.

Tuscany we got to wine taste (well Aileen and Andrew did) real Chianti in the Chianti region and eat lunch overlooking the rolling hills.

Siena was an amazing little town with gothic architecture and a wonderful history. I love that there has become a mix of buildings that are so archaic and modern shops in so much of Europe. It is so much more immersive, like you really feel as if you get to be a part of history; unique from having to stand behind a bunch of ropes and just look.

 

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Italy – Florence

September 21, 2016

I received insight from so many people that despite Florence being walkable, it was worth staying there longer than we did Rome. We were trying to decide where we wanted to spend three nights and I am really glad with our decision to stay here for the time we did. This allowed us to take a day trip to see the Tuscan countryside, Siena and San Gimignano, which I will post about in a separate update. Between the friendly pigeons, historic sights and architecture, delicious food and amazing street music we had an amazing time. The only thing I missed out on was being able to consume wine on the streets, a good trade for the opportunity to go with our little babe. – Already so well traveled!

I think one of the most magical moments in Florence was when we were walking through the streets and stumbled upon three string instruments being played in the courtyard of the Ufizzi Gallery. We had a chance to just sit and enjoy the beauty and really absorb the culture.

Aside from finding hole in the wall restaurants the one big name meal we would recommend getting is La Giostra, order the pear ravioli and you won’t be disappointed! Yum!! Ironically, we also had really good ramen in Florence, right by our AirBnB. It was what changed Andrew’s mind, he wasn’t a big fan prior.

Again we were able to walk all of Florence, and did so numerous times, twice (again) with our suitcases, those poor suckers really held up well!

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