Throwdown Thursday: Long Flight to Australia

Throwdown Thursday: Can She Handle the Long Flight to Australia?

Paul and I both would really love to visit Australia some day. We would love to tour wineries in the Shiraz valley, snorkel the Great Barrier reef, get up close to a kangaroo or a koala, and visit the vast Australian Outback. And, of course, we would love to play poker in some of Australia’s best poker rooms. If we ever manage this trip, we would probably wrap in a visit to New Zealand along the way. Unfortunately, I do not handle a long flight well. I feel a panic attack coming on at the mere idea of being stuck in a coach class seat for the 23 hours it would take to fly from Boston to Sydney.

Paul: One word….medication. OK, two words…heavy medication. This is why Xanax was given to human kind by the lab gods. You’ll be fine and likely remember very little.

Heather: You know that’s not going to happen. It’s not like I can’t fly normal distances. I’m not flight phobic.  It’s just that the idea of being trapped in a metal box for a 23 hour long flight makes my skin crawl. I mean, can you imagine THE BOREDOM?

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Atlantic Beach Florida - Vacation Budget Buster

Our Romantic Weekend Getaway in Atlantic Beach Florida

Last weekend was the one year anniversary of our amazing New Orleans dream wedding. It also marked the third week of punishing New England winter weather. Our kids actually had four and a half days off school in the past two weeks due to snowstorms. Let’s be honest, it’s been brutal. So when it came time to plan for our first anniversary trip, we knew that it had to be a weekend getaway in the South. Between my worsening Vitamin D deficiency and a mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, I knew that I had to see the sun. Fortunately, we planned a romantic weekend trip to sunny Atlantic Beach Florida.

Atlantic Beach is on the Atlantic coast of Florida about half an hour from Jacksonville. We were extremely fortunate that the weather was in the upper 70s and sunny for most of our stay. We were able to walk the white sand beaches, explore Neptune Beach, Amelia Island, and St. Augustine, sit by the hotel pool, and walk extensively around the area near our hotel. Atlantic Beach Florida turned out to be ideally situated for a wide variety of activities.

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Dream Wedding on a Budget in New Orleans

Our Dream Wedding on a Budget in New Orleans

Paul and I are coming up on the first anniversary of our wedding this month (yep, we’re newlyweds). Did you know that the average wedding cost in the United States last year was over $25,000? Paul and I agreed that we had no interest in spending that kind of money on our wedding. We are working to side hustle and save money wherever we can in order to achieve our dream of a year traveling the country. Rather than drop $25k, we planned an amazing wedding in our favorite city, New Orleans, on almost no budget at all. How did we do it? A lot of careful planning and research enabled us to have a wedding on a budget that was also the wedding of our dreams.

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6 Travel Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

6 Travel Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Heather and I generally travel well together. We do our research, weigh our options, and come to decisions that we both feel good about.  On trips we often praise ourselves for the fine job we did planning such a spectacular vacation. (Sadly, that’s true. We actually do.)

But, nobody’s perfect.

We have made our share of travel mistakes. We share them here in the hopes that you can avoid them on your own travels.

1. Traveling North for New Year’s

Our most recent oops. Last month we reviewed our impressions of Montreal. The city certainly has a lot of destination appeal. However, amid a record breaking cold snap this appeal plummets. We thought: how much colder can Montreal be compared to Boston at New Year’s? Answer: Nose snapping instant frostbite colder.

There’s a reason that people in the Northeast go south in the winter. I accept the logic now.

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Habitat 67 in Montreal

Montreal: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Montreal is one of the most complex cities I have ever visited. It is culturally rich, steeped in history, and ground zero for French-English bi-culturalism and its attendant debates. It is also an industrial port, forged by its strategic location on the St. Lawrence river. It’s modern and international yet traditional and insular. The beautiful and ugly co-exist in single perspective views of Montreal as in few other places.

I have been to Montreal 5-6 times in my life and three times within the past two years with Heather. Our recent sojourns were driven by initial curiosity about the poker scene after seeing the Playground Poker Club on a televised tournament. It turns out that the Casino Montreal also has a decent poker room. Enjoying both, and the fact that Montreal is only a 5 hour drive from our house, we have returned twice in the summer and most recently over the New Year’s weekend.

However, I must admit I am still divided on Montreal as a vacation destination. Let’s start with the positives.

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