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in Europe, My Travels, Travel

Overnight in Ronda, Malaga

Last weekend, my husband and I made a last minute decision to go on a road trip.  We’ve finally gotten settled here in Spain, so we figured, why not get out and explore??  One thing that we’ve heard is a must do in Spain is to be in town during a Feria weekend.  Ferias are local annual festivals that occur throughout Spain (and southern France) throughout the spring and summer months.  We unfortunately missed the Feria here in Rota, so we decided to head to Ronda, Malaga to catch the Feria de Pedro Romero.  We were only there for one night, but it was such a beautiful little town, and I definitely plan to return!  If you ever find yourself in Malaga, here are a few things to do:

Grab Lunch at Bodega el Socorro

We arrived at our Airbnb in Ronda (use my referral link if you don’t have an account already) in the early afternoon, so we had a few hours to kill before the Feria festivities started.  The apartment we stayed in was right in the middle of everything, so we decided to wander around for a while to find somewhere to eat lunch.  Finally, we came across Bodega el Socorro.  We had several tapas and a few rounds of drinks, and all of it was delicious.

 

See a bullfight at Plaza del Toro

After our delicious lunch, we stopped by Plaza del Toro to pick up tickets to the bullfight.  Bullfights are basically the pinnacle of the Feria in Ronda, and since neither of us had ever seen one in person, we wanted to get our seats early.

Did you know that they kill the bulls in front of the audience at the end of the fight?!  I didn’t :(. Not sure what I thought was supposed to happen, but I definitely wasn’t ready.  Either way, it was an interesting experience and I recommend going to watch if you find yourself in town during Feria week.

Take in the views at Paseo de Blas Infante

Just a few steps from the Plaza del Toro is Paseo de Blas Infante, one of the most recommended spots in Ronda, for good reason.  It is made up of beautiful gardens that lead up to a breathtaking lookout point from which you can take in panoramic views of the countryside.

 

Head to the Feria Grounds

Later on in the evening (after napping for a few hours, of course), we took a taxi to the Feria grounds.  Its a really family friendly event, that involves drinks, dancing, rides, and people dressed in beautiful Feria dresses!

Wine Tasting at Bodega Joaquin Fernando

The next morning, we decided to make our way over to Bodega Joaquin Fernando.  It is an organic winery in the middle of the countryside, so the views from the vineyard were beautiful!  We were the first people to show up for the day, so we pretty much got our own private tour of the vineyard and seller.  Moises, our guide, was very knowledgeable and walked us through the entire wine making process.  After the tour, we were given a tasting of several wines, along with sliced ham and cheese pairings.

 

 

Ronda was such a beautiful little town.  While we definitely plan on exploring other towns within driving distance, Ronda is definitely a place we plan on returning to.  What about you?  If you’ve spent time in Spain and have some favorite small towns, recommend them in the comments!

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A Year In Review: My 2016 Highlights

For most of us, today is an opportunity to leave old habits and memories in the past.  Most of us are also making new plans and resolutions for the future.  But first, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on my 2016 highlights.

Ringing in 2016 in Capetown, South Africa

Last year, my sister along with about 16 other friends decided to go on an epic trip to Capetown, South Africa to ring in the new year.  We went on a safari, ate lots of great food, visited several vineyards, and paid a visit to Table Mountain!  Capetown (and the surrounding area) is BEAUTIFUL, and I will definitely make it a point to go back.

Martinique

I’d been wanting to go to Martinique since forever!  It seemed like such a colorful and interesting place, and of course a beautiful landscape.  Unfortunately, flights from the east coast to Martinique were SUPER expensive, and lack of American tourism meant that accommodations were scarce and expensive.

But, with new flight service with Norwegian airlines starting last year, and the new popularity of Airbnb, I was finally able to get over there and I was not disappointed (check out my recap of the trip)!  All the food was delicious, and the beaches were gorgeous and unspoiled.  I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time there as I would have liked, so I will definitely be returning.

I Got Married!

My husband and I decided to get married last year, exactly one year from the day we met (he’s a romantic like that).  We initially got married in a VERY informal and small ceremony (me, my husband, and my friends who married us) in my kitchen, and had an actual ceremony later in the summer.  Obviously this is my #1 highlight of the year, but I wanted to go in chronological order for the sake of this post.  Forgive me lol.

Saint Maarten

For my birthday, my husband and I decided to go to Saint Maarten to celebrate.  I found a nice studio apartment within walking distance of Orient Bay beach.  It was just a really relaxing time, with beautiful beach views and awesome weather every day.

Our Honeymoon in Cancun

For our honeymoon, my husband and I spent 10 days in Cancun.  We stayed an an awesome all-inclusive resort, called Secrets The Vine.  The resort itself was enough to make the vacation awesome, but we also went on a tour to see Tulum and Xel-Ha, as well as other adventures we chose to do on our own.  It was an awesome trip!

My Friend’s Birthday Cruise

One of my closest friends hit her 30th birthday this year, and to celebrate, several friends and family members all joined her on a cruise to Nassau, Bahamas.  Unfortunately we only had a day to spend on the island, but it was great catching up with her and our other mutual friends that I had not seen in a while!

What about you?  Any experiences or achievements in 2016 that you are especially proud of or excited about!  What are your travel goals for 2017?  Post it in the comments!

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5 Reasons You Should Purchase Travel Insurance

I know, I know.  Travel Insurance seems like an unnecessary expense when you’re still high from the excitement of that awesome travel deal you just booked.  However, there are lots of unknowns that could happen before and during your trip that could add on to your total travel costs, big time.  Here are some things you should consider before you skip travel insurance.

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8 Must Have Items For Your Next Beach Vacation

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Turks and Caicos: Go Off The Beaten Path

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos is a beautiful island.  It has some of the best beaches i’ve ever visited, and the people are super friendly!  One thing I did notice on my first (of many) trips though, is that it is not immediately obvious where to go to experience local culture and food.  Grace Bay is ranked one of the best beaches in the world, and has many luxury hotels and condominiums on its beachfront, but they are generally European style.  Check out some of these places to get a little local flavor.

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Beautiful Saint Maarten: Our Stay in Orient Bay

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