Our big adventure for 2015 was a 15-day tour of China. We started in the smog of Beijing before heading to Wuhan, and then Jingzhou City to catch a cruise ship down the Yangtze River. We cruised through the Three Gorges, ending in Chongqing and then flew to Shanghai for our final few days. We saw a lot of memorable sights and met a lot of great folks in our tour group. It was another very memorable journey!
After returning from two weeks in Guatemala on Oct. 7th, we had one night at home before heading to Chicago so Tracey could run the Chicago Marathon. We were exhausted, but it was exciting to visit Chicago together for the first time. We explored the city a little every day, walking the Magnificent Mile and taking a train out to Wrigley Field, but the main event was the marathon. Tracey was amazing, finishing the race in just over four and a half hours! I was extremely proud (and a little in awe) of her.
After a summer of traveling in the US (and once to Canada), Tracey had a work trip to Guatemala and Michael was able to come along. After flying to Guatemala City, we headed immediately to Antigua, a small town full of historic Spanish colonial architecture. After a relaxing weekend in an amazing boutique hotel, we headed back to Guatemala City for a week of work. The next weekend, we traveled down to Monterrico on the Pacific coast, where we stayed in a (very) rustic hut right on the beach. After soaking up the warm weather and watching newly hatched turtles make their way to the sea, we went back to Guatemala City for another week of work before heading home.
For Memorial Day, we decided to take our first trip to our neighbors to the North, Canada. It’s a relatively easy trip up I-5 to Vancouver, where we spent a few days exploring the city. Vancouver is beautiful, surrounded by water and mountains on every side. Just outside the city, there are amazing parks like the Capilano Suspension Bridge park, where you can cross a slightly scary suspension bridge over a deep canyon and walk on catwalks built high in the treetops. We worked in a few runs, too, crossing over the Lions Gate Bridge on our first run and then going around Stanley Park the next day. Good thing we got in some exercise, since we also developed a taste for maple candy while we there.
After our escape to Mexico, Tracey had to immediately leave for a work trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, and Michael followed a few days behind. After spending a few days exploring the city, we rented a car, learned how to drive on the wrong side of the road and headed to Stirling. We spent Valentine’s Day in a castle that had been converted to a hotel, then hit the road again and drove to the far north end of Scotland to Inverness. From there, we were able to do a day trip to Loch Ness, and then headed back south to Edinburgh for our flights home.
February in Portland can be a little dreary, so it is a good time to escape to somewhere warm and sunny. We decided to go to San Jose del Cabo in Mexico, where there just happened to be a half-marathon for Tracey to run. Before the race, we took a side trip to Todos Los Santos, a smaller town about 60 miles north. The little town was perfect, not too crowded but with a few cute boutique hotels and a handful of restaurants and cafes. One day we had the entire beach all to ourselves, except for a few whales we saw offshore. After a couple of days in Todos Los Santos, we drove back to San Jose Del Cabo and spent a day exploring the arts district, before getting up early the next morning for the race.
After our adventure in Egypt, Tracey headed to Albania to meet up with a few friends while Michael spent a few days in Athens, Greece. Then we met up in Bucharest, Romania, and spent a day there before hopping on a train to explore Transylvania. Our first stop was Brasov, a beautiful town with an historic city center. After exploring Brasov and a day trip to Rasnov and Bran to see “Dracula’s castle”, we then headed to Sibiu, a smaller town that was hosting a charming Christmas festival in the town center. Finally, we headed back to Bucharest to catch flights to our next destination…home for Michael, Yemen for Tracey. It was a scenic trip filled with historic sights, beautiful scenery and excellent food.
Our first big adventure together was our trip to Egypt in November 2014. It was an amazing trip and one neither of us will ever forget. We started in Cairo and visited the pyramids, then flew to Luxor and took a cruise down the Nile to Aswan. There were more sights along the way than we could count, and so much amazing history.