Home, Sweet Home

It feels amazing and horrible to be back home. I missed by dog and my boyfriend but other than that I wish I could have seen more.

Back to reality means back to paying bills and going to work. Back to apartment and house hunting with the bf so we can move in together. Working on getting all my transcripts transferred over to a new school here so I can start working toward the nursing program they have now that I know where we will be staying. And I need to starting getting all my annual Dr appts set up since it’s actually been like 2+ years since I did any of that.

Obviously I am actually looking forward to moving in with my BF and getting closer and closer to nursing school is a good thing and I have nothing against health checkups except the copays hahahahaha. It just sucks to come back from vacation and I am super tired, traveling transcontinentally is difficult. Thankfully I work today then have two days off.

Went for a 1 mile walk today with the dog, need to get back to my running.

I will keep posting my Europe trip slowly but surely until it is all done.

Have a good night, talk to you tomorrow!!

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European Cruise: Day 10 Dubrovnik

Hello Croatia!!! Nothing on my itinerary excursion wise so its all me to wander around. I do know this is a major Game of Thrones place, I think they have filmed here so I may just do my own little GOT walking tour.

Emily decided to accompany me so we slept in a bit then had some breakfast and made our way into town. From where the boat docked it wad about a 20 min walk to ‘old town’ which is one of thr big draws.

Here is the view from our balcony. Not too shabby huh? 

Old town! This and the day is where most people were. This is where all the Game of thrones stuff happens

The views were amazing everywhere. Walk five it and it was an amazing view from a different angle, and once you got up on the wall that surrounds old town, forget it.  There wasn’t enough time or memory capacity. 

The bay, well one of them

Anyone recognize this tower? When the dragons (when they were still babies) were stolen from Calisi (butchered that name right) and locked in that tower when they were on that creepy island. The sorcerer was trying to steal them and she ran around the base of that crazy tall tower and there was like no door then the door moved and all that. Yep, turns out, towers not that tall after all hahaha. 

I had Bosnian food for lunch. This was as adventurous as i was willing to get. 2 of the cheeses were good and i almost liked the dried beef hahaha. But the sausage was a no go for me. The bread was amazing though.  I didn’t want to be rude so i had them box it up for me and threw it away later. Always need to be careful in foreigner countries, you never know what the local customs are. 

Cappachino ice cream! We have left gelato land. 

Found coffee right before i got back on thr boat!

Bye Croatia!!! Still can’t believe i have been to Croatia. Very surreal. 

Ariana’s travel tips

 

  1. plan, plan, plan- I know some people like to fly by the seat of their pants and that is great but in some cases you need to plan. If you are not on a budget then you might have a little more room to play with this but if you are on a budget, as I always am, planning is your best friend. Also if you only have a limited amount of time planning ahead can save you hours of wasted time standing in line.
  2. research- Groupon is international if you didn’t know. For most places if you do a little research you can find inexpensive skip the line passes, semi-guided tours, activities and so much more at reduced costs and it definitely saves you on those hours in line.
    1. planning and research also help you squeeze in as much as possible in a short time period. For example we are packing Venice into a day and a half then on our last day in Venice which would have been a 3/4 day anyways we are instead taking the train and spending a few hours each in Verona, Florence and Pisa before laying our heads down in our AirBnB accommodations in Rome.
  3. Think outside the box when it comes to lodging- you don’t have to stay in a nice hotel to feel luxurious when traveling. If you once again research you can find nice places for a lot less expensive. I have stayed in some seriously nice hostels and and used AirBnB several times when I have travelled. If you are traveling with friends AirBnB is a great choice. We have accommodations in the heart of Venice, Rome and Barcelona through AirBnB that are less than $150/night,  whole apartment in each place, split the cost between everyone and you are looking at $20-30/night for each person in a nice place. and having and entire apartment means you have a kitchen so you can hit the market and make a few meals to save some money. You are still eating locally!!!
  4. Do a few things that aren’t overrun by tourists- on my first morning in Venice after some coffee and a pastry I plan on walking the opposite direction of the crowds and will continue to do this. That is how I will explore Venice, going the opposite direction of the crowds (obviously do a little research on places you should avoid and use common sense, if you turn down a street and it feels sketchy, backtrack quickly).
  5. Safety!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!- Be safe, research the places you are going, know the areas to avoid, know the laws and customs. Pay attention to the dress code. If something or someone doesn’t feel right get out of that situation and place ASAP. Think before you act. If you are alone, don’t get so drunk that you are impaired. That movie TAKEN with Liam Neeson is a fun thriller but it is also real, people are kidnapped and murdered every day, enjoy your vacation but be smart and be aware.
  6. common sense should see you through-if you wouldn’t do it at home don’t do it abroad. Again take 10 minutes and learn about the place that your are going, I would sunbath topless in Ibiza, I would cover all tattoos and most skin in the middle east, different place different experience.
  7. Check in. Give someone at least a vague itinerary of where you will be and when you will be there and when you will be home so someone will know if you don’t arrive. Try and check in at least ever 72 hours (I tend to check in at least once every 24 hours) you can find a free or very cheap internet café almost anywhere. And most cell phones have international coverage if you check. It will cost me $.55 every day to send 1 text message to my mom and get one back from her both acknowledging we know I am alive. $.55/day is not much to ensure piece of mind.
  8. Be a dork. Take selfies and make stupid faces and journal and take videos. Who cares what the people around you think, in 5, 10, 15 years you are going to be so glad you can look back on those memories.
  9. Be respectful. It may not be your culture, religion or favorite food but it is theirs. You wouldn’t want someone to bad mouth your way of life so don’t do that to anyone else. You don’t have to believe in it or even accept it but don’t be mean about it. Step to the side, quietly leave the church, discreetly bow out of the ceremony, say thank you and try the tiniest bite you can manage.
  10. lastly HAVE FUN!!!!! You may never be back, you may never experience something like this again so drink it all in. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way and truly live this experience.

Hawaii day 5 and heading home

By day 5 i needed to relax so while the girls went out i thoroughly enjoyed having the condo to myself and reading pretty much all day.

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I took a break from reading to go for a run on the lovely overcast day with some drizzle coming down.

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And yes when i say lovely, i mean lovely. The drizzling helped a bit with the temperature.
Though the humiditing mixed with the drizzling led to me dripping sweat.

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A lot of it.

After running i enjoyed a delicious simple lunch

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Then i contined to read for the rest of the day until the girls got back and we all went to dinner at Duke’s. I had Ahmazing fish tacos!!!

Today was pretty much all traveling. A cab picked me up at 9:45. It took me an hour to get through security, Hawaii’s airport is packed.

Then i spent 5 hours in a plan then a $50 cab ride later i was sitting on my porch waiting for my roommates dad to let me in with the spare key since i somehow didn’t pack mine.

And now i am finally in my own bed so excited to go to sleep.

Goodnight!

How was your weekend?

Hawaii day 4

We got up sort of early again and hit Pearl Harbor.

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It was definitely a moving experience

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My souvenir was a book 😌
After Pearl Harbor we went to a local coffee farm.

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They had soooo many different coffee flavors it was insane!! Yes i bought several samples lol

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After coffee was had it was time to see where the coffee came from!

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First comes the flour

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Then green berries

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Then red ‘cherries’

After the coffee farm it was Luau time!!

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The pig.

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The dancing and entertainment was great but i have to admit the food was lacking for me. Being as i am not eating meat they had 1 fish option and it left a lot to be desired in my opinion. But it was still a great night!

Now for a dilemma, i feel like we have been going going going since we got here, which i understand and enjoy, you want to get in everything you can while you are here. On the other hand to me part of a vacation is taking some time to relax from our hectic everyday lives amd i feel like we haven’t done that and don’t plan to.

Tomorrow is my last full day in Hawaii and the plan for the girls is hitting up a macadamian nut farm, possibly snorkelling then hanging out at a beach and maybe surfing. Those things could be fun but are nothing that i am dying to do. So do i stay at the condo tomorrow and relax or go out with them?

Part of me feels like if i don’t go out with them i am wasting the day but i also feel like I’m going to be exhausted for work and life when i get back if i don’t take the time to rest. Desicions, decisions.

What would you do?

What does your perfect vacation look like?

Hawaii day 3

We got up early to go hiking.
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Lots of pretty views on the way image

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up

It was up and up with lotimage

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s of stairs

And an undergroimage

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und bunker tunnel

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More insane stairs.

We were proud we made it to the top hahahaha. image

My calves were burning!!!

Oh wait more stairs.

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amazing views were the reward

The we drove around the island looking for a snorkel spot. We never found one. The surf was high and there were jellyfish and craimage

zy currents and broken sewage pumps

Dinner was a local brewery that ended up being mostly appetizers. With frivolity insuing.

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