3 days in Reykjavik

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As we all swelter in the blazing sun today, all I can do is dream of the perpetually cool, crisp air in Reykjavik.  While I dream of my next trip to somewhere more brisk, here’s a little #tbt to cooler weather in Iceland.

Iceland is super trendy.  In the past decade, there’s been a >300% increase in the amount of visitors to Iceland — it’s almost to the point where you barely see any locals.  Because I have the worst FOMO ever, I needed to go here before tourists overrun everything and American chains start moving in.  Everyone in my family had already gone (which is not a reason to travel, but again, FOMO), so off I headed to Reykjavik for an Icelandic adventure.

all is full of love…

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3 days in Reykjavik

IMG_3927.jpg

Iceland is super trendy.  In the past decade, there’s been a >300% increase in the amount of visitors to Iceland — it’s almost to the point where you barely see any locals.  Because I have the worst FOMO ever, I needed to go here before tourists overrun everything and American chains start moving in.  Everyone in my family had already gone (which is not a reason to travel, but again, FOMO), so off I headed to Reykjavik for an Icelandic adventure.

all is full of love…

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Rome if you want to…

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Rome is a polarizing place.  For some, it represents the peak of romance, beauty and charm. For others, it’s a crowded, tourist-laden nightmare.  I think its real appeal is that it’s both; it’s a city of contradictions.  There is a mix of ancient and modern, sometimes seamless in execution (turning on a busy street and seeing the Parthenon) and others not so much (the futile attempt of expanding the Metro due to delays in the name of archeology). It’s very urban, but yet has simple charms similar to those found in Italy’s most rural countryside villages.  There are so many relics and ruins; it’s often a little overwhelming! But, if you take a step back to enjoy the moment, it’s a city that can leave you breathless.  You will understand why it’s called the Eternal City.

Take a Roman holiday…

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know before you go: Portland (PDX)

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Portland is probably one of the best airports in which you can hope to have a layover. Two words: movie theater.  Beyond that, the airport really strives to make it about PDX eats and treats, featuring many local restaurants and breweries, including the House Spirits Distillery.  The stores featured are mostly local brands, which is great because PDX originated companies include Nike, Columbia, Pendleton and Powell’s Books. It really is a destination on its own, with a personality befitting the city it serves.

PDX also boasts incredible views as you are flying to and fro.  If you’re flying south, make sure you sit on the left side of the plane, as you’ll likely be privy to a gorgeous sighting of Mount Hood.  So amazing.

Located about 12 miles from downtown, there is one terminal building split into North and South Terminals which are connected by a walkway.  South has three concourses A (Alaska), B (American), and C (JetBlue).  North has D (Delta) and E (Southwest and United).  There’s a total of ~65 gates.

Remember: ✈️ = trapped in an episode of portlandia to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = just do it

Convenience to the city: ✈️✈️✈️ (not too far and there’s also light rail to downtown)

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️✈️ (there are people movers)

Convenience of check in/security lines: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (not too crowded, flows easily)

Dining: ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ (They also have a food truck area here! Mauritian food, Korean. Kenny & Zuke’s, Laurelwood Brewery, Rogue Brewery, Bambuza, Blue Star donuts, Rose’s.  There’s also everything from McDonald’s to sit down fare like Stanford’s surf and turf.)

Bathrooms: ✈️✈️✈️  (clean)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️✈️ (free wifi available)

Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️  (Alaska, Delta, United Lounges.  Live music, movie theater –15 min short films, local shopping, this airport has it all!)

 

 

3 days in Seattle

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Seattle is one of my top five destinations.  The drizzly climate suits me, there’s an abundance of arts, music and food, and it’s just so damn cool.  The people here are hip, tech savvy and seemingly pave the way for the rest of us without caring if we know it or not.  It’s also so close to the effortlessly amazing Vancouver.  I love the Pacific Northwest.

That being said, it’s hard to do a city guide for a few days because there’s just so much to see.  I could probably do a half dozen guides representing each trip I’ve taken here in the past 5 years, and maybe one day I will.  I’m a true believer that you should do the touristy things on your first trip to get them out of the way so that you can start exploring the local vibes of a city, but in Seattle some of their tourist spots are the best and I like to visit them every time I’m in town.

SO much to do, you’ll probably be left sleepless in Seattle…

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24 hours in Hoi An, Vietnam

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Hoi An was easily my favorite stop in Vietnam.  It was a colonial trading post, and has a completely distinct feel from any other city in Vietnam.  One, the Old Town architecture preserves the history of this port city and adds to its charm.  Two, foreign influences laid the foundation of international sophistication since Hoi An was a stronghold for the Cham people in the spice trade centuries ago.

I only spent a very short day here while traveling through Vietnam, but that was more than enough time to enchant me and make me want to plan my trip back to this coastal town.

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