I can’t believe 2017 is already coming to a close, I swear this year started like 30 minutes ago! Ah well, such is life. But this year been one of the best and is definitely one for the books- I’ve explored locally and internationally, tried new activities and foods, made new friends, moved to a new house, and fallen more in love than I thought possible.
Favorite memories of 2017:
This past year we’ve taken some incredible trips!
In February we flew down to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico to escape the dreaded Minnesota winter. Neither one of us had been to Mexico before so it was a great chance to explore a new destination together!
We stayed at the Gran Porto which is an all-inclusive resort. Neither one of us had ever stayed in a resort like this, but we were impressed by the selection of restaurants, activities, and free drinks! That is totally the way to go! While in Mexico we:
- Climbed the pyramid at Coba
- Explored the beautiful beaches of Tulum
- Jumped about 30 feet off of a cliff into a cenote
- Ate the best tacos of our lives
- Oooh’d and ahhh’d at every single sunrise and sunset
- Laid around on the beach and drank too many mojitos – just kidding, no such thing as too many mojitos
- Tried octopus for the first time
- And came home nursing a raging sunburn
We knew we wanted to go somewhere in Europe, but weren’t entirely sure where. The trip started as a Spain vacation with maybe a day or two in Morocco. It somehow morphed into all Morocco and that was totally fine by us! While there we:
- Ate our weight in tajines
- Explored palaces, gardens, mosques, an Islamic school, and the Jemaa-El-Fnaa
Related: Seeing the best sights of Marrakech
- Haggled in the souks
- Drank about 2 liters of mint tea…per day.
- Experienced a traditional hammam
- Took a Moroccan cooking class
- Rode camels across the golden sand dunes
If you’re interested in taking a trip to Morocco yourself, be sure to check out my Morocco page!
We also found ourselves “stuck” in Lisbon, Portugal for about 12 hours! As soon as we knew our flight was canceled we hit the ground running so we could see as much as possible in the short amount of time we had. While there we:
- Ate delicious sandwiches and desserts from corner cafes…maybe too many desserts? If that is such a thing.
- Wandered down to the Tejo River waterfront
- Explored the picturesque neighboorhood of Alfama
- Saw a couple beautiful cathedrals
- People watched in the square
Lisbon was absolutely incredible and we fell in love so quickly! We seriously CANNOT WAIT TO GO BACK!
We took a long weekend trip out to Wisconsin. Pete spent most of his life in this state and wanted to show me around a little bit. Our first stop was the totally creepy House on the Rock. Though the gardens are really cool.
We continued on to Madison which is where Pete went to school. It was quite chilly and rainy that weekend so most of it was spent indoors eating and drinking. Which if you know me, you know that’s my jam. I love me some cheese curds.
We were down in Texas visiting family over Thanksgiving break. Pete had never been here so we spent some time exploring my old stomping grounds! While there we:
- We had the world’s best BBQ, trust me – I’m an expert
- Ate delicious pies
- Watched the cattle drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards
- Played with Pete’s cousins’ chickens.
If you don’t know me, you wouldn’t know that I am totally obsessed with chickens. Once we have a yard we plan on acquiring a few ladies for ourselves.
Lifetime Travel Tally:
Total countries visited: 14
Total states visited: 24
Other fun stuff
I took Pete out to see ice castles in Stillwater. The castles begin construction sometime in December and open shortly after the New Year. The crew grow icicles daily and will add them to the castles so, the longer you wait to visit – the bigger the castles are. Each one ends up weighing about 25,000,000 pounds! Along with the castles, there is an ice slide, several fire pits and fire throwers, a hot chocolate/coffee bar, lights, and ice archways.
The photo opportunities out here are endless! You can check out their website and videos, here. We also hit up snow tubing! I haven’t spent much time in locations that actually have a winter, so winter sports are not my forte. We went out with a couple friends and had a great time!
We spent a lot of time camping…
eating delicious food…
drinking delicious drinks…
generally loving life…
and each other…
Here’s to a 2018 filled with even more adventures, including my 32 before 32!
Founder of Packing for Plenty in July 2017. Along with her husband, Pete, she is on a mission to visit most countries. And wants to take y’all along as well! On PFP Steff provides travel itineraries ranging from a weekend trip nearby to 2 weeks living abroad like a local…detailed destination specific travel tips that aren’t readily available elsewhere…and unique and interesting bucket list worthy experiences.