My Top Five Places

The hardest question I am asked is “What’s your favorite place to go?”.

That is the $1,000,000 question & basically asking me which child I love more! For the record, I have one fur baby and one human baby & I love them both beyond infinity πŸ˜‰
This post details my top five favorite places I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing! These are a mix of entire countries, islands & specific cities. 
Five: Sydney, Australia
I’m not sure about the outfit…
I was in Sydney right after high school graduation almost ten years ago (AAHH how’d that happen?!) & I still vividly remember every detail. I would never consider myself a “city” person as in couldn’t live in one, always prefer more rural areas to visit so for me to truly love this city speaks volumes. The cleanliness, the variety of areas & diversity of things to do along with being easy to navigate (Vegas is a city after my own heart…the place to be is one main drag; this small town girl can handle that!) is how it made a spot on my list. Walking around the Quay across from the iconic Sydney Opera House, seeing the entire city from the Sydney Tower & climbing Harbor Bridge which I didn’t have the opportunity to do then but will my next visit!  If I were offered a job there I would pack my family up & go! Sydney and Australia as a whole needs to be on your list! It’s completely worth a day in the air. I promise! 

Sydney from the Sydney Tower
Four: New Zealand

The same trip that got an Australia stamp on my passport also earned a New Zealand stamp. I spent time in Auckland & Rotorua equally but truly just fell in love with the scenery! Talk about rolling hills, clean highways & lots of sheep πŸ™‚ I only saw the north island & I know the south would also take my breath away & make me want to move to the land of the Kiwi’s.

Did you know kiwi’s grew this way?

Three: Turkey
Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia
Turkey was a country I never had on my radar, sure I knew Istanbul was a culturally &historically rich city along with Ephesus being a must see. I just assumed I would see them via cruise ship someday.
I am ashamed of my previous thoughts! Turkey stole a piece of my heart. I can’t put into words what a week in that country did for me, also for Boss lady & Pam (my coworker & partner in crime ;). We always talk about how inspiring & faith filling that trip was for us. We spent a week exploring Cappadocia, Izmir & Istanbul with private guides that became friends for life & the Only guides we’ll ever use! We stayed in a cave hotel, hot air ballooned over the fairy chimney rock at dawn, ate until we were stuffed, hiked with a random pack of dogs in the mountains of Turkey, flew five times with Turkish Air (Amazing – even in coach), explored Ephesus & the Terrace houses with a private guide, stayed in a very rural town outside of Izmir & were immersed in the culture then ended our week in a place of unity; Istanbul at the Hagia Sophia after seeing the beautiful Blue Mosque, taking a real Turkish Bath (Hamam) & using the public transportation system! I would go back in a heartbeat & anxiously await that day!

Inside the amazing Hagia Sophia
Two: Sonoma County, California
Lover’s Beach, CA
Oh wine country, you can’t go wrong can you? Farmers markets, Amazing food, wine for days! My husband & I love road trips & find ourselves thinking back to our favorite trips are always the ones in the U.S. of A. and involve us driving. For our fifth anniversary we decided to spend a week in Sonoma then drive to Monterrey/Carmel before spending a few days in San Francisco. It met & exceeded every expectation! 

Ironhorse Winery 

One: the Hawaiian Islands
Yes, that really happened while we were there!
How do you earn the #1 spot in my list?
Sweep me off my feet! Hawaii has done that to me every time I’ve been (three now!). I couldn’t pick a favorite island, they all have made me say “Lets buy a vacation home & move to the West Coast so we can hop over all the time!” But what makes it so special? The ease of navigating (I wasn’t kidding when I said I prefer rural), the delicious & fresh food,friendly warm people, scenery that I hope matches heaven, along with a feeling of peace. For my East Coast friends, ten hours in the air will feel like nothing once you land. We spent time on the Big Island in October 2012 at the perfect Fairmont Orchid; please take me back! We also got to see the volcano up close & personal with just a few other people…unforgettable!

The peaceful beach at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

So what’s your Top Five? What should be on my list?

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