Travel | Bikes + Wines in Mendoza

Mendoza, Argentina is famous for its wines, specifically for its Malbecs.  Therefore, touring the bodegas (wineries) in Maipu was a top item on the list for our visit.  Many people opt to rent cars, join a tour group, or hop on the vans, but we decided to rent bicycles.  We met some pretty fantastic people at Alamo Hostel & Suites, so we decided to join forces.  I would love to hug the person who invented the idea of wine tours on bikes, because it was the perfect way to customize it to our individual tastes.  We weren’t bound by a strict schedule or itinerary, which made it more relaxed and personal.

DSC_3128Although we visited in winter, it was about 75°F (23°C) daily!  ^

 You may think a vineyard is a vineyard, right?  Wrong!  Each destination offered something unique.  They all had their own aesthetics and evinced different feelings and vibes.  The newer vineyards were modern, laid back, and usually had the best meals.

DSC_3147DSC_3149DSC_3152^  Tempus Alba–Best Lunch ^

DSC_3164DSC_3166DSC_3168^ Mevi–Best Deal ^

The older vineyards were the places to go for quality tours and tastings.  They also proved to be the best bet for improving our knowledge about the different varietals.

DSC_3173DSC_3181^  Familia di Tommaso–Derek’s Favorite Cabarnet ^

 We even stopped to taste some artisanal liquors, jams, chocolates, and olive oils along the way at Tierra de Lobo & Entre Olivos!

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All of the places we visited had something unique, and Derek and I ended up dabbling across the board.  He ended up loving a spicy Cabernet, while I couldn’t get enough of the Malbecs!  (Oh, and the Dulce de Leche liquor from Tierra de Lobo!)  What’s your favorite wine or spirit?

XOXO,

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Travel | Road Trip to Mendoza

For the past three weeks, Derek and I have been on our winter holiday from work.  (We just started back today!)  We decided to spend our last week in Mendoza, Argentina–a.k.a. Argentina’s wine capital in the region of Cuyo!  I could not recommend it more.  It was a perfect escape from our crazy city lives.  We were able to taste the best Malbecs, ride bicycles around the city, eat some amazing food, soak in the Argentine culture, and we did it all on a really tight budget!!  There are many ways one can get to Mendoza (fly, drive, rent a car, etc.), but we opted for the hyped-up bus trip through the Andes.  I read several travel blogs before we decided that was definitely our best option.  I cannot stress how amazing it was.  The panoramic views were unbeatable, and I was able to take several photos.  However, if you are prone to motion sickness (like me), then I would suggest taking some Dramamine!  I was feeling pretty queasy on the twists and turns up the Chilean side of the Andes.  We researched a few different companies, and we decided on Andesmar with semi-cama seats.  It was a very comfortable trip, and they provided us with snacks, hot drinks, and some bilingual movie selections.  It was the perfect start to our Argentine getaway!

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DSC_3091 ^ Chilean side of the Andes ^

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^ We made it! ^

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^ Isn’t this shot of the Argentine sunset dreamy?  I loved the colors. ^

So all in all, the 8 hours to Mendoza and the 11 (yes, 11!) hours back to Santiago were well worth it for those views.  The yummy snacks and sandwiches at the customs made up for the long wait!  Have you ever taken a long distance bus trip?  Tell me about it below!

XOXO,

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Real Life | Hello, world!

Hello to all my friends–new and old–that have stumbled across my corner of the universe.  Since this is the first post, it is safe to guess that most of you have no idea who I am.  I am going to fix that, friends.  Here you are going to learn all about the girl behind the computer.  And what better way to do that than with a good, old-fashioned questionnaire?  So here are 22 things you probably didn’t know about me.

IMG_2472^ There I am drinking my favorite hot beverage from my favorite coffee shop near my hometown! ^

12 Favorites:

  1. Color — Yellow!  I think it is such a warm and exciting color.  It always makes me happy!
  2. Movie — American Beauty  (Love me some Kevin Spacey!)
  3. Food — Ooh, this is a hard one, but I am going to have to say Vegan Pho!
  4. Season — I thrive in the sun, so summer it is!
  5. Book — 1984 by George Orwell.  Hands down!  I have reread it at least 6 times.
  6. Teacher — It would be my first grade teacher, Mrs. Peterson.  So, if you are reading this, you are amazing.
  7. Flower — I go all over the board with this, but I am torn between a peony and a pin cushion protea.
  8. TV Show — I am so original, but it is definitely Game of Thrones.
  9. Animal — I absolutely love elephants.  In fact, last year Derek and I visited the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  It was the experience of a lifetime. Check it out if you ever have the chance!
  10. Artist — This is too difficult, so I am going to give you my top five in random order: Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Dale Chihuly, Andrew Salgado, & Edgar Degas.  There are so many more, and this list may change as time goes on.
  11. Poem — I like any and all poems by Pablo Neruda.  *swoon*

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^ Hey, it’s me again!  I am hanging out with my ele friend, Mintra, from ENP!

10 More Random Things:

  1. I was born in the Midwest, USA.
  2. I studied Education and Communication Arts/Literature in university.
  3. I married my best friend on June 2, 2012.
  4. My favorite birthday party was my eighth.  It was the best–huge cardboard castle, magical drinks, princess hats, scavenger hunts, etcMy parents DIYed it all from top to bottom, so thank you!!
  5. I have a crippling fear of needles.
  6. …and clowns.
  7. Oh, and spiders, too!
  8. I am a vegetarian.
  9. I love yoga.  It has helped me overcome so much in my life and motivated me to love myself.
  10. I am obsessed with learning new things.  I get stuck on a topic, and I have to read everything and anything I can find on the topic.  My current topic?  HTML codes! hehe

Want to know more?  Leave a comment or question below!  I am (pretty much) an open book!

XOXO,

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