Tag Archives: Travel

Honeymoon Highlights

I returned home from my honeymoon in late June and I’m still daydreaming about it. After a quick stopover in London, my husband and I travelled to Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. We also visited Lourmarin, a charming town in the Luberon Valley in French the countryside. While the entire trip provided memories for a lifetime, there were a few special highlights that I’d love to share with you!

Mediterranean Sea Views:
There are some views that one cannot get enough of—the Mediterranean Sea is it for me! Our hotel, Cap Rocat, in Mallorca overlooked the water from almost every point and we made sure to soak it in. During our lazy beach days we watched as the sea glistened with deep shades of blue and green and listened as the waves crashed against the rocky coastline. There is something special about the sights and sounds of these crystal clear waters that creates a sense of complete calm and peace.

Aug1_image1

Lourmarin Market:
Nestled in between Aix-en-Provence and Avignon sits Lourmarin, a picturesque town straight from a French fairytale. The cobblestone streets are lined with patisseries, cafes and boutiques. Every Friday morning, Lourmarin hosts a market filling the village center with local vendors offering produce, linens, spices, cookware, soaps, cheese, homemade jam, honey and more! It was such a treat to wander and explore. We came home with a few special mementos—linen serviettes (or napkins) for our table and Lagiole cheese knives for cocktail parties and picnics!

Aug1_image4 Aug1_image3 Aug1_image2

Lavender Fields:
I’ve had the silly dream of running through lavender fields since I was a little girl. As an adult, the added component of bees has shaken this dream a bit, but nonetheless, the dream is still there. And this trip made my dream come true. During the summer months, the French countryside is filled with fields of bright purple, aromatic lavender. We made sure to check out the “it spot” for lavender, Sénanque Abbey near the village of Gordes, and oohed and aahed over the blooming fields.

Aug1_image5

As the warm summer months come to an end, the memories and photos from my Honeymoon stay etched in my mind. In the few weeks that we’ve been back home, my husband and I have often recalled our favorite moments from our trip. I have a feeling we’ll be doing so for many weeks, months and years ahead. I am so grateful for the opportunity for such amazing travels!
Signature 3 (Mar 2016)

Trip Planning Checklist

No  matter where you live or what your job is, getting yourself organized to get out of the house for a trip takes a bit of thought and planning—for it to run smoothly, that is. My current life revolves around a demanding Silicon Valley job, lots of time commuting in my car, and newfound responsibilities related to being a new homeowner. As a result, I lack a lot of extracurricular time, which can make it difficult to prepare for a trip.

Being a ‘planner’ by nature, I immediately began to brainstorm ways that I could maximize my trip planning effectiveness and minimize stress. What organically came together was a custom checklist that keeps me on track in various intervals leading up to my trip. I find that whenever I’m preparing for a trip, I pull out a copy of my checklist and use it as a base model to outline what I need to do.

Recently, I was chatting with my fellow TK blogger Bri about all the travel that my husband and I have planned, and she mentioned “You should do a blog post about how you use your checklist to get yourself organized for an upcoming trip.”

The checklist is a huge life-saver for me and creating one is really quite simple. Here are a few steps to help you get started on  your own.

The most time-consuming step of developing a checklist is creating a base template. I recommend walking yourself through the steps you’ve taken in previous trips and come up with some high-level categories. For me personally, this tends to include:

Travel Checklist 1

From there I focus on what specific things I need to do for each category. To get a better sense of the specifics, I’ve listed a few suggestions below:

Travel Checklist 5

Next, I take my specific tasks and organize them into time intervals, which form the final version of my Trip Planning Checklist template.

Travel Checklist 3

Once the template is built, I save this on my computer and create a custom version before I travel. Having the template as a base saves me time from ‘recreating the wheel’ each trip. It also allows me add custom items that are specific to my particular destination.

I’ve experienced numerous benefits from using a checklist. First, it allows me to take a bit of personal time (typically on the weekend) to think about my trip. How long will I be gone? Who will be looking after the house? What items do I need to pack? It’s amazing how much less you forget when you have this planning time and are not up against the clock.

Second, the checklist allows me to partition the tasks out amongst a timeline, which avoids a lot of last-minute running around trying to get everything done.  I focus on thinking about what I can do in the week leading up and knocking those tasks out early.

Lastly, my checklist guides me through the final things that I need to do on my departure day, which gives me the confidence that I haven’t forgotten anything.  True story, over the past holidays my husband and I overslept our early morning flight and woke up with little time to spare. Even though I was somewhat panicked, I went right to my list and was able to check off the last remaining things that I need to do to get out of the house. (And yes, we made our flight!)

As previously mentioned, it does take some time to come up with your personalized template, but it’s well worth it, which will become more evident when time is saved in future trips.

Also, consider putting together a packing checklist (something we’ve written about before on Triple Knots). Similar to the Trip Planning Checklist concept, you can develop templates to meet your lifestyle, which again provides you with a good foundation to build out what you need to bring as you travel.

Happy traveling, TK readers! Also, let us know if you have a special way you get yourself organized before you travel.

TK Destinations: Paso Robles, California

Hellooo from Triple Knots! This summer has been a busy one for us, and a lot of that has been due to travel! Among the three of us, we have traveled to a lot of interesting places (both near and far), and we liked the idea of sharing just a few of our destination highlights with our fantastic readers. Stay tuned for posts that cover our top recommendations for activities, places and things to do – all based on the experiences we’ve enjoyed on our trips.

This past month, my husband and I drove down to Paso Robles for an extended weekend trip with my in-laws. Sure we had heard about the area because of it’s famous wines, and we certainly knew the exit signs from our many trips down to the Central Coast for our wedding last year—but we really had not spent much time in the city ourselves. We had a fantastic time and were able to partake in a wide variety of activities (even though we could have just wine-tasted for four days straight – wink).

So without further ado, here are our trip highlights:

  • Location, Location, Location: Despite being a Californian for the past three decades, it never occurred to me that Paso Robles is the quintessential “halfway point” for Northern Californians and Southern Californians to meet up (apx. 3 hours by car). It’s the perfect distance for a road trip, where you don’t have to spend too much time in the car. Plus, you can selfishly pack your trunk with everything you might possibly want, and not feel restrained by the confines of your TSA-approved carry-on bag.

Paso 1

  • We’re Going Downtown: No matter where you are staying, stopping in downtown is an absolute must. It embraces retro charm and is filled with wonderful restaurants, quirky antique shops and interesting specialty stores. Being a spice and tea lover, I particularly enjoyed Spice of Life on Pine Street which had a huge array of products ranging from familiar items like oregano, rosemary and sage, to specialty products like smoked paprika.

Paso 5

  • Hotels, Vacation Rentals and B&Bs: My recommendation is to get creative when you look for a place to stay, as Paso has lots to offer. From a traditional hotel to a charming antique bed and breakfast. Our party voted for a country farmhouse vacation rental. We loved the privacy of the place and the ability to BBQ on the beautiful backyard patio. Plus, we were right in the midst of the wineries—get any better than that?

Paso 2

  • Explore Above and Beyond: Depending on how long your trip is, you may want to consider activities beyond wine-tasting. We did a lovely day trip to nearby Cambria, but there are plenty of other cities within an hour’s drive, including Morro Bay, Cayucos and San Luis Obispo, where you can hike, enjoy the coastal scenery and explore city streets.

Paso 3

  • Pass the Olive Oil: So sure Paso is all about the wine, but consider trying out a local olive oil tasting. In between wineries, we stopped at Pasolivo which is tucked away on the East side of Paso Robles, and boy was it an experience! You begin by putting together a small plate of spices and finishing salts and then you walk through a buffet of different oils. They are delicious, and it’s a nice way to break up a wine-tasting afternoon.

Paso 4

  • East vs. West: So I couldn’t finish this post without talking wine, right? We learned that the winery locations are often times described based on their proximity to Highway 46. Our rental was located on “West 46” so it made winery tours quite convenient. We also did a day trip to the “East 46” wineries, and would recommend both areas.

Paso 6

Overall, I would highly recommend a stop in Paso Robles—whether it’s just for a quick bite to eat on your way somewhere else, or if you’re looking for a fun weekend destination. The city has plenty to offer beyond fabulous wines!

This post is part of on ongoing series. Please check out our full list of TK Destinations posts.