“Life has two rules: #1 Never quit #2 Always remember rule # 1.”

Life sure has a way of getting me distracted from writing, huh? It has been months since my last blog post.

Let’s see. What have you all missed?

1) I started school.

2) I went to Europe and back and was sick the entire 10 days I was there.

3) I started planning New Zealand for next year!

4) I started writing a book.

My life revolves around travel doesn’t it? I just wish I could do it more often. But epic trips around the globe once a year are more than most people I know can take so I should be grateful.

So, I went to Belgium, France, Italy and Switzerland. The moment I landed I was sick. And I was sick for a week after I got back. Bronchitis, sinus infection, and not quite but close to an ear infection. I had a fever the entire Italy portion of the trip and by the time we got to Switzerland I had lost my voice and had a fever every day. So, while I was near death (at least in my mind) there are a few things I can take away from that trip:

Italy is busy, busy, busy. The driving terrified me but Italy is beautiful! And I had an amazing pizza outside of Pisa.The French countryside is everything you would dream about.
Switzerland is absolutely gorgeous. I actually thought that the Swiss countryside was more beautiful than Italy!
Mont Blanc is stunning. And we drove right through it.
Belgium has the most beautiful summers. I’ve only been in the fall or winter.

I wish I could say I enjoyed my vacation but I didn’t but that was due to being so sick. On our way to Italy we stayed in Gex, France, right over by Geneva Switzerland. GORGEOUS area. Oh my Goodness, the views were incredible. Unfortunately the place we stayed at was pretty awful and we hated it. It was dirty and loud and after 6pm there is nobody at the hotel working. There were a lot of shady characters around. No AC, no fan, and it was hotter than hell.

I enjoyed Pisa and we stayed at a really great bed and breakfast called Holiday House Ospedale. Its a 3 bedroom house, nice kitchen and a nice decent sized bathroom. We ate in a lot (to save money) and the kitchen suited our needs. The only downfall was no AC and it was HOT (and I had a fever so that didn’t help). The owner, Simone, was awesome and so incredibly helpful. He didn’t live in the house with his family but he was there a lot and sometimes he’d be there all night, at his desk working. It made us feel better, we knew he was there just to check in on things. I saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Guess what? It leans. We also went to Lucca was a gorgeous little walled in town and we LOVED it there! I think my mom wanted to buy an apartment right there and just stay!

After we left Italy we went to Lucens Switzerland on our way back to Belgium and stayed at William and Camilla’s Bed and Breakfast. LOVED IT! We went walking around the city, went to the grocery store and bought some amazing food and cooked in our amazing B&B. By then I was well in the throes of being about to die from illness so I was in bed by 9pm and I slept like a baby. The temperature was perfect that night, I opened the window, put the fan in front of it and slept for a solid 10 hours. The next day we did some more walking around and then had to leave. But the owners are awesome and they even make you breakfast the day you leave! We enjoyed our stay. The B&B was really nice, everything was furnished with Ikea. I hope to eventually go back to Switzerland and I’d love to stay there again. Oh and they had a Mac computer to use.

All in all it was a good trip. But I am ready for another already! I feel like I spent a lot of money to just be sick honestly. But…it is definitely a vacation I won’t forget! It was fun traveling around with my mom. She’s a character. I think I learned a lot about her on this trip (and not all of it good) but that is normal I think. I love you mom!

Some of those pictures are taken with a camera phone in a moving vehicle. You take what you can get!

I started school. Health Information Technology. Its not French. Its not a travel related field. But it is a field that allows me to work from home, to work part time and still make good money. Its a job that I can leave and come back to if need be. I really enjoy school. I already work in the healthcare field and, so far at least, I already know a lot of the material. So that makes it easy. I took my placement test today. Scored great in the English portion and scored so bad in the math portion. It was to be expected. I’m not surprised. In 2.5 years or so I will have my degree, take a certification exam and go on to a career, hopefully.

Now, onto the fun stuff.

New Zealand!!!!!!!

We already have dates figured out and a rough itinerary. We will fly into Auckland and rent a car. We won’t see much of the South Island, we’ll mainly stay in the North. Here is what we have so far.

Fly to LA on November 5th, 2014
Leave for Auckland on November 6th
Land in Auckland on the 8th
Auckland the 8th, 9th, leave the 10th
From Auckland we’ll stop to see Hobbitown and then go to Roturua
Rotorua the 10th and leave the 11th
From there we’ll head to Lake Taupo and stay in that area the 11th, 12th and leave the 13th
13th head to New Plymouth
13th, 14, 15th in New Plymouth
The 15th we leave and head to Wellington and stay the night
On the 16th leave Wellington and take the ferry then train to Christchurch
16th, 17th, 18th in Christchurch
Leave the 18th to fly back to Auckland
18th, 19th, 20th and 21st in the Auckland region.

Some of the places we stay for a few days will also include exploring areas around it. We won’t spend so many days just IN Auckland but we’ll take buses and trains to other places in the area. We are going to skydive in Taupo and go to Waitomo caves while in the Auckland area so we can see the glow worms. There is a city a few hours from Christchurch called Kaikoura which has really great marine life. From Auckland we’d also like to see The Great Barrier Island and Hauraki Gulf Islands. The good thing about our itinerary is we will only need a rental car for 5 days which will save us some money.

I’ve been doing some research on where to stay in Auckland and in Christchurch. We are youngish gay couple who like to eat out and take pictures and we love any kind of place with a view. Any recommendations? I’m finding the hardest city to be Christchurch. With the earthquake I don’t know what is an area we should stay in and an area we should avoid. I’ve heard a few things about Auckland and some areas being more dangerous than others. Any thoughts on this?

Oh and I started writing a book. I don’t write every day or every week. But it will be about a mother and daughter and travel. That’s all I’m telling you. Give me 10 years…it should be complete by then.

After New Zealand we will spend 1.5 years or so planning a wedding. We decided to go for it and do a fun ceremony and reception. And even though it is years away, I am trying to decide on a honeymoon. Would it be crazy to go to Paris again?

Paris…I just can’t quit you…