Family vacations and family adventures are always enhanced or undermined by the place where you put down your head at night and sleep. Your hotel, apartment rental, or airbnb can make or break your travel experience. As a family we have stayed at very nice 4 star hotels and we have stayed at 1 star motels with tobacco scented rooms and food crumbs in the bed sheets, and let me tell you something, we have taken nice vacations in southern California where we have stayed in cheap motels, and even though we had a great time, I just can’t shake the memory of the cheap and horrid motel room we stayed in. It almost completely overshadowed the good and positive parts of our vacation. Wherever and whenever we travel, we always make it a point to stay in decent hotels, 3 stars or higher.
When you go to Cancun, you usually go for one primary reason and one secondary reason. The primary reason is of course; relaxing. The secondary reason of course is sightseeing, and there are plenty of opportunities for that too. Now don’t get me wrong, some people go to Cancun and primarily go sightseeing and then only spend a small amount of their time at the beach.
So, what did we do our first 3 days in Cancun? We relaxed on the beach and at the pool. Being that we were in an all-inclusive resort, we also ate and gained some weight. What else can you do when you have access to 2 pools that each have their own all-you-can-eat buffet that’s already included in the cost of your room stay?
We woke up early Saturday morning October 13th to embark on what would become a very memorable family vacation. We would be leaving the country again for the second time this year, our first trip being to Russia.
Our adventures took us to Mexico this time. To Cancun Mexico to be exact. This was my wife and I’s second trip to Cancun, and our daughters’ first trip. We stayed at the exact same all-inclusive resort, so we knew exactly what to expect from this trip, so it made it easy for us to know how to show a good time to our girls.
Now, for most people, the trip home from a vacation is not usually the happiest day. At minimum, most people go through mixed feelings as they leave their vacation destination.
On one end, they are sad that they have to leave such a wonderful trip and return home, often to go back to work and back to their life at the daily grindstone. On the other end, they are relieved to be sleeping in their own clean bed, not living out of a suitcase, and being in a place where everybody around you speaks your language.
For myself and leaving Russia, it was definitely a day of mixed feelings. I was sad to leave Russia, sad to leave my in-laws, and my wife and kids stayed an additional 2 weeks, so it was sad leaving them. At the same time, I was happy to be returning to sleep in my own bed at home, I was happy to be around people who spoke my language, and I was happy to go back to work where apparently all hell broke loose during the two weeks I was gone.
It’s that time of year again. The weather starts to cool down, the air outside becomes crisp, and the leaves begin to turn on the trees. We open the holiday season up with all things spooky and scary as we celebrate Halloween.
Typically, this time of year we don’t focus on traveling or vacations away from the home, instead we focus on staying home more, decorating the house, or finding the best way to scare people if you’re anything like me.
But, if the travel bug within you is itching like crazy for some place to get away where you will not lose the Halloween Spirit, then may I suggest to you 3 scary places you can visit where you will surely get a thrill. Now before I go into these, please keep in mind that if you choose to visit any of these destinations, you do so at your own risk!
One of the best parts of traveling internationally is the great opportunity to try out new dishes. Depending on the country, some of these dishes are quite unique, while other dishes can be downright weird! Sometimes you may feel like Andrew Zimmern going out on his Bizarre Food tours. In our family, we are adventurers and we try out new, and sometimes even strange dishes everywhere we go. Russia is no exception.
During our time in Chelyabinsk Russia, we left for 3 days to visit a Lakeside resort about two hours out of town. Let me tell you, after living in a high desert region for a few years, the water, greenery, trees and everything about this place was absolutely amazing.
On the evening of Wednesday, June 13, 2018, our plane safely landed in Chelyabinsk Balandino Airport (CEK). There we got off the airplane, took the shuttle bus from the tarmac to the terminal, and we were greeted my in-laws, my wife’s family, and my kids’ cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandmother. It is really something to travel extremely far to the other side of the world and to meet people who know you and love you. Distance is no barrier for love and family!
So, Day 3 of Saint Petersburg and the day we flew to Chelyabinsk Russia pretty much were one long day since we didn’t really sleep overnight. Our flight from Saint Petersburg was leaving at 5:30am and we had to be at the airport 2 hours early at 3:30am. The taxi ride was about 40 minutes, so we had to leave at 2:50am. We took showers, packed, and got everything ready and got to bed at 2:00am. We slept until about 2:30am, a half hour. Then we woke up feeling more tired than we did when we went to bed 30 minutes prior. We got the girls up and got them ready, we threw on some clothes and made our way outside with our heavy suitcases and met our same taxi driver Ivan.
So we woke up on Tuesday morning June 12, 2018, and it was the beginning of our third and last day in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was a bitter-sweet day, sadly it was our last day in Saint Petersburg, but it was our favorite day too. Why? Because we got to see the Hermitage, what more can I say? So we got up, had our Russian Breakfast, no different from the breakfast from the first two mornings. We then cleaned up and headed outside to catch the bus to Palace Square where the Hermitage is located.