After a few relaxing days in Strasbourg, we took the TGV train to Paris. It was our first trip using our Eurail Pass. We have been to Paris recently, so this trip we wanted to focus on wandering more, taking a bike tour to Versailles, visiting some museums, and discovering a few off-the-beaten path spots.
We left Belgium for Trier, Germany to meet up with Neeley’s mom and her boyfriend. Neeley used to live in that area of Germany, and other than seeing some sights, we were also going to see where Neeley used to live and visit with friends who still live nearby. From there we traveled to Patton’s grave in Luxembourg, and then down to Strasbourg, France for a few days.
It was great fun visiting family and friends in London. Our next stop was Brussels and Bruges. Neeley had been wanting to visiting Bruges for many years. While we were planning our visit, a train strike in Brussels was announced. Luckily, we were able to re-arrange our hotel bookings on Expedia so that we could have one day in Brussels and one in Bruges. It wasn’t what we had originally planned, but we learned long ago that we need to be flexible while traveling even in Europe.
From Reykjavik, Matt and I flew to Manchester, England. We found that flying into Manchester was far less expensive than London because of airport taxes. When we purchased our ticket, we decided that we would rent a car and travel around England for a couple of weeks before heading to London to visit family. We decided to visit Yorkshire located in the north east of England.
Matt and I have been interested in visiting Iceland for several years. Maybe it was my being tired of the heat and humidity, but my interest turned into a desire to change to some place cooler and less sticky. It could also have been an urge to see something very different from Mexico. Whatever it was, Iceland sounded perfect to me.
When Matt and I got married, we chose to set up a honeymoon fund rather than a traditional gift registry. The fund was divided into excursions that we wanted to take on our trip around the world. One of those was a dream stay at Goldeneye Resort in Oracabessa, Jamaica. The resort is on the grounds of Ian Fleming’s house on Oracabessa Bay. Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records (Bob Marley, U2, etc) purchased the property and turned it into a beautiful resort. We decided to book a visit to Jamaica in time to celebrate Matt’s birthday. Being fans of James Bond, we were excited to see what GoldenEye had to offer. After a stay in Florida to visit family and downsize a bit, we flew to Jamaica.
Matt and I have both been to New Orleans, but never together and never for pleasure. When I found out that my dear friend and fellow photographer, Joshua Smith, had recently purchased a guest house in the Marigny District of the city, I just knew that we had to stop there.
After our week in Play del Carmen, we had a planned trip to Las Vegas to attend the DEFCON conference. I have been attending the conference every year since 1996, and this would make an even twenty years (a milestone that was a little scary). I wanted to see people that I only get to meet up with once a year, and experience Vegas after a three month stint in Mexico. But we still had to do something with the truck while we were in Las Vegas. Continue reading Las Vegas Culture Shock and Our Drive Out of Mexico
We drove from Palenque to Playa del Carmen, passing within a couple miles of Chetumal, Belize. We discussed crossing the border if for no other reason to add to our passport stamp collection, but in the end we decided to continue northward up to Playa del Carmen.