After spending some time in Montreal, we tacked on a visit to Québec City to the end of our trip. While not nearly the size of Montreal, it was a great addition to our Montreal trip because it gave us a better taste of Canada. Montreal, while totally worth visiting (it feels like Europe-meets-North America), has more of an international city vibe and doesn’t give you a true Canadian experience. Québec City, although still quite touristy, was much more of a cultural experience than Montreal.
Although the city changed from French rule to British rule in 1763, only a mere 1.5% of the population is considered an Anglophone — 95% of Québec’s population [...]
We loved staying right in the center of the Recoleta district of Buenos Aires on our trip to Argentina. While there are many wonderful neighborhoods in BA (all with very different personalities), this area is considered by many to be the most affluent neighborhood in the city, filled with lavish homes and fancy shops and restaurants. The famous Recoleta Cemetery is also located in this area, so there’s plenty to see and do all around.BOOKING
We booked with Hyatt Cash+Points for $125 + 10,000 points per night. Cash rates are easily in the $500+ range, so it makes redeeming points a very attractive offer.
We used a Suite Night Award and were booked into a [...]
Aerolíneas Argentinas Flight # AR 1413 Mendoza-MDZ to Buenos Aires-AEP Dept 11:25 am Arrv 1:01 pm
Mendoza is quite a small, mostly domestic, airport. They have a few international flights, but mainly just to Santiago, Chile-SCL, just on the other side of the mountains. Our hotel advised us that arriving appx 1 hour before departure is more than enough time to check-in with bags when traveling to Buenos Aires.BOOKING
We booked this segment as part of a larger Delta SkyMiles award ticket. Finding and adding Aerolíneas Argentinas award space to a Delta award reservation can be a bit tricky, so check out our guides here: Booking an Awesome Argentina Itinerary with [...]
After touching down a bit late from our inbound flight from Charlotte, we scurried from Terminal H to L by taking a short train. We were assigned gate L13 and, fortunately, the Lufthansa Lounge was directly across the hall. This allowed us about 45 mins to get showers and freshen up for the next 7-8 hour flight.BOOKING
We booked this flight using United MileagePlus Miles. We spent a total of 90,000 miles each for the Business Class award, including:Lufthansa Business Class Charlotte-CLT to Munich-MUC Lufthansa Business Class Munich-MUC to Delhi-DEL Air India Business Class Delhi-DEL to Colombo-CMB United Economy Class Charleston-CHS to Newark-EWR
A trip to the Etihad Airways First Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi was the warm-up to the main event: flying the Etihad First Apartment from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne. It was essentially the only reason we had chosen to route from the US to Australia via the Middle East. And a visit to the brand new lounge was nearly as exciting as flying the A380 since our trip was just about 3 weeks after the May 30th grand opening–talk about timing!
As a result, we were purposely very, VERY early arriving at the airport for as much lounge-time as possible before heading to our gate. We checked in quickly and were welcomed into the lounge which is located immediately after going through [...]
While in Argentina’s wine country, we wanted to be sure to see some vineyards and see the outskirts of Mendoza… plus try some local wines. Mendoza’s wine regions account for about 70% of all the wine produced in Argentina, so visiting some wineries and tasting some Malbec is a must while staying in Mendoza.
Turns out, though, that planning a day trip to wineries is a little harder than we thought. Mendoza’s wine regions stretch out over more than 350,000 acres and there are three separate regions within Mendoza. So, with just one day set aside for this, we quickly realized we couldn’t see it all. First, we had to pick a region (we went with Maipú) [...]
Even though we were only in Dubai for 3 days before heading to Australia, we were trying to see as much of the city and surrounding area as we could in such little time. Of course, the center of Dubai is pretty impressive, with the world’s tallest building, indoor ski slopes, etc., but we really wanted to see outside the city, too.
Especially after taking the culture tour of Ramadan (here), we learned that Dubai used to be a small fishing village– and, of course, it’s right in the middle of the desert, so we wanted to see a type of terrain that we were unfamiliar with. We’d also just visited Arizona, so we were curious to compare that desert climate [...]
Mendoza is an excellent small town for a self-guided walking tour and just about everything can be explored within a day on foot. We would, of course, recommend a few more days than that to explore the vineyards and, depending on the season, another day or two to check out the ski slopes that aren’t too far away.
Here’s a map of the route that has a lot of the highlights you’ll want to check out as well as practical info, such as the bus station, airport, grocery stores (to stock up on cheap Mendoza wine!), etc:Stay
We stayed at the Park Hyatt Mendoza and would highly recommend it. It is in the perfect location and quite luxurious. Find our [...]
On our way to Australia, we spent our first few days in Dubai. It was my first trip to the UAE and Jeffrey’s second, and it was fun to split up our trip with a stop in Dubai- especially to get a taste of non-Western culture since our final destination of Australia was about as Western-feeling as you can get!
After flying Etihad Airlines into Abu Dhabi, we decided to spend our entire time in Dubai. Originally, we planned to spend a day or two in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but ultimately decided to spend all 3 days in Dubai to get a better feel for the city and try to stop over in Abu Dhabi in the future. Looking back, we’re glad we made that decision as any shorter [...]
Our first night in Göreme was quite different than our time in Istanbul. We try our best to visit more than one city in a country because only then can you truly grasp any sense of the people, their culture, and their history. While Istanbul is a bustling, international city, the town of Göreme is much slower paced and its history is practically oozing out of each rock and cave.
I knew I wanted to go hot air ballooning in Cappadocia the minute we booked our flights to Istanbul, so our sole purpose of going to Göreme was for this activity. We did some research before leaving on our trip and ended up booking [...]