trip journal

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Picturesque Portugal: Five Days in Porto

I have dreamed of visiting Portugal for a long time. I’d seen pictures of the historic old cities and towns with winding pathways and cobblestone streets. The homemade pastries and bread with fresh cheese and local seafood. The gorgeous weather and beautiful scenery, from the lush countryside to the rugged coastline. Friendly people with a fascinating history and deep culture. Plus, incredibly high COVID-19 vaccination rates.

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Ventura Beach Getaway

At the start of February, my family made a spontaneous visit to Ventura, California to visit relatives. It turned out to be a well-timed visit as the weather in Ventura was phenomenal while Austin suffered from multiple days of freezing temperatures (not as bad as last year, don’t worry) and a boil water notice.

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Balkan Bliss: Adventures in Montenegro, Bosnia, and Albania

If you’ve dreamed of visiting Italy or Croatia but hate crowds and expensive lodging and food, Montenegro is an excellent alternative that deserves visitors in its own right. The Balkan countries have stunning coastlines, tall mountain peaks, and thousands of years of history and culture from Roman to Ottoman to Venetian to Austro-Hungarian and many more. There are forts and castles from all eras, charming coastal cities, and quaint mountain towns tucked into valleys. Plus, the people are friendly and the food is excellent.

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