Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Countdown: #7 2014 European Experience

Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Quinta dos Tres Rios, Winery with B&B

#7. Quinta dos Tres Rios

(Our original blog:

Sometimes you try something and you just get really, really lucky. Perhaps that was the case with our first quinta experience in Portugal, but we never look gift horses in the mouth (because gift horses bite). Our time at Quinta dos Tres Rios in Portugal's northern Dao region wine country was the absolute perfect way to kick off our 6-month European adventure and to convince us that this full-time travel lifestyle was for us. Hugh and Jane run the kind of B&B that makes you wonder why it is you're leaving. And Hugh makes such a fine wine that you'll regret not being able to buy it from your local wine store when you get home. We can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Countdown: #8 2014 European Experience

Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - The Royal Palace, Madrid, Spain

#8. Royal Palace, Madrid

(Original Blog:

One of the truly great things about travel is making surprising discoveries. Nobody ever told us, "Go to the Royal Palace in Madrid: you'll be more impressed with it than Versailles." That's a pretty bold statement, but it's how we felt. We loved the Spanish Royal Palace, and it was such a delightful surprise we wonder why it isn't more touted. But then again, part of what made it so great was that it wasn't overrun with tourists like Versailles can be. But don't think for a second we only liked Spain's Royal Palace because it's less-trafficked. We liked Spain's Royal Palace because it was so genuinely opulent and actually still used by the Spanish monarchy. And don't make the mistake we almost made and consider it an optional sight to see: put Spain's Royal Palace at the top of your list when visiting Madrid.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Countdown: #9 2014 European Experience

Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Flamenco in Valencia, Spain

#9. Flamenco in Valencia, Spain

(Original Blog:

It's sultry and mysterious, it's emotional and intense, and it's exotic and beautiful. I remember thinking (and commenting) that our dinner and flamenco show in Valencia was the first time this trip that I thought we had truly experienced Spain, and that was after almost a month spent in the country. We went one evening to La Buleria. After a delicious dinner of paella and red wine, we were treated to the flamenco tableau, from the moorish-influenced music to the Romani-style dance. It will forever be one of our most memorable experiences, and we think a visit to Spain--particularly southern Spain--is incomplete without a Flamenco performance.

Our Flamenco Video on YouTube

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Countdown: #10 2014 European Experience

Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Irish Musical Pub Crawl, Dublin

As we make our way home, and as 2014 winds down, we've been reminiscing about all the amazing experiences from this 6-month adventure that have enriched our lives and make us want to keep on doing it indefinitely. We hope you've enjoyed coming along with us, and we hope you don't mind reminiscing with us a bit.

A few weeks ago I told Lori about the idea of a "top 10" countdown while we're on the Queen Mary crossing the Atlantic. We threw together a list of nominations, figuring we'd rank them later. It turned out to be quite hard to rank them: limiting the list to only 10 proved more of a challenge than we anticipated. Some of those great experiences you won't see on our 2014 top 10 list included all those incredible cathedrals we saw, along with the small parish churches and their fascinating cemeteries; all the Christmas "fayres" we enjoyed in England; attending a Manchester United match back in August; touring the Jameson distillery in Ireland; going to church at Westminster Abbey; "vintage" shopping in Nottingham and London; the Royal Palace in Madrid; the Roman ruins of Conimbriga in Portugal; for that matter, every moment we spent in Portugal; our evening of food, folklore, and fairies in Dublin; the British Museum; and so much more.

But anyway, the point of a top 10 is to call out those 10 extra-special experiences, so here we go...

#10. Musical Pub Crawl, Dublin

(Our original blog:

We had such an amazing experience in Ireland, and--like we said--we fell in love with the entire country. The biggest, grandest, best sight to see in Ireland is the people. They are a warm, welcoming, fun-loving, and conversational people, but perhaps most importantly, they are a people of music. Our few hours in this musical pub crawl, shared with Susan and Randy (Lori's sister and her husband), will always be one of our best memories of Ireland, and will be one of our must-see recommendations for anyone visiting Dublin.

Reading back through my old blog, I realize I've yet to put that YouTube video together. I haven't forgotten, I'm just way behind putting many of our videos together.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Last Transmission from Europe stop

Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Telegraph

arrived in southampton UK today stop
2014 trip to europe nearly complete stop
leaving monday for atlantic crossing stop
hoping for good weather and no icebergs stop
arriving in nyc monday of christmas week stop
celebrating holidays with family and friends and anxious to see them stop

all our best wishes to you for your holiday seasons stop

stay tuned for our top 10 experiences of 2014 countdown stop