{The Trip of a Lifetime}

When I think of the best trip I have ever been on, I smile thinking about the fact that picking just one will be so hard for me.  I am blessed to have been on so many amazing trips, most of them with family, several overseas, some with my handsome husband, and others with my best friends.

My family pretty much went on a summer vacation almost yearly since I can remember.  It was generally somewhere sunny and beachy... just my kinda vacation!  Family vacations guarantee two things.  One, that you are going to be laughing from sunrise to sundown and two, that there will be games and we will all have fun!  My fondest memories have been on family vacations from the time my sister brought a hermit crab back from Destin that fell out in the car when we hit a bump, then later got "lost" in her room and died, to the trips to Baton Rouge to see my Memaw and Pop, seeing Christen & Tony get married in Oregon, to the game playing and frivolity and love shared by family, they are simply the best kinds of trips.

My favorite family vacation was one where we went to Cozumel to celebrate my cousin's wedding.  This was the first trip Ryan went on with my family, and it was amazing!  Abundant laughter, dancing, beach time, snorkeling, ATVing, ziplining, cenote diving, alcoholic beverages, beach, sand, family, amazing.  So freaking funny, and such good memories.  McD family, I love you so much!

We look so stinking young!

In middle school my mom and I went on the school's Europe Trip during my 7th and 8th grade years.  It was really cool because my talented and gifted group would study the places we were going to visit during the school's spring break.  We would study the culture, the artists of the time, the history, watch movies, it was awesome.  The year of my 7th grade trip was a massive group, like 3 tour busses full of middle school kids, staff, and parents.  The year of my 8th grade was much more intimate with maybe only 30 of us traveling total since the head teacher for the group left that year.  In total we went to Rome, Venice, Paris, London, Milan, Athens, Delphi, Amsterdam, and I'm sure I'm missing some...  I wish I had been less preoccupied with middle school girl nonsense to really full appreciate what I was experiencing, but I wouldn't take it back for anything.

Then there were the spring break trips in college.  Ryan and I went to visit Brittany at Pepperdine my sophomore, Ryan's junior year.  That was a trip I will never forget.  Everything that could have gone wrong when we got there did in fact go wrong and then some.  It was hysterical.  Making it past the first day was exhausting to say the least, but looking back I cannot help but laugh and sigh.  What a trip.

My senior year I went on an island cruise with some senior Chi Os.  What a blast!  So many inside jokes we made on the trip, so much laughter, so much karaoke, getting stuck on the boat for an extra day, man it was a great trip!  Love those girls so much.

Then come my two favorite trips since graduating college: visiting Paige in Madrid, Spain and honeymooning with Ryan in Belize.

Paige moved to Madrid, Spain shortly after we graduated from Baylor to teach english at a school over there.  What a neat opportunity!  She had a blog and I would catch her on Skype periodically, but when I threw out the idea of coming to visit she totally agreed!  I picked a random week in March because flight deals were good and because the week after I visited was semana santa which is holy week and kind of like their spring break and her family was coming to visit.

It was the first big trip I took alone, and I had to navigate my way from the airport to her apartment via the metro system and have one of her roommates let me in her apartment when I got there.  That was a little intimidating, but Paige is an awesome direction giver, and the metro system in Madrid is super safe and easy to navigate even for a tourist, and I made it with minimal hangups.

Paige had to work in the morning/early afternoon, but only for three days while I was there and on the day I left which worked out just fine!  I would ride the metro by myself and go to a museum or palace and work my way around the museums in Spain.  Paige and I would meet up for lunch, or she would meet up with me wherever I was after she was done with school which was usually early afternoon.  Since Spanish folks have siesta there was always plenty of time to meet up during lunch or with others later since Spaniards stay up later as a result of the siesta.

I met lots of Paige's Spanish friends and we had an absolute blast!  I learned about the wonders of delicious tapas and tinto de verano (which is red wine and lemon Fanta since they're Fanta is a little less carbonated than ours here), Spanish culture, that the metro is not a scary thing and it was easy to navigate on my own, and even more about why Paige is one of my besties!  Te Amo, España.

Then I married this handsome stud named Ryan, and we went on the best trip ever together to a place called Belize where we celebrated being united as Newly Nabors.  It was absolute paradise, our hotel was amazing, and despite spending one day under the weather with a stomach bug, it was everything I dreamed it would be.  We ziplined, cave tubed, listened to howler monkeys, went on a death hike also known as climbed a waterfall (totally worth it by the way even though I was a baby), kayaked in the ocean, had dinner at sunset on the beach, and lounged around in love.  Ahhh, heavenly.  We'll be back, you better Belize it.  Okay, that was cheesy, but I had to.

What's your favorite trip you've ever taken?

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