A decade of destinations!

Now that 2020 is well underway, I have wanted to write a blog on a decade of destinations that we have been lucky enough to visit over the past ten years or so.  We have celebrated our 15th and 20th wedding anniversaries in that time and had a special 21st last year.

That 21st was spent in the destination we visited on many occasions during the decade, which was Dubai. We first visited here in around 2003 and our daughter has loved it ever since. So she definitely had to be there for her 21st! Then seeing as my parents lived out there for a couple of years, was another reason why it became the most visited destination for us in the years since 2010.

E197404A-3BD3-441E-B11B-1DF4E410A9EFI won’t do too much on Dubai in this post as I’ve also done a post with a bit on it here My top 3 travel destinations for New Year’s Eve

In the summer of 2011 we visited Playa del Carmen in Mexico.  I have to say it definitely has the best looking beaches in the world.  Just stunning white sands with beautiful palm trees  🌴. I just love palm trees, for me it’s a sign of being abroad and somewhere warm!!
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Just looking at this picture, you can see what I mean and just look at the colour of the crystal clear aqua sea! No filters here at all!

Now, on my bucket list is to see the seven wonders of the world. These seem to change a lot but at the time and still on the list is Chichen Itza, an ancient Mayan site. So glad we went. Was not too far from Playa del Carmen at all and we were able to do the trip in a morning, back to our hotel by the afternoon.

In between there have been some weekend trips to places in the UK as well and in the rest of Europe. One of my favourite places in the UK, would be Carbis Bay in St Ives, Cornwall. Even though we visited in February, we were lucky with the weather and the sun was shining and was not cold at all. The sound of the waves is another of my favourite things and had this been in summer, you would have felt you were abroad. The sea is crystal clear and you may even be lucky enough to spot the odd dolphin from where we stayed at Carbis Bay Hotel .
My favourite weekend break in Europe would be a toss up between the Amalfi Coast and the French Riviera. I never would have thought I would like it as much as I did but loved Nice.  We stayed in an apartment in the old town which was just oozing with character. High ceilings, the classic shutters on windows and the main door which must have been at least 400 years old.

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I loved the hustle and bustle of the whole place and it had a ‘feel’ to it which I cannot describe. Perfect weather, food, drink and ‘buzz’ about the place. Of course a visit to Monte Carlo, Monaco is a must just for people and car watching if nothing else!
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The Amalfi coastline is just stunning. However, be warned, taxis are very hard to find and once you do, cost a FORTUNE! This was the only downside to the whole weekend. we visited in October and the weather was just perfect. Not too hot yet still sunny and warm. We took a trip to Capri from Positano. Definitely recommend doing this should you go to that area.
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2 trips to the USA in this decade. One to LA and Las Vegas and one to Florida to include Orlando, Miami and the Keys (just missed Hurricane Irma by hours..!) These were for our 15th and 20th wedding anniversaries respectively.
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Key Largo

Also have been lucky enough to visit in the decade ; Crete, Abu Dhabi, Morocco, Tenerife, Paris, Rome and Scotland to name a few and we finished it all off with a big trip to India at the end of 2019 and into the new decade of the 20s! (Will do a separate Blog post on this).
Looking forward to what this decade holds for us.

My top 3 travel destinations for New Year’s Eve

Now, I consider myself to be quite well travelled and have been to quite a few places around the world.  Eaten at some spectacular and equally not to spectacular restaurants and seen some amazing sunsets and sunrises (the best ever sunrises over the Masai Mara in Kenya) and amazing sunsets we had from our villa in Crete just this summer.

I would like to share with you as we go into this Christmas season, 3 of my top destinations for New Year’s Eve (not in a particular order, just numbered 1-3).  After all the build up and excitement of the run up to Christmas, after we have opened all our presents and eaten our turkey dinner, all seems to bee a bit of anti climax after, but having booked  a holiday for New Year’s Eve alleviates that feeling as you still have something to look forward to!

  1. New York

I am going to go with New York to start off with as I would actually like to visit it myself in the summer as we went for New Year’s Eve one year.  When you come out of the subway and see Times Square for the first time, it really does take your breath away.  The year we went, the Pound was worth almost $2 so we were extremely lucky from the shopping point of view and especially when Footlocker had a deal on of buy a pair of Timberland’s and get another pair free!!!  Now I love to shop and this was just an amazing time to go shopping in New York.  The shops still had all the Christmas displays in the windows which alone were amazing to look at and watch.  It was quite cold but can say as we did a lot of walking, did not really feel it.  However the day we took the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, we picked the worst day as it was foggy!!  So I would love to go back to see New York a bit more comfortably and the Statue of Liberty a bit clearer!  Now for New Year’s Eve, we were in and around Times Square in the daytime and thy had begun to close off all the roads and was quite quiet – however we knew it would be packed later on!  We decided though not to head or Times Square to see the ball drop as Saddam Hussein had just been found and people were saying about security concerns so we avoided it and ended up in Central Park instead where we watched people getting ready for a marathon that was due to start at midnight, dressed in all kinds of fancy dress.  Then some fireworks went off as well, so we got a great New Year’s Eve in New York.  Would highly recommend it at that time of year as it truly is magical,  We went up the Rockefeller Centre  to the top and you can get to see the Empire State building from there so I feel better off going up there rather than the Empire State itself.  The largest Christmas tree and ice skating were obviously still there as well.  For great atmosphere, great breakfasts and more, I would also definitely recommend going to Ellen’s Stardust Diner

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2. Dubai

Now have been to Dubai many times and 3 times for New Year’s Eve now.  Last year we went down to Jumeirah Beach to watch the fireworks at midnight from there.  For starters, it is free to do so – Dubai Christmas and New Year’s Eve packages can be quite expensive, we did do Planet Hollywood one year and a hotel near Jumeirah for Christmas Day one year as well.  The atmosphere on the beach was amazing!! You had people from all over the world, just happy and dancing away and then waiting for the Countdown to midnight and then you can see the fireworks from the Burj Al Arab, the Atlantis and many more coming off the Palm!! The weather is just perfect. Still in the 20s in the evenings as well at that time of year.  Would warn you off going in the summer months though – it is EXTREMELY hot!!  Then you cannot even sit outside to eat even in the evenings.  Our favourite spot to sit outside in the evenings and enjoy the ambience and great food as well as FANTASTIC views over the Marina and more is Shades at The Address Hotel, Dubai Marina

3.  Disneyland Paris

I am quite a big Disney fan and just find the whole thing when you enter any of the parks just truly magical and think if you have children, there is no better way to celebrate
New Year’s Eve than watching the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle at midnight!  It gives you a warm and tingly feeling as you hug your family tightly and wish for all the best for the upcoming year.  Yes, it can be a long day, so would recommend not starting out too early that day or make sure your ticket allows for re entry to the park again should you decide to leave ad come back for the fireworks only.  At this time of year, it can also be quite cold in Paris so wrap up warm.  One of the years we went, it was very cold and when we entered the park one day, it started snowing but that just made it feel even more special and makes you really appreciate the Disney hot chocolate!!

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The C word is over!! A bit of Paris beforehand though!

So all that waiting and anticipation we have for months and the dreaded ‘C’ word (Christmas!) is all over!!

All the tension before hand of getting the right present, making sure there is enough food for everyone (always end up having too much!) and then on the day the tension of making it all with not enough room in the oven for everything so timing is EVERYTHING!!

Well all done and dusted and time to relax! I do love this time of year though. It’s magical and this time last week I was in Paris and it was beautiful.
Did a lot of walking as you normally do on city breaks and took the big bus tour of the city. It was beautiful to see especially at night when all the Christmas lights were on.
The Christmas market down the Champs Élysées was wonderful to see. Everywhere so busy and the spirit of Christmas in all the shops.

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And of course, the shopping!

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