Since our group trip to Nicaragua went so well we all decided to go to Europe right after Christmas! We roadtripped through Czech Republic, Germany, and Belgium over two weeks.
I went to Burning Man again this year, and this time I had my family and some friends in tow! We camped with some friends that I met the previous year and had an absolute blast.
Our group, including a couple we met in the parking lot of our hotel in Reno. We needed two extra seats and they needed some campmates, it worked out perfectly.
Me and my brothers <3
Robby had his bike taken one one of the first days, fortunately one was donated to him :)
The Man this year!
Only slightly dust-proof.
Our friend Bryan from Ireland flew over to go with us!
In the back of one of our two Uhauls. I slept in a tent again this year.
We attended a wedding this year!
Waiting out the long exodus on top of the Uhaul.
Dust storm on the way..
Our group this year!
We just had so much fun. Such a magical place <3
Here I am again, super late with a blog post! Our trip to the Philippines after Hong Kong at the beginning of the year. Amazing amazing amazing. We loved it here. We arrived with almost nothing planned out, meeting our friends from Ireland in Cebu before hopping to the Islands of Bohol and Palawan. We took local buses or rented scooters wherever we went, and it was surprisingly easy to get around. We swam with Whale Sharks, rode scooters to the Chocolate Mountains, ate wonderful street food, danced with our neighbors, island hopped, toured an underground river, made new friends, camped on an island, had too much rum, when on a firefly nighttime boat tour, visited the Tarsier Sanctuary, took some pigs to the beach, and floated in the ocean. I think Nacpan Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen (and the camping hostel Where 2 Next was incredible). I am ready to go back to the Philippines!!
I managed to surprise Martin this Christmas by showing up in the Czech Republic! He was home for the holidays and I showed up in the middle of the month, much to his and his mother’s surprise : )
Here’s just a few photos from our first Christmas together in Czech!
Oh my goodness, I still can’t believe that I went to Burning Man AND actually loved it! I was lucky enough to have a friend this year procure a ticket for me and talk me into going. I had about a thousand reasons in my head why I shouldn’t go and wouldn’t like it, but fortunately decided to risk it. I was rewarded with meeting and spending time with some of the most amazing, kind, creative, hard-working people.
These were my campmates, the Emerge-N-See IV In-Tents Care Unit. We took care of the lost, dehydrated, dusty, and under-partied individuals that wandered by our camp. I acted mainly as the barmacist, mainly because I can’t act.
We even delivered a little beer baby.
When I got there and started setting up my tent, four other people rushed in to help me set it up and hammer in rebar in about two minutes. Then I was gifted socks, costumes, and a bike to borrow for the week.
The first day I sort of roamed/rode around in amazement at everything around me. I can’t imagine the effort people put into setting up these intricate camps and works of art in the desert. It felt like a beautiful carnival on steroids, but never once felt over-crowded with people. Sometimes I couldn’t walk 30 seconds to the bathroom without someone insisting I stop for a drink or snack. People were playing antique pianos, spinning fire, serving free drinks, smiling at strangers, hugging, cooking mass meals, conversing intensely, volunteering, teaching classes, dancing on art cars, exploring the playa, and generally having an amazing time. I spent most of my time with some lovely friends from my camp, and also enjoyed photo field-trips on my own.
The dust hit pretty hard for a few days, and then we had a cold front later in the week. Everyone keeps saying it was some of the craziest weather they’d experienced there but it was pretty much what I had prepared myself for.
This gem saved my life. Someone had arranged to bring a bike for me to use but it didn’t quite fit, this one was perfect for the week!
One of my favorite art cars, so funny.
The lights and stars made for a long-exposure photoshoot pretty much every night.
Cold Spaghettios out of the back of a Uhaul never tasted so good.
Caught in a white-out.
At the Burning of the Man : )
The Temple burn.
Inside my tent <3
I could probably keep posting more photos (I will on Facebook) but I think I’ll stop here for now. It was such a wonderfully fun experience and I’m so glad I went. I definitely want to go back again next year. I’m trying to convince my family to join. I wish Martin could have been there but he’s in Iceland for work (I get to visit soon!). My only regret is that I didn’t see more of the amazingness that is around every corner at Burning Man. I’m lucky to have been present <3
So, Martin and I were lucky to spend a month in Europe, and my family joined us for half of that time! We traveled around Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Germany, and got married! It was definitely one of those once in a life time experiences.
Pardubice Castle, where we got married <3
The Cartellone Appartamento Hotel, where we had our reception <3
Martin and Bara
Judy and Nicole! One of my best friends who also photographed my wedding : )
Josh and Izzy went paragliding, crazies.
Josh making friends everywhere he goes
Family day trip to wine country in Italy
We always seem to stop by this place
The bottle of vodka from Ukraine that Martin saved for 8 years : )
Our wedding was definitely one of the most fun parties ever : )
New family <3
So so much fun had by everyone, wish we could do this every couple of months : )
We went to Costa Rica! It was a fast trip (just over a week), our “pre-honeymoon” before the wedding. We rented a 4×4 and drove to Arenal, Monte Verde, Uvita, Manual Antonio, and did a 2 day trek in Corcovado, which was amazing(ly hot). I only saw one sloth but one is better than none!
He lived in the tree by our hostel.
Monte Verde Cloud Forest.
Our car, which was hit by a local on our last night. Thanks a lot guy.
These guys, waiting at the bottom of a bridge.
The start of Corcovado.
Our guide, Oscar.
Looking for alligators.
Costa Rica was wild, hot, beautiful, and challenging. People here were really friendly, and I can’t think of a single time that someone tried to push a souvenir or service on me (and if you know me, you know that I don’t have a lot of patience for that). Food was good pretty much everywhere. You can’t escape the bugs. Driving was an experience, some of the roads were in such bad shape, and it’s probably best not to drive at night. Also, car rental companies were the only dishonest people we came across. Wish we could have made it to the sloth sanctuary…I would definitely go back because there was so much we didn’t get to see!
Martin has made it through 6 months in America! Who would have thought this day would come : ) He’s managed to pass a portion of the exams he has to take in order to make his veterinarian license valid in the States. I’ve been doing my best to stay busy with work, and we spend as much time with family as possible. It’s almost the end of the year! I haven’t traveled as much as I would have liked to this year (though it doesn’t seem that way since I technically went to Hawaii, Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, England, Peru, and Bolivia). I have no idea what next year has in store, but I know we’ll be in Czech Republic again in May for our wedding : ) It’s been a good year, much better than the previous, and I have a feeling that 2015 will be the best so far!