Welcome to our travel log. We've spent much of the past four years traveling around the world, visiting dozens of countries and meeting thousands of wonderful people. We've also been keeping a journal and taking lots of photos, and we thought it might be fun to share: click on any of the trips below to read more about our adventures.
We haven't made any plans, but we've decided that our big trip of the year will be to Japan.
Our next Cheesemans' adventure is already booked, and this time it's a 14-day photo expedition with Scott Davis. View the itinerary.
A weekend getaway to celebrate Rupa's 40th birthday at Alderbrook Resort and Spa. It rained all weekend, so we took advantage and simply recharged - reading books, newspapers, catching up on small tasks and watching the Sochi Olympics. Great dinner at the resort on Friday night, massages and wine tasting on Saturday, and the steam room, hot tub, and a work-out on Sunday.
Another Cheesemans' adventure, this time with our friends Mike and Heather. View our itinerary.
Celebrated our 10th anniversary. View our 13-night itinerary.
Another long weekend getaway. Best massage I've ever had at Spa Manzanita (ask for Theron) and a wonderful meal at a brand new restaurant called Dinner at the Nehalem River Inn.
Got away from Seattle for a long five-day weekend over the 4th of July for some wine tasting and general relaxation.
We are really excited to be joining our friend Vic as he leads a small group on the 9.5 mile day hike known as the Subway. Our friends Mike and Andrea will be hiking too, so it should be a wonderful opportunity to catch up while enjoying a day in the sun.
About to set sail on a 10-day adventure with our good friends Mike and Heather. The Wind Star is a small 148-passenger cruise ship. After a night in Venice, we board the ship for the following seven nights. We make stops in Pula, Trogir, Dubrovnik, Pylos and Monemvasia before ariving in Athens. After two nights in Athens we return home.
Got away from Seattle for a short weekend to enjoy some warm weather and relax a bit.
In preparation for running a half-marathon in May, I signed up for a five-mile race in Portland. Rupa and I made a weekend out of it, finally finding the time to explore a bit of our northwest-neighbor after more than ten years in Seattle. Check out our journal and photos.
For the second time in eight years we gathered with friends and spent a week at the Winter Olympics. Incredibly, we secured enough tickets through the convoluted sales process to attend nine different events. As an added stroke of luck, the typically gloomy Pacific Northwest skies parted for the week and left us with gloriously warm and sunny conditions - perfect for spectating though it did wreak havoc at the snowboard venues. Our journal and photos are now online.
Rupa's parents used their free Hawaiian Airlines tickets to book a trip to Maui. Rupa and I decided to tag along, and we convinced Rupa's sister Nina to join us as well. It was a short one-week trip, but we enjoyed some fantastic whale-watching, snorkeled a colorful reef, wandered the island in an SUV and savored the perfect shave ice. Our itinerary is online.
Spain had been on our wish list for quite some time, so when Rupa found some nicely-priced tickets she scooped them up and put together a 30-day itinerary covering the Iberian Peninsula.
We finally got around to the central portion of the California coast, where we spent over a week visiting missions and other coastal attractions. Here is our itinerary.
We wanted to drive the California coast but we somehow had to make it down to LA. That's how we ended up on a two-week trip through central California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. We spent most of our time in the National Parks, though we did manage to sneak in a blow-out dinner in Las Vegas and a couple of other treats.
There are only 26 glaciers left in Glacier National Park. In 1850 there were 150. In 2030 there will be none. Some day our trip log will be updated with more details.
Machu Picchu is one of my favorite places, and this year we made a return trip with our families. We were joined by my dad and brother as well as Rupa's mom, dad and sister. All told we made up nearly half of the small group tour that we booked through REI Adventures. For more details see our online journal.
Although not nearly the same scale as our other trips, this overnight stay in Victoria was nevertheless quite enjoyable and I took lots of photos, so if you are planning a trip to this iconic Canadian port check out our journal.
Europe came calling again, this time in the form of a three-week last-minute whirlwind tour of Italy. After being dragged to Mexico Rupa felt the need to "get even", so she picked up the Rick Steve's guide book and before I knew it we were on a plane to Italy. Not that I'm complaining - Italy has long been on our todo list and Rupa even managed to throw in a day at Pompeii, one of my final must-see sites. Rupa's Italian adventure is now online.
After reading about extensive habitat destruction in the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries of central Mexico I decided it was time to visit this new addition to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The area's tourist infrastructure is minimal, but after much research and with the helping hand of local tour guide Luis Miguel I was able to put together a short but enjoyable ten-day visit.
We really wanted to see some polar bears this year, and lucky for us we were able to book a photographic expedition that allowed for on-the-ground up-close-and-personal views of the bears. We traveled with Wildlight Nature Photography and spent four nights at the Seal River Heritage Lodge outside Churchill. And, as an added bonus, my parents were able to join us on this unique adventure. You can now check out our journal and photos.
We had an $800 credit with Hawaiian Airlines that we had to use this year so we booked a two week trip to the Big Island and worked out the details later. We were also able to turn this into a family trip when Rupa's parents decided to join us. We all had a wonderful time and you can read about our trip here.
We'd lived in the Pacific Northwest for ten years and still hadn't been to the Olympic Peninsula or the Oregon Coast. Rupa fixed this with a two week road trip down Highway 101 from Seattle all the way to the Sonoma Valley just north of San Francisco. You can read about our fun and relaxing trip here.
This was the least planned of any trip this year, and we left with only a partial idea of where we wanted to spent our four weeks. We finished the planning as we went, getting some of it done in New Zealand and the rest just days ahead of our travel. Still, it ended up being a fantastic trip and we can't wait to go back and see more of the country. I don't have very much posted yet, but you can view our itinerary.
Rupa put together a fantastic five week trip that covered both the North and South Islands. We opted to drive the entire journey and ended up putting over 3,000 miles on the rental car. A brief summary of our trip has been posted here.
We traveled to Madagascar mainly to see the lemers, but we were impressed by the birds, reptiles and people as well. For such a poor country the people are amazingly friendly and love to pose for photographs. Check out our trip log and photos.
We booked a couple weeks of South Africa Safari and some beach time in Mozambique prior to joining up with a guided tour of Madagascar. You can see our itinerary here.
Rupa planned this one on her own using Rick Steve's and the Lonely Planet. We spent two weeks touring the country by auto - see our itinerary page for details.
Rupa booked us on a two week tour of Turkey, including a short Mediterranean Cruise. Check out our itinerary.
Rather than fly straight home from SE Asia, Rupa and I decided to island hop our away across the Pacific. See our itinerary page for details.
We had such a fabulous time touring Thailand and China that we decided to head back to SE Asia and visit some of the the lesser developed countries. You can find our trip log and photos here.
The effects of Global Warming and our love of wildlife convinced us to visit Antarctica. We booked late but were fortunate to find space with Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris, which runs an extended 25 day chartered cruise covering the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctica. Visit our journal to browse our photos and trip log.
Rupa organized this trip herself (no tour group this time) and included stops in Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, the Atacama Desert, Easter Island and the Chilean Lakes District. Our final stop was Ushuaia, where we boarded our Antarctic cruise ship. You can browse our trip page for photos and the trip log.
Why travel all the way to Asia to visit just one country? With that thought in mind we booked our Thailand and China trips back-to-back and had a fantastic time. Just as in Thailand we traveled with Travel Indochina - this time for thirty-one days in a small group of fifteen travelers and two guides. Check out our trip page for photos and a trip log.
This was our third National Geographic trip with tour expert Kitty Coley. In addition to a Galapagos cruise we spent time in the Ecuadorian Amazon (Napo Wildlife Center), bird watching in the Mindo and Tandayapa Valleys, and a visit to the Otavalo market. Check out our trip page for photos and a trip log.
Our second National Geographic trip with tour expert Kitty Coley had us white-water rafting the Pacuare River, dipping into the Tabacon Hot Springs, zip-lining through the cloud forest, and snorkeling off the Pacific coast. The highlight, though, was the colorful and unique wildlife, including birds, butterflies, monkeys and sloths. View our pictures and trip itinerary.
Really an extension of our Egypt trip, our primary inspiration for visiting Jordan was to see the ancient rock-cut city of Petra (where "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" was filmed). The sheer scale of the city and the beauty of the sandstone carvings was absolutely breathtaking. While in Jordan we also spent an evening in Wadi Rum and a few days floating on the Dead Sea. Check out our pictures and itinerary.
The focus of this trip was safari in Namibia and Botswana (6 different camps), but we were also able to spend a few days in Cape Town, a few days at Victoria Falls (where we rafted the Zambezi), and some relaxation time in Zanzibar. Check out our photos and itinerary on the trip page.
A college friend of ours was getting married in France, so we took the opportunity to plan an extended vacation throughout France, including cooking school in Provence, a night in the medieval city of Carcassonne, a drive along the Normandy Coast, a few days in Paris and the wedding in the Loire Valley. View our complete itinerary.
This was our honeymoon, sort of. We spent most of the week long vacation earning our advanced suba diving certification before meeting up with Chris and Raka for a couple days of beachside relaxation.
We rented a van and traveled east with Jean and Malinda to join up with ten of our college friends for the Salt Lake City Olympics. We all stayed in the same large house and enjoyed events like curling, hockey, short track speed skating, bobsleigh and more. You can see our itinerary here.