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The Fighting Couple Takes On: The Nurburgring

You know those big booming voice-overs that do movie previews? Imagine one saying, “Faced with certain death. Two star-crossed lovers take on a sea of green… winding through twist and turns.” Ok…perhaps a bit over the top…

We are going to Germany!

Our next couple travel adventure is to the home to om-pa bands, lederhosen and a little known place called the “Green Hell” aka Nurburg, Germany. Our friends at RSR Nurburg have invited us to the Eifel region of central Germany for some romance and a little racing.

A little more about RSR Nurburg.

 

Here is a little preview of what we are in for:

 

Dont take our word for it.

 

 

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Fighting Couple Book Club: Astray by Emma Donoghue

The weather here in Idaho is starting to cool a bit.  Fall is knocking on our door.  Time to find a great read to curl up to (or your spouse).  We began our quest to find the perfect book.  We definitely wanted something that was couple travel related.  So we engaged the services of our great friend  Andrea from “Cave of the Book Goddess” to pick a winner.  (FYI-she has a black belt in Las Vegas travel.)  This is our first attempt at doing a virtual book club…so here goes.   You are all officially members of the inaugural Fighting Couple Book Club.

 

We will be reading:

Astray by Emma Donoghue

Astray by Emma Donoghue

Astray by Emma Donoghue.

About the book:

“Astray (2012). This sequence of fourteen fact-inspired fictions about travels to, in and from North America, which I have been writing one by one over the past decade and a half, is my eleventh book of fiction.  Astray was shortlisted for the 2012 Eason Irish Novel of the Year and the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, and longlisted for the Story Prize, the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.

With the turn of each page, the protagonists of these stories go astray in various senses. They are emigrants, runaways, drifters; gold miners and counterfeiters, attorneys and slaves. They cross borders of race, law, sex, and sanity. They travel for love or money, under duress or incognito. Astray transports the reader from puritan Massachusetts to revolutionary New Jersey, from antebellum Louisiana to a 1960s Toronto highway, lighting up four centuries of wanderings that have profound echoes in the present.”

About the Author

Emma Donoghue

@edonoghueWriter

http://emmadonoghue.com

“Born in Dublin, Ireland, in October 1969, I am the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue (the literary critic, Henry James Professor at New York University). I attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one eye-opening year in New York at the age of ten. In 1990 I earned a first-class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin (unfortunately, without learning to actually speak French.) I moved to England, and in 1997 received my PhD (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of Cambridge. From the age of 23, I have earned my living as a writer, and have been lucky enough to never have an ‘honest job’ since I was sacked after a single summer month as a chambermaid. After years of commuting between England, Ireland, and Canada, in 1998 I settled in London, Ontario, where I live with Chris Roulston and our son Finn (8) and daughter Una (5).”

Step one

Go buy the book.  If you want to make our day…go here to buy it here: Astray.    This will allow us to put a down payment on a #2 pencil.

Step two

In 30 days…roughly the first of November we will begin our FIGHT discussion on the book.  Fun huh?

Need a friendly reminder?  Sign up for our monthly newsletter.  Right over there——->

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Couples Extended Vacations, No Passports Needed

Oftentimes traveling couples think that extended-stay getaways mean going abroad to Europe, Mexico or the Caribbean, where all-inclusive vacation packages are king. But have you ever thought that some of the best long-stay vacation ideas are located right in here in the United States, no passport required? Whether you are looking to reconnect, grow closer or just enjoy some time away from reality for more than a long weekend, these destinations provide an endless array of romantic activities that you will never forget.  Here are a few of our ideas for best trips for couples:

New York City Like a Local

The city that never sleeps is an excellent destination for traveling couples looking to embark upon a big-city adventure. But just because the city is fast-paced doesn’t mean your vacation has to be. New York City is home to five boroughs, each with unique attributes that require more than a few days to explore. Reminisce on your early days of dating by holding hands in Central Park like a local couple. Speaking of Central Park, rather than breezing through to take a few pictures before making dinner reservations at a sub-par, over-priced Midtown restaurant, stop at a local grocery store and grab a few items and a bottle of wine for a romantic picnic. The park spans more than 50 city blocks, so whether you choose a more open area like the Great Lawn or a spot off the beaten path, this iconic location provides relaxation away from all the hustle and bustle.

New york nightime

New York-The City That Never Sleeps!

Meanwhile, Brooklyn is brimming with unique romantic restaurants and attractions. Visit the Brooklyn Brewery on a Friday or Saturday evening and explore the rest of the Williamsburg neighborhood for the night. One of the highlights for couples is the Barcade, featuring more than 40 classic arcade games where you can both showcase your competitive spirit and relive your childhood.

Travel Tip: These are just two examples of how you can spend your time really taking in NYC like a local. Plan ahead, but don’t be afraid to be spontaneous. To save money, utilize apps such as Yelp, Urbanspoon and Foursquare to discover nightly and daily specials in the most coveted neighborhoods.

Did you know that you can ask the Fighting Couple anything?  Need couple travel ideas or relationship advice?  Just ask the Fighting Couple.

A Week on the West Coast

For people in the Midwest or the East Coast, it’s often difficult to see every major city out west. Rather than trying to make separate trips to each destination, consider flying out to either Seattle up north or Sand Diego down south and hop on a bus trip or grab a rental car and spend a few days in each city along the way.

Taketours.com offers a 14-day Pacific Coast Explorer Tour that begins in San Diego and ends in Seattle. The tour also travels to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Wine Country, Brandon-by-the-Sea and Portland. The price for the tours varies but is usually around $2200 a person, not including airfare.

Beach

The Beautiful California Coastline Near Big Sur

If traveling with a group isn’t your style, or if you would rather take in the Pacific Coast on your own terms, check the price for rental cars and see if you can get any discounts with your airfare.

Travel Tip: Utilize an app like Kayak to monitor rates for flights, hotels and rental cars. You can set up price alerts for your intended dates to ensure you get the best rates possible within your budget. Also, consider alternate lodging options near some areas. The West Coast is home to some of the best camping areas in the country, which can often be more cost-effective, romantic and serene than hotels.

A Tennessee Retreat

Tennessee is arguably one of the most beautiful couple travel destinations in the South, especially in the spring and fall. Both Memphis and Nashville offer unique festivals that you won’t find anywhere else in the country, and the musical history within each city is unique from any other place in the U.S. Start with one of these cities and end with another while taking in the Tennessee countryside and smaller cities, like Kingsport, Chattanooga and Gatlinburg, in between. Much like on the West Coast, there are tons of campsites where you can relax and sleep under the stars rather than in the confines of four walls.

Elvis's Poolroom at Graceland

Elvis’s Poolroom at Graceland

If you live in the South or Midwest, consider driving to save on airfare. If you would rather fly, compare prices between the Memphis and Nashville airports. Flights can be drastically different depending on where you will be departing from. If you do fly, rent a car and take your time navigating through the rolling scenery. Also, since you’ve already decided you’re going to enjoy a laid-back retreat, consider taking the back roads instead of highways to fully take in the state’s natural beauty.

Travel Tip: Get rid of Google maps and stick with the paper kind. Tennessee is a place where you can keep your eyes open and enjoy a more simple way of life.

Couple Travel Advice

No matter where you decide to take some time away, it’s important to keep a few things in mind so you can enjoy each other’s company rather than getting sick of each other.

  • Discuss what you both want to see and do ahead of time, but don’t feel bound to an itinerary. The biggest benefit of taking an extended vacation is that you can go off the beaten path and do things at your leisure without feeling rushed.
  • Set a budget beforehand for attractions, dining, drinking and even shopping so you can keep the financial fights at home. Bon Voyage is a great app that allows you to create a trip, plan your budget based on the destination, and track every expense you make so you can monitor your spending in real time.
  • Use Kayak to set up price alerts for flights, lodging and rental cars to get the lowest rates possible.
  • Relax and enjoy the journey. No matter what your reason for wanting to get away, remember that these experiences are always better when shared.

This blog post was provided by Marriott International, which operates more than 3,700 hotels and resorts representing 18 brands in 70 countries.  Pick one for the perfect couple travel experience!

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My First Bath (Turkish)

 

An experience that is difficult to fully describe. We chose the Cagaloglu Hamami or Turkish bath. It is medieval design. The Cagaloglu Hamami is probably the world’s most famous Turkish Bath. It’s featured in the 1000 places to go before you die book, and is reputed to have been visited by King Edward VII, Florence Nightingale, Tony Curtis and Cameron Diaz and now my wife Luci. You walk in and are greeted by two “bath guys” they give you the run down on the different bath options.  We chose the bath and massage. We put down our green backs, picked out our soap and soapmit.  Luci was whisked away to the women side. From what she described, I should of followed her.

Ok, they give you the key to your “compartment” and in you go.   Directions from the aging gentleman were simple. “take off clothes, put on towel”.  No welcome to the bath, no: you may be concerned about modesty etc… now the mens waiting room is right in front of the main entry way.  So I walk out and some French girls are pointing an laughing at me. I think they thought something was funny with my towel…I don’t know.

You are escorted into the back,  which opens into a huge domed room  At center is a huge marble slab.  It is about a 1000 degrees.  10 bathers total.  One of the employees (blue towel) says: go to hot room.  I am thinking, this is fairly hot.  I head to back. Hot room was an understatement.  I sit down careful to keep knees together.  How do you girls do it?  I cook for 10 minute,  then my “man” comes. “I am Ali” I said, yes you are. “come”. Ali is light on words and heavy on pounds. Ali looks to be expecting twins, and has the hair from planet apes. He directs me to lay flat on the center stone. I do. Enter Turkish massage.  A lot of chopping, and pulling muscle from bone, which is not as pleasant as it sounds. Ali is ingueiness in using elbows, and knees to knead soft tissue. At one point, knee is used to “soften buttocks area”. This was the most unpleasant portion of the adventure as marble was not very forgiving of my reverse side (enough said).

Once my entire body has been stretched, pulled and properly kneaded. Ali explained, “now wash”. I was directed to one of the side marble benches. being completely washed by another man is not something that i do on a regular basis. Ali puts on a sandpaper glove and begins to methodically remove 1 inch of my skin. He keeps showing me the glove. It is completely covered in skin removed. I nodded like this was great. Then he took his finger nails and removed the top layer of my scalp for 10 mins.

Enter more soap, more scrubbing.  At last I look like a drowned cat.  Ali says: “done”. I can’t move. I finally find my way back to my compartment and change.  I take a pic with Ali. I tried to wish him luck with the twins…it didn’t translate well.

It was a once in a lifetime experience (I hope!)

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