Tag Archives | travel

Barcelona for Begginers

Ok…you have booked your trip to Barcelona!  Congrats!  You are about to set foot in one of the most storied cities in all of Europe.  You are about to indulge is masterful art and architecture, a compelling history, complex cuisine, and meet warm and friendly Catalonians as they call themselves.  A few of the basics:  Barcelona is perched on the sun drenched Mediterranean Sea.  It is a kaleidoscope of culture.  The city is perhaps best known for its championship football team, aka “Barca”.  They call Camp Nou home, it is a shrine to the game, a must see for any soccer fan.  There are many lodging options, everything from the very basic to luxury apartment rentals in Barcelona.

Getting there

Barcelona international Airport “El Prat” is the gateway into the city.  Flights from Europe and the rest of the world arrive there each day.  Some 47 million passengers arrive each year at El Prat.   The airport is some ways away from the downtown area.  There are a number of options for transfer/transportation including:  rental car, bus, metro and smaller shuttles called Rapid shuttle.  Barcelona is actually a very drivable city, if you elect to rent a car, you will have additional freedom to explore the entire region.

Getting around

Navigating around the city is simple.  They have a very advanced metro system.  You can easily purchase tickets in the underground and navigate yourself around the city.  We suggest the weekly card for extended stays.  There are a number of aps that help you design your routes.  You can combine bus and metro to get to all of the key areas, as well as the outlying areas.  As with any large city, keep an eye on your belongings and be situationally aware.

Lodging

Barcelona offers a wide variety of lodging options.  You can choose from everything from luxury accommodations to the very basic spartan lodging.   We elected to stay just outside the city, in a very nice business class hotel, and found the commute easy via the metro, and our dollars went a lot further.

Discovering Barcelona

Lets go see the city!  A quick primer. The city’s skyline and history is dominated by one name: Gaudi.  Antoni Gaudi (25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926) was a famed artist and architect.  His work is one of a kind.  You see his fingerprints all across the city.  The best way to get a feel of the entire town is to take one of the double decker open bus tours.  I know, I know, they are bit basic, but the hop on hop off buses really give you a lay of the land for your visit.  Take note of the sights that interest you the most and build your itinerary.  If you are traveling with your sweet heart, check out our post on the best places to Kiss in Barcelona.

The other dominate thread throughout the city is the Olympics.  The city played host to the 1992 summer games.  There are a number venues that are still in place and operating.  The Olympic museum is a fun visit and is a tribute to sport and friendship.  The diving platform with views of the city is one of the iconic camera shots from the game.

The view from the top of Park Guell

Park Gurell

Hands down, our fave place to visit in Barcelona is the Park Gurell. (https://www.parkguell.cat/en/)  This is truely one of Guadi’s grand visions.  Originally, it was intended to be an upscale planned community.  Fortunately for today’s visitors, Gaudi’s vision was a little deeper than the pockets of prospective investors.  Today, the entire development has been transformed into a public park and greenspace.  It is a masterpiece.  Wander around the grounds then climb the Instagram worthy lizard stairs.  There are a number of vistas of the city and of the grand Sagrada Familia Cathedral.  The park is the perfect place to picnic or cool down during a warm afternoon.  There is a nominal charge for entering the park.

Sagrada Familia

Once you have had a view of Sagrada Familia from a distance, time to go discover the work of art up close.  First things first.  This place is very popular.  By popular we mean there are throngs of people that que up to see the inside and take pictures of the quirky characters that adorn the exterior of the building.  We recommend making this a first or last stop during the day to avoid the herds.

Barcelona

So what exactly is this?

Dreamed up and designed by Gaudi, the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) cathedral is Gaudi’s tribute to his beloved religion, Catholicism.  He spent every last peso on its development and construction.  He died leaving the building only 25% finished.  Construction was commenced 1883 and continues to this day.  Construction has been interrupted by civil war, construction company disagreements and most of all lack of funding.  With all of that turmoil it is one of the most unique and intriguing structures.  The way the entire building is filled with light, the shapes, curves, and spires make it an icon.

Waterfront

One of the most underrated parts of town is the water front.  While Barcelona proper doesn’t have any prime beaches, it does have some stellar fish houses along the water.  You can dine on some seafood paella and watch the boats come in and out.  Don’t forget to snap a picture of one of you fellow travelers- Christopher Columbus!

Barcelona

The Fountains of MontJuic

Monjuic

Once you have had your dinner, head over to the city center and watch the magic fountains of Montjuic.  The display is made up of hundreds of jets shooting water high into the air, and the entire show is set to music.  It is a wonderful mix of water, color and sounds!  Not to be missed.

Barcelona is truly one of those places that change the way you travel.  You immediately want to dive deeper and understand the architecture, culture and the vibrant and engaging people of this city.  Did we miss something?  Have you been?  Please let us a comment below.

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7 Questions with: Our Escape Clause

Take the world by a storm?  That’s just what Kate and Jeremy Storm have been doing full time for the past two years!  We put this globe trotting couple to the test with our 7 questions.  If you are wondering if the fight, stay tuned!

Give them a follow:

Blog:  Our Escape Clause

Twitter:  @ourescapeclause

Instagram:  Our Escape Clause

Facebook:  Our Escape Clause

1) Tell us a little bit about yourselves. How did you meet? What inspired you to travel together?

We met 10 years ago at an afterschool job in a fast food restaurant–we were both high school students at the time!

We were both excited about the idea of traveling the world, but neither of us had ever left the USA, and of course, we didn’t really have the time and money to make travel happen at that time.

After we got married and took our honeymoon in the Bahamas (our first time out of the USA!) and quickly followed that up with a trip to Paris, we knew we were hooked: within 3 years we had sold almost everything we owned and set off on a RTW trip that has now morphed into a location-independent lifestyle.

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?)

He Said: Ernest Hemingway–he knows all the good bars!

She Said: Hmm… probably my mom, because I’ve been trying to get her to come travel for years! I think she’d love it, and also, I’m picky about who I spend that much time with.

 

3)What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?  Why?

He said: Koh Tao, Thailand: it’s a laid-back island with lots of great (and cheap) food. It’s also where I learned to scuba dive, a sport I now love.

She said: It’s impossible to pick one, but I will never be tired of returning to Italy. The food alone is enough to keep me coming back!

4)  One of our favorite posts on your site is “Fire on the Utila” Tell us the story!

He said: I remember that we were returning bikes that we had rented, and I suddenly heard people shouting about collecting buckets in Spanish… it took a minute to realize what was going on, but as soon as I did, I ran in to help.

It was a bit chaotic at first, but once we got the bucket line going, things started to progress.

It was definitely strange see a fire somewhere without a proper fire department–it was quite the reminder of how vulnerable places can be.

She said: Jeremy spotted the fire first, and immediately jumped in to help. It’s was all a whirlwind, but within a few minutes we were both on a bucket line, hauling water and trying to help get the fire put out as fast as possible.

Luckily, it wasn’t too scary of a situation–everyone was calm and helpful–but I remember we were all concerned about nearby buildings catching fire and causing the fire to spread.

 

5)  We love one of the themes of your blog is traveling on a budget.  So important for couples! What are your best tips for traveling with limited funds?

He said: Try to remember that not everything has to be organized or cost money. One of my favorite things to do in cities is to pick up some local street food and wander around aimlessly. We find tons of cool spots when we do that, and also end up having some of our cheapest days on the road.

She said: Track everything! The easiest way to go over budget (or to stress about being over budget when you’re actually under budget, which can happen too) is to not know exactly where your money is going. I write down our purchases every day, and it helps us stay focused.

 

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: Hunger. It’s a travesty that given how much food that we produce as a planet that we have failed at managing it so badly that there are still hundreds of millions of food insecure people in the world.

She said: Wow, that’s hard. I would say making sure all children are in quality schools until the age of 18–I believe a lot of problems in the world could be solved via a ripple effect if we address that issue.

7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

He said: It’s cliche, but we spend a lot of time arguing about what we’re going to eat. It can be hard for both of us to make decisions, and we often crave different foods on the road.

She said: It’s hard to remember one in particular, but I’m sure it had something to do with getting lost. Not knowing where we are is always a big stress point for us, and sometimes causes us to bicker.

A huge thanks to Kate and Jeremy for sharing their story!  Give them a follow!

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Seven Questions with Roamaroo!

Have you ever wondered how to stay fit while on the road constantly?  The couple we are featuring this week are pros!  Not only do they keep their bodies healthy, they also work hard on keeping their relationship strong.  Meet Scott and Collette of Roamaroo.com.  They recently penned a great article for Elite Daily titled:  “10 Ways My Husband and I Keep Our Spark Burning While Traveling.”

Give them a follow:

Blog:  www.roamaroo.com

Facebook:  Roamaroo

twitter: @roamaroo

Instagram: Roamaroo

Lets get to know them better:

1) How many countries visited between the two of you?

We’ve visited 45 countries together! Collette has visited 66 countries. Scott has visited 46 countries.

Scott and Collette of Roamaroo

Scott and Collette of Roamaroo

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?.)

She said: Mike Rowe for his witty banter, incredible vocabulary, and carpe diem personality.  How cool would it be to be included in an epic Mike Rowe story? Maybe he’d even sing it in his Opera voice…

He said: Superman – I wouldn’t have to worry about paying for plane tickets again.  Also, he could fly me around to get some cool “Drone” shots of all the great places.  

3)What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?  Why?  Any tips for someone that has never been?

She said: It’s a toss up between South Africa and New Zealand. When we visited South Africa, we went on a safari in the Sabi Sands area of Kruger National Park. There is nothing more primal than being surrounded by nature’s greatest beasts.

New Zealand will always have my heart for its pure beauty. We road tripped around the south island for 2 weeks, sleeping in a van and cooking beans and rice. It was romantic, it was intimate, it was exploration at its purest. No frills, no fuss, just two explorers finding meaning in Mother Nature. If you find your way to New Zealand, we highly recommend renting a campervan to explore the country. Don’t make too many plans and leave your options open to chance!

He said: Istanbul and Iceland.  Istanbul is such a culturally rich city with a fascinating history. The Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are some of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen.  A great thing to do is to take an Uber boat down the Bosphorus.  We took one to Reina restaurant at night.  There’s nothing fancier than arriving to a turkish club/restaurant on a boat.  

  Another favorite location of mine is Iceland.  The vast beauty, dramatic waterfalls, and welcoming people make Iceland unforgettable. We drove a campervan around Iceland for a week.  Every morning we woke up somewhere new and beautiful.  My favorite experience was when we cooked breakfast in our camper while overlooking the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Watching the brilliantly blue ice while enjoying our morning coffee was something no hotel or restaurant could offer.  

4)    You both are uber healthy!  We are not brave enough to try Crossfit.  Tell us, what are you secrets for eating and exercising on the road?

She said: For me, exercise is both a mental and physical necessity. Exercising is my own moving meditation. It clears my mind, keeps my body in tip top shape, and makes me a better person. I even wrote a book about staying fit while traveling called Passport to Fitness!

He said:  I love to do Crossfit and it’s a great way to meet locals.  We’ve made some great friends at gyms who have been nice enough to show us around or take us to dinner.  One of my healthy travel tips is to fast on travel days.  Most people hate the idea of fasting, but new research is showing some amazing anti aging benefits benefits to fasting.  If we have a travel day filled with sitting on trains or planes, it’s easy to fast for the day since they’re no caloric need for large meals.  

Collette in Cambodia.

Collette in Cambodia.

5)  We really enjoyed your posts on Cambodia.  Tell us what your impressions were?   Any recommendations?  How was the food?

She said: Cambodia was one of the most memorable experiences we’ve ever had. From a 4:30 am cotton candy sunrise over Angkor Wat to visiting local Khmer villages on the Mekong River, it was one of the most gratifying and eye opening trips of our journey. One memory stands out above the rest and that is when we were cruising down the Mekong River and stopped at a remote village. We ended up having a dance party with the locals under the glowing Cambodian moonlight. Although we don’t speak Khmer and they didn’t speak English, we were all able to communicate via dance.

He said: Cambodia was a great country to visit, I especially loved Siem Reap.  Climbing the temples of Angkor Wat with our local tuk-tuk driver was an unforgettable day.  Due to the horrible actions of Pol Pot in the 1970’s, the people of Cambodia are struggling to rebuild the country.  You can see this in everyday life as many people live without basic technology of developed countries.  Tip for Angkor Wat:  Most hotels will organize tours of Angkor Wat, but if you want to save money, book directly with a tuk tuk driver.  You’ll save 75%.  Just ask any tuk-tuk driver (who has a nice tuk-tuk) if they do tours of Angkor Wat.  Then negotiate a good price.  It’s best to ask a few drivers to find the best price.  

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

She said: I would love to absolve the fear that people have of other cultures, religions, and differences. Travel is about celebrating and accepting differences, learning other beliefs, and co-existing.

He said: As cheesy as it sounds, it would be world peace.  If we didn’t spend the billions of dollars, time, and resources on defence we could solve countless problems within the world.  We could dedicate resources to the hungry, creating better communities, advance society, and space travel.  Call me selfish, but I would like to visit the moon!

Roamaroo

Roamaroo

7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

She said: Setting the alarm! I am not a morning person, especially when you mix in jet lag. Sometimes I like to wake up naturally and not have to worry about an alarm waking me up everyday. Scott likes the regimented alarm, but he hardly ever wakes up from the noise. I however, always wake up from his alarm and have to wake him up.
He said: Every time we board a flight, Collette likes to be the first one in line.  I’m a little more relaxed when it comes to getting on the plane. This always caused a rift between us in the beginning.  Now, Collette just gives me my ticket and we meet on the plane.

 

1000Fights:  Thanks again to our friends Scott and Collette for sharing a little about their adventure!  Give them a follow!

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Selfie of Love Contest

LouvreLove

 

Do you have the best couple travel picture?

Just in time for the upcoming month of February and Valentines day, we are searching for the best couple travel picture!

What’s in it for you?  You could win a dinner for two at your fave restaurant in the world!  (Basically, if you are selected as our Selfie of Love contest winner, we send you $50.  Not bad huh?)  In addition, the top 10 pictures will be proudly featured on our site!  Where 10 or so people will see them!  We are happy to link back to your site/blog/social media if you wish.

All pictures will be we be judged by a completely biased panel namely yours truly the Fighting Couple.  We are looking for couples that get out and see the world together!  Style points will certainly be added for location, originality, ect!

Just zing us a picture and tell us in less than 10 words where it was taken.  Send them to SelfieofLove@gmail.com

 

The fine print (sorry, we don’t look good in stripes):

1) Pictures must be travel themed and feature at least two people.  (No cat pictures allowed.)

2) Void where prohibited.  (Void is such a weird word…..Void.)

3)  All pics must be “tastefully” done.  (Ummm… no weird stuff, ok?)

4) Contest rules are subject to change.  (Unless Luci changes her mind….which NEVER happens.)

5)  Contest ends on February 10, 2016 at midnight MST.  (All good things must come to an end.)

5.5)  18 years old and above only to win.  (This is the most fun adults get to have…no kids allowed!)

6)  The expert judges at 1000 Fights will pick the winner!.  (There are no rules against crossing your fingers.)

7)  Submitting pictures to www.1000Fights.com means we can use them.  (We will use them in our post if you win.  Thats all.  We promise.)

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The Do’s And Don’ts of Thailand

First, I’d like to thank the Fighting Couple for hosting my post here. I’m a big fan and I especially recommend their article on International travel. You’ll love the tips they have there. Thailand is really welcoming and understanding to foreigners. Most will forgive you for your mistakes without you even knowing. This does not mean you should go around without a care for their culture. Taking the time to learn even just a few polite gestures will help you go a long way in this loving country.

Do’s

-Learning to smile all the time. Thailand is known as the “land of smiles”, and for a good reason. Smiling does not mean the Thai people are in a good mood, it is just a cultural gesture so please take that into consideration.

-Travel insurance is a must when traveling to Thailand or anywhere in the world. Having insurance for your goods and health will be beneficial for you in the long run. World Nomads is a very secure travel insurance agency.

Thailand is paradise!

Thailand is paradise!

-If you ever see a monk, please treat them with the utmost respect. All monks in Thailand are well respected by the locals and should also be by tourists.

-When visiting temples or shrines always take your shoes and hats off before entering any temple. Even if there is no sign in English or other languages, you can take a hint from watching the local’s actions.

-Be conservative when dressing, cover your shoulders and knees. This goes for men and woman. Wearing clean clothes is considered a respect to society. Thai people would not understand how a foreigner with enough money to visit their country cannot afford clothes in proper condition.

-When visiting others, always bring gifts, especially when visiting them at their home. The Thai people really like receiving flowers, sweets, and liquor.

-Buddhism is practiced by most of Thailand and it is generally important to respect this. It is even practiced in law and you can be arrested for disrespecting Buddha.

-If you take pictures of Buddha in a temple or anywhere in general, you must take it discreetly and from a kneeling position. Upon taking a picture, it is polite to leave a donation at nearby boxes.

-Show respect to the king and his family. This means you need to show respect to absolutely everything that has the king’s image on it. Altering images or playing around with objects with the king on it can cost you if you’re caught.

-When waving taxis or other types of public transportation down make sure you hold your hand up horizontal with your fingers pointed down.

-Introduce yourself to others by stating your first name. You will hear the prefix “Khun” a lot because this equal to Mr, Mrs, or Ms.

-Being open is a natural thing in Thailand. Do be open about yourself to others. You will be getting questions about age, marital status and even income. This is just a way of socializing for the people of Thailand.

-Spending time in Thailand as a tourist, it is important to care for your own safety. When looking for tour guides and apps on your phone, or even bank information, try to keep things even more private by masking it from others. As cybercrime is on the rise, you should install a VPN program to your phone prior to your arrival. This will encrypt your connection for protection and also anonymize your surfing to keep your activity private from government censors or network administrators.

-While eating out in Thailand you might have to do something you are not usually used to. Leaving food behind is actually a good thing here. This lets the host know you are leaving full and satisfied. If you do not leave any behind, the host might think you are leaving hungry and could possibly order more for you.

Don’ts

-Never touch others without permission. It is really disrespectful to touch others on the head.

-You do not shake hands in Thailand. Thais tend to be shy and stray away from most physical contacts. Instead you will have to “Wai” to others.

-Do not “Wai” to children or others of lower status. This can cause you to embarrass them in public.

The Grand Palace in Thailand.

The Grand Palace in Thailand.

-Public display of affection is considered disrespectful to others and is looked down upon.

-The feet are considered the filthiest part of the human body so pointing your feet or showing the sole of your shoes can be extremely disrespectful and considered an insult.

-When out, try not to shout or show your temper, if you currently have one. In the eyes of the Thai you would either be insane or of poor upbringing to be acting that way.

-Do not be surprised if you don’t get handed some chopsticks with your meal in Thailand. It is actually common to use a fork and knife.

-When eating with hands never use your left hand. The use of the left hand is considered to be used for toilet paper.

-As you enter a building try to step over thresholds, Thais believe spirits protect their home by living in their doorsill. By stepping on them you will enrage the spirits and cause a streak of bad luck for the home and the family living in it. Take off your shoes before stepping over thresholds at temples and homes.

These tips should help you to make the most of your time in Thailand and fully experience the beautiful culture waiting there for you.

 

Hi, my name is Jess Signet. My parents were travelers since before I was born. Even in the womb, I was able to travel all over the place! Boy, did things NOT change as I grew older!

Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble I live in made me want to travel even further. Traveling is my drug and I’m addicted. (Please, no intervention!)

 

@1000Fights  Thanks Jess for giving the rundown of the do’s and dont’s!  Well done!

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Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? In Mississippi!

The hayseed cult-classic, “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou,” starring George Clooney has long been one of our favorite films. The film is set and was filmed in the American south.   As the storyline loosely follows the Odyssey by Homer, it appeals to wanderlusters. During our recent visit to the south, we tracked several of the film’s most iconic locations.

Its has been a while since this film came out…. How about a quick review? Here is the trailer:

The Woolworth Store

George Clooney

The Woolworth Store. Luci said she would never kick Clooney out of her Woolworth.

Perhaps the only establishment that George Clooney has ever been banned from: the Yazoo City Woolworth. As the story goes, Clooney’s character Ulysses Everett McGill confronts his ex-wife and her new fiancé.  Yazoo City is located an hour north of the State Capitol of Mississippi, Jackson. Getting to the city is fairly strait forward. Take 49 north. The “Woolworth” building today is actually an antique dealership and is located right on Main Street. Location: 128 South Main Street, Yazoo City, MS.

Yazoo City is a unique place, with colorful buildings lining an active Main Street. Try Tom’s on Main Street for lunch. He makes a mean cheese burger.

Movie Fun Fact:  George Clooney practiced his singing for weeks, but in the end his singing voice was dubbed by country blues singer Dan Tyminski. -IMDb

 

Yazoo Bank

Just down from the Woolworth Building is old Yazoo City Bank. It makes an appearance in the film as the boys and George “Babyface” Nelson rob the Bank of Itea Bina. The structure is small, just as it appears in the movie.  There are Greek revival columns that frame the door. There is an engraved logo above the doors, that was whited out for the movie. The bank is located at the intersection of Main Street and Commercial in Yazoo City, MS.

Yazoo Bank

Yazoo Bank

WEZY Radio Station

The elusive WEZY Radio Station. Photo courtesy of http://martykittrellphotos.blogspot.com/

The elusive WEZY Radio Station. Photo courtesy of http://martykittrellphotos.blogspot.com/

The boys meet up with blues guitarist Tommy Johnson along the way, and form a signing group called the “Soggy Bottom Boys.” In an effort to make some quick cash, they head to WEZY Radio, where they “sing into the can” for a blind radio engineer. This was perhaps the most fun and frustrating location to find.   I say “find,” but I was never able to actually find the location. The scene was shot in Valley Park, MS, west of Hwy 61. From what I have been able to track down, the radio station itself was made for the movie and destroyed after. What remains is just the radio tower. I wandered around town (a few farm houses and a post office open in the afternoons.) If you have found it and can give directions, please leave a comment below.

Baptism

The Scene of the Baptism.

The Scene of the Baptism.

In Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, a baptism scene takes place at Alligator Lake located on Long Lake Road. The lake is located 20 minutes north of Vicksburg, MS. During my visit, the river was flooding, so I wasn’t able to get all the way in. The water was warm!

Movie Fun Fact:  All of the records shown in the film are turning at 33-1/3 RPM. In 1934, only 78 RPM was used. The first 33-1/3 RPM album was released in 1947. -IMDb

Theater

Every time I see this picture, I start singing, "you are my sunshine!"

Every time I see this picture, I start singing, “you are my sunshine!”

At the climax of the movie, George Clooney and his cohorts, The Soggy Bottom Boys, sing at a political function in a community hall. It is here were the Homer Stokes for Governor campaign makes a major misstep and Mr. Stokes is run our on a rail. The hall is filled with tables and features a stage at the front of the building. This scene was filmed in the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation Building.  Scenes from the movie, Mississippi Burning were also set at this location. Interesting thing about this location, as you watch the movie, and they are carrying Mr. Stokes out on the rail, the sound of them marching is very loud. The floor of the hall is wood and sounds exactly the same as you walk on it! Loud! This location is 1302 Adams Street, Vicksburg, MS.

Movie Fun Fact: Although Homer is given a co-writing credit on the film, the Coen Brothers claim never to have read The Odyssey and are familiar with it only through cultural osmosis and film adaptations.

Pappy’s Porch

The Governor's favorite porch.

The Governor’s favorite porch.

Governor Pappy O’Daniel, the flour magnate and proud governor, plots his re-election plans on the porch of a beautiful plantation. The plantation is one of many antebellum beauties in Natchez, MS. The plantation is aptly called, “Cedars,” and is located along the Mississippi River. A tree lined lane leads to the stunning home. It is privately held and there are heavy gates that block entry. We did our best to photograph the porch from a distance. The location is Cedars Plantation, 13688 River Road, Natchez, MS.

During out stay in the south, we elected to stay in Natchez and can highly recommend the area.  The entire city is filled to the brim with stunning well kept plantation mansions. We used Flipkey to book this amazing cottage . This house has a ton of history of its own, and has been lovingly restored.

Movie Fun Fact:  When Everett and Delmar are eating at the restaurant, Everett orders the restaurant’s “finest bottle of bubbly wine.” Though Prohibition was repealed nationally in 1933, Mississippi still prohibited the sale of alcohol until 1966.

River Sex Scene

The D'Lo Water Park

The D’Lo Water Park

Everett, Pete and Delmer’s harken to the Siren’s call. Three southern belles call to them along a trickling creek.  The boys participate in debauchery in one of the most beautiful settings in the south, D’Lo Water Park. It is here that Pete gets loved up and turned into a horney toad. The location is D’Lo Water Park, 135 D’ Lo Road, D’Lo, MS. It is 20 miles south of Jackson.

The KKK Cross Burning

The Coen brothers, the directors of this movie didn’t feel that it would be appropriate to recreate the cross burning scene in the south. They elected to use a sound stage in Hollywood.

Movie Fun Fact: The song recorded by the Soggy Bottom Boys (“I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow”) , contains the line “I bid farewell to ol’ Kentucky, the place where I was born and raised.” George Clooney, who played one of the Soggy Bottom Boys, was born in Lexington, Kentucky.

 

We hope that you enjoyed this behind the scenes peek at a great movie. Each of these locations are close together so you can hit all the sites mentioned in one day. Now go R-U-N-N-O-F-T.

 

Disclosure: On occasion we are offered items to review on this site.  Does this affect our honest review and opinion?  Not one bit!

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7 Questions with ‘As We Saw It’

In our continued quest in introduce you to some of the most interesting traveling couples, this week’s installment is one of the best.  Meet Dan and Linda of www.aswesawit.com.  This empty nester duo found freedom and a bucketload of adventure on the road.  Together they have visited over 40+ countries on five continents!  Best of all?  They met online!  They have been together  for over 14 year.  Congrats!

1)  Our fave post of yours is “The Day Ecuador Kicked Us Out”.  Give us the quick version.  How did you keep your cool?

She said: I kept reminding myself that they were only doing their job and that I’d never win, plus nothing could be accomplished by breaking into tears. Then we started brainstorming to figure out our options.

He said: Easy… I have a saying:  “It is what it is” and thus you just deal with the problem at hand.  I am an entrepreneur and a problem solver.  So once we figured out the situation, we made plans, proposed solutions to the authorities, won them over by our cooperation and ability to provide choices from a humble position and moved on.

 

Dan and Linda visiting the Sea of Galilee.

Dan and Linda visiting the Sea of Galilee.

2)  If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?)

She Said: My mom. It’s a lifetime dream I’ll never accomplish. When I was younger I watched her enjoy a series of trips with her mother including a Scandinavian cruise and an opportunity to watch the Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany. Unfortunately, at 89 and in a wheelchair, she’s unable to travel as she’d like so she prefers to stay at home.

He Said:  That would be Yeshua the Messiah (known in the Christian world as Jesus) since He would be able to teleport us anywhere and save the long-haul flight time and bring an interesting perspective to people and cultures since he can see through the lies.

 

3)  Being empty nesters, how do you keep in contact with family and friends?  Is it tough to live the nomadic lifestyle? 

She said: All five of our children and Dan’s parents visited us when we were living in Panama. Email, Whatsapp, Facebook and Skype help us stay in touch. The toughest part is knowing that my mom is so far away and can’t visit. I miss her and it’s hard to keep in touch with her because she doesn’t have a computer or cell phone.

He said:  We use Skype and Facebook to keep in contact.  Our family follows us there and for the most part we are fairly independent.

 

4)  We know you two are huge foodies…. If you had to eat one last meal, what/ where would you eat?

He said:  My last meal would be a Middle-Eastern style meal in Jerusalem… Those meals can go on forever and the food never stops.

She said: Oh, that’s a hard question because I’m crazy about Greek salads and their massive hunks of feta cheese. On the other hand, I also adore hummus and could happily consume bowls of it with a spoon. So I sort of agree with Dan … except for one thing: It wouldn’t be in Jerusalem. There was a lovely Arab restaurant atop a rooftop in Yafo (Jaffa) that brought out 20 – no kidding, 20 – mezze dishes and a mega basket of laffa bread, before our entrées even arrived! And their lemonade was amazing.

 

As We Saw It visiting Jordan.

As We Saw It visiting Jordan.

5)  What is the great challenge as a couple and individual living and traveling abroad?

He said:  Traveling for any extended period can be a great task on a relationship as well as a great building experience depending on how you handle it.  No matter how close you are as a couple, you still are different people and must learn and adapt to those differences, either by helping your partner change their habits or changing yourself to accept the differences.

This goes back to one of our first long term trips through Europe and dealing with a travel difference that hit me in the face in Venice, dragging our suitcases over all those bridges. For me it was like I had to do everything and it just boiled over.  After the trip, I reflected on the experience.  At first I was mad at Linda for her travel style.  Everything she did seemed to rub me the wrong way.  As the time went on through that year, I kept on looking back at that trip and dreading the upcoming long-term trip.  Time has a way of revealing yourself in situations!

I realized that much of this was on me and thus I decided to make a conscientious decision NOT to get upset on the next trip and to be more patient and understanding with her travel style.  This decision was seriously put to the test after about a week into a 3 week trip when another business situation crept into sight.

We found out that we needed to go to Asia so we ended up on a 10-week trip while packed for a 3-week one.  The change in my mindset ended up with us having the best time ever and brought us, if possible, even closer as we thoroughly enjoyed our private pool time in our own villa in Bali, Indonesia.

So from that point forward, travel has still brought us closer together with each trip and the challenges they bring.

She said: Dan and I are wired differently. He can easily multitask whereas I get completely lost whenever I focus on more than one thing at a time. It’s been hard for him to understand and just as hard on me, trying to do something I’m unable to.

 

6)  If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said:  Religion.  I would eliminate it since religion is used to separate and kill one another.

She said: I’d teach people not to take offense and to let go of anger, envy, bitterness and resentment. None of those produce anything beneficial.

The traveling duo in Lisbon.

The traveling duo in Lisbon.

7)  You knew it was coming…. What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

He said:  Actually this is a very good question because I actually can’t find a “great fight,” travel or non-travel.  I’d have to say it would have to be in Richmond, Virginia, where for some reason which I can’t remember, I got mad and went off to photograph a building, then got separated from Linda and couldn’t find her.  So I just went on shooting around downtown Richmond.  Finally I thought this was totally stupid and we started texting to find each other.  To make it worse, Linda’s phone was dying and that added to the stupidity of the fight.

She said: I’d say it occurred during that first long trip we took together. Lugging a suitcase up and down stairs takes a lot more effort and time when you’re as short as I am. Dan kept coming back to help me with my baggage so we could keep moving. By the time we got to Venice’s many bridges Dan was so exasperated with my slowness that he finally blew up, “I am never going to travel with you again! From now on we are taking separate vacations!” Fortunately he changed his mind before we had another opportunity to travel.

1000Fights: Linda, we had the exact same fight!!!!  Who knew there were so many stairs in Venice?

A hearty thank you to Dan and Linda from As We Saw It.  What a great example of couples that make traveling work for them.  Thank you for taking the time to visit with us and our readers.  Happy travels!

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7 Questions with the Hunter and the Horsewoman

In our never-ending quest to introduce you to some of the best couple travel bloggers, meet Lina and Dave of Divergent Travelers.  We have found that every traveler brings a unique background to the travel trail.  These two are no different.  Join us as Divergent Travelers take on our 7 Questions:

Blog:  Divergent Travelers

facebook:  Divergent Travelers

twitter:  @divergenttravelers

How did you meet?

We met at the county fair in Superior, WI in 1998.  I, Lina, was showing my horse at the fair that week and so was David’s sister. During the fair, he showed up to help his sister with her horse and that is how we met.
Diving on the Great Barrier Reef

Lina and Dave Diving on the Great Barrier Reef

How long have you been together?  FOREVER. We dated a couple of times after we first met and ultimately got back together in high school.   We’ve been together ever since.  We’ve been married for 4 years though.
Why do you travel?
Because we LOVE IT. We both have an insatiable lust for the World and adventure. We both believe that life is too short to not follow your own path and for us, that means exploring as much of the World as we can.

1) What is the story behind you blog name? Divergent?

This story starts much the same as every other blog, I suppose. We were trying to come up with something catchy and different, yet modern. David gets the credit for coming up with it, we were shooting emails back and forth one day with various names and plays on words and he sent me that one and it just felt right. The definition of Divergent really hit home for us. Something divergent is moving away from what is expected. Divergent people are changing course- moving off the beaten path. It just seemed fitting as we were leaving the American dream behind to pursue a life on our own terms.

Have you voted for the Fighting Couple in the USA Today Couple travel contest?  Please vote for us?

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?.)

He Said: Michael Weston, you know, the really cool spy guy from Burn Notice.
She Said: My two best friends, Meghan and Melissa. The three of us are like sisters and we are all Geminis, so we just ‘get’ each other.

Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand

Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand

3) What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings? Why?

He said: Mexico, specifically the Yucatan. I love the culture and the easy way of living there. Plus, despite what Lina says, I want to live there someday.
She said: This question is SO hard, there are so many. But if I have to pick just one, I am going to say Peru. We did so many amazing things in that country and it was my first time getting a chance to really work on my Spanish, as I was taking classes before I visited that country. Machu Picchu is a given, but we also visited the Amazon which was mind-blowing and we already have plans to return to that same area and do some volunteer work at the Tambopata Research Center.

4)  Lina, we understand you are quite the equestrian talent!  Wow!  Tell us a little about your interest in horses.

My co-workers used to joke that when talking to me, nobody should mention travel or horses unless they had hours to sit and chat. I think that is still a truth!! (you didn’t know what you were getting into with this question!) I’ve been around horses my whole life and it is an absolute PASSION of mine. I love horses and I love the sport of show jumping. When I graduated from high school I spent the whole summer running a horse farm with show horses. For the next 2 years I spent my summers working for some of the top Olympic riders in the USA at Spruce Meadows in Calagary Canada as a professional groom and exercise rider. After I graduated college I spent a lot of time shipping horses coast to coast in America and working on the circuits for prominent riders and I would spend my winters living and riding in West Palm Beach.  After all that, I bought some horses of my own and started competing locally and before we left totravel, I showed all over the Midwest in class A competitions. When we left to travel, I sold all my project horses and kept just one horse. He is currently being leased so he can continue to show while I am on the road. While traveling, I have several plans (some already executed) for getting my horse fix.

5)  Travel can be tough on relationships.  How do you make it work together out on the road?

He said: Let her win.
She said: For the record, he’s a liar… he NEVER just lets me win! We try to make sure we both get to see and do the things we want. Sometimes we just need timeouts from each other too, which seems to help being together 24/7 easier at times. It certainly isn’t easy and you do have to work at it.
Sunrise at Mt Bromo in Java

Sunrise at Mt Bromo in Java

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: Come up with a system that doesn’t revolve around money.
She said: I’d really love to see a trash disposal system in place for the third world countries. It is so disheartening for me to see these beautiful locations so littered with trash.

7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

He said: We had some pretty good fights over where to camp with our campervan while road tripping through Australia! It would never fail that the sun would start to set and we hadn’t picked a place to camp. Knowing we had to make dinner and needed to find a safe, cheap (free) place to camp and make dinner was one sure way to light up the campervan!
She said: When David lost his wedding band in a raging river in Bukit Lawang, Sumatra! We had been swimming in a swimming hole that had currents on the outside of it, he got this bright idea that he was going to ride the current down the river and get out further down. I tried to tell him it wasn’t a good idea, but he did it anyways. Long story short, the current was strong and he had trouble getting out of the water. When I ran down to help him out of the water, he climbed out and showed me his hand…. No ring! While he had been grabbing onto rocks waiting for me, his ring came off. You can imagine how this went down… Lucky for him, the next day we told the guesthouse staff and after an hour of them searching the river with masks on, they FOUND it.  No joke, he lost and found his wedding ring in a raging river in the jungle.
A HUGE thanks to Lina and David for taking some time to share a little about their travel philosophy.   (If you are wondering David, letting her always win is a great ideas.)  Thanks for being one of the very best blogging couples out there.
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Our 7 Hints for Driving in Bali 

Driving in Bali is a choice and rewarding experience reserved for the brave and the bold.  Understanding traffic in Bali, you must understand their driving pedigree.  The Brits brought the whole, “driving on the wrong side of the road” bit.  The Dutch left a legacy of confusing signs and directions.  Regardless of foreign influence… driving in Bali is still uniquely Balinese.  After our recent visit to Bali, we put together a few helpful hints that will aid you as you begin your four wheeled journey and keep you safe!

1)  Be Choosy

Our first couple of suggestions starts at the rental car counter. First, pick the right car.  If you are a first timer to Bali, why not rent an automatic?  I know, this is a direct insult to your driving prowess.  Trust us, one less thing to do while you are driving is a good thing.  Car selection is also something to be choosy.  Bigger is not better when it comes to the narrow roads of Bali that make quaint English roads look like super freeways.  Air conditioning is a must, must, must.

We booked our car through carrentals.co.uk.  We found some great rates for the island.

2)  Get the Assurance of Insurance

Ok, you picked out the perfect car for your Balinese adventure.  Don’t leave the rental counter quite yet.  Open that wallet back up and pick up a lot of insurance.  If they offer it, buy it.  Driving in Bali is in close quarters.  Parking lots are tiny. Scooters surround you (the concept of keeping in your “lane” if a foreign concept here).  The chance of getting a scratch, bump of nick is better than average.  With amazing luck, we escaped without a scratch.  The other reality of driving in Bali is the number of people on scooters and motorcycles.  Some scooters have an entire family on board while other scooters are carrying cargo. Seriously.  The chance that one of these drivers makes a mistake, and heaven forbid you collide, you will want protection.  As a visitor to Bali, the idea of exploring their judicial system would be less than pleasant.  If you spend a few bucks and get the coverage, you have a guaranteed pro by your side should something unfortunate happen.

woman with wood on head

You will see a little bit everything driving in Bali.

3) Be Guided

Ok, the last thing to purchase at the rental desk.  Rent a good GPS.  Our first fight on Balinese soil was when Mike forgot to add a GPS unit to the purchase.  Off we went to try to navigate the busy city of Denpasar.  We didn’t get very far before we were having a full  typhoon level “disagreement” on which way we were going!  We hadn’t even left the airport parking lot. We spent 45 minutes trying to get out of the city, only to give up and drive back to our hotel before we forgot how to get back. We called our kind rental company representative and added the GPS to our package.  Crisis averted. But having an electronic friend isn’t the only navigator you should have: use a human too. Luci spent much of the trip as a Grand Prix announcer yelling things like: Brake! or “There’s a bike with a baby on your left, car on your left, scooter going the wrong way on the right shoulder!”

4)  Hitch a Ride

Our next tip about driving is not about driving at all.  There simply are some places you just shouldn’t drive.  Case in point:  We were planning on having a suit made for Mike in Denpasar.  We had done our research and  many people had commented on the quality of the suits and the difficulty in finding this exquisite tailor.  What was to be done?  We ditched the car, called the tailor to send us a car.  Boom.  There was no way that we would have found this place.  Time was saved by not wandering the back roads of Denpasar and Mike is looking rather dapper in his new duds.  Most fine metro restaurants in Bali are happy to send their car service to pick you up and back.  It’s very common for businesses to come pick you up and bring you back to your hotel. Why waste the time?  Hitch a ride.  Then head to the beach!

swimming pool bali

Spend more time here instead of stuck in a car.

5)  Distractions

A word about distracted driving in Bali.  It is dangerous!  For first timers, like we were, it is so easy to let your eyes wander from the road.  Distractions are a natural hazard in Bali.  The pressure of driving, following the GPS,  dodging farm animals, scooters, and other cars is a lot to take in. Leave the phone off.  Turn the radio off.  Driving in Bali is not for the faint of heart, all kinds of things are going to come at you from all directions.  Keep you focus on the road. It’s a full contact sport. Mike has driven all over the world: Turkey, Italy, South Africa, and Bali was the hardest country yet. There are no rules in Bali. First of all, they drive on the left hand side so us Yanks struggle with going the opposite directions. That’s the first challenge, but not the hardest. Cars don’t stick to their lanes, you can see the scooter driver’s nose hairs they are so close to your car. One way roads aren’t really one way, as scooters drive the wrong way towards you frequently. There are also few traffic lights and speeds are fast.

6)  Take the Back Roads

Regardless of all of these do’s and don’ts …  Bali is a beautiful place.  People say that about a lot of places.  Sometimes they really mean it.  With Bali, we really mean it.  It is seriously one of the most stunning couple travel destinations we have ever set foot on. It’s like a carnival to the eyes.  A few times during our visit we took they back roads, granted, a few times we got lost, but what we were able to see was worth the fight.  The picture below is one we took when we took a wrong turn.  We came across some folks harvesting rice.  If we hadn’t gotten lost, we would have never been treated to this scene.

rice bali

Take the back roads!

7)  Follow the Flow

We saved our best tip for last.  This one is really difficult to describe.  Bali has a traffic vibe.  You get into a groove once you have driven a day or two there.  You gain an expectation of what the other drivers are going to do and when.  When it clicks for you the fun begins.  Balinese are very courteous drivers if you “follow the flow.”  When you upset the flow, you may get a little beep, beep from behind.  The easiest way to “get the groove” is to imitate what you see for most of the drivers.  You are always going to see some crazies out on the roads, but just follow what the crowd does.  You will be fine.

Those are our handy tips for making you driving holiday in Bali both safe and peaceful.

We partnered with our good friends at carrentals.co.uk during our recent visit to Bali.  Does this change our opinion of their great service and rates?  Nope.  Not one bit.

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We are giving away a Handmade Santa Fe Leather Journal!

This Giveaway Has Ended.

 

The giving season is upon us and the Fighting Couple is in the mood to give!  For all of you traveling couples (and solos) out there we have just the thing.  We are giving away a lovingly handmade, leather journal made by our fave journal artisan Jenni Bick.  (www.jennibick.com).   You may remember, we gave away a journal this past spring.  We have talked Jenni into letting us do it again!

We are giving away a Santa Fe Leather Journal!

leather diary

Mike capturing a few thoughts in Budapest

This is no ordinary journal.  This is a work of art.  Each one is one of a kind.  Made from the fine heavyweight paper to the soft leather cover, this is a must have.

Specifics on the Santa Fe journal:

  • Measures 5″ x 7″
  • 240 pages (120 leaves)
  • LINED pages in a crisp ivory laid finish
  • Leather colors will vary from buckskin tan to deep espresso brown.
  • Handcrafted on Martha’s Vineyard by Jenni Bick.

It is no secret that both Luci and I are journalists.  Not in the pencil behind the ear, newspaper sense, but in the personal “diary” sense of the word.  Both of us have kept journals for years.  Our blog is kind of an outgrowth of our journals.  We have found it a great way to track the ups and downs of life and bring back great material to FIGHT with!

Entering this giveaway is super simple.  Just three easy steps:

1) Give The Fighting Couple a like on Facebook (here).

2) Give Jenni Bick a Like on Facebook (here).

3) Leave us a comment in the comment section below and say:  Send me a Bick!

 

Easy huh?

 

Should you journal?  Yes!!!  The benefits of journaling are well documented:

Health benefits of Journaling  http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-health-benefits-of-journaling/000721

100 Benefits of Journaling  http://www.appleseeds.org/100_journaling.htm

It is rumored that even Mae West kept a diary!

 

The fine print (sorry, we don’t look good in stripes):

1) To enter, you must be a resident of USA or Canada.  (Sorry Uzbekistan, catch you next time?)

2) Void where prohibited.  (Void is such a weird word…..Void.)

3)  Just so you know, Jenni Bick was kind enough to provide a journal for us to review, and one for us to give away to one of our fabulous readers.  Does this affect our love of our journal?  Nope.  Not one bit. Never.  Ever.

4) Contest rules are subject to change.  (Unless Luci changes her mind….which NEVER happens.)

5)  Contest ends on December 8, 2013 at midnight MST.  (All good things must come to an end.)

5.5)  18 years old and above only to win.  (This is the most fun adults get to have…no kids allowed!)

6)  We will then pick a winner via random.org.  (There are no rules against crossing your fingers.)

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