What’s the best place on Earth . . . for you?
If someone tells you to “close your eyes and go to your happy place”, where does your mind take you?
Is it a sunny beach in Florida, a cozy café in Paris, or a rustic cabin many miles away from anyone else?
This winter, it’s time to plot your return to your happy place with CVG and to help inspire your next trip, I’m sharing three of my happy places.
#1 Barcelona, Spain
If Madrid is the NYC of Spain, then Barcelona is the Cincinnati of it. This was the first city in Europe I ever visited and holds a special place in my heart each time we’ve returned. Warm, friendly and fairly affordable, (especially when you travel at the right time) Barcelona offers wonderful beaches, scenic hilltop views, incredible food, and so much to see and do.
Best memory: We wanted to visit the Palace de Musica, a centuries-old music venue and had read the best way to do it was to see a concert there. There just happened to be one the next night, a Queen tribute band from the Czech Republic. The place was packed and we had so much fun!
While it may not be possible to visit Spain right now due to COVID, it’s a great trip to consider and begin researching for down the road.
#2 Fort Myers Beach, Florida
Is there anything better than a warm beach in the middle of January? Seriously. I first visited Fort Myers in the mid-1990s when my aunt and uncle started taking vacations there. When they bought a fixer-upper condo in 1998, my super cool handyman dad took me with him to help him spruce up the place (I’m a terrible painter and was fired by day two!) Ever since, I’ve been making trips to enjoy the massive beach and wonderful weather.
There is more than just the beach! Check out my previous article, “Four Fabulous Florida Finds” to find day trips from Fort Myers!
Florida is open and welcoming visitors. There are multiple airlines that fly nonstop from CVG to Fort Myers, along with 12 different nonstop routes to the State of Florida. As the saying goes, a Florida vacation shifts your perspective. It’s less about what you do and more about what the trip does for you!
Best memory: My wife and I rented a convertible and were heading from Ft Myers Beach to Sanibel Island for the day. Before we could get to the Sanibel Causeway Bridge, I hit a massive pothole and got a flat tire. While we waited for AAA to come rescue us, she made a tic-tac-toe board out of sticks and rocks to pass the time. In the end, we got an even cooler convertible Mustang for the rest of the trip!
#3 The Sacred Valley, Peru
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Here you go:
Incredible, right?! While the world-famous Machu Picchu is on the bucket list for a lot of people, the entire Valle Sagrado de los Incas (Sacred Valley) is a collection of towns connected by winding two-lane roads and breathtaking views.
Stops at open air salt mines, thousand-year-old structures, and the local delicacy, cuy are in order for any adventurer.
Best memory: We spent the first two nights at the Allpawasi Lodge in Pisac. The Lodge arranged a driver for us to take us to the train station that would carry us to Machu Picchu, along the way seeing some incredible sights. We loved spending the day with him so much, we hired him for another full day of sight-seeing on our way back to Cusco! I know as much Spanish as he did English, but we had the best day together and shared a lot of laughs (thanks Google Translate!)
Start dreaming, researching and planning your next trip and I’ll see you in the skies,