What a year it’s been! Hard to believe this was our second year of voyaging like vixens together. When we looked at our 2013 travel highlights, there were highs and lows, good times and bad, failures overcome, successes celebrated, and lessons learned. There was fun and laughter along the way, and more than anything, 2013 felt a bit like at every corner there was some hurdle to jump over. We seemed to do that each time, but next year, we’re looking forward to a much smoother ride!
Our travels this year began in Northern California with a foodie adventure in San Francisco and Berkeley. We got up close and personal with the Golden Gate Bridge by walking across it! And enjoyed the delightful neighborhood around the Presidio, where we stayed. Days of drinking and eating and sampling the city’s best were a great way to kick off the year. Lanee was back in San Fran later in the year for the America’s Cup. More on that here. Taking advantage of the still-snowy winter wonderland, we took a roadtrip around Southern Colorado (from Durango to Telluride to Ouray to the heaven that is Dunton Hot Springs) in March. There, we enjoyed our first ice climbing adventure and snow biking excursion, snow shoeing, snowmobiling, and just about any winter activity you can do without skiing. What were we thinking?! In the Spring, Lindsay took a pit stop in New Orleans to attend Jazz Fest fix, eat some beignets, jambalaya, and crawfish etouffee, and groove to the likes of Bill Joel, John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr., and Band of Horses. She stayed at the lovely Dauphine Orleans, a charming hideaway in the French Quarter. NOLA is one of her favorite cities in the U.S. and when Lindsay needs a music and Creole fix, it’s best not to stop her. While Lindsay pursued her passion and love of music in New Orleans, Lanee aka the ‘wanderlush’, headed to Peru for the pisco! Highlights of her trip included a visit to Pisco Portón distillery with tastings from the stills via master distiller Johnny Schuler (in photo with Lanee below), cocktails made by legendary bartender Dale DeGroff aka King Cocktail, trying guinea pig (a Peruvian delicacy) and touring some of Lima’s best pisco sour bars. For more on that tippling adventure, head here. Next, we headed up to British Columbia’s Okanagan wine region for a week of tasting and eating and tasting more and eating more. We were impressed with the fantastic wines in the region, the “rock star” independent winemakers, and the overall beauty of the landscape. Of course, we indulged in Canada’s largest spa while there, the Swarovski-adorned Sparkling Hill Resort. Over the summer, beach and ocean fun was calling in the exotic paradise of Fiji, where Lindsay got lost, figuratively, while snorkeling, and we nearly got stranded on an island, literally, while trying to make it back to the mainland for our return flight. We also happened to get an impromptu invite to join a wedding party, to which we accepted. Truly one of the most bizarre trip experiences we’ve had.
We were charmed, however, by the happy people of Fiji and the Kava. The flight there alone was an amazing, unique experience, getting to fly on Fiji Airways’ brand new A330 Airbus plane, a special delivery to the islands with just a handful of others. We were home for a bit, and then it was off to Banff and Lake Louise for a conference, followed by some glacial adventures in Northern Alberta. We learned the top bear myths from a superstar guide at Lake Louise, among many other things, on our trek out to the Plain of Six Glaciers. The visit overall was a homecoming of sorts, having met in Calgary just two years ago and travel buddies ever since. Lindsay was on assignment again in East Africa in September (via a pit stop in London), exploring the coast of Kenya in the Swahili village of Lamu this time in addition to two safaris in the north of Borana, near Lewa, and in the Masai Mara. She was encouraged to see the tremendous conservation efforts taking place in Borana on behalf of the Black Rhino, were a new population of 21 rhino were introduced the week before she arrived. While there, she visited some of our favorites from the first trip, including our Nairobi fashion guru Sunny Dolat, favorite artist Cyrus Kabiru known for his “C-Stunners”, and stellar jewelry designer, Adele Dejak.
Second time around, Africa did it again and stole a piece of her heart. Sadly, a week after she returned the tragic Nairobi mall shooting took place. We want everyone to know that our friends in Kenya have reported back — they are resilient and strong, and magical Kenya is recovering beautifully, as we knew she would! Now is a great time to plan a trip to Africa.
While Lindsay traveled far, Lanee stayed more local with a trip to Vieques, Puerto Rico to check out the sweet vacation rentals and bar scene. Then she headed to West Virginia to ride the Hatfield-McCoy off-road trails on the new Kawasaki Teryx 2014.
“Hurry up and relax!” was the theme in a spa adventure in Quebec‘s countryside regions of Launaudiere and Mauricie. It was just what the relaxation gods ordered to sooth the spirit and soul. The fall foliage there was some of the best we’ve seen anywhere in the world.
It seemed we just couldn’t stay away from Canada this year! So much so, that even the customs agent at the airport enjoyed giving us both a bit of a hard time over our multiple stamps. Lanee was even accused of smuggling! No joke. Wish we were kidding. And the year capped off with a first visit to Asia, visiting Narita (a beautiful town that exudes traditional Japanese culture, the best eel in Japan, and some terrific sake houses in addition to one of Japan’s most famous temples and ancient pagodas), and Tokyo, Japan, which we found to be a bit like Manhattan on steroids, before heading to wild Borneo, Malaysia (where we enjoyed learning more about the region, seeing some of the sights, and enjoying some of the best sunsets of the entire year). After we returned from Asia, Lindsay decided to stay home for the rest of the year and enjoy the holidays, California-style, while Lanee headed to her hometown of Durango, Colorado for the holidays, and then on to celebrate her birthday with some winter action in Crested Butte, Colo. 2013 was a great 2nd year for Voyage Vixens™overall.
Among the highlights:
- We taught our first travel writing workshop in Santa Monica at the Writer’s Junction.
- We participated in V-Day’s One Billion Rising.
- We enjoyed being interviewed and giving talks on everything from travel tips and inspiration to crazy stories from the road, including being featured as adventure bloggers of the month by Mountain Sobek and in Green Living Magazine.
- We did our first live radio interviews with “The Good Life” on KMYC and “LA LA Land” on LA Talk Live.
- Lindsay was interviewed by G2 Communications on the relationship between PR peeps and journalists.
- And we worked with Findery to plan a 2014 Voyage to Oz.
* We’ve had such a busy year, we have not kept our videos as up-to-date we’d like, but we’ll be releasing a bunch of new travel videos in the early part of 2014 from some of the above adventures! We’re also expecting some big VV news in 2014, so stay tuned…
Looking forward to the year ahead, the adventures and misadventures, and more than anything, saying YES to voyaging like vixens – eating, playing, loving and finding inspiration around the globe. For the latest follow on twitter @VoyageVixens, like our Facebook page, and check out our YouTube channel! And on Instagram (@laneelee and @lindsaytaub).