We flew from Auckland to Sydney and arrived late in the evening. The next morning, we woke up and ventured out to see if we could get a good view of the Opera House and Harbor Bridge. We found the Royal Botanic Garden and walked through, admiring the flowers and trees. But the real excitement was getting to the edge of the water and looking out over the harbor. I've hoped to see Sydney for myself since I was a kid and the view was just as good as I had hoped!
After spending a little over a week on the South Island of New Zealand, we flew up to Auckland. We arrived after the devastating floods that closed the airport and caused a lot of damage throughout the city. We stayed in a central area and Brennan took advantage of this by doing some running through the parks. Auckland is much hillier than I was expecting, so I was extra impressed by his dedication to running!
Our time in Wellington was brief because we had more adventures planned! We woke up early and left our hotel to head to the ferry port. We took a 3 hour ferry across the Cook Straits from the North island of New Zealand to the South island.
The ferry was large and had many seating areas, a few cafes and an outdoor viewing deck. We didn't spend much time outside because it was so windy, but it helped with my slight case of seasickness.
Our time in Fiji came to an end, but we had a new country to visit-New Zealand!
When we got to the airport and checked in, we saw this bright sign. I guess common sense isn't always common?
We went to Europe for a month, mostly so we could visit as many Christmas markets as possible. Our route took us from Brussels to Budapest, then back to Brussels to fly home for Christmas.
The Christmas markets hadn't started in Brussels or Brugge, but began with our time in Luxembourg. We rated each city on it's food, shopping and atmosphere throughout the Christmas markets, since there were multiple in every city we visited.
Luxembourg had just started their Christmas market season when we arrived. It was nice to walk around the few markets we went to, but there weren't a lot of options for different things to eat or buy. The lights were nice though!
In case you’ve never heard me say it, I’ll repeat myself: we love New York. Even after all the places we have been in the world, Brennan and I always feel this tug back to New York. It’s our favorite city and we love any chance we have to visit.
We set out from Bangkok on November 8. Our hotel was already decorated for Christmas, so I made sure to snap a photo before we left. We made it to the airport, and saw these statues as we were checking in. I thought it was very funny how they looked with the giant masks on their faces. This statue has smaller faces on the back of the head and even the little faces had masks! At some point in the far future, I know it will be hard to believe how prevalent masks were everywhere, so I think it’s interesting to document things like this.
We made it to Florence in the afternoon of Monday, September 26 and got started exploring right away.
We found one of the main piazzas in Florence and spent some time walking around before joining a free tour around the main parts of the city. The tour guide was very informative, but had a thick Italian accent, which made it challenging to understand her. Thankfully, the scenery itself was beautiful and what I caught of the tour helped bring context to what we were looking at around us.
At some point before we left Florida, Lauren (one of my best friends from college) let me know that she and her husband Melvin were going to Italy this fall. She asked if we wanted to meet up with them and I enthusiastically said yes! Brennan and I did nearly no planning on this trip-Melvin and Lauren really let us tag along on their Italian vacation and it was amazing. We spent 5 days together in Cinque Terre (on the Western Coast) and in Florence. Italy is one of my favorite places and none of us had been to any of these cities, so it worked out great to explore them together!
Brennan left Ohio on August 31 and flew to New York City for the night before heading over to the UK. 3 of Brennan’s favorite things are New York pizza, stand up comedy, and steak. He managed to fit all of these in his short time before his flight.
After saying goodbye to my mom & sister in New York, I got on a flight to Warsaw, Poland. I spent 8 hours on a plane, but I have very little to report. I spent nearly the entire time sleeping, except for the last 30 minutes or so. During that time, I realized that Ida Swiatek, the winner of the Women's US Open tennis tournament, was in my cabin and all the flight attendants took pictures with her. She seemed very young, but handled her adoring fans very gracefully. She was quick to exit the plane and I didn't see her again.
While I was landing in Warsaw, Brennan had already made it to Munich. He found a biergarten and began enjoying the German food while I sat in the Warsaw airport trying not to fall asleep. I finally made it to Munich airport that evening and Brennan met me as I got off a bus to the city center. It was so good to see him after two weeks apart!
We're Brennan & Megan
Since June 2022, we have been traveling to learn more about ourselves and the world around us.