With a family across the Atlantic, Thanksgiving equals a travel weekend for me. After last year’s adventure to Big Bend, I met my travel buddy Carmen in Las Vegas this year. We quickly left Nevada behind to embark on a road trip through Arizona and Utah. What follows is an adventurous and packed 4-day itinerary through America’s Wild West.
Mendoza can be divided in three wine-making regions: Maipú, Lujan de Cuyo and Valle de Uco. The latter is said to produce the best wines on the most beautiful grounds, with the snowcapped Andes peaks towering out over the vineyards. After visiting four wineries in Mendoza, I would have to agree.
Other than producing delicious wine, Argentinean provinces La Rioja and San Juan are known for two remarkable parks. Ischigualasto and Talampaya National Park contain a unique fossil record of the Triassic Period, often called the Age of the Dinosaurs. The desert area also hosts the annual Dakar Rally.
The provinces of Salta and Jujuy are home to some of the most scenic drives in Argentina. We picked colonial Salta as a base to explore the northwest’s dramatic landscapes. Let it all sink in with a glass of Torrontés in wine-heaven Cafayate.
Iguazú National Park comprises hundreds of waterfalls, right on the border of Argentina and Brazil. The views from both countries are entirely different, making a visit of each side imperative. A clear winner came out of our trip, which we continued South to the ruins of San Ignacio Miní.
In between driving the Florida Keys and touring Miami, we reserved two days to discover Florida’s natural beauty. Florida counts three national parks, which share one common good: water. The best way to explore Dry Tortugas’ marine life, Biscayne’s mangroves and the Everglades wetlands is out on the water.
We voluntarily swapped Texas temperatures for a snowstorm in Chicago. At the intersection of Chicago Restaurant Week and Theatre Week, we we’re lucky to have plenty of excuses to stay inside. When we did manage to stay outside for longer then five minutes, we found a beautiful Winter Wonderland. Snow or sun, these activities should not be missed in Chi-Town.
In between Daytona Beach on the East Coast and St. Pete Beach on the West Coast, we found a piece of authentic Florida far away from Minnie Mouse and Miami Beach. The Sunshine State didn’t live up to its name in this weekend getaway, but proved to be a great destination nonetheless.
Lisbon has everything you would hope to find on a weekend getaway: nice weather, culture, great food, beach and tons of charm! I could have easily made a much longer list, but these are my ten favorites for a first time in Lisbon.