A Blog About a Blog

Guess what, guys?!  I got my first blog, PASSPORT, made into a set of beautiful coffee table books!  And it only took me three years... But in my defense, it's been a busy three years!  {My friends with kids will beg to differ}.  As we neared the end of our four year stint living in Okinawa, Japan, the plan was always to turn my dedicated blog into a coffee table book that would serve as s physical memory of all our experiences there.  Because who knows how long old, unused blogs stick around on the internet for?  I don't.  And I certainly don't want to go back to it one day only to find that my whole account of those four years has vanished! 

It wasn't until I went to make the book that I realized just how many issues I would encounter.  For one, I had posted close to 4,000 photos over the course of my blog {yes, that is an average of almost 1,000 photos per year}!  This posed a problem, because the maximum photos allowed in most books {back in 2013} was 500ish, which would mean that I was looking at having not one or two books, but more like an encyclopedia of books {remember those?}!  I also wasn't the biggest fan of the designs companies were offering back then, and to design one myself was going to be a lot of work.  I am generally a control freak about things like this, so I resolved to bite the bullet and just start from scratch myself.  After spending a few hours on just one of my posts, that was the end of that. 

Fast forward three years, and I was lucky enough to find a company called Into Real Pages, that was so much better than the previous companies I had tried to use.  My whole blog was uploaded in minutes to their site, and a virtual copy was rendered right then and there for me to see.  I loved the simple design of their books, and best of all, they were able to accommodate a whopping 2,000 photos per book!  Which meant my 8 books was now down to 2.  I am so glad I found them, and I am so glad that this chapter in my life is finally complete and that we'll have the memories in print forever!


A Week in Tulum, Mexico

If you follow any of my social media accounts, I'm sure you are aware that Matt and I recently got the chance to spend a week in gorgeous Tulum, Mexico for our birthdays.  Instead of posting a barrage of pictures from every. single. thing. we while there, I thought I'd just like to share a few of my favorite things about Tulum and what made this trip stand out among the rest of our adventures around the world. 

If you don't like to be without air conditioning, your hair dryer, or a face full of makeup when on vacation, then Tulum might not be the destination for you.  Some might say these are draw-backs, but I thought it made our vacation different than every other that we've taken, and I love that about Tulum.  I also love to throw my hair up in a bun and call it a day, so there's that.  I absolutely loved staying on the ocean in our own little second-story bungalow!  The balconies that let in the amazing ocean breeze each night  {one even had a hammock for us} were one of my favorite things about our room, and it just made us look forward to the end of each day where we would come back and relax there. 

During my research for the trip, I noticed a lot of people commenting that Tulum had become very touristy in the past 5 years or so.  I was a little worried, because this is exactly why I wanted to avoid places like Cancun and Playa del Carmen.  I like to be off the beaten path a little, and I don't like being anywhere too overly touristy for too long.  I was pleasantly surprised that Tulum wasn't as crowded, busy, loud or touristy as some people had made it out to seem!  That was actually what I loved most about it I think - it was so quiet, secluded, relaxed, and relatively free of "spring breakers" partying in the streets and in the ocean.  We got none of that.  And I am so glad - I don't think our trip would have been the same if we had. 

And my last favorites about Tulum?  The magical cenotes and the incredible food!  Yes - these things do exist in other parts of Mexico, especially in the Yucatan Peninsula.  BUT - I have never been to those places, so I can only comment on how incredible they were in Tulum.  They were so great, and were such a big part of our trip!  The best word to describe cenotes {we ended up visiting 6 of them - each different than the last}, and magical is really the best word to describe them.  And the food - ahhhh - the standouts to me were the fresh ceviche and fish / shrimp tacos!  SOOO good!  It was my first time trying ceviche, and I am completely hooked! 

All of these things = one dreamy trip to Tulum.  I cannot wait to go back {after we visit some other countries first}!

Thanks for following along!