Vacation Days Archives - The Blonde Banana

24 Hours in Peaceful Valladolid, Yucatan

24 Hours in Peaceful Valladolid, Yucatan

My final stop in Yucatan was Valladolid, the state’s third largest city located between Mérida and Cancun, right near Chichen Itza. Upon first glance, Valladolid isn’t much different from any other Spanish colonial city in Latin America. There’s the main plaza, the cathedral, cobblestone streets, colorful buildings… But Valladolid has one thing that makes it unique from the rest: a cenote just blocks from its center. Continue Reading…

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Izamal: the Enchanting Yellow City of Yucatan

Izamal: the Enchanting Yellow City of Yucatan

The lantern-lit cobblestone streets of Izamal were quiet and empty, save for the clop clop of the occasional horse-drawn carriage. This was in sharp contrast to the hustle and bustle of Mérida, the Yucatan capital city I’d left that morning. As I wandered through the picturesque colonial streets, it was easy to see why the Mexican government has designated Izamal a pueblo magico. With all of its buildings painted a uniform hue of yellow (its nickname is La Ciudad Amarilla, or the Yellow City) and its history as a religious center for both the ancient Mayans and the Spanish, Izamal is certainly enchanting. Continue Reading…

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72 Hours in Colorful & Colonial Mérida, Yucatan

72 Hours in Colorful & Colonial Mérida, Yucatan

Hello from the United States of Frozen! I write to you as I sit huddled under about 6 layers of blankets on my bed. So far the biggest mistake I have made in 2015 was boarding a plane out of a tropical paradise.

ANYhoo, enough complaining… the cold temps mean I have no choice but to lock myself in my room and crank out blog posts from last month’s trip to Mexico! The first stop of my seven night Mexican adventure was 72 hours in Mérida, and the Yucatan’s capital city proved to be the perfect introduction to the country for a newbie. Continue Reading…

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2014: 6 Countries, 20 Cities, Only 8 Vacation Days!

2014: 6 Countries, 20 Cities, Only 8 Vacation Days!

I feel like it was just yesterday that I was ringing in 2014 in Marrakech, Morocco – but here I am in Mexico getting ready to welcome 2015 in Tulum in a slightly more subdued manner (I’ve aged). This year was my best year of travel yet, and I visited six different countries and 20 different cities, including nine in the United States. I only had to take 8 vacation days, which is exciting because it proves that even us Americans with only two weeks of vacation time have no excuse to not travel. I learned a lot this year, finally mastering the art that is credit card rewards so I rarely have to pay for flights. I also learned that traveling every weekend is a bit much for both my wallet and sanity. While I don’t plan to reduce my travel next year, I do plan to spread things out a little better so I don’t find myself living out of a suitcase for months at a time with no spare days to do my laundry or catch up with friends. Continue Reading…

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Travel To-Do List: 10 Under-the-Radar European Cities To Visit in 2015

Travel To-Do List: 10 Under-the-Radar European Cities To Visit in 2015

When one thinks Europe, cities like Paris, London and Rome immediately come to mind. While those are certainly beautiful and worthy travel destinations, they also tend to be expensive and crowded with tourists – not ideal for short trips where you don’t have hours to be spent standing in line. Continue Reading…

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