Taking The Cookie Rookie Overseas!

My overseas trip planning post is a sponsored post, written by me on behalf of Groupon Getaways. All opinions are 100% mine.

Untitled123When you get an email entitled “We would like to send you on a Getaway!”, you open it.  You read it.  Then you freak out with excitement.  Then you respond with “YES YES YES”. Or at least, that’s what I did! I recently got an email from Groupon Getaways saying that they would like to send us on two (TWO!) trips of our choice.  What? Let’s just say they didn’t have to twist my arm.  I was up for the adventure pretty much immediately.  When Pat and I have gone on vacations before, we have always booked everything ourselves.  I’ve had minor melt-down after minor melt-down trying to make sure all of the details lined up, all of the flights were correct, all of the lodging would be in our budget.  No offense to Pat, but he’s not the most helpful travel companion! I always feel enormous stress trying to figure out how to make all the puzzle pieces fit for the perfect trip.  To be honest, I hadn’t thought about the ease of using Groupon Getaways. Never again.  After these two trips, the ease of booking, and the wide array of options, I’m never looking back.  Everything is taken care of…how nice is that? But I need your help to make some decisions on where to go!!! HELP!

We have narrowed down our two getaways to a girls weekend somewhere in the midwest and a romantic trip OVERSEAS!!! (THE FOOOOOOD!!!!!!!).  I’m so excited that my friends Molly and Karen will be coming with me on the driving trip!

The great thing about Groupon Getaways is you can find elaborate trips overseas, but also great affordable trips close to home.

A girls weekend is just what I need, I can’t wait! As far as the overseas trip, Pat and I are beyond excited.  I can’t wait to share both trips with you, and embarrass everyone by taking pictures of every type of food I eat while we are there!

Untitled12So here is where I need your help.  I need to know where to go! We are still up in the air about where to go and where to stay.  I need ideas! Where are your favorite places overseas (with the best food!!!) and where would you go or a trip in the midwest?? I need recommendations for fun activities and great restaurants to eat at with girlfriends.  My friend Molly just got engaged, and we want to celebrate in style!!

I’ll be deciding on destinations and posting my detailed itinerary soon, so stay tuned!  Untitled1I am seriously dreaming of these trips every night!! Groupon offers so many options, it’s hard to pick.  You can see a list of getaways HERE…I want to know your picks! I can’t wait to hear your recommendations!  I will definitely be taking them all in when we plan out the details of our trip! (you can also follow along by following #MyGrouponGetaway)

Thanks so much for being on this journey with me.  It feels so surreal to be handed this opportunity, and we want to make the most of it.  Can’t wait to share the two trips with you!!  THANK YOU Groupon!!!!!

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Patrick (Husband)
I am the best travel companion there is, I don't have any idea what you are talking about. ;)
Marsha A
WOW!!! I'm a bit jealous. LOL. This is so cool! How does one get sent on, not only 1, but 2 vacations? I'm a Chicago girl at heart, so, for the Midwest trip, I say Chicago. You just can't go wrong with where to go and eat. So many options. As for overseas... WOW!! That's a tough one. The world is a huge place. I went to Italy (Venice, Florence, Rome) back in high school for a class trip, which also happened to be the week of my birthday. On that day, we took a detour to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa for my birthday. It was so awesome and something I will never forget. My bucket list has Japan, China and Thailand, Australia on it now. I am excited for you and will be fun to know where you end up going. So amazing!!
    Becky Hardin
    You have so many good tips!!! We are thinking Chicago for the driving trip, so much to do there. Any local spots we should hit?? As for the overseas trip, I love your suggestions, makes me even more excited!!!
      Marsha A
      It's not your first time to Chicago? Since you'll have a car, it'll be good to get around, but driving might be rough, especially downtown and rush hour. You can always experience public transportation and the 'L' (so easy, too!), esp if you're going to do Mag Mile...that's a must. I love Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry, and Botanical Gardens (suburbs). Sounds touristy, but not really. I used to just hang out at those places. Walking along the Lake is fun during summer. If you go in summer - and so is The Taste of Chicago and 4th of July is crazy, crowded fun. As for eating... it's never ending! My favorite brunch spot is The Bongo Room (Wicker Park is the original). Great place for breakfast/lunch/brunch and I tell everyone to go eat there. Best pancakes ever! check them out: thebongoroom.com They change the menu seasonally, so depending on when you go, the pancakes will change. Ask about the specials. They usually experiment on a pancake flavor. As for other eats, it's the only place I will suggest. You're on your own for the rest... pizza, steak, bars, clubs, local eateries (Penny's Noodle Shop, yes!) Shut me up... I can go on and on. LOL. I love Chicago!
Wonderful photos, simply beautiful.
Erika M
Old neighbor! I'd say for food, Florence and Tuscany! I have a bunch of recommendations if you decide to go there!
Becky!!! I'm so excited for you! What a dream...here are my recommendations: 1) For Local - Nashville baby! Nash Vegas! Haven't you heard that our town is the IT town?! Music, Great Food, and of course...we can catch up! I'll even host a Happy Hour at my home for you and your girlfriends! 2) For Europe...you know my first recommendation is ITALY! World of Pastabilities! Florence, Venice, Positano, Amalfi Coast...I can fill you in on all kinds of places to eat and go! Second recommendation would be Vienna and/or Budapest. Went to both in one week last year - WOW! Budapest is an up and coming cool city with so much history. Vienna is beautiful...of yea, Paris too! Best of luck deciding...and if Patrick doesn't behave, I'll happily go in his place! I'm sure your Mom would too! :)
Judith Dayhoff
I agree with Marsha. Hubby and I took a Mediterranean cruise for our 50th. My favorites were Rose, Venice, and Florence. Croatia was cool too.
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