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OMETEPE, NICARAGUA

Sunday February 12, 2017

It had been a few years since I was last in Central America, and recently I found myself with the itch for a return visit. We’d traveled through Belize and Honduras previously, where I was swept away by colonial towns, vibrant markets, ancient ruins, pristine dive sites and delicious cuisine. On both trips, we adventured our way through the mainland before heading east to visit offshore islands in the Caribbean. I was desperate to go back. Nicaragua was next on my hit list and once again I wanted to start on the mainland, and then end things with island vibes surrounded by Caribbean blues. Obsessed with my plan to ditch the California cold for tropical heat in the middle of winter, I booked a roundtrip ticket down to Managua …

PORTOFINO, ITALY

Sunday January 22, 2017

Portofino, Italy www.bucketlistbums.com

Portofino, Italy www.bucketlistbums.com

Portofino, Italy www.bucketlistbums.com

Portofino, Italy www.bucketlistbums.com

Portofino, Italy www.bucketlistbums.com

My love affair with Portofino started the moment we pulled into the darling coastal village. A colorful gem on the Italian Riviera, the place looked too picturesque to be real. Our first morning in town, I wanted to pinch myself as we walked down to the vibrant waterfront and found ourselves surrounded by pastel storefronts, cobbled squares, seafood restaurants and the sparkling Liguria Sea. It was like stepping into a perfect European postcard …

CINQUE TERRE, ITALY

Thursday December 22, 2016

Vernazza, Italy www.bucketlistbums.com

Monterosso, Italy www.bucketlistbums.com

Vernazza, Italy www.bucketlistbums.com

Riomaggiore, Italy www.bucketlistbums.com

Monterosso, Italy www.bucketlistbums.com

Cinque Terre was pretty much the reason for our trip to Italy. The string of seaside villages had been on my bucket list since 2009, but other travels kept serving up roadblocks. I’d put off the Italian Riviera a handful of times for UgandaThe PhilippinesBali, etc., and suddenly seven years had passed without a single visit. Recently, I’d seen the colorful Ligurian coast popping up almost daily in my Instagram feed, igniting all kinds of wanderlust for the magical place we kept moving to the back burner. Finally, after years of waiting, Cinque Terre was ours to experience and it was more vibrant and beautiful than I could have imagined …