Any engaged couples out there have a short engagement, a tight budget, and the desire to do a huge honeymoon when you can afford it? Allow us to persuade you to embark on the mini-moon! Our mini-moon was a 4-night roadtrip up the California coast, and it was perfect. (Later that summer did our “real” honeymoon in Panama - so we basically had two honeymoons!) We thought we were being so original, but have since learned that a lot of millennials take the mini-moon route these days. (Hey, we’re working people here!) But not everyone knows where to go on such a tight time frame. Here’s our top 10 favorite mini-moon destinations that are romantic, relaxing, pampering, bustling, accessible and DO-ABLE! Heck, visit them all!
It seems as though the more we share our lives through our travels, the more fascinated our audience is with the “behind the scenes”. If we had a dollar for every time someone asks us, “Don’t you get sick of each other?” - well, we’d have a lot of dollars. We get it all the time! Questions about our relationship, how we live, work, travel together - even people wondering where our dog goes when we’re not home! (Valid question.)
So, we decided to devote a blog post to just that.
The Traveling Newlyweds as you’ve never seen them before… (lol!)
How do you guys do it? 24 hours a day, 7 days a week together?
Alli: It honestly isn’t as much - or as hard - as some people think. Maybe that’s due to our easy going personalities, or maybe it’s luck… but we really haven’t had many issues with spending so much time together. Sure we get on each other’s nerves every once and awhile, but it’s never anything that lasts very long.
We’ve definitely learned patience. For me, that means lingering a little (sometimes a lot) longer at certain spots so Bobby can get the “perfect” shot. My intuition is always to go go go - and that’s not always conducive to content creating. It’s something I’m still working on. For Bobby, it’s patience when we’re (well, mostly me) deciding where to eat. I need to research, look on Instagram, survey my surroundings and compare menus before I land on a decision. Bobby’s “hanger” used to show itself a lot more than it does now!
One thing that I think we do really well is support each other. We’re each other’s biggest cheerleaders. Whether Bobby’s working on a new photography project or I’m writing content for a tourism board, we’re the first to encourage each other. We have to daily remind ourselves that we’re on the same team - and with that kind of mentality, you can do anything.
Bobby: It’s challenging to follow Alli on this, because I would say most of the same things.
Our personalities mesh together in a way that compliment each other, and we don’t get sick of each other. But don’t be fooled... we also work hard to keep a strong marriage. We listen to each other, have date nights, we’re intentional about spending quality time together, we’re quick to apologize and forgive, we laugh often and our inside jokes get weirder by the year, and we are each other’s biggest fan. As Alli said… patience is really important in our world. I get pretty neurotic and particular about photography sometimes, and Alli can just go with the flow. And instead of getting upset when I’m hungry, or “hangry”, I’m getting better at being grateful that my wife is going to find us the most epic spot to eat. See, I’m saying the same things as Alli.
With all that in mind, Traveling Newlyweds is so much fun for us - we see it as a season of life that is uncertain, so we’re cherishing every moment!
You guys look like you’re living the DREAM. Do you even work?
Alli: Believe us when we say that content creating and travel blogging is hard work. It’s extremely long days when we’re in-destination, it’s late-night editing and early morning hustling. It’s a lot of writing, it’s a lot of planning, it’s a lot of busy work, and it’s a lot of being “on”. Being on a “press trip” may sound cool and exclusive, but typically it means red-eye flights, full days packed with meetings, gathering content, interviewing tourism boards and brand agents, and experiencing hosted activities that we’re capturing content for. You may see a snapshot of us laying out at the beach, but the times where we’re actually laying out are few and far between. 98% of the time we’re running around from dawn to dusk!
That being said, we’ll be the first to say that we ARE living the dream, because we LOVE what we do.
We love the destinations we travel to and the clients we work for. We thrive on new experiences and new locations, and learning more about this magical world we live in is truly our favorite pastime. We feel SO BLESSED to call this our job, and we’ll never take it for granted!
Bobby: What she said. We work hard.
How do you work, and who does what? What’s a day in the life of the Traveling Newlyweds?
Bobby: Every day is different. For the most part here is what I do: pursue new opportunities, cook good scrambled eggs, plan out logistics, edit photos, pick up Sally’s poop, take photos, and manage our website.
Alli: Just like Bobby said - no day is the same. Our travels and projects are so seasonal, that it’s constantly changing and evolving. It’s usually a pretty even mix of emails, travel research, phone meetings, picture taking, and editing. It’s incredibly easy for us to spend an entire day looking at a screen - so we try to break it up with evening walks, dinners with friends, and an occasional card game. I always win. ;)
How do you balance work life/personal life?
Alli: It definitely gets tricky when your work life is so personal. We try to be intentional about having date nights where our phones are put away and we make time during the week to hang out with family and friends. Having a dog also helps, as we try to take her on nightly walks where there’s no “business talk” allowed. We’re still figuring out the balance - but so far so good.
Bobby: This was really hard for me when I was teaching (I taught high school math). All of my students would dig into our personal life and it drove me crazy for the first year or two. But then, like an older brother that teases their sibling to get a reaction, as soon as I got over it, they mellowed out. Now that I’m not teaching, the new struggle is finding balance… I sometimes feel like a work-a-holic even though all of our friends would say, “You work?” Alli and Sally force me to slow down a bit, and I’m grateful.
What kind of camera do you use, and who takes your pictures?
Bobby: Alli uses her iPhone Xs, and I use a Fuji XT-1. Not sponsored, I just love the feel of all the dials and the quality of the glass. But if you work for Fuji and want to sponsor me, let’s talk.
What’s been your favorite destination so far?
Alli: I LOVED Japan. The people, the food, culture, the pride in their culture and country. It’s by far the cleanest country I’ve ever been to - even the subway in Tokyo is pristine! It’s hilariously quirky too - hedgehog cafes, robot shows, teeny tiny bars that hold only eight people… And don’t even get me started on Kyoto. One of the most magical, truly “zen” places I’ve ever been. Japan is otherworldly.
Bobby: South Africa. We’re definitely spoiled living in California, and South Africa reminded me the most of home. When in Cape Town, you can be at the beach in the morning, playing with penguins in the early afternoon, and sipping wine in a spectacular wine region in the early evening. There is so much to see and do… and whiskey is really cheap :)
What have you learned from working together?
Bobby: Alli isn’t afraid to dream big. She loves thinking of the next destination, strategy, or campaign that we’re going to go after, and nothing is out of reach. She also tries really hard to hear me out when she doesn’t like one of my far-fetched ideas. She’ll let me go on and on about why I think an idea or product is what our next move should be, and then will gently (most of the time) let me know that it’s not a good idea.
Alli: Bobby is SO driven. He’s the first to wake up and start working in the morning, and he’s usually hustling on projects and emails until he falls asleep. He’s always coming up with new ideas for TN, and for having zero marketing/social media experience - he’s really caught on quick!
Is it hard having a dog and traveling as much as you do? Where does she go when you’re gone?
Alli: It’s only hard because we miss her so much!!! We try to take her on as many trips as we can, but most of the time she stays with my parents. She’s the closest thing they have to a granddaughter, and they love her just as much (if not more) than we do! Shout out to Mama and Papa Swan for being the best puppysitters EVER!!
Bobby: Yeah, it’s not that hard. We love Sally so as long as we know she’s being taken care of and getting lots of love, it’s not that big of a deal. We’re super blessed to have Alli’s parents, as well as an amazing doggie-daycare right down the street.
What’s one thing you can’t travel without?
Alli: I don’t go anywhere without my Aloha bags. I’ve been traveling with them for nearly four years now, and they’ve completely changed the way I pack. They’re waterproof, machine washable, durable, incredibly lightweight - and even make cute clutches when you’re on the go! I LOVE THEM. (not sponsored.)
Bobby: I can’t travel without my earplugs. Nothing special, just the squishy ones you get at a Rite Aid. Whether it’s crying babies on a plane, or Alli talking in her sleep, I am always thankful when I have a pair of earplugs in my backpack.
What’s your dream destination?
Alli: Samoa. It’s perfectly underrated - and I’ve wanted to go for years… Turquoise waters, rugged rainforest, friendly locals.. It’s going to happen.
Bobby: Tahiti was a destination that caused us to start Traveling Newlyweds, thinking it was a place we could never afford on a teacher’s salary. So I think if/when we go there, it will be pretty special.
We've been wanting a new couch for what feels like forever. When we got married we invested in a cheap white Ikea couch because a) we didn't have a lot of money, and b) white goes with everything, right? Well folks, if we have one word of advice for engaged and newly married couples, it's this:
"DON'T BUY A WHITE COUCH."
Trust us. Don't do it. They're so pretty and chic and fresh but a few years (even a few months!) in, and you WILL regret it. You'll have friends over and they'll spill wine, you'll buy a puppy and when you're not looking she'll track mud across the cushions, you'll be eating a popsicle and it will drip... You get the picture.
So, back to our story. We started the long and treterous couch hunt and we quickly realized we were in way over our heads. Good couches are so expensive, and it seemed like all of the cheaper options weren't very stylish, and more or less just looked cheap. It felt foolish to spend our life savings on a sectional, but we didn't want to buy another Ikea couch. (No offense, Ikea!) We felt trapped.
Until we heard about Burrow.
Not only is the style of couch exactly what we were looking for, it was affordable, the online process was a breeze, and their customer service was oh-so-friendly. Oh, and get this. Every couch comes with a plug-in station so you can charge your phone while you watch your favorite TV show (The Office, always). Did Burrow just invent the PERFECT COUCH?! We think so.
We opted on the Chaise King Sofa in Beige, and in just a matter of weeks, it was delivered to our door! (That's right - your couch comes delivered to you!) Now, we have to admit that the thought of assembling a couch seemed daunting (Ikea flashbacks) but we really cannot stress how EASY the building process was. Our entire sectional was put together in under 30 minutes... Mostly by Bobby by himself!! (I had the task of documenting the process - see said images below)
Now we've our Burrow for a little over a month, we can confidently say that we LOVE IT. Like, it's kind of embarrassing how obsessed with our couch we are. We've been invited to friends houses multiple times and we've declined, simply because we'd rather hang on our couch! (Sorry friends that are reading this, we'll come over soon we promise!)
Here's what we love about it so far:
+ It's spacious. Bobby can fully lay down across the couch and I can fully lay on the chaise - and we don't even come close to touching. That's huge.
+ It's the perfect amount of soft/firm. We like a couch that has structure, but we also want something that's cozy and soft. The Burrow team really nailed this.
+ It's easy to clean. While we're still having flashbacks about our white couch, this one is a night and day difference. The fabric is stain-resistant making it incredibly easy to manage... Praise be!!
+ The charger station. It's a game-changer... or should we say, game-charger?! ;) Since we work from home a lot, and we're constantly on our phones, it really is a huge help for our business. (And for stalking Bachelorette contestants on Monday nights. Duh.)
In short, we love our Burrow. We think you would too. So much so, that we dedicated a whole blog to it!! If and when you're on the market for a new couch, we highly recommend Burrow - and make sure you tag us in your pics! We'd love to see how you style yours!
(And don't worry, as we continue to "upgrade" our living room, we'll be sure to post pics and updates along the way. And you know that we'll be posting those from our Burrow couch. While charging our phone. And drinking wine. Because we can. #nomorewhitecouch)
Bobby and Alli here from Traveling Newlyweds, and we're so excited to be sharing our top ten favorite engagement spots in Laguna Beach!
Let's be real. Getting engaged is a BIG DEAL. You're asking your partner to spend the REST OF THEIR LIFE with you!! The future of your relationship rests in this one, pivotal, life-changing moment. But no pressure or anything.
This is exactly why picking the PERFECT engagement location is so crucial! It's a spot that will forever be engrained in your hearts, a spot that you'll continue to return to on anniversaries, and a spot you might even bring your kids to someday!
Laguna Beach has some of the most engagement-worthy places of anywhere we've ever been to. From stunning lookout spots to beautiful beaches to iconic hotels - you're sure to find the perfect location to ask those four big words... "Will you marry me?" Below are our top 10 picks (starting with southern Laguna and working our way north), and we encourage you to scope them out for yourself and decide if one is worthy of that big, life-altering moment.
1. Table Rock Beach: Table Rock is one of the most beautiful and iconic small stretches of beach in Laguna. It's a small, secluded cove with cliffs on both sides. There's a really great chance you'll have this spot with few onlookers. You could propose on the sand, the rock formation in the middle, or even up on the cliffs that look over the beach. You really can't go wrong in this picture-perfect location.
2. Treasure Island: Treasure Island is a small beach located just south of the Montage. We like this spot because it is a pristine stretch of beach, that is 100% engagement worthy. We love walking along the park above the beach, and the beach itself (complete with the coolest tide pools!) is epic as well. And did someone say celebration drinks at the Montage?!
3. Which leads us to... the Montage: There's no denying that the Montage is one of the most beautiful resorts anywhere. The main lobby opens up to a big balcony with stunning views of the pool and the ocean. It's one of our favorite places to watch the sunset and have a glass of wine... and getting engaged there would be pretty dreamy. Why not start with surprising your significant other with a weekend here, and pop the question during the best weekend of your life?! (Until your wedding day, that is!) ;)
4. Ruby Street Park: This is our personal favorite. Ruby street park is truly one of Laguna Beach's hidden gems. (So don't tell too many people!!) Tucked away between two houses, you meander down a narrow path that opens to a small deck overlooking the ocean. There is only one bench to sit here, with just enough room for two. We often stop here at sunset with our fingers crossed that we have it to ourselves, and more often than not we do! If you're looking for a very intimate, private engagement location - this is it!
5. Pearl Street Beach: We love this beach. It's beautiful, easy to access, and the perfect place to take your significant other for a "causal" walk on the beach. Distract them with the amazing tide pools and then boom! You're down on one knee. They'll never see it coming!!
6. Top of the World Park: Something different for those of you that may rather be hiking than having sand between your toes. Top of the World has an array of trails and lookouts that boast dramatic 360 degree views. On a clear day you'll feel as though you're flying - especially once you're ENGAGED!
7. Main Beach Park: If you don't mind a very public engagement, this very well could be your spot. We love this iconic stretch of beach, and can only imagine how epic a proposal on the boardwalk could be! Followed by engagement photos by the famous lifeguard tower?! You're welcome!! ;)
8. Heisler Park: Heisler park is another one of our favorite oceanfront parks. It boasts perfectly groomed gardens and lush palm trees atop a stunning, green bluff that looks down on various coves. There's a very romantic gazebo that looks over Main Beach - and on a clear day, all of southern Laguna. You can pop the question here, or if you're feeling crazy, obtain a permit and get married in the Gazebo!
9. Shaw's Cove: Small. intimate, and picturesque. This is a beach, similar to Ruby Street park, where you're off the beaten path and most likely in for a very private and secluded engagement. This would be a PERFECT spot for a romantic sunset proposal!
10. Crescent Bay Point Park: Once again, another hidden gem that overlooks the ocean. Laguna is FULL of them!! Crescent Bay Point park is also lesser known and less crowded, and it provides amazing views. This is another spot where you can get engaged or get married... or BOTH!
This may be our top ten list of engagement-worthy locations in Laguna Beach, but we really have barely scratched the surface! We encourage you to take some time to explore and find your favorite spot. It may be a stretch of beach or park that we mentioned, but maybe it's something else! One of the best parts about where you get engaged is that it is YOUR STORY.
Choose wisely, as it is a moment that will be remembered forever. But then again, planning a wedding can be stressful, so don't stress too much about this. Do something that fits your relationship, have fun, and savor it! And then comment below and tell us ALL about it. :)
We’ve been married for almost 3 years now, and can 100% agree with all of the saps out there that every year it gets better. But you know what has impacted our marriage most of all? Travel!
Over the past 3 years we’ve gone on 4 cruises, 8 road trips, and we've explored 13 different countries together. Every trip has challenged, inspired, and strengthened our marriage! We whole-heartedly recommend all newlyweds (or not!) to travel… it’s done amazing things for our marriage!
1. YOU’RE TOGETHER. A LOT.
Travel forces you to get vulnerable, fast. There's nothing quite like sitting side-by-side on a 14-hour international flight and then landing in a foreign country, jet lagged, smelly, and hangry. (Come to think of it - that must be where the term hangry comes from!) We've learned each other's travel quirks, and they surprisingly speak truth into our daily life as well. Alli doesn't do well with crowded, uncontrolled places. Bobby needs to always have a snack nearby. And for both of us naps are ALWAYS a good idea. While traveling together isn't always a walk in the park (although we do like those), we learn more about each other with each trip we take. We've come to appreciate our differences, and never go to sleep upset. Because who wants to travel with a cranky pants?
2. YOU’RE FORCED TO COMPROMISE
There's no getting around it. Traveling forces you and your partner to meet in the middle. Whether it's deciding where you're going to eat for dinner, where you're going to stay, or if you should walk or take a taxi... it's all about compromise. We've had some of our biggest arguments over silly differences of opinion, and it only takes about two hours for us to realize it's just not worth the fight. Even if it means walking up ten flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator.
3. SH*! HAPPENS!
Things go wrong when you travel. It's bound to happen. You might miss your flight or lose your wallet. You might even eat bad sashimi and spend a good 24 hours on your hotel's bathroom floor! (Happened to us.) Regardless, these chaotic situations have become some of our favorite memories! We've learned to accept, grow, and laugh about the sometimes painful travel experiences.
4. THERE'S ROMANCE IN VULNERABILITY
There's something so beautiful about being so vulnerable. Traveling has bonded us in such a way, that we've come to truly accept each other for who we are. We've seen the good, the bad, and the really ugly - but we love that. With that love and acceptance comes a freedom that is liberating. It makes candlelit dinners in Tuscany, long walks in a Parisian market, or zip-lining through the Panamanian rainforest THAT much more romantic.
The past three years have been a whirlwind, filled with countless memories we'll never forget. Through all of our travels we've learned that it doesn't matter what our geographic location is, as long as we're together. So get out there and explore the world with your partner... and invest in a good pair of earplugs while you're at it. Just in case. ;)