Cairo, Egypt

~By:  Julie

In 2011 I received the opportunity to travel to Cairo, Egypt, one of my most memorable trips even to this day. I was only given a small window of time to prepare before the trip and I didn’t know when I’d ever return, so I hired a tour guide/ driver to take me and a couple of my co workers at the time to see the things you are supposed to see. Our hotel was directly on the Nile River, with the most incredible views that immediately gave me the warmest feeling. It’s been 6 years and I’m still pinching myself about this opportunity.


A few things that surprised me:
1. The Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza are located right dab in the middle of Cairo. No joke. When we were flying into it, I saw a huge city with bare land in the middle like an abandoned dusty golf course and upon closer look I spotted the pyramids and the Sphinx from above. It still blows my mind.

2. Now, I had a certain expectation of camels when I came to Egypt… I figured I’d see one… but I really didn’t think I’d get to interact with them. They are really the oddest looking creatures and call me crazy but I couldn’t stop looking at their weird butts.

3. I’ve now stood in front of the giant stones that are the base of the pyramids and I really do question how they got there. ET? I’ve crawled underneath the smaller pyramids, touched the hieroglyphics, and was thankful for the shade of any shadow from the torturous sun. I came as close as possible to the Sphinx and she’s entirely much smaller than I anticipated, which doesn’t happen often to me based on my size. But all of it is a wondrous marvel.

4. I learned to not judge a book by its cover in Egypt because no house is finished. They never finish the top floor or roof of the house in order to avoid paying taxes. I was told the dirtiest looking places can really be the most valuable palaces inside. From the street you really get a different perspective on things.

5. After a necessary food stop for street-side doner Kabob, a voice came over the public loudspeaker chanting in a religious tone and the entire city paused in the most eerie way. No one made us feel uncomfortable for not practicing the way they did. We just kept quiet and reserved to the side out of respect until it seemed ok to continue our journey.

The video is long but I’m so grateful I have it after so much time has passed.

I had plans to return to Egypt to visit Alexandria before things became tense… I’ve lost some of the memories. But I still wear my cleopatra cartouche, display my papyrus paintings with pride and can’t wait to explore the rest of this incredibly mysterious country.


Khaosan Road: Get Bangkok’d

For those of you who love the movie ‘The Beach’….This is where in Bangkok that Richard obtains that famous map from Daffy, which leads him to “paradise” The way he describes this street is accurate and if you are looking for a place to start your afternoon and finish at 7 am the next morning this is it.

After landing from the USA, we immediately proceed to Khaosan Center bar, known in our circle as “Merry Christmas bar” for our traditional tower of Chang and spring rolls! From there it’s a parade down the street as we stop at various bars for buckets as the Thai DJs remix the European EDM hits!!!! By 4 am it’s time to hit up a tuk tuk to Spicy night club that will keep us going to sun up! Time to sleep for a few hours before basking in the sun at our fav rooftop pool….


~By:  Amanda

Goin up, On a Tuesday: Highlands NYC

For our inaugural bar/restaurant Tuesday, I have choosen a place new to us this summer, which is becoming a fast favorite! Highlands NYC located in the West Village is a Scottish style pub with upscale finishes.

The Happy Hour here is what continuously draws us back, including $5 beers, $6 wines and $8 cocktails. My favorite is the Highland Mule, which is topped with a watermelon ice pop, while Anna enjoys the Old Fashioned. The beer and wine selection are not your basic ratchet house wines or large brewery domestics either and include a refreshing French Grenache/Syrah Rose and the Lionshead Pilsner from Pennsylvania. The happy hour snacks are definitely worth noting too, try the beef sliders or one of the flatbread selections.

While I have not had the opportunity to partake in the dinner menu, it looks fabulous. For those whisky connoisseurs, Highlands NYC also has a large selection of Scotch, bourbon and other selective whisky flights. Anna choose the Isle Hopping flight and recommends flight tasting as a fun afternoon activity!

Way too Wanderlust Recommends:  

Highlands NYC: 150 W 10th Street, New York, NY 10014 +1 212 229 2670

~By: Amanda

Way too Wanderlusts NYC Blog list

Throw back Thursday: Santos Winery, Santorini Greece

If I could choose a favorite activity on vacay, wine tasting is definitely the winner! Santos Winery was by far one of the best wine tasting experiences in which I’ve ever participated. The winery is set on top of the cliff over looking the volcanic caldera, which is now a lagoon, after a large eruption thousands of years ago. The view from this point is breathtaking and you have the option to enjoy the wine inside or outside on the covered deck.

The menu choices include a tastings of 3-18 wines based on the tasting tour you choose. While we did not participate, there are options of a walking tour also to accompany your tasting experience. The pours are large enough to share the 12 or 18 wine tastings with a friend and have a wide variety of red, white and rosé. Did I mention snacks?? Each tasting comes with a set of cheese, olives, bread and tomato paste. Also provided is an information sheet with a description of each wine. Our waiter was kind enough to alter the 6 glass wine tasting for our friend Cait who prefers only white wine. Timed just right, we had the opportunity to watch the sunset over the caldera before heading into Thira to start our night. If you love wine, you must go, the atmosphere and wine selection are a perfect way to spend the afternoon! No excuses!

Way too Wanderlust Reccomends

Santos Winery: Pirgos, Santorini 84701, Greece + 30 22860 22596 

~By: Amanda

Throw back Thursday: Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

Everything is better after a coupe of cocktails and this holds true for visiting, well now, the worlds 7th tallest building, the Petronas Towers. Once considered the worlds tallest from 1998 to 2004 the Petronias towers stand 1,483 ft (452 m)gracing the KL skyline. For Julie and I to do touristy things a simple bribe of drinks goes a long way. As luck would have it, before our little day trip we stumbled upon Loco Mexican Bar & Restaurant in the Bukit Bintang district of KL. Here we found Happy Hour pitchers of margaritas in a variety of flavors, a fantastic deal and we pretty snobby when it comes to margaritas.

After our little snack, we decided to take a taxi down to the towers. It was incredibly efficient and cost effective split by 5 people and let’s be honest after plural pitchers of margaritas, we were feeling lazy. The tower area, is surrounded by shopping complex which contains pretty much every store known to man. We located the the tourist center using the interactive map and got in line for tickets. One can pre-purchase an elevator time in advance online at To accommodate our group of five we were given a elevator ticket time of 2 hours later. Time for more margs, so we found Chilis (how American) and ordered another round.
At our scheduled time we que’d up for our ride to the top. On the way we stopped at the 2 story skybridge between the two towers, which is the highest of its kind in the world at 558ft (170 m). The guide provided us with information about the towers as we road to the top of the observation deck The view from the top is spectacular and you can see all 360 degrees around the city. There are also exhibits with information about the towers and other tallest buildings of the world.

These photogenic towers are worth an afternoon visit. Have a couple drinks before you go, it will defiantly make your visit more entertaining!

Way Too Wanderlust Recommends

Loco Mexican Bar and Restaurant 22, Changkat Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia +603 2142 8260

Petronas Twin Towers Kuala Lumpur City Center, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia +603 2331 8080

Take a cab because life it too short and we are not poor

~By:  Amanda

Goin’ up, On a Tuesday: Poco Loco, Amsterdam Netherlands

As luck would have it, our favorite fondue restaurant in Amsterdam was full…no reservation on a Saturday night, epic fail on us.

After wandering around the Nieuwmakrt Square  we stumbled upon Poco Loco a Tapas bar. This cafe- restaurant has outdoor seating on the patio and cozy indoor seating; Poco Loco also provides both Dutch and English menu descriptions. After consulting the  menu we decided on the Royal Tapas selection, which is 7 different sharable tapas chosen by the chef. The staff has graciously in the has past accommodated food allergens, including seafood! Typically we order 1-2 other tapas as a supplement, especially those including the disription of cheese. To finish you dinner try the champagne and lemon sorbet which is disguised as a dessert…NO it’s a cocktail and party starter. This drink will even flip that whiny friend trying to go home!

Each trip to Amsterdam has brought us back to Polo Loco this summer, the food has always been amazing. I would list specific tapas recommendations, but anything on the menu is worth a go. They also have a wonderful selection of wines, cocktails and beers. Poco Loco has a resident house cat, who shows up always about the time dinner is served. He has a funny Dutch name, which I couldn’t pronounce if I tried. For a low key and delicious dinner this is the spot in Nieuwmakrt!

Way too Wanderlust Reccomends

Poco Loco: Nieuwmakrt 24, 1012 CR Amsterdam, Netherlands

~By: Amanda

#amsterdam #netherlands #pocoloco #tapas #nieumarkt #travel #wanderlust #cocotails #europe #european #canal #adventure

Goin’ Up, On a Tuesday: Bangkok Edition, Khaosan Central 

If you are backpacker, enjoy a ratchet circus or want the most authentic Thai food you can order at 1 am, then Khao San Central is the place for you. Nicknamed the  “Merry Christmas Bar” because usually they forget to take down their Christmas decorations before April. Our group has a tradition of always spending our inaugural night in Bangkok here, with cold Chang towers and spring rolls to get the party started. Boasting one of the best DJs on Khao San Road, the open patio is the best place to take in the sights and plan the rest of your night

Way too Wanderlust Reccommends

  • Khao San Central Bar, Khao San road, Bangkok
    I don’t have a website or phone number, because I don’t they exist. Just look for the Khao San Central signs out half way down the road, across from 7-11.

~By:  Amanda

This photo is blurry for a reason!

Baller on a Budget: “Help me, I’m Poor”

~By:  Amanda

We wish we could afford a fancy hotel, however we know how to find a fancy hotel and use it to our advantage or basically profit from their pool. This usually only works with small groups 2-4 max, as to not attract too much attention. So sorry for the guys, this trick is easier for those of us with assets in the chest region.

Looking that part is key, wear your new bathing suit, the one without beer stains and a proper cover up. Take off the backpacker bracelets and maybe add some mascara for effect. Walk in the front door like a boss, you stay here, right? Stroll in like you have a room and veer off in that direction. Never make a beeline to the pool or come in off the beach, the staff will target you right away. Be causal, but scope out the area, pretend as you just checked in, find the best spot with the least amount of possible staff interaction. Julie and I are currently sitting at the adult pool at the Marriott in Hua Hin Thailand, our guesthouse pool is a cement hole, this one as has water slides! We choose this particular spot as the lounge chairs already had towels neatly laid out and not a staff member to be seen. The word to use here is stealth, we belong here, yes?

Karma can bite you in the butt or almost….on our tour of the grounds to find that ideal location, a snake fell from a tree just 2 feet ahead of where I was walking and slithered into the children’s pool. This is terrifying, because if the Marriott is not safe, nothing really is.

I usually buy one drink at the pool bar, this will give you a bit of street cred with the pool staff. After that refill with pre-mixes you packed in a water bottle. Fun and clean day, just watch out for the old men with  beards and boobs! Word to the wise, if questioned get up and leave, don’t buy anything with out paying for it, we all know how Broke Down Palace ends…

Read more about our Thailand Adventures, we have a lot….

Way too Wanderlust Reccommends 

Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa: 107/1 Phetkasem Road, Hua Hin 77110 Thailand +66 32 904 666


When you don’t have $5,000 to spend on a plane ticket

~By:  Amanda

Spending almost 12 hours cramped into 41B from Portland to Tokyo can drive anyone to near insanity. Even at 5’3” I still feel miserable in those little economy seats, never mind someone who is not vertically challenged. This is our list of essentials for making those long-haul flights in peasant class more tolerable….

  1. Noise cancellation headset:  Screaming baby, overheard gossip from the flight attendant galley, jet engine noise, a noise cancellation headset is an investment in sanity. Not only blocking those annoying sounds reverberating thru that metal tube; they will also improve the sound quality your movie, because you needed to watch the Hunger Games again. Another added bonus is blocking out that snoring neighbor, who sounds like a dying walrus, in your hostel bunk. One does not need to spend hundreds of dollars to purchase a high quality headset; we suggest Bose and Audio Tech, both have models available on for under $125.

  2. Comfy neck pillow:  A neck pillow can make sleeping in any economy seat an actual possibility. With variety of options available, I prefer the memory foam version, as it provides unsurpassed neck stabilization. In addition, pack a cozy fleece travel blanket, I have dragged mine all over the world and back.

  3. Distractions: Pre-charge everything, insure your cell phone battery is 100 percent before boarding. Before departing fully charge your iPad, laptop, kindle, I don’t know you like….Many airlines still don’t provide individual video or power outlets at every seat.  Plan ahead, download extra books on your kindle, buy some magazines at the airport, add some new songs to your Spotify playlist or bring a Cinderella coloring book, whatever will keep you entertained! An external battery will keep your devices charged on longer flights and will also save your life on so many occasions. Go back to for this too.

  4. Flip flops and warm socks: Typically airplanes are super cold, temperatures outside that thin sheet of metal average negative fifty. So a nice thick pair of socks will do wonders keeping your body temp content and nobody likes bare feet in public. Fun fact….never take a trip to an airplane lavatory in your socks. It’s disgusting, there are probably six strains of hepatitis lurking on that floor, I will judge you.  On long haul flights flip flops are so much easier than putting your shoes on every time. I tuck both items into a shoe bag before throwing them into my carry on.

  5. Drinks: Wine, beer, tequila, pick your poison… this should actually be the number one suggestion.

  6. Games:  If you are traveling with a friend bring cards and other mini games, the hours will fly by. Loser buys the next round…

  7. H2O:  Bring a bottle to fill after security or buy the biggest bottle you can find in the airport, especially for flights over five hours. Nothing feels or looks worse than landing dehydrated and swollen.

  8. Eye-mask: Do I really need to explain this one?

  9. Snacks: If you aren’t feeling the chicken tumors served on today’s flight, have a back up plan. I highly recommend high protein beef jerky and trail mix.  We bring fancy cheese and crackers to drink with wine.

  10. WiFi:  If the airline offers it why not, sometimes expensive, but worth it. Frequent fliers, consider the monthly plan, much more cost efficient than purchasing by flight segment. How else are you gonna snap chat.



Phi Phi Boat Cruise 

~By:  Amanda

Having a large posse of travel buddies definitely has its benefits. While vacationing on The Phi Phi islands in Thailand, our group of 11 allowed us to affordably rent a private speed boat to visit the neighboring islands. After negotiating with several travel agencies on Phi Phi Don we rented a boat and hired a two man crew for approximately 11,500 Thai bhat, after math about $30 per person. Before heading out for our trip, we stocked up on snacks and a lot of beer. Our itinerary included Bamboo and Monkey islands, before speeding off to deeper waters for snorkeling. Snorkeling equipment was provided with the boat.

Our last stop was the famous Phi Phi Lee, which is the beautiful and uninhabited island, where a bulk of the movie Thek Beach was filmed. Here we spent the remainder of the day playing in the clear shallow waters and sunning on the white sand beach.

The interior of the island is a small sandbar seated between two towering limestone rocks. Here you can explore the national park and visit the memorial for the travelers camping on the island when the 2005 tsunami hit. Our wonderful boat crew concluded our day with a snack of fresh, delicious pineapple! If you can gather a large enough crew to make a private boat tour of the Phi Phi islands, we highly recommend this option as you can tailor your itinerary and enjoy the scenic islands in a far more intimate setting!

Check out our other Thailand blogs