Coasting Along Croatia

Coasting Along Croatia
Spending time with my extended family is one of my favorite activities.  I am so lucky to have been able to spend incredible moments from this year with two of my cousins and one of my aunts.  Caroline and I explored South East Asia this past May and had a blast.  A few months later, in early October, I was lucky enough to meet up with my aunt and cousin to explore Croatia, and it was awesome!

I feel incredibly lucky that I have such a wonderful relationship with Patti and Patrick.  Our traveling team has an incredible friendship and shared passion for traveling, exploring new places, meeting new people, and (some would say our favorite) taste testing regional cuisines and libations. 
 
Before our group adventures commence, we have a few simple questions we like to ask before making any firm plans. 
Have any of us visited the country previously?  Is the country/region safe? Do they have good food?  Do they have white wine?  Do they have enough white wine? 
We are simple travelers with simple needs.
We like food. A lot.
If the questions are answered to our liking, it is usually only a matter of minutes before we book our flights.  A few of our past international destinations include Argentina, Ireland, and China.  We were anxious to add a new region and more incredible memories to our repertoire.
As Patrick would be in the Balkans for work and I was just a short flight from the region, Patti got to work exploring our choices.  It was not long before the destination was chosen: Croatia.  
(Please Note: Patti is a 5 star travel agent!! More on this in a moment.)
Old City walls in Dubrovnik
I flew from Madrid to Barcelona and arrived in Dubrovnik a day before they were planning to arrive from Bosnia.  Luckily, I met a handful of fun travelers and had a great first night and following morning in the Old City.  Although we had fun briefly exploring the city, I was beyond anxious to meet up with Patti and Patrick. 
Statue outside of a chapel in Hvar
I arrived at our hotel the following afternoon and found a seat on the picturesque boulevard that ran alongside our hotel where I could wait and watch for them.   I was filled with so much excitement that every pair of people walking towards me made my heart skip a beat.   We had been planning our trip for many weeks, and I couldn’t wait for the fun to begin.  Can you tell I cherish our time together?
When they did arrive, it was awesome!  We all freaked out, and I’m sure we frightened more than a few onlookers.  Moments later we dropped our bags, grabbed our cameras and found a new table on the boulevard.  The white wine started flowing and the catching up began. 
It ended approximately ten days later.
Me and Patrick in Hvar
Our time together was perfect.  The breathtaking views, friendly local personalities, mouthwatering cuisine, hilarious moments, crazy nightlife and stunning weather didn’t hurt the experience either. 
The time together began in picture-perfect Dubrovnik and then we sauntered up the coast to Split to explore more regional cuisine and eventually make our way by ferry to Hvar, an island off of the coast. 
Why would we ever leave Hvar?
Being able to explore at our leisure, we accidentally fell into love with Hvar and out of touch with the rest of the world.  Each morning we would casually wake up to one of the most stunning views I’ve ever seen, and over coffee we would decided that “Yes, we need another day here.”   After our difficult decision, I would skip down the stairs and inform the family running the bed and breakfast that we were not leaving… again.  
Endless delicious Croatian cuisine
Their response was always the same: a completely content (and contagious) Croatian attitude.  “Great to hear, now would you like to join us for some wine or cheese?”  Nothing was ever a problem, except their need for us to continuously consume more of their cheeses and homemade wines, which was a problem that we were happy to solve for them.  
Hvar Town
This experience would not have been as authentic or seamless without Patti’s dedicated work before our trip began.  She has the incredible ability of finding unique accommodations that land us in the middle of everything we could possibly want.  

Her combination of patience, meticulous attention to detail, tireless research, and deep desire for finding the most authentic and fiscally sound choice available to us makes her Travel Agent of the Century.  

I’m so lucky to have such an amazing aunt & friend.
From overlooking the Cathedral in the Old Town of Dubrovnik to having our own entire rooftop terrace and apartment above a winery in Hvar (that’s just two of the many!), the accommodations and locals we interacted with because of her hard work made our experience and time together beyond perfect.  

Dubrovnik Harbor

She made this trip happen and I was lucky enough to tag along.  If you have a chance to travel with her, and opt out, you’re crazy! 

Me and the owner of our B&B in Hvar

Saying goodbye to Patti and Patrick in Split ten days after our adventure began was bittersweet, but seeing them in a few short weeks at Thanksgiving made parting a bit easier to handle.