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2013 in Review

31 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Courtney Mara’s 2013 Bucket List

31 Dec

My 2013 DC bucket list:

  • Go inside the National Cathedral
  • Bureau of Engraving & Printing
  • Go to the top of the clock tower at the Old Post Office Pavilion
  • National Geographic Museum
  • Air & Space Museum in Dulles, VA
  • National Observatory
  • US Capitol building tour
  • Explore 14th Street NW

My 2013 personal bucket list:

  • Get married (May 2013)
  • Have more DC dates with my fiance/husband
  • Spend more time with friends and family

My 2013 travel bucket list:

  • Jamaica (wedding): (1) jump off of a cliff (even if its a baby one) in Negril and (2) Margaritaville in Montego Bay
  • South Africa and Mozambique (honeymoon): (1) see a great white shark, (2) swim with a whale shark, (3) go with Matt on his first safari, (4) ride an elephant with Matt in Africa, and (5) go to Cape Town. 
  • Take a hot air balloon ride
  • Travel to at least one state that I have never been to (e.g., Hawaii, Alaska, Alabama, Vermont, etc.)

What is on your 2013 bucket list?

CourtneyMara.com is Returning Soon!

16 Sep

Dearest friends, family, and fans:   Stay tuned to CourtneyMara.com because the site is returning from summer vacation!   The rest of the year should be filled with some more great travel pieces by Courtney Mara and our great guest bloggers.  Please stay tuned!

CourtneyMara.com In the News

31 Jan

The following was in the January 20, 2012 edition of American Jewish World:

MUST READ: The Lost Girls

21 Jan

(the picture is from here)

The Lost Girls is about three ladies in their late 20s quitting their jobs, leaving relationships behind, and traveling the world together for one year.  This book makes you want to get off the couch and fly somewhere exotic.   The Lost Girls is a MUST READ for anyone who loves to travel, as well as for those that dream of traveling but think they can’t do it because of obligations.

DO Watch This Travel Video

15 Jan

Video of a trip to Morocco and Spain by Mike Matas (original video can be found here):

You can find more work by Mike Matas on his website.

Introduction to CourtneyMara.com

5 Jan

It has been a little over a month since this site truly went public.  Viewership has been picking up so this is the perfect time to really explain what CourtneyMara.com is about.

When Matt and I were planning our EngagementMoon to Tahiti and New Zealand, I searched and searched for an itinerary for one week in the North Island of New Zealand during winter.  I could not find this.  I found plenty of “two weeks” or “South Island” or “summer,” but never precisely what I needed.  I was then determined to create a website where people could post their itineraries or recommendations for different locations throughout the world.

I want CourtneyMara.com to be a place where people can find suggestions to help them plan their travels.  From time to time I add personal stories (the story of my proposal, “DATE MY BROTHER,” and picture of my engagement ring), but for the most part this will be a travel website.

You may be wondering how this site will be different from all of the other travel blogs.  Well, as I indicated above, the focus of this website will be sample travel itineraries and the DOs/DON’Ts of different locations.  I do not want to brag about all of the trips I have taken.  Instead, I want to give people recommendations not only from me, but from all the GUEST BLOGGERS as well.

Speaking of GUEST BLOGGERS, if you have a great travel itinerary or DOs/DON’Ts of a particular location, please share them at CourtneyMara.com.  Or, if you know of some blog post on another website that should be re-posted on CourtneyMara.com, please let me know!  See our GUEST BLOGGERS page for more information.

I hope you enjoy CourtneyMara.com!

Lots of Love,

Courtney Mara

DO: Watch This 1 Minute Travel Video

29 Dec

The title of this video is ” Guy travels the world and shoots one second of footage in each location.”  MUST SEE for travel lovers.

Thank you to surexpress for making me aware of this video.

It’s Hannukah Bush Time…

5 Dec

We may not celebrate Christmas, but Matt and I love the holiday spirit.   So this year we did what we haven’t done in a few years and bought a baby tree.  With CVS lights and ornaments from Chicos, we have ourselves a beautiful Hannukah bush.  Happy Holidays!

A Thanksgiving Feast in Washington, DC

25 Nov

This year Matt and I decided to forgo holiday travel and have a “Friendsgiving” in DC.  We were a bit apprehensive considering Matt and I don’t cook that often.   But, we went with the Thanksgiving spirit and spent lots of money on groceries that would eventually turn into stuffing, turkey with thyme, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and more.

After being let out early on Wednesday, I went straight home to begin cooking our Thanksgiving feast.  Wednesday was to be my time to cook the chocolate peanut butter pie, pumpkin bread, and prepare for the next day’s cooking marathon.   When Matt came home he prepared the turkey.

Thanksgiving day Matt and I woke up to 60 degree, clear sky weather.  To start the day off on a healthy foot, we went for our three mile run.  As soon as we got home, we clunkered down in the kitchen and began the marathon: sweet potato dish with mini marshmallows, stuffing, green bean casserole, steamed broccoli, and more.  We also laid out drinks (beer, wine, and soda) and appetizers (cheese, crackers, pepperoni, pigs in a blanket, olives, and cashews).

At 3pm the festivities began.  We had three friends come over.  We started with appetizers, football, and Apples to Apples.   Around 4:45pm we sat down for “dinner.”  At 6pm we watched Home Alone.  At 7:45pm dessert was served.  And, by 9/10pm every one was tired out.

All in all, this was a beautiful Thanksgiving.  Family was definitely missed, but it sure was nice not to have to travel.