2017-A Year in Review

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Tokyo, Madrid, Taipei, the Cook Islands, Paris, London, Puerto Vallarta-just some of the many places we got to visit this year! Milana added 7 countries (Mexico twice) and 10 US states to her list and we had a blast exploring them all! She wanted to save all her boarding passes this year, and we have quite the collection from the last 12 months!




Dave had a work trip to Orlando, so Milana and I tagged along. It was a fun trip exploring many things outside of Disney and her favorite was the Crayola Factory!




Every year we take a trip to see snow since we live in SoCal where it doesn’t snow, and this year we chose Winter Park, CO.  Such a great city for families! Lots of kid-friendly activities including snow tubing and kid-sized snow mobile rentals!




In March, we went to Europe! The first city we visited was London.  There is so much to do with kids in London! From sightseeing, to one of the biggest toy stores in the world, lots of parks and kid-themed afternoon teas, you will find so many things to occupy your family!



Our second European stop was Paris.  Milana had been asking to see the Eiffel tower for almost a year, so we decided to take her to see it. To say she was excited is an understatement!



Our last stop on our European trip was Madrid. It was very welcomed after the freezing temps in London and Paris! I met up with a childhood friend (we grew up together in Poland) and enjoyed wandering the city and eating tapas. It quickly became one of our favorite European cities!




After coming home from Europe, we were home for a couple of weeks then headed again to Orlando, for another work conference.  This time we visited the children’s museum and stayed at the Hilton Buena Vista, which had an awesome pool area which we utilized a lot!



A week after Orlando, we headed to Cancun to meet up with my sister and her family.  Milana had a blast seeing her cousins that she only sees once or twice a year!



While in Cancun, we took a side trip to Isla Mujeres.  It’s such a cute island, where everyone rents golf carts. I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area!



At the end of April, we went to Phoenix for a few days.  We stayed at the Hilton Squaw Peak, which had an awesome water park!




May brought us to Texas.  Dave and I have been to SA before, but it was Milana’s first time. We wanted to come before their summer heat hit, and it was a great month to go! We stayed at the Hyatt right near the Alamo and had fun exploring the city. We even visited Barney and his toilet seat museum, something I highly recommend doing!




In June, we drove a little up the CA coast to Santa Barbara, one of our favorite CA cities! Our hotel was across the street form the ocean (Fess Parker) and we had a lot of fun exploring the city!



In mid June, we went to Vegas for a long weekend.  It was Milana’s 3rd trip here and as always, it was lots of fun! It was very hot during this time (they were going through a heat wave with record-breaking heat!) so we found lots of indoors things to do.  Their kid museum is really awesome and there are lots of things on the strip to do with kids.




Every year for 4th of July weekend, we head to Puerto Vallarta and stay at the Marriott.  It’s become our tradition and one we love and look forward to every year!




At the beginning of August, we went to the Cook Islands. We visited Rarotonga and Aitutaki.  The Aitutaki lagoon is absolutely stunning and something you have to see in person.



Late August, we went to Japan.  We explored lots of different neighborhoods in Tokyo and ate lots of yummy foods. One of our hotels had a Hello Kitty themed room, which of course was a huge hit with Milana!



We also spent some time in Narita, Japan.  Most people land at the Narita airport but don’t actually spend any time in the city but it’s totally worth a visit! It’s a super cute little town to explore for a few hours and some great dining options too!




In early September, we went to Chicago.  Dave and I had been before Milana was born and loved it, so we decided to take her as well.  It was much hotter than we anticipated (they were going through a heat wave and it was close to 100 and humid each day!) so it was hard to enjoy any outdoor activities but we still had a great time!



In mid-September, we drove down to San Diego for the weekend. We go quite frequently as it’s close by and where Milana was born.  There is so much to do with kids in San Diego! Lots of playgrounds, cool neighborhoods to explore and great dining options.



Late September, I took Milana on a mom-daughter trip to Portland, OR.  We stayed int he Pearl District and had a great time exploring the city. We even rented a car for the day to visit a pumpkin patch and Forest Park.




As our time in Portland was coming to an end, we decided to extend our trip and head up to Seattle. Thanks to Southwest’s awesome rebooking/cancellation policy, it was not an issue and instead of going home, off to Seattle we went!  Milana loved the Museum of Flight and the awesome playground by the Space Needle.



Every Thanksgiving, we go away to a different country. This year, we had nothing planned but a deal popped up for Taipei and we said why not! So we booked with just 10 days to plan and it became one of our favorite destinations to date! I highly recommend Taiwan over the more popular Asian countries.  The people are amazing, the food is the best and there is so much to do with kids!



One of the places we visited while in Taipei was the city of Tamsui.  It’s the last stop on the red line and a super cute city to explore!




Every year in December, I take Milana on the Polar Express train ride.  We choose a different destination each time, so that we can explore the area.  This year, we chose Carson City and got to explore Reno and Virginia City as well.


We have one more trip coming up this month (New Mexico) and I will add that once we complete the travel.  Next time someone says your travel life is over once you have kids, send them our way.  I will gladly set them straight!


  • Tread Lightly, Retire Early

    I love that you two tag along on work trips! It means you get extra adventures and daddy and daughter don’t have to be apart ❤️

  • Carolina Colborn

    Wow, you traveled to a lot of places. Milana always strikes such cute poses wherever you go!!! She is getting such a good education to boot!

  • Savannah

    I love Milana’s little pink snowmobile! What an awesome year 🙂
    You guys crammed so much into just 365 days. Can’t wait to see what next year holds!

  • Shibu S.

    Wow Milana is one lucky girl to travel this much at such a young age 🙂 You guys spread your travels over 3 continents and that is truly amazing!! I am yet to make it to US, hope to cover all the places you recommended!!

  • Gabriele Burchielli

    All these places you are visiting will leave foot prints in her soul. Milana is such a lucky girl: her mind will be full of colors and poetry and the memory of her childhood as bright as the sun. Keep going!

  • Bailey Mills

    Oh my goodness, Milana is absolutely adorable! I wish I could travel as much as she (and you) did in the year! I have always wanted to visit Tokyo, your photos of it looked like so much fun. I am not far from Seattle, it’s cool that you ended up so close to me this year!

  • Abhinav Singh

    Wow, 7 countries and 10 states is not bad at all. Out of all the places you visited, I want to see Paris the most. My personal aim for 2018 is to visit all the states in India. 20 states already done.

  • James

    Wow – Milena has visited so many places in 2017. It would be cool if when she’s older she can revisit these places and do the same poses in the same places again! I’m hoping to visit the touristy areas of Mexico next year with my daughter, PV and Cancun are so convenient for kids with the all inclusive resorts!

    • Milana's Travels

      Skip Cancun, we only went to hang out with cousins. The AI thing is so not our thing! PV is better since you can rent a car and venture out, our hotel was not an AI there. I hope she continues her travels well into adulthood and appreciates all the places she’s been to!

  • Bhushavali

    That’s a cool idea. Totally love the pic of Milana with all those boarding passes. Can’t wait to begin my travels with my gal! Across 3 different continents, its such an awesome gift you’re giving your little gal!

  • mujicaaandrea

    what an amazing year! Miliana is adorable and she grew up so much in just one year! Im from orlando! so cool you went twice to my hometown!

  • estemarie

    I’ve always wanted to try that tall ice cream in Taipei! Hehe. What an awesome year, you had! I did not get to do my own 2017 review but I’ve only been to 3 countries last year soooo it was not that worth it to begin with. But I’m happy that you have been to a lot of countries last year! Life is not meant to be lived in one place after all!

  • Louise

    I’m so jealous. I wish I had the opportunity to travel as a child. She is going to be blessed with some of the best memories. How amazing!

  • bridgetw

    What an exciting and busy year! Makes my year in travels look super boring! Love the pics of Miliana, she’s creating some awesome childhood memories.

  • ThatAnxiousTraveller (@ThatAnxiousBlog)

    Looks like a wonderful year! I remember reading about your trip to Japan, and I’m glad that you enjoyed London (my home turf) too! Milana is getting quite the passport!

  • everywhereforward

    Your girl is such a little model! It looks like you had a great year of traveling with her! I think it’s amazing that you’re sharing the gift of travel with your daughter.

  • Rachel

    Oh my – looks like you guys had an incredible year! So glad you enjoyed London, do I spy an afternoon tea? Where did you go? Toyko looks amazig I’d love to get there sonn, and the Cook Islands, wow, that water looks so good!

  • Kristi (@daytriptips)

    Can I just say that I love that you are taking your daughter along on your journey! We began international travel when my daughter was 9 and son was 12 and I am so glad we have been able to expose them to other cultures and places around the globe. Looks like you had a fabulous year in 2017.

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