The McKenna’s Go To Colombia: Recap of Our Family Vacation

Our trip to Colombia was more than just an overseas adventure. My mom’s side of the family lives in Colombia and making our trip more sentimental was my grandfather’s 80th birthday party. This blog started out primarily as a way for us to keep our friends and family in the know of our adventures. Over time, we’ve gained some followers so this post might seem a little out of context, but the root of this blog is to chronicle our memories abroad. So, if you want to hear more about the personal-not-so-official parts of our trip read on good friend!

Papa Hernan turns 80, A Family Affair

If there were ever a man who was the epitome of a patriarch, it would be my grandfather! A father of 3, retired mayor from the Colombian Military, wounded in combat, and over all bad ass man, my grandfather has always put his family first. 7 grandchildren and 1 son in law later, he has seen the world change over the past 80 years. I know people romantize their family members, but even if we weren’t related, I would think my grandfather was one of the most amazing men in the world. His 80th birthday was nothing less that perfection! And I am so glad we were able to make it.

There was good food, great company, and the entertainment of my amazing uncle’s singing a parody song they wrote for my mom over 20 years ago! Needless to say, my mom outdid herself with the decor.

When your family is a little crazy but you wouldn't change a thing! πŸ’•

A post shared by S.McK (formerly Nia Hames) (@essmckn) on

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Termales: Hot Springs at Night

If you have never seen a million stars in a dark nights sky while you sit in a volcanic hot spring surrounded by your family, you my friend are missing out! This night was so much fun and the only thing missing was clear quality for pictures, but with that much steam its impossible!

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Salento: A Day Trip Back in Time

A cute little town that seems to have been lost in time where the boys went zip-lining while my mom and I shopped cute traditional crafts and artisan stores. A perfect day trip from Santa Rosa. This town is full of cute coffee shops, hostels, and foreign backpackers.

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Cauca Viejo: Hotel Misia Maria

Though we live in Florida, Colombia’s heat and tropics are a beauty worth seeing. So, to Cauca Viejo we went for 2 days of pure relaxation, hammocks, and amazing food at Hotel Misia Maria. This is one of the best boutique hotels we have ever stayed at! If you want to read more about the hotel, check out our post with pictures and a review.

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Finca El Placer: A Coffee Tour From Seed To Sip

Coffee has been a huge part of my life and subsequently a big part of Tim and I’s relationship too! I joke that Tim learned to drink coffee with me when early on in our relationship he couldn’t understand how a Colombian girl who loved coffee didn’t drink coffee in the States. Barista courses, international champions as mentors, and having an amazing step dad who educated me on the coffee process I taught Tim everything I knew about coffee. It got to the point where my once Starbucks junkie had turned into a Organic-Honey dried only snob. When we first started dating, I went to Colombia with my brother, Thomas, for some legal things. That trip I brought back 60 lbs of coffee for friends, some (read: a lot) of which though we ended up redirecting into our personal stash. The only thing he wanted to do was to go tour a coffee farm AND buy  enough gourmet specialty coffee to last us a year.

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Goodbyes and Big Hugs

Saying goodbye is never easy. Having my parents abroad isn’t too bad on the holidays, I have my brother in North Florida, my dad and his family in Mississippi, and Tim’s family. The internet has also made it that I get to see my family daily via skype calls and video messages. While the distance seems relatively small 364 days of the year, saying goodbye is always the hardest.

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