When my grandmother passed away two months ago, I learned that she left each of her grandchildren $2,000 in her will. Initially I was just going to throw it in our savings and use it towards our house deposit, but then I got to thinking,

“How would Gigi want me to spend this money?”

She spent her money on quality items, special gifts and meaningful experiences. She would save her money to buy a designer purse rather than own hundreds of cheap bags. When each of the girl grandchildren turned 13 she took us shopping for a special ring to commemorate our teenage years. I chose a sapphire stone with a gold band in the shape of a leaf. It is one of my most cherished pieces of jewelry to this day. She also loved to travel and went to so many exotic places when she was younger. I think she even traveled to Australia and New Zealand in her 70s. Such a classy lady she was. :)

So after much though, I decided to use her money to for a trip. We may have to use some of our own savings, depending on where we end up going, but I love the idea of taking a trip in the next few years in her honor, just me and J. You might even call it a baby moon. ;)

Here are some of the places in the running…

1. Spain 2. Italy 3. San Francisco 4. Ireland 5. Mozambique 6. Cape Code / New England

Where would you go with this money? Have you been any of the places above? I’d love to hear your experiences!

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  • Great idea to spend wisely, the money your Granny left you. I haven’t been to any of the places on your list though I have travelled extensively! I would likely pick Mozambique if you’ve never been to Africa before. I think somewhere in Africa should be on everyone’s list.

  • Oops. mea culpa. I have in fact been to San Francisco. Though it was long long ago, I really loved it. It is a beautiful place and many things to see and do in and around the area.

  • I vote Spain, but that’s because I lived there and I’m incredibly biased. Great food, easy travel, tons of history, and it’s super cheap once you get there.

  • Being originally from Scotland I have visited Spain, Ireland, Italy and even made it as far as San Fransisco. But now that i call Australia home I would highly recommend you add it to your list.
    If it was good enough for GIgi…..

  • I’d highly recommend doing the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage across northern Spain. It was a wonderful way to see the land, meet the people, taste the food, etc. If you can take the time off to do some of it (I did 2 weeks, but you could do even 1 week of it and appreciate it!), it is awesome! In a month and a day I’ll be on a honeymoon to San Francisco. I’ll let you know how it was goes! We’ve heard great things!

  • i love when families do this for each other…such a lovely thought. i would do San Fran because i have wanted to go forever….have fun deciding!

  • I’ve been to Spain (Barcelona and Madrid), I live in Italy right now and we’re hoping to go to Ireland later this year. So I can give you lots of Italy advice. Or you can check out my blog also.

  • If Gigi were reading your post she would be so thrilled that you were using this money in such a thoughtful and unique way. I can’t wait to see where you and J decide. Don’t forget to purchase something that will always remind you of her and your experience.

  • I have also wanted to go to Australia but am not sure if a one-week trip would be worth the time to get over there and back. But maybe if we can plan our vacation days we can take more time off. It looks lovely!

  • How long did you live there? What makes Spain so cheap, since they use the Euro as other European countries? Would love more info on your experience!

  • Such a great idea! I only know anything about New England and I barely know anything about that. It’s beautiful up here in the Spring and Summer, I’m still waiting to see about the Fall. Winter, however, will make you want to cry for days and days :) Newport, RI is gorgeous – we’ve been there a few times before moving up here. And this area isn’t so bad either!

  • i’m going to vote for ireland because no one else really has and it’s amazing. :) you speak the same language (almost) and there’s just something magical about the place. :) plus you can drive across the whole island and even visit northern ireland–two countries for the price of one!

  • i’ve been to the first three (spain, italy and san francisco) and they’re all amazing. but i think italy would be my vote! it’s so amazing to pop into a little cafe and enjoy the best coffee of your life and a nutella-filled pastry, or eat the best pasta of your life until you’re about to burst and still find room for gelato. i went with my mom and sister, but i would love to go back with ben. rome is so easy to get around (even for someone who didn’t speak a lick of italian!) and florence is incredibly romantic.

  • Spain! I went a few years ago and adored it. In particular Granada and Seville. Also did a side trip to Portugal, and it is one of my absolutely fave countries. I also found Spain/portugal cheaper than the rest of western Europe. We did 16 days for 4k incl flights over.

  • I would go to ALL of those places!! I love to travel!

    San Francisco is one of my favourite cities in the world, but I haven’t been to the others you listed. Geez I can’t even choose!

  • i fell like i’m the only one who’s super excited seeing the winky face after you mentioned baby-moon! :)

  • If it’s truly a baby moon, then I would go somewhere international, as it’s much harder to do that with a child. I’ve been to Spain and Italy and it was wonderful, but Mozambique sounds really cool too.

  • Ginna, I’ve been lurking for a while now (I can’t remember who gave me your blog address??) but I just had to comment on this post, as I was in the exact same position about 2.5 years ago. My grandfather had left me a bit of money when he died and instead of using it to buy furniture or make some sort of house repair, we decided to spend it on a trip, knowing that the experience would last forever. We chose Australia, and it was amazing. I won’t try to convince you to go the Australia route — you are right, one week is not enough (we were fortunate enough to take 2.5 weeks) and it was pricey (the $5k we got from him only got us about halfway, for the rest we dipped into savings) although we did splurge a bit in some places :) But I do want to tell you to DO IT! You won’t regret it. That was one of the last things we wanted to check off “before baby” and I’m so glad we did. Best of luck and have fun planning!

  • ugh I tried commenting this and it came up as my non-blog account. when you see this would you mind deleting it? I can’t seem to figure out how. I’d rather my “real name” not be displayed! Thank you! :)

  • I lived there for 6 months. Spain has a lower cost of living than most of Western Europe, so the hotels, transportation, food, alcohol and entertainment were all much cheaper. My favorites were Madrid, Toledo, Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada; all amazing unique places. My friends and I spent a few days on the coast and took an organized day trip to Morocco for 50 euros, that included transportation, food, an amazing tour and a really cool stamp in my passport.

  • I spent a summer in Mozambique in high school and while I enjoyed it, I don’t think it would be a great vacation spot. We weren’t on the coast though so maybe it’s prettier there?! I liked Zimbabwe more- we didn’t get to go to Victoria Falls which I’ve heard is amazing, so if you do go you should try to make it there. :)

  • Wow, that all sounds amazing. Thanks for your feedback! I would love to visit Morocco too — Europe and Africa in one trip? Yes please!