Hi, I’m Lisa Garrett!

Let me tell you a little bit about me, and how I can help you travel!

I’m an engineer by profession, with a passion for travel!

My love of travel must be nature (not nurture) as the furthest afield my parents traveled with us as kids was to Canada to go fishing. And I detest fishing.

We never even made it to Disneyland (although we lived in Arizona). I still blame that on my little brother Jeff, who broke his leg right before our planned family vacation.

As an adult — in charge of my own vacations — I’m making up for lost time. 😊

I’ve taken 18 cruises across 8 different cruise lines, from a honeymoon cruise to solo cruises to multi-generational cruises.

I’ve also meticulously planned many multi-city trips across Europe, relying heavily on public transportation.

Self portrait in Venice Italy from a gondola

This photo was from our first big international trip, our one and only group bus tour. It was a whirlwind tour of Italy with all the biggies: Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa. (Yikes, that was a long time ago…)

That was before I was comfortable with my own capabilities to plan a trip, and to get around in a foreign country even if you don’t speak the language. (Spoiler alert: You can do it, too!)

I’m a planner and a self-professed perfectionist. This means that every time I’m planning a trip, I do a ton of research to learn about the best things to do in each city.

That requires sifting through a lot of Google searches, and a lot of blogs. Many of them don’t line up with the way I like to travel — I don’t want to learn about the best places to shop, or the best places to party.

With my two travel blogs (Waves and Cobblestones and Travel to Lyon) I’m here to provide inside information on the best things to do in every city I visit.

That way, *you* can make the most of your vacation time!

Where you can find me online:

A lot of people feel the same way about travel as I do! I’ve been featured in many places online:

Articles I’ve written:

I love traveling and writing about travel! Here are some of the best articles I’ve written for top media outlets and well-known travel blogs:

Articles I’m quoted in:

I’ve been featured in articles for my insights on travel as well as blogging, including these:

Podcast Interviews:

I also share my love of travel by talking about some of my favorite travel destinations!

A perfect travel day

By now, you may be wondering “What’s a perfect travel day for Lisa?

🥐 Eating pastries for breakfast (hmm.. that may be why my pants always shrink on vacation.)

🖼️ Visiting the city’s top monuments and museums. I get a kick from learning nerdy details about history and architecture, or even language.

🚶‍♀️Soaking up the city’s vibe strolling down its cobblestone streets or walking along the river.

🧀Shopping at the local markets to buy items for a picnic lunch in the nearest park (or to buy a cute scarf for a souvenir).

💎Having plenty of free time to explore and discover off-the-beaten-path gems.

🚎Taking the metro (or bus) to get around when my feet hurt from too much walking.

If this is how you enjoy spending your vacations, then this travel blog is for you!

I’m a jeans-and-sneakers kind of gal, and I prefer to stay on the other side of the camera lens. You won’t find many ‘selfies’ here. I do put a picture in every once in a while just to make my mom happy.

As is true with many people, I don’t like the way I look in photos. (I need to work on adopting a more positive self-image for myself.)

I’m never going to be that glamorous, ball-gown-wearing model pictured in front of a castle. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have an amazing time traveling!

self portrait with angel wings in pink and blue in Melilla
I’m not your typical travel fairy godmother!

Our favorite vacations are do-it-yourself adventures in Europe and cruises to just about anywhere.  And that’s where I came up with the name ‘Waves and Cobblestones’ — based on our favorite travels.

Cruise Travel

‘Waves’ represents our cruise travels. Over the years, I’ve taken 17 cruises (and counting), across 8 cruise lines.

I’ve sailed on the big cruise ships with all the bells and whistles and several thousand guests (Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess, Holland America, Celebrity). I’ve enjoyed cruises on upscale lines with fewer passengers and higher levels of service, such as Viking and Oceania. And post pandemic, we even splurged on two luxury sailings on Crystal Cruises (wow).

Usually I travel with my hubby Chris, but we’ve also cruised with extended family. I once took my mom on a European river cruise — her one visit to Europe! And I’ve taken several solo cruises.

Cruising is a great way to travel and see many fabulous cruise ports, with the convenience of only needing to unpack once. And it’s a great choice for solo travel from a safety perspective. (You just have to look for solo deals.)

Europe Travel

‘Cobblestones’ is a nod to those lovely European cities with historical centers featuring amazing architecture — and cobbled streets. Cobbled streets are common in Europe, but you’ll find them in historic cities around the world, from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Montréal.

Some of our most treasured travel memories are our trips through France. (I love everything about France!)

We’ve taken a few multi-city trips, traveling by train through the French countryside. It’s hard to choose a favorite trip (just like choosing a favorite child, or in our case, a favorite dog.)

Here is a quick recap of some of our France itineraries:

France itinerary #1

Our first trip as a couple to France was in 2014. We started off in Paris seeing all the famous Parisian attractions and monuments (as one must, on your first trip to France!). A Seine River cruise is a great way to orient yourself to Paris, although Chris’ jet lag made him doze off in the sun during our cruise.

We then took the train up to Bayeux to see the incredible Bayeux Tapestry. From Bayeux, we took a fantastic small group tour of the Normandy beaches and the American Cemetery. And it came with a local’s insight.

We then traveled to the Loire Valley to see the fabulous châteaux and took an incredible Loire Valley hot air balloon ride. We floated right over the Château de Chenonceau — an experience I’ll never forget!

France itinerary #2

We visited France again in 2015, again starting in Paris (there are always new treasures to find in Paris!). We rented a car to visit Guédelon, a site where they are building a castle using only techniques that were available in medieval times.

Next we traveled to Dijon by train and chose an apartment as our home base, to allow us to do laundry mid-trip. We’re big proponents of just packing carry-on luggage, so we now plan an apartment stay into every long trip for laundry access.

Our next destination was Colmar, which we had been really excited for based on our avid reading of the Rick Steves guidebooks. The half-timbered houses were lovely and the flammekuchen was delicious, but there were sooo many tourists here that it didn’t live up to our expectations.

We actually preferred the larger city of Strasbourg, which we had visited as a day trip by train from Colmar.

France itinerary #3

Our third big ‘road trip by train’ of France in 2017 again began in Paris (that shouldn’t surprise you by now!) Having a go-to area takes a lot of stress out of your trip, as you already know the area metro, ATM locations, etc.

We traveled by train down to Avignon, home to the papacy in the 14th century. We took a small group tour from Avignon to visit the incredible Roman viaduct, the Pont du Gard, as well as gorgeous hilltop villages of the Luberon.

(Tip: Taking a group day tour can be a really smart way to check several destinations off your list and save you the hassle of renting a car.)

After a day in Arles to see many more Roman ruins, we traveled by train to Lyon.

The fabulous city of Lyon was our favorite destination from this trip. We stayed in an apartment in the historic area, just a few blocks away from the best bakery in Old Lyon! We even got a tip from our local host on how to explore the traboules — one of the best things to do in Old Lyon.