As I much as I love the warm weather, there is something about New England in the winter that is so picturesque, cozy and serene. Our first two trips of 2017 have been to Vermont – the first over the long weekend in January to go skiing with friends in Stowe, and the second one this past weekend to stay at the Pitcher Inn in Warren, Vermont. Max surprised me with this stay so all I knew was when we were going, but nothing that was on the itinerary! We had been to Warren before to stop in at the institution across the street, The Warren Store, but never ventured further to notice the lovely property that is the Pitcher Inn.
The more I travel, the more I find that each year tends to group itself into themes. As I look back on 2016, the three themes that my travel seemed to rotate around was taking return trips, visiting national parks and traveling consistently through my continued #take12trips challenge. I have talked about return trips in the past and how the benefits of returning somewhere with a new perspective can often be just as beneficial as viewing a totally new destination. I’ve struggled with return trips previously, but fully embraced the concept this year and enjoyed showing family and friends around some of my favorite places. Read more
Once known as a retreat for famous movie stars, a drive through Palm Springs will have you passing streets named after Bob Hope, Gene Autry, Frank Sinatra and many other celebrities who helped make the area famous. However, the iconic desert of Palm Springs is now renowned for its golf, spas, stylish hotels, great restaurants and modern architecture. Read more
As 2016 comes to a close, so does the year of the National Park Services (NPS) Centennial, a momentous occasion for Americans to celebrate one hundred years of the parks preserving our natural resources. And while the celebration of the centennial was partially to look back and reflect on the progress made in recreation, conservation and preservation, it was also a pledge for future generations to continue the stewardship for a hundred more years and beyond. Read more
Most first time visitors to Ireland focus their attention on the Republic of Ireland, leaving its interesting, picturesque and less crowded neighbor to the north for a “later visit.” It is understandable as there is enough to keep one busy in Ireland for months on end; however, Northern Ireland deserves just as much attention as it has interesting cities, rugged coastline and many historical sites based on its complicated history. Read more
When planning our trip to Utah, our focus was the national parks. Trying to fit 5 parks in an already condensed timeframe felt rushed, but my brother was adamant on adding Monument Valley to the mix. As a lifelong John Wayne fan, and a Western movie fanatic, this was his ultimate destination and we all obliged him in adding it to the itinerary. What we didn’t realize was that Monument Valley is a magical place. Read more
I find the summer season to be fleeting every year. I know many people in the northeast share a similar sentiment as it seems to take longer and longer each year for the weather to warm up and before we know it, its Labor Day! While I try to make the most of the season, there are always a couple of local trips that I put on the back burner when I run out of time, determined to tackle them the following summer – Block Island is one of the trips which has been carried over for quite a few summers now. Read more
Max and I have always been a big fan of celebrating special moments. We’re not big present people, but we love celebrating a milestone with a special dinner or trip and our first wedding anniversary was no exception! Having just returned from Utah, we had limited vacation days to spare so focused on choosing a new US city for both of us which was only a quick plane ride away, could be explored in just a couple of days and had good recreational activities, (e.g., food, beer and hiking). Enter Asheville! Read more
Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce and Zion National Park collectively make up the “Mighty 5” in the southeastern part of Utah. At the end of our trip to Utah’s Mighty 5, the conclusion was unanimous – these five national parks are aptly named. From delicate arches to dramatic canyons to red rocks and sheer cliffs, they are each impressive but remain unique. Read more
The “Mighty 5” National Parks of Utah have long been on my bucket list. It is one of those trips which I carry over each year because I never manage to set aside enough time. As my mom and I were discussing vacation plans for the upcoming year, we decided we had to do a national park trip in honor of the 100th year anniversary of the National Park Services (NPS) and Utah ended up being the decisive winner. At the conclusion of the trip, I realized I only had two regrets about our pick, 1) not visiting sooner and 2) not staying longer. We traveled with my family and between all our crazy schedules we only had 9 days of exploring to dedicate to this trip, which only means we have fine-tuned the places we want to return to for our next visit!
With 9 days in Southern Utah we visited 5 national parks, 1 Navajo tribal park, 1 state park, went white water rafting, drove over 1,600 miles and hiked close to 70 miles. While it was a busy week, there was also plenty of time for relaxing and taking in the beauty that abounds in Southern Utah. We were lucky enough to visit during the actual 100th birthday of the NPS on August 25th and it made me incredibly grateful to the early adventurers and conservationists who discovered and preserved these places for future generations.
One of my favorite quotes about the national parks was from Lyndon B. Johnson which I discovered on a plaque as we were getting ready to start the Queen’s Trail / Navajo Loop in Bryce. “If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave a glimpse of the world as it was when it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.” In world where technological improvements reign supreme, let’s hope our generation can put an equal amount of focus to preserving these national parks and historical sites for hundreds of years to come.
A little glimpse of our trip to Utah via video below. More details to come on the national parks in the coming weeks!
This video is not being monitized.