09.06.2016 - 07.11.2016
In 2016, I traveled more often than I could keep up with writing about it! In some cases, there were mere days between landing back home in Dallas, doing laundry, and then re-packing for the next adventure...It was awesome.
There's so much more that I saw and did during this amazing year of travel, but for now, here are some of the highlights of the fun times I had bouncing around the mid-Atlantic, the South, and the Southwest.
Quirky Adventures in Baltimore
Sometimes when I travel, I know exactly what I'm excited to see. In the case of Baltimore, I experienced a gut feeling. I had no idea why I wanted to go, but I knew it would be amazing once I got there. When I hiked to the top of Federal Hill, the panoramic view of the touristy Inner Harbor filled my heart with happiness and took my breath away (literally, because it's kind of a steep walk to reach the peak).
After taking the time I needed to enjoy in the scenic view, I descended back to ground level and visited the nearby American Visionary Art Museum, which features a lot of work by self-taught artists who have used their talents as a way to work through personal struggles. Very inspiring and captivating pieces. I also enjoyed walking around Geppi's Entertainment Museum and photographing jellyfish at the famous National Aquarium. On a separate note, I ate some very delicious food while visiting Baltimore as well. The stuffed French Toast at Miss Shirley's is unbelievably good. City Cafe is a little bit pricy, but the lobster Mac & Cheese is so, so worth it. Personally, I don't think Baltimore gets enough attention as a tourist destination. You can see and do a lot in a weekend, but I would even love to go back again to explore more of the city more deeply.
A Haunted Birthday in Savannah, Georgia
For my 31st birthday, I decided to go on some night-time ghost tours in this amazing coastal city. I know you're wondering, and here's the answer: Yes, I think I did capture a spooky image in one of these photos. Can you see it? Look closely at the top left corner of each photo (above), and see if you can view the hazy appearance of an older man and a young woman leaning against his shoulder.
With so very many different options for ghost tours in this city known for its haunted legends and history, I had a hard time narrowing down amongst the great choices. I ended up taking a couple of night-time neighborhood walking tours, and I explored the Sorrel Weed House, which runs its own tours of the inside of the house. By the end of my trip, I was a little bit freaked out (but in a good way), and also enjoyed the time I spent getting to know this lovely city in the daylight as well. (More on that another time, in another blog post, and hopefully another future visit.)
Weekend Oasis Getaway to Scottsdale, Arizona
So here's a place that gets lots of sunshine, virtually no shade, and still kept me plenty warm at 85 degrees...in November! With a touristy Wild West twang, Scottsdale is the weekend 'party central' locale for the Phoenix area which features upscale fashion centers (this area is too self-consciously chic for the word "mall"), prissy spas, poolside retreats, and trendy patio eateries. I'm only affectionately teasing the town a little bit - I enjoyed Scottsdale, and it was a great spot for a true sense of the word vacation. Tucked away within the maze of souvenir shops of Old Town, there is a lovely park (near the civil center) which provided a scenic, relaxing hang out spot.