Neither my husband nor I would ever classify ourselves as “beach people.” Yet, I don’t think it’s possible to do anything but adore Hawaii. Somehow, this island paradise is a U.S. state, even if I feel like I’m in another country every time I visit. One reason we keep returning to Hawaii is that it’s so much more than beaches. It’s full of adventure and culture. It’s wild and untamed, and breathtakingly beautiful. There’s always something to do, something to explore. And that allure will keep us coming back.
Okay, I know I’m super behind on my travel blogs for 2014. I don’t know how many people follow the travel part of this blog (let me know in the comments if you like these!), but I promise I’m going to be more on time with these in 2015. There are just two of these left to finish out our adventures from last year, and up next is Hawaii and Harry Potter World.
In September 2014, we had another wedding to attend — this time in Denver, Colorado. While I’ve flown in to Denver several times to ski at Keystone, Vail, and other nearby resorts, I hadn’t spent much time exploring the Mile High City itself before this trip. Turns out Denver has a lot to offer beyond its ski resorts!
Spokane, Washington, is the home of my husband’s alma mater, Whitworth University, and while we were dating, I visited him there several times. But all my past visits ushered in multiple feet of snow, so seeing Spokane in the summer was like visiting a different city. This time, we were in town for another wedding, the occasion for many of our trips in 2014.
If you remove the oppressive humidity from the memory of this trip, it might be one of my favorites of the summer. Alas, you cannot have southern beaches in the summer without humidity and sky-high temperatures, so we spent a good deal of time ducking from one air-conditioned building to the next, but it was still a good time.
My husband had not yet been to Savannah or Charleston and as many of my childhood beach memories revolve around those two places, it was time to visit. The two cities are so iconically southern, and I was excited to spend some time in areas with such rich culture.
As I hadn’t been to Texas since I was too small to remember it, I was excited to spend a few days in Dallas for a work conference. Considering the many Texan stereotypes, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would everything truly be bigger? (You know what they say…) Would everyone wear cowboy hats? Would it be far more southern than where I’m from in southern Georgia? While I did see several gentlemen in cowboy hats on the airplane and the city is enormous (my cousin quipped that there are multiple skylines in Dallas), Dallas surprised me with its charm and modern feel. Of course, I had the pleasure of touring the city with my cousins, who were perfect hosts, so that certainly made the experience memorable.
This trip was a bit of a whirlwind since we were packing tourism into my brother’s wedding weekend. While we had both been to New York City on separate occasions, this was the first time I had visited NYC with my husband, and we had such a good time exploring the city together.
I can’t say it’s a place I want to live, but it is a place I love visiting. I could keep making trips there for the rest of my life, and I don’t think I’ll ever see it all. We flew into La Guardia on Friday, spent the night in Times Square, woke up early Saturday to go to New Jersey for the wedding festivities, and then on Monday and Tuesday, we were back in NYC to hit the town.
At the beginning of the year, I made what is now becoming my annual pilgrimage to see one of my best friends, Katie, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Now with Katie as my guide, it’s like I’ve rediscovered Atlanta, a city that was once “just Atlanta” to me. A place I went on occasional weekends, since I grew up in Augusta, Georgia, just two hours southeast of the big city. A place that I thought I didn’t like, but that now has restaurants and locations I find myself wishing to be in from time to time. Thanks, Katie, for helping me re-appreciate my Georgia roots and the big city of ATL!
No matter what, I’ll always be a Georgia girl, that’s for sure.