Wanderlust Wednesday: Autumn Colors in the Smokies

For all my complaining over the heat and humidity around here, I start wondering if it’s all worth it when fall rolls around. Autumn in the Smokies will take your breath away. It’s not without good reason that the color changes along the East coast are so famous — and why songs, poems, books (and blog posts) about its scenery will never stop being written. I know I for once will … Continue reading Wanderlust Wednesday: Autumn Colors in the Smokies

3 Favorite Things About Atlanta

This September, I’ve covered Chicago, New York, and Seattle — focusing on major American cities for Wanderlust Wednesday this month. Though it wasn’t intentional, I picked one location from the east coast, west coast, and the midwest. And now we’re going south to the Empire City of the South: Atlanta. Atlanta has won its way into my heart over the past few years. Born and raised in … Continue reading 3 Favorite Things About Atlanta

Wanderlust Wednesday: Seattle

Whenever I’m asked to pick a favorite American city, Seattle usually wins. I’ve never lived there permanently, and to be honest, I haven’t visited that many times. Not nearly as much as I’ve visited New York or Atlanta. And yet, ever since I visited it for the first time almost ten years ago, I’ve wanted to live there. (It helps that my husband is from … Continue reading Wanderlust Wednesday: Seattle

3 Favorite Things About New York City

Today is Wanderlust Wednesday, and I’m continuing my series on major American cities (last week was Chicago) with the most quintessentiailly American city of them all: New York, New York. I can’t tell you how hard it was to narrow this list down to three. And I kind of cheated with the last one. But here goes, starting with my absolute favorite thing in New York … Continue reading 3 Favorite Things About New York City

Wanderlust Wednesday: Chicago

For September, my Wanderlust Wednesday posts will be themed around major American cities — mostly inspired by this photo I took in Chicago about six years ago. I’ve always loved the red of the Navy Pier ferris wheel mixed with the blue of the water, and the colorful spirit of the wheel mixed in with the silver, businesslike skyline. Large cities are always a juxtaposition of fun … Continue reading Wanderlust Wednesday: Chicago

Keeping Durham Weird

One of my favorite “weird and wonderful” nearby locations is the city of Durham. We live in the Triangle of North Carolina, which is formed by the cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, plus a lot of other surrounding cities and suburbs. Though we live in Cary and used to live in Raleigh, Durham remains our favorite city to eat, play, and spend time … Continue reading Keeping Durham Weird

Wanderlust Wednesday: Seattle’s Gum Wall & The Fremont Troll

In keeping with my theme of the weird and the wonderful in travel locations this month, I wanted to talk about two places that keep Seattle funky. Those of you who know me, or anything about where I love to travel, Seattle is high on the list. There are so many reasons why I like Seattle, but the fact that it has no shortage of … Continue reading Wanderlust Wednesday: Seattle’s Gum Wall & The Fremont Troll

Not Your Everyday History Lesson: New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

This month, I’m going to be focusing on weird and wonderful places. Though I missed last week (whoops), I hope you’ll enjoy this collection of random and eclectic places I’ve been.

Up first is a city I can’t wait to do a full post on, New Orleans. I recently visited there for the first time this summer and loved it more than I expected! Continue reading “Not Your Everyday History Lesson: New Orleans Pharmacy Museum”

Wanderlust Wednesday, Local Edition: Yates Mill

Welcome to Wanderlust Wednesday! This month, in the spirit of Parks and Recreation Month, I’ve been covering national parks, state parks, parks in other countries, and finally, a park that’s close to home. At the end of each month for Wanderlust Wednesday, I’ll be doing a local edition, focusing on a location close to where I live, which for now means in North Carolina in the United States. Continue reading “Wanderlust Wednesday, Local Edition: Yates Mill”

Wanderlust Wednesday: Mount Rainier National Park

Two years ago, I was in one of my favorite places in the U.S. — the Pacific Northwest. It feels traitorous of me to say that, given my Southern roots, but my husband, who is from Olympia, Washington, has converted me into an avid lover of that temperate, misty, beautifully green region. I’m especially in favor of it right about now, when I’m pretty done with … Continue reading Wanderlust Wednesday: Mount Rainier National Park

Wanderlust Wednesday: Tallulah Gorge State Park

I’m featuring parks this July for Wanderlust Wednesday, and today I want to talk about Tallulah Gorge State Park in Georgia, a place we visited about a year ago after visiting Athens for a University of Georgia football game. (Go Dawgs!)   The Georgia State Parks website describes Tallulah as “one of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern U.S.” Two miles long and nearly 1,000 … Continue reading Wanderlust Wednesday: Tallulah Gorge State Park

Wanderlust Wednesday: Grand Canyon National Park

One month ago, my dad started an epic bicycle ride across the country. Just last week, he sent me this awesome picture of himself and his bike, with the Grand Canyon in the background. And that’s where my wanderlust wants me to be today, somewhere wild and free and scenic like the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately, the only time I’ve had the pleasure of visiting, I was … Continue reading Wanderlust Wednesday: Grand Canyon National Park

Theme Park Guide: Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Travel- HPEven though it was years ago, I still remember where I was when I turned the last page of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I had read it in one sitting in my dorm room, staying up all night and skipping class to finish it. I remember closing the book, and then laying down on my bed. A dual sense of satisfaction and loss came over me. The story felt so real, and I was captivated by the magic of Hogwarts in a way that I had never been and have yet to be with a book. The satisfaction was because I knew I had just read one of the great stories of my lifetime, and I knew that I would read it over and over in years to come. The sense of loss came from the emotional ending, but it also came from the understanding that Harry Potter wasn’t real, and I would never get my Hogwarts letter.

Not long after the series came to a close, Universal Studios announced the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Along with every other potterhead out there, I was ecstatic. More than four years after the grand opening of Hogsmeade in Orlando, I finally made it.

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View Waikiki Honolulu Diamond Head

Island Guide: Oahu, Hawaii

Trave Guide: HawaiiIt’s been a cold, snowy, icy week here in North Carolina, so it seemed time to share one of my favorite trips of 2014 to the warm, sunny climate of Hawaii.

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.

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City Guide: Denver

Travel- DenverOkay, 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!

Continue reading “City Guide: Denver”