Thursday, May 8, 2014

Favorite Destinations, Alison



As summer approaches and my family welcomes the last summer while remaining on somewhat of a "school schedule" all I can think is vacation and some of my favorite places. I figure travel or getting away must be on your mind as well. And maybe you aren't sure how far from home you are willing to stray or where you should spend your time. Let me give you a few ideas. I would love to re-live my travels with you.

In no particular order:

Portland, Maine and surrounding Coastal Towns


We were lucky enough to have great friends marry in this state and give us a reason to go during the perfect time of year, Fall. I have always wanted to pick my own apple in a Maine orchard. To me that is quintessential Fall. It was amazing. The weather was crisp and clear, the apples plentiful, the colors were amazing. And Portland has a ton to offer. We visited an art gallery or two, enjoyed walking the neighborhoods and of course the food was quite tasty. A lobster roll on the pier in Portland was the perfect end to our trip. Now to go back for their blueberry season!

Savannah, GA


Again, we travel for weddings. Savannah was another wedding destination and on July 4th! We caught a particularly cool weekend and enjoyed every minute of it. The mossy squares are perfect for a rest in the shade and the food is so wonderful. It is also home to Savannah College of Art and Design and lends the city to hosting a great artistic community. I love how walkable the historic downtown area is. We were even able to eat at a resturant you may have seen in one of my favorite movies, Something to Talk About! I would love to go back for another visit. I didn't get to the water while we were there...that would be fun too.

Seattle, WA


I was able to visit the Pacific Northwest one summer after living with family in the Western US and really loved it. The Public Market has the most incredible flowers at the most incredible prices...I wanted to load up for the drive home so bad. I was able to eat fresh seafood and enjoy a little city life while we were there. We were able to snag a hotel a little ways from downtown (but walkable) with a great rooftop view of the city. If it hadn't been almost 7 years since my visit I would tell you exactly where I went. The aquarium was so awesome. If you are in to that sort of thing. After watching movies like The Cove, I'm not sure I am any more. But (!) great city with a ton to offer.

Carmel, CA

I'm sorry the quality is a little poor...7 years ago digital point and shoots aren't the best.

Again, about 7 years ago I discovered this village-like coastal town for the wealthy. I was not (and still am not) in the right tax bracket to stay in this town but the Inn we stayed in was so quaint and cute, the shops and restaurants seemed near perfect and the coastal climate was something I had only seen in movies. These trees were my favorite. I had never really seen trees on a coastline before (aside from palm trees of course). Carmel was also my first cold beach encounter. Even if you don't stay the night in this town you must visit it. Take a drive on highway 1 and stop off for a bite and a view.

Three European cities that might not be on your list that should be:

Salzburg, Austria


I loved, loved this town and this country. The people are very friendly, the food is tasty, the history is rich, you can find all things Sound of Music, and this is a livable city with a lot to offer. I was able to quickly learn my way around and find a few favorite shops to visit more than once. More than in any other city I was actually able to relax and soak in the culture as well.

Sienna, Italy


My attraction to this city is similar to what I love about Salzburg. Sienna doesn't have the hustle and bustle that Rome or Florence have. This lovely little square is a great place for people to gather. The culture is rich, just as in other larger cities, and it is in Tuscany so you really can't complain.

Pompeii, Italy


This incredibly preserved piece of history should be on everyones bucket list. Laurie and I were both able to see a lot of what Italy has to offer and I am so glad! The landscape of Pompeii is the greenest green you have ever seen. I can't even express what it is like to see the amazing pieces of history housed in Pompeii. So, I'm going to stop there.

I hope you are able to invest in new experiences this summer. Seeing new places or learning new things always trumps the hot new electronic or newest it item for your wardrobe. Decide how you want to spend your money and know there is a destination for any tax bracket waiting for you.

-Alison

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