Well, thanks to Jackie, I've been shamed (all the way from Birmingham, UK) into a new post on my travel blog.
It's been a quiet year on the travel blog front, but don't you fear! Instead of blogging, I've been giving travel presentations to people in Chicago via Hostelling International. So, I'm spreading the travel love!
Last July, before I jumped into the MFA at Columbia, Claire and Chris flew over from Liverpool and we flew out to Seattle for a west coast road trip. We drove from Seattle to San Francisco, stopping to see Mount St. Helens (which I always thought was in Montana--shocking US geography), then Portland and the Columbia River Gorge, then Oregon Pinot Noirs, then the Oregon Coast, then Crater Lake, then the Redwoods (and a larger than life Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox). After my trip to Switzerland which was teenage girl-centered (as you read), I basked in the freedom (and wine) of an adult vacation. Of course, it didn't hurt that Claire and Chris were fantastic travel companions.
Last fall I took a trip to Punta Gorda, Florida to see Bill and Cheryl. The Ringling Museum and the Ford/Edison Winter estates were second best highlights next to Bill and Cheryl's company (and a pint of cider from the Celtic Ray). In January I flew down to Oklahoma City to see Grandma and Colleen. We read, watched sports, talked, napped. Visiting them is always a relaxing trip. Then a weekend trip to Madison (with another next week) to see Amy, Matthew, Brett, and Susie.
I just returned on Saturday from a celebration 4th of July in Columbus, GA where my youngest brother, Matthew, graduated from Army Ranger Training. I held my own in beach volleyball (facing both my brothers from the other side of the net), but my overenthusiastic dives left my shoulders feeling their 33 years. My serves are still as inconsistent as they were in high school, but I can still bump-set-spike, but don't make me prove it to you.
My passport, my poetry, and my sanity are in need of a new adventure. So in a few weeks I will visit Denmark with Claire (one week) and Sweden (one week), where I'll hopefully visit Legoland, Hamlet's Castle, and Isak Dineson's house before heading to see Martina and family. So, more postings to come.
Remember, the best thing you can do for your country is to leave it and explore another. It opens your mind and your heart. What a different world we would live in if people had more empathy for those next door and in far away countries. So, get your passport up to date and start searching the travel sites. It's never too late.
p.s. I offer travel advice for free (unless you give me a bug for somewhere new, in which case I owe you)