So, this past month was my birthday. I’m 27. Hip, hip, hooray!? And (even more exciting), A Passion and A Passport offically turned 1 on February 11th!
I found this awesome quote by George Burns that I’d love to share:
“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”
Pretty much sums up my thoughts regarding this birthday and getting even closer to the dreaded 30. I am getting older physically (and thankfully haven’t seen any gray hairs just yet), but that does not mean my mind and free spirit and fun-loving personality* has to become old and boring. You’ll still see me sticking my tongue out hoping to catch snowflakes and digging holes/making sandcastles for years to come. And running down my elementary school’s hallways after-hours to jump-start a dance party… let’s just stop there with the slightest chance my principal’s watching…
Instead of whining about all the places I haven’t been able to get to yet (Turkey, South Africa, Iceland, etc, etc, etc), I figured this special day would be a great opportunity to reflect on all those (well 27 of them) that I have been to so far. By no means is this an all-inclusive list, as I’ve been to numerous other places both near and far.
Enjoy the few baby and childhood photos, as this is probably the only post I’ll be self-incriminating myself to the world (although I can’t share half of them I found due to cases of sheer hideousness).
Hawaii was filled with far-flung adventures, which my husband thankfully tagged along for. In Maui, we went snorkeling with sea turtles, drove the windy road to Hana, woke up at 3am to see the sunrise at Haleakala, and ate so much food I was full the entire trip. In Kauai I had my most EPIC experience yet- a helicopter ride above the entire island. We also spent the week taking a boat ride along the Na Pali coast, where we spotted dolphins, explored Waimea Canyon State Park, and attempted Stand Up Paddling.
My few weeks in Israel came with a whole lot of firsts. My first time floating in the Dead Sea, first time riding a camel in the Negev Desert (and having a donkey collapse on me), first time climbing up a mountain at sunrise, and the first time sleeping in a Bedouin Tent. Exploring the markets filled with delicious rugelach and native spices and olives definitely satisfied my foodie cravings. I made some life-long friends, and will be watching one of them get married this summer! 🙂
5) Washington DC
Luckily, I’ve been to DC quite a few times thus far, which is fabulous because I absolutely LOVE this city! From walking around during the Cherry Blossom Festival to checking out the cities’ numerous monuments to exploring all the (free!) museums, I always find something new to do here. I’ll most likely be back come springtime to visit a lovely friend of mine 🙂
Isn’t it weird that once you finally get to a city for the first time, you feel like you’re back again soon thereafter? Happened to me with Chicago – I visited a friend in the Windy City this past July, then ended up back in October for a work conference. Not that I’m complaining- it’s a pretty sweet city- we took too many photos at the Bean (Cloud Gate), ate way too deep-dish pizza, took an architecture boat tour, and marveled at the city from 103 stories. Oh, and got a little bit of work done at the conference as well :p
7) Hershey Park
8) Niagara Falls
Going to undergrad in Buffalo, NY made pretty easy access for quick trips to Niagara Falls. I basically took everyone who visited me to the falls, and spent a birthday weekend here filling up our hotel bathtub with alcohol and spending money in the casino. Very good chance that was my 21st…
10) San Francisco
12) Las Vegas
Spending our days on the streets sipping mojitos and $1 margaritas was pretty awesome. We didn’t lose all our money- so that’s a plus! Besides, there are tons of other things to do in Vegas besides gamble, duh!
13) New Orleans
From alligator watching, site-seeing in the French Quarter and the Garden District, to devouring way too much food, I can honesty say New Orleans blew my mind. The scene on Bourbon Street was downright crazy, and let’s just say I’m more than ecstatic we didn’t go during Mardi Gras (we were a week late). The alligator gumbo sure was tasty, as were the messy beignets. My best friend’s going in May- I’ll start begging her to ship a few back to NYC tomorrow!
14) St. Lucia
I’m lucky to have visited so many beautiful Caribbean islands already with my family. St. Lucia was exceptionally gorgeous – the secret beach beside the pitons was breathtaking, and the fresh bananas (and banana ketchup!) we saw growing were delicious!
15) Puerto Rico
Visited PR a few times, all either before or during cruises. The El Yunque Rainforest was pretty cool, as were the Bacardi Rum Factory (:p) and the yardsticks from Senor Frogs. Old San Juan will always be a favorite of mine,
16) Dominican Republic
Call me a horrible traveler, but I honestly cannot remember if I’ve been Bermuda once, twice, or three times! Silly me, I know! I should call my mom, but it is almost midnight, and she’s probably sleeping… However, I remember the important parts, like the pink sandy beaches, limestone cliffs, and turquoise waters. I’ll gladly meander on back, even if it does happen to be for the fourth time.
18) Rome, Italy
From the Roman Coliseum and the Spanish Steps, to the Trevi Fountain and orgasmic fresh pasta, I literally fell in love with Italy within 5 minutes. The Sistine Chapel and Vatican City totally exceeded all expectations, and I found myself particularly interested (let’s just say I’m no history buff). My love for gelato grew immensely in Rome, if at all possible! As did my taste for authentic Italian pizza.
19) Geneva, Switzerland
On our Eurotrip, we made it to Switzerland for a few short days. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t on our side, and it rained almost the entire time. We hung around the Red Cross Museum, had some fun at Lake Geneva, and stopped for some photos at the Big Chair, pictured above. Oh, and that fondue, it was to die for. I could eat that creamy deliciousness up every day and never get tired of it.
20) Paris and Cannes, France
Ooo la la. Pari. I fell in love. Madly, deeply, head-over-heels in love. You can call it an obsession, but now I really get why they say Paris is so magical. We climbed the Eiffel Tower as well as the Notre Dame, and the views from both were outstanding of this remarkable city. The Palace of Versailles and the gardens were blooming. The food was on a whole other level, and the nutella crepes on the beach in Cannes called my name each and every morning. Thankfully they were only about two euro each, because we were on a major major budget. Would love to bring my husband here soon!
21) London, England
England brings back some mixed emotions. I liked the city, but I feel I didn’t get a true London experience. The skies were grey the entire time, and I finally learned firsthand that London weather is just like that of San Francisco – wet, a little chilly, and super unpredictable. Next time I go back, I need more of a plan. Any must-do’s in London?! I’d love some tips in the comments!
Having visited numerous Caribbean Islands, I can honestly say that the waters of Barbados are the most turquoise, boasting shade after shade of gorgeous blue. Beyond the beach, we visited an old church, meandered through the city streets to get a glimpse of how the locals live, and rode deep into the country to hang out with the cows at the cattle farms. If you do happen to go to Barbados, bring me back some scrumptious rum cake!
23) Poconos, PA
A long weekend away with friends is always fun, especially when it involves hiking and some much-needed beach time! Labor Day was the perfect time to visit, when we rented out a condo, equipped with a balcony and 3 separate bedrooms for us lovebirds. And we had a great view of the lake, which was great for some alone time with a good book.
24) Boston, MA
Visited Boston a few times to visit one of my best friends during college! Quincy Market and views from the top of the Prudential Building were my favorite. Pretty sure a trip to Boston is in the near future! >> Just confirmed, and yes, it is! Get ready for some exciting Boston adventures coming soon!
25) St. Kitts
Another day on a cruise, another gorgeous island to tick off my list. In case you didn’t know, my goal is to visit 20+ Caribbean Islands. We had a fantastic day exploring this tiny blip of land, and the views alone are worth a trip back! One day was just enough time to confirm my love, and I will be back, hopefully for a longer period of time!
26) Saint John, Canada
We stopped here on our “Canadian Cruise”, and although we didn’t find much to see, we still had a good time exploring. Moose, “reversing falls” and, hoodies, galore!
27) Cape Cod, MA
Summers on Cape Cod are some of my best memories as a child. One specific memory I remember is the adults bringing home live lobster and cooking them in boiling water… something I will never forget! The paddle boating looks like it was a good time, too!
*If you disagree, feel free to tell me and I promise I won’t be pissed off :p