Posted in Domestic Travels, Quests, Travel

New Capitol Hit! Trenton Making, Atlantic City Taking

And this time in the year 2016!

I live in Upstate New York. New Jersey is right there. And yet I had not been to its State Capitol building. Until February when a first time trip to Atlantic City for a Brandi Carlile concert included a return trip by way of Trenton. My family did drive through Trenton on our way to visit my dad’s family in Virginia Beach when I was a tween. I remember my dad pointing out the “Trenton Makes the World Takes” bridge, which I was familiar with from watching the film Stealing Home at way too young an age. Tangent: This movie was the reason I always thought when you added rum to coke that it would taste smooth, less carbonated and like cherry coke – a lie and I hate rum and coke. Also, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch’s Aunt Zelda is topless in a scene. Image when years later I watched an episode of that wholesome goodness and then asked myself why that one lady looked familiar to me…

Back to this trip.

Since I started dating my partner three years ago, food has become a prime focus of our trips. I cannot complain about this direction/attention shift in destination research. Soon after we arrived in town and did a drive-by tour of the main strip, my partner “Yelp-ed” us an awesome place to eat. The Iron Room was tiny, swanky, and served delicious and unique tapas. Our favorite was the bacon. We also enjoyed their Udon Mac & Cheese, Deviled Eggs, Croquettes and Hangar steak. We were very sated for our concert.

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The next day we went to see the boardwalk. We didn’t last long. It was February after all.

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After warming up in the car, we headed for Trenton. It would be about lunchtime when we arrived. After almost being blown off my feet, capturing the Capitol building from a couple angles and being reminded a bit of Albany, NY by the historic buildings lining the road around the Capitol, we headed north to Rozmaryn Restaurant for some simple, fantastic Polish food.

We both ordered the Polish Plate comprised of potato pancakes, pierogies and kielbasa, and the White Borscht with kielbasa, hard-boiled egg and potatoes. Another nondescript and unassuming restaurant creating remarkable food and providing excellent service.

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Check out these photos and those of other US Capitols from my quest to see them all.

 

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Posted in Domestic Travels, Quests

New Capitol Hit!

…way back in 2013. I made this trip during my three-year void of blogging. I did upload the images getting set to post then but my heart wasn’t in it. But now that I’ve renewed my quest to see all the state capitol buildings, I am ready to share about this one and this trip.

I had gone to visit a good friend, guest blogger Nicole, who lives in the greater Philadelphia area,for a long weekend. The trip was much needed and, of course, it was great to reconnect with my friend. I had been to Philly a couple of times with my family, but I was looking forward to seeing it with my friend’s then boyfriend, now husband Jay, a Philly boy, born and breed.

The trip south had a few delays, one being that President Obama was having press conferences/meet ups along the interstate. I did catch a glimpse of him, or someone who looked like him, standing at the podium at a stop just off an exit ramp. Having seen that made the waiting more bearable.

But once I arrived, the trip quickly turned into a Philly Foodie trip much to my delight. It started with having a huge plate of fries covered in both “Old Bay and garlic” flavor and cheese whiz. The next day was Benjamin Franklin day. While touristing (that’s now a word) downtown, we stopped at The Franklin Fountain to cool off with some ice cream (I recommend the Lightening Rod sundae). Then we headed towards Independence Hall and made our way to Square Burger in Franklin Square. That night I was introduced to water ice. The morning of my departure I learned about scrapple and pork roll, both of which I tried. Pork roll, okay; scrapple, well I’ve tried it.

After breakfast I hit the road. My first detour was Ikea. My second was Harrisburg to see the Capitol. It was a massive complex. The day was sweltering and I really wanted to go in the fountain. This was another of the few state capitol buildings so far that have deserved a shot of the back side as well.

Check out all the Capitols I’ve visited here.

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Posted in Quests, Travel

The Itch to Get on the Road

I love London. I love Ireland. I love Europe. But where I’m itching hard to go is on a cross-country road trip around the U.S. I might be romanticizing and Hollywood-izing, but I want that sense of freedom. I want to use actual, physical, pain-in-the-arse-to-fold maps. Or to just go by road signs, if I want to. I want to stop at whatever scenic overlook I want because time is not of the essence.

I want to explore. I want to see small places and big places and eat the best food in nondescript buildings and stay in tents, in Route 66-throwback motels, in B&Bs, and even on a couch or two. I want to work toward fulfilling my quest of seeing all the Capital buildings.

I want to work on breaking down my shell and making connections with people. Lend a helping hand and, most likely, be lent one as well. I want to show myself that I am capable of doing certain things, things I know deep down I could – if I HAD to – but in my daily life feel anxious about having to endure. To be brought closer to the self I know is in me, that is the real me. Waiting.

Always waiting. That’s what I feel my life has been like since my last major trip. But it has less to do with the transformative nature of travel and more to with building up my own self-confidence, self-reliance, and courage. I just like to use the best catalyst I know when I feel really stuck. Travel. And then perhaps the waiting will stop.

Posted in #MyGlobalLife, Housekeeping, Quests, Travel

Putting It All Out There

I’m going to put it all out there. I just need to do it. Or else I won’t.

I want to do something more with this blog. My prior writings and musings have served their purpose for me (though I’ll keep them archived for you), but now new travel thoughts, ideas and struggles swirl around in my head and it’s time to let them out.

I want to start a travel business. I envision it catering to women who want to make that first trip – ever, since a divorce, since a major life change – and who don’t want to be herded around on a bus with a bunch of strangers, but don’t want to travel alone. I would be their guide and be fortunate enough to be there while they have these new experiences.

I want to write a children’s story for my niece. It would be a historical fiction piece about an imaginative young girl and a lost little boy in Trafalgar Square. I want my mother to illustrate it. And I have thought about making it a series with the lead character traveling across Europe with her family and new found friend.

I want to open a bricks and mortar travel shop. It would be a gathering space in the community for those with wanderlust. My stock would include, but is not limited to, my beloved postcards, posters, travel narratives, guidebooks and maps, travel art by local artists, specialty luggage and bags. I also want to offer workshops to travelers on topics pre-departure and post-return.

I want to really make progress on my personal quest to visit each of the state capital buildings. I have visited two since I last posted on this blog (stay tuned for their postings). I had not set this quest intention until after reading Chris Guillebeau’s book “The Happiness of Pursuit” and now I just want to go go go!

I want to live a more global-minded life. Cate Brubaker of Small Planet Studio, a resource I definitely needed, but didn’t have, when I returned from all my study abroad and travel adventures, has started the #GlobalYou365 Challenge and I’ve fallen way behind on answering the questions she poses for each day. I want to make this fun, nostalgic and mindful challenge a priority in order to help me figure out those ways that work best for me to keep feeling global even when I’m not traveling.

And finally, I’ve always had this crazy notion of selling pre-written postcards for “the traveler too busy traveling.”

There. It’s done. It’s all out there. The universe now knows and can help the muses help me. As for the first item on my list, having finally posted again after so long, the hardest part is now over. Look for changes here as I move forward with my goals and pursuits. Please share yours with me too as we all try to figure our traveling selves out.