Travel

5 Reasons For Americans To Travel Their Own Country

larabee-state-park

While some people envy those hopping around Europe, touring Asia, or soaking up the sun on the exotice beaches of Bali, I sort of envy the complete opposite vibe of all that. Granted, I want to visit more outside the United States in the future, and a luxurious Mediterranean cruise sounds lovely once in a while. However, those destinations are not that pressing because even though I’ve traveled to a good portion of the United States, there is still so much to this big ol’ country I have yet to explore. And really, I have always thought it silly to visit all the other countries (unless an inexpensive or rare opportunity presents itself) before first getting to know your own country.

The hubs and I have a few surrounding areas we want to visit while living in the Pacific Northwest, and we are slowly knocking those off our list. And lately, my dream vacation has just been a good old fashioned road trip. Specifically, there’s something to be said for a classic American cross country road trip. Even though we basically did that on our move out to Seattle from Columbus, Ohio, I am excited to do a different route on our move to the New England area in the near future.

So, what are the advantages for us Americans to travel around our own backyard?
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Fragments Of Love Friday ~ Spending Time With Family

Flying Over The Rockies

It’s May 1st, better known as May Day. And here in Seattle, it might get a little cray. As the husband and I keep an eye on the activities, protests, and tone of downtown this afternoon and evening, I thought it would be a good time to write out the things for which I am thankful.

my little love notes of gratitude…

 Flying and traveling. Exhausting and sometimes stressful, but I enjoy it.

 Being on a boat and out on the water. I love it.

 Lounging in the ocean. Scary and relaxing all at the same time.

 Taking pictures of my nieces and nephews… seriously the cutest kids ever. Trust me.

  Coming back to Seattle after visiting small town, redneck (and old folks) Florida. Who knew I’d be happy being back in downtown Seattle!? It was refreshing… for about a day. ;)

 Catching up with the chick flicks while the husband was away visiting family.

  Green tea frappuccinos

 Chocolate chip cookie dough

 Salt water taffy!

 Spending time with family. I have three half-sisters and a half-brother in Florida I did not grow up with, and I have not seen them all that much throughout the years. I’m trying to change that and make an effort to visit with them and my nieces and nephews on a more regular basis. I had an awesome time a couple weeks ago with us all getting to know each other better. It was especially fun and awesome hanging out with my sisters more. It may sound cheesy, but my heart swells with love for them. ♥♥♥

I can’t believe it’s May already! I’m looking forward to more sunny days and being outdoors. Have a great weekend!

xo~ Frani

 

*The above image is from somewhere in Colorado flying over the Rocky Mountains.

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Wanderlust I Must ~ All The Road Trips!

Sunset Drive Through Badlands National Park

There are days I get so restless I don’t know what to do with myself, and I’ve been having a few of those days lately.

Maybe it’s spring fever kicking in now.

Maybe it’s the world map propped up on my desk with push pins of the places we’ve been and of the places we want go in the near future.

Maybe it’s my natural nomadic tendencies.

Whatever it is, I have the itch to get on the road and explore. I know there is more to life than work, eat, and sleep and doing the same thing day in and day out. And now that we know the dogs can do pretty well and way better than we thought on the road, I have no qualms about packing up and moving again. Continue reading

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Wanderlust I Must ~ From Whence I Came

Castelnou_(66),_un_des_plus_beaux_village_de_France_35

Most people, upon seeing me, think I’m full on Asian and as such, I receive a lot of questions of “Where are you from?” to which I promptly reply, “Portsmouth, OH”. And of course, you can deduce that causes a lot of confusion and stammering of said rude stranger re-phrasing their question to get at what they really want to know… my ethnicity.

Obviously, I know what they’re asking, but I like to make it difficult for people who do not properly convey the nature of their inquiry.

I’m an asshole like that.

You would be too if you had to endure decades of scenarios similar to a strange woman screeching “Are you Chinese!?” in the women’s clothing department of Target.

(Sidenote: Why the fuck does it matter “what” I am??)

I know most people can’t see it, but if you look closely, you’ll see that I have that softening of the features that happens when you’re not a purebred such as myself. Half of me is white with a bloodline originating from France and the Netherlands… I think.

Someday, I’ll get on that genealogy quest. Maybe I’ll discover my European ancestors hail from one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (The Most Beautiful Villages of France).

And then, I’ll have some exploring to do… ♥♥♥

Happy Wanderlustin’, folks!

xo~ Frani

 

*Click here for image credit.

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Exploring & Urban Hiking Queen Anne In Seattle

Space Needle In Queen Anne's Backyard

I was a bit of a tomboy when I was a kid. I guess you could say I was pretty balanced actually. I loved pretty dresses and shoes, but I also knew the value of a t-shirt and worn jeans and didn’t mind getting dirty playing outside. Those qualities still pretty much hold true today as well.

When I was a wee girl though, I like to think I did my fair share of tromping around the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in southern Ohio. I have the scars of a childhood of playing outside whenever possible. I have the memories of scrapes and carefully pulling off ticks as well as getting bitten and stung by various insects. And, it was no big deal. Even with the ticks, it was all “pull it all out, you’ll be fine”. Now, it seems inevitable you’ll get Lyme disease.

So, even with all that lovely nature and coming across snakes and getting lost in the mountains, I loved being outdoors and immersing myself into Mother Nature’s realm. Continue reading

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Wanderlust I Must ~ Ocean Therapy

Casa Velas Hotel Beach Massage

Close your eyes. Relax your shoulders. Steady your breathing. Join me for a moment of solitude and peacefulness as we listen to the tide of the ocean waves and feel the warmth of the golden sun.

Ah, wasn’t that lovely?

I’m still trying to kick this cold that I unwillingly welcomed in the New Year, and I’m hopefully on the tail end of it. I would love a warm, sunny day at the ocean because really, is there anything more therapeutic than the sun and salt air?

I didn’t think so.

Here’s to a sunny, daydreamy, wanderlustin’ Monday.

xo~ Frani

 

*Image by Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

 

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Some Thoughts On Life Change

A Lone Seattle Seagull

When the husband and I decided to move to Seattle, we had one friend in the area already and that was it. And, we were more than cool with that. A huge part of moving across the country was that we wanted a big life change…. to immerse ourselves into a new city, learn new things, discover more about ourselves, and make new friends.

We’re going a little slow on that mission currently, but I’m hoping after the holidays to bring some of those goals to fruition… Seattle Freeze or not! Even if that means I only make friends with Seattle transplants from the east coast. ;)

As the past four months of our time here has passed, we have had another friend move here. One more is on the way in the near future. And, I know of one other friend (maybe two) who may decide to call Seattle home next year.

Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

Actually, it makes me want to move. Continue reading

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Wanderlust I Must ~ How He Sees

Canadian Pigeon In Autumn

I’m not gonna lie. I wish I could take credit for these images because I love them so much. But, the credit actually goes to my husband. Who knew you could make Canadian pigeons look so good!? He has a great eye for composition, and he has never hesitated to lie on the ground or whatnot to get the shot.

Serious Canadian Pigeon

These photos were made on a brisk October day in 2010 as the husband and I (as newlyweds!) wandered around the quaint town of Saint John, New Brunswick. We took a New England/Canada cruise for our honeymoon, and this was one of the first few times we used a DSLR. At the time, we both didn’t really know all the ins and outs of the camera. We used auto and program a lot. We tried flash and no flash. You won’t believe how many images we took of the same damn towel animal. :)

I kind of wish the husband would photograph more. Whether he knows it or not, he gives me inspiration and motivation when I am able to see how he sees. 

xo~ Frani

 

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Seattle Wander Guide Part 2 ~ Elemental Exploration

Seattle Japanese Garden

After hitting up all the major sights and things to do in Seattle, maybe you have a couple days left to unwind and relax. Or you can do as we did and intersperse some moments of serenity in with all the city-hopping. Get out there and experience the elements of nature… earth, air, water, maybe not fire unless it’s a well-monitored campfire (during a wet season, of course).

If you’re looking to commune with the earth, I recommend visiting the Washington Park Arboretum in Northeast Seattle. Continue reading

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Seattle Wander Guide Part 1 ~ Urban Exploration

Seattle Neighborhoods

Last week, I wrote about our trip to Seattle from the standpoint of searching for our new home. And even though it was a whirlwind of chaotic traveling, it was still a pretty great vacation filled with good food, pretty sights, and interesting history. If you’re thinking of visiting the Emerald city anytime soon, may I offer up some suggestions?

Where To Stay

A few times in the past, the husband and I have stayed in B&Bs when traveling. However, a lot of them are very old, Victorian, and flowery in their decor which is not our cup of tea. So when we ventured to the Pacific Northwest last month, we decided to give Airbnb a try for the first time.

We stayed in a fantastic apartment in the southeast Portland neighborhood of Hosford-Abernethy. As I mentioned before in my Portland Japanese Garden post, you have got to eat at Pine State Biscuits for brunch and Salt & Straw for some yummy ice cream!

In Seattle, we first stayed with friends in Fremont and then opted for this beautiful and cozy Airbnb cottage in Columbia City to get a feel for different neighborhoods. Continue reading

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