Take Me Away!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Helene in Between Blogtober

Let's face it, I am not a big traveler. This is largely because traveling is expensive and also because I am afraid of being in strange places and eating strange food and getting lost somewhere where I may not speak the language. I'm also not great at flying. Hell, I don't even know where my passport is right now, and I'll be honest, I haven't seen it since 2012. (Don't worry, I made sure the government knows that it's lost, so it's been canceled or zapped out of existence or whatever the government does when passports go MIA). As you can imagine, I haven't needed to leave the country in the last few years, so not knowing where my passport is on this planet isn't really troublesome. Minus that whole... identification document being lost... thing.

I am a nervous-wreck when I travel. I hate packing. I hate unpacking. I hate airports and I really don't care for planes. But, I do enjoy seeing new things, relaxing, not having to cook or clean while on vacation, and visiting people. When I do decide to take a trip, I generally enjoy it; I just don't take very many trips.

I also am a big weirdo and hated taking days off from work while I was a 9-to-5'er, so the only real vacation I took in the 2 years I worked at CHOP was our honeymoon (I took 5 days off in August 2013). This is how I had amassed almost 300 hours of paid time off when I left that job, which was an awesome paycheck to get... but it meant no real vacations since 2011, which was a drag. Now that I have approximately zero time to travel anywhere that is farther away than can be accomplished by a few hours in a car, I'm itching to get away.  Murphy's Law, right?

So, let's get to \today's prompt for #Blogtober14: My Best and Worst Vacation

As much as I dislike the before and after of traveling, I've had surprisingly few "bad" traveling experiences. Honestly, the worst "vacation" I've taken was a long weekend I took to Niagara Falls in 2007. I went with the guy I was dating at the time, and I didn't want to be dating him anymore and I tried to say that I didn't want to go, but I ended up going anyway and it was just a bad time all over. It would have been super romantic and lovely had I been there with someone who didn't make me want to jump into the falls. PSA: Break up with people who make you want to jump over a waterfall. And that's all I have to say about that.

My best vacation... has to be tied between our trip to FL in 2011 when I graduated from my MPH and Ken finished his teaching certificate and our honeymoon to California in 2013. I also loved my Birthright trip to Israel in 2011, but I can't really count that asa "vacation" because it was more of a tour and there was very little downtime for relaxing. So, for today's purposes, I'll go with our honeymoon as my favorite vacation ever.

In fact, that was probably the first real vacation I took with Ken where we did whatever we wanted, didn't stay with family for a majority of the time, and planned the entire thing ourselves. We flew from Philadelphia to San Francisco, rented a car, and drove to Napa for 2 days. We visited a few wineries, had portraits shot by the lovely Allison Andres, and ate a ton of delicious food. Then we drove back to San Francisco and stayed there for 2 days, where we wandered the wharf area, hiked in Muir Woods, walked around Sausalito, watched the sea lions play at Pier 37, and again, ate delicious food. Then we drove to Monterey and stayed in a fabulously swanky hotel on the bay, went to the aquarium (I saw a Giant Pacific Octopus and it was AMAZING), and again... ate delicious food. After Monterey, we drove down the Pacific Coast Highway and it was one of the most beautiful drives I've ever taken. We could have literally stopped every 10 miles to take photos, but limited ourselves to a few choice spots. We also stopped in San Simeon to see the elephant seals and had lunch at The Madonna Inn (which was bizarre). We continued our drive to LA, where we stayed with my aunt and uncle, and the next day, we took a day trip to San Diego to go to the zoo and safari park. We did a ton, but the best part was just spending 7 days with Ken. It was great for us to reconnect and we had the best time running down the miles on the PCH. Check out my entire post about our trip here... there are plenty of pictures! And, if you get a chance to drive the coast, DO IT. 

Damn it, now I really wish I was in Napa, sipping wine. Instead, I'm going to go to my OMM lab. WHEE. Have a great day, all!

- A


  1. I feel like you going to Niagra falls was almost dangerous. What if you'd pushed him in??

  2. it can be scary but also exhilarating to engulf yourself in somewhere totally new! especially if you're with a group!!

  3. If you ever want an excuse to go back to Napa, I've never been. And you won't be stressed out about never having been there before :)


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