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Summary of My 2017 Travels

Hello all,

I have to apologize for the time that has elapsed since my last post. Things have been very busy. Lots of life events taking place, and so I let that get in the way of me continuing to post which is definitely not a good enough excuse. I will try to contribute more regularly. Thanks for your comments in the meantime.

Besides that, Happy New Year everyone! With the coming of a new year, it would be a good time to capture a summary of last year’s travels.

2017 was a light travel year for me, at least when compared with other previous years. Due to a life event that I generated, it had the unintended effect of lessening our travel. Full disclosure, this life changing event was my proposal to my fiancee to have her hand in marriage. This set us down the road of marriage preparation (and saving for such an event), which did lessen our frantic travel pace just a bit. However, I was able to squeeze in a few interesting spots this past year.

See a map of 2017 travels below:

  • Austin, TX (end of March) – Originally we had planned to join a group trip to Cuba for a couple weeks. However, we kind of got spooked with all the rhetoric about limiting US travelers’ ability to travel to Cuba, and decided not to test it. As a result we decided to do a long weekend trip to Austin, TX. It had always been an intriguing place, and things lined up for us to be able to visit. In the month leading up to this trip, I devised my proposal plan, and pulled it off the night before we left. Austin was a blast, the people were great, the food was amazing, and we caught a smidge of live music, something I would love to correct if we ever return.

City Symbol

Skyline

Longhorns!

Bats!

  • Ecuador (May) – In May, my fiancee decided to go on a 7-day camping trip, something I was not yet ready to join her on (I’m still working with baby steps for 2 hour hiking trips, so not yet ready for 7 days). Since I still had the travel bug, I decided to do a solo trip to Ecuador during the same time. I got the idea from a musician I knew who was Ecuadorian, played up here in MA, but then has since moved back there. The music portrayed a beauty to the country, so I became intrigued. Looking back on it, I am so glad I took the plunge. I visited Quito, Cuenca, Ingapirca, and Guayaquil. By the end, each place had its own unique beauty and charm, which brings a smile to my face whenever I remember my time there. The people were very friendly, and encouraged conversation, even for someone like me who was using less than fluent Spanish. I enjoyed speaking, and connecting with the people I was able to come into contact with. Even though I had my phone pickpocketed, this remains one of my favorite destinations.

Plaza in Quito

Bird’s Eye View of Quito

 

Atop Cerro Santa Ana in Guayaquil

  • Alexandria, VA (September) – This has become a yearly trip for me over Labor Day Weekend, mainly to participate in our Fantasy Football Draft, where most of the members of the league are based in the area. This time, we made it a longer stay as my fiancee had family in the area. Besides the draft (which resulted in me winning the league for the 1st time this year), I got to visit her family who showed us a great time, but also attend a Sting concert, courtesy of my college buddy who is always a great host whenever I come down there.

Metro Stop in VA

African-American History Museum

Sting in Concert

  • New Orleans (October) – This Fall, I joined a small group trip down to the Big Easy. I had never been, so I jumped at the chance. It had always been a place I wanted to visit, mainly because of the music, so when the opportunity arose, I had to take advantage. The music was, of course, on point, but it was much more. People that have been there know about Bourbon St., and it is an all night party. What I loved most is the mix of cultures there, almost like it was an international destination. Also as part of this trip, we visited a native community in rural Dulac, LA and they were extremely hospitable, giving us lots of crab and crawfish to quench our appetites. I expected New Orleans to be one of my favorite places, and it definitely fit the bill.

2nd Line

Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival

Live music on Bourbon St

  • Maine (December) – When early December rolled around, we were thinking about a local road trip. Mainly this was because we wanted to use up a free hotels.com night before it expired. We also wanted to be in a place had some cute Christmas market/celebration happening. It turned out that from our online research, that Ogunquit fit the bill. They have a Christmas By The Sea event which takes place the second week of December, and it looked like something that would interest us. We were right. Normally it is a beach town in the summer, but in the winter it is dressed all up in Christmas, almost to where it resembles a Norman Rockwell painting. We had a great time, viewing the Christmas Parade, watching fireworks, attending carols being sung, among other things. Then on the Sunday of that weekend we drove up to Kennebunkport to catch a cute “pooch parade”, where the dogs were the stars of the show. We did some walking around, took a boat ride on a fisherman’s boat, and ended up at a Mead tasting. Quite the roundabout day. We then ate at a nice cafe in York, ME before heading back home. All in all, it was a great weekend to get us ready for the holidays, and a great way to round out the year in travel.

Christmas Parade

Mead Tasting

Although the quantity of travel did not compare with previous years, the quality was still there, and made for another great year in travel, when you look back on it. I’m looking forward to 2018 travel, including our honeymoon (destination TBD), and look forward to telling you all about it!

Where did you go in 2017? Let me know in the comments!

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