Friday, November 04, 2016

Five Fave Vacation Destinations

I am a homebody. I like hanging out with my too many pets and watching Netflix, reading a book or working a puzzle. I know it might not seem like it based on my Trip Advisor senior reviewer status, but I don't love traveling. Often I prefer watching travel shows on Travel Channel to actually traveling. I consider how welcoming (or not welcoming) a place feels to be a major factor of how much I enjoy (or don't enjoy) visiting that place. With these disclaimers, here are my five favorite places to which I've traveled, in no particular order.

1. Rome, Italy

History, great architecture, rich culture, passionate people and beauty everywhere made me love Rome. Thanks to Elsa Gramola of A Taste of Italy in Austin for being a wonderful tour planner and guide. Click *here* and *here* for my original blog posts about visiting Rome.

2. Cambridge, England

I didn't love London. Shocking! I did love our day trip to Cambridge. Cambridge felt very much like what I imagine Hogwarts from the Harry Potter books might look like. Grand castle-like buildings house class rooms, lecture halls and student residences in this charming university city. Cozy pubs, posh restaurants, magical candy shops and charming tea rooms line the cobblestone streets. The River Cam runs through this city with longboats slowly cruising up and down. It certainly helped my impression of the city that we met up with one of Chad's client-friends in the evening who kindly showed us around his hometown. *Click here for a link to my original blog post about visiting Cambridge.*

3. Seattle, Washington

I don't usually like big bustling cities, but I love Seattle. I like the waterfront, the generally welcoming people, the history, the wealth of vegetarian dining options, the proximity to alluring natural settings, the unique charm, the clouds and the lovely public spaces that encourage a sense of community in this city. Click *here* and *here* for blog posts about our recent trip to Seattle.

4. Hood River and nearby Multnomah Falls, Oregon

This sweet, small town only had one movie theater with two screens when we visited, but it has an enormity of natural beauty, a couple of breweries, a relaxed and welcoming vibe, and is near many farms and orchards. Click *here* for my short, but link-heavy blog post about our trip to Hood River, Oregon and Multnomah Falls. I would gladly visit Hood River again when I need a relaxing vacation.

5. Key West, Florida

I'm not a big drinker of alcohol. If someone asks, "Do you like to party?" my answer will be no. I like to plan beautiful events and sweat every thoughtful detail, but I do not like "to party". I enjoyed Key West not for the drinky/party reputation, but for the rich history, natural beauty and mellow vibe. I loved the beautiful snorkeling, kayaking among the Mangrove trees and the touring Ernest Hemingway's house in Key West. Click *here*, *here*, *here*, *here* and *here* for my original blog posts about visiting KeyWest. Wow, five posts for a five day trip! I guess I really did love that trip!

As I wrote this post about my five favorite travel places, I realized I still haven't written a travelogue for San Juan Island, Washington. I'm procrastinating, because while I certainly enjoyed bits of that trip, overall I did not love that destination. I will post about that trip... soon. Really.