Upon receiving my cousin’s wedding invitation, I turned into a cartoon villain. Fingers and brows tented, I smirked. “Excellent,” I said. With that invitation, I had reason to go to Maine, the only state east of the Mississippi River I’d never set foot in and home to Acadia National Park, an almost 50,000-acre wonderland of rugged and rocky Atlantic coastline, woodlands, lakes and ponds.…Read more
There’s a lot I find appealing about lighthouses. I like that they exist to guide us through troubled waters, the way they serve as bright beacons of assurance in the midst of a mess. I like their history, the stories of harrowing rescues and narrow escapes from catastrophe, stories of vanished lighthouse-keepers or vivid tales of bravery and independent existences.…Read more
I didn’t have a plan for the day, not really. I needed to get myself from Richmond to Maryland for a work conference that would start the next day, a friend in Washington, D.C. was celebrating her birthday and it was pissing rain.
I sent my friend a text, asking if she had plans for the afternoon, explaining that yes, I definitely did have time for a birthday beverage or adventure and that I would love to see her if we could make the timing work.…Read more
I really, really needed this trip. I needed to get out of town, to put on my pack and walk into the woods. I needed to spend a few hours in the car, music up and windows down. I needed to be alone in the woods, to take myself to dinner, to drink new beers, to catch up with one of my oldest friends.…Read more
In my 11th grade history class, we didn’t have a lot of time. The state’s standardized tests dictated the priorities of learning for the year and they missed a lot. Our teacher, in a valiant attempt to educate us on the things the tests wouldn’t, handed out topics for us to independently research and then present to the class.…Read more
After the success of last year’s solo trip to New Mexico, I wanted more. I debated a few options, consulting this map and looking for clusters of national parks that would allow me to spend 5-7 days in one or two places while hitting a handful of parks. Mostly, I wanted to go west again and Arizona’s national parks kept popping up in the books I was reading, the shows I was watching and it all started to seem like a sign.…Read more
On my 30th birthday I went alone to a nearby state park and wandered into the woods.
It was a strange time. I’d been back from an eye-opening and heart-filling cross country road trip with one of my best friends for a few weeks and, almost as soon I’d returned from that adventure, my husband confessed his infidelity and told me of his plans to marry his mistress.…Read more
Work sent me to Iowa and after sending a text to my friend who lives there, I looked up the National Park situation. Iowa has just two National Park units, Effigy Mounds National Monument and Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. With limited time and an already-packed schedule, I decided to aim for the closest park and on my last day in Iowa I woke up well before dawn and headed to the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, located in West Branch, Iowa.…
In my line of work, summers tend to be pretty much off limits for personal travel. It’s our busy season, so while everyone else goes to the beach or jets off to faraway lands, I’m in Virginia, working more weekends than not and dreaming of fall-time travel adventures.
By the end of August I was tired but itchy for a new adventure.…Read more
I’ve wanted to go to Italy for as long as I’ve known I was Italian. So, pretty much always.
When I was deployed last year, my now ex-boyfriend & I started talking about trips to take after the deployment. He’s Italian. I’m Italian. We’d both always dreamed of visiting Italy, so Italy it was.…Read more