Posted by: Rachael | January 18, 2011

5 Faves: Trips of 2010

i meant to post this 2 weeks ago, you know, before we actually hit the new year. unfortunately, 2 major snowstorms, a defunct motherboard, and $800 worth of car repairs got in my way. never fear though – here’s an abbreviated version of my favorite trips of 2010 – complete with pictures i had to right click and save from my own facebook page [since the originals are caught in said defunct motherboard].

so please, look past the grainy photography – it does nothing to justify the awesomeness of my favorite travels – and enjoy!

1. seattle//washington [july 2010]

there are probably a gazillion reasons why seattle made the top of my 2010 trip list. abnormally sunny and perfect 80° weather, the most amazing skyline and panoramic views [mt. rainer and the space needle are gorgeous], access to one of the world’s most diverse and delicious markets, the best seafood i’ve ever tasted, and a starbucks/seattle’s best on every corner. what more could a girl ask for…

of course…a wall devoted to art honoring my favorite substance in the world! GUM!

2. austin//texas [feb 2010]

ok, i’ll admit it – i was one of those people who stereotyped texas. i was imagining oppressive heat, barren plains, close-minded hicks and wild wild west rodeos.

ok, so there were rodeos – but they were awesome, and i got to meet kyle chandler from friday night lights at one [love!]. i also happened to catch south by southwest –  one of the best live music festivals ever, eat delicious mexican food, climb to the top of the highest point in austin to pick out lance armstrong’s house [see pic above], visit the historic university of texas campus, and of course spend a full day exploring the flagship whole foods store:

anyplace that has a grind your own nut butter station has a special place in my heart. so glad i went to austin – i cannot wait to go back – as in, i will definitely be living here someday.

3. kansas city//missouri [apr 2010]

i know what you’re thinking. how did good ole’ kc end up as number 3 on my list. and why is it in missouri? i don’t know the answer to the second question, but i got to check out mizzou twice in the past year for work and was pleasantly surprised by this all-american city [sadly, st. louis did NOT make the list – but that’s another story entirely]. i got to stay at the hallmark crown center, as in the birthplace of hallmark cards, take in the breathtaking world war I memorial [above] and other architectural sites, go for long runs around a very up-and-coming downtown district, and take in all the sights and sounds of the truly amazing kc power and light district with no fewer than 8 million things to do.

plus, who doesn’t love a life-size t-rex hanging out outside their hotel? roar!

4. richmond//virginia  [oct 2010]

ok, so number 4 on my list holds a special place in my heart – this year, i got to return to my alma mater for university of richmond’s homecoming [holla UR spiders class of ’06!]. yes, despite the fact that richmond’s mascot is a spider, i will bet everything i own on the fact that we have the most beautiful college campus in the nation. clearly i was excited to be here and catch up with old buddies/teachers – so much has changed since i left and it was amazing to check out all of the new additions on campus. the highlight of the trip was taking in the first homecoming football game ever played at the new oncampus stadium [see below]. it was definitely a historic moment and an epic time. i also got to stay in an amazing new hotel in short pump, one of my favorite places in the richmond area, right next to the spankin new whole foods! be still my heart. ahhh i love this place – in fact, i just got back from attending a wedding there yesterday as my first trip of the new year!

5. manchester/tennessee [jun 2010]

what’s in manchester, tn you ask? maybe you’ve heard of a little music festival by the name of bonnaroo? yeah – this gazillion acre farm was the sight of one of the best concerts i’ve seen in my entire life. while this trip did require me to sleep in a tent for 4 days and shower in an 18-wheeler only to be covered in dust and mosquito bites 10 minutes later, i’ve never gotten to see so many amazing artists in one place. jay-z, stevie wonder, temper trap, brandi carlisle, zac brown band, dmb, phoenix, weezer, miranda lambert, kings of leon – all were just a handful of the great acts i got to take in. and despite the 96 degree weather, torturous sun, and nearly 100% humidity, my travel buddy and i managed to spend the majority of our time lounging in the beer tent pictured above, sipping on crisp and refreshing granny smith hard cider and a variety of other tasty brews. i can’t say i’ll ever be back, but boy am i sure glad i went once just to experience this crazy, anything-goes music love-fest.

there are so many details from these trips i didn’t include here [obviously] but feel free to comment or send me an email if you want any area recommendations or other tips when visiting these fabulous places!

so, what trips do i have to look forward to in 2011??

  • Wizarding World of Harry Potter  [feb] – what is better than a bachelorette party in orlando @ harry potter world? yeah, that’s right, nothing. i will come back with a replica of hermione’s wand. don’t judge – you know you want one too
  • South Africa [june] – this will be the trip of a lifetime. #1 on my bucket list. enough said.
  • San Francisco [tbd] – all i know is i have a free flight via southwest, a brother who lives in cali, and a dream to eat at tyler florence’s and michael ciarello’s restaurants. this is definitely happening!

Can’t wait to keep exploring!

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