Doc You Should Watch

23 Jul

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I often get teased by roommates about all of the documentaries (mostly historical) that live in our Netflix queue. What can I say? I’ve always loved myself a good documentary, especially those done by the great Ken Burns. One of these documentary series that had been taking up space in the Netflix queue for quite some time, which I just recently got around to was, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Anyone who enjoys the wonders of the National Parks and doesn’t mind sitting down for a history lesson every once in a while, will eat this doc up. I highly recommend you check out this gorgeous, informational, and dare I say, exciting doc series!

Also, I have to admit that I did cry while watching this series. You know you’re a nerd when….

What are some of your favorite documentary series? Any other Ken Burns lovers out there?

Friday Favorite

19 Jul

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You guys should check out this pretty cool list on Flavorwire of the 50 Places Every Literary Fan Should Visit. I spy a few that will be added to the travel bucket list. Most of all, Walden Pond.

Planning my trip to Asheville

17 Jul

Happy Wednesday, everyone! As I’ve mentioned previously on the blog, I will be traveling to Asheville in August for a quick weekend trip to attend a wedding. I won’t have too much time to explore the city while I’m there, but in the time I do have, I want to focus on visiting some of the historical places that Asheville has to offer. As much as I love to hike and do brewery tours, which are quite plentiful in Asheville, I want to save that stuff for when I visit again with my roommates. I’m just excited to be able to cross one off the travel bucket list! Here are some of the places I would like to see while I’m there:

1. The Biltmore: The Biltmore is a place I’ve always wanted to tour and luckily enough for me, the wedding is taking place there, so I’ll be able to see the estate and attend an event there. Gotta love two birds with one stone when it comes to travel, right?

2. Thomas Wolfe Memorial: I’ll admit, I don’t know too much about Thomas Wolfe and I’m not familiar with his writings, but from checking out the website it looks like a gorgeous, old house and I am not one to pass up a tour of a historical house!

3. Pack Square: This isn’t technically a historic site, it’s more like an area, but I think it would be nice to walk around one of the districts of the city to check out some shops and really get a feel for the city and it’s culture.

4. Downtown Asheville Historic District: This historic area is similar to Pack Square, in that I more so plan on walking around the historic district and seeing what I stumble on. I think sometimes the best finds, are the ones you happen upon while exploring a city!

I used the National Parks Service’s Travel Itinerary on Asheville to get an idea of what I should see while I’m there. I highly recommend checking out their other historic travel itineraries too, it is a great resource and they have many on different cities, regions, and historic themes. I actually used to work for this department of NPS and I could go on for hours about how fantastic this program is, but I’ll save that ramble for another day and another post!

Have any of you guys ever been to Asheville or have any recommendations of historic places to see or places to eat/shop/get a delicious coffee? Let me know!

My favorite travel apps

16 Jul

There are several apps I like to use while traveling that I thought I would share with you guys!

1. Google Maps

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This one is kind of obvious, but for someone who is as directionally challenged as I am, it’s a necessity. I typically use my GPS while I’m driving to save battery life on my phone, but I’ve found that using the walking selection can be very helpful when trying to walk your way through a new city or unfamiliar place!

2. History Here

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The History Here app was created by the History Channel to help you find historic places located near you. As a history nerd, it always makes my heart flutter to see my location on the map surrounded by little red dots. I like using this app when I’m road tripping, so when I stop off at a random exit to get gas or food, I can see if there is anything historical nearby I might want to check out for a mini detour.

3. Food Tripping

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This app was created through a partnership with SHFT and Ford. I love food tripping because it’s a restaurant locater app that doesn’t include fast food. The purpose of this app is to help you find local places that have specialty or healthier options. You can search for eateries, farmers’ markets, food markets, coffee & tea places, juice joints & smoothies, and vegan & vegetarian options. I think one of the best parts of road trips is going to local places that you would otherwise not have access to because it makes your trip more personal and memorable!

4. All Trails

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This app is a must have for all hiking fans. Sort of like the History Here app, it pinpoints your location and informs you of hiking trails that are close by. The app tells you how far these trails are from you, how long the trails are, how strenuous they are, and includes user reviews of the trails. I often get the urge to stretch my legs and take my co-pilot (aka my dog, Oliver) for long walks, especially when we’re on the road, and this app helps me do just that!

5. AAA

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This app goes along with my AAA membership, so while the app is free, it is useless unless you have a membership with AAA. I actually haven’t used this app yet, but it makes me feel a lot better knowing I have it. I know that if something happened to my car, I would be able to get roadside assistance by using the app, if for some reason I didn’t have my AAA card or info on me. The AAA app also gives you maps, directions, help with travel planning, and access to member discounts. It’s always a good feeling to know that if something bad happens to your car on the road, that you have some sort of back-up plan.

To the best of my knowledge, all of these apps are free and they have definitely come in handy for me many times while traveling! What are some of your favorite apps to use while traveling, or just in general? I would love to hear any suggestions of ones to add to my phone!

A review of “The Way”

15 Jul

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Since I wasn’t on the road this weekend I decided to vicariously get my traveling fix through a movie that caught my interest on Netflix. The movie, “The Way” follows the story of a man who hikes the “El camino de Santiago” in honor of his son, who died while hiking the trail. I have always heard of people backpacking through Europe, but I had never heard of “El camino de Santiago” until watching this movie. I think it’s safe to say I have something new to add to the bucket list. I’m all about movies that inspire the viewer and this was definitely one of those. One line that really resonated with me was, “You don’t choose a life, you live one”. This line was in the context of choosing a career path and if you want to have a family and being “stuck” with those choices. I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to learn more about “El camino de Santiago”, who wants to watch a funny, heart-warming movie, or just wants to fuel their wanderlust. If any of you guys watch it, let me know what you think!

Also, does anyone have any other movie suggestions for me to watch? Travel-themed or not, I’d love to hear some!

Meet my co-pilot

13 Jul
Ready to drive!

Ready to drive!

This is the story of when Sarah met Oliver.  It took three trips to the shelter before I finally met Oliver, even though I had seen him each time I went. I guess what they say about third times a charm is right. Oliver was picked up as a stray and brought to the county shelter at a very-scary 33 lbs, riddled with ticks and tapeworm. Despite the hardship he had seen, Oliver was one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met and I just knew I had to take him home when he cuddled up to me and tried to sit in my lap (he still tries to do this with all 55 lbs that he is now). I’ve had Oliver since November of 2012 and we have been inseparable the whole time, or how my friends and family members like to call it, co-dependent. I know we are especially meant to be because Oliver can ride in the car for hours on end with no problem. In fact, he mostly sleeps the whole time only waking for some sniffing-filled stops at rest areas and occasionally popping his head up when a loud train goes by. Oliver will probably be on this blog a lot seeing as he is my co-pilot for my road trip adventures, my hiking buddy, and this girl’s best friend.

"Where are we going next, Mom?"

“Where are we going next, Mom?”

Too much to see, Too little time (and money)!

12 Jul

Like many of you out there in the blogosphere, traveling has always been a great passion of mine.  I often find myself at work, daydreaming of all the places I would like to go and all of the trips I would like to take. I figured for my first post, it would be best to organize my daydreams into a list, a bucket list if you will, of all of the places I would love to see in my life (and blog about) both in the US and all over the world. I’ve organized this list into three groups (You know you’re Type A when you organize your lists).  I have one for North Carolina, the US, and outside of the US. I’ve put asterisks by the places I  would like to travel to within 2013.

North Carolina:

  • Asheville* (I’ll actually be checking this one off in August, but I’m going for a wedding, so I don’t think I’ll have too much time to explore!)
  • Wilmington
  • Charlotte
  • Beaufort
  • Boone’s Cave State Park (in Lexington)*
  • Shelby

The US:

  • Visit all 59 national parks (I’m hoping to do Bryce Canyon/Zion within the year, but I’m not sure if a lack of funds will allow me)
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Follow the Lewis & Clark trail (make a road trip out of it)
  • Route 66
  • Boston, MA
  • Hike the Appalachian Trail
  • Savannah, GA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Portland, OR
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Memphis, TN* (My cousin lives there, so this one should be easier!)
  • Nashville, TN
  • Denver, CO
  • Hawaii
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Bonnaroo Road Trip
  • Jacob’s Wall (Wimberly, TX)
  • Portland, Maine

Around the World (Imagine Daft Punk playing as you read this list):

  • Jamaica
  • Great Wall of China
  • Greece
  • Puerto Rico
  • Canada (Try to visit all of the provinces)
  • Amsterdam
  • India
  • Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands
  • Scotland
  • Ireland
  • England
  • Norway (especially the Sky Bridge)
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • New Zealand (Have to do a Lord of the Rings tour!)
  • Hike El Camino de Santiago

I think it’s safe to say, I would like to see everything this big, old world has to offer. I’ll continue to update this list as I discover new places to visit.  Time to start planning some trips! I think I’ll start with what I can squeeze in while I’m in Asheville for that short weekend. Any suggestions?

What about you guys? Which places are at the top of your travel bucket lists, I’d love to hear!

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