Our Texas Travels: Austin, TX

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Hello, Internet! I am back from a recent one-week vacation in Texas and all I can say is…. it’s refreshing. We hadn’t been on a real vacation since our honeymoon back in 2016, when we went up to New England, Boston, New Hampshire, etc. It was long overdue and this was a trip that we’d been planning for probably two years. We’d hoped to make it down south in 2018, but the cards just weren’t in our favor. However, we finally did it!

My husband is actually from Texas; he was born there and lived there when he was younger, then again for a year during high school. He definitely has a special connection to the state, and has a lot of family there on his mom’s side, so I am incredibly grateful that we got to take this trip and that he could share all of these wonderful experiences, places and memories with me. Continue reading “Our Texas Travels: Austin, TX”

Returning to Cayuga Lake

A few weeks ago, my husband and I enjoyed a weekend getaway on Cayuga Lake, in Aurora, NY. Even though it was a short trip, it was so nice to get away, see some new things (and see again, some old things) and just enjoy the time together.

When we got married last July, we received a gift card to the Inns of Aurora as a wedding present. Their properties get booked fast, especially on weekends in the summer. Luckily, I managed to snag a night the first weekend of April that was open! This would be my first time back in Aurora since 2013 (when I also went to Cayuga Lake, and stayed at the E.B. Morgan House), and it was so nice to return, albeit with my life in quite a different state.

With nothing but time, we decided to take the long way to Aurora – no highways whatsoever. After a lunch stop at Tom Wahl’s in Avon, we went for the mini-Finger Lakes tour. (One of my goals is to see every Finger Lake, and I’m nearly there after this trip!) My husband has really never experienced the Finger Lakes, aside from a quick stop at Conesus a few years ago, so this was a nice treat for both of us. We stopped at Hemlock Lake, whose shoreline is mostly undeveloped. We found a “park” at the north edge of the lake – very simple, very peaceful. You just walk up some stairs to the crest of this hill, and there’s the lake, in all its untouched beauty.

Continue reading “Returning to Cayuga Lake”

Pro Tip: Never Cross The Border Via Bus On A Holiday Weekend

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This past Saturday, I took a bus up to Toronto for the day to see One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer in concert. Unfortunately, Toronto was the closest the Where We Are Tour came to Buffalo (darn you), so I decided to buy a ticket on Stubhub, grab some bus tickets and make my way up. I decided all this last Tuesday, so it was a bit last-minute, but I decided I really just couldn’t pass it up.

Continue reading “Pro Tip: Never Cross The Border Via Bus On A Holiday Weekend”

Escape to the Finger Lakes: Skaneateles

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The end of last week saw my annual Finger Lakes vacation with my aunts and mother. This year, we went to another new lake: Skaneateles. For perspective, Skaneateles is one of the furthest-east Finger Lakes; only Otisco (much smaller) is farther east. It’s about 15 minutes from Syracuse and was about a two-hour drive from Buffalo.

Continue reading “Escape to the Finger Lakes: Skaneateles”

A Traveler’s Thoughts on…. Traveling

Every time I travel, I’m struck with the same line of thinking.

First, it’s amazing to me that I can hop on a bus and travel a couple hours with a group of complete strangers, and we’re all traveling for our own unique purposes. I think there’s a certain beauty in that. Of the 40-some odd people on this Greyhound bus traveling down the highway, how many are headed home, and how many are going off to some wonderful vacation or trip? How many are headed towards a final destination, and how many are simply headed to a crossover, a layover along the way? We’re all on our own journeys, but for this moment – whether it’s an hour or six hours – we’re all going in the same direction.

And we’re all going for different reasons. A handful may be off on a vacation, while others are tidied up for a business or work-related trip. Someone may be headed to visit family members they haven’t seen in ages; to celebrate a wedding or a birth, or to mourn at a funeral. Others may be on the journey returning home from such events. I find the beauty in that; we’re all here for different purposes and at different points along our own individual maps, but this is the point where we all intersect.

When we reach our destination, we’ll all be headed off in our own directions, and it’s likely that I’ll never see most of these people again in my lifetime, unless our paths somehow happen to cross. Some will continue their journey with a whole new set of companions on the next leg of the trip, while for others, this is the end of the line. Either way, this journey is ours together, for this moment.

I’m also struck with the fact that while I’m off to visit a city that may be hundreds of miles from home, I’m a tourist; a visitor, a temporary occupant. But there are people who have made lives there, who have constructed a paradigm and grounded themselves in this spot, whereas I’m just a fleeting pushpin on that spot of the map.

While I’m basking in the glory of the tourist attractions like the Capitol Building and all the memorials in DC, there are people who live here daily. I wonder if, to them, walking by these attractions is no big deal anymore. I wonder if they see the White House and think “Yep, that’s there,” whereas I pass and think “Wow! How incredible! The PRESIDENT lives there!” That goes for any city. I wonder if the people who live in Pittsburgh every day truly appreciate the majestic beauty of the yellow bridges and the three rivers; I wonder if the people in Toronto recognize the beauty of that skyline and all the amazing things it holds, etc.

That makes me wonder, then, what I could be missing about my own hometown. Do I appreciate it the same way that tourists may? Or do they see something else, something deeper, that has simply become ingrained in my mind due to living here for so long?