So I’ve been pretty quiet recently because I’ve been absolutely exhausted. Once I returned from my last trip (which included an amazing experience at The Broad in Los Angeles), I had a mountain of tasks to complete as I wrapped up 21 days in a row of travel and in-office work. I promise I will return to regular posting again soon, but for a recap, here are all the places I made it to this fall:
West Palm Beach
Traverse City, Michigan
Austin (a particularly awful day-trip)
I can’t wait to share my adventures with you! This fall has gone by so quickly I almost forgot about the personal trip I’ll be taking in less than two weeks: Las Vegas. No matter how many times I’ve been to Vegas, it never seems to get old. Maybe someday, they will send me for work. Or at least a conference!
On my last trip to Seattle, the weather was considerably more overcast. Thus, I did not have a fantastic view of Mt. Rainier until I was on the airplane headed home. This trip, I relocated to the Hilton next to the airport the night before my flight. I figured I would save a little money on the rental car and be a short ten minute walk to the terminal the next morning. It was a beautiful sunny day in October, which I hear is rare, and I have to say, Mt. Rainier sure knows how to put on a show.
My first trip to Seattle was in July of 2009 to visit my friend who lives on Capitol Hill. This was also my first trip as an “adult.” I had just completed my Master’s degree, and in addition to it being a graduation present to myself, it was my first trip that wasn’t a family vacation. While heading to the airport and boarding a plane is business as usual for me at this point, back then it was the strangest feeling in the world to go through the entire process alone, including a connection in Oakland. But, I fell in love with the city on that trip, especially Capitol Hill.
At the time, my friend lived in a small, oddly-shaped one bedroom apartment with thin walls and an old elevator in a historic building called The New McDermott. It is on Bellevue near Pike, and was the perfect location for two early-twenties friends to find plenty of trouble. I remember being amazed at how you could walk everywhere. Those of you who have been to Texas in July know how impossible that would be. Well, not impossible, just no one would want to stand next to you once you arrived at your destination.
We probably walked around ten miles per day and drank half our weight (or more) in alcohol, but we saw and did everything. When you think of Seattle, you typically think of the Space Needle or Pike Place Market, but my stay on Capitol Hill showed me all the unique things the city has to offer: karaoke at The Crescent, fried chicken from City Market, pizza from Bill’s Off Broadway, brunch at Linda’s, and sushi from Ha Na, to name a few. The area has gentrified a lot since my first visit, with a lot of old buildings being torn down to build housing for the thousands who have moved to the area due to an influx of jobs with Amazon, but each subsequent trip I try to visit all my favorite spots, and find more to add.
We’re actually staying in a hotel this trip since we figured it would be rude to crash at my friends apartment during his own wedding. While I’ll miss waking up to his view, I’m excited to explore more areas of town! But, I’m already craving a huge plate of sushi from Ha Na; maybe I’ll have to go there first.
When I started traveling for work with my first job out of college, I was always sent to the places no one else wanted to go. Of course, I did not have a problem with that; I was happy to be going anywhere at all. However, this means I’ve been to some interesting small towns across the state of Texas. One trip took me through East Texas in November, and the drive actually made me feel like I was in a northern state. I enjoyed the winding two-lane roads and some fall colors all the way up to Tyler, where my flip phone unceremoniously died. After scrambling to find an AT&T store, I purchased my very first iPhone and made my way up to Sulphur Springs. I arrived after dark, worked my event, and as a Hilton brand loyalist, I continued north to the closest one I could find: the Hampton Inn in Paris, Texas.
Since I reached the hotel so late and had a new phone to learn how to use, I didn’t explore any of the area that evening. However, I had researched ahead of time and discovered that as would be expected, an Eiffel Tower replica existed in the city. But this was not just your average replica. No, it was fashioned as an oil derrick, complete with a Texas touch.
I’ve since read that Paris, Texas was in a competition with Paris, Tennessee to have the tallest Eiffel Tower replica in their respective cities. Thus, the red cowboy hat was added to make it taller than the one in Tennessee. Both were eventually dwarfed by the replica on the Las Vegas Strip, which happens to be half the size of the original Eiffel Tower.
I was only able to spend one night in Paris before moving on to my next spot, so I set my alarm early in order to have time to see this replica in all its glory. For those of you with iPhones, please know that I set my morning alarm on my phone for the first time with the “alarm” tone, and I about fell out of my bed when it first went off. My half asleep brain thought it was the fire alarm. It did its job; I was wide awake after that.
When I checked out of the Hampton, I decided to take a little piece of Paris home with me. They sold bobble versions of their Eiffel Tower, and the bobbling red cowboy hat road shotgun with me for the rest of my trip. The best part is that now I can tell people that my work has sent me to Paris. I’ll let them assume which one.