This post is inspired by JD Roth’s post, who indirectly (and unknowingly) inspired me to start this blog. Even the name of this blog was inspired by JD’s earlier blog “Get Rich Slowly”. Coming to the point,since we love to travel, I thought ending the year with a note on our travel performance would be a good move. And doing so, I can be somewhat more personal to you. In summary, 2013 was a good year for us with respect to travelling. We went to as many as 5 places in last 12 months!
I get 28 days of paid leave in a year, so managing 5 destinations to travel to is not a bad performance, right? Usually we travel to our home country, India, every two years, and when we take an India trip, most of those 28 days are used up. We are planning our next India trip in Oct-Nov 2014 so, 2014 is unlikely to be a good year for travel.
Usually, wherever we go to, we acquire prior and in-depth knowledge about its history, places of attraction, cuisine and its culture. I do almost all my reading online, whereas SMB, my wife, borrows books from library and carries them while we are travelling.
One interesting incident, when we finished up seeing all the points of interest at Yellowstone national park a day earlier, and decided to drive through the Grand Teton park on the last day. She was reading through one of the travel books she borrowed from library, along the 42 mile scenic drive and we were stopping and enjoying the attractions as mentioned in the book. In a way, the trip to Grand Teton was very enjoying and fruitful, even without preparation and planning.
The year started with a Drive-in tour to Savannah, GA. SMB was rooting for Savannah for last couple of years. She was mostly fond of witnessing southern living and tasting local cuisine. It took us little over 8 hours to reach Savannah from our home in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. We stayed 4 nights over there. Experienced one of the oldest American cities. We experienced their culture, their food and their heritage. Most importantly, SMB got the chance to dine at Paula Deen’s “Lady and Sons”!
We were amazed to roam around the historic district in the city and the hop-on hop-off guided tour was awesome.
In March we went for a long weekend trip to Disney World, Orlando. Got a 3 day-3 park pass at a discount. Earlier we had covered most of the Orlando parks, only Animal Kingdom and Hollywood studios were remaining, On third day we went to magic kingdom. Although we don’t have a kid, the kids in us were delighted to be there. It was a welcome break from three months of tireless grind at work.
I get sick by seeing the roller coasters, amazingly I went for multiple roller coaster drives and enjoyed them to the fullest without showing nerves. Overall a fun filled quick gateway it was.
In July came out dream-come-true vacation at Yellowstone national park. I was waiting to see it since my childhood. Natural beauty, wild life and geological wonders make the place breathtaking. We stayed at three different sides of Yellowstone during our 5 nights stay there. Each entrance has its own unique beauty. The geysers, when you start feeling they are far too abundant here, you just need to remind yourself that this is abundant only here at YNP.
Each sighting of wild animal and the road jams they cause are also unique to this place. and when we saw bear in front of our car, it was trip, complete in all sense. I think a trip to YNP is the best travel experience I had so far and it’s going to remain so for long time.
Then, in September we again wore out travelling gear and visited Puerto Rico. It quiet similar to where we live, a bit humid and touch bit hotter than South Florida. Highlight of the trip was in deed the bio bay, where water glows at night at friction.
We enjoyed the pristine beaches and the old San Juan city, It was a great place to visit and witness one of the rare American places which has some history associated with it. Even a place with 400 years of history is not bad.
At the end, just a few weeks back we returned from our last trip for the year – New Orleans, LA. Again, this was SMB’s choice as a travel destination, I did the least amount of study among all the trips we had this year. But, was pleasantly surprised with the bountifulness of the city, especially the french quarter blocks. In every way, French Quarter reminded us of Old San Juan. Almost similar houses, the architecture of big doors, the balconies, etc.
We were there for 4 nights and came back a day before the Christmas. We also enjoyed 12 hours drive from home. Apart from the city, we visited the Louisiana Swamps (picture at the start of the post) and one of the plantations at Oak Alley. Above all, we really enjoyed the Cajun and creole cuisine over there.
We will not have that kind of culinary tour in 2014, but since we are going to India. Meet-ups with family, friends and other relatives are on the cards. And, also the real taste of Indian food, which we miss here.
Readers, hope you have a great year ahead. I am glad that I shared few personal experience with y’all (southern style!).