Summer Wish List 2009: Beyond Philadelphia

21 05 2009

Because my Philadelphia Wish List was so much fun to compile, I decided to make it the first in a 3-part series.  Below is my 2009 National Summer Wish List.  The last and final list will be internationally-themed.  Enjoy!

 1. Tour the south. Start in Tennessee for the bonnaroo music festival.  Fly from Nashville to Birmingham, Alabama and, over the course of a few days, drive to Jackson, Mississippi in time for the Jubilee! JAM. Along the way visit the Rosa Parks and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museums, antebellum homes, and make a quick detour over to Philadelphia, Mississippi for obvious reasons.  Fly home to Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) from Jackson.  All flights–Philadelphia to Nashville, Nashville to Birmingham, and Jackson to Philadelphia–are available through Southwest. 

2. Madison, Wisconsin.  The Lonely Planet description makes me want to visit.  And it’s the birthplace of The Onion!

3. Finger Lakes Riesling Festival.  My love for the Finger Lakes extends way back before I started drinking wine so I will jump at any excuse to visit.  My favorite Riesling comes from Dr. Konstantin Frank and a brand new Riesling Beer will be introduced by Three Brothers at the festival. 

4. Mystic, CT for one of these festivals: 1) Outdoor Art Festival , 2) Wine & Food Festival, or 3) Fish & Ships Seafood Festival. I would also probably insist on my picture being taken in front of every local pizza shop. Matt would love it if we could drive there and go camping along the way, so I could oblige him that. I would need top of the line equipment, of course. This tent has three rooms!

5. Self-guided tour (by train) of Alaska. Fly into and out of Anchorage.  Train stops in Talkeetna, Denali, and Fairbanks. 

6. Find some celebrities in L.A.

7. Big Island and Lanai, Hawaii: volcanoes, rainforests, beaches, Hilo, Garden of the Gods, paradise.

8. Disney World!  (yes, Disney World.)  I’m a kid at heart.  Most of our time would be spent in the Hollywood Studio park (is this the new MGM?  It’s been a while).  I love the Stunt Show and Indiana Jones.  And there’s a new Narnia attraction!  Sweet!  I do enjoy some rides in the Magic Kingdom but it would only take half a day to do that. 

9. Taste of Charlotte. Purchase coins and try lots of food!

10. Sonoma Wine Country Weekend.  Love Sonoma.  Love Wine.  The End.

I might be able to actually report back on one of these.  The other nine will have to wait.


The Best Honeymoon (Part 1)

26 04 2008
It was fairly easy for us to decide on a destination for our honeymoon. We aren’t beach people. I had never really been on a vacation where I didn’t feel compelled to wake up at the crack of dawn and go sightseeing all day. Our time (and money) was limited, and since I had enough frequent flyer miles for one free domestic ticket, that narrowed our options as well.

During the 4 years that we were together, my husband and I had become quite the foodies and wine lovers (he somewhat of a snob and me just really wanting to try as many varieties as I can) so California wine country immediately made the most sense.

I’m a huge planner. My husband isn’t. But because I was so busy planning the wedding, he took charge and took care of all arrangements, except for lodging, which I refused to give up all control of. It was nice not having to worry about reservations and itineraries, although instead I worried that we would get to Sonoma and wander aimlessly, with no maps or plans. But, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, and instead of being anal, I would periodically ask casually what he was planning for us.

The wedding happened, and it was more amazing than I ever thought it would be, and the next afternoon we were on our way to California. I had never been so excited for a vacation in my life. Sure, I had been to some amazing places with my family and on my own, and even with my husband, but this was an entirely different vacation. Devoid of any site- seeing pressure and gourmet food around every corner, it was like being royalty for a week.