Fall Foliage – the Golden Aspens

Hello friends! Long time no speak. I’m sad to say that my travels have recently been…bleak. Arizona is just too hot to do anything outdoors, I’m afraid. I have, however, been to my fair share of (highly air conditioned) driving excursions—which is what I’d love to share with you today. ( I am skipping the part about the shopping malls I have been to.)

People think that New England is the only place to find fall colors, that Massachusetts fall foliage and Vermont fall foliage are the only places where the trees turn majestic colors to welcome in the new season. Well, those people could not be more wrong! Beautiful fall colors can sneak up on you just about anywhere where there are trees, and sometimes as early as August. Just the other day I saw a lovely maple changing. Arizona and New Mexico fall foliage is absolutely stunning. I plan on driving out the forests around Santa Fe at the end of September when maples really are at their peak. And I’m not going to get a chance this fall, but a few years ago I drove up to southern Colorado and fall foliage in Colorado, against the blue mountains and blue streams, are the image of perfection.

So I’m not knocking Catskills fall foliage or  New England fall foliage or the colors of other northeast towns that become completely covered with oranges, golds, and deep reds—I’m just saying that you shouldn’t forget about the changing colors of the southwest! If you happen to be in Arizona this fall, give me a call and I’ll show you what we’ve got to offer!
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Road Tripping on a…Bus?

It is too expensive to own my car. Insurance, gas, and upkeep take nearly half my paycheck and basically all I ever do is drive back and forth from work; I never do anything exciting anymore even though there are so many fun things to do in DC. (Yes, I got a job, and no, it doesn’t help that I drive a 1982 jalopy.) I’ve decided to sell my car, yet I refuse to believe that that means the end of roadtripping. In fact, I think considering my last cross country excursion, I’m pretty well equipped for any sort of travel!

Here’s my plan: My dad is actually paying for a flight out to Madison to see him (thanks dad!). I’ll be with him for a few days and then take the Madison to Chicago bus (I think it’s Van Gelder Bus Lines). I’ll be in Chicago for 4 days and I’m already got a list of places to visit in Chicago that’s as long as my arm.

Okay, so then some more long bus rides—this time to Denver. Got another long list of places to visit in Colorado, both in Denver and Colorado Springs, and I even found AN AMAZING deal on a shuttle from DEN to COS which is great because…I have a conference for work (my first!!) in Colorado Springs and then they’re paying for my flight back!

Meanwhile, when I get back to D.C., I think I’m going to start to like my car-less life. The Metro goes straight from my apartment to work and I figure that since I work for an environmental lobbying group (yes, I got my dream job J), it’s really the right thing to do. And since I’m new to the area, Greyhound is going to become my new best friend as I explore all the cool places to visit in Washington, D.C. I’ve been there for months and have barely done anything.

Wish me luck!

(P.S. Ryan and I broke up. Last I heard he was working on an Orlando Casino Cruise….It’s a long story, but all I can say is…Good riddance!)
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Best Florida Beaches and State Parks

I don’t BELIEVE so much time has passed since I last wrote. I think I last left you on my way to Rainbow, which was so long ago, that I can’t even begin to write about it except to say that it was awesome—a truly beautiful experience in a beautiful place, with beautiful people. I’ll write more about it later. While I was there I wrote in my journal (like the old fashioned paper type) so I’ve got things to say, but not now. Quick update: Ryan and I finally made our way back east to good ol’ Massachusetts (my parents missed me…awwww), but just a week later we got back in the car and drove down to Florida, which maybe isn’t the smartest thing to do I the summer because it’s a freakin’ sauna down there (oh, and it rains quite a bit!) but we’ve been staying cool, camping out a lot where there are cool ocean/gulf breezes, drinking a ton, and crashing at the occasional cheap motel when it’s just too painful.

Meanwhile, I came across some great lists while I was researching where to go next and thought that since summer in Florida stretches on forever, these should be quite up to date even in a few months from now. So here ya go!

From Associatedcontent.com: The Best State Parks to Visit in Central Florida During the Summer:

From Placesaroundflorida.com: Best Florida Beaches:

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