Who likes otters? I LOVE OTTERS. Before going to San Francisco, I’d heard a lot about the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the conservation efforts, so obviously, I wanted to go over there and support them. First off, Monterey Bay is gorgeous. It has stunning beaches and the ocean water is glorious. Hooray for conservation waters!
This was an amazing aquarium, and my favorite aspect was the overlook on the back part of the aquarium that connected to the ocean. We spent so much time there peering out the viewers to see seals basking on rocks and swimming around, as well as the little otters poking their heads out of the water.
So, back when we road tripped up to Salem, Massachusetts, we ended up making a stop off in Connecticut. We pulled in here, because hey, pizza and puns!? Where could we go wrong?
Actually, I’d like to addendum here. I did not end up eating here, because in my anal retentive planning-ness, I had decided to bring bags and bags of trail mix and sesame snacks, etc, which I continually offered to my lovely car companions. They claimed they wanted ‘real food’ and chose to go to Slice of Heaven. How wrong they would be.
So we go in, and the place is pretty empty, with a sad, withering couple slices out front. But hey, sometimes it’s because a fresh pie is getting made! But no…no, that’s what they had left. Literally all they had left. So my friends got their single slices and proceeded to feast on the flattest pizza known to man, also referred to as cardboard. The slices were far from heavenly, so we ended up swinging by good ol’ Burger King. Meanwhile, I continued to enjoy my crunchings and munchings free of charge.
Years ago now, we did a road trip up to Niagara Falls and Salem, but first on the agenda we went to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Obviously, as a writer I thrive on stories, and one of my favorite ones from when I was younger was the tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. So when I realized that Sleepy Hollow was a short excursion within driving distance? We made the trek up and checked out the cemetery!
While we weren’t attacked by any Headless Horsemen, I must say, it was a cool excursion and by ways of cemeteries, worth a look. There are tons of old gravestones in ancient scrawl and neat bridges like the one above. Plus, the mausoleums scattered about the place are gorgeous works of art with some recognizable names. If you’re up in the area, it’s definitely worth the stop.
For this adventure, we didn’t even need to travel more than a half hour from home! Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne is a stunningly kept up garden and all around beautiful place to visit. I’d heard of it for years, but never thought to go until one date day, my husband and I decided to leap for it and check out this hidden treasure. And hidden it is, down a lot of windy back roads!
The small redhead is me, but as you can see, the place is just bursting with greenery and life. Chanticleer spread much further than I thought it would too–it felt like we walked forever and still had more to discover! As far as gardens go, I’d rank this fairly high. Oftentimes, you see some greenhouses with splatterdash groupings of plants, but this was a masterfully woven tapestry of flowers, bushes, and trees all surrounding old structures and interacting with the existing buildings.
More from my pale kid adventures in Hawaii! So this day, we took a bus out to Sandy Beach (creative name, eh?) to go see some different beaches than the main one on the Waikiki shoreline. It was about a twenty minute to a half hour bus ride, and sort of just cool to take public trans up to our destination, but the beach was definitely gorgeous. This wasn’t a swimming beach though, and all around were posted signs about not going swimming. Though plenty of folks ignored them to go surfing on the gigantic waves. Luckily for me, I hate swimming and wasn’t deterred. I’m also terrified of deep water. All sorts–I refuse to swim in lakes even, and the ocean just makes things a thousand times worse.
But I do like looking at water, and the volcanic rock at Sandy Beach was well worth the excursion!
For me in particular, it was incredibly important to go to the Dingle Peninsula where Inch Beach is located. Why, you ask? I’m absentminded as get-all, and when I’m hunting for something, or babbling on, the words come out faster than my brain likes to process (mostly because other tabs are open and taking up memory space if you catch my drift). So I have a habit of replacing terms with dingle or doodle. Like, ‘get me that doodle,’ or ‘I want the dingle.’ Funny enough, anyone who’s spent enough time around me usually can interpret and catch the drift. I’ve had my husband and a couple besties pick it up.
So when we heard that there was a Dingle Peninsula in Ireland, naturally we had to go. Alas, we didn’t make it all the way in. Let me explain. We were driving along the roads on the opposite side of our comfort zone in a teensy car and even teensier lanes. And as the cliffs grew higher, what separated us from that breathtaking ledge? Shrubbery. Fucking shrubbery. So we reached a point of white-knuckled steering that grew too much and turned back around. Yes, we’re wusses.
Regardless, Inch Beach rocked. Literally. All sorts of rocks along the beach and I absolutely loved it.
Key thing about taking an adventure doesn’t have to do with going to the most remote place on the planet or most talked about. The spirit of an adventure is exploring somewhere new, even if it’s just new to you.
So for me and my husband this past Valentine’s day, our date consisted of a wintry walk through a local park in Pennsylvania. While I had explored this place before, something about the light slow drifting down made the walk positively magical. The cold pinks your cheeks, chills your ears, and the fluffy snowflakes clung to my hair, my clothes–everything. But with so few people on the trails, the pale accumulations were pristine, and the snowfall didn’t accumulate so much as to deter our walk, just make it a bit more treacherous. Of course, that just makes it all the more thrilling.