Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Explorer Fan Girl

by Lisa Hughey

My inner Fan Girl is expressed through traveling to new places. I love exploring cities, wandering the streets, absorbing the energy and immersing in the culture.

Kinsale, Ireland


I love thinking about where I’m going to go next (when the budget permits) and dreaming about the places I’ll see and the experiences I’ll have. And just so I don’t miss anything, I’ve pretty much reduced my obsession to a science.

I love to research every little detail. Yelp, TripAdvisor, AAA, Lonely Planet are all my friends. I spend hours reading and culling information so that I know exactly what is a must see, what is a if you have time and what will be saved for another visit. But I don’t strictly plan out a schedule and there are always surprises along the way.

I’ll admit to a weakness for luxury accommodations when monetarily possible. The modern swanky Sofitel in DC, or the grande old dame of the Waldorf in New York, or the quirky renovated Kennedy School House in Portland. Each unique, yet so totally perfect for the city they reside in.

I’m a sucker for history of just about any kind.



The sense of awe that accompanies standing in the Courthouse where the Declaration of Independence was signed, knowing that Ben Franklin, John Adams and George Washington stood in the very same place;




standing on the parapets of a fort in Ireland, where hundreds of years earlier, the Irish stood ready to defend their homes from the invading English;



standing in front of Monet’s Impression at Sunrise, knowing that the Impressionist period was named because of this painting.

Each place has its own feel, its own highlights and its own traditions. For me some of the musts were: tea at the Brown Derby in Denver and tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, Canada. A musical (Spamalot) on Broadway. Times Square. The Liberty Bell. Alcatraz.



Powell’s Bookstore. The Eiffel Tower. The Mall in DC. The Book of Kells at Trinity College. The Japanese Tea Garden.

I have itchy feet, always wanting to wander, and you know I realized it’s time to plan another trip.

Lisa

p.s. I’m also crazy about food and restaurants, researching five star, hot new places and local dives. Each city has their specialty dishes specific to the locale, but that is a topic for another day....

4 comments:

L.G.C. Smith said...

Being in the midst of a trip like the ones you're currently planning, I love your post. :) Today we visited Hawes in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire because it was market day. We bought lots of Wensleydale cheese. We found a family butcher in Bainbridge and bought the kind of thick pork steaks with an inch of fat on the edge and the skin left on. Just like ones I saw Jamie Oliver cook in his outdoor oven on TV. We're going to cook them in an Aga, the next best thing to an outdoor brick or stone oven. These were all things I thought about ahead of time, Lisa, just as you described. Then there was a traffic jam in Hawes (due to the market and one of those three-wheeled cars that had broken down on the high street, so we took another road back. We discovered where there are sheep dog demonstrations on Thursdays, and we'll be back. So the unexpected opens interesting opportunities that no planning will even achieve. But the planning is a lovely thing.

Adrienne Miller said...

Oh I love this. I totally understand. I'm a big ol' fan girl of Venice. I cried when I arrived at the train station and I cried when we left --I did stop crying in the week between though. But if Venice was #1 then I think the top 3 would have to include Barcelona and New Orleans.

Lisa Hughey said...

Lynn-
You are reminding me of Ireland. We shopped at a Farmer's Market in Kilkenny. And had to wait for a herd of cows to pass on the road in Kinsale--a real hardship as we just stared out at the ocean while waiting :)

Adrienne--
I *love* New Orleans. That would be more of a food post. I usually schedule breakfast/brunch and dinner in NOLA. I'm a littly nutty with the restaurant experience thing. One of my all time fav experiences was Breakfast at Brennan's and afterwards we wandered across the street into this artist's little shop and chatted with him for over half an hour. :)

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