travel

a wicked ahsome time by Kayci Detweiler

I am loving the Northeast. I don't know if it's the coastal vibes or the crisp, fall air... but they're onto something out here I must say! We've seen so many quaint little towns.

Our time in this part of the country is short and sweet, totalling in at less than one week. Sad but true, folks, our time is coming to an end. :( Bittersweet feels. 

The NE tour, as we'll call it, started in Boston (pronounced bah-stan), full of history, pastries, and stereotypical accents. I loved it.

We took a walking tour of part of the Freedom Trail, which gave us the story of Paul Revere and the American Revolution... Including the Old North Church, where the lanterns were hung to warn the colonists that the British were traveling by sea {I sadly don't remember the rest of the story.} Can you imagine sitting in those boxes for a church service? Fascinating. 

Mike's Pastry shop was a necessary stop because of this:

Holy Cannolli!

We also had dinner at the oldest operating tavern in the country, the Bell in Hand. Yum!

Also, a slight detour took us to the original Dunkin Donuts location. So New England of us. As far as donuts go, this one was a classic, so obviously it's high on the list.

We drove past Harvard on our way out of town, because why not!

After Boston, we headed off to a stop in Portsmouth, NH. Maybe the cutest little town ever. It was a little rainy, which was unfortunate, but it didn't deter us from walking around the shops in Market Square. Beautiful. 

From there we drove to Portland, ME {also known as, the other Portland.} I actually really enjoyed this Portland as well! A cute little sea-town full of brick buildings and lighthouses and lobsters. Love it. City but not too city....which is my kind of city :)

Tomorrow night is actually the last night of the trip, which means last blog post? I can't take it! 

welcome to new york by Kayci Detweiler

Yes, I am titling this post after a Taylor Swift song. Deal with it. :) 

I could also title it, New York: a photo essay, because that's what most of it will be. But oh, what a time we had. There isn't anywhere like NYC, and I couldn't help but love it!  

A few of the things we accomplished with our time include: visits with friends, a walk in Central Park, the Today Show {including shaking Al Roker's hand}, a visit to Mood {project runway fans?}, a walk on the High Line, the Chelsea Market, the Doughnut Plant, a taping of Late Night with Seth Myers {!!!!}, and a free Pitbull concert. 

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Whew. What a day. We walked around 29,000 steps in one day and didn't see near everything but it was WORTH IT.

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I'll be back, New York!

frolicking in the fall by Kayci Detweiler

I have a confession to make: I am weary.

After a couple months of traveling, I suppose this is to be expected, but I didn't want to admit it! Whew. I am, as a result, going to be a bit lazy on the blogging this time. 

I will tell you that we've had a wonderful, FULL, week of beautiful weather and leaves in the south. First in Asheville, NC, and then in Blacksburg and Harrisonburg, VA. I do love Virginia in the fall. It's quite magical. 

In Asheville we had the pleasure of staying with wonderful hosts who spoiled us rotten, walked around their Crafters Fair {which is not as good as Shipshewana's :)}, explored downtown shops, tried Carolina BBQ, and enjoyed the beauty of the mountains. It was a glorious day. 

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Blacksburg is home to lovely friends and their many pets. We made friends with puppies and kittens alike {mostly.} We went on a 8 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail and ate family style Southern cookin'. A good time was had by all. 

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In Harrisonburg we encountered a slight problem with the lights on our dashboard {the speedometer, etc are all digital}...mainly that they weren't lighting up! After taking it to a dealer we discovered good news: that it was under extended warranty... and bad news: that we had to give up the car for several days. 

But never fear, the Burg is the best place this could have happened to us. We had a place to stay, friends to visit, food to eat, and fall weather to enjoy. Not bad, for car trouble. 

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We're on our last leg now and back on the road again today! Definitely do-able. Finish strong!

in with the old {cities} by Kayci Detweiler

Every time I hear someone say “St Augustine” I think of the song St Augustine by Band of Horses…{feel free to listen below while you read this post}

I didn’t know anything about the city before visiting, but I’m ready to go back already! There’s so much history and cool things going on in this area. Did you know it’s the oldest city in the US? Because I didn’t!

But, the best part about being in St Augustine was that we got to meet up with this lovely lady! Thanks for coming all the way from Sarasota, Laur…it was so much fun!! 

Tuesday was even Laura’s birthday, so we got to celebrate a little bit with a mini vacation.

We had our final beach day of the trip {gasp!}, took a tour of the St Augustine Distillery, checked out the Spanish fort, and sampled a few different restaurants in the area. A great couple days well spent.

After reluctantly saying goodbye to Laura {and StAugustine} we headed north to Savannah! 

Talk about history, Savannah is another area that is just filled with those beautiful historic parts of town. It’s also filled with live oak trees draped in Spanish moss. SO amazing. We got to see a few drives that were lined with the trees and it creates an effect that can’t really be conveyed in photos. At least not mine. 

With our very limited time in town we decided not to take the city tour {which is why I don’t know any cool facts, unfortunately} and instead took our own tour which mostly consisted of interesting shops on Broughton street, and walking through many of the “squares” that Savannah is built around.

I tried to sit on the same bench as Forest Gump, but wasn’t sure which one it was.

We also drove down the most beautiful street in North America {according to Southern Living}, which really was quite beautiful, but I don’t know if it was the best one I’ve ever been down.

If only we had more time… 

Coming soon: Asheville, North Carolina!

will work for beads by Kayci Detweiler

New Orleans. The Big Easy. Nawlins. Down in the bayou. 

Well, however you want to say it, we were there! It was a whirlwind experience of a day, trying to fit in ALL THE THINGS because, well, that's what we always do. But overall, it was an excellent experience of the city. 

Most of our time was spent in the French Quarter, which we learned is the original part of the city, settled by the French because it was the only livable land in the middle of a swamp. It's beautiful and so full of culture that's hard to capture with an iPhone.

New Orleans has a fascinating history because it was passed around to so many countries...first, of course, the Native peoples of the area were living here, then the French occupied and settled it, then the Spanish took over, then it went back to France, and finally it was bought by the United States in the Louisiana purchase. So it's easy to see where their variety in culture comes from! Something you can't find anywhere else in the world. 

The number one thing everyone said to us when we told them we were going to New Orleans was "make sure you go to Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets!" So, we obeyed and made that our first stop...yum. Worth it. 

You get the cafe "au lait" and the beignets with all the powdered sugar they can pile on. Kelby models the proper way to eat beignets (fried French donuts, btw) below:

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We rode a streetcar to St Charles to see some of the historic houses, took a walking tour of the French Quarter {which is where I learned all those fun facts from the beginning...impressive, I know}, and spent time listening to live musicians in Jackson Square.

I fell in love with the spanish architecture, bright colors, magnolia trees, and the hanging ferns. 

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We even saw a random parade march down the street and ate some delicious cajun gumbo.

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I'd say we had a pretty great peek at New Orleans. Next time I come back, I'll have plenty more to do!

{...but always make time for beignets, for real}

diamond digs and rock n' roll by Kayci Detweiler

We had a little bit of a drive from Dallas up to Memphis, TN, so we thought a day to break it up would be good. Why not stop in Arkansas? Then we had to figure out what we could do in Arkansas. Answer...dig for diamonds. 

Just a side note...AR was also our last camping stop, which I think it's safe to say Kelby was ready for! :) She survived camping, such a trooper.

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At Crater of Diamonds state park in AR, you can pay a small fee and then go dig in their diamond field, where numerous diamonds have been found for many years. Go figure! We decided to give it a shot. Didn't expect it to be busy, but it was packed! I guess this is the thing to do on a Saturday afternoon in Arkansas. 

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Unfortunately, although it was perfect conditions {it rained the day before, which is supposed to expose any diamonds that are close to the surface,} we were unsuccessful in our hunt. Not even my years of fossil hunting in the driveway gave me an edge. I did find some quartz and jasper, which are pretty but not too valuable. Shoot. I wanted a diamond to take home as a souvenir.

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With our diamond hopes dashed, we headed to Memphis, the home of rock n' roll. 

Buutttt, first we drove through the corner of Oklahoma to say we were there and got Sonic happy hour drinks because we're in Sonic country down here!

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Ok back to TN. We settled on two things to do while in Memphis: eat some barbecue and see Sun Studio {where artists like Johnny Cash, Elvis, BB King, and Jerry Lee Lewis all got their start.} Food and music. Seemed appropriate. 

On our way we stopped to walk down the famous Beale street...which isn't quite as hoppin' at 10:30 on a Sunday morning. Ha! But it was fun to see. 

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The tour of Sun Studios was cool...they haven't changed anything in the building since it was home to the greats like Elvis and Johnny. You can see where they recorded their first record {and hear it}, what microphone they used...fun stuff like that.

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Of course after the tour we had to listen to Johnny Cash for a while on our drive.

Our second stop was for some barbecue! We were told that one of the best spots to get great barbecue was the Memphis Barbecue Company, so we decided to stop there. Mmmm, pulled pork and sweet tea... Delicious! I feel like we got the full Memphis experience {or at least an abbreviated version.} 

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And now it's on to the big easy...New Orleans today!

living large in texas by Kayci Detweiler

Texas. For such a big state, I took a pathetically small amount of pictures! I'll try to recall where we spent our time as best I can.

Our first experience with the lone star state came on the drive from Carlsbad to San Antonio. Let me tell you....there is nothing in western Texas. Nothing but oil fields right and left. That was an uneventful drive.

In San Antonio {the furthest south we will be on this trip, believe it or not!} our day started off at the Alamo. It's kind of a strange place for a landmark...right in the middle of the city. But I guess it's good that they left it in the original spot instead of moving it out of town, or something. 

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The best part about San Antonio, and what I was most looking forward to, was the river walk. An amazing oasis in the middle of the city! So many beautiful plants and trees right alongside the shops and restaurants of downtown. Lovely.  

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We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant that's been there since the 40s with the prettiest colored umbrellas. A day well spent in San Antonio.

On toooooo..... Austin. The Portland of the south {that's what we were told at least}

Austin treated us oh so well. They know how to have a good time in Texas. We visited the White Horse, which was described to us as a "hipster honkytonk." Not sure exactly what that means, but we got to watch some great live music and witness people dancing the two step for the first time...so cool! Wish we could have taken a class or something, but it was quite intimidating to watch.  

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In the morning we went on a mission to find the best donuts in Austin {naturally, is this a surprise to anyone?}  and we FOUND THEM. Gourdough's. A food truck in an airstream trailer that sells donuts so big you have to eat them with a fork. 

These are serious donuts...we got the Fat Elvis, which was topped with peanut butter frosting, fried bananas, bacon strips, and honey. Yuuuummmmmmm.  

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Plus, the donut truck was right next to the breakfast taco truck {which is an Austin tradition that I am 100% in love with.} A perfect world? Yes. Yes in every way. 

Most amazing brunch ever.  

We explored an area of the city with cool antique shops and boutiques. Right up our alley!  

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Coming from our amazing Austin experience, we headed to Dallas to spend some time at Kelby's grandparents' house. We ended up using this as a time to rest, recharge, and get some errands done so I didn't take any pictures at all!  

Overall a great time in Texas and a nice entry into the south. Many adventures to come! 

colorful colorado by Kayci Detweiler

Coloradoooooo. In keeping with our recent theme, we didn’t have near enough time to explore CO and give it a fair representation, but life goes on, and so does this trip.

There were several activities that we wanted to do on our way to Denver, but since we fell behind in Utah, we didn’t have enough time to stop. Sad. Plus, it got dark before we drove through the Vail Pass area so we couldn’t even see the most beautiful scenery! Blah. Oh well.

Denver was such a lovely visit with friends Angie & Logan. They showed us a bit of the downtown, as well as some cute smaller neighborhoods in the area. We had an AWESOME breakfast at one of their favorite cafes, did some cheese tasting at the shop where Logan works, and visited a CAT CAFÉ!

Ok, cat café…this is a legit thing. You can go have coffee, tea, whatever, and play with the cats! They even have games, books, etc for people to use while they are there. A kitten and I fell in love and it broke my heart to leave him there, but alas…no room for a litter box in the car. 

After our lovely day in Denver, we headed south to Colorado Springs.

I’ve been to the Springs area several times before…let’s just take a moment to walk down memory lane {with Garden of the Gods photos}. The first time was with my family about 15 or so years ago:

The second time was for spring break in 2009:

And then this year!

Kelby has never been though, so we did the tourist thing and drove up Pike’s Peak {surprisingly terrifying once you get above the tree line} andhad some apparently “world famous” donuts. They were pretty good, in my professional opinion. 

After we made it down from the Peak successfully, we walked around Garden of the Gods for a bit to complete the tourist day.

We checked out the Olympic Training Center also, but decided against the tour since it was a little rainy and cold. {I’m obviously an athlete myself.}

Thanks to wonderful hosts and family for showing us a good time in CO! Maybe we’ll be back again someday…I hear it’s a pretty cool place to live.