Favorite Travel Moments of 2013

Share Button

2013 has been a busy but incredible year. I traveled more this year than I have any other year. It may be a small amount to some, but you fit in what you can when you have a full-time job. The more I travel, the more I want to travel. Travel is an addiction, the more I go, the more I want to go. The more I see, the more I realize there is to see. The more I do, I realize I have not even come close to scratching the surface.

I’m not sure yet what 2014 has in store for me, but I would like to share some of my favorite moments from 2013.

The first trip of the year saw me dragging (not really) my family to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. It was the first time my step-kids had ever been outside of the country. To be able to see it through their eyes was amazing considering it wasn’t until I was 29 before I ever left the United States. We stayed 5 nights at Lifestyle Vacation Club in a private villa complete with a pool and breakfast cooked daily for us in the villa. Rough life, right?

The view of the main pool from the helicopter

The view of the main pool from the helicopter

There were a few bumps in the road, but we managed to survive. I have been working on my Spanish and luckily, I remembered the word for toilet… and how it wasn’t working…

Overall, the best part of the trip for me was when we went zip lining for the very first time. It was a little primitive, but with nothing to compare it to, it was perfectly fine…I think.

If you look closely, you will notice I'm wearing the "brake" on my hand...

If you look closely, you will notice I’m wearing the “brake” on my hand…

In August we went to Colorado. My husband and step-son had never set foot in the state. We spent a couple of days driving through Rocky Mountain National Forest. We also drove to the top of Mt. Evans, which is the highest paved road in the United States.

As we approached the top, it started sleeting...in August.

As we approached the top, it started sleeting…in August.

From there we headed to Colorado Springs. We saw a lot of cool stuff while we were there, but my favorite part was taking a tour of The United States Air Force Academy. It’s a beautiful campus but it’s what goes on there that is the incredible part. Our future go getters and leaders of this country are sweating blood and tears not just physically but mentally as well. I have so much respect for these young leaders and the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to become part of an elite club.

Air Force Academy Chapel

Air Force Academy Chapel

August also landed us in Boston for the first time. I’m not a fan of big cities, but I would go back to Boston in a heartbeat. There is so much history there that it is impossible to take it all in when you are only there 4 days. Since we were so close to Cape Cod, we just had to rent a car and drive there for an afternoon. This also meant we had to consume clam chowder at Captain Parker’s Pub and now I am forever ruined from all other clam chowder.

Clam chowder at Captain Parker's Pub on Cape Cod

Clam chowder at Captain Parker’s Pub on Cape Cod

My most memorable moment came when we ate at the Union Oyster House. This is the oldest continuously running restaurant in the United States. It’s also where I faced my fear of oysters. I can now say that I have had raw oysters on the half shell. This is a big deal for me because I have never been able to eat oysters even though I love most seafood. What better place to do it than a restaurant that has a booth in honor of President Kennedy, who frequently visited?


In November, I took a weekend trip to Austin, Texas and stayed at Travaasa Experiential Resort. It’s hard to choose a favorite since I had so much fun here. All of the farm to table meals were incredible and I enjoyed trying new foods, but racing my husband up a rock climbing wall and then zip lining from the top was a moment I will never forget. I’m still trying to figure out why I was so sore the next day.

Rock climbing wall at Travaasa Experential Resort

Rock climbing wall at Travaasa Experential Resort

Oh, did I mention that I rode a bull too? I didn’t keep track of the time, but I don’t think the rodeo is in my future…

Bull rider

Bull rider

Share Button
This entry was posted in Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Favorite Travel Moments of 2013

  1. Melanie says:

    What a fun year you’ve had! But why didn’t you mention meeting me as a highlight? 😉 j/k I’m about to board my flight back to Boston to spend New Year’s Eve there. Gonna check out the oyster house on your recommendation…using my winnings for a free stay! Yayay!

  2. Mary Lovett says:

    You have had a wonderful year, BUT BULL RIDING???

  3. This is a really cool post, Valerie! It puts into perspective how many great experiences you’ve had — just this year alone!

    It’s going to be really interesting to see how your overview post reads NEXT year at this time! You go, Girl!!

  4. Agreed! Maybe a trip to the Great Southwest?

  5. Gem says:

    Wow – I want to go to all of those places! I’ve never been to any of them.

    Thanks for linking up on Hana Hou Photo Day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge