Tag...I'm It - The ABCs of Travel

Thanks to the Adventures of Elatlboy for giving me the opportunity to participate in the ABCs of Travel blog series. Without further adieu, here's a look into my travel soul...Enjoy!

Age of your first international trip?
  • 12 - My family and I took a cruise with stops in Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and the Bahamas. The Caribbean counts right? 

Best beer you've had abroad??
    • My first experience with Guinness - St. Patrick's Day of 2005 in London. We've had an "on again, off again" relationship ever since.

    Cuisine (Favorite)
    • Can donuts be classified as cuisine? I don't really have a favorite type of cuisine, but I could eat Chicken Tikka Masala every day without a problem. 

    Destinations (Favorite/Least Favorite and why)
    • My favorite is easy...Paris. Why? Do I really have to explain Paris? Least favorite...Cozumel, Mexico. I hate the beach.

    Event you experienced abroad that made you say "Wow."
    • The changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Nothing like the pomp and circumstance of Her Majesty's residence.
    Buckingham Palace
    Well at least I blended in...
    Favorite mode of transportation?

    Greatest feeling while traveling?
    • That moment when you catch a glimpse of something that until then you've only seen on TV or books. The Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Great Wall of China, the White House.

    Hottest place you've traveled?
    • Austin, Texas in the summer. More specifically, the hills outside of the city, while wearing a suit. 
    Chapel Dulcinea Austin
    It may look pretty, but it was hot as $%#&
    Incredible service you've experienced and where.
    • The Four Seasons in Atlanta...They gave a traveler in distress a room for $100.

    Journey that took the longest?
    • My trip to South Korea. One hour flight to Atlanta, 4 hour layover, 15 hour flight to Seoul, 4 hour bus ride to my final destination. 24 hours total travel time...

    Keepsake from your travels?
    • I rarely if ever buy souvenirs having learned that the best keepsakes are usually free. My favorite would have to be the pine cone I picked up from under the Eisenhower Tree at Augusta National, home of The Masters.

    Let-down sight...where and why?
    • The Mona Lisa. Totally overrated. It's actually kind of ugly, and there's always a huge crowd hovering around. Meanwhile there is an entire museum of far more impressive paintings to be seen.
    The Mona Lisa
    She really is quite ugly you know...
    Moment you fell in love with travel?
    • I'm not sure I can pinpoint a single moment when it happened. No doubt the experiences I had as a kid and young adult led me to where I am...a full fledged travel addict. 

    Nicest hotel you've stayed in?
    • Shortly after 9/11 my brother and I made a trip to New York to see Ground Zero in person. Due to a lack of tourists, New York was on sale big time, and we scored a one night at the Waldorf Astoria and the other at The Plaza. Both rooms were under $150....
     Obsession. What do you always take pictures of on trips?
      • Food...It is a little touristy, especially in nice restaurants, but I love taking pictures of food. More specifically, plates which could be considered works of art and make it hard to eat them...

      Passport Stamps...how many and where?
      •  6 - France (twice), Spain, Netherlands, UK, and South Korea.

      Quirkiest attraction you've visited?
      • The statute of the running bull in Lower Manhattan. Why I felt the need to visit this thing in the subfreezing temperatures still baffles me...

      Recommended sight, event or experience?
      • While Notre Dame gets all the attention in Paris, a far more awe inspiring cathedral is only a few blocks away...Saint Chapelle. The most beautiful stained glass I've ever seen.
      Saint Chapelle Paris
      The Stained Glass of Saint Chapelle
      Splurge - What do you spend big on while traveling? 
      • Again...Food. On every trip I make sure to plan at least one really big meal. And by big, I mean expensive. Some people buy souvenirs...I eat expensive food. 

      Touristy things you've done?
      • Every city that we visit, I make sure to stop by the Hard Rock Cafe and buy a pin. Sure they are built for tourists, but I started collecting these pins as a kid and enjoy keeping the tradition going to this day. I have pins from 28 different locations...

      Unforgettable travel memory?
      • The hike on the Simatai Great Wall of China. We didn't see another sole the entire 6 mile trek. Not to mentioned the unrestored state of this section of the wall. 

      Visas - How many and for where?
      • Only have the one...China.  Best page in my passport.

      Wine - Best glass while traveling and where?
      • A bottle of Stags Leap Cabernet at the Corner Kitchen in Asheville, North Carolina. It was 50% off bottles that night so I splurged a bit.

      eXcellent view from where?
      • The Lincoln Memorial is one of the most visited sites in the States, and has one of the most famous views looking across the reflecting pond toward the Washington Monument. What gets missed by 99.9% of the visitors is the amazing view on the back side of the memorial. There you've got a perfect view of the Potomac River and Arlington Cemetery. Better yet, you've usually got it all to yourself...
      Lincoln Memorial View
      Skip the statute, come to this...
      Years spent traveling?
      • The earliest memory that I can recall from family travels is when I was about 11 years old. So I'm going to go with 20 years...

      Zealous sports fans and where? 
      • I am an unapologetic fan of the Florida Gators and Manchester United. Both have incredibly passionate fans, and I've been lucky to experience that passion first hand.

      Tag...More Kids than Suitcases...Four Jandals...and Active Planet Travels. You're it!

      ~Insert Dude-like Closing Here~ 



      1. Good list.  It seems like we have had a lot of the same travel experiences.  Austin, so hot!

      2. Cool list. I meet few travelers who don't agree about the Mona Lisa. Unspectacular for sure.

      3. I've heard a couple of times recently that Saint Chapelle is amazing - we'll be in Paris next month so hopefully I'll be able to see it for myself.  We'll be stopping by the Mona Lisa as well though because my 8 year old is insisting that she has to see it.  I've warned her that she may be disappointed but she is adamant that she cannot go to Paris and not see the Mona Lisa. 

      4. Enjoyed reading you ABCs. I too take millions of photos of food and don't mind dropping money for a really good meal! Though, I get angry if I spend a lot of money and the meal is mediocre...grrr

      5. Yes, it was a scorcher in Austin...but I loved the city!

      6. Unspectacular...great word to describe it. The Coronation of Napoleon is my favorite in the Louvre...

      7. Well while it is overrated, it is still one of those things that everyone should see once in their life...Look forward to reading about your Paris adventure!

      8. Yeah anytime a "big" meal is a let down it hurts...happened to us in Vegas last month. Picasso was on my bucket list of restaurants, and in the end I felt like we had simply paid rent on the paintings on the wall...

      9. I enjoyed reading A to Z according to Deej!

      10. Enjoyed, great list especially the ones involving food! When I was kid I used to collect t-shirts from all the Hard Rock's we visited. Wish would have kept collecting. Can always start again. :) I'll probably be going to Texas in the summer months (Dallas). I'm anticipating very hot times.

      11. Hysterically, I'm so with you on Hard Rock, though for me it's the t-shirts. Have more than I want to admit lol

      12. Mmm... donuts. I agree about the Mona Lisa. Every time I show visitors around Paris they want to see the Mona Lisa and it never gets better. 


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