Travel Throwback Thursday

A vacation is good for the soul, and a great vacation changes your spirit, even when you go back home. This year, the vacations are closer to home, so I'm reliving my past favorite blogged trips and pretending I'm somewhere other than here.

San Francisco, California | August 2013

San Francisco's scenery was second-to-none. We saw a lot around the city and the Bay Area over the course of a week, and still barely scratched the surface.

Favorite activity

Does drinking wine count?

Renting bicycles and visiting wineries was an outing I would recommend to anyone. We chose to rent bikes from Calistoga Bike Shop, which offered an independent tour. We spent the afternoon riding to wineries and through vineyards and around Calistoga, a small town north of Napa.

And, while riding bikes through San Francisco was pretty hellish for a girl from the flats of Louisiana, riding over the Golden Gate Bridge was a surreal experience I'll never forget.

Favorite food 

Does wine count?

Okay fine. I couldn't complain about our fresh seafood lunch at Pier 39 one afternoon. Only way to get fresher would be to eat in the water! My crab sandwich was so light and tender. Although, the paper bag for my wine was 100% unnecessary.

Favorite green moment

San Francisco banned plastic shopping bags in retail stores in 2012, so I carried a cloth bag around for any purchases. I can't even count how many plastic bags I saved in one short week. The one bag we did get, for our dinner leftovers, was compostable.

There were many eco-friendly things I loved about San Francisco, from the bike lanes to the public recycling and compost bins, to solar-powered boats, to the abundance of hybrid and electric vehicles.

From my original blog post:
What I loved most about it is that being green was just commonplace. You didn't have to take extra measures to recycle or reduce your plastic use. The alternatives were there in front of you.

Oahu, Hawaii | July 2014

Favorite activity

Uh, climbing a freaking mountain! While we did about five hikes during our week, the first one, Crouching Lion, was the most difficult and my favorite. Manoa Falls was my second favorite hike, for its ethereal rainforest feel.

Favorite food

While this choice might have changed if I had tried the local McDonald's Spam breakfast (HAHAHAHA), I would go with the fresh poke bowls we had twice. Basically deconstructed sushi, poke bowls have rice at the bottom and your choice of raw fish piled on top. My first bowl was simply tuna with some onion, and my second was a combination of tuna and salmon. Bonus points for eating with chopsticks. I'll be making my own at home soon.

The only downside was the use of styrofoam bowls.

Favorite green moment

It's hard to choose when so much of the island is sustainable. So many houses have solar panels, many buildings are LEED-certified (including the Pearl Harbor memorial), and being outdoors is practically a requirement. The dedication to recycling was probably my favorite of all. Recycling bins were all over the place, along with signs reminding everyone to keep Hawaii clean and keep litter out of the ocean.

In a bit of recent news, with Oahu joining the other islands in its decision, Hawaii just became the first state to ban plastic bags! Mahalo, y'all.

Boston, Massachusetts | September 2014 (fourth trip)

Boston is by far one of my favorite cities to visit. The first three trips were purely Hanson-fueled, where I got to visit my partner-in-crime. A part of my spirit will forever live in Massachusetts, from getting to visit my best friend, to meeting my favorite band for the first - and still only - time, to getting a tattoo related to said favorite band with said best friend.

The most recent trip was for a workshop, but mercifully during the best season in which to visit Boston.

Favorite activity

Okay, truthfully, it would be the time I met Hanson in Cohasset, five years ago this month. But if I must focus on my most recent trip, seeing the Boston Marathon finish line was a sobering moment. Boylston Street has healed its physical wounds, but the memories will never fade.

The other favorite moment was drinking Abita beers while watching the Saints at the Baseball Tavern on a Sunday afternoon.

Favorite food

Clam chowder, duh. But the giant lobster was a major accomplishment. And then there was the authentic Italian pizza in the North End.


Obviously, Boston has the best food.

Favorite green moment

I loved coming across a parklet in Cambridge, which takes a car's parking space and turns it into a mini-park, complete with tables and plants.

There was also the Hubway, a bike rental system throughout Cambridge and Boston. Visiting the Greenway is the best, though. The result of the Big Dig, which, construction-wise, is not eco-friendly, the Greenway is a long strip of dog parks, green grass and picnic areas. The faaaahncy term is "linear urban park". It's located smack in the middle of Boston, between the North Station and South Station, above I-93.

Are you traveling anywhere new this year? Read my Eco Cajun guide to traveling sustainably!

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