My Favorite Adventures in 2017
Ah, the week between Christmas and the new year: when clothes means leggings and an oversized sweatshirt and adventures means trying to piece together leftovers into an actual meal. Even though I'm off this whole week you couldn't pay me enough to leave the house and do anything. This week is all about recharging after a busy 2017.
This past year was full of adventures so recharging is necessary before diving in to 2018. Some of the adventures took me far (London, I love you and miss you) and some were close to home (always, always hanging out in Philly). I'm always down for a new adventure!
Here are my favorite adventures of 2017:
A Long Weekend in Pittsburgh
We finally took a much anticipated trip to another Pennsylvania city beside Philly: Pittsburgh. While there sports teams are not my cup of tea (no thank you Steelers and Penguins fans), this city has SO much to explore. We wandered through a bunch of different neighborhoods, saw some funky artwork (like spending hours in my main man, Andy Warhol's, museum), and ate a ton of food.
The Spring Arts Murals in Philly
Philadelphia is an amazing city for artwork. Some of the best of it can be found on the side of buildings thanks to the Mural Arts Program. Every neighborhood in the city has something but you can easily explore art on foot in the Spring Arts section. Taking a mural walk is one of my favorite activities in Philly but be prepared to bundle up if you do it in the winter!
Check out: Visit the Spring Arts Murals in Philly
Summer at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ
Living in New Jersey means I'm always looking for hidden gems in this state. Grounds for Sculpture is one of the best places to spend a Saturday when the weather gets warmer. I was so excited to share one of my favorite NJ spots with my in-laws in the early summer. Gorgeous gardens and amazing sculptures make this one of the most unique attractions in the state. If you have a chance to visit, go, go, go!
Check out: A Summer Sunday at Grounds for Sculpture
Wildflowers and Lavender in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
This summer's adventures were all about finding flowers. First it was wandering through the lavender fields in Bucks County. It smelled so delicious! Even though I didn't cut my own lavender on this trip, it was one of the best summer experiences. Another fun trip was to Duke Farms in central New Jersey. A former private estate, there are trails and gardens to explore all over. My favorite was definitely the wild and untamed acres of wildflowers.
Exploring London, Brighton, and Oxford
The big trip for 2017 was visiting England. It had been years and years since I was in one of my favorite cities but everything about London came right back to me. It was fun to be able to explore as an adult; definitely a lot more pubs this time around! There are so many things to see in London that I think my feet have just started to recover. Since we were there for ten days, Nick and I also took two little side trips to Oxford and Brighton. Brighton was very different from London: funky little shops and a very grey ocean view. But Oxford was like a town from a story book: winding streets, dusty storefronts, and cozy little pubs. Take me back to England please!
Escaping to Southern California
I love, love, love the East Coast and can't imagine living anywhere else buuuut when winter's here, a warm weather escape is in order. In early November Nick and I headed out to Southern California to visit my dad and my grandmother. We stayed in Oceanside, just north of San DIego, then explored up and down the coast. I found a few good coffee shops and a lot of good beach vibes. Do you think I can pull off a trip like that every November?
Check out: A Long Weekend in Oceanside and San Diego
So where to next?
I was extremely lucky to do as much traveling as I did in 2017, especially on a budget post-house buying. But really adding more travel into your life takes two things: being budget-conscious and doing your research. While in England we discovered it was cheaper to take the bus to Oxford than the train. I also spent hours before our trip researching the different London neighborhoods and where to go and what to eat in each (but of course, I love that sort of thing!).
There are always so many places on my travel list so we really could go anywhere! I know I have at least two trips planned already, one in late January and the other for the spring. Nick and I will probably sit down next week or so, take a look at our budget and the calendar, and start creating our travel plan!